A portion of the American Voices New Play Institute transfers to Emerson
David Dower, Arena Stage’s Associate Artistic Director, will be leaving the company to join Emerson College’s Office of the Arts this April, the company announced today.
Along with Dower, the “documentation and dissemination” portions of Arena’s American Voices New Play Institute will transfer to the College. Included will be the new play map, new play TV, and the HowlRound meetings on new play development. New Play Institute Director Polly Carl will join Dower at Emerson in July. You can read Dower’s notes on the transition process here.
“Arena Stage is proud to have been an incubator for these wonderful young programs for the field of new play development. I have believed in them and championed them because I believe in the importance of living writers,” Arena Artistic Director Molly Smith said. “I’m proud of David’s work and Arena’s work in creating these programs.” Smith added that she believed the documentation and dissemination would be a “more natural fit” with Emerson’s academic environment.
Dower’s transfer to Emerson, a Boston college known for its strong theater program, will bring an end to his five and a half-year service to Arena. As Associate Artistic Director, Dower headed the artistic development team, managed the season planning process, supervised casting, literary and new play development, artistic production and scouting activities for the company. He was a 2006 Gerbode Fellow for Excellence in Non-Profit Leadership. Prior to joining Arena in 2006, he served as founding director of San Francisco’s Z Space Studio for sixteen years where he began his association with performer Josh Kornbluth (Andy Warhol: Good for the Jews?, Citizen Josh, Love & Taxes.)
The company did not immediately announce a replacement for Dower.
Other portions of the New Play Institute – in particular, its playwrights-in-residence program – will remain at Arena for the foreseeable future, the company assured.
“Arena Stage has provided an important service to the field by creating the American Voices New Play Institute,” Emerson President Lee Pelton said. “Emerson is dedicated to bringing innovation to communications and the arts, and we are excited to apply the intellectual resources of the College to carry the Institute’s research and communications programs forward.”