The American Repertory Theatre (A.R.T.) will join nine other theater groups to present at the 10th New Visions/New Voices festival this spring (April 25-27) at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
At the biennial festival and workshop, the A.R.T. will present a rehearsed reading of “The Judgment of Bett,” which tells the true story of Elizabeth Freeman (Mum Bett), whose case challenging Massachusetts’ slavery laws circa 1781 helped change the course of history. Directed by Scott Zigler, head of the A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theatre Training, the play is being co-produced with Discovering Justice, a Boston-based organization devoted to educating young people about the role of the justice system in American democracy.
The Kennedy Center’s New Visions/New Voices is dedicated to new plays and musicals written for young people. Projects at various stages of development are submitted by theater companies across the world and are judged by two separate panels, based on the quality and potential of the work. After being selected, the playwright, director, and composer of the work are invited to the Kennedy Center to present their work. While at the center, playwrights, directors, music directors, composers, and actors work collaboratively in a weeklong intensive to develop their new creations. After revisions, rewrites, and rehearsals of the new plays and musicals, the works are presented as rehearsed readings during the three-day national conference for theater professionals, educators, and others interested in the field.
Since 1991, the festival has assisted in the development of 66 new plays from more than 40 theater companies from the United States and abroad.