National New Play Network (USA)

The National New Play Network (NNPN) is the country’s leading alliance of nonprofit theaters that champions the development, production and continued life of new plays.  NNPN strives to pioneer, implement and disseminate ideas and programs that revolutionize the way theaters collaborate to support new plays and playwrights.  Since its founding in 1998, NNPN has paid nearly a half million dollars to theaters and playwrights, providing employment for hundreds of artists across the country where NNPN’s 26 member theaters are located and beyond.

Our programs in support of new work are just as diverse as our membership.  NNPN has commissioned eighteen playwrights; our Residency program has placed sixteen MFA graduates into paid, year-long playwright residencies at member theaters; we swap new-play ideas and best practices twice each year at our Annual Conference and National Showcase of New Plays; and our artists have workshopped dozens of student plays via the MFA Playwright’s Workshop, produced in collaboration with the Kennedy Center.  

But our growing national reputation rests on our flagship program, the Continued Life of New Plays Fund (CLNPF).  This innovative effort, which brings together three or more theaters to create “Rolling World Premieres” of new works, has supported 25 plays in100 productions nationwide since 2004-05.  TDF’s recent, sobering study of the new play field, Outrageous Fortune, hailed CLNPF as one of the field’s few bright spots:

Groundbreaking… This bold model for new-play production holds out a cure for the possessiveness premieres inspire; it re-draws a truly regional map, without reliance on New York’s imprimatur; and it exemplifies institutional collaboration.  

Our theaters champion new plays in 22 communities from coast to coast (from Boston’s New Rep to San Francisco’s Magic), in quiet neighborhoods (like Borderlands in Arizona) and busy metropolises (Atlanta’s Actor’s Express and Horizon), with budgets as small as $150,000 (Dallas’ Kitchen Dog) and as large as $4 million (Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota), serving traditional (Chicago’s Victory Gardens) and non-traditional audiences (Mixed Blood in Minneapolis).   Diverse as they are, what unites them is a commitment to shepherding new works into the American canon, and to making the playwriting profession more tenable and rewarding.  Please visit