The Washington Post 2015 Award for Innovative Leadership to be Given to National New Play Network at the 2015 Helen Hayes Awards

Daniel McEvily


Washington, DC - In partnership with The Washington Post, theatreWashington announced today that National New Play Network (NNPN), a nation-wide alliance of nonprofit theaters that champions the development, production and continued life of new plays, will receive The Washington Post 2015 Award for Innovative Leadership in the Theatre Community during the Helen Hayes Awards Ceremony on Monday, April 6 at the Lincoln Theatre.

Founded in 1998, National New Play Network programs provide support to its 29 Core and more than 50 Associate Member theatres, affiliated playwrights and other theatre professionals. The organization has supported 200 productions nationwide through its NNPN Rolling World Premieres, and coordinated productions of new plays at multiple theatres across the country which allow playwrights to see their work brought to life before a range of regional audiences. Further, they ensure that groundbreaking new work has a healthy, productive life beyond these initial productions.

NNPN has granted more than a million dollars to its member theaters, their staffs and affiliated artists, and provided hundreds of playwrights and other theatre professionals with developmental workshops, commissions, paid residencies, and production support.

Now headquartered in Washington, NNPN has high regard for the vibrancy of Washington as a leading theatre town, giving great focus to the development of new work in the region. Jason Loewith, now Artistic Director of Olney Theater Center was formerly NNPN Executive Director and Ryan Rillette, Producing Artistic Director of Round House Theatre was formerly NNPN Board President.

When NNPN Executive Director Nan Barnett learned of the Award, she happily responded: "National New Play Network is honored to be recognized for its work within the region by The Washington Post. The Network's Founding Core Member, Woolly Mammoth Theater Company, and area Associate Members - Forum Theater Company, Olney Theatre Center, Theatre Alliance, Theatre J, and Round House Theatre - serve as shining examples of NNPN's mission in action, as each is dedicated to the development, production, and continued life of new works, as well as the innovation and implementation of ideas and programs that revolutionize the way theaters collaborate to support new plays and those who create them.”

“The Washington Post is pleased to recognize National New Play Network for their leadership and support of new productions, writers and theatres in D.C. and across the country,” said Steve Hills, President and General Manager of The Washington Post. “Their dedicated efforts have helped bring exciting new plays to life for hundreds of thousands of audience members worldwide.”

For more information about National New Play Network, go to

The 2015 Helen Hayes Awards also marks 29 years in partnership with The Washington Post. Through the annual recognition of organizations and individuals who use the theatre arts to promote community development, The Washington Post has helped encourage and inspire the region’s artistic renaissance. Previous recipients of The Washington Post Award include Capital Fringe, for bringing a wealth of new artists and audiences to the region; Jane Lang and Paul Sprenger, for their stewardship and development of the Atlas Theatre; arts activist Andy Shallal; arts patron Arlene Kogod; CulturalDC, for preserving local theatres and providing space for emerging artists, and Adele Robey and Julia Robey Christian, co-founders of The Anacostia Playhouse for helping transform the H Street neighborhood and for bringing new interest and new life to the historic Anacostia community.

The 2015 Helen Hayes Awards will be held on Monday, April 6 at the historic Lincoln Theatre. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call 202-337-4572.


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Building on three decades of service, theatreWashington is dedicated to representing and supporting all segments of the Washington theatre community, from the area’s 90-plus theatre companies to its individual artists, professional company members, and diverse audiences of all ages – all to further strengthen the vibrant region.

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