World premieres are sexy. They are risky, ambitious, and generate all the buzz. So, why you ask, when presented with opportunity after opportunity to produce them, would a company choose to give a desirable season slot to what is termed a “second production?” Here we share a bit about their importance and why, at Miami New Drama, we have chosen to do just that with our season opener, The Bridge of San Luis Rey.
Playwright Lauren Yee (upcoming production The Great Leap) is quoted saying “the theatre community has gradually begun to understand that world premieres aren’t the alpha and omega of a play’s life; in fact, plays require second and third productions in order to enjoy a robust life. ” Their significance to a playwright is crucial to the further expansion of the play’s critical acclaim exposing it to other potential producers.
Our audience is another reason to do the second production. How many people made it to New Jersey in February 2018 to Two River Theater (photographed above featuring David Greenspan and Mary Lou Rosato returning to the Miami New Drama production) to see the world premiere? …..crickets….crickets...no one? That is safe to say. The story behind this show has so much value to bring to our audience. Thornton Wilder’s second novel published back in 1927 is so rich in the human experience of life, love, and healing that it continues to be relevant and hold acclaim within the literary world. David Greenspan’s adaptation of the novel amplifies the story into a lyrical and transformative evening of theater at its finest.
While world premieres are our passion and will remain so in future seasons. It ultimately comes down to the play, the timing, the partners, and the connections that can be made with our community. We couldn’t be more thrilled to give this worthy, beautiful piece a continuing life. (L to R: marketing graphic for Miami New Drama production next to graphic for Two River Theater world premiere.)