BOWIE – An award-winning Bowie State University theater professor, with extensive playwriting credits, was selected as a writer-in-residence for the 2020 Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, a highly competitive intensive summer program.
Bob Bartlett, associate professor of theater, is one of nine playwrights selected from hundreds of applicants for this year’s conference. From June 8-20, he will attend virtual sessions to further develop his play, “The Regular,” which tells the story of a war veteran, who drives across the country in an RV with her three dogs, while writing about diners and rediscovering herself and America. With the help of a BSU faculty development grant, Bartlett traveled to the mountains of New Hampshire last summer and visited 22 local diners for about a month to research and write the play.
“I really love this play and how it happened. You don’t quite know if what you’ve got is very interesting or compelling,” he said. “So, in that way, it’s a really great recognition of the play, the characters and their lives.”
The Seven Devils conference annually brings together a diverse group of artists and administrators to support artists developing new plays that embrace the landscape of the American experience. Since 1997, the organization has developed more than 250 new plays by Pulitzer Prize-winners, emerging writers and even high school students. More than 60 percent of those plays were produced on Broadway and at renowned venues around the country.
Bartlett’s has received numerous national and regional recognition for his work as a playwright, including six 2019 Helen Hayes Award nominations for “Swimming with Whales” and two Individual Artists Awards in Playwriting from the Maryland State Arts Council. He is a founding member of the Washington, DC-based playwright collective, The Welders, which won a Helen Hayes Award in 2016.
“I love stories about people trying to find home again,” said Bartlett. “I think where we are right now in this country and in the world, we need a sense of hope. That’s really important to the kind of play I’m writing right now. This conference came at the right time.” view this article in the Bowie State University newsroom.
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