Dominic Taylor is going where August Wilson, Wendy Wasserstein and a host of great playwrights have gone before. Taylor's new play, "Hype Hero (King Patch)," has been selected for the 2012 National Playwriting Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Conn., the center announced Wednesday.

"Hype Hero" will get development work and have workshop performances July 13-14 at the prestigious new play festival.

A satire, "Hype Hero" is set in a fictional American city that looks like Newark. In this milieu, there are only three types of people: debtors who wear patches, like Nascar drivers, indicating the corporations that have bought their debts and thus own them; people who were badges and are employed; and celebrities, who do not need to wear any identitifcation. The companies include Macrosoft and Charbucks.

 Taylor wrote “Hype Hero” in 1997, and put it away in a drawer.

“Out of habit, I submit a play to the O’Neill and Sundance every year, not really expecting anything,” Taylor said Wednesday on his way to teach a class at the University of Minnesota. “You never know what a committee is looking for."
He suggested that changed circumstances, including "the issues raised by the Occupy movement and the Supreme Court ruling that gives corporations people rights, makes it possible for my play to resonate now. I had to go back and read it and I’m glad to be able to devote some resources to making it better.” 

A director, dramaturg and playwright, Taylor is associate artistic director at Penumbra Theatre, where his Nat King Cole-themed play, "I Wish You Love, premiered in April 2011. It went on to runs at the Kennedy Center and at Hartford Stage before an encore engagement at Penumbra.

"I'm glad to have an opportunity to make it better," he said.

Also selected for the O'Neill's 2012 conference: 

Anne Garcia-Romero’s “Provenance,” about choices two sisters must make when they receive a stolen artwork painted by their grandfather;

Ken Weitzman’s “Reclamation,” set in 2020 and focused on the impact of water crisis on the American West;

Laura Jacqmin’s “Two Lakes, Two Rivers,” about young people drinking and drowning in a small town;

Hilary Bettis’ “Alligator,” about lust, murder and gator-wrestling in the Florida Everglades;

Basil Kreimendahl’s “Orange Julius,” about a queer daughter’s care for her cancer-stricken father;

Meg Miroshnik’s basketball themed “The Tall Girls”;

and Theresa Rebeck’s comedy about comdy, entitled “Fool.”