Meet the Emerging Writers Group
The Emerging Writers Group seeks to target playwrights at the earliest stages of their careers. In so doing, The Public hopes to create an artistic home for a diverse and exceptionally talented group of up-and-coming playwrights.
CLICK HERE for information about applying to the 2015 Emerging Writers Group.
CLICK HERE to meet the 2013 Emerging Writers Group.
CLICK HERE to read about the Emerging Writers Group 2011 Spotlight Series.
CLICK HERE to meet the 2009 Emerging Writers Group.
CLICK HERE to read about the Emerging Writers Group 2009 Spotlight Series.
CLICK HERE to meet the 2008 Emerging Writers Group.
CLICK HERE to read about the Emerging Writers Group 2008 Spotlight Series.
CLICK HERE to read the Emerging Writers Group's weekly column on the Public Theater Blog.
Manuel Borras grew up in the Bronx. At age 17, he was incarcerated. While in prison, he received his BA from Bard College. His senior thesis, Theater of Inclusion, was an ethnographic study that charted the rehabilitative and transformative effects of prisoners and volunteers involved in a theater program. Manny was a founding member of Rehabilitation Through the Arts at Woodbourne Correctional Facility, an theater/arts group. Through RTA, he studied playwriting, theater history, poetry, Shakespeare, Brecht, Boal, commedia, clowning, physical theater, modern dance and puppetry. As a member of RTA, he acted in, directed and wrote for many productions including, Of Mice and Men, Starting Over, Mikey, Tears of the Mind and an adaptation of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. His plays The State Shop and The Hustler's Opera were performed inside. He served as the lead writer for Starting Over which was performed at Woodbourne, directed by Arin Arbus, and Sing Sing Correctional Facility. While inside, his play Song to a Child like Me was commissioned by The Working Theater and given a public reading directed by Arin Arbus as a part of their 25th anniversary season.
A-lan Holt is a playwright from Los Angeles, California whose work is very much informed by the climate of the 1980's into which she was born. Her plays and performance pieces have been presented in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and internationally in Kampala, Uganda. As a student she has studied with, and is very much inspired by, artists Cherríe Moraga, Ralph Lemon, and Saul Williams. Her most recent piece 8ball, a play about love during the crack cocaine epidemic, won the Dr. Floyd Gaffney National Playwriting Award, the Sherifa Omade Edoga Prize for work towards social justice, and the George Fredrickson Prize for Honors Research at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity/ The Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University. A-lan graduated from Stanford with honors in 2011 and upon conferral made the cross-country leap of faith to New York City, where she now lives with her best friend in Brooklyn.
Boo Killebrew is a playwright, choreographer, actress and co-founder of CollaborationTown, A Theatre Company. Her plays include DAYS LIKE DIAMONDS, THE PLAY ABOUT MY DAD (nominated by New Georges for The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, NYC: 59e59 Theatres, CTown), THE MOMENTUM (NYC Fringe Festival, Fringe Excellence Award for Overall Production of a Play, Emerging Americas Festival/The Huntington, GLAAD Media Award Nominee), THEY'RE JUST LIKE US (L.A. premiere at Theatre of Note, NY premiere with CTown, published by The New York Theatre Experience, selections by Applause and Smith and Kraus), TRUE LOVE WAITS (L.A. Theatre of Note, NY Blue Coyote Theatre Group), and PULLING TEETH (Blue Coyote). Boo was most recently seen in MOTEL CHERRY, produced by New Georges and Clubbed Thumb at HERE. Boo and/or her work has appeared at The Roundabout Theatre Company, The Public Theater, New Georges, Clubbed Thumb, MCC, The Living Theatre, The New York Musical Theatre Festival, LaMaMa Etc., The Huntington Theatre Co., The Village Theatre, The Olney Theatre Center, 59e59 Theatres, and Boston Playwright's Theatre. Boo received a New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Featured Actress and Best Ensemble, 3 NYIT nominations for playwriting and acting, 2 New York Fringe Festival Awards of Excellence, The Bette Davis Foundation Award (Boston University), and 3 residencies at Robert Wilson's Watermill Center. She has been an Edward F. Albee Foundation Fellow, a NYFA Artist in Residence and Panelist, a finalist for The Jerome Foundation and The Leah Ryan Award. Boo is a teaching artist with The Roundabout Theatre Company. BFA, Boston University.
Andrew Kramer is a 2010 graduate of Ball State University's Department of Theatre & Dance in Muncie, Indiana. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he moved to NYC when he was accepted into the Groundbreakers Playwrights' Group with the terraNOVA Theatre Collective to develop his play Whales & Souls. He was a Core Apprentice Writer at the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis where his play The Dog(run) Diaries was developed, as well as a two-time semi-finalist in the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Play Festival with his plays A Map of Our Country (2010) and We Happy Animals (2011). Also in 2011, Andrew served as Playwright-in-Residence at the Cairns Arts Festival in Queensland, Australia, where Whales & Souls saw its world premiere. The Dog(run) Diaries was shortlisted for the 2012 US/UK Old Vic New Voices Exchange and has had readings in Houston, Louisville, NYC, and Indianapolis. He recently concluded his time as Playwright in Residence at Tennessee Repertory Theatre for the Ingram New Works Lab, where he developed Crying for Lions. He is currently working on plays about gay neo-Nazi's, freight-train drifters rebelling against the Reagan administration, a boy who falls in love with the Gargoyle statue in his garden, and a wingless angel who is held captive in an old family attic. Stay tuned.
Brian "Dyalekt" Kushner rocks with CoLAB and In the Cypher (.org). He has toured internationally with his one man (+1 DJ) Hip Hop play (and curriculum) Square Peg Syndrome. He is a Hip Hop Educator with Literacy Takes a Bow and has taught Hip Hop for pre-schoolers and Yale grad students alike (as well as many students back home in the Virgin Islands). A fan of parentheses, he's got a plethora of fun credits (Hip Hop Theater Fest, cameo in award winning documentary Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme and The Love Letter You've Been Meaning to Write New York) & serious ones (performed at the UN for a conference on depleted uranium and gulf war syndrome). Oh and check out his band at DeathrowTull.com.
Mary Kathryn Nagle was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and an honorary member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. She studied theater at Georgetown University and went on to study law at Tulane Law School, where she graduated summa cum laude and was the recipient of the Judge John Minor Wisdom Award. At Tulane, she wrote and produced Katrina Stories, Welcome to Chalmette, and To the 7th Degree. More recently, she has written Miss Lead, which Tulane Law Revue produced at Tulane Law School in April of 2009. Welcome to Chalmette (Next Stage Press, 2011) won the 2008 TNT POPS Playwriting Contest, and was a finalist in the Reva Shiner Playwriting Contest as well as Aurora Theatre's 2009-2010 Global Age Project. In 2009, To the 7th Degree was accepted at the Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha, Nebraska. She has also written Waaxe's Law, which was performed at the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska on May 12, 2009, in celebration of the 130th Anniversary of the Trial of Chief Standing Bear. In December of 2009, Waaxe's Law received a Challenge America Grant from the National Endowment of the Arts for readings at Creighton Law School in Omaha, Nebraska; the 2010 Annual Chief Standing Bear Celebration in Lincoln, Nebraska; the 2010 Great Plains Theatre Conference; and the 2010 Annual Ponca Pow-Wow. In October of 2011, the Great Plains Theatre Conference and Metropolitan Community College performed Waaxe's Law at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., and again at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on December 12, 2012. During her tenure in the Emerging Writers Group, Nagle wrote Manahatta. Manahatta recently won the Oklahoma CIty Theater Company's New Native American Play Festival and will be featured as a side-event in the 2013 United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous People.
Harrison David Rivers's play When Last We Flew (Sundance Theater Lab 2010/Lincoln Center Directors' Lab/Freedom Train) received the 2011 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Off-Off Broadway Play, the 2010 FringeNYC Excellence in Playwriting Award and was named one of the Top 10 LGBTQ 2010 FringeNYC productions by The Advocate. Other plays include: Look Upon Our Lowliness (The Movement Theater Company), Lydie, Or (S)he Who Looks Inside, Awakes (Williamstown/New Dramatists), The Bandaged Place (Harlem Stage/New York Theater Workshop/Dartmouth College), AND SHE SAID, HE SAID, I SAID YES (Joe's Pub/HERE Arts Center), Sistahs, A Love Story (New Dramatists/Columbia University/TMTC /Collective:Unconscious), Fell (New School for Drama Theater/Columbia University), Misquoted Texts (Be Company/3LD/TMTC) and Jack Perry Is Alive (And Dating) (New York Musical Theater Festival/Ars Nova). His short plays have been produced at the Atlantic Theater, Atlantic Stage 2, Second Stage, Dixon Place, the 45th Street Theater, Joe's Pub, Williamstown Theater Festival, Harlem School for the Arts and the American Airlines Theater on Broadway. His monologue play Not Resentful At All was presented as part of Headlong Theatre Company's 2011 production of Decade directed by Rupert Goold. The piece is also published in "Decade: An Anthology of New Plays About the Legacy of 9/11". Harrison was a 2010-11 Van Lier Fellow (New Dramatists) and a 2009-10 Emerging Artist of Color Fellow (NYTW). He is a NYTW Usual Suspect, an affiliated artist with The Movement Theater Company, a member of the Lincoln Center Directors' Lab, the Old Vic/New Voices Network, the Queer Art Mentorship and Interstate 73. Harrison holds an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Columbia University.
Riti Sachdeva is a theater maker, dancer, and cultural worker. As an actor, she has worked with Kalapani, Words Afire, PBS, Disney Channel, and performed her original work in the U.S. and Canada. For her playwriting, Riti has been awarded fellowships to the Kennedy Center M.F.A. Play Development Workshop, the O'Neill Playwriting Festival, and a Center for Regional Studies grant to develop her flamenco play La Fea: A FlamenChoreoMyth. Her play Parts of Parts & Stitches won the 2009-10 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival's Quest for Peace Award, the 2011 Excellence in Playwriting award at the National Newborn Festival and is being produced by MT Works in NYC in March 2012. She is a CORE Apprentice with the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis and received her M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from the University of New Mexico. Riti is founder of midNite's cHiLd Productions www.facebook.com/midniteschild.
Susan Soon He Stanton’s plays include American Pig Pen, Cygnus, Furball, the things are against us, Whatever Happened to John Boy Kihano?, The Underneath, The Art of Preservation, and more. Her work has been produced or developed at SoHo Rep, Joe’s Pub, New Century Theater Company, Kennedy Center, The Flea, InkWell, Leviathan Lab, London's Institute for Contemporary Art, Kumu Kahua, Honolulu Theater for Youth, Rising Circle, 2G, and others. She is a member of MaYi Playwrights Lab and SoHo Rep’s Writer-Director Lab 2011. Awards include the 2011 Van Lier Fellowship at The Lark and The Sloan Foundation feature film development grant. MFA: Yale Playwriting. From Honolulu, Susan lives in New York City.
Kyle Warren's plays include #nyc (Ugly Rhino, Brooklyn); Room For Appeals; Occupation; In the Static, or Listening With Rabbit Ears; Divine Intervention (Reading: Chicago Dramatists); and Cephalopod (NY International Fringe Festival). His work has appeared in Chicago, New York, Rhode Island and Los Angeles. Kyle created and is currently in production as writer and director for a new web comedy series, Meet Norma St. Cleod. He lives in New York City and is a graduate of Northwestern University's Creative Writing for the Media Program.
Augusto Federico Amador was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and is the son of a Peruvian composer/pianist and an Austrian chef. He studied acting under Diana Castle in Los Angeles before moving to New York to pursue playwriting two and a half years ago. His plays have been presented at Audrey-Skirball Kenis Theater Projects, Playwrights Arena, The Lark Play Development Center, Ricardo Montalban Theater, John Anson Ford Theater, Terra Nova Collective’s Groundbreaking Series, Repertorio Espanol, Red Room, Queens Theater in The Park, INTAR Theater, and at Arkansas Repertory Theater as part of their Voices at The River New Play Festival. He was a finalist for the 2009 Metlife’s National Latino Playwriting Award, a semi-finalist for 2011 Bay Area Playwright’s Festival, a 2011 finalist for the Phoenix Theater’s new work festival, a 2011 finalist for the HPRL program at INTAR Theater, and a finalist for the 2011 Kitchen Dog Theater new work festival. Currently, his play Kissing Che is a semi-finalist for the 2012 Eugene O’Neill Conference.
Nikole Beckwith’s plays have been read, developed and performed with Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, Ensemble Studio Theater, LAByrinth Theater Company, The Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Barrow Street Theater, 3LD, The Flea, Chautauqua Theater Company, Lesser America and the Old Vic in London. She is an alum of EST's Youngblood and a former associate artist of Atlantic Center for the Arts. Her EWG play Stockholm, Pennsylvania underwent further development with Playwrights Horizons & Clubbed Thumb and her screenplay adaptation of the script garnered her a 2012 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting, awarded by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and made the 2012 Black List of best (as of yet) unproduced screenplays. She started off 2013 as the first non-UK playwright to be given a writing attachment at The National Theatre Studio in London, where she is developing new work and will be returning to London for the premier of her newest play Untitled Matriarch Play (or Seven Sisters) at The Royal Court. As an actor, Beckwith has developed new work with Gregory S. Moss and Eric Bogosian among others. She made her New York stage debut in Joshua Conkel's hit play MilkMilkLemonade to critical acclaim, has appeared on the NYC rite of passage known as Law & Order and performs some Saturdays with The Story Pirates, a kids literacy and arts organization, where she is an actor, director and teaching artist. Her comic strip companion piece to The Civilians' You Better Sit Down: Tales From Our Parents' Divorce can be viewed on the WNYC culture page, her other comics have been featured on The Huffington Post, NPR, The Hairpin and various other outposts on the Internet. She is from Newburyport, Massachusetts where she grew up making plays at The Actors Studio, The Firehouse, The Players Ring (Portsmouth) and various living rooms. www.nikolebeckwith.com.
Javierantonio González writes, directs and teaches theater in New York City. His work has appeared in New York at Classic Stage Company, chashama, Pregones, The Living Theater, La MaMa, Dance New Amsterdam, The West End Theatre, 3LD, Magic Futurebox, The Barrow Group Theatre, among others, as well as in Puerto Rico and London. He is the author of ten original plays and adaptations including: Open up, Hadrian (Magic Futurebox), FLORIDITA, My Love (Teatro LATEA /IATI Theater), Barceloneta, de noche (Union Theatre, London/IATI Theater, NY), Un instante en una especie de flash, (Yerbabruja, Puerto Rico), Never as Happy-Oresteia (Theatre of the Riverside Church), Uneventful Deaths for Agathon (FringeNYC), Las minutas de Martí (Repertorio Español) and THE FUTURE OF BOOKS. He is the artistic director of Caborca, a recipient of the Van Lier Directing Fellowship, and was selected as one of nytheatre.com's People of the Year in 2010. His play FLORIDITA, My Love was published as part of the anthology Plays and Playwrights 2011 and online along with Open up, Hadrian and Uneventful Deaths for Agathon on IndieTheaterNow.com. He holds an MFA in Directing from Columbia University. He is currently beginning rehearsals with Caborca for his play Zoetrope (Spotlight Series, 2011).
Sevan Kaloustian Greene is an NYC-based actor and playwright. Member of Rising Circle Theatre Collective’s 2010 InkTANK Writer's Lab. NYTW 2011/2012 Teaching Artist at the Khalil Gibran Academy. William Saroyan 2010/2012 Playwriting Prize Finalist. 2012 PlayPenn Finalist. 2012 ATC NuVoices Winner. Plays: Forgotten Bread, DOON, Say Something, Narrow Daylight, babel, In the Name of Silence, WHOOSH, This Time, STUFF. Sevan’s work has been seen in The Flea Theatre's Serials (Lucifer ex Machina), Noor Theatre’s HIGHLIGHT series, the Arab-American Comedy Festival, at the Kraine Theatre in Under Consideration(The Altared Saints) and Holiday Stucco (Unexpected-Beautiful), in Access Theatre’s Access Works (Unexpected-Beautiful), Tiny Rhino 10-minute Play Festival (A Jedi Shall Not Know Love. A Sith Shall Know Even Less.), aMios' SHOTZ festival (Star-Burst), Mixed Phoenix Theatre, and |the claque|. Screenplays: N.Y.B., (in parentheses). Sevan is the founder of and a performer in NYC’s only Middle Eastern sketch group, Sketchy Arabs. As an actor: Lortel Award‐Winning Betrayed (Culture Project, LATW, Kennedy Center, PBS), NYTW’s Aftermath, Prospect’s Mapquest, FringeNYC’s hit Perez Hilton Saves the Universe…. TV/Film: The Dictator, “Blue Bloods,” “Damages,” The Stoop, If the Lie Succeeds, “M.O.N.Y. www.sevangreene.com.
Sukari Jones' musicals include The River Is Me, Catch My Soul, The KKK Boutique and 4Revenge Tales: for my Mother, Grandmother, Baby Sister and Me. Her new plays are Toy Box, Shadow Dancer, Metropolis-ville and “LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!!!!”. Sukari is a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Advanced Workshop. Sukari received her 2005 B.A. from Vassar College and 2007 M.F.A. from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program where she was twice awarded the Yip Harburg Outstanding Lyricist Award. Her work has been performed and developed at The Public Theater, Tofte Lake Center, Vineyard Arts Project, Lark Play Development Center, Barrington Stage Company, Laurie Beechman Theatre, Joe’s Pub and Goodspeed Opera House. Upcoming projects: anti-superhero screenplay Hero based on her graphic novel series of the same name; a currently untitled multimedia theatrical experience based on her post-apocalyptic video-web-blog with zombies.
Aaron Wigdor Levy’s plays include This is Not a Time Bomb, The Ball Player, Hunky Dory, Reunion Tour, Townie, Over Here, Central Standard Time, and numerous short plays. His plays have been produced, read and developed at The Public Theater, The New Group, The Lark, The Cherry Lane Theatre, The Flea, The American Theater Company in Chicago and The Source Theater Festival in Washington D.C. He was a member of the Royal Court Theatre’s New York Residency and has been a finalist for the Heidaman Award. He received his MFA from the Department of Dramatic Writing at NYU where he studied with David Ives and Mac Wellman. Originally from Chicago, he now lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Laura Marks is the author of Bethany, which premiered off-Broadway at City Center Stage II (produced by the Women’s Project, directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch). Bethany received a Lucille Lortel nomination for Outstanding Play, won the Leah Ryan Prize for Emerging Women Writers, was a Susan Smith Blackburn finalist and runner-up for the Yale prize, and was published in Methuen’s American Next Wave anthology in the UK. Bethany will premiere regionally at the Old Globe in January 2014 and be published by Dramatists Play Service. Other plays include Mine (Princess Grace finalist; upcoming production at the Gift Theatre, Chicago) and Gather at the River. Ms. Marks is a graduate of Juilliard’s Lila Acheson Wallace playwriting program, a member of New Dramatists, and recipient of a 2012 Helen Merrill Award and a 2013 award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. She also studied musical theater in the BMI Composer/Lyricist workshop and musical bookwriting with Marsha Norman. Her plays have been developed at The Public Theater, Juilliard, the Women’s Project, the Black Dahlia, Manhattan Theatre Club, Steppenwolf, the Royal Exchange Theatre (UK), HighTide Festival Theatre (UK), the Wilma Theater, the Lark, Partial Comfort, Naked Angels et al. and she currently holds a commission from South Coast Repertory. She’s a native of Kentucky.
Anna Moench is a Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis and a Van Lier Fellow at the Lark Play Development Center in New York City. Her plays have been seen at the Old Vic, 59E59, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Flea, Indiana University of PA, Dance Theater Workshop, Dixon Place, The Kraine, The Looking Glass Theatre, and FringeNYC. Anna has developed plays with The Public Theater, The Lark, [the claque], 3Graces Theater Co., the Great Plains Conference, the Last Frontier Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and The Inkwell. Awards include the Jerome Foundation’s 2009 Travel Grant, the 2010 T.S. Eliot Exchange with the Old Vic, and the Tennessee Williams Scholarship. Anna is a two-time recipient of the EST/Sloan Commission and has been commissioned by NYU Tisch's Graduate Acting Program, Red Fern Theatre Company, and Haggard Middle School in Plano, TX. She has been a writer-in-residence at Baltimore's CENTERSTAGE, the Lark's Winter Workshop, the Tofte Lake Center, the Vineyard Arts Project, and the FAR Space. Her play Hunger was selected for the Lark's Playwrights Week 2012. Anna is a member of Youngblood at Ensemble Studio Theatre. She is a New Georges Affiliated Artist and an alumna of New Georges’ writer-director lab, The Jam. She is a writer for [the claque]’s ongoing serial theater project, The (IR)regulars, and her play for young actors, Backwards At The Speed Of Light, is published by Playscripts. B.A. Wesleyan University.
Dominique Morisseau, writer and actress, is alumni of the Women’s Project Playwrights Lab and the Lark Playwrights Workshop. Among her playwriting credits are: Detroit ’67 (Public Theater; Classical Theatre of Harlem/National Black Theatre) Sunset Baby (Gate Theater- London), Follow Me To Nellie’s (O’Neill; Premiere Stages). Her produced one-acts include: Third Grade (Fire This Time Festival); Black at Michigan (Cherry Lane Studio/DUTF); Socks, Roses Are Played Out and Love and Nappiness (Center Stage, ATH); love.lies.liberation (The New Group), Bumrush (Hip Hop Theater Festival) and The Masterpiece (Harlem9/HSA). Dominique is currently developing a 3-play cycle on her hometown of Detroit, entitled “The Detroit Projects”. Detroit ’67 is the first of the series. The second play in the series, Paradise Blue, was developed at the Voice and Vision Retreat, the Hansberry Project at ACT in Seattle, Dartmouth with New York Theatre Workshop, and McCarter Theatre. Dominique’s work has also been published in NY Times bestseller “Chicken Soup for the African American Soul” and in the Harlem-based literary journal “Signifyin’ Harlem”. She is a Jane Chambers Playwriting Award honoree, a two-time NAACP Image Award recipient, a runner-up for the Princess Grace Award, a recipient of the Elizabeth George commission from South Coast Rep, a commendation honoree for the Primus Prize by the American Theatre Critics Association, the winner of the Barrie and Bernice Stavis Playwriting Award, and the 2012 PoNY (Playwrights of New York) Fellow. She is an artist that believes wholeheartedly in the power and strength of community.
Jerome A. Parker’s play Miracle On Monroe received the Lorraine Hansberry Award from the Kennedy Center. Other works include Origins Of Us (Tim Robbins Playwriting Award), Ballad Of Sad Young Men (Francis Ford Coppola One act Series, Best Short in the Downtown Urban Theater Festival), and House Of Dinah (Faces of the World Festival – Los Angeles Theater Center). Jerome received his BA in Theatre from Williams College, his MFA in Playwriting from UCLA and studied costumes at the Juilliard School. In 2008, he participated in the Eugene O’Neill Playwriting Conference as a fellow.
Stella Fawn Ragsdale, writer and playwright, was born and raised in East Tennessee. Her most recent play Perish, part of a three-play trilogy inspired by her Appalachian heritage and classics background will be produced as part of the HighTide Festival in the UK. Her play Spring was produced by the Water Series Company in downtown Knoxville. Stella recently has an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU. In the summer she works on a farm.
MEET THE 2009 EMERGING WRITERS GROUP
Julian Christopher received an MFA in acting from The New School for Drama. During his time in the The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group, he developed Man Boobs, which went on to have productions in NYC, Montréal, Melbourne, and Chicago. He was invited to workshop his play Nico was a Fashion Mode, at LAByrinth Theater Company’s 2010 Summer Intensive. Julian’s plays Metro Psalm and SCHWARZ! (Hansel und Gretel) were selected as finalists in the Off-Off Broadway Samuel French Short Play Festival two years in a row (2009 & 2010). Julian's Animals Commit Suicide was featured in terraNOVA Collective’s Groundworks Reading Series (2012). His latest play, Locusts Have No King, was featured in INTAR's Bright Untamed Queer Play Festival. Julian is also a co-creator, co-producer and lead actor of the hit webseries, BULK (www.bulktheseries.com).
(Mashuq) Deen is a first-generation South Asian American playwright and performer. Fellowships/Residencies: New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellow (2013-14), affiliate artist at Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics (2012-13), Tofte Lake Center's emerging artists retreat (2012). Full length plays: Shut-Up! (Dennis Johnston Playwriting Prize, James Baldwin Award); Where Children Play: the Story of Tank and Horse (Berkshire Fringe Festival); Draw the Circle (productions: premiered at InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia, Hampshire College; readings: Public Theater, Dixon Place, Berkshire Fringe, NYTW workshop at Dartmouth, Passage Theatre, and Queens Theatre in the Park). Draw the Circle is currently available for booking. His new play, 1984, about the Sikh massacres in India, will have its first public reading in November 2013 at the Hemispheric Institute, NYU. Deen received his MFA at the Actors Studio Drama School/New School of Drama. (www.DeenThePlaywright.weebly.com)
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is a Brooklyn-based playwright and performer from Washington, D.C., whose plays include: Neighbors, Face #1-3, Thirst, Zoo, Heart!!!, and Content. He is also one-half of enemyResearch, a performance duo with whom he has created/performed in Garbage, Schechnershirts, and The Amateurs. His work has been/will be seen at Prelude '08, New York Theatre Workshop, PS122, McCarter Theatre, Dixon Place, Providence Black Repertory, Links Hall, and Soho Rep. He is a former NYTW Playwriting fellow, an alum of the Hemispheric Institute's EMERGENYC Program, and is currently a member of the Soho Rep Writers/Directors Lab. He also holds an M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU.
Bridget Kelso uses her writing to explore and define herself and her world. She is a writer, an actor, and a mother, and has lived in Harlem for the last 20 years. Hailing from Chicago, Bridget has performed on several prominent New York stages and around the world. She has also appeared on daytime television and in several commercials. Her interest in African and African American theatrical techniques was cultivated while she was devising and implementing educational theatre workshops in the NYC Public Schools as a member of the Creative Arts Team. Her NYU Masters Thesis project, Symptoms of Liberty, dramatized Nat Turner’s famous slave rebellion and incorporated the traditional African techniques of call and response, storytelling and spiritual co-existence. She is deeply interested in exploring the Antebellum time period in her work, as she feels this time period represents a little examined period of strength and creativity for African Americans. Bridget is currently working on a children’s book series based on her experiences with her son, a book of poetry, and a new play, A Little Bird Sings Freedom. Her writing has appeared in Harlem Parent Magazine and Essence. She is eternally grateful to her family and friends for their love and support and honored to be a member of the Public Theater’s 2009 Emerging Writers Group.
Mona Mansour's play The Way West will get its world premiere in spring of 2014 at Steppenwolf in Chicago, directed by Amy Morton. The play recently received a BareBones workshop at the Lark Play Development Center in NYC (directed by Linsay Firman) where Mona was a Fellow in 2012, and a reading at Minneapolis’ Playwright Center (directed by Hayley Finn). The Hour of Feeling (directed by Mark Wing-Davey) received its world premiere in the 2012 Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Following that, it was part of the High Tide Festival in the U.K. as part of the Rifle Hall plays. Urge for Going (directed by Hal Brooks) received a Public LAB production in the 2011 season at The Public Theater and will have its West Coast premiere in fall 2013 at Golden Thread in San Francisco (directed by Evren Odcikin). Mona is currently a Core Writer at The Playwrights’ Center. Other plays include Across the Water, Girl Scouts of America and Broadcast Yourself (part of Headlong Theater’s Decade, which premiered in London). With Tala Manassah she has written The House, for Noor Theatre, After, and The Letter, which premiered in November 2012 at Golden Thread’s ReOrient Festival; Mona and Tala will be in residence this summer at Berkeley Rep as part of its Ground Floor development series, where they will work on a new piece called The Wife. Television credits include Dead Like Me and Queens Supreme. Honorable mention, 2010 Middle East America Playwright Award; 2012 Whiting Award.
Vickie Ramirez is a Tuscarora (Six Nations of the Grand River) playwright and a founding member of Chukalokoli Native Theater Ensemble and Amerinda Theater. Her work has been seen at The Public Theater, The Flea, Amerinda, The Roundabout Theater’s Different Voices Program, Ensemble Studio Theater, BOO-Arts, Mixed Phoenix Theater Company, the Classical Theatre of Harlem and the 52nd Street Project. She was a featured playwright at the 2010 Santa Fe Theatre Festival for Smoke. Her play Standoff at Hwy#37 was commissioned by Ohio Northern University’s Ninth Annual Theatre Festival and will be presented this spring at Native Voices at the Autry’s Festival of New Plays in Los Angeles. Plays include: Tobacco is Sacred-That’s Why It Kills You, Standoff at Hwy#37, Smoke, Ashes, Humans, The Varlettes vs. the Space Rock, Case 24: Roswell, NM and Leona by the Bayou. Screenplays include: MonkeyDog, Rachel vs. The Little Warriors and Lotto Munney. Honors include: 2009/2010 NYC Urban Artists Fellowship, 2010 NYSCA Individual Artist Award.
Jordan Seavey is Co-Artistic Director of the theatre company CollaborationTown (CTown) and a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop. His plays include Listening for Our Murderer, Who’s Afraid of George C. Wolfe?, The Funny Pain, The Truth Will Out, Children at Play, 6969 and This is a Newspaper. Plays co-created with CTown include The Deepest Play Ever: the Catharsis of Pathos (text by Geoffrey Decas O’Donnell), The Momentum (2012 GLAAD Media Award nomination), The Play About My Dad (text by Boo Killebrew), Let’s Go, Townville, They’re Just Like Us (text by Boo Killebrew), The Astronomer’s Triangle and The Trading Floor. His work has been developed with The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Roundabout Theatre Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, The Old Vic (UK), Lark Play Development Center, Oslo Internasjanole Teater (Norway), Robert Wilson's Watermill Center, 59E59 Theaters, IRT Theater, Orlando Shakespeare, Emerging America Festival/Huntington Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, hotINK Festival, New York International Fringe Festival, The MacDowell Colony, The Orchard Project, SPACE at Ryder Farm, Dartmouth College, NYSAF/Vassar, Edward F. Albee Foundation, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. B.F.A., Theatre Studies, Boston University.
Alena Smith's plays include The Bad Guys (Second Stage Uptown), Plucker (Southwark Playhouse, London), The Sacrifices (Summer Play Festival) and The Lacey Project (A.R.T. Institute, the Ohio Theatre, Yale). She was an Artist Fellow with the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). She received her MFA from the Yale School of Drama, where she was awarded the ASCAP Cole Porter Prize in Playwriting. Alena is also the creator of Tween Hobo, a fictional Twitter account, which the Believer magazine called “one of the most imaginative uses for Twitter so far.” In 2012, her play The Bad Guys was made into an independent film by director Carlos Rincones. The play is published by Dramatists Play Service. alenasmith.com.
Kevin Christopher Snipes is the author of A Bitter Taste; The Chimes; Ashes, Ashes; Party Lights; Beautiful World; 4 Photos of Pluto; Smith & Jones and Hip-Skidoo. His plays have been performed and/or workshopped at the Summer Play Festival (SPF)/The Public, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare, New York Stage & Film, Moving Arts, Hippodrome State Theatre (Fl), Aurora Theater and Gallery Players. He is the recipient of an Artists Fellow in Playwriting/Screenwriting from the New York Foundation for the Arts and an Alfred P. Sloan Screenwriting Fellowship. He also holds a MFA in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon University. For more information, please visit www.kevinchristophersnipes.com.
Lauren Yee's plays include Ching Chong Chinaman; Crevice; Hookman; in a word; A Man, his Wife, and his Hat; Samsara; and The Tiger Among Us. Her full-length work has been developed at Lincoln Center Theatre/LCT3, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Second Stage Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Kitchen Dog Theatre, the Magic Theatre, PlayPenn, the Playwrights’ Center, and others. She was a Dramatists Guild fellow, a MacDowell fellow, and a MAP Fund grantee. She has been a finalist for the Jerome Fellowship, the PONY Fellowship, the Princess Grace Award, and the Wasserstein Prize, as well as a nominee for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her work has been published by Samuel French. Lauren is a Time Warner Fellow at the Women’s Project Playwrights Lab and a member of the Ma-Yi Theatre Writers Lab, as well as the Shank playwright-in-residence at Second Stage Theatre. This fall, she will begin a Page One residency at Playwrights Realm. She is currently under commission from Lincoln Center Theatre/LCT3 and Encore Theatre Company (with support from the Gerbode Foundation). She is a graduate of Yale College and the University of California San Diego's MFA playwriting program, where she studied under Naomi Iizuka. www.laurenyee.com.
Back Row: Christina Gorman, Akin Salawu, Alejandro Morales, Don Nguyen
Middle Row: Aladdin Ullah, Pia Wilson, Chris Cragin Day, Raúl Castillo
Front Row: Ethan Lipton, Radha Blank, Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko, Leila Buck
Radha Blank is a 2013 Sundance Institute UCROSS Playwright, a 2011 Helen Merrill Emerging Playwright Award recipient, and a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts New Play Development Award recipient (for SEED). Fellowships include New York Foundation For the Arts Artist Fellowship and Nickelodeon's Writers Fellowship. Plays include SEED, HappyFlowerNail, American Schemes, nannyland, Casket Sharp and her first solo show, Kenya. Her work has been developed and/or presented by The Public Theater, Luna Stage, Penumbra Theater, Arena Stage, The Classical Theater of Harlem, The City Parks Foundation, Voice and Vision, Hedgebrook, The New Black Fest and The Hip Hop Theater Festival. Radha has written several screenplays including the screen adaptation of Walter Dean Myers' bestseller ‘Monster’. Her latest solo show, HappyFlowerNail, about a Korean-owned nail salon in Bed-Stuy, will be presented in 2014. www.radhablank.com.
Leila Buck has toured the U.S., Europe and China since 1998 with her award-winning solo show, ISite, on growing up in between worlds. Her second play, In the Crossing, was first performed in New Work Now! 2006, and has since been developed with the support of Theater J, New York Theatre Workshop, Silk Road Theatre Project, Chautauqua Institution, the Brooklyn Museum, Epic Theatre Center, The Public, Queens Theatre in the Park and the Lark Play Development Center where it was a finalist for Playwrights' Week 2009. In the Crossing will receive a mini-run in the Culture Project’s Women Center Stage festival in March: www.womencenterstage.org. Her newest play, Hkeelee, begun in the EWG, Leila received a Special Jury Prize from the Middle East America grant co-sponsored by Silk Road (Chicago), Lark Play Development Center (New York), and Golden Thread Productions (San Francisco), and is currently being developed with MAPP international productions: www.mappinternational.org. As an actress Leila is most proud of her roles in the NY run and international tour of Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen's critically-acclaimed Aftermath (New York Theatre Workshop -Drama League nominee- Distinguished at New York Theatre Workshop (Drama League nominee- Production and Distinguished Performance), and Scorched by Wajdi Mouawad, directed by Blanka Zizka, at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia (Barrymore Award, Outstanding Ensemble in a Play). Leila has had the honor of being a Usual Suspect with NYTW, and of working with writers and directors including Jo Bonney, Thomas Kail, Annie Dorsen, Yussef el Guindi, Isis Misdary and Naomi Wallace. After training and working with Creative Arts Team for five years, Leila was NYTW's teaching artist at the Khalil Gibran International Academy, America's first dual language English-Arabic public school. She has conducted workshops on storytelling and drama for cross-cultural engagement at conferences, universities, schools and cultural centers across the U.S. and around the world, most recently as a U.S. State Department Cultural Envoy using drama and storytelling to address tensions between Muslim immigrants and the wider population in Denmark. Her work has appeared in American Theatre and Mizna magazine, The New York Times and Lebanon's Daily Star and on "Brian Lehrer Live" and WBAI NY public radio. Her essay on Arab-American political theater can be found in Etching Our Own Image: Voices from the Arab American Art Movement, from Cambridge Scholars Press. Leila has been a founding member of Nibras Arab-American Theater Collective, Artistic Director of Nisaa Arab-American Women's Collective, and a writer and performer for the New York Arab-American Comedy Festival. She holds a B.A. in Theater from Wesleyan University and a Master's in Drama for Education about the Arab World from NYU, is conversationally fluent in French, Spanish and Arabic and has performed, lived, taught and traveled in over 18 countries in Europe and the Arab World.
Raúl Castillo was born and raised in McAllen, TX, with family ties in neighboring border city Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico. He is a proud member of LAByrinth Theater Company. He is author of the play Knives and Other Sharp Objects, which had its premiere at the Public Theater in March of 2009. His one-act The Biggest Asshole Ever Born premiered at Intar Theater as part of One Night in the Valley; Four Plays by South Texas Writers. With LAByrinth he has developed Between You, Me and the Lampshade; City of Palms and Bus Accident Play. His one-act play Death on my Mind is published by Dramatic Publishing. Acting credits include: A Lifetime Burning (Primary Stages), School of the Americas (LAByrinth/Public), Open House (Foundry Theatre), and the films My Best Day, The Girl, Bless Me, Ultima; Cold Weather, Don't Let Me Drown and Amexicano.
Christina Gorman is at work on her latest play, Orion Rising, which she workshopped at the New Harmony Project as part of their Spring 2012 Conference. Her play American Myth received the 2012 Blue Ink Playwriting Award from American Blues Theater, where it received a staged reading in September. The play was developed in The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group and was presented as part of The Public Theater’s Spotlight Series. The play was also presented in the hotINK International Festival, at Westport Country Playhouse, and was named a finalist for the Princess Grace Award. Her play Split Wide Open has been produced at SPF in New York City and was developed with a fellowship from Ensemble Studio Theatre through its New Voices Program. The play was also named runner-up for the Princess Grace Award. Just Knots was named a winner of the Samuel French Short Play Festival and is published in the Samuel French Publication Off-Off Broadway Festival Plays, 34th Series. DNA has been produced at Prospect Theatre Company, Hangar Theatre, Samuel French Short Play Festival, and in the New York International Fringe Festival, where it received the award for Overall Excellence in Playwriting. Sacred Ground was produced at Stella Adler Studios, where Christina was the 2010-11 Harold Clurman Playwright-in-Residence. Her short play The God Particle was produced at Stageworks/Hudson, the Planet Connections Festival, and the Estrogenius Festival. She was a 2010-11 Fellow of the New York Foundation for the Arts and alumna of the Women’s Project Playwrights Lab.
Ethan Lipton’s plays include Red-Handed Otter (Cherry Lane), Luther (Clubbed Thumb), Goodbye April Hello May (HERE), The Barber and The Farmer (3LD), 100 Aspects of the Moon (The Ohio) and Meat (Powerhouse and Edinburgh Fringe). His musical No Place to Go was commissioned by Joe’s Pub through the NEA and produced by The Public Theater, where it won a 2012 Obie Award. No Place to Go has since been presented in Vermont, Los Angeles, Virginia, at the ATP music festival in East Sussex, England, and at Two River Theatre in New Jersey. Ethan has worked with directors including Leigh Silverman, Ken Rus Schmoll, Pam MacKinnon, Mike Donohue, Emma Griffin and Anne Kaufman and is currently the Playwright’s Realm’s Page One resident playwright. He is a proud alumni of the Clubbed Thumb and Playwright’s Realm writers’ groups. Ethan has received a NYFA grant and a Drama-Logue Award, as well as commissions from Playwrights Horizons, True Love Productions and NSYCA. He has been a Kesselring Prize nominee, an O’Neill Conference finalist, a Kleban Award finalist, and a resident playwright at New York Stage and Film. His play Luther will be published in THEATER magazine in Winter 2013. With his band Ethan Lipton and His Orchestra (“Best Lounge Act” New York Magazine), he has released four albums and played throughout New York and beyond (Joe’s Pub, Bryant Park, Celebrate Brooklyn, MASS MoCA, Camden Opera House). The band has been featured on radio shows such as “Weekend Edition,” “Word of Mouth,” “The World,” and “Soundcheck” and on the Clash cover album "Sandinista." As a performer Ethan originated the role of Klipspringer in Elevator Repair Service’s Gatz, and he has worked with artists including Laurie Anderson, Cynthia Hopkins and Matt Berninger of The National. Information about the band and Ethan's plays can be found at www.ethanlipton.com.
Alejandro Morales is the author of the silent concerto (two FringeNYC Awards and one Innovative Theater Award), sweaty palms, sebastian (winner 2002 Whitfield Cook Award), expat/inferno (winner 2005 Fringe NYC Overall Achievement), marea, castle of blood, and the october crisis (to laura) (cited four times in OffOffOff.com's Best in Fringe 2008, including Best Script). His plays have been presented/developed at The Public Theater, INTAR, South Coast Repertory, The New York International Fringe Festival and Mabou Mines. A collection of his plays has been published by NoPassport Press. He is a founder and Co-Artistic Director of the award-winning Packawallop Productions. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and an alumnus of New Dramatists.
Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko was born in Tanzania but raised in neighboring Kenya and other east African countries. Nanna worked for Reuters News Agency in their regional headquarters in East Africa for several years. As a feature writer and journalist, Nanna witnessed much that has become material for plays, fiction and non-fiction. In New York, Nanna joined Reuters Equities Desk before attending Columbia University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. After a brief stint at the Iowa Writers Workshop, Nanna was selected by the Public Theatre's Emerging Writers' Group. Plays include Waafrika (now a trilogy); Are Women Human? (published in the anthology Plays and Playwrights 2008/2009); Asymmetrical Me; Once A Man, Always A Man; Mwena (performed at the Culture Project in 2008 for Women's Center Stage); and several others. Nanna wishes to thank the Public Theatre for launching this initiative and an amazing year under their wing.
Don Nguyen. FFull-length plays include Red Flamboyant (Ojai Playwrights Conference, finalist - O'Neill National Playwrights Conference and Bay Area Playwrights Festival), The Man From Saigon (NYSAF 2012 Founders Award, Naked Angels - Angels in progress workshop), The Commencement of William Tan (finalist - Bay Area Playwrights Festival, 2G Jumpstart Commission, NYSAF reading), Sound (Playwrights Realm Fellowship, Civilians R&D reading) and Three To Beam Up (The Shelterbelt Theatre, Nebraska Arts Grant recipient). His one-act play The Harlequin Maneuver is published in The Best of The Strawberry One-Act Festival, Volume 1. It has subsequently been produced in New York, Nebraska, and Canada. Don is a founding member of Mission to (dit)Mars, a Queens based theatre arts collective, a member of the 2010/2011 Civilians R & D Group, a current member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, and is a frequent volunteer for the 52nd Street Project. For more information on Don, please visit www.thenuge.com.
As a Stanford undergrad, Akin Salawu founded and ran ergo student theater troupe which earned him the Sherifa Omade Edoga Prize for mounting culturally diverse theatre. In June 2006, he received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University's Film Division where he was accepted with the Dean's Fellowship. He is also a two time Tribeca All Access Winner for his stage play, You Dead Yet?, and his screenplay, Glory Masters (which also won the 2006 Columbia Screenplay contest). Additionally, his plays You Dead Yet? and Your God's Not Coming have both been part of New Heritage Theater's Roger Furman Reading Series. When not writing, Akin is a professional film and video editor and was an avid grassroots Obama Organizer. Prior to the campaign, Akin firmly believed that art and politics never mix. Then an invitation to write a play for an anti-war benefit yielded one of the most satisfying artistic experiences of his career. The Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group has given Akin Salawu a space to explore the latest startling by-product of this awakening.
Aladdin Ullah has been pioneering the past decade as one of the very first South Asians to perform stand-up comedy on national television on HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, BET, and PBS. Co-founder and host of the multi-ethnic stand-up show "Colorblind," which Mel Watkins of The New York Times hailed as "hilarious, thought provoking and ground breaking." Theater: Indio, directed by Loretta Greco (New Work Now!-NYSF/Public Theater), Mike Batistick's Port Authority Throwdown (Culture Project), Rain from out of the Blue (NY Int'l Fringe Fest). Workshops: NY Stage & Film, Second Stage, Ma-Yi, Lark Theater, Working Theater, and Cape Cod Theater Project. Television: Law and Order, Uncle Morty's Dub Shack (IATV - Telly award for best comedy series), Desis: South Asians in NY (PBS). Appeared in several commercials as an actor and voiceover artist. Film: The animated feature Sita Sings The Blues (Best Animated Feature - Berlin and Tribeca film festivals), American Desi. Recipient of the Paul Robeson development grant.
Pia Wilson is a 2011 Heideman Award finalist for her short play Turning the Glass Around and a semi-finalist in the 2011 Bay Area Playwrights Festival. She is a 2012 resident with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Workspace program and a 2009 playwriting fellow with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She is also a member of The Passage Theatre Play Lab and a member of the 2009 Project Footlight team of composers and librettists. Her full-length play The Flower Thief was an August 2012 co-production between Horse Trade Theater Group and The Fire This Time play festival. Her play Generation T was featured in The Classical Theatre of Harlem's Future Classics reading series in June 2012. Her full-length drama Red Rooster was likewise a part of the Future Classics reading series as well as the Emerging Writers Spotlight Series at The Public Theater in 2009. All the Pretty Girls was featured in The Looking Glass Theatre's Spring 2009 Writer/Director Forum. The River Pure for Healing was part of the 2008 Resilience of the Spirit play festival. Her play Tree of Life received a 2007 workshop production at The Red Room Theater.