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 to meet the 2013 Emerging Writers Group.
CLICK HERE to read about the Emerging Writers Group 2013 Spotlight Series.
CLICK HERE to meet the 2011 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.
CLICK HERE to read more about the Emerging Writers Group program.
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. Most recently, 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.
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 and performed with Chautauqua Theater Company, Ensemble Studio Theater, LAByrinth Theater Company, The Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Barrow Street Theater, 3LD, The Flea, 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. 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 and regularly works with The Story Pirates. 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 seen on The Huffington Post, The Hairpin and various other outposts on the Internet. She is currently a Finalist for The Academy's Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting and will be developing a new play at The National Theatre's R&D Studio in London 2013. www.nikolebeckwith.com.
Javierantonio González’s work has been presented at Classic Stage Company, chashama, Pregones, The Living Theater, Dance New Amsterdam, The West End Theatre, and 3LD, among others. He is the author of eight original plays and adaptations including: FLORIDITA, My Love (Teatro LATEA /IATI), Barceloneta, de noche (Union Theatre, London/IATI, 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) and Las minutas de Martí (Repertorio Español). He is the artistic director of Caborca, a recipient of the Van Lier Directing Fellowship, an Associate Artist at Classic Stage Company and the designer of the theatre curriculum at DreamYard Preparatory High School in the Bronx. He was selected as one of nytheatre.com's People of the Year for 2010. His play FLORIDITA, my Love was published as part of the anthology Plays and Playwrights 2011. Directing MFA, Columbia University.
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, scheduled for an Off-Broadway production by the Women’s Project at City Center in January 2013. Bethany won the 2011 Leah Ryan Prize for Emerging Women Writers, was published in Methuen’s American Next Wave anthology in the UK, and was chosen by John Guare as runner-up for Yale’s David C. Horn Prize. Bethany and her other plays, Mine and Gather at the River, have had readings or workshops at The Public Theater, Juilliard, the Women’s Project, Manhattan Theatre Club, Steppenwolf, the Black Dahlia, the Wilma Theater, HighTide Festival Theatre (UK), the Lark, Partial Comfort, Naked Angels, et al. Laura is a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Juilliard’s Lila Acheson Wallace playwriting program, and a member of New Dramatists. She’s also studied musical theater in the BMI Lehman Engel Composer/Lyricist Workshop. Currently she’s working on a new play commission for South Coast Repertory and a short play commission for the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.
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 is a playwright and actress, and a current member of the 2010-2012 Women's Project Playwrights Lab and the 2010/2011 Public Theater Emerging Writer's Group. Her play Follow Me To Nellie's, was developed at the 2010 Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, and has received readings with The Standard, Penumbra Theatre Company, and the Classical Theatre of Harlem. Her produced one-acts include: Third Grade (Horse Trade Theater Group/Fire This Time Festival), Black at Michigan (Cherry Lane Studio/DUTF), Socks (Center Stage NY), Roses Are Played Out (Center Stage NY, American Theatre of Harlem), and Love and Nappiness (Center Stage NY, American Theatre of Harlem). Dominique's recent commissions include: love.lies.liberation (The New Group - LifeStories Youth Ensemble) and Bumrush (Hip Hop Theater Festival). Her work has been developed with such companies/places as: the Kennedy Center, African Continuum Theatre, Frank Silvera Writer's Workshop, National Black Theatre Festival, Lark Play Development Center, Hip Hop Theater Festival, and the Classical Theatre of Harlem. As an actress, she has worked with Women's Project, MCC Theater, Lark Play Development Center, NYS&F, and McCarter Theatre. Her literary work has been published in several publications, including NY Times bestseller Chicken Soup for the African American Soul. Dominique is a Jane Chambers Playwriting Award Honoree, a two-time NAACP Image Award Recipient, a two-time nominee for the Wendy Wasserstein Prize in Playwriting, and a two-time PONY Award nominee.
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).
Both award-winning playwright and performer, Deen's first full-length play, Shut-Up!, won him the Dennis Johnston Playwriting Prize and the James Baldwin Award. He self-produced his next play, Where Children Play: the Story of Tank and Horse, at the Berkshire Fringe Festival to rave audience reviews. His latest play, Draw the Circle, premiered at InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia in April 2012 (after staged readings at The Public Theater, Dixon Place, Berksire Fringe, NYTW at Dartmouth, Passage Theatre, and Queens Theatre in the Park), and is scheduled for a winter production in Chicago, followed by a spring performance at Hampshire College (MA). He received his MFA at the Actors Studio Drama School/New School of Drama. His short plays have appeared at numerous off-off Broadway theaters around NYC. His is currently working on a play about the Sikh massacres in India in 1984. Recent development opportunities include Tofte Lake Emerging Writers Retreat. For more info, please visit: 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 Hour of Feeling (directed by Mark Wing-Davey) just received its world premiere in the 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 LAB production in the 2011 season at the Public Theater, and before that was read in New Work Now at the Public, and developed at Ojai Playwrights Conference. Mona was a member of The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group, and is currently a Playwright Fellow at the Lark. Other plays include Across the Water, Girl Scouts of America and Broadcast Yourself (part of Headlong Theater’s Decade, which premiered in London). She first started writing as a company member at L.A.’s Groundlings Theatre, performing in the Sunday show. Her work has been developed at Williamstown Theater Festival, New York Stage and Film, and Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab. Television credits include Dead Like Me and Queens Supreme. Newest works include a piece on journalist Anna Politkovskaya for Continuum Theater and The Letter, a short play that will premiere in November 2012 at Golden Thread’s ReOrient Festival. Honorable mention, 2010 Middle East America Playwright Award.
Vickie Ramirez, a Tuscarora playwright, is a member of Chukalokoli Native Theater Ensemble and Amerinda Theater. Plays include: Stand-off at Hwy#37, Tobacco is Sacred: That's Why It Kills You, 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: 2009/2010 NYC Urban Artists Fellowship, 2010 NYSCA Individual Artist Award. Her work has been presented at The Public Theater, Amerinda, Mixed Phoenix Theater Company, The Flea, The Roundabout Theater’s Different Voices Program, The Circle at AICH and the 52nd Street Project. She has also been a featured artist at Ohio Northern University's Theater Festival and the Santa Fe Theatre Festival.
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, Plucker, The Sacrifices, It or Her, The Piven Monologues, and The Lacy Project. Her work has been seen/developed at Second Stage Uptown, the Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Joe's Pub, the Summer Play Festival, A.R.T. Institute, the Ohio Theatre, P.S. 122, Chashama, the Foundry, and the Yale Cabaret. Outside of the U.S., her work has been seen at the Southwark Playhouse in London and at Theater Bielefeld in Bielefeld, Germany. She was a 2008-09 Artist Fellow in Playwriting with the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). http://alenasmith.typepad.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 is a San Francisco-born playwright whose work includes Ching Chong Chinaman; Hookman; in a word; A Man, his Wife, and his Hat; and Samsara. She has been a Dramatists Guild fellow and a MacDowell Colony fellow, as well as a finalist for the Heideman Award, the Jerome Fellowship, the PEN USA Literary Award for Drama, the PONY Fellowship, and the Wasserstein Prize. Ching Chong Chinaman was a Princess Grace Award finalist and winner of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival’s Paula Vogel Award, with productions in Berkeley, Minneapolis, New York City, and Seattle. The play will be published by Samuel French. The Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the O’Neill Studio at Yale, and PlayGround have previously commissioned her work. She is currently under commission from AlterTheater, the Kennedy Center, and Mu Performing Arts (with support from the MAP Fund). A graduate of Yale University, Lauren is pursuing her MFA in playwriting at UCSD, studying under Naomi Iizuka.
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 finds inspiration in her native New York as well as the voices of under-served communities across the nation. Last fall, the world premiere of her play Seed was a great success garnering critical praise from audiences, critics and various media outlets alike. Awards and fellowships include NY Foundation for the Arts Artists Fellowship, Nickelodeon's Writers Fellowship, The National Endowment for the Arts New Play Development Award (for Seed) and most recently, The 2011 Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting. Ms. Blank's work has been developed and/or presented by The Classical Theater of Harlem, The City Parks Foundation, Dixon Place, Here, The Public Theater, The Lark, Voice and Vision's Envision Retreat, Luna Stage, The Hedgebrook Women Playwright’s Festival, Penumbra Theater, ACT Theater, The New Black Fest and several seasons of The NYC Hip Hop Theater Festival. Plays include American Schemes, Seed, HappyFlowerNail, nannyland, Casket Sharp and Kenya, which The Village Voice called ‘riveting… immediately alive”. For 2012, her commissions include writing new plays for Epic Theater Ensemble and NYU's Grad Acting program. In 2013, her latest solo-show HappyFlowerNail will kick off the inaugural season at Weeksville Heritage Center's new 200 seat theater. Seeing writing as a path to self-empowerment, Radha has instructed NYC youth in poetry and playwriting for over fifteen years. Her latest play, Confections, explores how a daughter’s passion for baking sweets masks a mother's dark secret in a small North Carolina town. 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 ATF 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. Ethan is currently the Playwright’s Realm’s Page One resident playwright. He is an alumni of the Clubbed Thumb and Playwright’s Realm writer's groups. Ethan has received a NYFA grant and a Drama-Logue Award and commissions from Playwrights Horizons and True Love Productions. He has been a Kesselring Prize nominee, an O’Neill Conference finalist, and the resident playwright at New York Stage and Film. 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 groundbreaking production Gatz, and has worked with 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. Full-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 First Mondays Reading), The Commencement of William Tan (2G Jumpstart Commission, NYSAF reading), Sound (Civilians R&D reading) and Three To Beam Up (The Shelterbelt Theatre, Nebraska Arts Grant recipient). His one-act play The Harlequin Maneuvre 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 was a member of the 2010/2011 Civilians R & D Group and is currently a member of the The Living Newspaper (dir. Laura Savia), 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.