Emerging Writers Group

THE 2016-17 EMERGING WRITERS GROUP

EWG
From left: Monet Hurst-Mendoza, Celine Song, Jeremy J. Kamps, Phillip Howze, Geraldine Inoa, Hammaad Chaudry, Liza Birkenmeier, Stav Palti-Negev, MJ Kaufman


HeadshotsLIZA BIRKENMEIER
is currently collaborating with Sheila Callaghan and Daniella Topol on an interactive piece about water that will premiere in 2017 with New Georges and 3LD. She is a recent member of Ars Nova’s Play Group and was a finalist for the Relentless Award.




HeadshotsHAMMAAD CHAUDRY
is a playwright from Edinburgh, Scotland, currently based in New York. His work has been staged both in London and New York, including the Royal Court Theatre in London, the New York Theatre Workshop, The Pershing Square Signature Center and The Flea Theatre. His plays include Salaam, Mr Bush, Tokens, Kismat, God Willing, Never Again and his most recent play An Ordinary Muslim, which has been developed under the close mentorship of Tony Kushner. He is a graduate of the Royal Court Theatre’s Young Writers Programme, where his work was selected for the theatre’s Young Writers Festival and Unheard Voices competition. He holds an MFA from Columbia University.

HeadshotsPHILLIP HOWZE is a playwright whose work has been developed at Bay Area Playwrights Festival, BRIC, Bushwick Starr, Theater Masters, PRELUDE 2015, SPACE at Ryder Farm and Yale Cabaret. A recent graduate of Yale School of Drama, he is a 2015 Fellow of the Sundance Institute Theater Lab, the 2015-16 Artist Fellow at Lincoln Center Education and a member of Clubbed Thumb's Early Career Writers Group. Prior to attending graduate school, he worked in advocacy at the Open Society Foundations. He was an educator at the US Embassy’s cultural center in Rangoon, Burma from 2005–2007.


HeadshotsMONET HURST-MENDOZA
 Monet Hurst-Mendoza is an NYC-based playwright from Los Angeles, CA. Her plays have been developed with Rising Circle Theater Collective, |the claque|, Looking Glass Theatre (NYC), Amios, The Oneness Project, The Other Mirror, Magic Time @ Judson, The Kupferberg Center for the Arts, #serials@The Flea, WP Theater (Women's Project Theater), and Playwright’s Playground at Classical Theatre of Harlem. She is a member of the 2017 Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater, a 2016-2018 Van Lier Fellow at New Dramatists, and a 2014-2016 WP Theater Lab Time Warner Foundation Fellow. Monet has held residencies with The Other Mirror, The MITTEN Lab, and SPACE on Ryder Farm. She has received nominations for the Smith Prize for Political Theatre (2017), Cherry Lane Mentor Project (2016 & 2018), and was a finalist for the Leah Ryan's FEWW Prize (Honorable Mention, 2017). Monet a proud member of Rising Circle Theater Collective, where she co-facilitates INKtank/PlayRISE—a developmental writers lab and new works festival for emerging playwrights of color. B.A.: Marymount Manhattan College.

HeadshotsGERALDINE INOA is a playwright and activist. Her play, Fragments, was a finalist for The Lark’s 2015 Playwrights’ Week and has been previously produced at NYU’s Gallatin Arts Festival and developed at HUB-BUB in South Carolina. Her plays Fragments, Scraps, and Bold As Love are part of her three-play cycle, The Good Kids of New York City, which explores the young black experience in New York City during the last years of the Obama administration. She volunteers with Drama Club, bringing theater programming to incarcerated youths. She received a B.A. from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in playwriting and psychoanalysis in 2013.

HeadshotsJEREMY KAMPS is a member of the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group and playwright-in-residence at Esperance Theater Company. His work has been produced/developed with Esperance Theater Company, Company Cypher at the National Black Theatre of Harlem, Ugly Rhino, Dixon Place, Hudson Valley Shakespeare, The Amoralists and New York Theatre Workshop. His work has received recognition and awards including: The William Saroyan Human Rights Award Finalist 2016, Page 73 Semi-Finalist (2017), Ruby Lloyd Apsey Award winner, Goldberg Prize, Hudson Valley Writers Center and NYU Festival of New Works, TCG On the Road grant recipient. Upcoming productions with The Fountain Theater (Runaway Home) and Esperance Theater Company  (Breitwisch Farm). Published/Award winning fiction: The Madison Review, The Little Patuxent, John Reid/Tom Howard Award, H.E. Frances Award, Lamar York Prize. He has facilitated drama and writing workshops around the world and of all ages as a means of social justice and community building. MFA: NYU. 

HeadshotsMJ KAUFMAN’s work has been seen at the Huntington Theatre, New York Theater Workshop, Yale School of Drama, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, P73, Colt Coeur, Aurora Theater, Crowded Fire, New Harmony Project, Playwrights Foundation, Young Playwrights Inc. and performed in Russian in Moscow.  Kaufman received the 2013 ASCAP Cole Porter Prize in Playwriting, the 2013 Global Age Project Prize, and the 2010 Jane Chambers Prize in Feminist Theatre. Kaufman is a Huntington Theater Playwriting Fellow, Colt Coeur member, InterAct Theatre Core Playwright, and a 2015 Resident Artist at the New Museum. MJ received an MFA from Yale School of Drama.

Headshots

STAV PALTI-NEGEV is an NYC based playwright. Palti-Negev is a 2017 fellow at The Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group and a recipient of the 2015 and 2017 of HaPais Council for the Culture and Arts artist support grant. Her play SALIM SALIM, which she wrote and directed, received Best Play award at the 2014 Israel Fringe Theater Festival and a two-year ran at Tmuna Theater in Tel Aviv, 2014 - 2016. The play received a workshop at The Flea Theater (NYC) in 2017. Her new play, “Elsewhere: A Play for an Audience of One” premiered at the Israel Fringe Theater Festival in October 2016 and received a staged reading at The Public Theater (NYC) in June 2017. Palti-Negev wrote and broadcasted a weekly radio program for children on the Israeli national radio station GLZ. She holds an M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and a B.A. in Theater Studies and Comparative Literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

HeadshotsCELINE SONG is a member of Ars Nova Play Group 2014-2015, an IATI Theater's 2015 Cimientos Playwright, a 2014 resident at Yaddo, a 2014 Great Plains Theatre Conference Playlab Playwright, and a 2012 Edward F. Albee Foundation Writing Fellow. Her plays include The Feast (MAP Theater in Seattle, New Court Theatre in LA, Shelterbelt Theater in Omaha); Family (Signature Theater, Potomac Theater); and Tom & Eliza (Ars Nova, JACK). She holds an M.F.A. from Columbia. 

PREVIOUS FELLOWSHIP RECIPIENTS

2015 Emerging Writers Group

KEVIN ARTIGUE is a playwright and filmmaker. His play THE MOST DANGEROUS HIGHWAY IN THE WORLD was featured at the National New Play Network's 2014 National Showcase of New Plays. The play will premiere with Golden Thread as part of their 2015-2016 season. His plays have been performed and developed with Theatre of NOTE, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Yale Cabaret, Iowa New Play Festival, Golden Thread, and the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, where he was a Core Apprentice. A graduate of the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, Kevin was awarded a Provost’s Visiting Writer Fellowship at the University of Iowa, where he taught creative writing. Film: Holy Ghost People (2013 SXSW Film Festival), Resistance (short).

 

DAMON CHUA is the recipient of an Ovation Award (Best World Premiere Play) for Film Chinois, which made its Off-Broadway debut with Pan Asian Rep in January 2015. His other produced works include 1969: A Fantastical Odyssey Through the American Mindscape; A Book By Its Cover; and The Ghost Building. An NEA, UNESCO and Durfee Foundation grant recipient, Chua’s plays are published by Samuel French and Smith & Kraus. He is also a poet and fiction writer, and one of his short stories was included in the recent anthology Singapore Noir. www.damonchua.com

 

KELI GOFF's writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Time, Cosmopolitan, and Essence, and the web editions of The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian and New York Magazine. She is currently a columnist for The Daily Beast, and recently joined the writing staff of the critically acclaimed drama series Being Mary Jane. Her play Redeemed was included in Crossroads Theater’s Genesis Festival of New Plays in 2014. Keli is the author of two books, the non-fiction Party Crashing: How the Hip-Hop Generation Declared Political Independence and the novel The GQ Candidate. A native of Texas, she holds a B.A. from NYU and a Master’s degree in Strategic Communications from Columbia. Keli currently splits her time between Manhattan and Los Angeles. www.keligoff.com

 

RICARDO PÉREZ GONZÁLEZ’s first play, In Fields Where They Lay, was hailed by the New York Times as a “gripping” and “moving drama.” The Sundance Institute selected Pérez González for their Inaugural Writer’s Intensive, and his Alan Turing biopic, The Tender Peel, won an Alfred P. Sloan Grant. Select writing credits include Neon Baby (book writer/co-lyricist, Pregones 2013); Ashé (UP Theater, 2013); his comedic play about cultural scapegoating, Name & Blame, Inc.; and the transgender family drama, La casa de Ocaso (Asunción Playwriting Competition, 2010). He received an M.F.A. from NYU Tisch in 2012. Upcoming projects include a 2016 remount of In Fields Where They Lay and a reboot of the classic comic book character Pascualina.

 

GLENN GORDON is an actor and playwright. A member of UNIVERSES, he performed in productions of Ameriville and was a contributor for Party People.  As a playwright, Gordon has written Re:Definition and received a fellowship from the New Black Fest to write Search For The Crystal Stairs.  Gordon is co-founder of the Continuum Project, Inc., which uses African Ancestry DNA testing and theatre to promote cultural identity and community healing.  In 2010, after tracing his African Ancestry, Gordon was given the name NSangou Njikam by the Bamoun/Tikar people of Cameroon. He received a B.F.A. in acting from Howard University.

 

ELIZABETH IRWIN was born in Worcester, raised by Brooklyn and finished by el D.F. (aka Mexico City). Before becoming a playwright she was a high school English teacher followed by a very long stint as a wanderer. She was selected as a member of the 2012-13 Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab while living shoe-free on a Mexican beach so she came back to New York. She then became a Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow in 2013, followed by Playwrights Realm’s Page One Resident Playwright in 2014-15. Her latest play, My Mañana Comes (Lucille Lortel Outstanding Play nominee, Drama Desk Outstanding Play Nominee, Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award Nominee)received its critically acclaimed off Broadway debut at the Peter Jay Sharp theater in 2014. So far, it is slated for productions in 2015-16 at San Diego REPertory Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, ArtsWest Seattle, and Teatro Vista in Chicago. She misses everything.

 

PAOLA LÁZARO-MUÑOZ was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She holds a B.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from SUNY Purchase College and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Columbia University. Her plays include Status Stated, Rich Port, El Tío Sam, Contigo and La Gema. Lázaro-Muñoz is the recipient of the Arts Entertainment Scholarship Award (2010-2011) from the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts for the pilot episode of her TV show, “Trópico.” She is an active member of The Actors Studio’s Playwrights and Directors Workshop. Her short films include Used, Así Se Dice Aquí, Speechless, and the screenplay 8:90 PM.

 

PATRICIA IONE LLOYD was a resident playwright at the University of Mumbai, Brown University (through the Africana Studies Department/Rites and Reasons Theatre) and the International Theatre and Literacy Project in Tanzania. Her work has been developed by Red Bull Theatre, Dixon Place, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Luna Stage, Downtown Urban Theatre Festival, New York LGBTQ Center, Freedom Train Productions, Fire This Time Festival, Bleecker Street Theatre, and Rising Circle Theatre. Lloyd is the recipient of New Professional Theatre’s Emerging Playwright Award for her play Black Tale, and the best play award from DUTF for her play This Train is Bound for Glory.

 

JIEHAE PARK is a writer and actor in NYC. Her play HANNAH AND THE DREAD GAZEBO won the Princess Grace Award and Leah Ryan Prize in 2013 and was on the first annual Kilroys List. Her work has been developed or seen at Playwrights Horizons, Soho Rep's W/D Lab, Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor, Dramatists Guild Fellowship, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, 52nd Street Project, 24 Hour Plays on Broadway, & Ma-Yi Writers Lab. Residencies: MacDowell, Yaddo, & Hedgebrook. Proud facilitator for NYTW's Mind the Gap intergenerational playwriting workshop. Upcoming: workshop production of PEERLESS @ the Cherry Lane Mentor Project (mentor Kwame Kwei-Armeh), readings of HERE WE ARE HERE (NYTW) and HANNAH AND THE DREAD GAZEBO (Local Lab 2015 festival, Boulder).  As a performer: NYTW, La Jolla Playhouse, Collection of Shiny Objects, Studio Theatre, REDCAT, Tiny Little Band @ Prelude (and Cloud City, May 2015). BA (theater), Amherst College; MFA (acting), UCSD.

 

SARAH SANDER has seen her work developed and/or produced by Columbia University, DC Arts Center, Florida Studio Theatre, Hatchery Festival, Inkwell Theatre, Kennedy Center, Lark New Play Development Center, New York Stage and Film, Page 73 Productions, Project Y, Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival and University of Iowa. She is a New Georges Affiliated Artist, Millay Fellow, MacDowell Fellow, current Dramatist Guild Fellow, and alumna of Page 73 Production’s writers group, Interstate 73. Honors also include nominations for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, NTC’s Stavis Award, and Williamstown’s Weissberger Award. For the 2009-2010 season she served as a National New Play Network Playwright-in-Residence (Florida Studio Theatre). MFA: University of Iowa.

Emerging Writers Group

2013 Emerging Writers Group

Public Theater EWG 2013 Manuel BorrasMANUEL 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.

 

Public Theater EWG 2013 A-lan HoltA-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.

 

Public Theater EWG 2013 Boo KillebrewBOO KILLEBREW is a playwright, actress and co-founder of CollaborationTown, Theatre Company. Currently, Boo is a playwriting fellow at The Juillliard School. She is a recipient of the 2013 NYFA Fellowship, a member of  terraNova's Groundbreakers, and an Affiliated Artist and Kitchen Cabinet Member with New Georges. Her plays include Miller, Mississippi; Romance Novels for Dummies; Days Like Diamonds; The Play About My Dad and The Momentum (NYC Fringe Festival Excellence Award for Overall Production of a Play; GLAAD Media Award Nominee).  Her work has been presented at The Roundabout Theatre, The Public Theater, New Georges, Clubbed Thumb, The Huntington Theatre Co., 59e59 Theatres, The New Ohio, and Boston Playwright's Theatre. Boo was an Edward F. Albee Foundation Fellow, an Artist in Residence at NYFA, Robert Wilson's Watermill Center, The MacDowell Colony, Williamstown Theater Festival, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.  Boo has received two New York Innovative Theater Awards for acting and has been nominated multiple times for both playwriting and acting.  She is the recipient of two Fringe Excellence Awards and The Bette Davis Foundation Award. Boo is a teaching artist with The Roundabout Theatre Company and SPARC (Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide).

 

Public Theater EWG 2013 Andrew KramerANDREW KRAMER is a 2014/15 Nord Playwriting Fellow at Cleveland Public Theatre. He is a 2010 graduate of Ball State University’s Department of Theatre & Dance. He was a 2013 member of the Emerging Writer’s Group at The Public Theatre in New York. He is a former member of the Groundbreakers Playwrights’ Group with the terraNOVA Theatre Collective where he developed his play Whales & Souls. Andrew was a Core Apprentice Writer at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, 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). Andrew served as PlaywrightinResidence at the Cairns Arts Festival in Queensland, Australia and his play The Dog(run) Diaries was shortlisted for the 2012 US/UK Old Vic New Voices. In both 2011 and 2012, Andrew was a member of the Ingram New Works Lab at Tennessee Repertory Theatre in Nashville.  

 

Public Theater EWG 2013 Brian "Dyalekt" KushnerBRIAN "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.

 

Public Theater EWG 2013 Mary Kathryn NagleMARY 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 graduated summa cum laude from Tulane Law School where she was the recipient of the Judge John Minor Wisdom Award. Her play Manahatta was recently featured in the Public Theater’s inaugural Public Studio workshop production series. Other recent productions include Amerinda’s presentation of Miss Lead at 59e59 from January 13-26, 2014.  Nagle is an alum of the Civilians 2014 Research & Development Group, where she developed her latest play, Fairly Traceable.  Her play Sliver of a Full Moon has been presented at the United States Capital in Washington D.C., the United Nations in New York, and Joe’s Pub. 

 

Public Theater EWG 2013 Harrison David RiversHARRISON DAVID RIVERS' plays include When Last We Flew (2011 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Off Off Broadway Play), AND SHE WOULD STAND LIKE THIS, Look Upon Our Lowliness, sweet, The Bandaged Place, lydie, or (s)he who looks inside, awakes, We Are Misquoted Texts, THE SEA & THE STARS, The Salvagers, WHERE STORMS ARE BORN and Jack Perry is Alive (And Dating) (co-written by Daniella Shoshan with music by Julia Meinwald). His current musical theater projects include The Last Queen of Canaan (music by Jacob Yandura and lyrics by Rebekah Greer Melocik), FIVE POINTS: An American Musical (music and lyrics by Ethan Pakchar and Douglas Lyons) and PARIS BLUES (music and lyrics by Jason Michael Webb). Harrison’s work has been developed and produced by The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Lincoln Center, Atlantic Theatre, Atlantic Stage 2, Second Stage, Sundance Institute, P73, Ars Nova, Joe’s Pub, New Dramatists, The Drama League, Dixon Place, The Movement Theatre Company, The National Black Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Harlem Stage, Freedom Train, Williamstown Theatre Festival, New York Musical Theatre Festival, About Face Theater (Chicago), Aurora Theatre (Berkeley), Diversionary Theatre (San Diego), Intermedia Arts (Minneapolis), Northern Stage (White River Junction, VT), Headlong Theatre (London) and the American Airlines Theater on Broadway. Harrison is a 2014-15 Jerome Many Voices Fellowship at The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis. He has also received a 2010-11 Van Lier Fellowship at New Dramatists and a 2009-10 Emerging Artist of Color Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop. M.F.A, Columbia University.

 

Public Theater EWG 2013 Riti SachdevaRITI 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.

 

Public Theater EWG 2013 Susan Soon He StantonSUSAN SOON HE STANTON is a playwright and screenwriter based in New York, originally from the consonant-free town of Aiea, Hawai‘i. Her plays include Takarazuka!!! (East West Players, Clubbed Thumb, Playwrights Horizon workshop, Soho Rep workshop, Oregon Shakespeare Black Swan Lab), SEEK (Public Theater Spotlight Series, Playwrights Center workshop), Cygnus (Finalist Susan Glaspell Prize, Inkwell Workshop), The Underneath (Kumu Kahua, Yale Cabaret, Kennedy Center workshop), The Nose (Perry Mansfield), Art of Preservation (published by Broadway Play Publishing, produced by Yale School of Drama, and Kumu Kahua), Whatever Happened To John Boy Kihano? (Kumu Kahua, winner of Hawaii Prize), Furball the things are against us (workshop at Lark Studio Retreat, Yale’s Carlotta Festival production), Edible Restaurant, a musical with composer Greta Gertler (Joe’s Pub, commissioned by New Sounds Theatre). Susan was Honolulu Theatre for Youth’s (HTY) resident playwright for their 2010-11 season. HTY commissioned her to write Navigator and Where Do Things Go? Work developed at Kennedy Center, Playwrights Horizons, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Hedgebrook, Unicorn Theater, Rising Circle, TerraNova, 2G, Flea, Lark, Southern Rep, American Blues Theater, New Century Theater Company, Leviathan Lab, Centenary Stage, Inkwell, Voice and Vision. Fellowships: (Present) Playwrights Center Core Writer, MaYi, (Past): Lark Van Lier Fellow, SoHo Writer-Director Lab, Public Emerging Writers Group, SoHo Rep Writer-Director Lab, TerraNova Groundbreakers. She has received a Sloan Foundation Feature Film Development Grant and screenwriting award. Films include Dress (winner of 2014 Hawaii International Film Festival Audience Award), Dispatched, Good House, and Same Will. MFA: Yale Playwriting, BFA: NYU Tisch Dramatic Writing.

 

Public Theater EWG 2013 Kyle WarrenKYLE 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.

 

The Public EWG 2013 Group

2013 EMERGING WRITERS GROUP SPOTLIGHT SERIES 

Was on Wednesday, March 27

MANAHATTA 

Written by MARY KATHRYN NAGLE
Directed by Kate Whoriskey 
When a modern day Lenape woman returns to her ancestral land to work on Wall Street, she must reconcile all that her people have lost with what she now attempts to gain. MANAHATTA simultaneously tells the story of the Lenape Indians who lived on the island of MANAHATTA in the 1600’s, when Peter Minuit and the Dutch claim to have purchased the island for $24, and explores how the concepts of indigenous identity, ownership, and the entire system of American capitalism have made us who we are today.

 

Was on Monday, April 1 
SOUND IS VIBRATION 
Written by BRIAN “DYALEKT” KUSHNER
Directed by Kent Gash 
Melody’s into beatboxing and physics/ It’s too bad that Def Jim can’t hear her lyrics/ It is the letter of the law and the spirit/ To say she brings a new meaning to “I can feel it”/ So how do we communicate?/ Will vocabulary elucidate?/ Or will we search the walls and let the graf writers choose the way?/ Love don’t play, don’t know no s’il vous plait/ It’s like Miles. It’s the words we don’t say.

 

Was on Wednesday, April 3 
DAYS LIKE DIAMONDS 
Written by BOO KILLEBREW 
Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch 
Sarah’s best friend Sam is being tried for the savage murder of his girlfriend. Sarah is horrified when she realizes that she is unsure of Sam’s guilt or innocence. As details of the gruesome crime emerge, so do the truths of Sarah and Sam's friendship. DAYS LIKE DIAMONDS travels backward in time as it asks the question: How well can we ever know another person?

 

Was on Monday, April 8 
SEEK 
Written by SUSAN SOON HE STANTON
Directed by Kip Fagan 
In 1926, British mystery writer Agatha Christie went missing for 11 days. Once discovered, she claimed amnesia and never spoke of the incident again. In a fictional retelling of this real life disappearance, SEEK imagines Agatha on the Big Island of Hawaii in Puna: a rough and unforgiving landscape. Burdened by a dark secret and chased halfway around the world, Agatha's life begins to resemble the dark stories she imagined.

 

Was on Wednesday, April 10 
ARMATURE 
Written by ANDREW KRAMER
Directed by Liesl Tommy
Candidate Blythe Ames prepares - with a voice as smooth and strong as a song - for the upcoming governor's election. Her husband Denson should be happier for her political success. Her daughter Monica should stop dyeing her hair. Across town, pop-culture blogger Evan meets sexy stranger Shod at the dark and sordid Armature Bar where Mama serves the drinks - if he's able to avoid the reporters. The lives of these very different people collide as a roaring fire erupts with biblical wrath and passion, devouring everything in its path.

 

Was on Monday, April 15 
NOTHING TO LOSE 
Written by MANUEL BORRAS
Directed by Joanna Settle 
Prison can rob a person of their resolve and their humanity, but some utilize the mind to escape. Raw and steeped in experience, this American story follows Lance Poet Rivera as he enters prison and struggles to beat the odds of two decades of incarceration and its aftermath when he is released.

 

Was on Wednesday, April 17 
THOREAU, AND OTHER ASSHOLES 
Written by KYLE WARREN
Directed by Lisa Peterson 
There are about two hundred thousand words in the English language. And not one of them describes what’s about to happen to Jean De Bernis. For once, Jean might actually be happy. He’s a college professor, his partner’s pregnant, and the novel that’s going to put him on the literary map is about to be published. But on the day his book is released, he discovers that another author has published a novel identical to his. Forced to fend off accusations of plagiarism, paranoia and worse, Jean fights to maintain a shred of ownership over his work, his words, and, eventually, every thought in his head.

 

Was on Monday, April 22 
THE BOTTOM 
Written by A-LAN HOLT
Directed by Eric Ting 
In the bottom of a high-rise housing complex, two kids find themselves tumbling between dreams, tripping over highs and lows, and loving and lamenting the limitations of their bodies.

 

Was on Wednesday, April 24 
SWEET 
Written by HARRISON DAVID RIVERS
Directed by Leah C. Gardiner 
The Baker sisters have always been the best of friends, but when their next door neighbor returns home from college, desire threatens to tear them apart. A bittersweet coming of age story about the sacrifices we make in order to hold onto the ones we love.

 

Was on Monday, April 29 
OTHER FARMERS’ FIELDS 
Written by RITI SACHDEVA
Directed by Patricia McGregor 
Since 1995, over 300,000 farmers in India have committed suicide to escape their debt to corporations that manipulated them into buying genetically modified seeds that don’t reproduce. In this sensual and macabre revenge fantasy, what goes around comes around for bio-tech CEO Darren Warren when Asha, the widow of one of these farmers, comes to work in his home and care for his pregnant wife, Hope.

2011 Emerging Writers Group

Public Theater EWG 2011 Federico Amador

AUGUSTO FEDERICO AMADOR In addition to the Public Theater’s Spotlight Series, Augusto’s plays have also been presented at: The Lark Play Development Center, Terra Nova Collective’s Groundbreaking Series, Repertorio Espanol, Red Room, Queens Theater in The Park, and INTAR Theater. In Los Angeles, the Celebration Theatre, Audrey-Skirball Kenis Theater Projects, Playwrights Arena, The Blank Theater, Ricardo Montalban Theater, Imagined Life Theater, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum  as part of their Seedlings New Play Series, John Anson Ford Theater and the Inkubator new play reading series at the Skylight Theater as well as a playwright residency at the Arkansas Repertory Theater in Little Rock, Ark. His plays have been finalists or semi-finalists for the Eugene O’Neill Conference, Sundance Theater Lab, INTAR Playwright’s Lab, The Metlife National Latino Playwriting Award, Bay Area Playwrights Foundation, The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation, Kitchen Dog New Play Festival and the Hormel New Play Festival at the Phoenix Theater. Augusto was named as a finalist for the prestigious 2013 Terrance McNally Award as well as being a finalist for the 2013 Clifford Odets Ensemble New Play Commission from the Lee Strasberg Theater & Film Institute. He was awarded the Creativity Fund from EWG at the Public Theater.  Augusto recently has been named one of eight playwrights for the 2014 Los Angeles Latino Theater Alliance’s New Work Writers Circle. His play, Kissing Che was named in HowlRound’s, “101 Plays by The New Americans, or on Latinidad”.  Augusto’s play, Kissing Che, will be published by the Proscenium Journal in the Fall.  In February his new play, The Book of Leonidas, will be part of the new play reading series at the Los Angeles Theater Center. 

 

 

Public Theater EWG 2011 Nikole BehckwitNIKOLE BECKWITH’s plays have been read and performed with Playwright Horizons, Ensemble Studio Theater, LAByrinth Theater Company, The Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Barrow Street Theater, 3LD, The Flea, Lesser America, and the Old Vic in London, among others. 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 and 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. Nikole is the first non-UK playwright to be given a writing attachment at The National Theatre Studio in London, where she wrote her play Seven Sisters, which went on to premier at The Royal Court Theatre. 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 most Saturdays with The Story Pirates, a kids literacy and arts organization where she is an actor, director and teaching artist. Also a pen and ink 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.

 

Public Theater EWG 2011 Javierantonio GonzálezJAVIER ANTONIO GONZALEZ writes, directs and teaches theater in New York City. His work includes: Zoetrope (Pregones Theater/LATC), Open up, Hadrian (Magic Futurebox), FLORIDITA, My Love (IATI Theater), Barceloneta, de noche (Union Theatre, London/IATI Theater), Uneventful Deaths for Agathon (FringeNYC), Las minutas de Martí (Repertorio Español), among others. He is the Artistic Director of Caborca Theatre.

 

 

Public Theater EWG 2011 Sevan Kaloustian GreeneSEVAN K. GREENE Playwright and actor. MFA Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. Rising Circle Theatre Collective’s 2010 InkTANK Writer's Lab. NYTW 2011/2012 Teaching Artist. 2014 Papatango Short List. 2014 Princess Grace Award Semi-Finalist. William Saroyan 2014 Human Rights/Social Justice Playwriting Prize Finalist. William Saroyan Armenian Play Commendation Finalist 2014.  William Saroyan 2010 & 2012 Playwriting Prize Finalist. PlayPenn 2012 & 2013 Conference Finalist. 2011 ATC New Voices Festival Winner. 2014 Invertigo Identity Commission Short List. Sevan’s work has been seen in London and New York at Theatre503, Tamasha, Vertical Line Theatre, The Public Theater, The Flea Theatre, Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, RichMix, 2014 Camden Fringe, The Space, NOOR Theatre, the Arab-American Comedy Festival, the Kraine Theatre, Access Theatre, Ugly Rhino’s Tiny Rhino, aMios’ SHOTZ festivals, Mixed Phoenix Theatre, |the claque|, Birmingham Theatre Exchange, Theatre Arts Café, Ghost Dog Productions. www.sevangreene.com

 

Publc Theater EWG 2011 Sukari JonesSUKARI 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.

 

Public Theater EWG 2011 Aaron Wigdor LevyAARON 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.

 

Public Theater EWG 2011 Laura MarksLAURA 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.

 

Public Theater EWG 2011 Anna MoenchANNA 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.

 

Public Theater EWG 2011 Dominique MorisseauDOMINIQUE 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.

 

Public Theater EWG 2011 Jerome A. ParkerJEROME 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.

 

 

Public Theater EWG 2011 Stella Fawn RagsdaleSFR, 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. 

 

The Public EWG 2011 Group

Emerging Writers Group Spotlight Series 2011

Was on Wednesday, June 1
MINE

Written by LAURA MARKS 
Directed by Evan Cabnet
Mari is a new mother with a devoted husband, a reassuring midwife, and a mom who can’t wait to babysit; but something seems different about her newborn daughter—could someone have switched her baby at birth? A contemporary thriller with age-old roots, Mine explores the shadowy border between madness and reality.

Was on Thursday, June 2
THE BALL PLAYER

Written by AARON WIGDOR LEVY
Directed By Kent Gash
Everyone knows the plan: James, star of his high school basketball team, will get recruited to a top D1 school, head to the NBA, and get his family out of the projects. But as he enters his final high school season, the pressure starts affecting his game and James begins to think for himself about his future. What happens when plans change?

Was on Wednesday, June 8
KISSING CHE

Written by AUGUSTO FEDERICO AMADOR
Directed by Victor Maog
Miami, Florida, 1984. Four years after the Mariel Boatlift, a man named Reina is dying in a nursing home claiming to have been Cuba’s last famous drag queen (“I turned kings into queens. And they loved me for it”). Tamika, an African-American nurse, strikes up a friendship with him. United by untold pasts, shared confessions change their lives forever.

Was on Thursday, June 9
DETROIT 67

Written by DOMINIQUE MORISSEAU
Directed by Robert O'Hara
It’s 1967 in Detroit. Motown music is getting the party started, and Chelle and her brother Lank are making ends meet by turning their basement into an after-hours joint. Always at odds, they fight over the future of the family trade. But when a mysterious white woman finds her way into their care and a string of raids increases police brutality around the city, the siblings become divided over much more than business. Suddenly, they find themselves caught in the middle of the ‘67 riots. 

Was on Monday, June 13 
BABEL 

Written by SEVAN KALOUSTIAN GREENE
Directed by Jonathan Silverstein
Luke and Issa have found a friendship in the middle of a war. But when Luke’s squad is ambushed in a surprise attack, Issa finds himself interrogated for answers by Mark, Luke’s father and the base’s colonel. How far will Mark go to get the truth? And what if the truth is something he would never suspect?

Was on Tuesday, June 14
PERISH

Written by STELLA FAWN RAGSDALE
Directed by Johanna Gruenhut
When Porter’s father kidnaps her son, she must go back to the woods of East Tennessee to find him, where she is distracted by a mysterious firebird. Textured with poetry and grit, this play follows the plight of women in Appalachia and the disappearance of the working class.

Was on Wednesday, June 15
"LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!!!!"

Written by SUKARI JONES
Directed by Liesl Tommy 
Gladys and her daughter Asali live in a house that floats through various catastrophic events in time. Jeana, a real-estate agent cricket (as in the bug) tries to sell the place to Li and Ray—a newlywed lesbian cricket couple—but they're hesitant to buy because the humans inside seem way too crazy. A play about a daughter trying to escape her mother featuring a T-Rex, a Piece of Lava and other puppets.

Was on Wednesday, June 22 
HUNGER

Written by ANNA MOENCH
Directed by Eric Ting
In the sandy hills of China’s Loess Plateau, a farming couple mourns the death of their only son. Their search for an illegal afterlife bride becomes increasingly desperate as his ghost longs for companionship. Told with actors and life-sized puppets, Hunger explores the boundary between life and death and the friction between tradition and progress in contemporary China.

Was on Thursday, June 23 
BLISS

Written by JEROME A. PARKER
Directed by Andrew Russell
After his duties as a soldier ended, Perry explored the world as a fading pop-star’s lover and ghostwriter. Weary of his “high-life,” he decides to return to his hometown only to find that his worldly ways aren’t welcome. This story, told partly through song (traditional, world, and pop music), is a modern, American re-telling of the German myth of Tannhauser, popularized by Wagner’s opera, which mixes the sacred and secular. 

Was on Monday, June 27
STOCKHOLM, PENNSYLVANIA

Written by NIKOLE BECKWITH
Directed by Daniel Aukin
After 17 years of captivity in a boarded up basement, Leia is returned home to her parents, where she discovers her birth-name is Leanne and her birthday isn’t in March after all. With little understanding of the world around her, Leia struggles to find her place in it and what it means to be “Leanne.” This complicated reunion with her family is made all the more trying as she longs for the life she remembers and the man who kept her in the basement; while her mother works harder than ever to get her daughter back. By any means necessary.

Was on Tuesday, June 28
ZOETROPE

Written by JAVIERANTONIO GONZáLEZ 
Directed by Steve Cosson
Inspired by the letters of the playwright’s grandfather from New York to Puerto Rico in the ‘50’s, Zoetrope is an irreverent reconstruction of two love stories: Severino and Inés, a perfect couple doomed by exile; and Francisca, a lesbian-looking existentialist finding love in the least expected of places. An epic romance in two parts, the play spins between four decades, two cities, multiple couples, the personal and the political.

2009 Emerging Writers Group

Public Theater EWG 2009 Julian ChristopherJ. 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).

 

Public Theater EWG 2009 (Mashuq) DeenMASHUQ DEEN's plays include The Shaking Earth, Draw the Circle, Tank & Horse, and Shut Up! Deen's plays have been produced and/or developed by NYTW, The Public Theater, InterAct Theatre, Page73, Ma-Yi, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, Georgetown University, BEAT Festival, PACE University, Hampshire College, Dixon Place, Passage Theatre, Queens Theatre in the Park, Tofte Lake Center, Berkshire Fringe. Awards and fellowships include: New Dramatists Company Member, MacDowell Fellow, Bogliasco Foundation Residency (2016), Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Residency (2016), NYFA, NYTW 2050 Fellow, Public Theater EWG, Page73 Interstate writing group, Jerome New York Fellowship finalist, O'Neill Conference semifinalist, Weissberger Award nomination, James Baldwin Award, Dennis Johnston Playwriting Prize honorable mention. He has been a teaching artist with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (SPARC Fellow), Community Voices Workshop with Second Generation Theatre, Mind the Gap (NYTW), and is currently on the Literary Committee of Queens Theatre. Member: NYTW Usual Suspect, Ma-Yi Writers Lab, Public Theater Alumni Writers Group, Dramatists Guild. Deen earned his MFA from the Actors Studio Drama School/New School for Drama. He is represented by the Gersh Agency.

 

Public Theater EWG Branden Jacobs-JenkinsBRANDEN JACOBS-JENKINS (Playwright) Off-Broadway: Appropriate (2014 Obie Award winner, Outer Critics Circle nomination; Signature Theatre), Neighbors (The Public Theater) and An Octoroon (Obie Award winner; Soho Rep). He is currently a Residency Five playwright at the Signature Theater and a Lila Acheson Wallace fellow at the Juilliard School. His work has been seen at Actor’s Theater of Louisville, Victory Gardens Theater, Woolly Mammoth Theater, The Vineyard Theater, The Matrix Theater in LA, Mixed Blood Theater in Minneapolis, CompanyOne in Boston, and the HighTide Festival in the UK. He is under commissions from Lincoln Center/LCT3 and MTC. His honors include a Paula Vogel Award, a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the inaugural Tennessee Williams award. He has taught at NYU and Queens University of Charlotte and holds an M.A. in Performance Studies.

 

The Public EWG 2009BRIDGET 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.

 

Public Theater EWG 2009 Mona MansourMONA MANSOUR's play The Way West had its world premiere in spring of 2014 at Steppenwolf, directed by Amy Morton. The play recently received the 2013 Sky Cooper New American Play Prize from Marin Theatre Company, where it will get its West Coast premiere in spring 2015. The play received a BareBones workshop at the Lark Play Development Center (directed by Linsay Firman), where Mona was a Fellow in 2012. The Hour of Feeling (directed by Mark Wing-Davey) received its world premiere in the 2012 Humana Festival in 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 just had its West Coast premiere at San Francisco’s Golden Thread (directed by Evren Odcikin). The Vagrant, the third play in the trilogy, was commissioned by the Public Theater and workshopped at the 2013 Sundance Theater Institute with Mark Wing-Davey directing. Mona was a member of the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group, a Core Writer at Minneapolis’ Playwrights’ Center, and has just been selected for membership in New Dramatists. Other plays include Across the Water, Girl Scouts of America and Broadcast Yourself (part of Headlong Theater’s Decade). 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 were in residence at Berkeley Rep’s  Ground Floor, where they worked on a musical play called The Wife. They recently were given an Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan commission to write a play about 1970s Iraq, and their short play Dressing is part of Facing Our Truths: Short Plays about Trayvon, Race and Privilege, a collection of plays commissioned by the New Black Festival that has been presented at various theaters around the U.S., including the Goodman, Center Theater Group, and Joe’s Pub. Other commissions include a play for South Coast Rep’s inaugural Crossroads program. Television credits: Dead Like Me and Queens Supreme. 2012 Whiting Award. 2014 Middle East America Playwright Award. monamansour.com

 

Public Theater EWG 2009 Vickie RamirezVICKIE 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 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 and she was commissioned by Ohio Northern University for the original one-act of Standoff at Hwy#37. Smoke made its world premiere in 2013 when it was produced by Mixed Phoenix Theatre Group in New York City and Standoff at Hwy#37 made its world premiere as a full-length at Native Voices at the Autry 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, Leona by the Bayou, and Pocahontas Redux. Screenplays include: MonkeyDog, Rachel vs. The Little Warriors, and Lotto Munney. Honors include: 2009/2010 NYC Urban Artists Fellowship, 2010 NYSCA Individual Artist Award.

 

 Public Theater EWG 2009 Jordan SeaveyJORDAN 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. 

 

Public Theater EWG 2009 Alena SmithALENA SMITH was named one of Variety’s 10 TV Writers to Watch in 2014. She is also a playwright, novelist and the creator of Tween Hobo, a Twitter character. Tween Hobo: Off The Rails was published in 2014 by Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. Alena’s plays have been produced internationally, including The Bad Guys, which was made into an independent film. She lives in Los Angeles, where she writes for HBO’s The Newsroom.

 

Public Theater EWG 2009 Kevin Christopher SnipesKEVIN 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.

 

Public Theater EWG 2009 Lauren YeeLAUREN YEE’s plays include Ching Chong Chinaman (Pan Asian, Mu Performing Arts, SIS Productions, Impact Theatre), Crevice (Impact Theatre), The Hatmaker’s Wife (Playwrights Realm, The Hub, Moxie Theatre, AlterTheater, PlayPenn), Hookman (Company One workshop), in a word (Hangar and Williamstown workshops), Samsara (O’Neill Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Victory Gardens’ IGNITION Festival), and The Tiger Among Us (MAP Fund, Mu Performing Arts). Upcoming productions at Victory Gardens, San Francisco Playhouse, and the Cleveland Public Theatre. Her work has been developed at Lincoln Center/LCT3, The Magic, Rattlestick, and Kitchen Dog. Former Dramatists Guild fellow and MacDowell fellow. Fellowships: Women’s Project Lab, Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab, Playwrights Realm Page One residency, Playwrights’ Center Core Writer. Commissions: Goodman Theatre, Lincoln Center/LCT3, Mixed Blood, Encore Theatre, and TheatreworksUSA. BA: Yale. MFA: UCSD.

 

Emerging Writers Group Spotlight Series 2009

Was on Monday, March 1
PLUCKER

Written by ALENA SMITH
Directed by SAM GOLD
Ever since Alexis moved in with her boyfriend, her pet parrot has developed a problem. What’s worse, Lee, the girl she’s been flirting with, just showed up uninvited to the couple’s first dinner party. And Lee might have bedbugs. And a secret past. Plucker is an old-school farce about a new generation dealing with the anxieties of commitment and co-habitation. 

Was on Monday, March 8
MAN BOOBS

Written by J. JULIAN CHRISTOPHER
Directed By STEPHEN BRACKETT
Two men begin to share a night of passion until issues of obesity and self-esteem overpower their sexual and emotional connection.

Was on Monday, March 15
HIDING IN THE GARDEN

Written by BRIDGET KELSO
Directed by KENT GASH
Fifteen years ago, Cassie's son was sold away. Now that the Civil War is over and freedom has come, Cassie sets out with her husband to find him, picking up friends and strangers along the way. But everyone soon discovers that freedom means different things to different people.

Was on Monday, March 22
ASHES, ASHES

Written by KEVIN CHRISTOPHER SNIPES
Directed by PETER DUBOIS
When Jeremy informs his wife that her best friend’s husband might have made a pass at him, he sets off a sexually charged chain of events that threatens to tear both marriages apart. A biting dark comedy, Ashes, Ashes gives new meaning to the phrase “with friends like these, who needs enemies?”

Was on Monday, April 5
THE FUNNY PAIN

Written by JORDAN SEAVEY
Directed by MAY ADRALES
Unable to feel pain due to a congenital disease, Mary Rochelle Douleur doesn’t earn the nickname “Roach” for nothing – despite bumps and bruises and breaks, she’s practically indestructible. She’s Southern to be sure, but a belle… maybe not. When she and her sister become rival stand-up comediennes, they learn just how fine the line is between laughing and crying.

Was on Monday, April 12
THE HOUR OF FEELING

Written by MONA MANSOUR
Directed by MARK WING-DAVEY
In 1967, fueled by a love of English Romantic poetry and Wordsworth in particular, a young Palestinian academic, Adham, and his new wife, Abir, take a trip to London, where he will deliver a career-defining lecture. While the situation in his home “country” deteriorates and his marriage threatens to dissolve, Adham confronts his fear of failure and the reality that he may be an outsider no matter where he goes.

Was on Monday, April 19
DRAW THE CIRCLE

Written by DEEN
Directed by CHAY YEW
As Deen struggles to come to terms with being a transgender man, those who love him most find themselves struggling as well in this unique solo show, told entirely from the from the point of view of Deen’s family, friends and partner, yet performed by Deen himself. Laid bare is one family's struggle with a child who continuously defies their most basic expectations of what it means to have a daughter... and one woman's commitment to unconditional love.

Was on Wednesday, April 21
ASHES

Written by VICKIE RAMIREZ
Directed by BETSY THEOBOLD RICHARDS
When the boys were born, the Clan Mothers decided that Gary and Brewster both had the qualities to be great Chiefs of the Haudenosaunee people. Thirty years later, Brewster is a disappointment and Gary is in crisis. When their predicament catches the attention of Sky Woman and the Thunderers, the mischievous spirits decide to entertain themselves by betting on the results. As the Great Beings start interfering on behalf of their favorites, it’s anyone’s guess which candidate will prove himself a great leader. 

Was on Monday, April 26
APPROPRIATE

Written by BRANDEN JACOBS-JENKINS
Directed by JO BONNEY
Raymond Lafayette has died and his progeny have returned to the family homestead – a former plantation in southern Arkansas – to settle his financially-fraught estate. But a gruesome discovery among Grandpa’s belonging forces an already-estranged family to the brink of becoming a family of strangers when no one can agree on how it got there – or how to get rid of it.

2008 Emerging Writers Group

Public Theater EWG 2008 Radha BlankRADHA BLANK New York native Radha Blank is the author of nine plays. She is a 2013 Sundance Institute UCROSS Playwright, a 2011 Helen Merrill Award recipient, a 2011 NEA New Play Development Award recipient (for SEED), a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow, and a Nickelodeon Writing Fellow. Radha’s plays have been developed and/or presented by Rattlestick Playwrights, The Public Theater, The New Group, Luna Stage, Penumbra Theater, Arena Stage, Classical Theater of Harlem, The City Parks Foundation, Dixon Place, Here, The Lark, Voice and Vision, Hedgebrook, Tofte Lake Center, The New Black Fest and several seasons of The NYC Hip Hop Theater Festival. Radha has written for Nickelodeon/Nick Jr. (Backyardigians, Little Bill) and her original film, Papa Moco Jumbie, was a huge hit for the networks. She has written several screenplays, including FOH, Winner, Best Screenplay at The 2013 BlackStar Film Festival. When not writing plays, Radha performs as RadhaMUSprime- a Moms Mabley meets GhostFace Killah Hip Hop/Comedy mash up. Her mixtape The 40-Year-Old Version drops later this year and her original mockumentary web series of the same name will debut early 2015. Radha is currently staffed as a writer for "The Get Down", a new Baz Lurhman series for Netflix about two Bronx teens and the beginnings of Hip Hop in 1977.


 

Public Theater EWG 2008 Leila BuckLEILA 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.

 

Public Theater EWG 2008 Raúl CastilloRAUL CASTILLO was born and raised in McAllen, TX, with family ties in neighboring border city Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico.  A graduate of Boston University’s School for the Arts, he is author of the play Knives and Other Sharp Objects, which premiered in March 2009 at the Public Theater.  He is a proud member of LAByrinth Theater Company.  His one-act play The Biggest Asshole Ever Born premiered at Intar Theater as part of One Night in the Valley; Four Plays by South Texas Writers. Another one-act play - Death on my Mind - is published by Dramatic Publishing in Best Student One-Acts, Vol. 5.  Coming up, he is developing a script for the La Jolla Playhouse/Museum of Man Crossing Borders project at Balboa Park in San Diego.  Raúl is also an accomplished actor. He plays the role of Richie in the hit HBO series Looking. Theater: Fish Men (Goodman Theater), 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.

 

Public Theater EWG 2008 Chris CraginCHRIS CRAGIN-DAY's play The River Nun was part of the 2009 EWG Spotlight Series directed by Tea Alagic, who also directed the subsequent workshop reading at Burning Coal Theater in Raleigh, North Carolina. Chris is also an alumna of The O'Neill National Music Theater Conference where her musical Son of a Gun co-written with Don Chaffer, was work-shopped and presented. Son of a Gun then received a NYC production by Firebone Theatre directed by Gabriel Barre and starring Van Hughes (American Idiot) Ryan Link (Hair), and Rebecca Hart (The Great Immensity) (www.firebonetheatre.com). Most recently her musical adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Selfish Giant, co-written with Michael Castillejos, was part of Firebone's Long Long Ago festival of fairy tales. Chris is currently working on two commissions. One is a play titled Martin Luther on Trial, commissioned by Fellowship for the Performing Arts. The other is a musical titled Mary and Joseph's Baby commissioned by Pacific Theater in Vancouver. Chris teaches playwriting at The King's College and Regent University. She also currently serves as Artistic Director of Firebone Theatre.

 

Public Theater EWG 2008 Christina GormanCHRISTINA GORMAN’s play American Myth, which she developed in the Emerging Writers Group, was awarded the Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, as well as the Blue Ink Playwriting Award from American Blues Theater, who produced the world premiere of the play in March 2014.  Her play Just Knots was named winner of the Samuel French Short Play Festival and is published in the Samuel French Publication Off-Off Broadway Festival Plays, 34th Series.  It has been produced nationally and internationally.   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.  Split Wide Open has been produced in the NYC’s Summer Play Festival 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.  Sacred Ground was produced at Stella Adler Studios while Christina was its Harold Clurman Playwright-in-Residence.  Her short play The God Particle has been produced at Planet Connections Festival, Estrogenius Festival, and at Stageworks/Hudson. Another short play, The Grey Ladies, has been produced by Spark & Echo Productions and American Blues Theater.   Orion Rising has been workshopped at the New Harmony Project.  Far From the Trees has been presented in |the claque|’s The QuaDs Festival, at Berkshire Playwrights Lab, and in the Geva Theatre Center Festival of New Plays.  Christina is an Artistic Affiliate at American Blues Theater, a former New York Foundation for the Arts fellow, and an alumna of the Women’s Project Playwrights Lab.  www.christinagormanplaywright.com

 

Public Theater EWG 2008 Ethan LiptonETHAN LIPTON produced plays include Red-Handed Otter, Luther, Goodbye April Hello May, The Barber and The Farmer, 100 Aspects of the Moon and Meat. His theatrical song cycle No Place to Go was produced by the Public Theater at Joe’s Pub and won a 2012 Obie Award. No Place to Go has since been produced at Two River Theatre in New Jersey and the Gate in London, and presented in over 20 cities.  Ethan’s plays have been seen and heard in Boston, Chicago, LA, NYC, Edinburgh, and Berne, Austria.  He was the 2012-13 Playwright’s Realm’s Page One Playwright, is an alum of the Public’s Emerging Writers Group, and is an Associate Artist with Clubbed Thumb.  Ethan has received NYFA and Drama-Logue awards and commissions from Playwrights Horizons, True Love Productions, NSYCA (via Clubbed Thumb), the NEA (via Joe’s Pub), and Barrington Stage.  He has been a Kesselring Prize nominee, an O’Neill Conference finalist, a Kleban award finalist and a resident writer at New York Stage and Film.  His play Luther was published in THEATER (Duke/Yale) in 2013.With his band Ethan Lipton and His Orchestra (“Best Lounge Act” New York Magazine), he has released five albums and played throughout New York and beyond, including Celebrate Brooklyn, MASS MoCA, ATP in East Sussex (UK), Grand Performances in LA and at the Portsmouth Music Hall. The band has been featured on radio shows such as “Weekend Edition,” “Word of Mouth,” “The World,” and “Soundcheck.” As a performer Ethan appeared in the original production of Elevator Repair Service’s Gatz and has worked with artists Laurie Anderson, Cynthia Hopkins and Matt Berninger of The National.  Info on his plays and band is at www.ethanlipton.com.

 

Public Theater EWG 2008 Alejandro MoralesALEJANDRO 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.

 

Public Theater EWG 2008 Nick Hadikwa MwalukoNICK 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.

 

Public Theater EWG 2008 Don NguyenDON NGUYEN’s full-length plays include Sound (Bay Area Playwrights Festival 2014, finalist – O’Neill National Playwrights Conference 2014, Playwrights Realm Fellowship), 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), 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 theater 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.

 

Public Theater EWG 2008 Akin SalawuAs 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.

 

Public Theater EWG 2008 Aladdin UllahALADDIN 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.

 

Public Theater EWG 2008 Pia WilsonPIA WILSON is the recipient of the 2014 Sarah Verdone Writing Award, 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 2012-2013 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 play Generation T was produced at Adelphi University in March, 2014. The Flower Thief was an August 2012 co-production between Horse Trade Theater Group and The Fire This Time play festival. Her full-length drama Red Rooster was a part of The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Future Classics reading series. 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.

 

The Public EWG 2008 Group

Emerging Writers Group Spotlight Series 2008

Was on Monday, April 13 

AMERICAN MYTH 
Written by CHRISTINA GORMAN 
Directed by MARK BROKAW 

Dr. Douglas Graham, best-selling author, beloved professor, and American history scholar, is accused by a former student of lying in the classroom about his participation in and around the Vietnam War. The play explores the line between personal and professional ethics, the difference between truth and history, and the myth of what makes a "great man." 

Was on Wednesday, April 15 
THE RIVER NUN
 
Written by CHRIS CRAGIN 
Directed by TEA ALAGIC 

It is the day of the yearly masquerade in a small village in the Niger Delta: Lysa sits alone in her fishing boat, determined to catch fish, but the loud rumble of gas flaring and the toxic fumes from the oil-polluted river have left the water barren. Led by Lysa, the women of the village must decide if they can finally stand up to the oil giant Elayone, shut down its operations, and restore the health of their river. 

Was on Monday, April 20 
LUTHER 
Written by ETHAN LIPTON 
Directed by LEIGH SILVERMAN 

Like a lot of people these days, Walter and Marjorie have adopted an abandoned veteran of war. Sadly, that was the last good decision they made. Luther is a tragic comedy about the bonds of family and the price of violence. 

Was on Thursday, April 30 
I STAND CORRECTED 
Written by AKIN SALAWU 
Director: DAVID ESBJORNSON 
While in rehab, a paralyzed 9/11 fireman, an Iraq Vet amputee, an aneurysm survivor, and a hate crime victim learn to fall seven times but get up eight. 

Was on Monday, May 4 
RED FLAMBOYANT 
Written by DON NGUYEN 
Directed by JOANNA SETTLE 

In the midst of starting the first support group for women living with HIV/AIDS in Vietnam, Mrs. Hue struggles to mediate the conflicting personalities of the spirited women that have joined. But just as the women are learning to live together in relative peace, money and medicine begin to run out. To fight for the group's survival, Mrs. Hue has no choice but to venture out into the very world that has shunned them. 

Was on Monday, May 11 
THE OCTOBER CRISIS (TO LAURA) 
Written by ALEJANDRO MORALES 
Director: KEN RUS SCHMOLL

1962.  On the eve of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a mysterious telegram and an old song send singer Marguerite Stone back to her fated 1945 debut in a Havana nightclub where she changed her name, left her old life behind, and became a star.  As an uncertain future looms over the world, Marguerite must reconcile the two parts of herself that have been at war with each other for years.  

Was on Monday, May 18 
INDIO 
Written by ALADDIN ULLAH 
Directed by HAL BROOKS 

When comedian Aladdin reaches a crossroads in his career, he discovers the journey of his father who left Bangladesh in the 1940's to pursue his "American Dream" in Spanish Harlem of all places! His father's misadventures in the land of opportunity are juxtaposed with Aladdin's own perspective as a funny man of both Eastern and Western descent. 

Was on Monday, June 1 
RED ROOSTER
 
Written by PIA WILSON 
Directed by LIESL TOMMY 

Joyce, a Hurricane Katrina refugee from New Orleans' Ninth Ward, is living in New Jersey with an elderly man named George. Joyce and George have an agreement: she'll take care of him, and he'll eventually sign his home over to her as payment. All is going well for George and Joyce, until George's son comes home and wants the house. 

Was on Monday, June 8 
S/HE
 
Written by NICK HADIKWA MWALUKO 
Directed by NIEGEL SMITH 

Sam, an African-American anatomical female, needs to become a man to feel complete. S/he comes through the operation only to find that the world won't transition with him. 

Was on Monday, June 15 
NANNYLAND 
Written by RADHA BLANK 
Director: KAMILAH FORBES

Welcome to Paradise Cove, an exclusive, all-inclusive family resort in the Caribbean where mommies and daddies can escape their worries and leave with the perfect souvenir: a Paradise Cove Child Care Specialist. 

Was on Monday, June 22 
MISSION
 
Written by RAúL CASTILLO 
Director: TLALOC RIVAS

A New York City woman, after losing her lover to a freak bus accident and learning that she is pregnant with his child, decides to visit his estranged family in South Texas in an effort to learn more about his shadowy past. 

Was on Monday, June 29 
IN THE CROSSING
 
Written by LEILA BUCK 
Directed by SHANA GOLD 

Leila, a Lebanese-American writer-performer, was caught in Lebanon with her Jewish husband during the Israeli-Hezbollah war of 2006. As she attempts to portray the many voices of their experience, Leila begins to realize that the most treacherous journey of all is the act of telling her story.

ABOUT THE EMERGING WRITERS GROUP

The Emerging Writers Group is a component of The Public Writers Initiative, a long-term program that provides key support and resources for writers at every stage of their careers. It creates a fertile community and fosters a web of supportive artistic relationships across generations. Time Warner is the Founding Sponsor of the Emerging Writers Group, and provides continued program support through the Time Warner Foundation.

Writers are selected bi-annually and receive a two-year fellowship at The Public which includes a stipend. Staged readings of works by Emerging Writers Group members are presented in the Spotlight Series at The Public. The playwrights also participate in a bi-weekly writers group led by The Public’s literary department and master classes led by established playwrights. Additionally, they have a chance to observe rehearsals for productions at The Public, receive career development advice from mid-career and established writers, and receive artistic and professional support from the literary department and Public artistic staff. Members of the group also receive complimentary tickets to Public Theater shows, invited dress rehearsals, and other special events, as well as a supplemental stipend for tickets to productions at other theaters.

The Emerging Writers Group is a component of The Public Writers Initiative, a long-term program that provides key support and resources for writers at every stage of their careers. It creates a fertile community and fosters a web of supportive artistic relationships across generations.