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Emerging Writers Group

The Emerging Writers Group is a fellowship at The Public Theater for playwrights and other generative artists at the early stages of their professional careers. For over 15 years, EWG has brought artists together to create and develop their work in conversation with their peers and The Public Theater community. EWG is a cornerstone of The Public’s mission to celebrate and support new generations of storytellers. 

EWG members are selected bi-annually and receive a two-year fellowship at The Public, which consists of bi-weekly meetings where cohort members share new work in progress. We also offer special sessions that connect EWG-ers to the wider theatrical community, including industry panels, "speed-dating" with directors, financial advice, master classes from professional playwrights and more. At the end of the fellowship, The Public presents the EWG Spotlight Series, a festival of professionally produced readings for members of the industry and the general public. Other program benefits include:

  • A $10,000 stipend 
  • $1,000 in reimbursable funds for buying tickets to shows outside The Public 
  • Complimentary tickets to Public Theater productions, workshops, special events and Joe's Pub performances. 
  • Professional headshots
  • Opportunities to observe the rehearsal processes of Public Theater shows


Applications for the 2023-2025 Emerging Writers Group cohort are now open. Learn more on how to apply


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Nissy Aya (she/ze/we) is a Black girl from the Bronx. She and all her younger selves tell stories and tall tales. While helping others do the same. They lead workshops, too. As a facilitator and cultural worker, we believe in the transformative nature of storytelling, placing those most affected by oppressive systems in the center, and examining how we move forward through healing justice and afrofuturist frameworks. Our creative work reflects those notions while exploring the lines between history and memory, detailing both the absence and presence of love, and giving all the life (and then some *three snaps*) to Black Femmes. Nissy’s work has been developed with the support of The Lark, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Pipeline Theatre, Lambda Literary, The Hearth, and New York Stage and Film. Nissy is a Brigade member with Brown Girl Recovery and core facilitator with artEquity. 

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Aya Aziz (she/her) is a writer, performer, and music producer from New York. Her musical Eh Dah? Questions for my Father, for which she wrote book, music, and lyrics, produced a sold-out run in New York Theatre Workshop’s 2019 “Next Door” series. An earlier iteration of the show, then a one-woman musical, ran at the New York Musical Festival (NYMF) in 2016, where it won awards for Most Outstanding Book and Most Outstanding Individual Performance. Aziz is a 2020 NYFA grant recipient and is currently working on her album. Notable concert credits include Signature Theatre, Cherry Lane, NAMT, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Joe’s Pub, NYMF, and Disney's Women of Broadway. Aziz has also made music for film, most recently Ask for Jane (2019 winner of Best Feature at the Big Apple Film Festival). You can listen to her single “Rapids” on all streaming platforms. 



Francisca De Silveira (she/her) is a Cape Verdean-American playwright and dramaturg. She received a BFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and a MSc in Playwriting from the University of Edinburgh. In 2018, she made ArtsBoston's list of 10 Contemporary Black Playwrights You Should Know. She has been a finalist for SpeakEasy Stage’s 2018 and 2019 Boston Project Residency and SPACE on Ryder Farm’s 2020 Creative Residency, and was a semi-finalist for the Dennis & Victoria Ross 2018 Playwrights Program, Papatango's 2019 New Play Prize, and Theatre503’s 2019 International Playwriting Award. Her work has also been developed with the Traverse Theatre Scotland, Fresh Ink Theatre, Flat Earth Theatre, The Fire This Time Festival, and Company One Theatre, where she was previously a company dramaturg and Literary Manager. She is currently the Assistant Literary Director at Geva Theatre Centre in Rochester and serves as an At-Large Ambassador with the National New Play Network.

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Katie Do (she/her) is a Vietnamese-American writer and actor. Her plays include love you long time (already)The Yellow Ranger Play, and Manic. She is currently a member of The Public’s Emerging Writers Group (2020-2022). Do was also a finalist for the Greenhouse Residency at SPACE on Ryder Farm (2020 & 2021). She is a graduate from Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts with a BFA in Acting. Acting credits include: To All the Boys I Loved Before 3, “Manifest,” “Mrs. Fletcher,” and The God Committee

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UGBA (he/they) is a Black/queer poet, actor, and activist based out of Brooklyn, NY.  His essays and poetry can be found in The Rumpus, The Root, Afropunk, Black Youth Project, The Grio, and elsewhere. In the summer of 2018, UGBA debuted his one-man show Neptune as the headliner for Dixon Place's annual “Hot Festival.” Following rave reviews and sold-out performances, Neptune was then restaged as the 2019 kick-off event for Brooklyn Museum’s acclaimed “1st Saturday" series. UGBA is an alumnus of The Public Theater’s #BARS program, the brainchild of actors/writers Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal. UGBA is the Senior Editor at RaceBaitr.com, Program Director at NY Writers Coalition, and is represented by Abrams Artist Agency for Acting.



Ying Ying Li (she/her) is a writer and performer. Her plays include Dance Moms (semi-finalist for the 2020 Premiere Play Festival, The Tank Writers Group), mh, Nectarine Girl, Mimi and Derrick on the Highline, Doctor Mao, and Baskin Robbins at a Mall. Her work has been developed or seen at The Tank, Rule of 7x7, Decent Theatre, Yes Noise, The Brick, and on the High Line. As a performer, her theater credits include: Usual Girls (Signature Theatre/Columbia University MFA Workshop), Incident at Hidden Temple (Pan Asian, Off-Broadway), and i wrote on ur wall and now i regret it (Wild Project). Selected television and feature film appearances: Marvel’s “Iron Fist,” Steven Soderbergh’s “The Knick” (seasons 1-2), and a co-leading role in Vladan Nikolic’s Allure. Her humor writing and videos have appeared in publications such as the New York Times, BuzzFeed, Wired, MSN, Lifehacker, Men’s Health, and Mental Floss.



Julián Mesri (he/him) is a New York-based Argentinean-American writer and composer who makes multilingual plays and musicals in the U.S. and around the world. Recent productions include Immersion (Ingenio Festival at Milagro Theater, BAPF Semi-Finalist), The Gauchos Americanos (Teatro Extranjero, Buenos Aires), and the upcoming musical Telo. Other work includes music directing/arranging Songs About Trains with Radical Evolution, composing music for The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit presentation of Pablo Neruda’s Romeo y Julieta, and a new commissioned musical for young audiences, The Adventures of Snow White, to tour China in 2021. Mesri has been an Emerging Artist of Color Fellow at NYTW, a Van Lier fellow at Repertorio Español, and the recipient of an ASCAP Scholarship. His adaptation of Fuenteovejuna received the HOLA Outstanding Production award. As a translator, he has worked for both the Lark U.S./Mexico Exchange and PEN World Voices. He received his MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University and is a 2020 Sokoloff Arts Creative Fellow.

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AriDy Nox (she/they) is a multi-disciplinary black femme storyteller and social activist with a variety of forward-thinking creative works under her/their belt including the sci-fi operetta Project Tiresias (2018), the ancestral reckoning play A Walless Church (2019), the afrofuturist ecopocalypse musical Metropolis  (2019), and many othersNox creates out of the vehement belief that creating a future in which marginalized peoples are free requires a radical imagination. Their tales are offerings intended to function as small parts of an ancient, expansive, awe-inspiring tradition of world-shaping, created by and for black femmes. As a graduate of the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at Tisch School of the Performing Arts at NYU and a beneficiary of the Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater, she has been inordinately privileged to share the workings of her imagination among a vast array of inspiring and supportive artists of various radical backgrounds throughout the city. 

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Else Went (they/she) is a trans identified playwright, whose work has been developed through: fellowships at The MacDowell Colony, Playwrights Realm, Trans Theatre Lab @ WP & The Public, and Living Room Theatre; commissions from Weston Playhouse, Florida Studio Theatre, and Parity Productions; residencies from Stillwright and Barn Arts Collective; and productions with The Tank and The Brick. Their queer epic Initiative was made a semifinalist in the '20 O'Neill Conference, and their verse play Courage! To the Field! was a semifinalist for the Shakespeare's New Contemporaries project at ASC. Their writing has been anthologized in The Dionysian, Vivace, and Written on the Body. Else is co-founder and playwright of The Renovationists, and also serves variously as a sound designer.