PROJECT Y THEATRE PRESENTS

THE 7TH ANNUAL

WOMEN IN THEATRE

FESTIVAL

All Hands On Deck Opening June 26th, 2022

Hybrid 2-Handers and The Monologue Slam Performed and recorded at A.R.T./New York Theatres January 3-9, 2022

View Hybrid 2-Handers and The Monologue Slam with your
On Demand Streaming Pass Available February 4th-March 18th
*All streaming pass holders can join us for the Opening On-Line February 4th at 7pm followed by an in-the-Zoom-Room audience talkback with the artists.

The Women in Theatre Festival seeks to broaden the opportunities for women in the entertainment industry by producing new work by women with more than 50% female representation of all artists involved.

PRESS

Featured in The New York Times!

From the article:

For its seventh iteration, the Women in Theatre Festival gave the following instructions to the five female playwrights it commissioned: Create a two-hander that an audience could enjoy both in person and online.

Unfortunately, this year’s in-person performances were canceled because of the spread of the Omicron variant, but thanks to the festival’s directive to produce hybrid plays, its lineup could shift seamlessly to a virtual setting — from “Rigged” by Georgina Escobar and “#GirlPowerHour” by Kaaron Briscoe, which feature regular people seeking connection on digital mediums, to Amina Henry’s “Blackbox,” in which two actors must remember how to be onstage again. Eliza Bent’s “In Service of Memory” examines how forgetting can feel like medicine. And in the moving “Middle C” by Erin Mallon, a piano teacher comes to terms with how much she has learned from her favorite student.

These short works, along with a series of monologues, will be available on demand through March 18; go to eventcombo.com and search for “Women in Theatre Festival 2022.” Streaming passes, which cost $25, grant a week’s access.

- JOSE SOLÍS

Read the full write-up on NYTimes.com

FEATURING

The ALL HANDS ON DECK series is a play festival that shares 4 new works by Female Playwrights of the African Diaspora.
A new digital musical! Welcome to CLOSE (BUT NOT TOO CLOSE!) a website designed for people who want to meet that special someone, but aren't really ready for an in-person relationship.
Embracing the new era of theatre-making, Project Y has commissioned 5 talented women playwrights to create short plays for a hybrid theatre.
An enthralling evening of monologues written by women playwrights.
A selective playwrights' workshop that grows out of the need to recognize and support parent/caregiver playwrights during an incredibly challenging time.
ABOUT THE SERIES

ALL HANDS ON DECK 

 

The ALL HANDS ON DECK series is back with a new session! The festival shares new works by Female Playwrights of the African Diaspora.  Featuring work by award winning playwrights Julienne Hairston, Lisa Strum, Bleu Beckford-Burrell, and up-and-comer Mahalet Tegenu, the short plays are directed by Celestine Rae and Dennis Allen II. Conceived by Antu Yacob,  the series explores different perspectives of the Black experience in America. This session's theme is  "Lifestyles of the Strong & Black Female". What does it mean to be strong and Black and female in 2022? By whose standards? Join us as we explore.

 

Opening Sunday June 26th 7pm

 

Black Women: a Parable
By Bleu Beckford-Burrell
directed by Dennis Allen II
Grandma's got one hell of a story, for her Grand/daughter, dismantling what it means to be a strong Black woman.
Click to View

 

Muse
By Mahalet Tegenu
directed by Celestine Rae
A disillusioned Black ballerina is visited by the hostile ghost of George Balanchine, right before her principal debut at the New York City ballet.
Click to View

 

Candles and Cocoons
By Julienne Hairston
directed by Dennis Allen II
Marley and her sisters struggle between choosing individual fulfilment and keeping their family commitments as their parents age.
Click to View

 

An Actor Prepares
By Lisa Rosetta Strum
directed by Celestine Rae
An aspiring actress prepares for more than she bargains for when an audition forces her to question her own identity.
Click to View

BIOS

Antu Yacob was born in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia and raised in California and Minnesota. She is an actor, filmmaker, playwright and producer. Her film Love in Submission was part of the Full Spectrum Features’ collection: Our Right to Gaze: Black Film Identities. Independently the film screened in various festivals including New York African Film Festival, Women of the Lens (UK) and Black Muslim Girl Fly Festival (Honorable Mention). She is currently developing a pilot through The Fire This Time Festival’s New Works Lab. Her onscreen credits include Night Comes On, The Other Two, Daredevil, Gypsy, Law & Order: SVU, Brooklyn Park, Adieu Lacan and Signs of Aging. Her solo show In The Gray was featured in United Solo Theatre Festival and the Symposium on African Global Migration. Her plays have premiered at Kampala International Theatre Festival (Uganda), Project Y Theatre, Theatre167, Mile Square Theatre, and Tiny Barn Festival. Her stage credits include work with The Fire This Time Festival, American Slavery Project, Primary Stages, Crossroads Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Luna Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, Philadelphia Theatre Co, Mixed Blood Theatre, Pangea World Theatre and Pillsbury House Theatre. MFA: Acting, Rutgers University.

 


 

Julienne L. Hairston (Playwright) was born in Kenitra, Morocco. She lives and writes in New Rochelle, New York. She received her BA in Creative Writing from Hunter College, NY. She was selected to participate in Hunter College’s inaugural MFA in Playwriting with Tony Nominated Playwright Tina Howe. She has written for Our Men Productions and The Mission Herald. Her plays have been featured in Hunter’s Playwrights festival; Project Y’s Racey Play Festival; Obie award winning The Fire This Time Festival (season six); Project Y’s Techno Plays; Project Y’s Parity Plays; NY Indie Theater Annual oneminute Play Festival; Project Y’s Women in Theater Festival; Madness Theater Ten Minute Festival. Julienne was a member of Project Y’s 2015-2017 Playwright Group. She was commissioned to write for WIT The Hrosthwitha Project 2017. She was a contributing member with Athena Writes 2017 fellowship. In 2018 She became a company member playwright with NYMadness. 2020 Tutti Bravi produced Little Rock of the North. Julienne is an Associate Producer with TFTT.

 


 

Lisa Strum (Playwright) most recently starred in Skeleton Crew at Bristol Riverside Theatre. Other credits: Lines in the Dust directed by Awoye Timpo; FENCES with the REP;PIPELINE at Detroit Public Theatre; SWEAT at People’s Light. Her solo play, She Gon' Learn had sold out performances at United Solo Festival on Theatre Row, and received a Best Solo Show Award.  She directed BALTIMORE for Ramapo College (Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Award). At Five Towns College, she directed Flyin’ West, SWEAT, and For Colored Girls (Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Award Nomination and Winner). She directed FALL at Ensemble Studio Theatre and was one of the director’s for All Hands On Deck 2020. Awards: Finalist: Doric Wilson Playwright Award; Recipient of the Djerassi Resident Artists Playwriting Program; Nominated for a New York Innovative Theatre Award; Broadway World Best Actress Award for FENCES. In 2022 Lisa will direct BLKS by Aziza Barnes at the University of Iowa, and will premiere her new short play, By the Way… with the Obie Award Winning Fire This Time Festival.

 


 

Mahalet Tegenu (Playwright) is a Senior at New York University Tisch School of the Arts studying Dramatic Writing. Hailing from suburbs outside of Philadelphia, the first generation Ethiopian-American writer has experience working in a series of academic and professional projects. This past spring, her one-act play Clouded Reflections was produced for the Uproar Theatre Corps Black Artists Festival. Mahalet is interested in examining her nuanced experience as an Ethiopian American through the lens of comedy in screen, television, and playwriting. In the past few years she has directed numerous plays for the Broke People Play Festival, her favorite being a full-length farce play exploring dating and race relations. Mahalet is in the process of developing a half-hour fish out of water comedy series based on her hometown: the mushroom capital of the world. A passionate advocate of intersectional feminism, some of her favorite authors include Jamaica Kincaid and Audre Lorde. Mahalet is currently working as a remote Film & TV development intern at Amplify Pictures: an Emmy and Golden Globe award winning production company in Los Angeles. In her free time, Mahalet can be found drinking coffee at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, binge watching episodes of Chopped or learning dances in her apartment.

 


 

Bleu Beckford-Burrell (Playwright) is a first-generation Jamaican-American actor/playwright. Born and raised in New York City, she works for non-profit organizations where she teaches acting to teens, as well as write and direct plays. Her plays include: P.S.365 (2019 O’Neill Finalist) showcased at EST (Youngblood Workshop Series) and The National Black Theatre (Keep the Soul Alive reading series). Lyons Pride (2020 Burman New Play Award Finalist, 2019 The Kilroy’s Honorable Mention, and Yale Drama Series Award Runner-up, 2018 BAPF, Princess Grace Award Finalist) showcased at Playwrights Realm (Ink’d Festival of New Plays) and EST (Bloodwork Reading Series). La Race (2020 Normal Ave Finalist and Theatre503 International Playwright Award, O’Neill, BAPF, 2021 Princess Grace Semi-finalist) and Page73 (Fall 2022 Production). She is Page73 Fellow (2021), The Playwrights Realm Fellow (2018), PWC New Voices Fellowship (2018, Finalist), NYTW/2050 Fellowship (2019, Finalist) as well as an I73 playwright (2020), Colt Coeur resident (2021), PWC Core Writer (2020, Finalist), WP Lab (2020, Finalist), Working Farm (2019, Semi-Finalist), et cet. She received the 2020 Playwrights Horizons, Jody Falco & Jeffrey Steinman Commission for Emerging Playwrights, 2021 South Coast Repertory, Elizabeth George Emerging Writer Commission and 2022 Keen Company, Keen Teens Commission. M.F.A. Rutgers University. BleuBeckford.com

 


 

Dennis A. Allen II (Director) is from Hempstead, New York. A published and award winning playwright, he is a recipient of Atlantic Theater Company's inaugural Launch Commission; National Black Theatre of Harlem's, I Am Soul Playwright Residency and Clubbed Thumb's Early Career Writer's Group.  As a Director Dennis has worked with; The Fire This Time Festival, Keen Company, Theater Masters, Poetic Theater Productions, JAG fest, Playwrights Horizons and The Public Theater.  He is an associate professor at LaGuardia Community College, Montclair State University and is a faculty member at Primary Stage's Einhorn School of Performing Arts. Dennis received his MFA from Brooklyn College's Playwriting program and will be taking over as its Program Coordinator this spring. 

 

 


 

Celestine Rae (Director) is a Philadelphia born director, actress, and dancer. She is a graduate of The William Esper Studio where she studied under Terry Knickerbocker. Her performing career began as a modern dancer in her hometown of Philadelphia where her training in various forms of dance grew into a passion for acting. Most recent director credits: In the Grey by Antu Yacob (United Solo Festival), The Rebellious Rhymes of J-Nice by Nsangou Njikam (Theatre Row), Velvet Rope (Gene Frankel Theatre), and a private zoom production of Twiglight 1992 by Anna Deveare Smith (Terry Knickerbocker Studio). She has also directed for Queensborough Community College.  Most recent acting NYC theater credits include In the Parlour, (National Black Theatre), Manhood (National Black Theatre), The Minstrel Show (Classic Stage Company), Plenty of Time (The Billie Holiday Theatre), All American Girls (Actors Temple Theatre) Regional: From the Author Of (Resident Ensemble Players, Delaware). She has also worked with Premier Stages, Abingdon Theatre Company, LaMaMa, NJ Rep, New Dramatists, NYMadness, American Slavery Project, and the Obie Award Winning 48 Hours in Harlem. Most recent TV & Film credits include The Blacklist (NBC), Boardwalk Empire (HBO), The Mysteries of Laura (NBC), Law & Order SVU (NBC), Eye Candy (MTV), Forever (ABC) and A Brother’s Honor (Passionflix).  www.celestine-rae.com

 

 


 

Al-nisa Petty is an actor and voiceover artist from Newark, New Jersey. New York: Kin (WP Theater), On Strivers Row (Metropolitan Playhouse), Twelfth Night (The Acting Company). Regional: A Raisin in the Sun (TheatreWorks Colorado Springs), School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play (Berkeley Rep), and SLUT, The Play (NJPAC). Al-nisa studied at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, and received a BFA in Acting from Rutgers University. She is also a teaching artist with Naked Angels and Culture for One.

 

 

 


 

Bob Jaffe: Theater: Under the Radar/Public Theatre; Ensemble Studio Theatre; Queens Theater; Ars Nova; Berkshire Theatre Festival; the cell; HERE; JACK; WHAT; Theater for a New City; La MaMa E.T.C.; The Brick; Amios; FringeNYC; Trinity Rep; Providence Black Rep; Perishable Theatre; others. Film/TV: FBI; Tonight Show (viral video with Brad Pitt & Jimmy Fallon); Brotherhood; Law & Order: SVU; Time After Time; Sweetbitter; many films. Member: Ensemble Studio Theatre. Agents: U-Shin Kim/Chiara Licciardello at UGA Talent.

 

 

 

 


 

Gillian Glasco is a native of North Little Rock, Arkansas. She received her B.F.A in Acting from Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York. She has performed in a variety of theatrical, film, and television productions. Most recently she has guest-starred on Bull, FBI: Most Wanted, Blue Bloods, and City on a Hill. SAG-AFTRA, AEA. @glasco.gillian

 

 

 


 

Starr Kirkland is so happy to return to Project Y after a great run of the Hybrid Two-Handers and Monologue Slam! Credits include Anthem Award Winner Black Feminist Video Game (59E59, Center Theatre Group, Oregon Shakespeare Festival), New York Times Critics' Picks Zoetrope (Exquisite Corpse Company) and TJ Loves Sally 4 Ever (JACK), of the woman came the beginning of sin and through her we all die (Normal Ave), and HOTTENTOTTED (The Tank)www.starrkirkland.com

 

 

 


 

Lynda Gravátt is a native of Harlem, New York. While perhaps best known as an award-winning Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regional, and TV/Film actor, she is also a dedicated educator and director. Ms. Gravátt is a founding faculty member of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC, where she returned to direct the all-school musicals Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope; The Wiz; and Dreamgirls, with a special guest performance by Jennifer Holliday. She has been on the faculty of both Rutgers University and Howard University. For Crossroads, directing credits include After the Fall (2010); for the Genesis Festival, she directed A Dash of Diva with Sarah Dash, and My One Good Nerve with Ruby Dee. In addition to three AUDELCO Awards for performance, Ms. Gravátt is proud to have received the 2021 AUDELCO Pioneer Award. Other awards, nominations, and distinctions include the Distinguished Alumni award from Howard University; a Drama League nomination for her role as Faye in the Atlantic Theatre production of Skeleton Crew; and the Connecticut Critics’ Circle Award for A Raisin in the Sun at Hartford Stage.

 

 


 

 Ashley Nicole Baptiste is a proud graduate of Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts M.F.A Acting Program. Professional credits include:  When Day Comes, Crossroads Theatre Company; Seven Guitars, Artists Repertory Theater; Jitney, Portland Playhouse; Hands Up, Red Door Projects; Television: Grimm, NBC, Notes From The Field, HBO and New Amsterdam, NBC. Play Reading: Strange Courtesies; African American Shakespeare Company. Ashley is the Associate Artistic Director of Jersey City Theater Center.

ABOUT THE SERIES

HYBRID 2-HANDERS

Embracing the new era of theatre-making, Project Y has commissioned 5 talented women playwrights to create short plays for a hybrid theatre.  Playwrights Eliza Bent, Kaaron Briscoe, Georgina Escobar, Amina Henry, and Erin Mallon were asked to write plays that invite in an audience of simultaneously streaming and in-person audiences.  The other requirement - that they be "2 Handers," which in theatre lingo means having a cast of just 2 actors.  Be the first to experience these new hybrid works, ranging from the serious to the comedic to the intense, all experimental as we take the lead in figuring out this brave new world of theatre in a post-pandemic city.

 

Blackbox, by Amina Henry.
The Cast: Starr Kirkland and Timiki Salinas.

 

#GirlPowerHour, by Kaaron Briscoe.
The Cast: Starr Kirkland and Natalie Nankervis.

 

Middle C, by Erin Mallon.
The Cast: Erin DeWard and Emily Ma.

 

Rigged, by Georgina Escobar.
The Cast: Joachim Boyle and Yadira De La Riva.

 

In Service of Memory, by Eliza Bent.
The Cast: Natalie Nankervis and Joachim Boyle.

 

Directed by Michole Biancosino & Andrew W. Smith
Set Design by Chen Wei Liao
Lighting Design by Leslie Smith
Video, Projection Design, Editing, and Media by Courtney Smith
Sound Design by Amit Prakash
Website by Christopher Ulloth
Stage Management by Sydney Rubinowicz
Media Assistant: Gibson Grimm
Production Assistant: Julianna Austin
Produced by Project Y Theatre Company

BIOS

Eliza Bent is a playwright and performer whose plays are indeed “bent,” meaning “different from normal; strongly inclined; changed from an originally straight condition.” Bentertainments include solo-ish works such as Karen, I Said, which the New York Times describe as “a wicked 45-minute satire on wokeness,Toilet Fire (Time Out New York Critics’ Pick), and Aloha, Aloha, or When I Was Queen. Bent’s plays include: Indeed, friend!, The Hotel Colors (L Magazine’s best of 2013); Adaptations: The Beyonce, (Payne Award for Excellence), She of the Voice; and Hybrid Affairs: (Real Talk / Kip Talk, Blue Wizard / Black Wizard (published by Sam French). Bent’s shows have been developed / workshopped / commissioned / produced at the Abrons Arts Center, Clubbed Thumb, the Bushwick Starr, the Goodman Theatre, JACK, the New Ohio, the Atlantic Theatre, and New York Theatre Workshop’s Next Door Series. Residencies include MacDowell, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace, New Georges, Target Margin, Casa Zia Lina, Pilot Balloon, Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, and Goodman Theatre’s Playwrights Unit. As an actor, Bent has performed in pint-sized New York theatres, regionally, and toured internationally with the performance ensemble Half Straddle. Bent was a senior editor at American Theatre magazine from 2006-2015. Bent’s writing has appeared in Time Out New York, the Village Voice, HEEB, the Brooklyn Rail, TDF’s online magazine Stages, Emergency INDEX, and ELLE. Bent has a BA in philosophy and an MFA in playwriting from Brooklyn College. She is Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Radio / Television / Film department at Northwestern University.

 


 

Georgina H. Escobar  is a queer Mexican playwright and maker of sci-femme narratives, ultra-humanistic mythos, and frontera-funk stories. She works textually and visually with plasticity, the impossible, and the Latin American perspective to create genre pieces with heart. Residencies include MacDowell, Djerassi, Fornés Workshop, and she is the recipient of the Darrell Ayers Playwriting Award from the Kennedy Center, and the Outstanding Service to Women on the Border Award from the sister cities El Paso/Juárez. Her work has been featured in the Kilroy’s List, 50PP, The Mix, and on print in The Texas Review, Lxs Bárbarxs, McSweeney’s, and New Passport Press; it also appears in “Scenes for Latinx Actors,” “Lighting The Way”, and “El Fuego: Fueling the American Theatre with Latinx Plays”,  and have been performed in México, US, UK, Sweden, Denmark, and Italy. Her plays include "Then they forgot about The Rest" (Off-Broadway INTAR),  "Sweep" (Lincoln Centers Director's Lab), "StoneHeart" (Kilroy's 2019), and "Ash Tree" (Darrel Ayers Award; ASSITEJ). Musicals include: "All Strings Considered" (book & lyrics, New York Children's Theatre), and "Little Duende" (book & lyrics, National Musical Theatre Conference at the O'Neill, NAMT). Artistic homes and presenters include INTAR, New York Children’s Theatre, Dixon Place, Clubbed Thumb, Lincoln Center, Bushwick Starr, Ancram Opera House, Two Rivers, Milagro, Aurora Theatre, and Marfa Live Arts. Escobar is represented by 3 Arts Entertainment in Los Angeles and is currently an Assistant Professor of Instruction at the University of Texas at El Paso.

 


 

Amina Henry is a Brooklyn-based playwright. Productions include: The Animals, Ducklings, Hunter John and Jane and The Johnsons, all at JACK (Brooklyn, NY), P.S. produced by Ars Nova (New York, NY), Little Rapes at Long Island University, Troy produced by HERO Theatre (Los Angeles, CA), The Great Novel produced by New Light Theater, Happily Ever at Brooklyn College, Bully produced by Interrobang Theater (Baltimore, MD), Clubbed Thumbs 2019 Winterworks, and SUNY Purchase, among other venues, An American Family Takes a Lover, produced by The Cell: a 21st Century Salon and presented by Theatre for the New City (New York, NY), Water and Rent Party produced by Drama of Works (Brooklyn, NY), Cindy and Sleeping Beauty produced by Project Y Theatre. Her work has been developed by/presented at: The New Group, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, The Flea, Page 73, Project Y Theatre, National Black Theater, Little Theater at Dixon Place, The Brooklyn Generator, The Brick, Oregon Shakespeare Festival in the 2013 Black Swan Lab Series (Ashland, OR), Kitchen Dog Theater (Dallas, TX), The Brick, HERE Arts Center, and The Cell: a 21st Century Salon, HERO Theatre. Her work has been featured on The Kilroys List. She has been a member of Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers Group, Page73’s writers group, and the 2017-2018 Ars Nova writers group. She was a 2017-2018 recipient of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Space Residency and is a 2018 recipient of a space residency at Dixon Place. She is a 2020 recipient of the Sarah Verdone Writing Award. She is an affiliate artist of New Georges. 

 


 

Erin Mallon is a playwright, author, and narrator of nearly 600 audiobooks. She is a six-time Earphones Award Winner and a five-time Audie Award Nominee. Her audio play These Walls Can Talk is a 2021 Independent Audiobook Award Winner for Humor. The Natural History Series is Erin’s debut trio of romantic comedy novels: Flirtasaurus, (July 2020) Lovebug, (February 2021) and Sharkbait (coming Spring 2022). Erin’s plays have been presented with Urban Stages, New Georges, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, The Collective, Cherry Picking, Great Plains Theater Conference, Samuel French #OOB Short Play Festival, Project Y Theater, Dreamcatcher Rep, Mile Square Theatre and more. Erin’s play Branched (dir. Robert Ross Parker) premiered with InViolet Theater at HERE Arts Center in NYC and is in print with Original Works Publishing. Her play, The Net Will Appearhad its Off-Broadway Premiere at 59E59 Theaters in NYC starring the great Richard Masur and is now available on Audible.com as an audio drama co-starring Matilda Lawler (Disney Plus’ Flora & Ulysses, Broadway’s The Ferryman). Erin’s Other full-length plays include: Good Riddance, Soft Animals, Hand Me Down, Stunning Displays of Prowess, Skin Hungry, The Other White Meat, Come Find Me and These Walls Can Talk 2: The Narwhal Strikes Back! Along with writer Bixby Elliot, Erin is the founder and co-curator of The Brooklyn Generator (a playwriting engine that creates “plays in less-than-30-days”). Currently, she is partnering with Blackstone Audio to bring Pale Blue Dot(s), an otherworldly play about an all-female astronaut team (with special appearances by Elon Musk and David Bowie) to audio. http://www.erinmallon.com

 


 

Kaaron Briscoe is a New Orleans native with an MFA from ART/MXAT/IATT at Harvard University. As a playwright, her work has been featured by Project Y, Classical Theater of Harlem, Inviolet Theater, and others. She is a former member of Project Y's Playwriting Group. Her play, “Tallahassee” was a semi-finalist for the 2020 O’Neill Playwright’s Conference. Kaaron is also an accomplished actor, having performed on stages in London and Moscow, as well as on screen. She often works with Little Lord Theater Company and the Working Theater. She has directed for various organizations. Including the Playwright’s Center in Minnesota. Kaaron was a 2015 fellow of Target Margin Theater's Institute and is a member of the 52nd Street Project. 

 


 

STAFF/CREATIVE

 

Andrew W. Smith (Director, Producer, Technical Director) is a professional Actor, Director, and Producer whose work has been seen throughout New York City, regionally, and internationally.  He is also a Co-Founding Artistic Director of award-winning Project Y Theatre Company in New York City.

 Selected regional acting work includes: Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Pittsburgh City Theatre, Quantum Theatre, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Roundhouse Theatre, Potomac Theatre Project, Ars Nova, Studio Theatre, and Olney Center for the Arts. He toured with The National Players on their 50th anniversary as Cyrano in Cyrano de Bergerac. Filmwork includes Lucid, Shooting Script, Death of a Nation (Winner:  Best Short, IndieFest 2011; Best in Show, Best Shorts Competition 2011), Under-Ground. Television work includes GONE, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, One Life to Live, As the World Turns, Guiding Light.

 With Project Y, he has received grants funding for work from New York State Council on the Arts, New York Department Cultural Affairs, Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, Brooklyn Arts Council, and The Puffin Foundation. Andrew is currently an Associate Professor of Acting at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama.  He is also graduate of the MFA Acting program at the University of California, San Diego, from which he received the Teaching Excellence Award upon graduation. www.smithandrewwilliam.com

 


 

Michole Biancosino (Director, Producer) is the Co-Founding Artistic Director of Project Y Theatre Company, where she has developed and directed new work in Washington, D.C., New York City and internationally over the past 22 years. With Project Y, she has led various professional productions, as producer, director, and writer.  Credits included the long-running shows, Trump Lear (co-created and directed) and the award-winning, formerly titled: Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet as performed by David Carl (co-created and directed), both of which toured regionally and performed at Edinburgh Fringe, as co-productions with Richard Jordan Productions (UK), The Pleasance, and Underbelly.  She directs solo artist Peter Michael Marino’s long-running solo shows, Show Up Kids! now running in Spanish- and Japanese-language versions.  Her most recent ventures in digital theatre-making and hybrid theatre can be seen at tinybarntheatre.com. Other work includes both the digital and on-stage versions of the Infallible Award-winner PLANET OF THE GRAPES LIVE FROM NYC (Zoo Venues, Edinburgh 2021) and the cosmic raga opera, Waves of Gravity with Neel Murgai (LaMama CultureHub). Recipient: SDC Gielgud Fellowship for classical directing.  Her work has been supported by grants from The Puffin Foundation, ART/NY, NY Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), The Dramatists Guild, and New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). She holds an MFA in Directing from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts. She is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Middlebury College. For more information: www.micholebiancosino.com

 


 

Courtney Smith (Video, Projection Design, Editing, and Media) (he/him) is a scenic, media designer, and technician for live performance. He is currently the Production Designer for the Department of Theatre at Middlebury College and the Production/Company Manager for PTP/NYC. Courtney’s designs have received several Meritorious Achievement Awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Additionally, his work received a “Distinguished Achievement Award in Scenic Design” from the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

Credits include Potomac Theatre Project (NY), Project Y Theatre Co. (hybrid), Warren Miller Performing Arts Center (MT), Southwark Playhouse (UK), The Bushwick Starr (NY), Roundabout Theatre Company (NY), New York City Opera (NY), Playwrights Horizons (NY), Classic Stage Company (NY), Cedar Lake Dance (NY), Marvel Repertory Theatre (NY), Mount Baker Repertory Theatre (WA), Montana Shakespeare in the Parks (MT), Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre (ID), and Idaho Repertory Theatre (ID).

 

 


 

Chen-Wei Liao (Set Design) is a New York City based scenic designer originating from Taipei, Taiwan. She has diverse experiences in theater, film and exhibition both in Taiwan and the United States. Growing up in a bilingual and multicultural environment, she is interested in observing and creating the connection between people, stories and space. She is also a proud alumni of National Taiwan University and Carnegie Mellon University. 

Her selected New York City theatre credits include the world premiere of ISLANDS OF CONTENTMENT, produced by The Tank and The Hypokrit Theatre Company; WATER OF OBLIVION, Produced by Mitu Theatre; EVERYBODY, produced by Fordham University. Her project NOWHERE NYC, in the 1MOVE : DES19NED BY ..., produced by The Movement Theatre Company, is nominated by the 2021 THE DRAMA LEAGUE for Outstanding Digital Theatre, Collection or Festival. 

 

 


 

Leslie Smith (Lighting Design) is a New York City based lighting designer working primarily in theatre and dance. She regularly designs with Pan Asian Repertory, Post Theatre Company, and is the resident lighting designer for Nunnbetter Dance Theatre. Leslie has also collaborated as associate lighting designer at Manhattan Theatre Club, Lincoln Center Theatre, Pearl Theatre Co., and National Yiddish Theatre Folksbeine; and toured internationally with Imago Theatre.

In addition to live performance, Leslie often designs for flagship window displays, including Ralph Lauren, and assisted with Tiffany and Co. She teaches lighting design and stagecraft at The Juilliard School Dance Division, where she has been adjunct faculty at Juilliard since 2017, and is now designing for dance in the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre.

Leslie earned her B.A. in English from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR; and her M.F.A in Design for Stage and Film from NYU Tisch School of the Arts in 2014. There she received the J.S. Seidman Award for Design Excellence and the Oliver Smith Scholarship.

www.lesliesmithdesign.com

 


 

ACTORS

 

Joachim Boyle (Rigged, In Service of Memory) was born and raised in Oak Park, IL. He studied theater in Indiana and New Jersey before moving to New York City. He is the proud father of two boys, runs a hot dog shop, and is so happy to be reunited with Project Y.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 


 

Yadira De La Riva (Rigged) is a theater artist from El Paso, Texas/Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Alumna of UCSC and NYU, Yadira wrote, performed and produced One Journey, a one-woman show exploring US/Mexico border identity that toured throughout the U.S. and along the U.S./Mexico border. Her recent credits include: Nero (Virtual), Carla's Quince (Virtual-Drama League Award Nominated), LINES (Theatre LILA), Zoongoro Bailongo (New York Children’s Theater), Papo’s Variety Store (LATEA Theater), La Negra (BRIC), Noche de Alebrijes (Art Vallarta) and Alonzo (2019 New York Latino Film Festival). www.yadiradelariva.com

 


 

Erin deWard (Middle C) is an Audie Award winning audiobook narrator and a classically trained stage actor. She is a long-time company member of The Strange Bedfellows, a Rockland County, NY based Shakespeare company and has been an assistant director and director for The Children’s Shakespeare Theatre in Rockland County, NY. Erin has been working in the field of Audio Description (media accessibility for people who are blind) as a writer, voice talent, director, advocate, and trainer for over a decade. She has acted in and directed English Language dubs and is a proud and grateful member of SAG/AFTRA.

 


 

Starr Kirkland (Blackbox, #GirlPowerHour) is an actor and spoken word artist.  She is so happy to return to Project Y Theatre where you may have seen her as Cindy in Cindy by Amina Henry! Recent credits include Zoetrope (Exquisite Corpse), Black Feminist Video Game (The Civilians), TJ Loves Sally 4 Ever (JACK).  In a topsy-turvy world you can often find them upside down: whether it be in a silk, walking on her hands, or generally being strange in a corner. www.starrkirkland.com

 

 


 

Emily Ma (Middle C) is an actor born and raised in New York City and a recent graduate of Middlebury College. Acting credits include Julius Caesar (Cassius), One Flea Spare (Morse), and American Idiot (Whatsername). This summer, she co-starred in a "cult-comedy" web-series called The Deli People and composed original music for the show. After completing a literary internship at the Manhattan Theatre Club in December, she will be spending this month auditioning for MFA acting programs.

 


 

Natalie Nankervis (#GirlPowerHower, In Service of Memory) recently graduated from Carnegie Mellon University where she was the recipient of the John Arthur Kennedy Award for excellence in acting. She is thrilled to be back with Project Y after performing in the zoom play "The One & Only Amanda Palmer" and interning for their 2019 Women in Theatre Festival. She was also the co-president of the Wellness Advocate Committee at CMU and is passionately involved in the domestic violence awareness and prevention organization No More. Follow her on instagram @nkervis and visit her website natalienankervis.com to learn more.

 

 


Timiki Salinas (Blackbox) (he/they) is excited to be working with Project Y once again. They are a co-founder of The Bellwether Project who have produced work at Project Y’s WiT Fest, Ars Nova’s ANT Fest, and Fools Fury’s Fury Factory. Theatre credits include Cindy (Project Y), Cymbeline, Much Ado About Nothing, Into the Woods (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival), (trans)formada (Repertorio Español), Pop Punk High (Le Poisson Rouge). TV: “And Just Like That”, “Search Party”, “Dickinson”. BFA - Carnegie Mellon University.

ABOUT THE MUSICAL

 

Close (But Not Too Close!) has been accepted in the New York Indie Theatre Film Festival  #NYCITFF

 

If you want to join us at the New Ohio theatre for the in-person screening, we are in the A PERFORMER'S LIFE block - Saturday February 12th 6pm

 

You can also buy a Streaming Ticket to see the show from your device.

 

Congratulations to the whole artistic team that created this totally unique new digital musical:  Paloma Sierra, Dusty Sanders, Julia Koyfman, Michole Biancosino, Andrew W. Smith, Neel Murgai, Christopher Ulloth, Courtney Smith, Iris Beaumier, Kevin R. Free, Robyne Parrish and Nathan Salstone!

 

Women in Theatre Festival presents:
CLOSE (But Not Too Close!) a digital musical premiere
Running time 25 minutes

 

Book by Paloma Sierra
Lyrics by Julia Koyfman
Compositions by Dusty Sanders
Co-Directed by Michole Biancosino & Andrew W. Smith

 

Welcome to CLOSE (BUT NOT TOO CLOSE!) a website designed for people who want to meet that special someone, but aren't really ready for an in-person relationship.

 

Computer savvy scammer, Alex, catfishes an unsuspecting introvert, Louis, who is trying out online dating for his first time. Alex sets up a double date where she can figure out his credit card information. She brings along her Uncle Leslie as wingman and Louis brings his friend, Ellie, who can't bother to put on clothes for a digital date. Technical difficulties arise - as they always do in chat boxes - allowing Alex to learn Louis' wildest hopes and dreams.

 

This funny new musical is co-directed by Project Y Co-Artistic Directors, Michole Biancosino and Andrew W. Smith. Digital Sound Mix by Neel Murgai (of Brooklyn Raga Massive). Digital Media and Video Editing by Courtney Smith. Graphic Design and Website by Christopher Ulloth.

 

Featuring: Kevin R. Free, Iris Beaumier, Nathan Salstone, and Robyne Parrish.

 

BIOS

Nathan Salstone is an Actor/Singer/Songwriter in NYC. Credits include the Original Broadway Cast of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Rags at the Goodspeed Opera House, and most recently the postponed world premiere of Knoxville at Asolo Repertory Theater. Carnegie Mellon University 2017.

 

 

 


 

Kevin R. Free is so excited to work with Project Y again! OFF-BROADWAY: The Best of Theatreworks (Working Theatre); CasablancaBox (HERE; Drama Desk Nominee, Unique Theatrical Experience); Greenwich Village Follies (Manhattan Theatre Source); From My Hometown (AMAS; Audelco Award Nominee); Taking A Chance on Love (York Theatre); The Conjure Man Dies (New Federal Theatre). TV/Film/Web:  Gemma & The Bear!; Jack in The Box; The Building; The Reparations Show; Eighth Grade; Jessica Jones; Blindspot;  Law & Order: SVU; Cyberchase; Several Commercials. Voiceover: Welcome to Night Vale; Moth Radio Hour; Narrator of hundreds of audio books. www.kevinrfree.com, Twitter: @kevinrfree

 


 

Robyne Parrish is honored to work on this delightful piece. Most recently seen virtually in the rolling world premiere of BD Wong’s The 3 Karen’s with Weathervane Theatre and OOTB NYC and Tartuffe with the Pittsburgh Public Theatres Playtime. In 2019: The Giant Hoax Off Broadway with Indieworks at Theatre Row, Matilda at Virginia Stage, The Next Fairy Tale at Pittsburgh CLO and I Love You, You’re Perfect… Sierra Rep. 

Off Broadway at the York Theatre, The Mint, and Off Off with Musicals Tonight!, Sonnet Rep and the NY Music Festival. She has worked across the country in regional theatres like The Arden, Virginia Stage, the Pittsburgh CLO, Theatre Raleigh, NJ Rep and the Public Theatre of Maine. An Addy award winning commercial actress; awarded best actress in the short film Vulnerability (which she co-wrote and produced) at PCIFF and starred opposite Richard Kind and Steve Guttenburg in the feature, Help Me, Help You. Currently producing/acting/writing in multiple short films/webseries in the NYC indie community (including the award winning Peri-Street) and is a regional stage director, an acting coach with Parrish and Co. and a playwright.
UNCSA alum with a BFA in theatre and attended grad school at Point Park University. Robyne has studied all over the country and abroad, including the Royal National in London and currently at the Russian Arts Theatre here in NYC. Member National Alliance of Acting Teachers. AEA and SAG-AFTRA. Grateful to Project Y for this wonderful opportunity. 

RobyneParrish.com.

 


 

Iris Beaumier. Select TV/Film: Modern Love, Blindspot, Alternatino, Mariannes Noires. Select Theater: Ragtime (Theatre Aspen), Godspell (Theatre Aspen), Marvelous Wonderettes (Rep St.Louis), Dr. Rees Ziti’s Pageant…(ArsNova ANTFest), and most recently the title role in The Dark Star from Harlem: The Spectacular Rise of Josephine Baker (La MaMa; VIV Audelco Award Best Lead Actress 2020). CMU Alum, proud NYC native, currently organizing a grassroots political campaign in the heart of the city! irisbeaumier.com 

 

 


 

Paloma Sierra is a Puerto Rican writer. Her writing combines music, lyricism, and translation; and centers Latinx and Hispanic communities. Emerging Poet Laureate of Allegheny County 2020-2021, Paloma has presented her work with Project Y’s Women in Theatre Festival, Theatre Now New York’s Sound Bites Festival, Poetic Theater Productions, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. Her verse dramas, poetry, and translations are published in Bridge: The Bluffton University Journal, Persephone's Daughters, and Sampsonia Way. Paloma holds a BHA in Creative Writing and Drama from Carnegie Mellon and is an MFA Dramatic Writing candidate at the same institution. 

 

 


 

Dusty Sanders is a composer, lyricist, vocalist, and independent music producer based in NYC. He earned his BA in Music from Auburn University where he studied vocal performance. Compelled by a longing to make enjoyable, meaningful music with excellent craftsmanship, much of Sanders’s work is comic and lighthearted, marinated in a blend of empathy, ambiguity, and depth of character that aims to appeal to both the easygoing and the analytical audience. Sanders is currently developing new theatre works through New Musicals Inc. in Los Angeles and the Institute for American Musical Theatre in NYC, and has also composed the scores for numerous short films. To learn more about his work, visit www.dustysanders.com.

 

 


 

Courtney Smith is a scenic, media designer, and technician for live performance. He currently works at Middlebury College as the Production Designer. Previously, he taught at Gonzaga University and the University of Idaho. Courtney’s designs have received several Meritorious Achievement Awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Additionally, his work received a “Distinguished Achievement Award in Scenic Design” from the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. 

 

 


 

Julia Sonya Koyfman is a lyricist/ librettist, screenwriter, comedian, and performer. Based in Seattle, Julia is actively working to create new works for Live and Digital Theater. In 2015, Julia founded, wrote, and performed in the From Seattle With Love Concert Series: a mix of music and storytelling, which showcases up-in-coming Washington musicians and performers. She holds a degree in Playwriting/ Screenwriting from SUNY Purchase and is currently a part of the Seattle Opera’s Jane Lang Davis Creation Lab,  New Musicals Inc. in LA, and The Institution for American Musical Theatre: Creators in NYC. Check out juliaisnotfunny.com for more information.

 

 


 

Christopher Ulloth is a New York City based playwright, producer, and graphic/web designer.  Recent Producing, Graphic/Web Design credits include: WOMEN IN THEATRE FESTIVAL (Project Y Theatre Company, NYC, 2016-2020); THE FIFTH VITAL SIGN (Elephant Room Productions, NYC, 2019); SALAMANDER by Lisa VillaMil (Elephant Room Productions, Philadelphia Fringe Festival 2018); SUICIDE STORIES: GALLERY OF THE UNTOLD (Elephant Room Productions, Philadelphia Fringe Festival 2017); VENTILATOR BLUES by Robert Kerr (Staged Reading, Elephant Room Productions, 2017); BEAUTIFUL AMERICAN SOLDIER by Dano Madden (Staged Reading, Elephant Room Productions, 2016).  B.A.: Bloomsburg University.

 

 


 

Neel Murgai is primarily a sitarist, overtone singer, daf player, composer and teacher from Brooklyn, NY. He is a co-founder and co-artistic director of the South Asian inspired music collective, Brooklyn Raga Massive. Since Covid times Neel has delved deep into live streaming and technologies for online musical collaboration. He has produced dozens of online events including workshops, recordings and live streamed concerts with artists in remote locations. Neel’s theater and dance music credits include Bill T. Jones “Blind Date,” Disney’s musical theater adaptation of “The Jungle Book” starring Andre De Shields, and Bacchae 2.1 directed by Michole Biancosino.

 


 

Michole Biancosino is the Co-Founding Artistic Director of Project Y Theatre Company, where she has developed and directed new work in Washington, D.C. and New York City over the past 20 years.  With Project Y, she has led various professional productions, as producer, director, and writer.  Credits included the long-running shows, Trump Lear (co-created and directed) and the award-winning, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet (as performed by David Carl), both of which toured regionally and performed at Edinburgh Fringe, as co-productions with Richard Jordan Productions (UK), The Pleasance, and Underbelly.  She directs solo artist Peter Michael Marino’s long-running solo shows, Show Up! and Show Up.. Kids!, both of which have toured regionally and internationally. Recipient: SDC Gielgud Fellowship for classical directing.  Her work with Project Y Theatre has been supported by grants from The Puffin Foundation, ART/NY, NY Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), The Dramatists Guild, LitNY Fund, EAG Open Space Grant, and New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).  She holds an MFA in Directing from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Middlebury College. For more information: www.micholebiancosino.com

 


 

Andrew W. Smith is a professional Actor, Director, and Producer whose work has been seen throughout New York City, regionally, and internationally. He is also the Co-Founding Artistic Director of award-winning Project Y Theatre Company in New York City.

 

Selected regional acting work includes: Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Pittsburgh City Theatre, Quantum Theatre, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Roundhouse Theatre, Potomac Theatre Project, Ars Nova, Studio Theatre, and Olney Center for the Arts. He toured with The National Players on their 50th anniversary as Cyrano in Cyrano de Bergerac. Filmwork includes Lucid, Shooting Script, Death of a Nation (Winner:  Best Short, IndieFest 2011; Best in Show, Best Shorts Competition 2011), Under-Ground. Television work includes GONE, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, One Life to Live, As the World Turns, Guiding Light.

 

Andrew is currently an Assistant Professor of Acting at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. He also spent two years as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre at Middlebury College, Vermont, from which he also received his BA in theatre. He is also graduate of the MFA Acting program at the University of California, San Diego, from which he received the Teaching Excellence Award upon graduation. www.smithandrewwilliam.com

 


 

Ashley Bufkin (Reading Committee) is a Las Vegas native and MFA graduate from Rutgers University. Previous credits: Bayano: My Odisea (National Black Theatre), A Raisin in the Sun(Hangar Theatre), Little Women (Hangar Theatre), 3 Musketeers 1941 (Project Y Theatre), In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play) (Gulfshore Playhouse), Pride and Prejudice (Pittsburgh Public Theater), A Doll’s House Part Two (Barrington Stage Co), Julius Caesar (Shakespeare’s Globe).

 

 

 


 

Ava Egertson (Reading Committee) is a rising junior at Carnegie Mellon pursuing a BFA in Acting. Originally from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Ava has previously worked with Children’s Theatre Company, Youth Performance Company, the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, and various others. In the fall of 2017, Ava started “Broken Ivy Theatre Company”, a youth-led, self-funded company devoted to the advancement and involvement of young artists in the Twin Cities, through which she has directed and produced 5 shows. Ava is very thankful for the opportunity to work with Project Y and the Women in Theatre initiative.

 

 


 

Cheyenne Springette (Reading Committee) To start I want to say how glad I am that I had this wonderful opportunity to be diving into plays with Project Y Theatre Company. I have grown up in Pittsburgh acting since i was young and have been involved in various shows. I enjoy difficult text and remarkable stories so joining the team was a dream. I remember being in the cast of August Wilson’s Seven Guitars as Vera and being blown away the first time reading it by the tone behind the words, the raw truth. That’s what i love about plays. Since high school I have been at Carnegie Mellon University awaiting my next role to devour until then everyone stay safe and thank you for having me! 

 

 


 

Samantha Ozeas (Reading Committee)  is currently earning her BFA in Directing at The Carnegie Mellon School of Drama after studying at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. Past credits include Pride and Prejudice (Santa Cruz Shakespeare), Subtle Asian Traits (Carnegie Mellon School of Drama), A Chorus Line (Caroline’s Loft), and Major Minor (The Complex). 

 

 

 

ABOUT THE SERIES

MONOLOGUE SLAM 

 

11 Monologues by Women+ Playwrights

 

REAL AMERICAN GIRL

Playwright: Judith Leora

Actor: Chantelle Guido

 

CLARE

Playwright: Suzanne Bradbeer

Actor: Emily Kratter

 

THE KNOWN

Playwright: Francesca Pazniokas

Actor: Hannah Balagot

 

IBS

Written and Performed by: Alexis Craig-Hart

 

MARK

Playwright: Lia Romeo

Actor: Timiki Salinas

 

WINBERRY CREEK

Playwright: Rachael Carnes

Actor: Dana Jacks

 

IN HER HEAD IN THE KITCHEN

Playwright: Dr. Catalina Florina Florescu

Actor: Kate Margalite

 

SITTING AND TALKING

Playwright: Lia Romeo

Actor: Gibson Grimm

 

ELIJAH

Playwright: Judith Leora

Actor: Julianna Austin

 

THE MONUMENT MAKER

Playwright: Sally Seitz

Actor: Wynn McClenahan

 

I AM AN ISLAND

Playwright: Julienne Hairston

Actor: Starr Kirkland

 

Directed by Michole Biancosino & Andrew W. Smith
Lighting Design by Leslie Smith
Video, Projection Design, Editing, and Media by Courtney Smith
Sound Design by Amit Prakash 
Website by Christopher Ulloth
Stage Management by Sidney Rubinowicz
Media Assistant: Gibson Grimm
Production Assistant: Wynn McClenahan, Julianna Austin
Produced by Project Y Theatre Company

 

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ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHTS GROUP

Parent/Caregiver Playwrights Group

 

The Parent/Caregiver Playwrights Group is a selective playwrights' workshop that grows out of the need to recognize and support parent/caregiver playwrights during an incredibly challenging time. While the focus will be on workshopping new plays, we also seek to create a space for parent/caregiver artists to find community with one another.

 

Playwrights:

Liz Appel (coordinator)
Eleanor Burgess
Mathilde Dratwa
Enid Graham
Mary Elizabeth Hamilton
Ying Ying Li
Erin Mallon
Deepa Purohit
Deneen Reynolds-Knott
Lia Romeo (co-coordinator)
Adam Szymkowicz

BIOS

ADAM SZYMKOWICZ’s plays have been produced throughout the U.S., and in Canada, England, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Turkey, South Korea, Thailand, Sweden, Austria, Slovenia and Lithuania.   His work has been presented or developed at such places as Portland Center Stage, MCC Theater, Ars Nova, South Coast Rep, Playwrights Horizons, LCT3, LAByrinth Theater Company, The Lark, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Primary Stages and The New Group, among others. 

 

Published plays include Deflowering Waldo, Pretty Theft, Food For Fish, Hearts Like Fists, Incendiary, Clown Bar, The Why Overhead, Adventures of Super Margaret, 7 Ways To Say I Love You, Rare Birds, Marian Or The True Tale of Robin Hood, Kodachrome, Mercy, The Book Store, Old Fashioned Cold Fusion, The Parking Lot, Night Children and Nerve.  His plays are published by Dramatists Play Service, Samuel French, Playscripts, Broadway Play Publishing and Original Works Publishing, and featured in New York Theatre Review, the Dionysian, NYTE’s Cino Nights, Geek Theater, and numerous Smith and Kraus and Applause books.

 

He was the premiere Resident Playwright at The Chance Theater in Anaheim, CA and the first playwright to participate in Bloomington Playwrights Projects’ Square One Series.  He has been to The Orchard Project and to JAW at Portland Center Stage, served twice as Playwright in Residence at the William Inge Center, and twice as a Dramatists Guild Fund’s Traveling Masters.  Szymkowicz received two grants from the CT Commission on Culture & Tourism, and has been commissioned by South Coast Rep, Rising Phoenix Rep, Texas State University, The NOLA Project, Single Carrot Theater, Majestic Rep, The Chance Theater and Flux Theater Ensemble.

 

Adam received a Playwright’s Diploma from The Juilliard School's Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program and an MFA from Columbia University where he was the Dean’s Fellow. Szymkowicz is a two-time Lecomte du Nouy Prize winner, a member of the Dramatists Guild, Writer’s Guild of America, and was a member of Primary Stages’ Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer’s Group, the MCC Playwright’s Coalition and of the very first Ars Nova Play Group.

 

He has interviewed over 1000 playwrights on his blog. 

 

For more, go to www.adamszymkowicz.com.

 


 

Deepa Purohit graduated from Brooklyn College with an MFA in Playwriting in 2020.  She’s been a member of Ma-Yi Writers Lab since 2014 and co-founded and ran Rising Circle Theater Collective (www.risingcircle.org) for 12 years (2000-2012), overseeing the development of over 20 plays by writers of color.   She also trained and worked as an actor, holds an MPH, from Columbia University, a BA from Northwestern University and is the mother of a ninth grader. Playwriting credits include: The In Between developed w/ NAATCO (2019-2021) Mothering: A collection of short form works for performanceElyriain partnership with Ma-Yi Theatre Company: 2018 Recipient of NEA ArtWorks Grant & 2018 Jerome Foundation Grant for research, 2018 SPACE on Ryder Farm two-week residency.  Crushed Earth: 2017 Recipient of New Play Frontiers Residency and Commission at People’s Light Theatre – co-written w/Sanjit De Silva. M xx/perience (in development) The Wake: 2017 Ma-Yi Writers Lab/Andrew W. Mellon Creative Fellowship Residency at the University of Washington, Ma-Yi Writers Lab Fest 2015.  A Valentine: 2017 Kilroys Honorable Mention, Ma-Yi Writers Lab Fest 2017. Have Sari. Will Travel!: Rising Circle’s June 2017 Refinery Workshop, 2016 Lilly Awards Foundation Family Residency at SPACE on Ryder Farm. Flight: Developed in 2011 w/Rising Circle Theater Collective’s 2011 InkTANK PlayLab. Short plays:  LotusMart, Ohio (Desipina Productions 2003), Exiled (2001). Writing w/Sanjit De Silva and Rising Circle: Grace (2010), The American Family Project (2007), Pulling the Lever (2004, Published in Plays and Playwrights 2006, 2004 NYIT Award for Best Ensemble). 

 

 


 

Deneen Reynolds-Knott’s outdoor play, SHOEBOX PICNIC ROAD SIDE: ROUTE ONE, had its World Premiere at Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Fall 2021. Deneen was awarded Farm Theater's 2022-3 College Collaboration Project Commission.  Other plays include: BABES IN HO-LLAND (2020 Bay Area Playwrights Festival, 2022 Workshop at Shotgun Players), FLASHES & FLOATERS (2020 Playfest at Orlando Shakespeare Theater), BATON (2018 Premiere Play Festival and workshop reading at Premiere Stages, San Diego Rep’s 2021 Black Voices Reading Series, Orlando Shakes’ 2017 Playfest, finalist for the 2017 PlayPenn and Bay Area Playwrights conferences) and ANTEPARTUM (2020 Fire This Time Festival ‘s signature ten-minute play program). She contributed work to 24/6: A Jewish Theater Company’s Telephone Plays and True Colors’ 2022 Next Narrative Monologue Competition. Deneen was a member of Clubbed Thumb’s 2019-2020 Early-Career Writers’ Group and received the 2021 Clubbed Thumb Constitution Commission. Deneen is a New Georges affiliated artist and developed projects with Liberation Theatre Company, Project Y, Rising Circle and Frank Silvera Workshop. She received her MFA in film from Columbia University.

 

 


 

Eleanor Burgess’s play The Niceties has been produced at theatres across America, including Manhattan Theatre Club, Geffen Playhouse, McCarter Theatre Center, Huntington Theatre Company and Finborough Theatre. Her other plays include Wife of a Salesman, Sparks Fly Upward, Start Down, and Galilee 34, and have been produced or developed at Playwrights Horizons, The New Group, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Writers Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Alliance Theatre, and Merrimack Rep. She has been a member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages, Page 73's writers' group Interstate 73, The Civilians’ R&D Group, and New York Theatre Workshop’s 2050 Fellowship. She has also written for film and television including work on Perry Mason for HBO and WeCrashed for Apple TV. Originally from Brookline, Massachusetts, she studied history at Yale College and Dramatic Writing at NYU/Tisch, and is the proud mama to a rambunctious toddler. 

 

 


 

Enid Graham is a writer and actress living in New York City where she is a fellow in the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Program at Juilliard. Most recently, her short play for Zoom, Do Not Go, My Love was performed in the Hudson Stage Company’s online reading series. Also, her play Golden was presented in audio format for The Falconworks Theater Company. In 2019, What Martha Did received a preview production in the Launch Pad series at UCSB. Her play Ruth was recently seen at the 2018 National Playwrights Conference at the O’Neill Center, the New TACTics 2017 New Play Festival in NYC, and the Sacred Monsters Summer Reading Series in Los Angeles California. What Martha Did, was a finalist for the 2015 National Playwrights’ Conference and a semi-finalist in the Blue Ink Playwriting Festival in Chicago. Other plays include: Pathological Venus (2020 finalist NPC), Golden, Something Unrecognizable, A Long Time Ago in a Dark Yard at Night, For I Know the Plans I Have for You, and The Astonishing and Improbable Adventures of Ann Lee. As an actress, her credits include numerous Broadway and off-Broadway productions such as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, and Honour (Tony Award nomination), and Television/Film including The Sinner, Boardwalk Empire, Margaret, The Glorias and most recently she portrayed Dawn in HBO’s Mare of Easttown.

 

 


 

ERIN MALLON is a playwright, author, and narrator of over 550 audiobooks with a special affinity for the romance genre. She is a six-time Earphones Award Winner and a five-time Audie Award Nominee. Her audio play These Walls Can Talk is a 2021 Independent Audiobook Award Winner for Humor. The Natural History Series is Erin’s debut trio of romantic comedy novels: Flirtasaurus,(July 2020) Lovebug, (February 2021) and Sharkbait (coming Spring 2022). Erin’s plays have been presented with Urban Stages, New Georges, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, The Collective, Cherry Picking, Great Plains Theater Conference, Samuel French #OOB Short Play Festival, Project Y Theater, Dreamcatcher Rep, Mile Square Theatre and more. Erin’s play Branched (dir. Robert Ross Parker) premiered with InViolet Theater at HERE Arts Center in NYC and is in print with Original Works Publishing. Her play, The Net Will Appear had its Off-Broadway Premiere at 59E59 Theaters in NYC starring the great Richard Masur and is now available on Audible.com as an audio drama co-starring Matilda Lawler (Disney Plus’ Flora & Ulysses, Broadway’s The Ferryman). Erin’s Other full-length plays include: Good Riddance, Soft Animals, Hand Me Down, Stunning Displays of Prowess, Skin Hungry, The Other White Meat, Come Find Me and These Walls Can Talk 2: The Narwhal Strikes Back!Along with writer Bixby Elliot, Erin is the founder and co-curator of The Brooklyn Generator (a playwriting engine that creates “plays in less-than-30-days”) and one half of The Theater Husband / Theater Wife Project. Currently, she is partnering with Blackstone Audio to bring Pale Blue Dot(s), an otherworldly piece about an all-female astronaut team (with special appearances by Elon Musk and David Bowie) to audio. Erin lives in a little yellow house on the outskirts of NYC with her husband and Three J's. www.erinmallon.com

 


 

Lia Romeo is a playwriting fellow at the Juilliard School. Her play The Forest was developed at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, and was scheduled for a NNPN rolling world premiere (cancelled due to the coronavirus). Her play Sitting and Talking, starring Dan Lauria and Wendie Malick, premiered at Mile Square Theatre, and has subsequently been presented by Laguna Playhouse, New Jersey Rep, Seven Devils New Play Foundry, and other companies. Other plays have been produced off-Broadway at 59E59 and regionally around the country. Four of her plays have been recognized by the Kilroys List. She was the winner of City Theatre’s National Short Playwriting Award, and has been a nominee or a finalist for the Heideman Award, the L. Arnold Weissberger Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Kesselring Prize, and the Steinberg Award. Her plays are published by Broadway Play Publishing, Playscripts, Dramatists Play Service, and Smith & Kraus. She is the associate artistic director with Project Y Theatre Company, and she teaches playwriting at Primary Stages/ESPA and in the M.A. program in creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She earned her B.A. from Princeton and her M.F.A. in playwriting from Rutgers/MGSA.

 

 


 

Liz Appel is a playwright originally from Toronto now based in New York.  Her play BELLS LIKE HOOVES was featured in the 2022 Roundabout Underground Reading Series, and she is a 2022 Ucross Fellow. She has been a Finalist for the Princess Grace Award, the Leah Ryan FEWW Emerging Playwright Prize, PlayPenn, BAPF, Ashland New Plays Festival and the Playwrights’ Center’s Core Apprentice Program.  She was a winner of the Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women, and an Honorable Mention for the Annual Parity Commission (Parity Productions), and The Hearth Theater’s Virtual Retreat. Her short play, SNOW, was produced at the Old Red Lion Theatre in London, and her play MOONSHINE, received a staged reading at the Cherry Lane Theater through Primary Stages, ESPA Drills. Her one-act play, REMEMBER, is published in Blackbird.  She has developed work at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Kennedy Center, the Banff Centre, the Flea Theater, the Tank, and is a New Georges Affiliate Artist.  MFA in Playwriting from Hunter College (Dec '21) where she was awarded a Roberts Foundation Fellowship.  She holds an M.A. and MPhil from Yale University (English) and an MPhil from the University of Cambridge (European Literature).  Parent of Mina (7) and Emmy (5) who get up way too early.

 

 


 

Mary Elizabeth Hamilton was a Lila Acheson Wallace Fellow at The Juilliard School and a Jerome New York Fellow at The Lark. She has participated in The O’Neill Theater Conference, Ars Nova, Youngblood, I-73, New Georges’ The Jam, and Play Penn. Mary holds her MFA in playwriting from The University of Iowa. Her play 16 Winters won the American Shakespeare Center’s New Contemporaries Award in 2018. She is developing her Sloan Commission Smart with EST. She has developed work with Clubbed Thumb, Rattlestick, Studio Theater, EST, Page 73 and Ars Nova. Mary is a Story Editor on the Marc Cherry Show “Why Women Kill” and is writing a pilot for AMC based on her play. She's a resident playwright with New Dramatists and lives in Brooklyn with her daughter.  

 

 


 

Mathilde Dratwa’s play Milk and Gall opened at Theatre503 in London this November, and is currently an "Offies" finalist (Most Promising New Playwright). Mathilde’s other plays include A Play about David Mamet Writing a Play about Harvey Weinstein, and Dirty Laundry, an Audible commission. Mathilde’s work has been developed and presented by the Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, Rattlestick, LAByrinth Theater Company, the Great Plains Theater Conference, the Playwrights’ Center, and in London at the Young Vic. Mathilde is a 2021-2024 Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center, a member of Dorset Theater Festival’s Women Artists Writing Group, and a two-time Pulitzer center grant recipient. Recently, she was a Dramatists Guild Foundation Playwriting Fellow, a member of New York Foundation for the Arts’ Immigrant Artist Program and a member of the Orchard Project’s Greenhouse. Mathilde also writes for Film/TV. She has worked for Picturestart, Endeavor, LuckyChap, FX, Dirty Films, Red Wagon, Sony/TriStar, Chernin and Wiip. 

 

 


 

Ying Ying Li earned a Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School and practiced law for five years before restarting her life as a writer and performer. She is a member of The Public Theater's 2020–2023 Emerging Writers Group, and alumnus of The Tank Writer’s Group and The Tank’s TV Writers Group. Her plays include Dance Moms (semi-finalist for the 2020 Premiere Play Festival, NEA grant recipient), mhNectarine GirlMimi and Derrick on the HighlineDoctor Mao, and Baskin Robbins at a Mall. Her work has been developed or seen at The Tank, Boomerang Theatre, Rule of 7x7, Decent Company, Yes Noise, The Brick, and on The Highline. Her humor writing and videos have appeared in publications such as the NYT, Buzzfeed, Wired, MSN, Lifehacker, Men’s Health, and Mental Floss. She is a member of Actors’ Equity and SAG/AFTRA. Ying Ying was born in Beijing and grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has two delicious small children.

Project Y Theatre

The award winning, Project Y Theatre Company, is an outside-the-box theatre company that supports the creation, development, and production of new works for the stage in New York City. 2022 marks our 22nd year as a company committed to supporting playwrights and their plays, with a focus on experimenting with new technologies while centering women and LGBTQ voices. Project Y positions new plays and new voices to be part of the theatrical conversation.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

This year's Women in Theatre Festival received support from The Indie Theater Fund Artist Pay Grant.