Under Construction 2 Playwrights Group Announcement!
Continuing the success of Under Construction 1, Carlyle King, Jessica Broutt, and Mackenna Goodrich went on a search for the playwrights for Under Construction 2021 (UC2). The pandemic came with one silver lining: instead of only looking at local playwrights, our virtual sessions allowed UC2 to go national!
Our mission was to find diverse and dynamic voices committed to working as a group on developing new works from the ground up; to come in with an idea and desire to refine their voice with actors and directors, all committed to the same goal of crafting a play.
With over 200 submissions from across the country, we are excited to introduce you to the playwrights of UC2.
Amy Gijsbers van Wijk (they/she) is a first-generation American and a queer, non-binary playwright from Texas, now based in Brooklyn, NY. Amy writes plays about sex, shame, the femme gaze, and technology. They have been a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nominee, a 2019 Princess Grace semi-finalist, and they won the national 2018-2019 DVRF Playwrights Program with their play, DIRTY DIRTY (upcoming closed reading, IAMA Theatre). Amy has recently been an Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST) Youngblood finalist, an EST/Sloan Commission finalist, a two-time Bay Area Playwrights Festival semi-finalist, and a two-time O’Neill NPC semi-finalist. Their play feminine octagon [or, aristotle can eat me] will make its Danish premiere in March 2021 in the historical, queer enclave of Kristiana. Amy’s work has been developed with New Georges, The Flea, Pipeline Theatre Company, Fresh Ground Pepper, NYU/Playwrights Horizons theatre school, New Light Theatre Project, Dixon Place, Project Y, DVRF/OHenry Productions, and elsewhere. New Georges affiliated artist. Inaugural Physical Distance Commission, The Farm Theater (2020). BA, Brooklyn College under Erin Courtney. Recent MFA graduate, Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama. Rep: Kate Bussert, Bret Adams, LTD. (www.amygvw.com)
Cris Eli Blak is an award winning and internationally produced writer for the page, stage and screen. His work has garnered him a Bronze Remi from the Worldfest Houston International Film and Video Festival, the Christopher Hewitt Award in Fiction, a Pushcart Prize nomination and honors from Vectis Radio, Negro Ensemble Company, Clocktower Players and A is For. His work has been produced, performed and/or published around the world, from Off-Broadway (Urban Stages), Regional (Cleveland Public Theatre), Collegiate (Academy of Arts University and Wellesley College), London (The Quean’s Theatre), Australia (Melting Pot Theatre), and Ireland (Eva’s Echo). He continues to strive to create work that reflects the world that we live in, with all of its different and diverse colors, creeds and cultures.
India Kotis is a playwright and anthropologist. Plays include Philia (James E. Michael Prize in Playwriting), The Secret Life of Bicycles (The Blank Theatre), Here Be Monsters (G45 Productions), and The Tangibles (published by Playscripts, Inc., in 2016). She is a two-time alumnus of Young Playwrights, Inc.’s yearlong workshop, and a recipient of their 2015 National Competition. As a playwright, she aims to write character-driven plays about contemporary social issues which strive to complicate, challenge, and deepen audience member’s relationship to the outside world and to each other. Anthropologically, she is interested in involuntary community, heterodoxy, and how and why the meanings of things change. Her academic research, most recently a paper detailing the historical role of eunuchs and cross-dressing in Umayyad Iberia, has been published in The Macksey Journal, of Johns Hopkins University, and The Lambda Alpha Journal. India graduated from LaGuardia High School in 2015, and Kenyon College in 2020. Her plays have been performed in New York, Los Angeles, and Lincoln, Nebraska.
JASMINE SHARMA is an emerging South Asian-American playwright/actor/activist graduating from Northwestern University in March of 2021. She focuses her work around the intersection of race, femininity, and Americanness. Jasmine deeply believes in community building, and a future of American Theatre that is not only diverse and inclusive, but equitable.
Her most recent play, RADIAL GRADIENT has been developed with Permafrost Theatre Collective, NextStage Theatre Company, Mad Cow Theatre, Samuel-Lancaster Productions, and will be produced by Vertigo Productions and Three Willows Theatre Company in 2021. Jasmine’s previous writing has been recognized by The Athena Project, The American Blues Theater, The New Jersey Governor’s Awards, and nationally by The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Her plays have been presented at Northwestern University, The Mayo Performing Arts Center, The Blank Theater Company, AstonRep at The Edge Theater, Access Theater NYC, and The Valdez Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Alaska. She is also a content contributor for the I Weigh Community.
Jasmine is a proud member of The Dramatists Guild, the AlterLab First Acts 2020 cohort, and now, the Under Construction 2021 Cohort at The Road Theatre. Jasmine is represented by CHI Talent Management. jasminesharma.org | @jasminesharmaa
JENNIFER LANE is a California-based writer and teaching artist originally from Troy, Michigan. Her plays include To Fall in Love (Winner of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans One-Act Play Contest, Winner of Outstanding Writing and Outstanding Drama at the 2017 San Diego International Fringe Festival, and published in Bayou Magazine); September & Her Sisters (developed at Scripps Ranch Theatre’s Out On A Limb Festival); The Seer & The Witch (developed in the Groundbreakers Playwriting Group, part of the nuVoices for a nuGeneration Festival, Semi-Finalist for the O’Neill Playwriting Conference, nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize); and Harlowe (developed under the mentorship of Sarah Ruhl, winner of the Alec Baldwin Fellowship at Singers Forum, workshopped at the Gulfshore Playhouse and FAU’s TheatreLab, Finalist for the 2015 Humanitas/CTG Playwriting Prize). Jenny is a teaching artist with the Playwrights Project and UCSD. Her dramatic writing is represented by Amy Wagner of Abrams Artists Agency. Her poetry collection THE WORD FOR WHEN was published by Edizione INAUDITE, and her short fiction appears in such collections as Aberrant Tales, and Sisyphus Quarterly. Her fiction is represented by Katie Shea Boutillier of Donald Maass Literary Agency. MFA: Columbia University; BA: Sarah Lawrence College. More information: jennifer-lane.net.
Jessica Moss is a performer, writer, and producer. She is the creator/performer of solo shows Modern Love, and Polly Polly. Her full-length plays include Next to Him, I Will Miss You When You’re Gone, Cam Baby, A Girl Lives Alone and others. Her work has been developed or presented at Great Plains Theatre Conference, Roundabout Theatre, Premiere Stages, Kitchen Dog Theatre, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the Canadian Stage Festival of New Ideas and Creation, among others. As an actor, she has appeared in shows with Necessary Angel/Luminato, Tarragon Theatre, SummerWorks, Sudbury Theatre Centre, the NAC, and many times at the Toronto Fringe. She went to Juilliard.
Plays include The Night Climber (Ashland New Plays Festival 2019, The Road Theatre Company’s SPF10), Embraceable You (The Tamarind Theatre), Paint (Synchronicity Space), The Movie Line (Raw Space; The Samuel Beckett Theatre), Gatsby in Hollywood (The Met Theatre), Black Tie Affairs (The Met Theatre), Omission (Ashland New Plays Festival 2012), and Preying On Puritans (Sacred Fools Theatre Company, Los Angeles). For Sacred Fools, he has also written plays for Grimm! (published by JAC), Slow and Tight, Naked Holidays (a project he co-created), and Crime Scene, Sacred Fools’ long running late night serial, for which he wrote one of the three inaugural story lines. Additionally, his plays have received readings and workshops with Capital Repertory Theatre, The Ensemble Studio Theatre-L.A. Project, and The Dorset Theatre Festival. Screenplays include Black Market, Old Boys Club, Map Of The Universe, Preying On Puritans (based on his play of the same title – and most recently optioned by KPD entertainment), The “B” Side (co-written with Gil Cates, Jr.), Deception, and an original short screenplay commissioned for The Shanghai World Expo 2010. Mr. Rebell is an alumnus of Stowe Story Labs, and a member of both The Writers Guild and The Dramatists Guild, Inc.
KYLE J MCCLOSKEY (He/Him/His/Anything Respectful) is a playwright originally from Philadelphia, PA now residing in Los Angeles, CA. His work was seen or developed at The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, The American Playwriting Foundation, Studio Theatre, American Blues Theater, The Great Plains Theatre Conference, American Theater Company, Victory Gardens Theater Company, Collaboraction Theatre Company, Stage Left Theater Company, the University of California – Los Angeles, and Loyola University Chicago. Kyle is the recipient of a Time Capsule Grant from the American Playwriting Foundation, the James B. Pendleton Foundation Prize, and the George Burns & Gracie Allen Fellowship in Comedy. Kyle is currently an MFA candidate at UCLA and a graduate of Loyola University Chicago.
Matthew Paul Olmos is a three-time Sundance Institute Fellowship/Residency recipient, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival Commissioned Playwright, New Dramatists Resident Playwright, Center Theatre Group LA Playwright Workshop Writer, Geffen Playhouse Writers Room Playwright, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Black Swan Lab Playwright, Humanitas Play LA Workshop Playwright, Princess Grace Awardee in Playwriting, National Latinx Playwriting Awardee, Repertorio Español Miranda Family Nuestra Voces Playwriting Awardee, Cherry Lane Mentor Project playwright as chosen by Taylor Mac, and La MaMa e.t.c.’s Ellen Stewart Emerging Playwright Awardee as selected by Sam Shepard.
He spent two years as a Mabou Mines/SUITE Resident Artist being mentored by Ruth Maleczech and is a former New York Theatre Workshop’s Emerging Artist Fellow, Baryshnikov Arts Center Artist in Residence, Dramatists Guild Fellow, Primary Stages’ Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer, two-time INTAR H.P.R.L Playwright, Echo Theater Company Resident Playwright and an Ensemble Studio Theater lifetime member. He is a proud Kilroys nominator.
His work is produced internationally and nationally, published by Samuel French and No Passport Press; and is taught in university.
He is currently working on a devised piece, AMERICAN NATIONALISM PROJECT, with director Luke Harlan and designer Nick Benacerraf, which was developed through New York Theatre Workshop’s Adelphi Residency. He is also in development on a 3-play cycle about our tumultuous relationship with U.S. presidents, developed through New Dramatists Creativity Fund, and he is collaborating with composer April Dawn Guthrie on a play with music, entitled WE WALK ALONG THE CHRISTMAS BRIDGE, exploring the racial polarization of the left and right; developed through Center Theatre Group’s LA Workshop. www.matthewpaulolmos.com.
Ron Fromstein is a Toronto-born playwright who moonlights as a children’s fiction writer and has also lived in New Orleans, Chicago and Vancouver. Awards include the Canadian National playwriting Competition (3 time winner) and Toronto-Hamilton-London Fringe playwriting competition (fifteen-time winner-finalist). Works include Dianne & Me, Black & Blue, Cleft, The Big Smoke, and One in a Million (a micromusical). When not writing he can often be found on basketball courts throughout the land and looks forward greatly to playing once again.
Sandra is an Afro-Caribbean artist living in Harlem. She has earned her merits over twenty years as an OBIE Award-winning producer, award-winning playwright, director, actress, and dramaturg. Sandra is a recipient of the Josephine Abady Award, commending her for her contribution, as a producer, of Diversity to the American theatre landscape. Not one, but two of her plays made it to the Kilroys List.
Most recently, The Fire This Time presented a reading of her full-length play Hedda: A Portrait of a (Young) Woman and a production of her short play Anonymous, which was also produced by the EstroGenius Festival. Sandra’s play Straddling the Edge is a Barbour Award finalist and was workshopped at the cell theatre. Les Fréres is a Bay Area Playwrights Festival finalist and a Eugene O’Neill semi-finalist. Her new play The Island Bull’s Wife is a Princess Grace Award semi-finalist. She was named a NYFA Fellowship Finalist for Playwriting. Her short play Man in the Moon was developed and presented by The Exquisite Corpse Company; Shirley and Iris was presented at the Going to the River Festival at EST, and Jake was produced at New Perspectives Theater and at Silver Spring Stage.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION HISTORY – UC1
2019-2020 UNDER CONSTRUCTION PLAYWRIGHTS GROUP:
Lisa Kenner Grissom
Velina Hasu Houston