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.

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, chiefly interested in why and how the meanings of things change. She is currently a member of the BMI-Lehman Engel Libbretist’s workshop, where she is developing a Roller Derby Musical with composer Sabrina Halavi; the Women Playwrights Circle @ Speranza Theatre, and is under commission with The Truth, of Radiotopia. Plays include PHILIA; THE TANGIBLES; HERE BE MONSTERS; and THE SECRET LIFE OF BICYCLES, among others. Her work has been published by Playscripts, Inc., and developed/produced at The Blank, The Tank, The Road, Young Playwrights Inc., Manhattan Repertory Theatre, G45 Productions, Rascal Arts, The Drama Bookshop, The Alliance for Jewish Theatre, and Downtown Art. Her academic research, most recently a study of sex and gender categories in Umayyad Iberia, has been published in The Macksey Journal, of Johns Hopkins University, and The Lambda Alpha Journal. Kotis was the 2020 recipient of Robert L. Baker Prize in History and The Margaret Mead Award for Excellence in Anthropology, and the 2019 recipient of the Muriel B. Kahrl Award for studies in American Women’s Culture and the James E. Michael Prize in Playwriting, as well as several research grants. She recently completed a Collections Fellowship at the Museum of the City of New York. Her research on the American mid-century poet Edna St. Vincent Millay can be read in Rapture and Melancholy: The Diaries of Edna St. Vincent Millay, edited by Daniel Mark Epstein and currently forthcoming from Yale University Press. Kotis graduated from Kenyon College with distinction and highest honors in Anthropology in 2020. She is a member of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honors Society, and the Dramatist Guild of America.

Photo credit: E. Dalton Powell

JASMINE SHARMA (she/her) is a South Asian-American actor/writer/activist and graduate of Northwestern University 2021. Most recently, Jasmine zoomed into Ashland New Plays Festival’s Inaugural New Voices Retreat as a writer, and The 24 Hour Plays: Nationals as an actor and writer (Round 33). Jasmine and her writing have been recognized nationally by the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards), The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, by The NJ Governor’s Awards, UCROSS, The American Blues Theater and The Athena Project. Her work has been further supported by AlterTheater Ensemble (First Acts commission), Lime Arts Productions, Permafrost Theatre Collective, NextStage Theatre Company, Mad Cow Theatre, Samuel-Lancaster Productions, Mayo Performing Arts Center, The Valdez Last Frontier Theatre Conference, The Blank Theater Company, AstonRep, and Access Theater NYC. Jasmine is currently a member of The Road Theatre’s Under Construction 2021-2022 Cohort, and partnered in the inaugural AGE: Ignite the Arts Spring 2021 Cohort. Next, she will be the Script PA on several Broadway workshops in New York, as well one of The Echo Theater’s Los Angeles Young Playwrights 2021-2022. Jasmine is represented by CHI Talent Management and KMR & Associates. jasminesharma.org | @jasminesharmaa

JENNIFER LANE is a California-based writer of plays, books, poems, and essays. Her work has appeared in such places as The Mothership, Aberrant Tales, The Dionysian, Women in Theatre Magazine, Sisyphus Quarterly, HowlRound, and The Bayou Magazine. A special edition collection of her poetry entitled The Word for When was published by Edizione INAUDITE in Italy and she has published several science fiction romance novels under a pseudonym that reached #1 in several categories on Amazon.

Jenny’s plays include To Fall in Love (winner of the 2017 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival Play Contest, winner of Outstanding Writing and Outstanding Drama at the 2017 San Diego International Fringe Festival, Semifinalist for the O’Neill) which has been presented around the country, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The play has also been adapted into a feature film and is currently in pre-production. Other plays include 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); September & Her Sisters (developed at Scripps Ranch Theatre’s Out On A Limb Festival, presented at The Workshop Theatre); 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 Matrescence (slated for performance with InnerMISSION productions). Her dramatic writing is represented by Amy Wagner of A3 Artists Agency.

Jenny is a current member of The Road Theatre’s Under Construction playwriting group where she is developing a new play. She is an alum of the Groundbreakers Playwriting Group, the Mission to (dit)Mars Playwriting Group, the Fusion Artist in Residence Program in Turin Italy, and the Author Mentor Match program, where she was mentored by YA Author Rachel Lynn Solomon. She has written two Young Adult novels, and her fiction is represented by Katie Shea Boutillier of Donald Maass Literary Agency.

MFA: Columbia University; BA: Sarah Lawrence College. For more information please visit jennifer-lane.net.

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.



Dramaturge – Jessica Broutt
Producer – Carlyle King

Steve Apostolina
Jami Brandli
Bernardo Cubría
Lisa Kenner Grissom
Cory Hinkle
Aja Houston
Velina Hasu Houston
Carlos Lacámara
Jennifer Maisel
Elizabeth Sampson
Jennie Webb