Under Construction 4 Playwrights Group Announcement!
Continuing the success of Under Construction 1-3, Carlyle King, Jessica Broutt, and Mackenna Goodrich went on a search for the playwrights for Under Construction 2023 (UC4).
The Road is proud to begin its fourth year of Under Construction, a playwright’s group that develops socially and politically relevant voices and thoughts for the American stage.
The goal of Under Construction is simple: to leave with a deeper knowledge of playwriting through collaborating and sharing with one’s peers, and for each participant to create a new piece that is workshop ready. Playwrights are given live readings of their plays in our state-of-the-art theatre on Magnolia. Initial drafts will be read by fellow playwrights, but participants in this program will also have access to The Road’s ensemble of theatre artists for private & public readings, as well as support from the Artistic Team at The Road.
Under Construction 4 is HERE! After reading through over 350 submissions, we feel that we have the best of the best from across the country and are ready to start creating new plays for the theatre. The Road’s Under Construction Playwrights Lab has 21 new playwrights, and we are excited to introduce them to you. Here they are:
Allyson is a playwright from New Jersey who writes about the Internet, communication, alienation, systems, and time. Recent plays include Arrow of Time (The Exponential Festival), The Hub (Semi-Finalist, Princess Grace), Nothing Remained But Voice And Bones (Clubbed Thumb, Theater Accident, Workshop Theater), and An Instant Message (Samuel French Off-Off- Broadway Festival finalist, top 12). Most recently she’s been awarded an EST/Sloan Commission (Extraordinary Machine), named a finalist for the SohoRep Writer/Director Lab (with Leonie Bell), the Final Shortlist for the Alpine Fellowship Theatre Prize, a semi-finalist for Pipeline Theatre’s PlayLab and had a monologue published in a book by Theatre Unbound. She is an alumna of the Brick’s SoundLab and Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writer’s Group where she received the Constitution Commission.
Amanda L. Andrei is a playwright, literary translator, and community archivist residing in Los Angeles by way of Virginia/Washington DC. She writes epic, irreverent plays that center the concealed, wounded places of history and societies from the perspectives of diasporic Filipina women, and she co-translates from Romanian to English with her father, Codin Andrei. Her plays have been produced by Relative Theatrics and developed with Boston Court, NY Classical Theater, La MaMa, Echo Theatre, The Vagrancy, Pasadena Playhouse, Artists at Play, and more. Her play MAMA, I WISH I WERE SILVER won the 2022 Jane Chambers Award for Feminist Playwriting and was a Finalist for the 2023 Blue Ink Award, and her other work has received finalist status with the Princess Grace Award, Eugene O’Neill Conference, Playwrights Realm, and Ashland Festival. She reviews theater for Stage Raw and the South Eastern European Film Festival, and her reviews of translated literature have appeared in Hopscotch Translation, diaCRITICS, and more. She is the founder of The Palangga Archives, as well as a member of the IAMA Emerging Playwrights Lab, Chalk Rep writing group, and an alum of the Echo Theater Playwriting Lab and Vagrancy Writing Group. MFA: USC, MA: Georgetown. www.amandalandrei.com
Anna Watts is a Minnesota-born playwright. She received a BFA in Acting from Hofstra University where she made a network of theater artists who helped bring some of her first plays to the stage. Anna will receive her MFA in Playwriting from UCLA in June 2023. Anna’s playwriting credits include A List of Happenings at 1016 14th St. (Not Necessarily in Chronological Order) (Full production at UCLA), You Up? (reading at UCLA), Two is a Prime Number (workshops at Dixon Place and Theater for the New Audience), Plowing Through (reading at Theater for the New City), The One Minute Play Festival (full production at LIC One Act Festival, finalist for “best play”), Stalling (workshop at Hudson Guild, Readings at The Nest Brooklyn, Theater for the New City, and Hofstra University) The Girls Will Be Girls, 3 Short Plays in REP(utation) (Playwright, actor, producer, workshop at UCLA). Anna’s screenwriting credits include, “Tits, Ass, and Brains” (produced by UCLA). In 2021, Anna won the Fine Arts Trust Award which funded research in Nepal for her play Because It’s There. Anna is an instructor of Intro to Playwriting at UCLA, where she pushes her students to write impossible plays that spark challenging conversations. Anna is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Psi Omega honors societies. https://www.annawatts.me
Anya Pearson is an award-winning playwright, poet, screenwriter, producer, actress, and activist. A ‘21-22 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University, she is currently finishing her debut collection of poetry, writing a novel, three pilots, launching a BIPOC-owned wearable activism clothing label, and constantly plotting, planning, devising, imagining, and revising visions of a better, more just world. Her plays include: THE MEASURE OF INNOCENCE (The Kilroys List, Drammy Award, Finalist: Oregon Book Award), MADE TO DANCE IN BURNING BUILDINGS (Showcase: Joe’s Pub, NYC; STT, Portland, OR), THE KILLING FIELDS (2018 Orphic Commission; Valdez Theatre Conference; Seven Devils New Play Foundry; Great Plains Theatre Conference), WITHOUT A FORMAL DECLARATION OF WAR (PCS Commission, Seven Devils, JAW, Great Plains), THREE LOVE SONGS (Play at Home Initiative, PCS). Find her online: www.anyapearson.com IG: @iamanyapearson
Chelsea Sutton is an LA-based writer and director of speculative stories. She was a 2016 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow and an alum of the 2022 Clarion UCSD Science Fiction and Fantasy Workshop, As a playwright, she was a Humanitas PlayLA award winner and a 2018 Sewanee Writers Conference Playwright Fellow. Her macabre steampunk adaptation of Pinocchio, Wood Boy Dog Fish, appeared in the inaugural season at the Garry Marshall Theatre. She co-wrote Welcome to the Blumhouse Live, an interactive film event for Blumhouse/Amazon Prime by Little Cinema, which was nominated for a 2021 Emmy for Outstanding Interactive Program. She holds an MFA from UC Riverside. Chelseasutton.com
Daniel Hirsch is a playwright, screenwriter, and journalist based in Los Angeles who has also called Massachusetts, the Bay Area, and Pittsburgh home. Fast and loose with his intellectual curiosities, his work explores history, politics, queer identity, existential philosophy, technology, what it means to be a human being, and, like, some other stuff too.
His theatrical work has appeared or been read at the Actor’s Theater of Louisville, Great Plains Theatre Conference (2020/21), the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Festival (a 2019 winner), Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, Antaeus Playwrights Lab, City Theatre of Pittsburgh, InkWell Lab, Custom Made Theatre, and has been a semi-finalist in the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Kitchen Dog New Works Festival, and shortlisted for the Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards. His libretto for the opera ID, Please, composed by Soosan Lolavar, was performed at Tête à Tête Opera Festival in London. He helped develop numerous projects for film and television with the writer/producer Sheila Callaghan and is currently in development on his first feature film Past & Presents with MarVista Entertainment. His journalism has appeared in Slate, San Francisco Magazine, SFGate, and The Bold Italic and he has been a recipient of a Society for Professional Journalism award. He has an MFA in dramatic writing from Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama.
David Meyers is an actor and playwright. His play “We Will Not Be Silent” is coming to New York starring Michael Shannon, and he created the series “Bloomywood” which features Richard Kind. www.Bloomywood.com
Elise Wien is a writer who likes to make her plays like cakes – with a frosting of slapstick comedy, a moist inner layer of complex emotional landscape, and a molten core of ethical dilemma (OPEN WIDE!) Her plays include Osher & The Infinite Curtain (Residency, VoxLab), OTP (Production, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre), [cowboy face] (Winner, Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for Comic Playwriting; Finalist, Leah Ryan Fund for Emerging Women Writers), Craters, or the making of the making of the moon landing (Production, Smith College; Reading, Corkscrew Theater Festival), and cara has a hole in her head (Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival). She is a recent graduate of Boston University’s Playwriting MFA program.
Jen Jarnagin (they/them) is a writer, actor, and editor. They are a company member of the Fled Collective, where they regularly write and perform, as well as serve on leadership as co-chair of Culture & Accountability. They are an inaugural member of Echoes Writers Group at Primary Stages. They began writing alongside their incarcerated students in NYC jails and regularly volunteer with Katal Center for Equity, Health, and Justice to protect bail reform and close Rikers Island.
John Guerra is a Latinx writer who left his home in Carpenteria, CA to make his fortune in the theatre. He never found his fortune, but he did become a 2019 Sundance Theatre fellow and a member of The Ghost Road Company. When he’s not creating with Ghost Road, he’s writing about class, California, and minotaurs. He has worked with organizations across LA, including Ghost Road Theatre Company (2023 Season), The Blank Theatre (2019 Living Room Series), Coin & Ghost Theatre Company (A Noise Within Theater Company’s Noise now Program), The Fountain Theatre (Rapid Dev Series), Rogue Artists Ensemble (Rogue Lab), Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum (2019 Season), the Vagrancy Theatre Company (2017 Blossoming Program), and Pomona College (2022 Season). His work has also been developed and produced by the T. Schreiber Studio in New York City (2019 + 2020 New Works Initiative – Workshop production). He holds his BA in Theatre from UC Irvine and an MFA in Writing for Performance from CalArts. John is a proud member of the Dramatist’s Guild. Read more of John’s work on New Play Exchange.
Jonathan’s plays include Canyon (IAMA/Latino Theater Co, dir. Whitney White, Center Theater Group “Block Party” Recipient), The Recommendation (Windy City Playhouse, The Flea, Old Globe, IAMA, Craig Noel Award for Best Production, Jeff Award/Chicago, Ovation Award/LA, NAACP nom, MTC 7@7, Roundabout Underground reading series), Need to Know (Rogue Machine) and Four Woke Baes (2019 Edinburgh Fringe “Guardian Best of The Fringe”). Dramatists Guild Fellow, MacDowell Fellow, SPACE Fellow, Primary Stages and CTG’s Writer’s Groups. Awards: New York Stage & Film Founder’s Award, Lecomte De Nouy & Theater Publicus Prize for Dramatic Fiction. He is under commission by The Geffen Playhouse. In TV, Jonathan is in development with Amazon and UCP. Co-Ep, We Were The Lucky Ones (Hulu/ 20th, 2024), Co-Ep, Pink Marine (Netflix/SONY,2024), Co-Ep, The Sinner S.4 & S.3 (UCP/USA), Rise (NBC), a million little things (ABC), and Gypsy (Netflix). B.F.A, The Juilliard School, Vassar College.
Khari Wyatt is the descendant of runaway slaves and inner-city America with its adversities, tragedies, and triumphs; the son of high school sweethearts: a mother who is an artist and a father who courageously moved his young family from the rust-belt to our Nation’s Capital to find a better life; the grandson of men who wore blue collars in auto plants and on railroad trains; the grandson of women who taught Sunday school and waitressed in greasy spoons. He is a writer.
His play, Speakeasy, is a semifinalist for the Garry Marshall Theatre New Works Festival and was selected for Antaeus Theatre Company’s Lab Results Reading Series. He was selected to write and develop his play, Starchild, in the Circle X Theatre Company Evolving Playwrights Group. He was one of eleven writers of #While We Breathe: A Night of Creative Protest, a streaming theatrical event produced by Brian Moreland and Arvind Ethan David. His audio plays, “Zip Code 90011 South Central Los Angeles: Speakeasy” and “Zip Code 91331 Pacoima: Gold & Shine” were commissioned and produced by Antaeus Theatre Company for its Zip Code Plays series. Moving Arts, Chalk Repertory Theatre, as well as the DC Black Theatre Festival,
have hosted his plays for readings and workshops. His play “Some Type of Ecstasy” was a semifinalist for the Ashland New Play Festival and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference. His ten-minute play, “Ingredients,” was produced as part of the Moving Arts- Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Night at the Museum.
His other writing work has placed in various competitions including, Disney/ABC Writers Program, Sony Pictures Entertainment Diversity Writers Program, AMC One-Hour Drama competition and Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition among others. Some of the fellowships and grants he has received came from the MacDowell Colony, the Guy Hanks/Marvin Miller Screenwriting Program and the Panavision New Filmmaker Equipment Grant.
Wyatt is an alumnus of Howard University and earned an MFA in Film from Columbia University in the City of New York. He is a member of the Antaeus Theatre Company Playwrights Lab, Moving Arts, and the Playwrights Union.
M.J. KANG is a playwright, actor, director, and improviser. She’s been awarded The Breathe Project 2022 New Play award, Theater J’s Expanding The Canon award (2022-24), and has been commissioned by Portland Playhouse, Shotgun Players, Blyth Festival Theater, Shakespeare in Action, and AFO Solo Shorts (twice). Her plays have been produced in Toronto, NYC, and Los Angeles by Tarragon Theater, Theater Passe Muraille, Factory Theater, The Barrow Group, Cahoots Theater Projects, Raising Sun, Son of Semele, Playground-LA, East-West Players, Pan Asian Rep, and many others. She’s part of the Playwrights Group at Company of Angels (third year), The Barrow Group’s Restorative Stories as well as Transformative Journeys with Seth Barrish (three years), the Writer’s Pool at Playground-LA (second year), and Dramatic Question Theater’s American Women. She has been playwright-in-residence at Nightwood Theater and Theater Passe Muraille and has been nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best New Play. She’s also received many other awards, grants, fellowships, and nominations from Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Groundlings, UBC, Impro Theater, and Westside Comedy Theater. As a personal storyteller, she has won 5 Moth story slams and her work has been featured on PBS, USA Today, NPR, and the National Storytelling Festival. Her narration work on Scholastic’s THE GIRL FROM THE SEA was awarded a SOVAS Award (2022) for “Audiobook Narration – Teens – Best Voiceover” and she played Kwan Won-Ji on CBS’ Seal Team. She is currently filming a recurring guest starring part on a high-profile new television show and was formerly a story editor/staff writer on HBO Max’s reboot of Degrassi. As a third-degree black belt in taekwondo, she believes she can stop a car with her legs. She hopes she’ll never have to prove it.
Madi Goff is an actor, writer, and former Texas cowgirl with a passion for all things science who brings heart to comedy and hope to drama in both writing and performance. Madi is a founding member of Ripley Improv – an all-female and genderqueer collective that produces improvised films, plays, and streaming content – as well as a company member with Impro Theatre, which performs fully-improvised plays in theaters across the globe from LA to Dubai. Madi is an alumnus of The Groundlings Sunday Company and a recurring guest in Groundlings “Crazy Uncle Joe Show.” In 2022, two stage plays by Madi, LADY FACE and SYSTEMS, were produced as staged readings by Bespoke Plays. Most recently, Madi wrote, produced, and starred in the short film EVERY MORNING, a queer sci-fi love story produced by LGBTQ+-owned Spacetime Productions.
Maxine Dillon is an Austin-based playwright, teaching artist, and performer. As a storyteller, Maxine is fascinated by the language and relationships we invent and construct to make sense of ourselves. Her work includes It Do Be Like That Sometimes And Sometimes Like That It Do Be (24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues), DOGGO (24 Hour Plays: Nationals, 2018), and Strange Flesh (Yale University, Dramat Spring Ex 2017). She received a degree in English from Yale University, where she was a Eugene O’Neill Fellow, working closely with New Haven high school students under the mentorship of playwrights at the David Geffen School of Drama.
Her work in youth arts education has brought her to Creative Action and Austin Bat Cave, notably as part of the latter’s Dungeons and Dragons programming. As a performer, Maxine is part of the comedy community at Fallout Theater, where she is a member of improv troupes Edge Control and, more recently, Barf Gang.
MILDRED INEZ LEWIS writes and directs for theater, film, and the digital space. A Dramatists Guild member, she writes for the Antaeus, Central Works, PlayGround-LA, and Towne Street Theatre. Mildred recently joined the Rogue Artists Ensemble as an associate artist.
Current commissions include JUKED, an adaptation of Sophocles’ ELECTRA for A Different Myth (Asheville, NC) in rehearsals, and FANTASMAS CROSSINGS for the Lucille Lortel. In 2022 her comedy THE MUSEUM ANNEX premiered at Central Works (Berkeley, CA). Her short play WE JUMP BROOM was selected for the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway festival and Best of PlayGround-LA. It won the Bradford Gromelski Jury Award from Fusion Theatre (Albuquerque, NM). In 2021, she won an L.B. Williams Award (New Circle Theatre).
Publications include THE GIFT and /KOM’PLISIT/ with Broadway Play Publishing. ROOST FIRST, THEN FLY is part of Applause Books’ 2020 Best Ten-Minute play collection. WE JUMP BROOM is in Smith & Kraus 2023 Ten-Minute collection.
Nelson Diaz-Marcano is a Puerto Rican NYC-based theater maker, advocate, and community leader. His plays have been produced/developed by Pipeline Theatre Company, Clubbed Thumb, The Lark, Vision Latino Theater Company, The Orchard Project, Step1 Theatre Project, Classical Theatre of Harlem, and The Parsnip Ship among others. He currently serves as the Literary Director for the Latinx Playwright Circle where he has aided in the development of over 100 plays.
Nilsa Reyna, actor and writer, was part of the founding ensemble of Teatro Luna and Founder/Artistic Director of Chicago Fusion Theatre. An Askins Playwright Fellow and member of the Latinx Playwrights Circle and ThePlayGround Experiment, she was produced in the 6th and 7th Annual INTAR One-Minute Play Festivals. Staged readings of full-length plays include Legends of Texas (South Texas Latinx New Play Festival/South Texas College Theatre; Latinx Playwrights Circle’s Intensive Mentorship 2019-2020/Primary Stages; Frank Silvera Writers’ Workshop; Lone Star Theatre.), Stroke Vagina, a Moyamoya Story (Daughters of Troy; Rising Sun Performance Company/ Governor’s Island; Lone Star Theatre; Monarch Theater). She also had staged readings of her short plays: Plastic (New York Madness); Stay Woke, Stay Dope (New York Madness); Here Everything’s Better (Lone Star Theatre); Service Animal (New York Madness). She resides in Los Angeles. nilsareyna.com.
SMJ (they/them) is an NYC-based, mixed-Latiné, and Trans non-binary playwright. They are a 2022-2023 Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow. They are currently creating work with The Fled Collective at The Flea Theater, Wright State University, and the Latiné Musical Theatre Lab. Their work has been seen in various forms throughout the US including the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Carnegie Mellon University, Otterbein University, The Workshop Theater, DR2 Theatre, Art House Productions, Fort Salem Theater, The Tank, Access Theater, and Fresh Ground Pepper. SMJ has been a semifinalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference (two times), the Princess Grace Award at New Dramatists, and The Civilians’ R&D Group (two times). They’re a graduate of Otterbein University and the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. SMJ is a member of the Dramatists Guild and Ring of Keys. www.smjwrites.com
Sarah Groustra (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based, Massachusetts-born playwright, actress, and theatermaker. Her work has been developed with Grub Street and The Parsnip Ship, & produced by The Chain Theatre, B Street Theatre Company, and Playdate Theatre. She is the recipient of the 2021 James E. Michael Playwriting Prize, the winner of the 2022 B Street Theatre New Comedies Festival, and was named a 2022 Ascending Playwright by Yonder Window Theater Company. Sarah is a proud alumna of the 24 Hour Plays: Nationals and a member of the Dramatists Guild. BA: Kenyon College (2022)
Mackenna Goodrich (she/her) lives for the creation of new work. This is Mackenna’s third year of facilitating Under Construction. As a writer, she has written for The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues, the Stagefemmes One-Act Festival, and the Bad Play Festival. Selected directing and choreography credits: The Laundry Play (The Chain Theatre; by UC4’s Sarah Groustra), An Axe-mas Story (The Players Theatre; by UC3’s Charlie O’Leary), Kids Club/Club Kids (The Fled Collective; by UC2’s Jasmine Sharma), The Pine Barrens (Lime Arts), Dance Nation (Kenyon College), Cabaret (Kenyon College Players), The Moors (Stagefemmes). BA: Kenyon College. Member of The Fled Collective. For more, check out mackennagoodrich.com and @mack3nna on Instagram.
Adam Hunter Howard [he/him], a Los Angeles native, is a playwright, educator, and actor. He recently completed the Road Theatre Company’s Under Construction 3 cohort, where he developed his newest play, Feast, and he is thrilled to rejoin the company as a co-coordinator for the UC4 group. Adam’s play, Headwind, a harsh look into the privilege of selective college admissions at independent private schools, was selected for the IAMA Theatre Company’s New Works Festival in 2019, and his play, Aine, an adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone, reset amidst “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland, premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. He has also adapted Lewis Carroll’s classics into What Alice Found There, a piece designed for school-age actors or older. As an actor, Adam was most recently featured in the role of Leon Czolgosz in Assassins at the Pico Playhouse. He has also performed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, with the Antaeus Theatre Company, and at various venues in Los Angeles, Austin, and Edinburgh. Adam has been an educator for over twenty years, working as a Drama teacher, English teacher, and college counselor. His most valued accomplishments, however, are his two young sons – Andrew and Max. MFA: The University of Texas at Austin, BA: Kenyon College.
Jessica Broutt serves as a dramaturge for Under Construction at the Road, and co-created the Under Construction program in 2019. She is an educator with a passion for new work, and loves the play development process. Prior to working with the Road, she served as the co-creator and artistic producer of Rapid Development, a new play development series for emerging playwrights at the Fountain Theatre; as well as ran the Outfest Screenwriting Lab from 2015-2018.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION HISTORY
Dramaturge – Jessica Broutt
Producer – Carlyle King
2019-2020 UNDER CONSTRUCTION PLAYWRIGHTS GROUP:
Lisa Kenner Grissom
Velina Hasu Houston
Dramaturge – Jessica Broutt
Assistant Dramaturge – Mackenna Goodrich
Producer – Carlyle King
2020-2021 UNDER CONSTRUCTION PLAYWRIGHTS GROUP:
Cris Eli Blak
Sandra A. Daley
Kyle J. McCloskey
Matthew Paul Olmos
LA Workshop Facilitator – Jessica Broutt
Virtual Workshop Facilitator – Mackenna Goodrich
Producer – Carlyle King
2021-2022 UNDER CONSTRUCTION PLAYWRIGHTS GROUP:
Adam Hunter Howard
Jason Gray Platt
Jessica Durdock Moreno
Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin
Ryan Elliot Wilson
Shannon TL Kearns