Writer Testimonials


New Dramatists’ impact is multi-dimensional, seen in the range of qualitative personal feedback from participating writers. We pay close attention to artist-defined parameters of success, and track feedback on creative exploration and the development of an artist's process, as well as feedback on individual projects.





Sibyl Kempson, Resident


"Oftentimes the script workshop or Creativity Fund is the one chance the writing and its process has to command the full attention of all those involved. Once it goes into production, there are so many other factors that have to come into consideration and often cloud the invention of the text itself. Here, the text is Queen."

Barbara Hammond, Resident


"Whenever I've been 'in the weeds' – during a Creativity Fund or PlayTime or just working towards a reading – there is always the ND staff's gentle reminder that there is no pressure – that all the work done here is part of the writer's process and that the readings are for me, and that the event can and will adjust to my needs – not the other way around. What an incredible thing."

Lucas Hnath, resident

“Too often playwrights are encouraged to take a backseat once our plays are written. We're told to hand it over to those who ‘know better.’ PlayTime reminded me of the ways in which I am the expert on the subject of ‘making my plays,’ and being reminded of that makes me stronger outside the walls of our ‘playwright church.’"

Betty Shamieh, resident

“How does a woman of color like me get the hubris and audacity to dream and play big and - in my case - take on the Bard by writing Malvolio, a musical sequel to Twelfth Night? By knowing that I have access to the New Dramatists’ Creativity Fund workshop where playwrights are allowed to work with brilliant collaborators on their most ambitious, glorious, and possibly revolutionary ideas.”

Tarell Alvin McCraney, Alumnus

Speaking about his PlayTime work on Wig Out:
“With no eye towards critical success or even production market draw, PlayTime gave me the chance to work on THE WORK, to open up the play at its most vulnerable and see if I could strengthen its core…though this may not have proved exciting to the press or may not go down in history as the most important production, it will be noted in the stages of my personal development as an artist as a turning point.”

Jenny Schwartz, Alumna

"My plays Somewhere Fun, Iowa and Screaming Pigeon could not have been written without New Dramatists. Creativity Fund workshops led to Somewhere Fun, the Loewe Award Workshop led to Iowa, and PlayTime led to Screaming Pigeon. I have one more Screaming Pigeon workshop next month and then it's a lifetime of despair."

Michael John Garcés, Alumnus

“I wrote more in my seven years as a resident writer than I had in the many years before. [New Dramatists] felt like a safe place to try things out, to make mistakes, to look silly, and to be brave. Knowing I was part of this place, which is more than a physical location, more than a building, more than the sum of the individual writers, past and present, but an idea, or an ideal, made real, has been hugely reassuring and meaningful. I’m grateful, and will carry it with me.”

Kate Robin, Alumna

“In [the seven years of my residency], I have seen four new plays produced, and workshopped two others…while a New Dramatist, I received the Whitfield Cook Award, a residency at the Royal National Theater and the Independent Reviewers of New England Award for Best Play. When I became a member, I was slinging lattes at a coffee bar on Avenue A. As a New Dramatist, I started working as a screenwriter and have since written six screenplays (for producers that include Paramount, Miramax, and Scott Rudin) and became a writer/producer for HBO's Six Feet Under.

Kristoffer Diaz, Resident

"New Dramatists is the happiest place for playwrights on Earth. It's a place where an artist can feel like a human being while doing his or her work. I'm not overstating this. It's the most important institution for playwrights that there is."

Francine Volpe, Resident

"Directing my own work during my Creativity Fund workshops has taught me more about my plays than any other developmental process. My plays have become more precise. I have become an artist in control."