New Dramatists Announces Seven New Playwrights Join the Resident Playwright Company

May 16, 2016

New Dramatists, an artistic home and developmental laboratory for professional playwrights, is proud to announce the addition of seven writers to its illustrious, dynamic resident playwright company: Sam Chanse, Kate Cortesi, Aurin Squire, Lloyd Suh, Mfoniso Udofia, Ken Urban and Brian Watkins. They will be in-residence through 2023. These supremely talented theatre artists were selected by a seven-person committee of New Dramatists current residents, alumni, and outside theatre professionals from 359 applicants after undergoing a highly competitive, nine-month consensus based evaluation process. New Dramatists will kick off their seven-year residencies with an evening of readings and celebration at the annual New Playwright Welcome in the fall.

Sam Chanse's work includes The Other Instinct, Fruiting Bodies, What you are now, Lydia’s Funeral Video, gilgamesh & the mosquito (with Bob Kelly), and Asian American Jesus. She is a member of Ma-Yi Writers Lab, Ars Nova’s Play Group, and Civilians R&D group. Commissions include Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan, Ma-Yi/the Flea, Second Generation, and Leviathan Lab. She was recognized on the Kilroys 2015 List.  

Kate Cortesi’s plays include One More Less, Great Kills, A Patron of the Arts, and The Color Wheel. She has been honored as the 2014 Princess Grace Playwriting Fellow and with Columbia University's Karen Brownstein Award. Her plays have been produced/developed by Primary Stages, terraNOVA Collective, The Lark, New Dramatists, Premiere Stages, and The Underbelly in Edinburgh. Lazarus, a short film she wrote and directed, has screened at festivals across the Unites States. 

Aurin Squire is a playwright, multimedia artist, and independent journalist from Miami. In 2016 he completed workshops of his plays, Zoohouse and The Gospel According to F#ggots (at National Black Theatre and Brooklyn Arts Exchange), and a London production of Don’t Smoke in Bed (Finborough Theatre). 

Lloyd Suh is the author of Charles Francis Chan Jr.’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery, American Hwangap, The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!, Jesus in India and others. He is Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark and serves on the Dramatists Guild Council. 

Mfoniso Udofia a first generation Nigerian-American storyteller and educator, attended Wellesley College and obtained her MFA from ACT. She is currently completing her 9-play Ufot Family Cycle. Some of the plays in this cycle include Sojourners, The Grove, runboyrun, Her Portmanteau and In Old Age. 

Ken Urban’s plays have been recently produced at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and 59E59 Theatres in New York, SpeakEasy Stage Company in Boston, and Theatre503 in London. He is a Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center and is the winner of the Weissberger Playwriting Award for his play, Sense of an Ending. 

Brian Watkins’ plays include Wyoming (Lesser America), My Daughter Keeps Our Hammer (The Flea), Games For An Empty Cul-de-sac, and the forthcoming Into The Earth With You. His work has been developed and presented at NYTW, Labyrinth, Williamstown, Rattlestick, EST, Underbelly Edinburgh, and elsewhere. He's originally from Colorado. 

New Dramatists is dedicated to the playwright, and pursues a singular mission: To give playwrights time and space in the company of gifted peers to create work, realize their artistic potential, and make lasting contributions to the theatre. Founded in 1949 by Michaela O’Harra in association with Howard Lindsay, Richard Rodgers, Russel Crouse, Oscar Hammerstein II, John Golden, Moss Hart, Maxwell Anderson, John Wharton, Robert E. Sherwood, and Elmer Rice, New Dramatists is one of the country’s leading playwright centers and a nationally recognized new play laboratory, unrivaled in the depth and duration of our commitment to writers.  In the 67 years since our founding, 600 new dramatists have passed through our doors, creating work that has laid the foundation for contemporary American dramatic literature. Our alumni include some of the most influential writers of our time:  Robert Anderson, Kia Corthron, Nilo Cruz, Horton Foote, Richard Foreman, Maria Irene Fornes, John Guare, David Lindsay-Abaire, Eduardo Machado, Donald Margulies, Joe Masteroff, Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sarah Ruhl, John Patrick Shanley, Mac Wellman, August Wilson, Doug Wright, and many more. New Dramatists received a Ross Wetzsteon Award for excellence at the 2005 OBIES and a 2001 Tony Honor for “blessing the theatre with new and exceptional works that have assured both a rich theatrical heritage and future for the American Theatre.”

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