Company of Playwrights



Currently numbered at 51 residents (seven-year), 3 Van Lier Fellows (two-year), and one Princess Grace Fellow (one year), our company of playwrights represent the broadest possible definition of diversity. Alongside the traditional definitions of diversity (in our current 55 resident and fellow company, 45% are of non-white ethnic origin, and 60% are women or transgender), we seek out, and value, aesthetic diversity. The writer company runs the gamut from those who create “well made” Broadway plays, to leaders in downtown experimental theater, to crossover artists who work in multiple mediums.


Since 1949, over 625 outstanding American playwrights have been served by New Dramatists. Many of those writers began at New Dramatists as unknowns and earned national notoriety while in their residencies here.

SEE THE CURRENT LIST of New Dramatists’ Alumni

Resident playwrights and staff after the September 2015 All-Writer's Meeting

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  • 2015-16 Admissions Process

    Since its founding in 1949 by Michaela O'Harra, a largely unknown female playwright, New Dramatists has operated on the maxim that ALL artists of outstanding artistic merit deserved to be heard. Expressed through our annual admissions process, we balance our transparent and rigorous review of applications with thoughtful outreach, to encourage a truly representative spectrum of new writers to apply for residency.

    • Any playwright may apply for a New Dramatists residency with two full-length plays, a resume, and a statement of interest.

    • The admissions panel changes completely every year.

    • Staff facilitate the process but do not participate in any way in admissions decisions.

    • First round reviews are conducted blindly (playwrights’ names are not disclosed to the readers).

    • When needed, New Dramatists alumni volunteers participate in the first-round review and assist our seven-person committee.

    • All decisions are made by consensus.

    New Dramatists' class of 2023 was selected and announced at the in May 2016. The class includes:
    Sam Chanse, Kate Cortesi, Aurin Squire, Lloyd Suh, Mfoniso Udofia, Ken Urban, and Brian Watkins.

    The class of 2023 was celebrated at the New Playwright Welcome event on September 2016.

  • 2015-16 Resident Playwrights
  • 2015-16 Princess Grace Fellow

    The Princess Grace Award in Playwriting was created by the Princess Grace Foundation–USA in 1994 to seek out and support exceptional, emerging American playwrights. The Award provides an early-career writer with a year-long residency at New Dramatists, a $7,500 stipend, mentoring from New Dramatists playwrights, and a publication opportunity with Samuel French.

    One Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship is awarded annually, and New Dramatists administers the award selection. Beginning in 2014, the Fellowship application process went paperless, with an online portal for applicants’ use to submit a play, resume, and supporting documents during a spring application window. The move to a paperless process inspired a 95% increase in Fellowship applications, from 200 in 2013 to 389 in 2016.

    The Fellow is chosen through a rigorous, balanced process of initial reader reviews (two rounds) and Finalist consideration by a three-person panel of outside theatre professionals. New Dramatists staff facilitate the process but do not directly participate in selection or decision-making.

    2015-16 Princess Grace statistics are as follows:

    Award Applicants: 358

    Semi-Finalists: 75

    Finalists: 16

    Winner: Jonathan Payne

    Learn more about applying for the Princess Grace Fellowship
    Learn more about Jonathan Payne
    Learn more about the Princess Grace Foundation-USA and its other awards in theatre, dance and film.
    Learn more about Samuel French.

  • 2016-18 Van Lier Fellows

    In June 2016, New Dramatists announced the appointment of Hammaad Chaudry, Keelay Gipson, and Monet Hurst-Mendoza as New Dramatists’ 2016-18 Van Lier Fellows.

    The Van Lier Fellowship intends to help young, economically disadvantaged playwrights living in New York City who are U.S. citizens from minority populations (e.g. Asian American, African American, Native American, Arab American, Latino, etc.), develop their talent and gain entry in to the professional theatre community.

    Each ND Van Lier Fellow receives a two-year (July 2016-June 2018) tailored fellowship residency, with playwright mentors and meetings, public presentations of their work, and other residency benefits; and a cash grant of $10,000 per fellowship year.

    Application Requirements: Applicants must be current residents of New York City (one of the 5 boroughs); under 30 years of age; and demonstrate financial need.
    2016 Applications: 48
    Selected Fellows: Hammaad Chaudry, Keelay Gipson, and Monet Hurst-Mendoza

    Van Lier Fellowships are supported by the Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund at the New York Community Trust. New Dramatists received this most recent round of Van Lier funding after a 3-year hiatus, during which New Dramatists reconceived its Fellowship program plan and outreach strategy.

    LEARN MORE about our 2016-18 Fellows

  • Departing Class of 2016

    In June 2016, Sharon Bridgforth, Michael Golamco, Richard Maxwell, Qui Nguyen, Sylvan Oswald, and Andrea Thome completed their seven-year residencies at New Dramatists. Each writer provided excerpts of their work from the beginning, middle, and end of their residencies which were performed at the After Seven Festival on June 14, 2016, an all-day affair featuring Sharon Bridgforth, Sylvan Oswald, and Andrea Thome, reading their own or one anothers’ work, along with a company of collaborators and actors. Each section was introduced by staff delivered tributes documenting the individual and collective journeys taken by these playwright/theatre makers over the course of their seven-year residencies.

  • 2015-16 Admissions Data

    Total Number of Applicants: 359
    Number of semifinalists after 1st meeting: 84
    Number of finalists after 2nd meeting: 27
    Percentage of applicants admitted: 1.8%