New Dramatists Announces New Members of the Playwright Company

June 27, 2014

New Dramatists, an artistic home and developmental laboratory for professional playwrights is proud to announce the addition of eight writers to New Dramatists’ company. This talented group of theatre artists was selected by a seven-person committee of New Dramatists playwrights, alumni, and outside theatre professionals from 504 applicants after undergoing a highly competitive, nine-month evaluation process. The playwrights are: Eric Dufault, Matthew Freeman, Aditi Brennan Kapil, Basil Kreimendahl, Matthew Paul Olmos, christopher oscar peña, Lynn Rosen, and A. Zell Williams. They will be in-residence through 2021. New Dramatists will kick off their seven-year residencies with an evening of readings and celebration at the annual New Playwright Welcome on Monday, September 8, 2014.

Eric Dufault is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. His plays include: Year of the Rooster (New York Times’ Critics' Pick, John Gassner Outer Critics Circle Award), The Tomb of King Tot, American Girls, and The Last Great Telemarketer. His plays have been performed at the Ensemble Studio Theatre as part of their 34th Annual Marathon of One Act Plays and Mainstage series. Additionally, his work has been performed at the Flea Theatre, the Marin Theatre, the 52nd Street Project, the Magnet Theatre, the Theater for the New City, the Lark Play Development Center, and the Great Plains Theatre Conference. He is the recipient of the 2014 Playwrights of New York Fellowship, a 2013 Sloan Commission, the 2013 David Colicchio Emerging Playwright Award, the 2010 Lipkin Playwriting Award, and the 2008, 2009, and 2010 Harle Adair Damann Playwriting Award. His work is included in the Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2014 and Best New Plays of 2014 anthologies. He is a member of the Obie award-winning Youngblood Playwriting Group and New Dramatists.

Matthew Freeman’s work has been called “as savage as any slasher film” by The New York Times. His work has been produced by Blue Coyote Theater Group at the Access Theater; seen at many of The Brick Theater’s summer theater festivals; presented as a part of the Incubator Arts Project at St. Mark’s Church; and popped up at various and sundry venues and public parks throughout NYC since 2001. Outside of New York, his work has been heard at the HearNow Festival in Kansas City and Atlanta Fringe Radio. Plays include: Why We Left Brooklyn, Bluebeard, That Which Isn’t, When is a Clock, The Most Wonderful Love, Glee Club, The Great Escape, The Death of King Arthur, An Interview with the Author, The Americans, That Old Soft Shoe, Confess Your Bubble, and Brandywine Distillery Fire. His plays and monologues have been published by Samuel French, Smith & Kraus, the New York Theater Experience/IndieTheaterNow, and Playscripts, Inc. Freeman is a graduate of Emerson College, where he studied with Kristin Linklater and playwright David Valdes-Greenwood. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Pam Grossman. Along with director Kyle Ancowitz, Freeman is a part of Theater Accident.

Aditi Brennan Kapil is a writer, actress, and director, of Bulgarian and Indian descent. She was raised in Sweden, and resides in Minneapolis, MN, and her work has been produced nationally to critical acclaim. Her play Love Person, a four-part love story in Sanskrit, ASL, and English, was developed during a Many Voices residency at the Playwrights' Center, workshopped at the Lark Play Development Center in NY, and selected for reading at the National New Play Network (NNPN) conference 2006. Love Person was produced in a NNPN rolling world premiere at Mixed Blood Theatre (MN), Marin Theater (CA), and Phoenix Theatre (IN), in the 2007/08 season. In 2008/09 it was produced at Live Girls! Theatre in Seattle, Alley Repertory Theatre in Boise, and Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago. Love Person received the Stavis Playwriting Award in 2009. Her play Agnes Under The Big Top, a tall tale was selected as a 2009 Distinguished New Play Development Project by the NEA New Play Development Program hosted by Arena Stage, and was developed by the Lark Play Development Center (NY), Mixed Blood Theatre (MN), InterAct Theatre (PA), the Playwrights' Center (MN), and the Rhodope International Theater Laboratory (Bulgaria). Agnes Under the Big Top premiered at Mixed Blood Theatre and Long Wharf Theatre (CT) in 2011, and Borderlands Theater (AZ) in 2012 in a NNPN rolling world premiere. Aditi’s newest work, the Displaced Hindu Gods trilogy, consists of Brahman/i, a one-hijra stand-up comedy show, The Chronicles of Kalki, and Shiv. The plays, based on the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, premiered in repertory at Mixed Blood Theatre in October 2013. Brahman/i and The Chronicles of Kalki received a unprecedented double nomination for the James Tait Black Prize, University of Edinburgh, UK. Aditi is currently working on commissions with Yale Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, and South Coast Repertory Theatre, and is the Mellon Playwright-in-Residence at Mixed Blood Theatre, an Artistic Associate at Park Square Theatre, and a McKnight Fellow and Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis.

Basil Kreimendahl’s play Sidewinders won the Rella Lossy Playwright’s Award and had its world premiere at The Cutting Ball Theater in San Francisco. Orange Julius was developed at the 2012 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and was included in La Jolla Playhouse’s DNA new work series. Basil was commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville for Remix 38 at the 2014 Humana Festival of New Plays. Basil's plays have also been developed by New York Theatre Workshop, About Face Theatre, Inkwell, Rattlestick, WordBRIDGE, The LARK, and The Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Basil has been a Jerome Fellow and is a current McKnight fellow. A recipient of an Arts Meets Activism grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women for theatre work with the trans community in Louisville, Basil has taught playwriting to elementary, high school, and college students, founded and ran a playwrights group for queer youth in Louisville called Out On The Edge, and was the Provost’s Visiting Writer at the University of Iowa 2013/2014. Basil’s work has been published by Dramatic Publishing and was included in Xlibria’s Becoming: Young Ideas on Gender and Identity. The Cost of a Goat won a National Science Award at KCACTF in 2012. MFA University of Iowa, 2013.

Matthew Paul Olmos is a three-time Sundance Institute Fellowship/Residency recipient (2014 Lab, 2013 UCROSS, 2009 Time Warner Storytelling Fellow), 2012 Princess Grace Award in Playwriting, and inaugural La MaMa e.t.c.'s Ellen Stewart Emerging Playwright Award as selected by Sam Shepard. A 2013-14 Dramatists Guild Fellow, 2012-13 New York Theatre Workshop Fellow, Primary Stages Writer's Group, Ensemble Studio Theater lifetime member. Two-time Resident Artist at Mabou Mines/Suite (mentored by Ruth Maleczech); “Top Prize of the Americas” by the BBC 2011 International Playwriting Competition for The Nature of Captivity; published by Samuel French. Awarded Sundance’s Storytelling Fellowship for i put the fear of mexico in’em; produced by Teatro Vista 2012; published by Samuel French and NoPassport Press; on the syllabus at Rutger’s University. Currently working on a new work about American nationalism; a piece about a premature newborn who becomes obsessed with her labor/delivery nurse, and the third play in his 3-play cycle so go the ghosts of méxico, which focuses on the U.S./México drug wars. The first play in this cycle was produced by La MaMa e.t.c in the spring of 2013, directed by Meiyin Wang and has since premiered in Mexico, and in Spanish in New York City, in Spanish, in summer 2014.

christopher oscar peña is a writer originally from California, now residing in Harlem and LA. Selected plays: a cautionary tail, maelstrom, icarus burns, alone above a raging sea, TINY PEOPLE (or it gets better), and awe/struck. His work has been developed or seen at the Goodman Theater, Public Theater, Two River Theater, INTAR, Ontological Hysteric Incubator, Playwrights Realm, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Old Vic, Theater For a New City, Orchard Project, Naked Angels, The Flea Theater, and New York Theatre Workshop, among many others. He’s the creator and co-star of the webseries 80/20, which was named an Official Selection at the 2013 New Media Film Festival, and won the 2013 Outstanding Achievement in writing from LAWEBFEST. Awards/fellowships: 2014 Sundance UCross Fellow, Lark Play Development Centers 2012-2013 Van Lier Fellow, 2013-2014 Playwrights Workshop Fellow, Latino Playwrights Award (Kennedy Center), NYTW Emerging Artist Fellow, Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow, US/UK Exchange (Old Vic New Voices). His work is published through NoPassport Press, and is forthcoming through Smith and Kraus. He’s a proud member of New Dramatists, was named as one of “The 1st Annual Future Broadway Power List” by Backstage, and is a staff writer on the upcoming CW show, Jane the Virgin.

Lynn Rosen is a resident playwright at New Dramatists (class of 2021), Playwright-In-Residence at Women’s Project Theater, and a two-time recipient of an Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan New Play Commission. Full-length plays include: In the Blue, Man and Beast, Apple Cove (Women’s Project Theater; Todd Mountain Theater Project), Goldor $ Mythyka: A Hero Is Born (commissioned/produced by New Georges), Washed Up On The Potomac (one-act version produced by Centerstage – Baltimore, and the EST Marathon), Progress In Flying (EST/Sloan Commission), Back From The Front (Working Theater; published in “Out of Time & Place”), and Nighthawks (Studio Theatre, D.C.; Willow Cabin Theatre; published by Samuel French). Lynn’s work has also been produced/developed by: Barrington Stage Company, Red Bull Theater, Fault Line Theatre, The New Group, Lark Play Development Center (Writing Fellow), Geva, New Harmony Project, SPACE on Ryder Farm, and terraNOVA Collective’s Groundbreakers. For Women’s Project, Lynn is currently writing the book for a musical titled Gurley!, about Helen Gurley Brown, and is developing her play The Firebirds Take The Field with EST/Sloan. She is also co-creator/co-writer of the web series Darwin, directed by Emmy-winner Carrie Preston, with whom she is also developing a TV pilot. Lynn grew up in Gary, Indiana and graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Theater Arts from Brandeis University.

Born and raised in California’s Central Valley, A. Zell Williams writes to get people talking about the way they live their lives and question beliefs. Zell’s passion for sparking a dialogue has won him Philadelphia Theatre Company’s Terrence McNally Award, Marin Theatre Company’s David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize, the National New Play Network’s Smith Prize for Political Theatre, New York University’s Rita & Burton Goldberg Playwriting Prize, and Reverie Productions’ Next Generation Playwright’s Award. He has been nominated for the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s L. Arnold Weissberger Award by Playwrights’ Horizon and is a two-time nominee for the Playwright of New York (PoNY) Fellowship. He was a finalist for the Yale Drama Series for Emerging Playwrights, Aurora Theatre's Global Age Project Award, Kitchen Dog Theatre's New Works Festival, and the Van Lier Fellowship at the Lark Play Development Center, as well as a semifinalist for the Princess Grace Award, the Ashland New Play Festival (Ashland, OR), Centre Stage Theatre's New Works Festival, (Greenville, SC,) and Victory Gardens Theatre's Ignition Festival. Zell holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Santa Clara University and earned an MFA in Dramatic Writing under instructors such as Oskar Eustis, David Grimm, Charlie Rubin, and Suzan-Lori Parks. He was the 2013 National New Play Network Playwright-in-Residence at Philadelphia's InterAct Theatre Company, a member of both The Civilians' R&D Group, Ars Nova’s Play Group, and currently holds the Tow Foundation’s Emerging Playwright Residency at the Public Theater and a Featured Playwright of the Lark Play Development Center.

The following playwrights completed their residencies, and were celebrated in New Dramatists’ annual After Seven Festival in June 2014: Eugenie Chan, Sarah Hammond, Taylor Mac, Carlos Murillo, Julie Marie Myatt, J.T. Rogers, Deborah Stein, and John Walch. The festival is made possible with the generous support of The Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, in memory of Barbara Barondess MacLean.

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 65 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, Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, John Patrick Shanley, Mac Wellman, August Wilson, Doug Wright, and many more. Current playwrights and alumni have won 18 Pulitzers (including 8 of the last 12), 24 Tonys®, 68 Obies, 17 Drama Desk Awards, 5 MacArthur Fellowships, and 13 Susan Smith Blackburn Awards. New Dramatists itself 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.”