Meet the 2016-19 Core Writers

We're excited to announce the new Playwrights' Center Core Writers, who will begin their three-year terms in July 2016: Larissa FastHorse, Martyna Majok, Jason Gray Platt, Gabrielle Reisman, Harrison David Rivers, and Mat Smart.

The Core Writer Program at the Playwrights’ Center provides play development workshops and professional support to 25 to 30 playwrights from across the country over a three-year term. Work by Core Writers composes the Center’s public season (the PlayLabs new play festival in October and the Ruth Easton New Play Series December through April). Playwrights who have benefited from the Core Writer program include Christina Anderson, Marcus Gardley, Samuel D. Hunter, Melanie Marnich, Winter Miller, and Lauren Yee. Core Writers are selected by independent panels. Joining the 23 continuing Core Writers are these six playwrights, whose Core Writer terms will run through June 2019:

  • Larissa FastHorse (Santa Monica, Calif.), whose plays include Urban Rez, What Would Crazy Horse Do?, and Cherokee Family Reunion. FastHorse is developing Fancy Dancer under a commission from Children’s Theatre Company and is the Guthrie Theater’s 2015-16 Joe Dowling Annaghmakerrig Fellowship Award recipient.
  • Martyna Majok (New York, N.Y.), whose work includes Ironbound (Round House Theatre, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater) and Cost of Living (premiering this summer at Williamstown Theatre Festival), and who is the current PoNY Fellow at the Lark Play Development Center.
  • Jason Gray Platt (New York, N.Y.), who wrote the text for Woodshed Collective’s recent experiential Empire Travel Agency and whose work has been seen at Source Festival, Round House Theatre, American Repertory Theater, and others.
  • Gabrielle Reisman (New Orleans, La. and New York, N.Y.), a founding member of Underbelly theater collaborative whose work includes Catch the Wall, 70 Secrets of Marmalade Kittens, and Storm, Still.
  • Harrison David Rivers (St. Paul, Minn.), a 2015-16 McKnight Fellow in Playwriting and 2014-15 Many Voices Fellow whose plays include And She Would Stand Like This and When Last We Flew. Rivers is the 2016 Playwright-in-Residence at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
  • Mat Smart (New York, N.Y.), a previous Core Writer, McKnight Fellow in Playwriting, and two-time Jerome Fellow whose play The Royal Society of Antarctica (developed at the Playwrights’ Center’s PlayLabs festival) received the 2015 Equity Jeff Award for Best New Work in Chicago.




Larissa FastHorse

Larissa FastHorse is an award winning playwright, director, and choreographer. She was awarded the NEA Distinguished New Play Development Grant, Joe Dowling Annamaghkerrig Fellowship, AATE Distinguished Play Award, Inge Residency, Sundance/Ford Foundation Fellowship, Aurand Harris Fellowship, and numerous Ford and NEA Grants. Larissa's produced plays include Urban Rez, Landless, Average Family, Teaching Disco Squaredancing to Our Elders: a Class Presentation, and Cherokee Family Reunion. She has written commissions for Cornerstone Theatre Company, Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, AlterTheater, Kennedy Center TYA, Native Voices at the Autry, Artist’s Rep, and Mountainside Theatre. She developed plays with Kansas City Rep, Artist’s Rep in Portland, Arizona Theater Company, the Center Theatre Group Writer’s Workshop, and Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor.  


Martyna Majok

Martyna Majok was born in Bytom, Poland, and aged in Jersey and Chicago. She has worked with Actors Theatre of Louisville, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre/Women’s Project Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Ensemble Studio Theatre, among others. Awards include David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize, New York Theatre Workshop’s 2050 Fellowship, the Kennedy Center’s Jean Kennedy Smith Award, and NNPN/Smith Prize for Political Playwriting. Commissions from Marin Theatre Company, South Coast Rep, Manhattan Theatre Club, and The Geffen Playhouse. B.A.: University of Chicago; M.F.A.: Yale School of Drama, Juilliard. Martyna is the 2015-2016 PoNY Fellow at the Lark Play Development Center.


Jason Gray Platt

Jason Gray Platt’s work has been produced and developed around the country by the American Repertory Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Denver Center Theatre Company, The Flea, Round House Theatre, TheatreWorks, The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, The Playwrights Realm, Prelude NYC, Page 73, and Red Bull Theater, and through residencies at MacDowell and Yaddo. He received a Helen Hayes Nomination for The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play in 2013. Originally from Arizona, Jason now lives in New York. Member of Woodshed Collective. B.A.: Vassar; M.F.A.: Columbia.


Gabrielle Reisman

Gabrielle Reisman is a playwright and director based in New York and New Orleans. She’s a founding member of Underbelly, a theatre collaborative that stages immersive journey plays in forgotten spaces, and the director of Brooklyn Yard. Gabrielle was an NNPN Playwright-in-Residence at Southern Rep and a writer in residence with the NOLA Project. She’s an alum of Sundance Theatre Lab, Interstate 73 Writer’s Group, and the MacDowell Colony. Gabrielle’s plays have been produced in backyards and warehouses across the country and have been developed with Clubbed Thumb/Playwright Horizons, the Orchard Project, and Page 73, among others. M.F.A.: University of Texas at Austin.


Harrison David Rivers

Harrison David Rivers is the winner of a GLAAD Media Award, a McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting, a Many Voices Jerome Fellowship, a Van Lier Fellowship, an Emerging Artist of Color Fellowship, and the New York Stage & Film’s Founders Award. He is the 2016 Playwright-in-Residence at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. His plays include Sweet (National Black Theatre), And She Would Stand Like This (The Movement Theatre Company), Where Storms are Born (Williamstown), and When Last We Flew (Sundance). Harrison is an alumnus of the Emerging Writers’ Group at the Public Theater. M.F.A.: Columbia University.


Mat Smart

Mat Smart received the 2015 Equity Jeff Award for Best New Work in Chicago for The Royal Society of Antarctica (Gift Theatre), which was developed at the Playwrights’ Center in PlayLabs 2013. Other plays include: Naperville (Slant Theatre Project, upcoming at Theatre Wit), Tinker to Evers to Chance (Geva, Merrimack Rep), Samuel J. and K. (Williamstown Theatre Festival, Steppenwolf), and The Hopper Collection (Magic Theatre, Huntington). Mat is a former Jerome Fellow and McKnight Fellow in Playwriting. An avid baseball fan and traveler, he has been to all 30 of the current MLB stadiums, all 50 states, and all of the continents.