The Venturous List is a collection of 50 plays created by playwrights uplifting other playwrights. In summer 2022, Playwrights' Center partnered with Venturous Theater Fund (VTF) to invite more than 50 playwrights from around the country to nominate a play by a peer that fit the definition of a Venturous play.


Venturous plays are:

  • Formally adventurous: they break traditional narrative structures or defy the notion of narrative altogether
  • Epic in scope: they include challenging production requirements, such as larger casts or difficult design elements
  • Full of bold ideas: they handle topics rarely explored in the theater or present ideas in a new way

The List below is the result of those nominations. You'll find information about the play and the playwright along with a quote from their nominator. Plays are listed alphabetically by title.

If you are interested in reading any of these plays or connecting with these playwrights, please contact Julia Brown at

Theater representatives who are interested in production support, especially those interested in producing any of the plays below, may want to check out VTF's Venturous Capital Grants.


49 Days
by Haruna Lee

From Taylor Mac: "49 Days is the sort of play so often overlooked by the American theater, simply because of its daring on all levels (heart, scope, multilingualism, poetry, unique perspective, and themes). It's also a play that should be on every stage in America."

About the play: In 49 Days, three generations of the Nishiyama family come together at the 49th day dinner after death, which in Buddhist ritual signifies the reincarnation of the soul. There's Baba, the matriarch, who's survived literal war and the constant war on her body. Kaoru, her middle-aged daughter who begrudgingly returns home to take care of her dying mother. And then there's Ren, the grandchild who feels unseen and unheard in a home and culture that's barely theirs. As the family ancestors broadcast their own radio show singing tragic Enka songs that no living person can hear, the Nishiyama clan contends with their version of loneliness and how bondage to grief and pain have become more attractive and agreeable than letting any of it go.

About the playwright: Haruna Lee is a Taiwanese/Japanese/American theater maker, screenwriter, educator, and community steward whose work is rooted in a liberation-based healing practice. Recent plays include Suicide Forest, published by 53rd State Press, plural (love), and Memory Retrograde. They are a recipient of an Obie Award for Playwriting, the Steinberg Playwright Award, the Ollie New Play Award, FCA Grants to Artists Award, and received the Mohr Fellowship at Stanford, a MacDowell Fellowship, the Map Fund Grant, and Lotos Foundation Prize for Directing. They write for HBO Max's The Flight Attendant and Apple TV+'s Pachinko, and are developing multiple projects for TV. They co-lead the Brooklyn College MFA Playwriting Program.


The Age of Innocence
by Nina Morrison

From Marisela Treviño Orta: "The Age of Innocence is a formally Venturous play that epitomizes Morrison's modern absurdist sensibilities. It challenges us to examine the idea of performance and performativity as a conversation with the audience is disrupted by increasingly melodramatic events—furniture changes, encroaching wildfires, and a turtle—which embody the farcical and fractured romantic relationship of the main characters."

About the play: The Age of Innocence is a play about the public announcement of the breakup of two non-binary people named Jess and Ellen. In a small museum in Los Angeles surrounded by raging wildfires, Jess and Ellen process their breakup with their adoring audience occasionally using vintage fashions from the museum's collection to work through their romantic and personal obstacles. The play is a comedic take on identity, gender fluidity, and romance at a certain age.

About the playwright: Nina Morrison's work as a playwright, screenwriter, and director has been presented in New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Iowa City. Nina was the Provost's Postgraduate Visiting Writer in Playwriting at the University of Iowa. In NYC, she was the recipient of an artist's residency at Dixon Place and a WORKSPACE writer's residency at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She is currently teaching for Chicago Dramatists, the University of Iowa, and the Belin-Blank Honors Center. MFA Directing, MFA Playwrights Workshop UIOWA.


Akira Kurosawa Explains His Movies and Yogurt (with Live & Active Cultures!)
by Julia Izumi

From Dave Harris: "Julia Izumi is one of the greatest living storytellers, point blank period, and hearing her read this play was my first opportunity to witness it in real time. Her ability to access humor and tenderness in equal regards is breathtaking. But beyond that, there is a constant sense of searching for new ways to play, for new language to feel, and for new methods of knowing yourself, that has felt like a gift every time I've gotten to encounter her words."

About the play: Tonight we welcome Akira Kurosawa, the acclaimed filmmaker, who will give us an exclusive peek into his brilliant mind and the thrilling world of his movies. But, you know, it's so weird, every time he talks about his films, it kinda sounds like he's talking about yogurt? Akira Kurosawa Explains His Movies and Yogurt (with Live & Active Cultures!) is a fantastical lecture/performance hybrid about what influences our art and "healthy" cultural consumption.

About the playwright: Julia Izumi's works include Regretfully, So the Birds Are (Playwrights Horizons/WP Theater); miku, and the gods. (ArtsWest); Sometimes the Rain, Sometimes the Sea (Rorschach Theatre); and others. Her work has been developed at MTC, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Bushwick Starr, Berkeley Rep, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ojai Playwrights Conference, and more. Honors for her work include the OPC Dr. Kerry English Award, O'Neill Finalist, Kilroys List Honorable Mention, and KCACTF's Darrell Ayers Playwriting Award. Current New Dramatists Resident & LMCC Workspace Resident. Current commissions: True Love Productions, MTC/Sloan, Playwrights Horizons, Seattle Rep 20x30. MFA: Brown University.


Annie Bosh is Missing
by Janine Nabers

From Mike Lew: "Long ago, Janine Nabers and I used to meander the streets practically screaming, "WHY won't the theaters produce me?" In Janine's case I knew the answer: because they're scared to. Janine writes searing, brutal, riveting works where the implications of her race politics are literally scary. So her plays get dismissed as a "sample," a "showcase," a "calling card play." But the craft in her, um, calling card play Annie Bosh is Missing is unmistakable. The characters are beautifully realized, the dialogue crackling, the plotting gasp-inducing, and the final effect truly breathtaking. So then why hasn't this play had more than a workshop production at Steppenwolf? It's because in choosing to dramatize a flawed mixed race addict whose overbearing White mother refuses to acknowledge her children's Blackness—in crafting such a complicated and devastating portrait of race—people have no place to hide. Which I get may be scary? But Annie Bosh deserves more than a workshop production. And Janine's work deserves to be amplified. Not through the Yale Prize (which she won). Not through a Juilliard degree (which she earned). But by putting Annie Bosh is Missing onstage—full scream—and letting this wondrous play speak for itself."

About the play: Annie Bosh is back. Fresh out of rehab and ready for a clean start... but what exactly is she looking for?

About the playwright: Janine Nabers is a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellowship at Juilliard and winner of the 2014 Yale Drama Series Prize for her play Serial Black Face, which had its world premiere earlier this year at the Actors Express Theatre in Atlanta. Her play Annie Bosh is Missing had a workshop premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, while her play A swell in the ground had its world premiere at the Gift Theatre in Chicago. Selected awards and honors include: The Dramatists Guild Playwriting Residency, Page 73's Playwriting Fellowship, MacDowell Colony Residency, The Sundance Theater Lab and Ucross Residency, NYFA playwriting fellowship, the Williamstown Musical Theatre Residency, The AETNA Playwriting Fellowship at Hartford Stage, NYTW Usual Suspect (current) and The Fadiman Award for Center Theater Group (2018).


by L M Feldman

From Benjamin Benne: "When I encountered this play in a reading at Denver Center's 2020 New Play Summit, I was immediately enveloped in its lush, poetic language and rich, complex characters; I knew I was witnessing something truly remarkable. Its setting of Greece inspires each character to have its own Chorus member—and the play is bilingual (ASL & English)—so I was in awe of the play's scope in terms of characters, language, and use of environment/mythology. When I was asked about a play that I love, am inspired by, and can't wait to see on stage, this queer romance (that gave me chills, had me holding my breath at the end, and evoked a sense of the spiritual) was the first to come to mind. I look forward to the day I get the honor of experiencing this sprawling play again as a much-deserved fully realized production."

About the play: Perilous & luminous in equal measure, ANOTHER KIND OF SILENCE tells the story of Evan & Chap—2 already-partnered queer women who cross paths in modern-day Greece and find themselves falling in love. Through a landscape lush with language, myth, humor, and intimacy, we watch as their partnerships navigate the elusiveness of desire, the failures of communication, the challenges of long-term commitment, and the mysteries of a changing self. Bilingual & bicultural, ANOTHER KIND OF SILENCE unfolds simultaneously in English & American Sign Language as the 4 characters and their 4 souls (a Greek Chorus) traverse one of the hardest chapters in committed relationships.

About the playwright: L M Feldman is a queer, feminist, GNC playwright who writes theatrically adventurous, physically kinetic, ensemble-driven plays that are both epic & intimate. So far her plays include S P A C E * THRIVE, OR WHAT YOU WILL * ANOTHER KIND OF SILENCE * SCRIBE, OR THE SISTERS MILTON, OR ELEGY FOR THE UNWRITTEN * A PEOPLE * TROPICAL SECRETS, OR ALL THE FLUTES IN THE SEA * THE EGG-LAYERS * GRACE, OR THE ART OF CLIMBING * and a new play about circus, healing, and middle-age athletes. An alum of the Yale School of Drama and the New England Center for Circus Arts, L has been nominated for the Herb Alpert Prize, Wasserstein Prize, ATCA/Steinberg Award, NY Innovative Theatre Award, Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award, and twice for the Blackburn Prize. 


by Haygen-Brice Walker

From Marvin González De León: "Haygen-Brice Walker's plays are always structurally inventive and epic in scale, but I'm nominating ASS2MOUTH because this play explores subject matter that 99.9% of playwrights are too scared to get near. ASS2MOUTH brilliantly does what all good Horror should, it uses the grotesque and monstrous to examine the banal and the taboo in new ways. In this case, "a gay coming of age nightmare" becomes a deconstruction of American's sick, almost sexual, obsession with true crime."

About the play: As a series of grisly murders rocks Second Swamp County, the local teenagers are drawn into a torrid web of sex, death, and serial killers. A gay coming of age nightmare about our obsession with true crime, our darkest fantasies, our darkest fantasies because of our obsession with true crime, fisting, and just how far we'll go to feel something.

About the playwright: Haygen-Brice Walker is a half-Puerto Rican, half-white trash playwright-creative producer raised by professional bodybuilders in a southern swamp and currently living with both his boyfriends in Philadelphia. Haygen-Brice is one of the inaugural recipients of the Terrence McNally New Works Incubator Fellowship from Rattlestick Theatre and Tom Kirdahy Productions. Haygen-Brice has been a Jerome Many Voices Fellow with the Playwrights' Center, a member of Page 73's I-73 Writer's Group, a Virtual Mentee with Playwrights' Realm, and a Creative Residency with SPACE on Ryder Farm. In Philadelphia, Haygen-Brice is the Co-Founder of ON THE ROCKS, a production company devoted to the deep-fried, late-night, BYOB theatrical dumpster-fires that Haygen-Brice makes with Director-Producer Elaina Di Monaco. Haygen-Brice's work is like is Streetcar Named DesireMean GirlsTexas Chainsaw Massacre, and Beloved got shit-tanked at a Buffalo Wild Wings happy hour (extra bleu cheese please) and then sashayed into the neighborhood bathhouse while belting the soundtrack of In The Heights. Each day, Haygen-Brice is one step closer to becoming Jennifer Lopez, which is trite for a gay boricua, but he's embracing the cliché and living his truth. Representation: Sam Barickman, CAA


The Bay of Fundy
by Sherry Kramer

From Lisa D'Amour: "The Bay of Fundy is an adventurous, metaphysical morality tale about a woman, May, ruined by money. At the center of the tale is her beloved dining room table—call it a relic, call it a precious antique, call it the elephant in the room. Over the course of the play she grapples with marriage, regret, and the violence of American capitalism—all while her table grows larger and larger, developing rivers and streams formed from bowls of slowly melting ice. Are you seeing, perhaps, why this is a Venturous play that has not yet been produced? It is SO THRILLING to experience the transformation of May's table as a reader—it is a design feat just DYING to be brought to life. Kramer states that The Bay of Fundy is an adaptation of a single line from The Mayor of Casterbridge: "She discovered that have, want, and take were pleasant words." This play calls us all to reckon with American late-stage capitalism and the chaos and confusion that grows from it. We need this play now—and I know it will be a joy to produce."

About the play: In a world where the water is rising, old money and new longings for it meet on top of an antique table so valuable it is almost a god. Will May sell the table to feed the world the way her husband wants to, or refuse to let it go and cling to it and all the treasures she's fallen in love with? A play about the seductions and responsibilities of money in late-stage capitalism's America.

About the playwright: Sherry Kramer has written more than thirty plays, including David's RedHaired DeathWhen Something Wonderful EndsThree-Quarter Inches of SkyThe Wall of Water, and several plays that, like The Bay of Fundy, are generated inside primary visual metaphors. Her awards include the Weissberger, National McKnight, Jane Chambers, NEA, and a NYFA. She teaches playwriting at Bennington College, and taught regularly in the MFA programs of The Michener Center for Writers UT-Austin and the Iowa Playwrights' Workshop. She was the first national member of New Dramatists. Her book Writing for Stage and Screen will be published by Bloomsbury in August 2023.


the beautiful land i seek (la linda tierra que busco yo)
by Matt Barbot

From Gina Femia: "Two Puerto Rican men get on a train to assassinate the president in the 1950s, but the train ride gets detoured as it slips in and out of time. Matt Barbot's play is at once a howl of grief and a love letter to Puerto Ricans and their complicated history with the United States; it is sometimes a collage of emotions, sometimes jarring, sometimes off-kilter, but all an artist taking a narrative back into his own hands.  An exciting, necessary, and urgent play that should fill an oft-ignored spot in the American Theater."

About the play: In 1950, two would-be assassins board a train from New York to Washington, DC and discuss their plan to strike in the name of Puerto Rican independence. Well, they would be discussing it, that is, if it weren't for interruption after interruption, each time by figures out of art and history, reflections of what their country means to them and has meant to the United States. As the borders of their reality begin to shift and their train chugs along, the two must finalize their plan, interpret what messages these strange visitors have for them, and decide how they want their sacrifice to be remembered.

About the playwright: Matt Barbot is a Nuyorican writer from Brooklyn, NY. He recently contributed to Lynn Nottage and Miranda Haymon's immersive The Watering Hole theater event at Signature Theatre Center in NYC, and received special praise from The New Yorker and The New York Times. Frijoles, his monologue starring Raúl Esparza, is available to view on YouTube from The 24 Hour Plays. In 2018, El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom received its world premiere at Two River Theater. In October 2022, Matt became the winner of The Black List's first ever theater commission. He is a New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellow and has an MFA in playwriting from Columbia University. 


by Gethsemane Herron

From Candrice Jones: "Gethsemane's play, BLANKS, crackles and crackles until it fully opens fire and sheds light upon Black women literary figures whose stories have often been forgotten and questioned—mainly by Black women scholars—in the literary landscape. Mainlining the storyline of an everywoman, Reese, a Black woman on the verge of success, Gethsemane has crafted a narrative which combines the use of alienation effects, literary ghosts, as well as what appears to be a Grand Guignol happening. I was shaken and surprised by the bold structure of BLANKS."

About the play: Medical student Reese desperately hunts for the romance of her dreams while her "aunties"—Black women throughout history and media—dissuade, distract, and try to save her from love's violent abandonment—something they all experienced, something they all did not survive. BLANKS interrogates how intimate partner violence, intersectional patriarchy, and neglect affect Black women's pursuit of romantic and filial love. It asks if love conquers all, what happens when it conquers you?

About the playwright: Gethsemane Herron is a playwright from Washington, DC. She has developed work with Ars Nova, The Fire This Time Festival, The Hearth, JAG Productions, The Liberation Theater Company, the Playwrights' Center, Roundabout Theatre Company, and WP Theater. She was a 20-22 member of Ars Nova's Play Group, a 20-22 member of the WP Lab, and a 21-22 Jerome Fellow/22-23 Many Voices Fellow at the Playwrights' Center. Winner of the Columbia@Roundabout Reading Series. Winner of the 45th Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival. 2022 Recipient of the Helen Merrill Award. Finalist for the Van Lier New Voices Fellowship at the Lark and the Founders Award at New York Stage and Film. MFA: Columbia University. Proud member of the Dramatists' Guild. Gethsemane is currently under commission with Woolly Mammoth Theater Company, Mosaic Theater Company, and the Drinking Gourd Collective. She will work on a new play with the Playwrights' Center as a McKnight Fellow. She's enamored with Sailor Moon & other magical girl warriors. She writes for survivors.


Cocks Crow
by Alice Tuan

From Yilong Liu: "Cocks Crow offers a rare and timely investigation of clashing cultures and super power deflation in an increasingly globalized yet divided world. At times a thoughtful meditation, at times a zestful playground, the play is constantly pulsing with energy, intelligence, and surprises. It's delightful and refreshing to see a subject matter rarely seen on stage explored with both ambition and nuance. This piece holds a mirror up to our times and I can't wait to see the many conversations it will inspire and challenge the audience to have!"

About the play: Americans Bill Peck and Shelly Larkin of Clean Tech Corp are both trying to finalize a deal with the elusive Han Jia Wei of China Green. It is 2012 and the Americans are trying to stay afloat after the Financial Crisis; is it Chinese business practices they don't get or their American colleagues they don't trust? Enter Chinese-American cleanup guy Rafael Chan, heartbroken by the US, who suddenly finds a new pulse with Agnes Deng, a worker at the Shanghai diner, The Yankee Doodle Do.

About the playwright: Alice Tuan is a nationally-acclaimed, internationally-produced playwright, teacher, performer, and dramaturg. Tuan's play Last of the Suns (Berkeley Rep, Ma-Yi Theater) had a bilingual Chinese-English version performed by the Chinese International School in Hong Kong in March 2019. Almasi Collaborative Arts also staged a reading with an African cast in Zimbabwe in July 2019. Tuan is best known for Ajax (por nobody) (Flea Theater, Salvage Vanguard, Melbourne Fringe, Toronto SummerWorks) and, with four other plays, is archived in the Billy Rose Collection at Lincoln Center. Before theater, Tuan taught English as a Second Language in Guangzhou and Los Angeles.


by Agyeiwaa Asante

From Vivian J.O. Barnes: "To me, this play is Venturous in both form and content. The frenzied, kaleidoscopic structure disarms us as Agyeiwaa playfully explores Black womanhood in all its contradictory highs and lows, the beauty and the ugliness, in each of the vignettes. It takes aim at the boxes the world tries to trap us in but also at the ways we sometimes trap ourselves inside those same boxes. She's not afraid to go to the dark, painful places, but she's also able to deftly pivot to scenes full of levity. I am excited to see how much bigger, broader, and wilder the play's scope will get over time—with the support of collaborators."

About the play: A woman's greatest gift is her femininity, as long as she's willing to pay the price. Just as Bride receives her summoning to depart the sanctuary of The Garden to meet her groom, an encounter with a strange fruit makes her question what might be waiting on the other side. A perspective on modern Black womanhood in America.

About the playwright: Agyeiwaa Asante is a Ghanaian-American playwright from Maryland, based in San Diego. Her plays include SWIRL (Kennedy Center's Page-to-Stage Festival 2017, Watermelon One-Act Festival - Best Production 2019), HELP WANTED (Silver Spring One Act Festival, Elemental Women Productions), WILDEST DREAMS (Fire This Time Festival), BY GRACE PT. 2 (2021 Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival), and DAINTY (BOLD NYC's 2020 Festival, Mosaic Theatre, Playwrights Realm Scratchpad series). She is the 2020 recipient of The Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation's Ollie Award. BA in Theatre from the University of Maryland. She is currently earning her MFA in Playwriting at UCSD.


Downstairs Neighbor
by Beth Henley

From Kevin Armento: "I had the chance to see a workshop presentation of Beth's new play at Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor, and it leapt off the page in alternately gut-busting and gut-punching ways. It's about herself, a writer of a certain age, knowing there's this story in her wanting to get out, but wondering if there's enough gas left in the tank to tell it, and—painfully—if anyone would still care. We've seen meta-theatrical purges from younger writers like Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Clare Barron—and this one is no less bold and "unproducible," with original songs and extravagant bursts of spectacle—but I was struck by how little we've heard from veteran voices in this way. Beth, one of our most treasured playwrights, is baring herself in these pages, and there's a wisdom from learned experience here that is as rich and complex as bourbon left long in the barrel."

About the play: A waning playwright, Old Low, is trying to write a play in seven days, because her time is limited. The play is set in 1970s Tarson, Mississippi. Sharon Bunn, a pornographic puppeteer, moves into the downstairs apartment below Wayne Purvis and Young Low, and things go bad. Tilting between the struggle to write a play and the struggle within the play, a chaotic, horrific, and effervescent vision of creation is revealed.

About the playwright: Beth Henley is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and professor. Her plays include CRIMES OF THE HEART (Pulitzer Prize in Drama and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best American Play), THE WAKE OF JAMEY FOSTERTHE MISS FIRECRACKER CONTESTAM I BLUETHE LUCKY SPOTTHE DEBUTANTE BALLABUNDANCECONTROL FREAKSIMPOSSIBLE MARRIAGEFAMILY WEEKRIDICULOUS FRAUDTHE JACKSONIANLAUGH, and THE UNBUTTONING. Her plays have been produced on Broadway and across the country as well as internationally and translated into twelve languages. Originally from Mississippi, Ms. Henley now lives in Los Angeles.


El Cóndor Mágico
by Noelle Viñas

From Jessica Huang: "This incredible play is not only epic in scope—with a large cast, theatrical video/projections, and a spectacular onstage transformation of man into condor—it is also ideologically bold, politically daring, and partially autobiographical, exploring national and personal complicity and generational trauma in regard to Operation Condor, a violent multi-national plot to repress communism through disappearing and terrorizing hundreds of thousands of students and activists in Uruguay and five other Latin American countries. In Noelle's skillful hands, the protagonist's uncovering of the layers of her family's story is also poetic, moving, and riveting. This is theater at its most impactful and most Venturous."

About the play: Nieta is a high school teacher less than a year into grieving her father. It's 2017, and it's possible an authoritarian president was elected in the United States. But instead of dealing with grief or the state of the U.S., she's been having these WEIRD dreams. Dreams that tell her that her Uruguayan family is trying to hide something. And maybe that something is a whole dictatorship and their role in it? Anyway, she's on the surrealist case with birds, trapdoors, and ghosts because she's gonna get to the bottom of it, especially since a good mystery is ALWAYS a good way to avoid dealing with her feelings. What could go wrong?

About the playwright: Noelle Viñas is a playwright, TV writer, and educator from Springfield, Virginia and Montevideo, Uruguay. Viñas was a recipient of the 2020 John Gassner Award and the 2021 Jeffry Melnick New Playwright Award at Primary Stages. During the pandemic, her plays were produced by Shotgun Players, Colt Coeur, Imagination Stage, and Westtown School. Her work has been developed or in residence as a member of the 2022 Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm, New York Stage and Film, Tofte Lake Center, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and the Civilians R&D Group. Viñas resides between Brooklyn and LA, where she was most recently a staff writer on MRS. DAVIS. BA: Emerson College, MFA: Brooklyn College.


by Brysen Boyd

From Charly Evon Simpson: "FAMILY SIDESHOW is a play that gives us snapshots, mini-glimpses into a family's experience dealing with difficult subject matters. The tone of the play shifts from moment to moment, scene to scene even as the depth and seriousness of what the characters are facing stays deep and heavy. It is a play that feels challenging in form and ambitious in scale that needs the experience of production to continue growing further."

About the play: A family attempts to remain together despite the effects of a disease. Also, there is a circus clown involved.

About the playwright: Brysen Boyd is a playwright, TV writer, and essayist originally from Tacoma, WA. He served on the writing staff for HBO's SUCCESSION (in a position created for him), is a 2023 Artist-in-Residence at Williamstown Theater Festival, the inaugural Playwright-in-Residence at Reverie Theater Company, and is a proud member of Youngblood/Ensemble Studio Theater. His plays include FAMILY SIDESHOW (Playwrights' Center Venturous Prize Nominee, O'Neill Conference Semi-Finalist, 2022 Juilliard Finalist, Winner of KC-Melting Pot National New Play Competition), CLOSING COSTS ON 6101 NYANZA (Blue Ink Award Semi-finalist, Kennedy Center Short Play Semi-Finalist), and others His work has received support from Tin House, The Kennedy Center, Sewanee Writers Conference, Columbia University, Napa Valley Writers Conference, Kansas City Melting Pot, Seattle Playwrights' Saloon, and others. His nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Florida Review, Orca: A Literary Journal, and others. Having come to playwriting and creative nonfiction in undergrad by way of his first love, TV, his goal in life is to write stories that make others feel as excited as 9-year-old him felt when watching David and Keith on SIX FEET UNDER. Writing means everything to him—second only to his miniature wiener dogs, Simon and Alvin. BA, Boston College. MFA, Columbia University.


by Ankita Raturi

From Dipika Guha: "Ankita describes this play as 'a queer, creative response to Bram Stoker's Dracula, re-examining the character through the lens of the immigrant experience and xenophobia in community spaces.' The play tackles our response to that which we don't understand through a new imaginative lens. When something is beyond the paradigm of our experience it is dismissed or worse, ostracized. This play is like a little island of understanding. It is Venturous in concept—and in production, the form of the play mirrors its subject by crossing into dance, puppetry, and music to create 'total theater;' calling for a full production to be realized."

About the play: Q imports earth from their homeland to grow peculiar plants in a community garden, to cultivate a little plot of home in this new land. But Jon, the community garden manager, doesn't trust this mysterious immigrant or their foreign dirt, especially not around his eleven-year-old daughter. A creative response to Bram Stoker's DraculaFIFTY BOXES OF EARTH asks us to consider the heavy costs of leaving a home to put down new roots.

About the playwright: Ankita Raturi (she/her) writes about living between cultural identities and contending with the ongoing legacies of colonization. 2022 Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation's Ollie Award winner. Commissions: Artists at Play & APAFT; EST/Sloan; Cygnet/Finish Line, South Coast Rep/Elizabeth George. New play development: Playwrights Realm, Cygnet Theatre, Artists at Play, the COOP, Atlantic Pacific Theatre, Theater Masters, Hypokrit Theatre Company, New York Shakespeare Exchange, Pete's Candy Store, Natyabharati. Devised work with Charlotte Murray: Fresh Ground Pepper, Corkscrew Theater Festival, Dixon Place. BFA in Drama: NYU/Tisch. MFA Candidate in Playwriting: UCSD (Friends of the International Center Endowed Fellowship Recipient). Instagram: @ankitawrites


by Kevin Christopher Snipes

From Mashuq Mushtaq Deen: "THE GIANT is a nuanced investigation of the porn industry over the last fifty years, starting with the cinematic 'Golden Age' in the '70s and ending in porn's mass proliferation on the internet today. The play explores the duality of pornography's nature—for gay men (and trans men, too), porn was/is one of the few places where we are unabashedly represented and our existence and desirability is validated; at the same time, the abuse and dehumanization of people who work in the porn industry is counterproductive to the progressive ideals of a sex-positive community like the queer community. THE GIANT is a complex take on the porn industry at a time when porn is more easily accessible than ever before, and we still don't talk about it."

About the play: When eighteen-year-old Joey Myles moves to LA to find his long-lost father, a once-legendary porn star known only as the Giant, he's soon taken in by two of his father's former associates who dream of transforming the well-endowed Joey into the next big thing in the world of adult entertainment. Unfortunately, when it comes to the business of sex, no one is safe from getting screwed. And soon the two men are vying for control of the boy's future while Joey himself struggles to hold onto his soul in this darkly comic play about the fathers we lose, the fathers we find, and the fathers who made gay-for-pay porn in the nineties.

About the playwright: Kevin Christopher Snipes is the author of such plays as A Bitter Taste (EST/Youngblood) and The Chimes (SPF/The Public). Additionally, his plays have received readings and workshops at the New Group, the Amoralists, the Aurora Theater, Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Luna Stage, and Orlando Shakespeare. For Gimlet Media, he created the queer fantasy podcast The Two Princes (named one of the Best Serialized Podcast of 2019 by The Guardian). His first novel Milo and Marcos at the End of the World was published by HarperTeen earlier this year and is a official selection of the NEA's 2022-23 Read Across America program.


The Girl is Chained
by Genne Murphy

From Josh Wilder: "Vivid, theatrical imagery; and blisteringly poetic language. That is always the main course when it comes to Genne's writing. The Girl is Chained explores two women in the aftermath of an assault. A mother must reckon with her complicity, and a survivor must cope with the effects of trauma many years later. Despite the ways their lives take vastly different paths and identities, they are irrevocably bound. When I encountered this play for the first time, I could barely sit still due to the intensity of its dread. Even in its early drafts, its vision was fully formed. It's a truly scary play—both in its content and powerfully theatrical tension, but also in its derision of a culture which normalized sexual violence."

About the play: Deb maintains the pristine surfaces of her 1990s white suburban life—but when her son is accused of sexual assault, guilt threatens to tear her apart. Dana seems to be holding it together as a queer Black woman in Trump's America, until her past creeps into her already troubled present. Through visual metaphor and dark humor, The Girl is Chained tells the story of two women and the night that both divides and connects them.

About the playwright: Genne is a playwright from Philadelphia. Her selected plays include The Girl is ChainedGiantessThe Skinny Killer InsideMy Obsession with Vivian, and Hope Street and Other Lonely Places. Her work has been developed with Page 73, Azuka Theatre, Yale Cabaret/Yale School of Drama, The American Playwriting Foundation, Great Plains Theater Conference, PlayPenn, Philly Fringe, SF PlayGround, and Theater Masters. Genne is a winner of the Leah Ryan Fund for Emerging Women Playwrights and the Theater Masters Visionary Playwrights Award. She was a finalist for the Relentless Award. Website:


The Good Boy Game
by Patrick Vermillion

From Thomas Bradshaw: "The Good Boy Game is a brilliant examination of violence in our society from the perspective of an extremely wealthy family in Bedminster, New Jersey. There is no moralizing or finger-pointing in this play. Every character follows their own disturbing moral compass to its logical end, and the results are astonishing because of what they reveal about The American Psyche and the ways in which we breed the rage which leads to horrifically violent acts. The play is also unexpectedly humorous, because each character is completely free in ways that are rarely portrayed on American stages."

About the play: Upon discovering their 16-year-old son is about to commit an unthinkable atrocity, parents Mary-Beth and Sam decide to forgo calling the authorities and de-radicalize him on their own. After tying him up in the attic, they initiate a therapist-recommended rewards-based points system designed to defeat his nihilistic hatred and show him the benefit of being a "good boy." But as they chip away at his ideologies and attempt to bring him back to normal, they reckon with the evil that has lurked within their lives and the part they played in creating it.

About the playwright: Patrick Vermillion is a playwright with two cats. His plays include The Good Boy Game (2020 O'Neill Finalist), Bezos N' Me (2021 O'Neill Semi-Finalist), The Teddies (2022 Steep Commission), and Losing It (Pegasus Playlab Finalist, Detroit New Works Semi-Finalist). His plays have been seen at Ensemble Studio Theatre, MirrorBox, Alchemical Lab, Soho Playhouse, and IRT. His plays have been developed at Butler University, Louisiana State University, and Sarah Lawrence College. MFA: Northwestern University.


Hard Places
by Garrett Zuercher

From Clare Barron: "Hard Places is a bold new play that explores how institutions fail people even when they're trying to help. It includes a beautiful and layered use of American Sign Language across fluencies that's poignant and theatrical. And explores a complicated, deeply intuitive protagonist who is tired of having to be his own advocate while he is fighting to survive."

About the play: A young gay man named Tip, finding himself at rock bottom, realizes he has no other recourse but to go to rehab for his alcohol addiction. However, being the only Deaf man in a facility designed for hearing people means he needs to fight for a lot more than just getting sober. Although his boyfriend and usual interpreter, Jose, is stuck on the outside, Tip is able to connect with another patient on the inside who becomes his fragile lifeline. Then tragedy strikes. 

About the playwright: A profoundly Deaf and queer theater artist equally fluent in English and American Sign Language, Garrett Zuercher holds an MFA in playwriting from Hunter College, class of 2022, and is the founder and artistic director of Deaf Broadway, for which he is producing an all-Deaf, all-ASL version of Stephen Sondheim's COMPANY at Lincoln Center this summer. He is also currently in the midst of a residency awarded by The Shed to create a new narrative stage piece about the lives and work of a diverse group of Deaf theater artists, which will perform on their mainstage in the summer of 2024. In addition to multiple writing awards from the Kennedy Center, his plays have repeatedly been finalists and semifinalists for development at the Eugene O'Neill Center, Anderson Center, Playwrights Realm, Playwrights' Center, and the Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship. Dedicated to bringing authentic Deaf voices to the mainstream, he continues to advocate for awareness and representation. For more, please visit


The Haunting at Camp Winona
by Mara Nelson-Greenberg

From Deborah Stein: "The Haunting at Camp Winona is a dark, hilarious take on a world that I don't think has ever been seen on a stage before: sleepaway camp. In this pitch-black comedy, Mara displays a singular, distinctive voice—one that doesn't settle easily into genres—to explore the natural darkness of pre-teen girls. She uses absurdism to amplify the dangers that lurk in the most anodyne spaces. Is it a ghost story? A mystery? Yes? In any case, it's brilliant."

About the play: Camp Winona is anxious to be the top-rated East Coast Camp this year, but they're running into some problems—the Rich Girls have become obsessed with seances, that camper Angelica won't stop screaming about death, and there may be a ghost haunting the forest just beyond the camp's perimeter. Everyone wants to have the best summer ever, but class warfare and dead people keep getting in the way. The Haunting at Camp Winona is a dark comedy that asks what it means to come of age in a messed up world where nobody gets out alive.

About the playwright: Mara Nelson-Greenberg's work has been developed at Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, SPACE on Ryder Farm, EST/Youngblood, Berkeley Rep, and ACT Theatre, among others. Her play Do You Feel Anger? premiered at the 2018 Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville and was produced at the Vineyard Theatre in 2019. She is a former member of Youngblood at Ensemble Studio Theater and Clubbed Thumb's Early Career Writers Group. She received her MFA from UC-San Diego under Naomi Iizuka.


The High Alive
by Carlos Sirah

From Erik Ehn: "The High Alive is a diptych: it is a knife plus a bulldozer. It tells/embodies key truths about war and displacement, from the vantage of a writer who knows truth, who knows the cant and awe-fulness of monopolizing force, who knows war, who is an agent of compassion."

About the play: The High Alive is made up of The Light Body and The Utterances. Together, they take up excess and extinction in a speculative consideration of war and its reverberations, with attention to the domestic and intimate aside the city and the collective asking the question, is there possibility in the face of ruin?

About the playwright: Carlos Sirah is a writer, performer, dramaturg, and cultural worker who creates formal structures rooted in Black expressions of possibility that take the shape of concert, lyric prose, procession, film, and stageplays. Sirah's transdisciplinary work draws from the legacy of multiple aesthetic traditions: Black Arts Movement, Black Radical Tradition, Theatrical Jazz, and Blues. Sirah has shown or developed work with The Flea Theater, the Playwrights' Center, The Bushwick Starr, Phillips County Arkansas, Dodge Poetry Festival, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the National Veterans Art Museum.


a home what howls (or the house what was ravine)
by matthew paul olmos

From Susan Soon He Stanton: "It's my privilege to nominate a home what howls... for the Venturous Fellowship. matthew is precisely the kind of playwright that deserves this award to support his considerable talent and remarkable unique voice. a home what howls... is set in his homeland of California, and the play is both epic and intimate, with beautiful lyrical language interplaying with fully realized characters, struggling with modern fears of displacement. There are echoes of Cherry Orchard here, as well as matthew's own unique mythology. I find this play epic and exciting, and I hope it receives many productions in the future. I think this play deserves and defines support of the Venturous Fellowship, as does matt, as a hardworking playwright who has continued his focus on theater and would benefit from receiving this prestigious fellowship."

About the play: A coyote howling. A home in disarray. A young woman alone. Soledad Vargas is in the city, fighting for her family's right to live on their land. When hope starts to dwindle, how far will she go, and what will she be forced to leave behind? A modern myth drawn from the real life struggles of displaced communities around the globe, a home what howls... is a lyrically-rendered quest of youth activism standing against forces of injustice.

About the playwright: matthew paul olmos is a Mexican-American playwright/lyricist who focuses on creating space for marginalized/underrepresented communities and gives them heightened poetic language and theatricality. While his work is always personal, it aims to reach across socio'political boundaries, show the ridiculousness of separation, and illuminate hope for future generations. His plays are presented nationally/internationally, published, taught in university. Three-time Sundance Institute Fellow/Resident, Humana Festival, Ojai Playwrights Conference, New Dramatists, Arizona Theatre's Latinx Awardee, Center Theatre Group & Geffen Writers Rooms, Playwrights' Center Core Writer, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Black Swan, Cherry Lane Mentor Project (Taylor Mac), Princess Grace Awardee, La MaMa's Ellen Stewart Awardee, selected by Sam Shepard.


by Sam Marks

From Robert O'Hara: "This play is a deeply moving, boldly theatrical exploration of explicit Erotica. It places its middle finger on male desire and toxicity in a non-linear narrative filled with the dark crevices of everyday life. It presses triggers around the issues of fidelity, power, education, and the hot mess of one man's sexual reawakening."

About the play: Diagnosed with a neurological illness and faced with the fallout of an explosive affair, a Jewish Harvard professor picks up the remains of his life as he negotiates divorce, infidelity, children, career, and sex at 40. A prismatic, nuanced portrait of middle age, THE HOT MESS is a candid, unflinching, messy play that asks whether desire can liberate us from the confines of modern life.

About the playwright: Third generation Jewish New Yorker. World Premieres include THE DELLING SHORE (Humana), THE OLD MASTERS (Steppenwolf), THE JOKE (Studio Dante directed by Sam Gold), and NELSON (Partial Comfort Productions). Other NYC productions: BRACK'S LAST BACHELOR PARTY (59 E. 59) and CRAFT (The Flea). During the pandemic, he wrote two plays for the ARBORETUM EXPERIENCE (A.R.T.) created by Kirsten Greenidge. In 2022 he had workshops of THE DEPARTMENT PARTY, directed by Morgan Green with Faultline Theater and WHITE LIGHTNING, at Intar, directed by Lou Moreno. His play ARTHUR is a commission from Playwrights Horizons, with David Cromer attached to direct. Sam collaborated with Simon McBurney and Theater Complicite. His plays have been developed at Arena Stage, Atlantic Theater, Clubbed Thumb, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theater, Rattlestick, the Vineyard, and many others. He received his MFA from Brown University where he studied under Paula Vogel. In the TV space, Sam completed a pilot for HBO and developed two series with CBS studios. A proud member of the WGA, he was in a room for an FX/Hulu show when the strike started. His work is available from Samuel French and Playscripts, Inc. A former Golden Gloves Boxer, he teaches playwriting at Harvard University.


The Housing Situation on Neptune
by NJ Draine

From Erin Courtney: "The Housing Situation on Neptune" by NJ Draine is epic in the scope of content (a near future in which the government is entirely run by one tech company, a Christian A.I. is a global pop star, and the rich can easily relocate to Neptune). It's also epic in its desire to use technology in a theatrical manner—two of the main characters are sentient A.I., there is a documentary inside the play, there is a concert on stage, there are adult VR playrooms. Finally, it is formally adventurous in the way it gracefully weaves intimate, daily actions—riding the subway, going camping, going to a karaoke club—with dystopian displacement, corporate greed, human desire for comfort over equity, prioritizing the hedonistic moment over the future of the planet."

About the play: Sisters Kiki and Alma know that living in a burning country owned by a technocrat trillionaire warlord is kind of a drag, but at least the internet service is reliable. And, honestly, it's not that bad. Just a few tips: avoid the Red Zone if you can; always keep a gas mask handy; and have an active Playground© subscription for those days when you wanna leave this reality and escape into VR (which will be often). Also, steer clear of ANYONE even remotely adjacent to the Resistance. NJ Draine's new play is a frightening, absurd romp in a world so strange it starts to feel familiar.

About the playwright: NJ s a Chicago-based educator, playwright, and singer-songwriter. They are most interested in exploring the bitingly absurd, the poetic, and the surreality of experiences yet to be realized. They are a recent graduate of the Northwestern Writing for Screen and Stage program.


by Zakiyyah Alexander

From Paula Vogel: “A few years back, a friend called me, a distressed literary manager, who had witnessed a workshop of HOW TO RAISE A FREEMAN at the Taper. The audience gave the workshop a standing ovation. The artistic director turned down doing the play. I am gutted by this play. It is subtly written with devices that pull the playworld into different genres but has a laser like focus on the aftermath of George Floyd's murder. What is more Venturous than telling the truth to an audience? It is an indictment of American Theatre that this play has not been produced. I think this play should be in theaters across our country.”

About the play: How does a middle class family teach their teenage son to stay alive? A dark comedy about the drama of living while Black—in America.

About the playwright: Zakiyyah Alexander’s plays include: THE GOOD MUSLIM (Ensemble Studio Theater); YOU ARE HERE, the musical; GIRL SHAKES LOOSE (Penumbra Theater, O’Neill Musical Conference); 10 THINGS TO DO BEFORE I DIE (Second Stage); THE ETYMOLOGY OF BIRD (Central Park Summerstage, Hip Hop Theater Festival, Providence Black Repertory Theatre); BLURRING SHINE (Market Theater, Johannesburg); SWEET MALADIES (Brava Arts Center, Rucker Theatre, Bay Area Playwrights Festival); and her newest play, HOW TO RAISE A FREEMAN, workshopped with the McCarter Theater, Playwright’s Horizons, Center Theater Group, and Bard at the Gate. Television credits: GREY’S ANATOMY, 24 LEGACY, HUNTERS, RUSSIAN DOLL, LA BREA, GROWN-ISH, THE ACCUSED.


Howling, Texas
by Katie Bender

From Gab Reisman: “This play is a brazen look at obsession and prophesy, at how we're chosen for love or chosen to lead a congregation in new directions. I love the modes of communication Katie gives us—God's message delivered by text then physically eaten or emails we can feel on our skin. I love the hairy, graceful Monster born of desire/frustration and the way East Texas lives underneath this story as a quiet, sexy, menacing fifth character.”

About the play: In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, in the small town of Howling, local pastor Deborah Lewis has started receiving text messages from God, a prophecy for the next phase of human evolution. It does not look good. It looks hard. Also, she's gonna need a volunteer to help with the technology. Karen, a stranger to Howling, has upended her life to come live with Johnny. The sex is good, and damnit, she’s not ready to settle down. Thrown together, Karen and Deborah confront prophecy, change, and their role in shaping the future. Howling, Texas is a comedy about faith, sex, marriage, and monsters.

About the playwright: Katie Bender (she/her/hers) is a playwright, performer, and theater maker. Her plays include Still Now, The Fault, The Survivors/Los Sobrevivientes, and an immersive adaptation of Alice in Wonderland she co-created with Underbelly. Her work has been developed with The New Harmony Project, Kitchen Dog, The Orchard Project, The Alley, EST, Launch Pad, The Hangar, ZACH Theatre, and the Playwrights’ Center to name a few. On the Kilroys List and a finalist for the inaugural Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship, she has her MFA from The University of Texas. She was a 2016/2017 Jerome Fellow and is currently a Core Writer at the Playwrights' Center. 


by Ife Olujobi

From Will Arbery:Jordans, like all of Olujobi's plays, is a startlingly original piece of writing, every page brimming over with razor-sharp theatrical vision. This is a brilliant, uncategorizable play—a Buñuel-Greaves workplace fever dream—with true horror, innovative drama, and gut-churning comedy. There are terrifying sequences which took my breath away. It’s so fun it hurts. And I'll never be able to forget the ending. The theater needs Ife Olujobi.”

About the play: At a workplace where appearance is everything, a long-suffering receptionist finds herself in personal, professional, and psychic jeopardy when her ruthless boss hires a hip new employee in order to improve the company’s image and “culture.” Suddenly, the two young, Black, ambitious social climbers are forced together and torn apart by their race, ambition, and otherworldly circumstance. Jordans is a story of identity mistaken, power subverted, and rage unleashed.

About the playwright: Ife Olujobi (she/they) is a Brooklyn-based Nigerian American playwright from Columbia, Maryland. She is a 2020-22 Resident Artist at Ars Nova, a member of Youngblood at Ensemble Studio Theatre, and an alumnus of the 2018-19 Emerging Writers Group at the Public Theater and the 2020 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab. She was a New Voices Fellow at The Lark, an inaugural Project Number One artist-in-residence at Soho Rep, and the recipient of a 2021 Steinberg Playwright Award and a 2020 Sloan Foundation commission from Manhattan Theatre Club. Their play Jordans won a special commendation from the 2021 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.


by David Zheng

From Kimber Lee:KIDNAPPING JANE DOE by David Zheng is a collision of rhythm and style, a hilarious and moving love letter to a neighborhood, and a clear-eyed critique of the gulf between the slick machine of politics and the day-to-day real people who live with the consequences of political power games. It's a play with a huge heart, a play that refuses to oversimplify its characters, and invites us in for a deeper, more complex conversation about what we know, what we assume, and the truth about what is right in front of our face if we would only take a pause to see it.”

About the play: Two friends kidnap their congresswoman in order to save the Bronx from gentrification but inadvertently show her the best time of her life.

About the playwright: David Zheng is a playwright and visual artist from The Bronx. His work has been developed at The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, MCC Theater, The Labyrinth Theater Company, Cherry Lane Theater Company, The Lark, and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. He is a 2021 Bronx Cultural Vision Fund awardee, former NYTW 2050 Fellow, 2020 Eugene O’Neill National Playwright’s Conference recipient, 2018-2019 member of the Public Theater Emerging Writers’ Group, and a 2018 Van Lier New Voices Playwriting Fellow at The Lark. David is currently developing an original pilot with Sony Pictures.


Leave to Remain
by Shayan Lotfi

From Samuel D. Hunter: “I first encountered Shayan’s writing when I was teaching at NYU a few years ago, and he’s one of the most talented writers that I’ve encountered in years. He is a deeply felt and profoundly intelligent writer, and his gorgeous play Leave to Remain has specific casting and technical requirements that have made it difficult for it to find a home.”

About the play: Amir—a gay Iranian asylum seeker—arrives in London and attempts to build a new life.

About the playwright: Shayan Lotfi has written some plays and thankfully still wants to write. He's been fortunate enough that some wonderful institutions have supported and developed his work, including MacDowell, The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm, Atlantic Theater, Roundabout Theatre, South Coast Repertory, The Lark, Marble House, Millay, and Boston Court. In addition to writing, he also works as an urban planning consultant.


The Lonely (A Queer Spiritual Kiki)
by Andrew Rincón

From Migdalia Cruz: “This is a ‘Venturous’ Play, because it tells a fiercely tragic story in a non-conventional, non-traditional way that demands a place on the American stage and in the American canon because of its radical ideas and unique structure. It seeks to magically place together and contextualize writers of different eras and how their queerness, race, and culture informed, created, and inspired their ART. This is also a play about the sadness of being a creative person who sometimes hides a part of themselves in order to be accepted by the mainstream, but who ultimately has to stop hiding and just dare to be in order to reach their artistic and personal goals and find their most authentic self.”

About the play: Kevin Diaz, an upcoming graphic novelist, is experiencing new career territory as his first book is published. He's nervous, he's excited...he might be going insane? But he has a solution for dealing with his madness—and that's summoning the Spirits of Dead Queer Writers that have inspired him to write in the first place. As the spirits arrive, Kevin's plan goes awry as they come from Death with opinions and plans of their own. Some more benign than others. A play about Queer Community, writing, and about those who we leave behind as life goes on. 

About the playwright: Andrew Rincón is a Queer Colombian-American playwright. Their work blends fantasy, modern Latine mythology and Queer fabulation. They are the winner of the 2018 Chesley/Bumbalo Grant for writers of Gay and Lesbian Theatre and the New Light New Voices Award (2019). Dramatist Guild Foundation Fellow (19-20), MacDowell Fellow (Winter 2020). Skidmore College’s Playwright in Residence (21-22). Selected plays: The Lonely (A Queer Spiritual Kiki) and El Mito or The Myth of My Pain (upcoming production at Purdue University September 2023). Their play I Wanna Fuck like Romeo and Juliet had its world premiere at 59E59 Theaters (produced by New Light Theater Project) and is published by Concord Theatricals/Samuel French. They will begin pursuing their MFA in Playwriting at Yale Fall of 2023.


Madre De Dios
by Marvin González De León

From Gethsemane Herron: “Since Marvin shared this piece with the Playwrights' Center fellows at Tofte Lake, I have hungered to see it produced and see this intimate family drama juxtaposed with its sci-fi, alien, larger-than-this-world ending. This approach to ambition and scale are singular, the way it holds people—ill, disabled, flawed people—is tender and honest. I cannot wait to see this!”

About the play: After years of absence, Moisés returns to his family home in the Southern Nevada desert for his sister’s wake. His attempts to reconcile with his twin brother, Noé, are complicated by the presence of a Canopy that shades the desert from rising temperatures, an unexplained supernatural force, and his mother’s unwavering devotion to God, which may be driving her toward madness. Madre De Dios begins as a Mexican American family drama that unexpectedly unravels into a genre-defying biblical myth about redemption and how to survive in a dying world.

About the playwright: Marvin González De León writes plays that incorporate a myriad of genres—from sci-fi to horror—anchored in the traditions of Latin American literature. He is the recipient of the 2022 Page 73 Playwriting Fellowship. He is also a Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center, where he was previously awarded the Jerome Fellowship, the McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting, and the Many Voices Fellowship. He was a member of the 2020 Interstate 73 Writers Group at Page 73 Productions and was a Virtual Realm Mentee with the Playwrights Realm. He received his MFA in Dramatic Writing from Arizona State University.


by natyna bean

From Christopher Shinn: “What makes malignant a Venturous play is not only its timeliness as it relates to reproductive justice, but how it approaches a familiar conversation through a relatively unexplored lens: a Black, inner-city religious community with queer relationship structures. Critiquing Black American theological practices, especially those that ostensibly formed to instill cultural pride in the face of systematized oppression, is a risky choice, as it could be likened to ‘airing out the dirty laundry’ of one's people. The play is formally ambitious and inventive also, while never sacrificing a broad reach or emotional accessibility.”

About the play: Blood binds—like commitments or handcuffs. And while Mum is deeply familiar with both, hard truths reveal that even as she builds a firm bridge over troubled waters, sometimes the only way to clear a new path is to burn down everything standing in her way.

About the playwright: natyna bean is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and producer whose work interrogates the presence and impact of carceral systems and explores the possibility of sovereignty. natyna’s work has been produced and/or developed with SPACE on Ryder’s Farm, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, The Great Plains Theatre Conference, The Fire This Time Festival, and more. natyna was awarded the 2020 Lorraine Hansberry Lilly Award and is an NYU-Tisch and New School University alum. natyna is a producer for the public radio show and podcast Our Body Politic and can be found at and on socials as @sunbeamshawty.


Mother of Exiles
by Jessica Huang

From Carson Kreitzer: “Jessica Huang's Mother of Exiles has lingered in my mind ever since I watched the Playwrights' Center Zoom reading, in deep pandemic time, alone in my office, breathing, laughing, weeping. This is a Venturous play in all ways. At once breathtakingly epic and breathtakingly intimate. It requires some bold and gorgeous design choices. (We need a tree. We need Water... first a harbor, then the open ocean.) But mostly, it requires that we confront our painful and culpable past, our present choices, and our future on this earth. A play about climate, a play about love, a play about family, generations, hope, despair... a play of Survival.”

About the play: In 1898 California, a pregnant Eddie Loi faces deportation. In 1998 Miami, her grandson Braulio accidentally summons her spirit while patrolling the border. In 2063, somewhere on the ocean, their descendants try to survive the climate crisis. An epic multigenerational tale of sacrifice, love, and survival that spans 150 years in 90 minutes.

About the playwright: Jessica Huang is a playwright and librettist whose plays include: The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin (History Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse, New York Stage and Film Powerhouse Season, Barry and Bernice Stavis Award), Mother of Exiles (Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award), and Transmissions in Advance of the Second Great Dying (EMOS Ecodrama prize). Her audioplay Song of the Northwoods is available on Audible. She is developing an original television show with WBTV. She has commissions with Manhattan Theatre Club, Timeline Theater, History Theatre and Theater Mu. Jessica is a MacDowell Fellow, Hermitage Fellow, and three-time Playwrights' Center fellow, and has been a member of Ars Nova Play Group, Civilians R&D Group, and Page 73's Interstate 73. She is a graduate of the Playwrights Program at Juilliard. 


Native Pride (And Prejudice)
by Vera Starbard

From Larissa FastHorse: “I am nominating this play because it does an incredible thing, adapts a Western classic piece of literature into something that is wholly and completely Indigenous—Lingit in this case. Through Vera's writing, both pieces exist together in a way that is equally appealing to fans of Austen and Starbard. Unfortunately it is still very difficult to get a play with this many Indigenous actors produced, so any support will mean a great deal.”

About the play: We don’t get far into a classically Regency-era show before Raven, trickster and head storyteller, has to intercede and set the tale where it rightfully belongs: in a modern Alaska Native village. This is the only possible way to showcase nonprofit village champion Eliza Bennet’s interactions with the stuffy city-Native Will Darcy. But Raven’s attempts at excellence in oratory go awry as he starts to lose control of the Bennet sisters—especially Mary.

About the playwright: Vera Starbard, T’set Kwei, is a Tlingit and Dena’ina playwright, magazine editor, and television writer who lives in Juneau, Alaska. She has written on shows including ABC’s Alaska Daily, and the PBS Kids animated show Molly of Denali, which won a Peabody Award in 2020 and was nominated for two Emmy’s in 2022. Vera was also co-head writer for a series of Molly of Denali shorts airing in 2022. She was previously the playwright-in-residence at Perseverance Theatre through the Andrew W. Mellon National Playwright Residency Program.


#NEWSLAVES, A Sports Fantasia on the Commodification of the Black Body
by Keelay Gipson

From Stacey Rose:#NEWSLAVES beautifully encapsulates the juxtaposition of fame and the inherent racism Black professional athletes face. It is a somber reminder that the hope of upward mobility that comes with being a ball player often comes with a heavy and very familiar price tag.”

About the play: A fantasia on the criminalization and commodification of the Black Body in America, the show follows three Black men from slavery to now, using the NFL Draft as a jumping off point.

About the playwright: Keelay Gipson is an award-winning writer and professor. His work has been developed/supported by Roundabout, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Page 73, Lambda Literary, The Old Globe, Artist Repertory Theater, Bushwick Starr, New York Stage and Film, Ars Nova, Dramatist Guild Foundation, New Dramatists, National Black Theater, Rattlestick Playwrights' Theater, Classical Theater of Harlem, and New York Theatre Workshop. 


The Norns of Athens, Maine
by Emma Watkins

From Nathan Alan Davis: “There is a line in The Norns of Athens, Maine that has stuck with me since I first read it two years ago: ‘Have you noticed that you have come here/to yet another Athens/and you still have not found your God? Norns is an aurally rich play that uses theatrical poetry to ask essential questions about the nature of the American experiment while reorienting our relationship to the land upon which we live. Emma Watkins' script gets underneath and inside of language as it examines the loss, acquisition, and insistence of identity within a nation that seems to demand the severing of ancestral ties. This play is full of generous, playful, and deeply-considered invitations to future collaborators. It stretches itself, literally and figuratively, toward the sky and toward the earth, within and without, toward death and toward life. Norns is in need of champions who can shepherd it towards production while keeping its unique spirit and vision intact.”

About the play: Pas, Prësin, and Futur have lived in the Olde Olde Tree in the Athens dump for as long as anyone here can remember. From there, the three Norns weave a knotted web of the lives and deaths of all who live in Athens. A story of being forsaken, of wearing out a welcome, of manifest destiny unraveling.

About the playwright: Emma Watkins is a MFA candidate in Playwriting at the University of Texas at Austin. Her plays include Elizabeth is going into the ground (2023 Bay Area Playwrights Festival Finalist, 2023 O’Neill Playwrights Festival Semifinalist, 2022 Leah Ryan Prize Honorable Mention), Rumpus for the End of the World (2022 Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission Semifinalist), and Petrificationology (Cohen New Works Festival Go Grant Winner), among others. Her plays have been developed or produced by PlayPenn, McCarter Theatre Lab, the US-UK Fulbright Commission, Scriptworks, Lewis Center for the Arts, Chapter Arts Centre (UK), and Theatre Intime. BA: Princeton University, MA: Cardiff University.


by A. Rey Pamatmat

From Mona Mansour: “I'm delighted to nominate Pure by A. Rey Pamatmat. Rey's play centers on Alan Turing, the mathematician credited with creating the world's first computer. The play uses titles of talks Turing actually gave—dating from 1932 to 1953—as framing devices for imagined conversations that take us into the mind of the English genius, a self-described ‘homosexual.’ At a time when the basic principles of science are under threat in the US and beyond, this play gives the audience a rigorous, dramatic entry to some of the great questions that obsessed Turing. And Rey's rendering of Turing's sexuality is beautifully audacious and playful, making no apologies about the man’s 'earthly' desires. Written with deep feeling by a gay writer, this play gives us a fresh window into the life and philosophy of an oft-depicted (and pathologized) gay hero. Pure needs to be seen and produced widely.”

About the play: Alan Turing, the queer British mathematician whose ideas would usher in the digital age, labors tirelessly to complete his great work: an intelligent machine capable of thinking, learning, and—one day—living. But when his life and ideas are put on trial, Alan is forced to confront the painful connection between his pursuit of artificial life and his first love’s death and to follow his obsession to its inevitable, ultimate end.

About the playwright: A. Rey Pamatmat’s plays include Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them (Actors Theatre of Louisville); after all the terrible things I do (Milwaukee Rep); House Rules (Ma-Yi); Thunder Above, Deeps Below (Second Generation); A Spare Me (Waterwell); and DEVIANT. His work has been translated into Spanish and Russian, performed in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Russia, and published by Concord Theatricals, Playscripts, Cambria Press, and Vintage. Rey is the former co-director of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, and was a PoNY, Hodder, and Princess Grace Fellow.


a river, its mouths
by Jesús I. Valles

From Liliana Padilla: “Jesús I. Valles’ a river, its mouths, is an incantation—for home, for love, for the dead and the veiled beyond. Like Jesús, the play is deep and funny as hell. This raw, mythic story of coming home must be staged—the scenes move as fluidly as the river at its dangerous, mysterious core.”

About the play: Struggling with severe depression after a string of personal crises, You return to your hometown on the Texas/Mexico border, right by the river that raised You. It’s the summer of 2019 and while the Rio Bravo claims migrants’ lives during their perilous crossings, rumors of a “Rio Grande mermaid" claw their way out of the sand, out of the water, into the air, into your head, as the river insists on itself, haunting the mouths of family, friends, and strangers. Something in the water calls to you. “Come,” the river says. “Come to me.”

About the playwright: Jesús I. Valles (they/them) is a queer Mexican immigrant, educator, writer-performer from Cd. Juarez/El Paso. Jesús is the winner of the  2023 Yale Drama Series selected by Jeremy O. Harris (Bathhouse.pptx), the winner of the 2022 Kernodle Playwriting Prize (a river, its mouths), and was named the 2022 Emerging Theatre Professional by the National Theatre Conference. As a playwright, Jesús received support from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, The Kennedy Center, The Flea, Teatro Vivo, and Outsider Festival. For their work as a poet, Jesús’ received fellowships from CantoMundo, Lambda Literary, Community of Writers, Idyllwild Arts, Undocupoets, and Tin House.


Sadie River’s Drag Ball on the Lawn
by Basil Kreimendahl

From Jen Silverman:Sadie River is a bold, elegant, wild play that carries the queer canon ever further, engaging with its legacies while simultaneously reinventing it. It is queer, Southern, working-class, bitter-sweet, daring, and wholly unconventional in its structure. At the same time, even as it plays with the performance of ‘realness,’ it speaks to what is realest in us and in how we assemble our families, our histories, and our homes.”

About the play: Sadie River is alive and well in Louisville, Kentucky, and she’s sick of being disregarded and poor! The Mother of an unconventional, down-and-out drag house, Sadie takes her family on a tour de force of capitalistic-realness! Can you pass?

About the playwright: Basil Kreimendahl is a resident at New Dramatists and a Mellon National Playwright in Residence at Rattlestick. He is a working-class, transgender artist, who’s work often explores the intersection of language, class, gender, and sexuality. He has written for television, recently on Halo at Showtime, has developed originals with FX and A24, and is currently developing an original with 219 animation and CBS Viacom. His plays have won several awards, and he has been commissioned by Yale Rep., Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s American Revolutions Program, and by Actors Theatre of Louisville. We’re Gonna Be Okay had its world premiere at the 2017 Humana Festival. Basil's play Orange Julius was developed at the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and had its New York premiere at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, in a co-production with P73. Basil’s plays have also been produced or developed by New York Theatre Workshop, American Theater Company, Victory Gardens Theater, Ryder Farm, The Lark, La Jolla Playhouse, and Labyrinth Theater Company, among others around the country. Basil has been a McKnight Fellow and a Jerome Fellow at the Minneapolis Playwrights’ Center. Basil’s work has been published by Dramatic Publishing and HowlRound. He received his MFA from the University of Iowa in 2013.


by Kia Corthron

From Karen Hartman: “Kia Corthron is, as ever, a prophet. SAM’S COMING starts in 2006 as a devoted Walmart employee, Beedee, prepares for the arrival of her revered boss of bosses, Sam Walton himself. By the play's end (updated this year), Beedee faces off with astronaut-clad Jeff Bezos in the present day. Nobody is Venturous like Kia Corthron is Venturous—in politics, style, language, and scope. I have no clue why SAM’S COMING was skipped over 15+ years ago, but it has met its moment now. And by the way, it's hilarious.”

About the play: Beedee lives in a small town and works for a big department store. She loves it, even if her Haitian co-worker and housemate Odette is less convinced. But as crises both personal and universal gradually erupt, the utopia Beedee has struggled to build begins to collapse, and not even visitations from Sam Walton can prevent the crash.

About the playwright: For her body of work for the stage, Kia Corthron was awarded the Windham Campbell Prize, USArtists Fellowship, and others. In 2024, Tempestuous Elements (Arena Stage) and Fish (Keen Company/Working Theater) will premiere. Other plays produced in New York (Playwrights Horizons, NY Theatre Workshop, Manhattan Theatre Club, Atlantic Theater Company), regionally (ATL/Humana, Goodman, Hartford Stage, Children’s Theatre Company, Yale Rep, Center Stage, Taper, Huntington, Alabama Shakespeare Festival), in London (Royal Court, Donmar Warehouse), and elsewhere. Her novel The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter won the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and in 2021 she released her second novel Moon and the Mars


The Shaking Earth
by Mashuq Mushtaq Deen

From Sam Chanse: “Epic in scope and time, The Shaking Earth explores the transmission of trauma from one generation to the next. It's also a play about love, difference, and the urge to connect and understand in the face of brutality and violence—the impulse toward compassion in the face of the mob—something that feels urgently needed right now."

About the play: A gay man and a lower caste woman try to protect a neighbor's family amid widespread mob violence against Sikhs in India, and the refugees of that event—a community of dislocated Sikhs in America—clash across generations about the best way to move past the trauma that haunts them.

About the playwright: Deen is the recipient of the Lambda Literary Award for Drama and First-Runner-Up for both the International Woodward Playwriting Prize and India’s Sulthan Padamsee Playwriting Prize. A Core Writer at Playwrights’ Center, his works include the award-winning Draw the Circle (InterAct Theatre, PlayMakers Rep, Mosaic Theatre, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre), Flood (Kansas City Rep, 2023), The Betterment Society (published in the Methuen Drama Book of Trans Plays), The Telegram (Keen Company), The Empty Place (commissioned by NYU, O’Neill finalist), and the multiple award-winning The Shaking Earth. His work has been supported by residencies at MacDowell, Sundance, Bogliasco, Wurlitzer, and more.


Skin Song
by Katherine Gwynn

From Darren Canady: Skin Song features a rich rendering of multilingual, multi-modal storytelling in a way that American theater has been only fitfully engaging. Written by a CODA (Child Of Deaf Adults) playwright, the play is pushing hard to move its depiction through and beyond “Oh how difficult it is for hearing people to access Deaf people” narratives to a place where deafness is rendered with humanity, intelligence, creativity, and a sense of possibility. Most importantly, that narrative is designed with a Deaf (and their loved ones) audience in mind FIRST.”

About the play: A woman is brought to shore; she cannot be heard; her name is not Undine. In this loose retelling of “The Little Mermaid,” there is a Selkie who can dance but not speak, a Deaf woman who signs to the sea, a silent chorus, and a Lobsterman who hates being a Lobsterman. Incorporating ASL, shadow-voicing, projection, dance, and music, Skin Song is a play about being silent and voiceless and the difference between love and possession.

About the playwright: Katherine Gwynn (they/she) is a non-binary woman and CODA writing at the intersections of violence and tenderness. Winner of the 2022 UCROSS + The Blank Theatre – Future of Playwriting Prize and 2015 Jane Chambers Student Playwriting Award. Runner-Up for the 2022 EMOS Ecodrama Playwrights Festival. Work developed and produced by Flint Rep, Jackalope Theatre, The New Coordinates, The Great Plains Theatre Conference, and more. Recognition includes: 2021 Eugene O'Neill NPC Finalist and 2x Semi-Finalist, 2021 Playwrights Realm Scratchpad Series Finalist, 2x Bay Area Playwrights Festival Finalist and 4x Semi-Finalist, 2020 Parity Productions Commission Finalist, 2019 Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship Semi-Finalist.


Tacos La Brooklyn
by Joel Ulloa

From Karen Zacarías: “Playwright Joel Ulloa presents an extraordinary, bold, and authentic portrait of contemporary Los Angeles in an epic fashion. Tacos La Brooklyn has a cast of a minimum of ten actors, uncompromisingly employing three languages (Spanish, Japanese, and English), ingenious use of social media as a Greek Chorus, live musicians, onstage cooking of food to be shared with the audience, a non-traditional setting, and presents a reflection of a multigenerational, multiethnic mosaic of the city of LA.”

About the play: Tacos La Brooklyn is a story about Chino, a young Korean American who grew up in a foster family in the Los Angeles Eastside, who hopes to grow his successful "Underground Tacos" to a brick and mortar in honor of his abuelo. Chino dishes out the best tacos de barbacoa in town at the very busy LA River Night Market along his fellow vendor rivals Mike and Monse. Unfortunately, Chino runs into trouble when a post about Japanese low rider and Chicano culture from established influencer, Yesenia Tapia, gets him canceled for cultural appropriation and pandering to a gentrifying neighborhood. A multilingual drama, Tacos La Brooklyn sheds light on the precariousness of street vending while pulling on the strings of identity and cultural appropriation.

About the playwright: Joel grew up in East LA and currently lives in Oakland. He has a background in affordable housing, transit, and electric vehicles. His work includes Revitalized, which was produced at Teatro Chelsea in Boston and A Bag of Options, part of Teatro Frida Kahlo’s 10-minute play festival in Los Angeles. Joel participated in IATI Theater’s Play Development program in New York City and was recently selected to form part of the Latino Theater Company’s inaugural Circle of Imaginistas in Los Angeles. He is a member of Collective Voz, a local writer’s circle, and enjoys running, camping, and eating comida de la calle.


Throwback Island
by Ro Reddick

From Mfoniso Udofia: “This is a play that uses the framework of reality television to probe the underbelly of fascist inclination/indoctrination. I could not think of a play more apropos for the time we're in. You will laugh, take a step back in horror and wonder... what is my storyline?”

About the play: Six “sexy singles” go to a secluded island for true love, nostalgia soaked #goodvibes, and a chance to win $100K. But when a strongman bachelor enters the villa there’s a lot more at stake than a pot of money… Throwback Island is a dark and eerie satire that explores good old fashioned American fascism through a bonkers reality dating show that blends the romantic elements of Love Island with the zero sum cruelty of Survivor. It is a play interested in how order is maintained through the performance of reality and how that performance rubs up against America’s professed values of equal opportunity, freedom, and democracy.

About the playwright: Ro Reddick (she/her) is a queer Black MFA playwright at Brown University. Her plays have been read/developed at the Bushwick Starr Reading Series and Williamstown Theatre Festival (NYC Reading). They include: Throwback Island (O’ Neill Finalist), ROBAMA (O’ Neill Semifinalist), Cold War Choir Practice, Miss Black Syracuse, and The History of Black People… Fellowships + more: Venturous Fellowship Nomination, Lambda Literary Playwriting Fellow, La Mama Umbria Playwright Retreat, Miranda Theatre Company Grant, BAI Songwriting Workshop. Degrees: BFA in Acting from Ithaca College, MBA from NYU (which she has no intention of using).


that drive thru monterey
by matthew paul olmos

From Franky D. Gonzalez: “I cannot think of a playwright that achieves the notion of possible impossibility quite like matthew paul olmos. His play that drive thru monterey encompasses at once an ideal world and an imperfect existence, a Los Angeles both of endless potential and limited outcomes, a world so fantastic that it could only be true even if only in the mind, an imagining filled with longing for what will never be, and a reckoning of memories on what came to pass. Most of all, however, most beautifully of all, this play is a tribute of love to the remarkable woman who would go on to create this most brilliant and unique playwright.”

About the play: The story of a Mexican-American woman in 1971 Los Angeles as she experiences a first, nerdy love. Throughout the courtship, she experiences mysterious premonitions of what lies ahead in her life and how the ever’present machismo will ultimately bring her heartbreak as it gets passed down from fathers to sons; generation to generation. Inspired by the life of my mother.

About the playwright: matthew paul olmos is a Mexican-American playwright/lyricist who focuses on creating space for marginalized/underrepresented communities and gives them heightened poetic language and theatricality. While his work is always personal, it aims to reach across socio’political boundaries, show the ridiculousness of separation, and illuminate hope for future generations. His plays are presented nationally/internationally, published, taught in university. Three-time Sundance Institute Fellow/Resident, Humana Festival, Ojai Playwrights Conference, New Dramatists, Arizona Theatre’s Latinx Awardee, Center Theatre Group & Geffen Writers Rooms, Playwrights’ Center Core Writer, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Black Swan, Cherry Lane Mentor Project (Taylor Mac), Princess Grace Awardee, La MaMa's Ellen Stewart Awardee, selected by Sam Shepard.


The Tombs
by Nicholas Kaidoo

Nominated by Annie Baker.

About the play: 1862. The Five Points, New York. The Fears—an as-yet nondescript but debilitating illness—are catching like kindling and so, too, are sociopolitical tensions between Irish immigrants and Black freepersons in this most decrepit American slum. At the center of all of this, a young Black woman, King Lincoln, and a young Irish woman, Siobhan Shea, nurse their nascent loves for one another. Can they build and sustain a romance in a world that would sooner see them dead? A play about the intersections of class, faith, race, and the economics of desire.

About the playwright: Nicholas Kaidoo is a Brooklyn-based playwright. His plays include The Tombs, Sycamore, and Fall the House. He has worked with and learned from the Atlantic Theater Company, the Movement Theatre Company, The Civilians, Pipeline Theatre Company, and the Playwrights' Center. He is the inaugural recipient of the Jim Anderson Outlaw Playwright Award and a finalist for the 2021 Keene Prize for Literature. He earned his MFA from University of Texas at Austin and he is a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at the Juilliard School.


Tornado Tastes like Aluminum Sting
by Harmon dot aut

From Craig Lucas: “I’ve never come across anything like the play Tornado Tastes like Aluminum Sting. We are inside the mind of the protagonist, an 11-year-old autistic child who is also nonbinary. They apprehend the world through a different set of tools than I possess. They are obsessed with movies, a walking library of cinema history. But the three-dimensional world they inhabit is an overwhelming swirl of sensations, sights crossed with sounds crossed with metaphoric echoes of ideas stimulated by everything they encounter in history books, in the community, in the lives of the parents. This over-stimulated mixmaster of the character’s aspirations colliding with the joys and terrors of the world outside their own mind creates a storm. And that is what we are placed inside—right in the eye of that funnel. The walls of this young mind literally swim with the projected movie footage of their omnivorous gaze, using comic bits to show horrific things. I would kill to direct such a work. For me it is akin to the most original and sui generis works one stumbles on in a lifetime—Samuel Beckett’s Not I, Sarah Kane’s 4:48 Psychosis, Maria Irene Fornes’ Drowning.”

About the play: Eleven-year-old Chantal lives every second in Thrill Land. For this nonbinary, neurodivergent child, thinking and feeling are extreme sports. Humanity itself is a horror-comedy. Hold on tight as Chantal pulls you into their titanic internal joyride. 

About the playwright: Harmon dot aut (they/she). Resident playwright at Spectrum Theatre Ensemble. An excerpt from Harmon’s play, Space, will appear in the anthology: WE/US: Monologues for Gender Minority Characters - Smith & Kraus, March 2023. Selected works: Naming Things & Space (STE 2022); Minden (The Tank NYC, Director: Meghan Finn); No Land to Land In (Dixon Place, Director: Craig Lucas); Goodbye, Kansas, a new musical (KC Fringe Fest); Disability Romp Ballet (Folly Theatre, KCMO); True Blood, the musical (workshop - Director: Pam McKinnon). Visionary Playwright Award, Theatre Masters, NYC. Fellow at Hermitage Artists Retreat.


by Jojo Jones

From Kristoffer Diaz: “Chelsea is 26-years-old. Chelsea is the Queen of North America. Her friends (?) from middle school have come to beg for her mercy. Veal is a deceptive little monster of a post-apocalyptic play that explores the intersocial dynamics of middle school girls and the long-lasting ramifications of those relationships. It's a bold play about power and shame and history and gender and somehow even sexuality (while not being overtly sexual at all). It's a remarkably confident play by a young writer who is unafraid to tell exactly the story she wants told on terms exactly her own. It's funny. It's terrifying. It's wonderful.”

About the play: Following a violent coup, a young woman named Chelsea becomes Queen of North America. Into her new palace walk three friends from middle school with whom she hasn’t spoken in years. They’ve come to ask Chelsea for a big favor, but before she grants it, she’s going to make them revisit their shared friendship—and its terrible end.

About the playwright: Jojo Jones is a writer and comedian born and raised in New York City. She graduated from Hamilton College in 2020 with degrees in Literature and Theatre. Her work has been shown at The Tank and nominated for the Goldberg Prize. One time Wallace Shawn held the door open for her at the Jewish Community Center on 76th and Amsterdam. 


by Catherine Filloux

From Kira Obolensky:WHITE SAVIOR is a funny, provocative play at how family pathologies meet the increasing attacks on human rights in this country and around the world. What I love about this play is its off-kilter way of approaching a moral quandary—can altruism and humanitarianism co-exist with the political system and history of this country? Filloux’s 30-plus years of playwriting about international human rights gives her vast experiences to draw from in writing this play. I love how WHITE SAVIOR examines and personalizes the complexities of its characters who work for human rights, and how it reflects dysfunctions in families and in the ways we try to fight for human rights; the play ends powerfully with the response of a younger character, who is left to wade through the debris.”

About the play: In this comedy-drama, two sisters can’t foresee a future together. Into their lives enters a Black journalist who visits the Desert Cactus Motel with them. And another family member comes West as new territory is laid bare. A provocative, off-kilter play about how family pathologies meet the increasing attacks on human rights in this country. The play asks the question, can altruism and humanitarianism co-exist with the political system and history?

About the playwright: For the past three decades, French American award-winning playwright and librettist Catherine Filloux has been traveling to conflict areas writing plays that address human rights. Filloux has four produced operas (Orlando won the 2022 Grawemeyer Award) and is an activist. She is the book-writer for a new musical with John Daggett and composer Jimmy Roberts. Her new play How to Eat an Orange will premiere at La MaMa in New York City next season.


by TyLie Shider

From James Anthony Tyler: “TyLie Shider is one of the most exciting up-and-coming playwrights working in theater today. With Whittier, TyLie delves into the Minneapolis neighborhood that is close to where the murder of George Floyd took place. It’s adventurous in its boldness to show a multitude of perspectives that are all rooted in each characters’ truth. It’s our job as theater artists to create and not shy away from work that is rooted in truth no matter how painful it is, and that is exactly what TyLie does. I also love that this play inherently respects its collaborators on the page with instructions like, 'Make it up' and 'Have fun.' It is my hope that this work and other plays by TyLie are put on stages across America soon.”

About the play: Whittier is a contemporary docudrama following a diverse community of neighbors quarantined in Whittier, Minneapolis, days after the murder of George Floyd in May 2020. This multimedia docudrama is inspired by the Minneapolis-based graffiti, lawn signs, and murals created in protest of Floyd’s murder. The piece is adapted from focus groups, interviews, and small talks that I conducted with neighbors, small business owners, and community leaders of faith during the 2020 uprisings in my neighborhood. Essentially it is an ensemble drama about a community connected by tragedy.

About the playwright: TyLie Shider is an American writer and the inaugural playwright in residence at ArtYard. A 2022-23 McKnight Fellow in Playwriting at the Playwrights' Center (PWC), he is a recipient of Premiere Stages' Liberty Live commission, two consecutive Jerome Fellowships (PWC), and an I Am Soul playwright in residence at the National Black Theatre (NBT). Upcoming projects include, the fall 2022 NJ premiere of Certain Aspects of Conflict in the Negro Family at Premiere Stages, The Gospel Woman (NBT), Whittier (PWC), and his filmmaking debut Sign O' the Times. Screenwriting credits include: Truant. He holds a BA in Journalism from Delaware State University and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU. A proud member of the Dramatist Guild, he is currently a Professor of Playwriting at Augsburg University, and a staff writer for Minnesota Playlist.