Our 2018 - 2019 Writing Fellows
Each year we award four promising playwrights with our annual Writing Fellowship, and this year was a very competitive one: we got nearly 400 submissions!
Each recipient will receive nine months of resources, including a $3,000 stipend, generous use of the Realm’s office, regular meetings, workshops, and feedback designed to help them reach
their professional and artistic goals!
We can't wait for you to hear their plays at the INK'D New Play Festival in the spring of 2019!
Bleu Beckford-Burrell (Lyons Pride) is a first-generation Jamaican-American actor/playwright. Born and raised in New York City, she works for a non-profit organization where she teaches acting to teens, as well as writing and directing plays. Her M.F.A in acting was received at Rutgers university, some credits include; Doubt as Mrs. Muller, Uncle Vanya as Marina, Intimate Apparel as Mrs. Dickson; NYC Credits, Nelly as Jenny, Hobart’s Dilemma as Eileen, Seen Her as Yara. She is the 2018 Yale Drama Series Award Runner Up, A new member for New Georges 2019 The Jam Director-playwright Lab, a former member of the Obie Award Winning Ensemble Studio Theatre playwright’s group Youngblood and was Page73 2017 Summer resident. She was also commissioned for the EST 2019 One-Act Play Festival. Her plays include P.S.365 (EST workshop series,The National Black Theatre’s Keep the Soul Alive reading series), Lyons Pride (EST Bloodwork Reading Series, Finalist for 2018 PWC New Voices Fellowship, Finalist of 2018 BAPF, Finalist for 2018 Princess Grace Award) and La Race (EST 2018 Bloodwork Reading Series). Some of her short plays produced at EST Brunch series and Play festivals include: Tomorrow Tomorrow Yesterday Tomorrow, Neutered, M.D.M.A., Forecon, and Masque.
Sarah Einspanier (I LOVE SEAN) is a playwright from Dallas, TX. Her plays include I LOVE SEAN, The Convent of Pleasure (Cherry Lane’s Mentor Project with Sheila Callaghan), House Plant (Horton Foote Scholar at Sewanee Writers’ Conference with Naomi Iizuka), Lunch Bunch (upcoming, Clubbed Thumb’s Winterworks), and MADONNA col BAMBINO created with composer Deepali Gupta and director Caitlin Sullivan (Ars Nova’s ANT Fest and the New Ohio’s Ice Factory, curated by New Georges). Her work has also been developed and presented by Ars Nova’s Play Group, Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers’ Group, the New Georges Jam, a New Georges Special Residency, New York Theatre Workshop's Mondays @ 3, and Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Directing Studio. She has been a resident at the Millay Colony, SPACE on Ryder Farm, and Stratford New Works Lab, and has participated in Erik Ehn’s annual Texas Silent Writing Retreat.
Keelay Gipson (#NewSlaves) is an Activist, Teaching Artist, and award-winning Playwright whose plays include #NewSlaves (Finalist; The O’Neill), CRH, or the placenta play (Semi- Finalist; The O’Neill, Bay Area Playwrights Conference, AADA Main Stage Live!), Nigger/Faggot (Downtown Urban Theater Festival), The Lost (Or, How to Just Be), What I Tell You in the Dark (Premiere Stages Finalist), and Mary/Stuart, a dramatic queering of friederich schiller's classic play (BAM Next Wave Festival, partnership with Wendy’s Subway and Lambda Literary). He is the recipient of the Van Lier Fellowship (2016-2018) at New Dramatists, as well as writing fellowships with Lambda Literary, The Amoralists, Page 73 and the Dramatist Guild Foundation. He has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of New York, the Administration of Children’s Services of the City of New York, New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Season at Vassar College and Yale University. His work has been seen/developed at the Wild Project, HERE Arts Center, Pace University, National Black Theater, Rattlestick Playwrights' Theater, The Fire This Time Festival, Classical Theater of Harlem, and New York Theatre Workshop. He is published in The Best American Short Plays anthology by Applause Theatre and Cinema Books and 48 Hours in Harlem, Vol. 3 by Harlem9.
Else C. Went (Saving Throw) is a co-founder of The Renovationists and current member of Trans Theatre Lab. Their work has been produced and developed by Trans Lab @ The Public and WP, The Tank, The Brick, The Flea, Living Room Theatre, and Parity Productions. Recipient of 2017 Parity Productions' commission for women and transgender playwrights. Finalist for The Public's Emerging Writers Group, Ingram Works New Play Lab @ Nashville Rep, Scratchpad Series @ Playwright's Realm; semi-finalist for the Ars Nova Play Group, and Shakespeare's New Contemporaries @ American Shakespeare Center. Plays include They Stay Together, Old Names for Wildflowers, Courage! To the Field!, Three Seconds, Saving Throw, Boxcar, The Great American Folksong, and The Tarantists. BA Sarah Lawrence College.
Our past Fellows are:
Isabella D’Esposito is a New York based playwright and songwriter. As a playwright, her works have been produced or developed at Boise Contemporary Theatre, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, ANT Fest at Ars Nova, Arts Tristate, Carnegie Mellon University, Horizon Theater, and Red Theater Purchase. She has been an apprentice with New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater, a resident at the Stony Brook International Theater Festival, and a 2016 TEDxBroadway Young Professional. She is currently a Writing Fellow at The Playwrights Realm, and she received her MFA in Dramatic Writing at Carnegie Mellon University where she was the recipient of the Jean and Samuel Elgart Legacy Fellowship.
Sarah B. Mantell's plays include Everything That Never Happened, Tiny, Fight Call, and Mrs. Galveston. Her work has been performed and developed at The Theatre @ Boston Court, Yaddo, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Seattle Rep, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Yale School of Drama, Philadelphia Theater Company, Geva Theatre, Play By Play, Wildacres, SPACE on Ryder Farm, and Yale Cabaret. Sarah has been first runner-up for the Leah Ryan FEWW award and a finalist for the Heideman Award. She has taught at Occidental College, Wesleyan, and the O'Neill Playwriting Program at New Haven's Cooperative Arts High School. She is a recent graduate of the Yale School of Drama and holds a BFA in illustration from Rhode Island School of Design.
Christina Quintana is a New York-based writer with Cuban and Louisiana roots. Azul was featured on the 2017 Kilroys List and selected as an Honorable Mention for the 2017 Arch Bruce Brown Playwriting Competition. Other plays include: Evensong (Astoria Performing Arts Center), Enter Your Sleep (Yale Cabaret), Citizen Scientist (Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Project Commission), The Great Lonely Roamer & The Night That Changed Everything (NYU Voices Festival), and Scissoring (Finalist Alliance/ Kendeda; 2014 Kilroys List Honorable Mention). The recipient of fellowships from Playwrights Realm, Van Lier New Voices at The Lark, Queer/Art, CubaOne, and Lambda Literary, she holds an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University and is a current member of Youngblood, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Obie-winning cohort of playwrights. For more, visit cquintana.com
Celine Song is a member of the Public Theater’s 2016-2017 Emerging Writers Group, a member of Ars Nova’s 2014-2015 Play Group, and a Playwrights Realm 2017-2018 Writing Fellow. Her play ENDLINGS was a part of the 2017 Kilroys list, and TOM & ELIZA was a semifinalist for the American Playwriting Foundation's 2016 Relentless Award. Celine has been awarded residencies, fellowships, and commissions from: MTC/Sloan, Sundance, the Millay Colony for the arts, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Edward F. Albee Foundation. Celine was an IATI Theater 2015 Cimientos Playwright and a 2014 & 2016 Great Plains Theatre Conference Playlab Playwright. Her plays include THE FEAST (MAP Theater in Seattle, New Court Theatre in LA, Shelterbelt Theatre in Omaha, Red Theater Chicago), FAMILY (Signature Theater, Potomac Theater), TOM & ELIZA (Ars Nova, JACK, Theatre503), and ENDLINGS (The Public, Echo Theater, OSF Black Swan Lab). She holds an M.F.A. from Columbia.
Liza Birkenmeier is a member of the Emerging Writers Group at the Public Theater and is currently collaborating on a piece about water that will premiere with New Georges and 3LD in 2017. Her plays have been seen or heard at Ars Nova, The San Francisco Playhouse, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, University Settlement, City Theater, Invisible Dog, Rattlestick, Dixon Place, New Georges, The San Diego Museum of Art, The School at Steppenwolf, The Classic Coin Laundry, and elsewhere. She is an alum of the Ars Nova Play Group and a recent MacDowell Colony Fellow. radio island was on the 2016 Kilroys List and was a finalist for the inaugural Philip Seymour Hoffman Relentless Award. She received an MFA from Carnegie Mellon under Rob Handel.
Clarence Coo is a recipient of a 2017 Whiting Award and the 2012 Yale Drama Series Prize. His plays include The Birds of Empathy, Beautiful Province (Belle Province), People Sitting in Darkness, and The God of Wine. His work has been developed at the Atlantic Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, New York Theatre Workshop, and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival. He has been a Rita Goldberg Playwrights Workshop fellow at the Lark and a Dramatists Guild fellow. He received his MFA in Playwriting at Columbia University. Currently he is a New York Foundation for the Arts fellow, a resident playwright at New Dramatists, a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, and the manager of academic administration of Columbia’s MFA Writing Program.
Patricia Ione Lloyd was a Sundance resident playwright for the 2016 theater lab in Morocco with Eve’s Song. Her play Pretty Hunger (Kilroy’s List ’16) was a part of the studio workshop series at the Public Theater. She is an alumni of the Emerging Writers Group at The Public and the 2050 Fellowship at NYTW. She was a resident playwright at the University of Mumbai, Brown University (through the Africana Studies Department) and the International Theatre and Literacy Project in Tanzania. Her work has been developed by The Labyrinth Theatre, Red Bull Theatre, Dixon Place, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Downtown Urban Theatre Festival, New York LGBTQ Center, Fire This Time Festival and others. Recipient of New Professional Theatre’s Emerging Playwright Award, and best play award from DUTF for her play Train Bound for Glory. She is a Dramatist Guild and New Georges fellow where she is working on her first musical (book and lyrics). She is a writer for Jessica Biel's new television show on USA - THE SINNER, she was a writer on the AMC television show HAP AND LEONARD
Donja R. Love is an Afro-Queer playwright, poet, and filmmaker. He's the 2017 Princess Grace Playwriting Fellow, a Eugene O’ Neill 2017 National Playwrights Conference finalist, The Lark's 2016 Van Lier New Voices Playwriting Fellow, The Playwrights Realm’s 2016-2017 Writing Fellow, and the 2016 Arch and Bruce Brown Playwriting Award recipient. His work has been developed at Manhattan Theatre Club, Rising Circle Theatre, The Lark, and The Playwrights Realm. He’s the co-founder of The Each-Other Project, an organization that helps build community and provide visibility, through art and advocacy, for LGBTQ People of Color (www.TheEachOtherProject.com). Select stage-plays include: The Love* Plays (Sugar In Our Wounds, Fireflies, In The Middle), and Soft; Or The Dead N---- Poem (New Dramatists Resident Playwright Semi-finalist). Select film work: Modern Day Black Gay (web series), and Once A Star (short film). Training: Juilliard's Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program.
Sam Chanse’s plays include The Opportunities of Extinction (2017 Kilroys List, Rita Goldberg Playwrights Workshop at the Lark, Ars Nova Out Loud), The Other Instinct (Playwrights Realm Writing Fellowship, Lark Playwrights Week, O’Neill Semifinalist, 2017 & 2016 Kilroys List Honorable Mention, StageLeft Leapfest), What You Are Now (EST/Sloan commission), Fruiting Bodies (2015 Kilroys List, Lark Studio Retreat, the Claque, Ma-Yi Labfest), and Lydia’s Funeral Video (Kaya Press). She is a resident playwright at New Dramatists, and a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab and Ars Nova’s Play Group. A former Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow, Sundance/Ucross Playwright Fellow, MacDowell Fellow, and Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop Fellow at The Lark, she has also received residencies from Djerassi, Tofte Lake Center, and SPACE at Ryder Farm. Commissions include Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan, Ma-Yi/the Flea, Second Generation, Leviathan Lab and the San Francisco Arts Commission. Her work has also been developed with The Civilians R&D Group, The Yale Institute of Musical Theatre, Labyrinth Theater, Ars Nova’s ANT Fest, Bindlestiff Studio, Asian American Theater Company, and the New York International Fringe Festival. more info: www.samchanse.com
L Feldman is a queer, feminist playwright who writes theatrically adventurous, physically kinetic, intimate, inquisitive, deeply honest plays – usually about outsiders, often about searchers, always about the human connection. Her plays include THRIVE, OR WHAT YOU WILL (New Georges Audrey Residency); ANOTHER KIND OF SILENCE (Magic Theatre Virgin Play Festival, PlayPenn Conference, O’Neill Finalist, Playwrights Realm Fellowship, Drama League workshop); AMANUENSIS (Georgetown University, Northwoods Ramah Theatre commission); A PEOPLE (Orbiter 3, Jewish Plays Project Top Plays); THE EGG-LAYERS (Jane Chambers Honorable Mention, O’Neill Finalist, New Georges/Barnard College co-commission); GRACE, OR THE ART OF CLIMBING (Denver Center, Art House Productions, Nice People Theatre, ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award Nomination, Barrymore Nomination, Kilroys List); several ensemble-devised works, including GUMSHOE (New Paradise Labs + the Free Library of Philadelphia + the Rosenbach Museum), WAR OF THE WORLDS: PHILADELPHIA (Swim Pony + Drexel University), AND IF YOU LOSE YOUR WAY, OR A FOOD ODYSSEY (The Invisible Dog, New York Innovative Theatre Award Nomination), LADY M (Philadelphia Live Arts Festival), and others; and a baker's dozen of short plays. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama and the New England Center for Circus Arts, L is also an educator (Bryn Mawr College, University of the Arts, PlayPenn, Jefferson Medical School/Lantern Theatre), a New Georges Affiliated Artist, a Foundry mentor, and a performer & dramaturg of contemporary circus. She trains & coaches at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, and teaches dramaturgy to circus artists at Circadium and around the country. Hailing from Miami, L has lived in seven cities and is now based in Philadelphia – where she is a proud Orbiter 3 playwright. She is writing three new plays.
Jonathan Payne recently received a 2015 Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship. His previous play, The Briar Patch, received the 2014 Holland New Voices Award from the Great Plains Theatre Conference. His work has been produced and developed at the Tristan Bates Theatre (UK), Ars Nova, Fringe Festival NYC, Horse Trade Theater Group, Fire This Time Festival, The Bushwick Starr, and Theatrikos Theatre Company. He is a proud member of the Ars Nova Play Group, a Dramatist Guild Fellow, and a core cohort of the devised theatre group Impossible Bottle. He is a recipient of the Rosa Parks Award for Borne to the Ocean (2011) and the John Cauble Short Play Award for Slavery (2002) from the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival. He received a BA from the GSA Conservatoire (UK) and an MFA in Playwriting from Tisch School of the Arts.
David Zax spent the first decade of his writing career as a journalist, writing for The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Slate, and other publications. His writing for the stage and screen has yet to be produced, which makes him inordinately pleased and humbled to join such august company as a Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow. He wrote the first draft of The Room Where I Was Held in NYU's MFA program, where he studied with Janet Neipris and Annie Baker. He also holds an MA from the Columbia Journalism School and a BA from Yale. He was a member of the improv comedy team "The Utilitarians," which performed once. More at: www.davidzax.com, @davidzax.
Bekah’s plays include The Cake (The Echo Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Ojai Playwrights Conference, The Alley Theater, upcoming, MTC 2019), Going to a Place where you already are (South Coast Repertory), The Oregon Trail (Portland Center Stage, O’Neill Playwrights Conference; Flying V), Cutie and Bear (Roundabout commission), A Long and Happy life (Naked Angels Commission), Be A Good Little Widow (Ars Nova, Collaboraction, The Old Globe), Oohrah! (The Atlantic Theater, Steppenwolf Garage, the Finborough Theater / London), Nothing is the end of the World (except for the end of the world) (Waterwell productions), House of Home (Williamstown Theater Festival) and Miss Lilly Gets Boned (Ice Factory Festival.) She is an alumni of the CTG Writers Group, Primary Stages writes group, Ars Nova Play Group, The Playwright’s Realm, and the Women’s Project Lab. She has previously written for MTV (Underemployed), ABC Family’s Switched at Birth, and Starz’s American Gods. She is currently a Supervising Producer on NBC’s This is Us. BA UNC Chapel Hill; MFA in Dramatic Writing from the New School for Drama.
A former magazine journalist, Alex holds an MFA in Playwriting from the University of California at San Diego and is Alex is currently a member of the Writers’ Workshop at the Center Theatre Group. His plays have been presented and developed at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Chautauqua Theatre Company, Geva Theatre Center, MCC, The New Group, P73, Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Alliance Theatre, Arena Stage, the New Harmony Project, the Absolut Gay Theatre Festival (Dublin), and New York Theatre Workshop, where he is an Artistic Associate. Commissions: La Jolla Playhouse, Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan Foundation, and KBEM/Jazz 88 (St. Paul, MN). He was also a 2012-13 Jerome Fellow. Alex has been a finalist for the L. Arnold Weissberger Award, the Heideman Award, and the Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition, among others. For five years he was a member of the MCC Playwrights Coalition.