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Playwrights’ Center Announces 2020-23 Core Writers

Sharon Bridgforth, Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, Andrew Rosendorf, Riti Sachdeva, Charly Evon Simpson, Crystal Skillman, and Jonathan Spector join the program.

MINNEAPOLIS: The Playwrights’ Center has announced seven playwrights who will be company’s 2020-23 Core Writers. Sharon Bridgforth, Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, Andrew Rosendorf, Riti Sachdeva, Charly Evon Simpson, Crystal Skillman, and Jonathan Spector will join the program aimed at supporting playwrights who demonstrate a sustained level of accomplishment, commitment, and artistic excellence.

Charly Evon Simpson.

“I am so excited to welcome back Andrew and Riti to the Center as well as welcome Deen, Charly, Crystal, Sharon, and Jonathan—all of whose work I have deeply admired for a long time,” said producing artistic director Jeremy B. Cohen in a statement. “They are all incredible writers, and I look forward to seeing each of them grow as artists over the next three years.”

During the three-year tenure, Core Writers receive play development workshops, the opportunity to be part of the PlayLabs festival or the Ruth Easton New Play Series, and the chance to connect with Playwrights’ Center’s network of producing theatres.

Bridgforth is a New Dramatists alumnae and host of the “Who Yo People Is” podcast series. Brigforth has received support from Pillsbury House Theatre, Creative Capital, MAP Fund, the National Performance Network, and the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award.

Deen is a resident playwright at New Dramatists and a 2019 Lambda Literary Award Winner. His full-length plays include Flood (upcoming; Kansas City Rep, 2021), The Empty Place (NYU commission), The Betterment Society (upcoming publication), The Shaking Earth (postponed production, National Queer Theater, 2021), and Draw the Circle (productions: PlayMakers, Mosaic, Rattlestick; published: DPS; winner Lambda Literary Award).

Rosendorf’s work has been produced or developed at La Jolla Playhouse, MCC, Kansas City Rep, Signature Theatre, the National New Play Network, American Theater Company, Nashville Rep, City Theatre, Geva Theatre, Actor’s Express, Curious Theatre Company, and Local Theater Company.

Sachdeva is a recipient of the Kennedy Center ACTF Quest for Peace award and Sultan Padamsee award for her play Parts of Parts & Stitches and a Theatre Communications Group/Mellon Foundation travel grant to begin adapting her play Suicide Seed to the kathakali dance-theater form. Her play The Rug Dealer made the 2016 Kilroys List.

Simpson’s plays include Behind the Sheet, Jump, form of a girl unknown, it’s not a trip it’s a journey, and more. She has received commissions from MTC/Sloan, the New Group, EST/Sloan, Cleveland Play House, and South Coast Repertory.

Skillman is an award-winning dramatist whose plays include Open (the Tank/AFO), Geek (Vampire Cowboys), Cut (Theatre Under St. Marks), as well as Pulp Vérité (Kilroys List), and Rain and Zoe Save the World (EMOS Prize). Her new play with music, This Show Is Money (Music/Lyrics Gaby Alter), is currently being developed in the Civilians R & D Group.

Spector’s plays include Eureka Day (New York Times “Critics’ Pick,” Glickman Award, Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award, Theatre Bay Area Award), This Much I Know, Siesta Key, and Good. Better. Best. Bested. His work has been produced, developed, and commissioned by Colt Coeur, Aurora Theater, Mosaic Theater, InterAct, Roundabout, South Coast Rep, Berkeley Rep, Crowded Fire, Custom Made Theater, San Francisco Playhouse, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and Just Theater, where he is co-artistic director.

“To be a Core Writer of the Playwrights’ Center has been a life-long dream,” said Skillman in a statement. “As a playwright who is also a musical and TV writer, this allows me a safe haven to have a theatrical home for my new plays. It will also allow me to share these plays with theatres across the country and world, helping me make the work as strong as it can be.”

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