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National New Play Network Announces 2020 MFA Playwrights’ Workshop

The virtual workshops will pair the selected playwrights with directors, dramaturgs, and professional actors.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: National New Play Network (NNPN), together with the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and Standford University’s National Center for New Plays, has announced the playwrights selected for the 2020 MFA Playwrights’ Workshop and Undergraduate Playwrights’ Workshop. The annual program, now in its 15th year and taking place virtually this year, pairs early-career playwrights with directors, dramaturgs, and a professional acting company. The workshop will also feature the ninth annual New Play Dramaturgy Intensive, led by Mark Bly.

“While the pandemic may have put productions on pause, technology is allowing theatremakers across and beyond the Network to come together to dig into the work of these ten thrilling playwrights,” said NNPN executive director Nan Barnett in a statement. “We are grateful for this opportunity to support these new plays as they get ready to meet audiences in person when it’s again safe to convene. And in the meantime, we are continuing to find ways to work and connect with one another across distances.”

The workshop, which now links to more than 70 MFA programs across the country, has seen scripts go on to productions at NNPN member theatres as well as other nationally recognized companies.

This year’s MFA workshop plays, playwrights, and creative teams:

  • 404 Not Found, by Lucas Baisch (Brown University), directed by Nicole A. Watson with dramaturgy by Martine Kei Green-Rogers and sound and music by Michael Costagliola.
  • Alaiyo, by Micah Ariel Watson (New York University), directed by Reginald Douglas with dramaturgy by Francisca Da Silveira. Nick Hernandez will serve as DJ and music consultant.
  • The Dummy Class, by Dave Osmundsen (Arizona State University), directed by Deborah Zoe Laufer with dramaturgy by Helen Jaksch. Blayze Teicher will be associate director.
  • Hometown Boy, by Keiko Green (UC-San Diego), directed by Leslie Ishii with dramaturgy by Freddie Ashley. Sharifa Yasmin will be associate director.
  • Love, by Aja Nisenson (University of Iowa), directed by Tina Parker with dramaturgy by Lynde Rosario. Adam Kassim will be associate director.
  • Our Black Death, by Lindsay Carpenter (NYU), directed by Cynthia Levin with dramaturgy by Deanie Vallone. Kholoud Sawaf will be associate director.
  • Data, by Matthew Libby (NYU), directed by Susan Booth with dramaturgy by Amanda Watkins.
  • how it feels to fall from the sky, by Dominic Finocchiaro as an alumni project. Taylor Reynolds will direct with dramaturgy by Julie Felise Dubiner.

This year’s undergraduate playwrights’ workshop plays, playwrights, and creative teams:

  • Poor Queenie, by Eliana Theologides Rodriguez (NYU), directed by Shirley Serotsky with dramaturgy by Julie Felise Dubiner.
  • sad girl hours, by Libby Carr (University of Texas-Austin), directed by Hannah Wolf with dramaturgy by Divinia Shorter.

Additionally, Kassim, Teicher, Sawaf, and Yasmin, who are serving as associate directors on four of the 10 projects, are members of the sixth cohort of the National Directors Fellowship.

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