LOS ANGELES: Echo Theater Company has selected its National Young Playwrights in Residence for the 2021-22 theatrical year. The program aims to connect young U.S. writers with professional mentors.
“We’ve been focused on creating original work since the very beginning,” said Echo Theater founding artistic director Chris Fields in a statement. “This program, under the stewardship of our director of new programs, Andrew Shafer, extends our reach beyond the traditional theatre hubs of L.A. and New York to develop new voices around the country.”
Echo chose writers with unique voices who represent a diversity of experiences and backgrounds, pairing each artist with an established professional writer to develop a new work. At the end of the residency term, the Echo will fly everyone to Los Angeles to rehearse and present a festival of the final works with staged readings.
Ada A., a playwright and director with a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Chicago, will work with Naveen Bahar Choudhury, a playwright, librettist, and lyricist whose work has been produced, commissioned and developed by Ma-Yi Theater, Prospect Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Second Stage Theatre, New Federal Theatre, Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, the Lark Play Development Center, New Dramatists, Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, and others.
Zachariah Ezer, an M.F.A. playwriting candidate at the University of Texas at Austin whose work explores theoretical questions, is paired with award-winning playwright/screenwriter, noted Eugene O’Neill scholar, and professor at the University of Kentucky Herman Daniel Farrell III.
Lily Gonzales, a graduate of UT Austin who has developed work with the John F. Kennedy Center, Teatro Vivo, Repertorio Español, Stages, AlterTheater Ensemble and Workshop Theater, will work with Kira Obolensky, a multiple award-winning playwright with plays produced Off-Broadway, in Los Angeles, in Prague and Terezin, and in such locations as homeless shelters, prisons, tribal colleges, chemical dependency centers and immigrant centers.
Aris Hines, an African and Native American-identifying facilitator and teaching artist currently pursuing a Master’s degree in international education and Filipino cultural studies at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., is set to work alongside Dominic Finocchiaro whose play The Found Dog Ribbon Dance was produced by the Echo in 2017.
Michael Mobley, whose writing aims to shatter stereotypes about the intimate and private lives of Black Americans, will collaborate with Matthew Paul Olmos, a three-time Sundance Institute fellowship recipient, Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival commissioned playwright, and New Dramatists resident playwright among numerous other credits.
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