NEW YORK CITY: Atlantic Theater Company has announced its 2021-22 Launch Commissions, offered to early-career playwrights in support of writing a new play and facilitating relationships in the theatre industry. This year’s recipients are Nikki Massoud and Max Yu.
“We are thrilled to resume the Launch program with Nikki Massoud and Max Yu,” said artistic director Neil Pepe in a statement. “These are two unique and important voices, and there is no doubt that Nikki and Max will make major contributions to theatre in the coming years. We’re excited to see what they will write for their commissions.”
Previous recipients of the commission include Paola Lázaro, Amy Staats, Abby Rosebrock, Tori Sampson, Sanaz Toossi, Lily Houghton, and Brian Otaño. Lázaro, Staats, and Rosebrock have all received productions at Atlantic since their commissions, and Toossi will be represented this season with her play English.
Nikki Massoud is a writer and actor based in Brooklyn. A first generation Iranian American immigrant, she was raised in Montreal and Washington, D.C. Her writing has been read and developed at the Lark, the Coop, Brown University, and CUNY, and she was recently awarded a City Artist Corps Grant. Her television work as a performer includes Love Life (HBO), Emergence (ABC), Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon), and Madam Secretary (CBS). Her stage credits include Sam Gold’s production of Othello at New York Theatre Workshop, alongside Daniel Craig and David Oyelowo, and regional work at the Old Globe, Berkeley Rep, Huntington Theatre Company, and Portland Center Stage. Massoud has narrated over 18 audiobooks, currently available on Audible. She is a graduate of the Brown University/Trinity Rep MFA Program, Georgetown University, and BADA (British-American Drama Academy.)
Max Yu is a Chinese American writer and performer from the San Francisco Bay Area. He won the 2019 Relentless Award for his original play Nightwatch, for which he was featured in The New York Times. Recently Nightwatch received a Future Labs Virtual Reading at the Goodman Theatre, directed by Obie winner Chay Yew. Yu is a member of Page 73’s 2021-22 Interstate 73 Writers Group, and his plays have been developed at Horizon Theatre and Shaking the Tree Theater. His poetry and prose have been published in Spittoon and Babel. Yu is currently based in Shanghai, where he teaches English. He graduated with a degree in playwriting from UCLA in 2019.
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