NEW YORK CITY: The Playwrights Realm has announced the lineup for the 2023 INK’D Festival of New Plays. The festival, which will run April 24-27, is the culmination of the Realm’s Writing Fellows program, which awards four early-career playwrights with feedback, workshops, and a $4,000 stipend.
“With INK’D, these writers, whose processes have been nurtured with resources, generative collaborations, and dramaturgical support, are ready to present the fruit of nine months spent with ideas that excite them and showcase their artistic visions,” associate artistic director Alexis Williams said in a statement. “We can’t wait to offer audiences a glimpse into what they have been working on.”
This year’s INK’D Festival lineup includes Andrea Ambam’s Fragile State on April 24, Jesse Jae Hoon’s Somebody Is Looking Back at Me on April 25, Alyssa Haddad-Chin’s The Ancestry Dot Com Play on April 26, and Alex Lin’s LASTHUNTER on April 27. All readings will be held at the Loft at Theater 511.
Fragile State follows Manny, a radical Black organizer who is about to see her Cameroonian grandma for the first time in 15 years. The Afro-surrealist coming-of-age play sees generations collide and diasporas dance as Manny reckons with where she comes from to make peace with who she is. Chika Ike will direct readings on April 24 at 3 and 7 p.m.
Ambam is a performance artist and writer with roots from Cameroon who creates theatrical truth-telling experiences. In addition to being a Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow, Ambam is a Brooklyn Arts Exchange artist in residence and has held fellowships with Signature Theatre, PEN America, the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, and EmergeNYC. Ambam is the programming manager at Level Forward, where she hosts the Anthem Award-winning podcast More to Talk About. She holds a Master’s degree in Art and Public Policy from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Somebody Is Looking Back at Me follows Olivia, a bestselling Asian American author, who returns to a gentrifying Chinatown and her former college classmates, only to discover that their role in transforming the neighborhood conflicts with the values she preaches in her writing. Miranda Cornell will direct readings on April 25 at 3 and 7 p.m.
Hoon is a playwright, actor, and organizer born in Cheongju, South Korea and raised in Berlin and Chicago. His play Dong Xuan Center was a finalist for the 2019 National Playwrights Conference and the 2022 Princess Grace Foundation fellowship. Hoon is the Creatives Rebuild New York resident artist at Ma-Yi Theater Company and an inaugural member of the Orchard Project Adaptation Lab. He is under commission with Theater J and is a member of the Tank’s LIT Council, Page Break, and the COOP’s Clusterf**k. An organizer with Equity Next, Hoon holds a BFA from NYU Tisch and an MFA in playwriting from Hunter College, where he teaches undergraduate playwriting.
The Ancestry Dot Com play follows Samia, who never knew her father and whose secretive Lebanese mother isn’t interested in providing answers. When a friend does a DNA test on Samia without her consent, Samia must confront just how much knowledge about her ancestry she can handle. Kate Moore Heaney will direct readings on April 26 at 3 and 7 p.m.
Haddad-Chin is a Brooklyn-based playwright, screenwriter, and educator. She is a member of Under Construction 3 at the Road Theatre Company and the Moxie Arts Incubator and is a participant in the Keegan Theatre’s upcoming 2023 Boiler Room Series. Her plays have received recognition from the Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival at Southeast Missour State University and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and she is the recipient of the American Blues Theater’s Blue Ink Award. A Dramatists Guild Foundation fellow, Haddad-Chin holds an MFA from NYU Tisch.
LASTHUNTER follows Reggie and Elisa, two NASA interns who discover that their employer’s greatest aerospace hero was a Nazi. The duo embark on a time-traveling multiverse adventure to investigate the fragility of nationalism and the grayness of morality. Mike Donahue will direct readings on April 27 at 3 and 7 p.m.
Lin’s playwriting has been developed with Second Stage Theater, Ma-Yi, the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Manhattan Theatre Club, Theater Mu, and South Coast Repertory, among others. As a producer for A24’s Supercluster, Lin has collaborated with NASA, SpaceX, Boeing, Apple, and Netflix to bridge the gap between scientific discovery and the culture it inspires. A 2022 New Harmony Project finalist and National Playwrights Conference finalist, Lin has received commissions from South Coast Rep, Manhattan Theatre Club, the Elizabeth George Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Reservations are required for all INK’D Festival readings and can be made on the Realm’s website. Masks are required at all 3 p.m. readings, and the Realm will provide free masks to anyone who needs one. Additionally, as part of the Radical Parent-Inclusion Project, the Realm will offer reimbursements of up to $60 to patrons who incur caregiving costs to attend INK’D readings.
The Playwrights Realm is devoted to supporting emerging playwrights throughout their careers by helping them hone their craft and realize their visions. The Realm provides comprehensive support through programs like the Scratchpad Series, the Playwrights Program, the Writing Fellows, and the Page One Residency. As of 2021, the organization’s budget was approximately $1.1 million.
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