NEW YORK CITY: New Dramatists has named seven new writers to join its resident playwright company. The writers will be in residence through June 2030.
The writers include Haruna Lee, Shayan Lotfi, Deepa Purohit, Jordan Seavey, SM Shephard-Massat, Phillip Christian Smith, and Bryna Turner. They will kick off their seven-year residencies with an evening of readings and celebration at the annual New Playwright Welcome this fall.
Lee is a playwright, screenwriter, and educator best known for Suicide Forest at Ma-Yi Theater Company and the Bushwick Starr, for which they won an Obie Award. The play was also named to the Kilroys List. Lee’s work has also been produced by Dixon Place, Ars Nova, WP Theater, and Soho Rep, and they are the recipient of the Steinberg Student Playwright Award, the Ollie Award, a MacDowell Fellowship, and the New Dramatists Van Lier Playwriting Fellowship, among others. Their work has been published by 53rd State Press and Table Work Press, and they write for Pachinko on Apple TV+ and The Flight Attendant on HBO Max. Lee has taught playwright and devised theatre at Brooklyn College, Stanford University, York College, New York University, and Pace University.
Lotfi’s work has been developed and presented at the Atlantic Theater Company, South Coast Repertory, the Lark, and Boston Court Pasadena. He is currently under commission from the Atlantic and South Coast Rep and has been a member of the Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm and Page 73’s I-73 Writers Group. Lotfi has also held residencies at MacDowell, Millay Arts, and the Marble House Project, and was voted third most eccentric in high school.
Purohit is a Brooklyn-based playwright who made her Off-Broadway debut this year with Elyria at the Atlantic. The production was nominated for a Drama League Award. Purohit is the recipient of the 2023 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award, a 2022-23 Edgerton Foundation Award, and a 2023 Atlantic and New York State Council on the Arts commission. She co-founded and ran Rising Circle Theater Collective and its writers lab from 2000-2012, and is a former member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. Purohit holds a BA from Northwestern University, an MPH from Columbia University, and an MFA from Brooklyn College.
Seavey is a playwright and screenwriter from Brooklyn whose play Homos, Or Everyone in America was named one of the 10 best theatre events of 2016 by New York Magazine. From 2003-2020, Seavey co-created over 15 devised works with the theatre company CollaborationTown. Their work was produced by the New Victory Theater, LCT3, and the New Ohio Theatre, and their play The Momentum was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award. Seavey is an alum of the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group, the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and Primary Stages’s American Writers Group. They are currently a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop.
Shephard-Massat’s work has been produced by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Black Rep, among others. She is the recipient of a Helen Hayes Award, the American Theatre Critics Association’s M. Elizabeth Osborn Award, and the Adrienne Kennedy Society’s Young Dramatists Award, among others. She is an alumna of the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and is the founder and host of the TERTULIA Group, a meeting place for Atlanta’s Black playwrights. Shephard-Massat is an alumna of New York University.
Smith is currently a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and is a previous Playwrights Realm fellow and Lambda Literary fellow. A military brat, Smith has lived in Ohio, Texas, California, New Mexico, England, and Germany. Last year, he directed Pace University’s production of his play The Chechens. He is the co-literary director of Exquisite Corpse Company and is currently under commission with Cleveland Playhouse. He holds a BFA from the University of New Mexico and MFAs from the Yale School of Drama and Hunter College, and teaches at Pace and Hunter.
Turner is a Brooklyn-based playwright from California whose play At The Wedding premiered at LCT3 last year and received the Laurie Foundation’s Theatre Visions Fund Award. They are also known for their play Bull in a China Shop and they are currently under commission with Lincoln Center Theater. Turner is an alum of the Clubbed Thumb Early Career Writers’ Group and the WP Theater Lab, and is a MacDowell fellow. They hold a BA from Mount Holyoke College and an MFA from Rutgers University, where they have taught playwriting.
New Dramatists is dedicated to the playwright and pursues a singular mission: to give playwrights time and space in the company of gifted peers to create work, realize their artistic potential, and make lasting contributions to the theatre. In the 74-years since its founding, approximately 700 new dramatists have passed through its doors, creating work that has laid the foundation for contemporary American dramatic literature. As of 2022, the organization had a budget of approximately $1.7 million.
Support American Theatre: a just and thriving theatre ecology begins with information for all. Please join us in this mission by making a donation to our publisher, Theatre Communications Group. When you support American Theatre magazine and TCG, you support a long legacy of quality nonprofit arts journalism. Click here to make your fully tax-deductible donation today!