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Mike Lew and Moritz von Stuelpnagel.

Offscript: Revisiting the NICU with Mike Lew and Moritz von Stuelpnagel

On this episode we talk to playwright Mike Lew and director Moritz von Stuelpnagel about taking ‘tiny father’ from audio to audience and catch up with critic J. Wynn Rousuck about the Contemporary American Theater Festival.

Offscript, American Theatre’s flagship podcast for a number of years, is back as a Facebook Live chat with the magazine’s editors and special guests as well as an audio podcast.

This month we talk to playwright Mike Lew and director Moritz von Stuelpnagel about the world premiere of tiny father, a new play co-produced by Chautauqua Theater Company and Barrington Stage Company. This work was inspired by the birth of his and wife/fellow playwright Rehana Lew Mirza’s second child, who was born an extreme preemie and spent four months in the hospital in the neonatal intensive care unit. The play follows a single, uninsured freelancer who is faced with the sudden responsibility of fatherhood when a casual relationship results in a dangerously premature baby. tiny father was originally commissioned by Audible as part of the Audible Theater Emerging Playwrights Fund, was further developed by Hall Brooks at the Cape Cod Theatre Project, and received the 2022 L. Arnold Weissberger Award for Playwriting. tiny father will make its west coast premiere at Geffen Playhouse in June 2024.

Lew’s other plays include Teenage DickTiger Style!Bike America, and microcrisis, and the book to the musical Bhangin’ It with Rehana Mirza and Sam Willmott. In addition to directing Lew’s Tiger Style! and Teenage Dick, Moritz von Stuelpnagel is known for directing the 2015 Broadway production of Hand to God, the 2017 revival of Present Laughter, and the world premiere of The Thanksgiving Play.

Critic J. Wynn Rousuck has been covering the Contemporary American Theater Festival since the mid nineties. This year’s lineup included world premieres by Chisa Hutchinson, José Rivera, Jeffrey Lieber, and more. Rousuck’s epistolary novel Please Write is being published by Bancroft Press.

You can download the episode here and watch the original Facebook chat here. If you have any feedback or suggestions for Offscript, please reach out to

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