2017 Conference

2017 Writers in Full Development

Kirk Lynn is a novelist and playwright living in Austin, TX with his wife, the poet Carrie Fountain, and their children.  Kirk is one of five artistic directors of the Rude Mechs theatre collective and runs the Production Design Division in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas.  With the Rudes Kirk has written and adapted more than a dozen plays, including LIPSTICK TRACES, METHOD GUN, and STOP KILLING YOURSELF, commissioned and premiered by Lincoln Center. Kirk has also written work for the Foundry Theatre and Playwrights Horizons, who produced YOUR MOTHERS COPY OF THE KAMA SUTRA in 2014 and who commissioned, MY HEART IS A LIBRARY, YOURS IS A MUSEUM.  And in 2015, Kirk’s debut novel, Rules for Werewolves was published by Melville House. All of Kirk’s work is marked by a spiritual hunger and a carnal humor.


(By Kirk Lynn)

Florence is a bratty septuagenarian conspiring with her teenage granddaughter to drive their family crazy. Along the way they get plenty of assists from their next door neighbors, a nerdy kid expelled from summer camp, and a priest on a mission in this hilarious and poignant story about life’s big questions.

Ngozi Anyanwu is an overall Renaissance Woman. Education: University of California San Diego’s (MFA acting) Point Park University (B.A) Acting :The Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Barrington Stage, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and The Mark Taper Forum. TV credits: Limitless, Deadbeat, The Affair Law and Order SVU and Mysteries of Laura and the upcoming HBO show The Deuce. Producer: National Black Theatre Producing Fellow. 1st Generation Nigerian Project, Co-Producer and Director of New Play Development of Now Africa’s Playwrights Festival. She is also on the Literary committee of the Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre. Director: SHE GON LEARN, by Lisa Strum for the Emerging Arts Festival, United Solo Festival, National Black Theater. Playwriting: GOOD GRIEF, VICTORY IS OURS and THE HOMECOMING QUEEN. GOOD GRIEF was presented as part of the Rising Circle Collective’s 6th annual Ink Tank. The play received a workshop production at INTAR Theatre and most recently won the Inaugural CTG/Humanitas Award. In addition, the play will have its world premiere at the CTG/Kirk Douglas Theatre in the 2016/17 season, as well as being listed in the 2016 annual Kilroy’s List and was a semi-finalist for the Princess a Grace. VICTORY IS OURS was recently presented as part of the National Black Theatre’s Keep Soul Alive Monday Reading Series. An excerpt of THE HOMECOMING QUEEN was presented as part of The Fire This Time’s Inaugural’s Writers group, and most recently had a workshopped reading that at Yale with Page 73 for their summer residency. Anyanwu is also a recipient of the Djerassi Artist Residency as well as Space on Ryder Farm and the LCT playwrights residency.


(By Ngozi Anyanwu)

Kelechi, a best-selling American novelist, returns to a Nigeria after a decade away to care for her ailing father and reconnect with her roots. Or at least that’s the plan. But everything she loves and hates is waiting for her.

2017 Writers in Residence

Mashuq Mushtaq Deen is an award-winning, theater artist whose Full-length plays include: The Shaking Earth, Draw the Circle, Tank & Horse, and Shut Up! Deen’s plays have been produced and/or developed by PlayMakers Rep (world premiere, August 2016), New Dramatists, The Public Theater, NYTW, InterAct Theatre, Page73, Ma-Yi, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, Georgetown University, BEAT Festival, PACE University, Hampshire College, Averett University, Dixon Place, Passage Theatre, Queens Theatre in the Park, Tofte Lake Center, Berkshire Fringe. Awards and Grants: Helene Wurlitzer’s Chesley/Bumbalo Foundation Award, MacDowell Colony’s Arch an Bruce Brown Fellow (2015-16), New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow; Fellowships: MacDowell Colony Fellow (2015), Bogliasco Foundation Fellow (2016), Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Fellow (2016), New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellow; Writing Groups: Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group (2009), Page73 Interstate writing group (2014); Other: Jerome New York Fellowship finalist, O’Neill Conference semifinalist, Weissberger Award nomination, Playwrights Center Core Writers Finalist, James Baldwin Award, Dennis Johnston Playwriting Prize honorable mention, Literary Committee of Queens Theatre (2014-15). Teaching Artist: Lower Manhattan Cultural Council SPARC Fellow, Community Voices Workshop with Second Generation Theatre, Mind the Gap (NYTW), and various colleges/universities while touring with Draw the Circle. Member: NYTW Usual Suspect, Ma-Yi Writers Lab, Public Theater Alumni Writers Group, Dramatists Guild. He earned his MFA from the Actors Studio Drama School/New School for Drama.

Lynn Rosen’s full-length plays include: The Firebirds Take The Field (Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Commission, world premiere at Rivendell Theatre, Chicago), Bernhard (UC Santa Barbara LAUNCH PAD commission/production, fall 2016), In The Blue, Man and Beast (TheatreWorks New Works Festival), Apple Cove (Women’s Project Theater; Todd Mountain Theater Project), Goldor $ Mythyka: A Hero Is Born (commissioned/produced by New Georges), Washed Up On The Potomac (Centerstage – Baltimore; EST Marathon of One Act Plays), Progress In Flying (EST/Sloan Commission), Back From The Front (Working Theater; published in “Out of Time & Place”), Nighthawks (Studio Theatre; Willow Cabin Theatre; published by Samuel French). Lynn’s work has also been produced/developed by: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Barrington Stage, Red Bull Theater (twice published in Best of Red Bull Theater’s Short Play Festival anthology), Fault Line Theatre, The Brick, The New Group, Geva, New Harmony Project, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Lark Play Development Center (Writing Fellow), terraNOVA Collective’s Groundbreakers, and The 52nd Street Project. Lynn is co-creator/co-writer of the award-winning comedic web series Darwin, directed by Emmy-winner Carrie Preston, with whom she’s developing two pilots. Darwin was named one of the Ten Best Web Series of 2015 by Paste Magazine. Coming up: World premiere of The Firebirds Take The Field at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (Chicago); I Love You starring Bill Irwin and Steven Boyer, directed by David Auburn, with Playing On Air; Gurley! – a musical about Helen Gurley Brown – in development with composers/rock duo The Kilbanes at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley; Washed Up On The Potomac with The Pool, NYC, fall 2017. Lynn grew up in Gary, Indiana and graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Theater Arts from Brandeis University.

Sherry Kramer‘s work has been seen at theaters across the country and abroad, including the Humana Festival at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Yale Repertory Theatre, Soho Rep, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York’s Second Stage, Woolly Mammoth, and The Theater of the First Amendment. She holds an MFA in Fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop, and an MFA in Playwriting from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop.  She was the first national member of New Dramatists. She is also an affiliated writer at The Playwright’s Center. She is a recipient of NEA, New York Foundation for the Arts and McKnight Fellowships, the Weissberger Playwriting Award, and a New York Drama League Award (What A Man Weighs), the LA Women in Theater New Play Award (The Wall of Water), the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award (David’s RedHaired Death), and commissions from The Moscow Arts Theatre/Iowa International Workshop (The Dream House) and the Audrey Skirball Kenis Foundation (The Mad Master). Other plays include: When Something Wonderful Ends, How Water BehavesThings That BreakA Thing of BeautyAbout Spontaneous CombustionNapoleon’s China (music theatre piece with Ann Haskell and Rebecca Newton), The Master and Margarita (music theatre adaptation with composer Margaret Pine), The Release of a Live PerformancePartial ObjectsThe World at Absolute ZeroHold For ThreeCakeNano and Nicki in Boca RatonIvanhoe, AmericaThe Long Arms of JupiterThe Ruling PassionThe End of RadioThe Law Makes Evening Fall, andThe Bay of Fundy: An Adaptation of One Line from the Mayor of Casterbridge.

Mat Smart writes plays about his hometown (Naperville, a suburb of Chicago) and his travels (he’s been to all 50 states and all of the continents). He received the 2015 Equity Jeff Award for Best New Work in Chicago for The Royal Society of Antarctica (Gift Theatre), which was developed at the Playwrights’ Center in PlayLabs 2013 and inspired by his three-month stint working as a janitor at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Mat’s newest plays include Midwinter (commission from the Denver Center Theatre Company, workshop at the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit) and Eden Prairie, 1971, inspired by his three years living in Minneapolis from 2008 to 2011. He recently returned from South America where he spent time volunteering on an organic farm outside Mendoza, Argentina. Other plays include: Naperville (Slant Theatre Project, upcoming at Theatre Wit), Tinker to Evers to Chance (Geva, Merrimack Rep), Samuel J. and K. (Williamstown Theatre Festival, Steppenwolf), The Hopper Collection (Magic Theatre, Huntington), The 13th of Paris (City Theatre, Seattle Public Theatre), and The Debate over Courtney O’Connell of Columbus, Nebraska (Slant, Chalk Rep, Bryant Lake Bowl, and Theatre 502). Awards & Fellowships: 2014 Otis Guernsey New Voices Award from the William Inge Center for the Arts, Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, two Jerome Fellowships and a McKnight Advancement Grant. Commissions: South Coast Rep, Huntington, Denver Center, and Geva. He is an alumnus of the Writer/Director Lab at Soho Rep, Play Group at Ars Nova, the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages, and The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm. He is a co-Artistic Director of NYC’s Slant Theatre Project. Undergrad: University of Evansville. MFA: UCSD.


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