Mfoniso Udofia, a member of the 2017 company as an actor in The Homecoming Queen by Ngozi Anyanwu, is a first-generation Nigerian-American storyteller and educator, attended Wellesley College and obtained her MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater. During her stay in the Bay, she co-pioneered the youth initiative, The Nia Project, providing artistic outlets for youth residing in Bayview/Huntspoint of San Franciso, CA. In January 2016, The Playwrights Realm produced the world premiere of Sojourners, the origin story of the Ufot Family Cycle. In Spring 2016, The Magic Theater in San Francisco produced the west coast premiere of Sojourners and the world premiere of the third installation in the Ufot Family Cycle, runboyun, in repertory. New York Theatre Workshop produced the New York City return of Sojourners in Spring 2017, which ran in repertory with the world premiere of Her Portmanteau, which was previously developed in 2015 at the National Black Theatre. She’s the recipient of the 2017 Helen Merrill Playwright Award and the 2017-2018 McKnight National Residency and Commission at The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis. Her Portmanteau will be produced by Pasadena’s Boston Court Performing Arts Center and by The Strand A.C.T. in Spring 2018 and Winter 2019 respectively. Magic Theater will produce the world premiere of 5th Ufot Cycle play, In Old Age, in Spring of 2019. And, Mfoniso will return to New York Theater Workshop during their 2019/20 season with productions of both, runboyrun, and In Old Age. Mfoniso is also currently at work on a commission from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, translating Shakespeare’s, Othello, through their Play On! program and a staff writer for Netflix's third season of 13 Reasons Why. Mfoniso’s plays have been developed at and/or presented/produced by The New York Theatre Workshop, The Playwrights Realm, The Magic Theatre, Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre, Hedgebrook, Sundance Theatre Lab, NNPN, Space on Ryder Farm, NNPN New Play Showcase, Makehouse, Soul Productions, terraNOVA, I73, The New Black Fest, Rising Circle’s INKTank, At Hand Theatre Company, The Standard Collective, American Slavery Project, Liberation Theatre Company, and more. Mfoniso was a finalist for the 2015 PoNY Prize, the Eugene O’Neill NPC, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Many Voices Fellowship, Page73 Development Programs, Jerome Fellowship, New York Theatre Workshop’s 20/50 Fellowship, and Lark Playwrights’ Week.
The 33rd annual gathering along the banks of the Wabash promises to be one of the most exciting conferences yet. Following the review of nearly 500 applications, The New Harmony Project is in the process of finalizing participants and expects to announce the full company by mid-February.
The New Harmony Project is thrilled to present the culmination of a yearlong commitment to the development of a brand new musical. Q2, by James Lecesne & Ryan Amador, is the incredible story of a group of LGBTQ young people finding community, and coming of age in the digital age. James & Ryan joined the 2018 conference as writers in residence, and participated in a ten-day workshop in partnership with the University of Evansville Department of Theatre in December of 2018.
This final workshop will feature local college and university students in addition to professionals from across the country. The conclusion of the workshop will be a performance of selections from the piece to benefit Trinity Haven, Indiana’s first and only transitional home dedicated to LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness.
JAMES LECESNE wrote the short film TREVOR, which won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short and inspired the founding of The Trevor Project, the only nationwide 24-hour suicide prevention and crisis intervention Lifeline for LGBT and Questioning youth. He has written three novels for young adults, and created The Letter Q, a collection of letters by Queer writers written to their younger selves. Lecesne was the executive producer of After The Storm, a documentary film that tells the story of 12 young people living in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. And his Off Broadway solo show (The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey) continues to tour the country.
RYAN AMADOR is a singer, songwriter, and theater-maker with two full length albums and five EP’s of original music. He is best known for his queer-related music videos “Define Me” & “Spectrum”, as well as his hit song “Instead” with over 3 million listens on Spotify. Most recently, Ryan directed premieres of live theatrical work in Cincinnati and New Orleans, and is currently in development on several music and theater projects.
Allison Gregory is a 2016 Writer in Residence whose plays have been produced all over the country, and she has received commissions, grants, and development from Oregon Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, The Kennedy Center, Indiana Repertory Theatre, the Skirball-Kenis Foundation, ACT Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare Festival, New Harmony Project, National New Play Network, Northwest Playwright’s Alliance, LATC, Amphibian Stage Productions, Theatre Lab@FAU, and Austin Scriptworks. Her work has been the recipient of the Julie Harris Playwriting Award, South Coast Repertory’s Playwright’s Award (Forcing Hyacinths), Garland & Dramalogue Award (Fall Off Night, Breathing Room), Seattle Times Best New Play Award (Burning Bridget Cleary). Not Medea(O’Neill & BAPF finalist), and Wild Horses (O’Neill semi-finalist) received National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere productions across the country. Motherland (O’Neill finalist, American Blues Blue Ink Award finalist, Harriet Lake Playfest selection) was selected for NNPN’s Showcase of New Plays. She currently has workshops of Darling Boud, Hen, Henderson, Honks, Woomling, Love Naunce at the Playwright’s Center, Banff Playwright’s Lab, and Launch Pad at UC Santa Barbara. Allison also writes for young audiences; plays include Go Dog. Go!, adapted from the P.D. Eastman book, co-written with Steven Dietz; Even Steven Goes to War (“Zoni” Best New Script Award; AATE and UPRP awards; Kennedy Center New Visions/New Voices selection); Peter and the Wolf (Seattle Times Best New Play Award; National tour), Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!, and Junie B. is Not A Crook (over 200 professional productions), adapted from the beloved book series by Barbara Park. Ronia: the Robber’s Daughter, adapted from Astrid Lindgren’s story, premiered at Teatr Pinokio in Poland this year. Her adaptation of Judy Moody, a seven-theatre commission, will be produced at all seven theatres in ’17-18. Allison is a 2017-20 Core Member of the Playwright’s Center, and an alumni of LATC’S Wordsmiths and Hedgebrook. She splits her time between Seattle and Austin, where she is the co-founder of the Marthas, a playwright collective. Her plays are published by Playscripts, Smith & Krauss, Dramatic Publishing, and Rain City Press.
The New Harmony Project in partnership with Phoenix Theatre Indianapolis is proud to present a First Look Workshop of Mashuq Mushtaq Deen’s The Betterment Society. Three women on a godforsaken mountain. This play explores the brutality of the land and the brutality of ourselves.
Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, a 2017 writer in residence, is a resident playwright at New Dramatists (class of 2022). His full-length plays include The Betterment Society, The Shaking Earth, Draw the Circle(productions: PlayMakers Rep, Mosaic Theatre, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre; published: Dramatists Play Service), andTank & Horse (world premiere at the Berkshire Fringe Festival). Deen’s work has been presented/developed/supported by a number of institutions including New Dramatists, Sundance (upcoming), Blue Mountain Center, The Public Theater, NYTW, MacDowell Colony, Bogliasco Foundation, Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, New Harmony Project, Chesley/Bumbalo Foundation, Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, 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, and the Berkshire Fringe Festival. He has also received a 2017 Kilroy’s List Honorable Mention, Jerome New York Fellowship finalist (twice), O'Neill Conference semifinalist, Weissberger Award nomination, Playwrights Center Core Writers Finalist, James Baldwin Award, Dennis Johnston Playwriting Prize honorable mention. He is a member of the NYTW Usual Suspects, Ma-Yi Writers Lab, Public Theater Alumni Writers Group, and the Dramatists Guild. He earned his MFA from the Actors Studio Drama School/New School for Drama. He is represented by the Gurman Agency LLC. In his spare time, Deen is also a participating citizen (#flarebkny) and a man of many hobbies, including bread-baker, soap-maker, and student of the guitar.
Emily Feldman is a 2018 Writer in Residence whose work has been developed by the Playwrights’ Center, Colt Coeur, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Magic Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, The Playwrights Realm, JAW at Portland Center Stage, Cape Cod Theatre Project, WildWind Performance Lab, The New Harmony Project and Second Stage Theater, among others. Feldman is an alumna of The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm and the Jerome Fellowship/Core Apprenticeship at the Playwrights’ Center, was an Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition finalist, and was a Shank Playwright in Residence at Playwrights Horizons. She’s a recent member of Interstate 73 at Page 73, The Orchard Project NYC Greenhouse and Two River Theater’s Emerging Playwrights Group, and is working on new play commissions from Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons and a musical commission from Arena Stage. She received her M.F.A. from the University of California, San Diego and her B.A. from Middlebury College and currently teaches Undergraduate Playwriting at NYU.
Emily is joined by collaborator, Will Davis, who was a part of the 2013 company with Sagitarius Ponderosa by MJ Kaufman. Will is a director and choreographer focused on physically adventurous new work. Recent projects include Men on Boats by Jaclyn Backhaus for Clubbed Thumb's Summerworks, and a remounted version of that production for Playwrights Horizons. Orange Julius by Basil Kreimendahl, Mike Iveson’sSorry Robot for PS122’s COIL Festival and two productions of Colossal, by Andrew Hinderaker for Mixed Blood Theater and the Olney Theatre Center, for which he won a Helen Hayes award for outstanding direction.
Will has developed, directed, and performed his work with New York Theatre Workshop, Clubbed Thumb, the New Museum, the Olney Theatre Center, the Alliance Theatre, the Playwright's Realm, the Fusebox Festival, New Harmony Project, the Orchard Project, the Ground Floor Residency at Berkeley Rep, Performance Studies International at Stanford University, and the Kennedy Center.
Will is an alum of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and the NYTW 2050 Directing Fellowship, Will is currently an artist in residence at BAX (Brooklyn Art Exchange) where he is developing a new work inspired by William Inge's PICNIC. Will holds a BFA in Theatre Studies from DePaul University and an MFA in Directing from UT Austin.
Join The New Harmony Project and Indiana Repertory Theatre for a first look at A SUPER SECRET NEW PLAY by James Still. Take a glimpse inside the development process and hear this play before it comes to a stage near you! Following his incredibly succesful 20th season as IRT's Playwright-in-Residence, James returns to Indianapolis to workshop a script that he began at The New Harmony Project's 2018 spring conference. This is an incredibly unique opportunity to hear a play in progress, and participate in the development of James' work.
Featuring Jerry Richardson, Jenny McKnight, Jan Lucas, Robert Neal, & Emily Bohn.
There will be a brief reception following the reading with a cash bar available. Please plan on staying around to chat with James and the cast.
The New Harmony Project is headed to the Big Apple to support our writers in production! While we're there, we're so excited to gather together alumni to celebrate 32 years of serving writers and celebrating the human spirit. We hope you'll join us for an evening of Utopia in NYC on February 2nd at 6pm at Hurley's Saloon.