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SOHO Rep Announces Public Presentations of Work from Two Signature Programs

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Soho Rep announces public presentations of work from its two signature development programs: The Writer/Director Lab and The Soho Rep Studio.

In addition to premiering full productions of visionary new works, Soho Rep offers two platforms for the development of emerging writers and directors: its Writer/Director Lab and its Studio. This spring, as part of Soho Rep's 35th Anniversary Season, the organization will present its annual work-in-progress showings from these programs.

Soho Rep’s Writer/Director Lab fosters collaboration between early-career writers and directors in the beginning stages of the creative process. Each year, writers and directors are paired to develop a new play from scratch over a nine-month process, culminating in a series of readings open to the public. Plays first written in the Lab that have gone on to full productions include Adam Bock’s The Thugs, Melissa James Gibson’s Suitcase and Greg Moss’s Orange, Hat & Grace produced on the Soho Rep Mainstage, and Amy Herzog’s 4000 Miles Heidi Schreck’s Creature, Jason Grote’s Maria / Stuart, Anne Washburn’s The Internationalist, David Adjmi’s Marie Antoinette (upcoming) and many more. . Other lab alums include: Arin Arbus, Annie Baker, Thomas Bradshaw, Dan LeFranc, Eisa Davis, Steve Cosson and Anne Kauffman.

Playwright Jenny Schwartz and director Ken Rus Schmoll have led the program for 2011/12, serving as mentors for the following: How To Get Into Buildings by Trish Harnetiaux, directed by Jeremy Bloom; Sprawl by Josh Conkel, directed by Jen Wineman; Cockfight by Peter Gil-Sheridan, directed by Anna Brenner; and Really Really Really Really Really by Jackie Sibblies Drury, directed by David F. Chapman. The readings of these plays will take place on Monday evenings—April 2, 9, 16 and May 7—at Soho Rep at 7:00 P.M. and are free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis. Please see the schedule below.

In addition to its Lab, Soho Rep also fosters the creation of new work through The Soho Rep Studio, a commissioning and project-development platform. The Studio provides a flexible environment where all types of plays and projects in development can become stronger, and where artists can dive deeply into multiple aspects of the work, experimenting with ideas in an exploratory rehearsal setting. Each of the 2012 Studio projects will offer work-in-progress presentations at the culmination of their Studio residencies.

The Soho Rep Studio presents two new works-in-progress this spring. On April 27 and 28, recent alum of the Writer/Director Lab, playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins explodes Irish playwright Dion Boucicault’s 1859 melodrama into the 21st century with An Octoroon. British playwright/director Mark Ravenhill will direct. On May 18 and 19, Profanity continues Sylvan Oswald’s exploration of self-made spiritualities begun in the play Sun Ra (2008/2009 Writer/Director Lab) and continued in Nightlands (New Georges). Set in North Philadelphia in the 1950s, Profanity, directed by Pam MacKinnon, brings us grimy real estate deals, lapsed Jews, and visions of Old Europe set to Rogers and Hammerstein and Tito Puente.

Studio showings are free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis. Times and locations are below.

The 2012 Writer/Director Lab Reading Series Schedule

Monday, April 2
How To Get Into Buildings
Trish Harnetiaux, writer
Jeremy Bloom, director

Monday, April 9
Sprawl
Joshua Conkel, writer
Jen Wineman, director

Monday, April 16
Cockfight
Peter Gil-Sheridan, writer
Anna Brenner, director

Monday, May 7
Really Really Really Really Really
Jackie Sibblies Drury, writer
David F. Chapman, director

The Soho Rep Studio Schedule

Friday and Saturday, April 27 and 28, 4:00 P.M.
An Octoroon
By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, directed by Mark Ravenhill
Dorothy Strelsin Playwriting Fellow Workshop
The New Ohio Theater
154 Christopher Street, Ste. 1E (between Greenwich and Washington)

Friday and Saturday, May 18 at 7:00 P.M. and 19 at 5:00 P.M.
Profanity
By Sylvan Oswald, directed by Pam MacKinnon
Dorothy Strelsin Playwriting Fellow Workshop
Robert Moss Theater
440 Lafayette Street, 3rd floor (at Astor Place)

Sylvan Oswald’s Studio is supported by a grant from the Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists, a partnership of Avoda Arts, JDub Records, and the Foundation for Jewish Culture, and made possible with major funding from UJA-Federation of New York.

The Writer/Director Lab Bios

Jenny Schwartz (Lab Co-Chair) is a New York-based playwright. New Georges and Vineyard Theatre produced her play, God’s Ear, directed by Anne Kauffman. God's Ear has been produced nationally and internationally, from Lisbon, Portugal to Boise, Idaho to Sydney, Australia. Schwartz is the recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Benjamin H. Danks Award in Drama. She has also received a Kesselring honor, a Susan Smith Blackburn special commendation, and two grants from Lincoln Center's Lecomte du Nuoy Foundation. She was selected as the inaugural recipient of Soho Rep's Dorothy Streslin Playwriting Fellowship and attended The Sundance Institute. She is an Associate Artist with The Civilians, a member of New Dramatists, and a Juilliard graduate. Schwartz received an MFA in Theatre Directing from Columbia University. Her play, Somewhere Fun, is a co-commission from Soho Rep and Soho Theatre in London. She is currently working on a musical with Todd Almond and a commission for South Coast Rep. Other plays includes Cause For Alarm, presented at FringeNYC, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll.

Ken Rus Schmoll (Lab Co-Chair) is a director whose recent credits include Lucas Hnath's Death Tax at the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville; Erin Courtney's A Map of Virtue with 13P; Madeleine George’s Seven Homeless Mammoths Travels New England at Two River Theater Company; Furee In Pins & Needles, a version of Harold Rome’s 1937 musical Pins & Needles, co-produced by the Foundry Theatre and Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE); Will Eno’s Middletown at the Vineyard Theatre; Ariana Reines’s Telephone for the Foundry, for which he received an OBIE Award; and the American premiere of Wolfgang Rihm’s opera Prosperina for Spoleto Festival USA. In the Soho Rep Studio Series, Ken directed Erin Courtney's Black Cat Lost. His staging at Tanglewood of the world premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s cantata It Happens Like This was recently remounted at the Guggenheim. Also upcoming: Ellen Maddow’s The Peripherals with the Talking Band.

Trish Harnetiaux (writer, How to Get Into Buildings) is a Brooklyn-based playwright whose work has been performed and developed in New York at Dixon Place, The 13th Street Theatre, 78th Street Theatre Lab, The Ohio Theatre, Metropolitan Playhouse, The Samuel French Festival, and The New Jersey Rep. She has been a recipient of the Himan Brown Creative Writing Award, and a finalist for the Kesselring Prize, the Heideman Award and the 2011 SLS Fiction Fellowship. Publications include: Straight On Til Morning (Broadway Play Publishing), Best Stage Monologues for Men (Smith & Kraus) and Best Stage Scenes 2007 (Smith & Kraus). She has twice been fellow at both the MacDowell Colony and The Corporation of Yaddo. Full-length plays include Your Pretty Little World, adapted from Shirley Jackson's novel, The Bird's Nest, Welcome to the White Room, and That Little Hand On Your Face. In 2008, Harnetiaux received her MFA from Mac Wellman's playwriting program at Brooklyn College. Recently, she co-wrote/co-directed the short film, You Should Be A Better Friend and is a founding member of the Production Company Steel Drum in Space where they make funny and strange tiny films.

Jeremy Bloom (director, How to Get Into Buildings) directs his original adaptations including La Boheme (Spoken), Peter-Wendy (Dark), LIVE Mermaids LIVE, and Leaves of Grass (Nude). With Brian Rady, he creates original Americana musicals like the recent The Orange Person and the cowgirl novel, The Girl of The Golden West, is in development. His opera work includes Loose, Wet, and Perforated in Boston and Aperghis' Sextuour: l'origine des especes. His poetry work includes Walt and Emily, a conversation between Whitman and Dickinson by Jonathan Cott, and his new plays are Furniture Fire by Thomas Higgins (Drama League Directorfest), The American Dream by Dipika Guha (Old Vic), and more. His work has been performed at The Cherry Lane, Incubator Arts Project, The Flea, Walkerspace, NYU Grad, CSV, 45 Bleecker, NY Botanical Garden, festivals and more. He has assisted at the Met, Broadway, LCT3, the Goodman, DC Shakes and Berkeley Rep (mostly for Mary Zimmerman). Bloom is an artist-in-residence at the cell and at Evenstar Films. He is a Drama League Directing Fellow, an EST Resident Director, participated in the TS Eliot US/UK Exchange at The Old Vic, and alum of Northwestern University's Performance Studies Program.

Joshua Conkel (writer, Sprawl) is a Brooklyn-based playwright, blogger and Navy brat from rural Washington. He is the author of MilkMilkLemonade (Best Off Off Broadway Show of 2009-NY Press, published by Playscripts), The Chalk Boy (Published by Original Works Publishing), Lonesome Winter (co-written with Megan Hill), The Sluts of Sutton Drive, I Wanna Destroy You and Sprawl (a Soho Rep commission) and countless short plays. Conkel’s work has been seen all over the country and internationally. MilkMilkLemonade is something of a cult classic, having been produced 27 times since its premiere in 2009. He was recently featured in Next Magazine's "Who's Next" issue, and was called “the most important queer writer of his generation” by Caffe Cino founder Doric Wilson. Conkel's work has been developed by The Management, Soho Rep, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Old Vic/New Voices, The Finborough Theatre, Dixon Place, The Flea and more. He is a member of The Management, where he served as Artistic Director for six years, as well as a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, Sons of Tennessee, and The Dramatists Guild. He is currently finishing a graphic novel adaptation of The Chalk Boy for First Second Books, and editing his first short film, Power Lunch. He is alum of Youngblood and the TS Eliot Old Vic US/UK Exchange, and has a BFA in theater from Cornish College of the Arts.

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