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Michael Yates Crowley, Sarah Gancher & More Named 2014-15 Playwrights Realm Writing Fellows

The Playwrights Realm has selected four early-career playwrights for its 2014-15 Writing Fellows program: Michael Yates Crowley, Sarah Gancher, Emma Goidel, and Tony Meneses.

The Writing Fellows program lies at the very heart of what The Playwrights Realm does - helping writers write. Each year, four early-career playwrights are selected to join The Playwrights Realm to work on a new play over the course of nine months. Through creative development with the Realm's artistic staff, each writer brings their play from draft form to a production-ready state. The Playwrights Realm customizes each residency based on both the individual and collective needs of the group of Fellows guiding not just the creative development of a play, but the professional development of the writers as well. The entire experience is designed to widen an artist's network of resources and gain a strong foothold in the New York theatre world. In addition to creative and professional development support, over the course of the year-long Fellowship the selected playwrights receive a $2,500 stipend, an internal reading with actors, and the generous use of the Realm's office space for printing, writing, meetings and more.

This Residency culminates in a final reading of each playwright's finished work in the INK'D Reading Festival. The writers will work with a designer to help develop the physical world of their script and see select elements of these designs fully realized on stage in the readings. All readings in INK'D are open to the public, free-of-charge, and will occur in May of 2015.

The 2014-15 Writing Fellows program drew more than 250 applicants. Applicants' plays are read by playwrights, producers, and directors from across the country. Finalists' plays go through several rounds of readings, and finalists themselves are interviewed by Realm staff. Fellows are chosen based on their demonstration of intellectual curiosity, commitment to a career as a playwright, and, of course, the promise of their voice and vision.

"We couldn't be more excited to welcome Michael, Sarah, Emma and Tony to The Playwrights Realm or to spend the next year putting our development resources toward the expansion of their plays and their playwriting careers," said Literary Manager Alex Barron. "In their scope, their invention, and their humanity, these four extraordinary plays are vibrant evidence of the abilities of our new Writing Fellows. Each of our four playwrights is telling a timely, crucial story about life today, from the halls of American high schools to the conflict-scarred streets of foreign capitals."

Past Writing Fellows include Mia Chung (You For Me For You), J.C. Lee (The Inexplicable Disappearance of Hector Villaraigosa), Bekah Brunstetter (Hey Brother), Christopher Oscar Peña (Icarus Burns), Stefanie Zadravec (The Electric Baby), Amy Herzog (After the Revolution), Joe Tracz (In The Woods Where Wolves Are), Mfoniso Udofia (Sojourners) and Elizabeth Irwin, whose My Mañana Comes is currently being produced by The Playwrights Realm at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater (416 W. 42nd Street, NYC) through this Saturday, September 20. A complete list of past Writing Fellows can be found at playwrightsrealm.org.

The Playwrights Realm, helmed by Artistic Director Katherine Kovner and Managing Director Alexander Orbovich, is devoted to supporting emerging playwrights along the journey of playwriting, helping them to hone their craft, fully realize their vision and build meaningful artistic careers. To serve this mission, The Playwrights Realm has produced one Off-Broadway play each year since its founding in 2007, giving ample time and support to every playwright who has joined the Realm. This year The Realm is expanding their season to also include the newly instituted Alumni Production, which will be dedicated to mounting new works by the growing contingency of Alumni Playwrights who have already been produced by the company. The inaugural Alumni Production will be City Of by Anton Dudley directed by Stephen Brackett (Buyer & Cellar) in the winter of 2015. Previous productions by The Playwrights Realm include last season's The Hatmaker's Wife by Lauren Yee, Red-Handed Otter by Ethan Lipton (2012), Crane Story by Jen Silverman (2011), Gonzalo Rodriguez Risco's Dramatis Personae (2010), Christopher Wall's Dreams of the Washer King (2010), Anna Ziegler's Dov and Ali (2009) and Anton Dudley's Substitution (2008). The Playwrights Realm is dedicated to providing comprehensive support to playwrights throughout their creative processes and careers and supplements it's Off Broadway productions with the Page One Residency, Alumni Playwrights Program, Writing Fellows Residency, and New Play Development Pipeline.

BIOGRAPHIES

MICHAEL YATES CROWLEY (Play: The Founding of Rome) is a Brooklyn-based playwright and performer. His work has been produced in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Edinburgh, among other cities. His plays include Evanston: A Rare Comedy (selected for the 2013 O'Neill National Playwrights Conference; 2015 Alliance/Kendeda Prize Finalist; developed at the Orchard Project); The Tourists (2013 NNPN/Kennedy Center workshop); Righteous Money (produced at 3-Legged-Dog, 59E59 Theaters; toured to the Edinburgh Fringe and theaters in Germany); and The Ted Haggard Monologues (published by S. Fischer Verlag in Germany; filmed by HBO and adapted for feature film by Harmonium Films & Music). In New York, his work has been produced at Joe's Pub/The Public Theater, PS 122, HERE Arts Center, 3LD, Dixon Place, the Bushwick Starr, and Ars Nova. He is a graduate of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and former Artist-in-Residence at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center with Michael Rau and their theater company, Wolf 359. He was a Fellow in Playwriting from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and is a graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at Juilliard. Since 2005 he has curated Hearth Gods, a reading series in the East Village.

SARAH GANCHER (Play: The Place We Built). Sarah Gancher's writing has been seen on stages across the US and internationally, including London's National Theatre, Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre, Ars Nova, P73, the Women's Project, and NYC SummerStage. Honors include the New York Stage and Film Founder's Award, the Clifford Odets Commission, a Time Warner Fellowship at the Women's Project, and a Drama League Nomination for Best Production of a Musical. She is a member/alum of P73's writer's group Interstate 73, the Women's Project's Lab and the Ars Nova Play Group. Sarah was a co-writer of The TEAM's Mission Drift (Drama League nom, Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Prize, Scotsman Fringe First, Herald Angel; London's National Theatre, int'l tour). She frequently collaborates with devising ensembles including Telluride Theatre and Hand2Mouth (Portland, OR) and enjoyed previous and concurrent lives as a jazz violinist and circus clown. She is currently an in-house writer for Blue Man Group. MFA: NYU.

EMMA GOIDEL (Play: Local Girls). Emma Goidel's plays include Local Girls (workshop, The Playwrights' Center), A Knee That Can Bend (development: CAP21, InterAct, New York Stage & Film/Powerhouse Theater), We Can All Agree To Pretend This Never Happened (commissioned by Tiny Dynamite, co-produced with InterAct), and Safe Space (Philly FringeArts Festival 2014, co-created with playwrights Emily Acker and Douglas Williams and director Maura Krause). She is a Core Playwright at InterAct Theatre Company and a member of the Foundry, a lab for emerging Philadelphia playwrights. Emma was a 2013-2014 Core Apprentice at The Playwrights' Center and the 2012 Dasha Epstein Playwriting Fellowship at Powerhouse Theater. Her short plays have been presented at Philadelphia Theater Company, Horizon Theater in Atlanta, SIT: Dakar in Senegal, and the University of Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Barnard College.

TONY MENESES (Play: Las Hermanas Padilla) is a Mexican born playwright, raised in the south/southwest, and now home in the east. His work has been presented in New York, Austin, Chicago, San Diego, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Productions include The Boy in Black through Chicago Fusion Theatre and Las Hermanas Padilla through Chicago's DCA Storefront Theatre. He is the winner of the 2010 Kennedy Center ACTF Latino Playwriting Award. His play Guadalupe in the Guest Room was part of the 2013 LARK Playwrights' Week, and will receive its world premiere this February, 2015 at Two River Theatre in Red Bank, NJ, directed by Daniella Topol. He is a recent member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre's Obie Award-winning writing group Youngblood. He holds an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop and BA from The University of Texas at Austin.


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