Qui Nguyen to Write New Play for Waterwell; Premieres This Spring

Qui Nguyen to Write New Play for Waterwell; Premieres This Spring

Waterwell, one of the Village Voice's Best Arguments for Devised Theater and creators of GOODBAR and #9, continues its annual series of developmental workshop productions by commissioning a new play from Qui Nguyen (The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G, She Kills Monsters) for its senior Drama Class of 2015 at the Professional Performing Arts School (PPAS). To be directed by longtime collaborator, Robert Ross Parker (Goodbye Cruel World, co-artistic director of Vampire Cowboys), the piece will premiere at PPAS in April 2015.

Designed to stimulate the creation of high-quality new plays for young actors, Waterwell's New Works Lab @ PPAS offers emerging and established playwrights the chance to develop their work with the support of professional directors and designers and a cast of exceptionally talented high school artists. This annual workshop series presents stripped down, actor-centric productions that add to the canon of thematically rich, complex and original scripts and roles for student actors. Previous NWL playwrights have been Nick Jones (Salomé of the Moon, 2014), A. Rey Pamatmat (A Spare Me, 2013), Bekah Brunstetter (Nothing Is The End Of The World (except for the end of the world), 2012) and Stephen Karam (Emma, 2011); the latter three are published by Playscripts and have gone on to dozens of productions worldwide.

"Fans of the Vampire Cowboys -- which are legion -- know that Qui doesn't just write plays he conjures up whole worlds, outrageous playgrounds that reflect our all too real fantasies and fears," said Artistic Director Tom Ridgely in a statement. "He's a champion of the outcast and the underdog, and an artist of extraordinary compassion and imagination. To have him create one of his worlds for the exceptional young actors about to graduate our Drama Program is an incredible gift. And we couldn't be more grateful to have him joined by his theatrical partner in crime, Robert Ross Parker. The two of them are a force and we're thrilled to be premiering their latest creation."

The cast will be comprised entirely of seniors in the Waterwell Drama Program at PPAS. Performances will take place April 29-May 2 at the PPAS Auditorium. For more information, visit www.waterwell.org.


QUI NGUYEN (Playwright) is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and Co-Founder/Co-Artistic Director of the OBIE Award winning Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company of New York City. His plays include She Kills Monsters (published by Samuel French); Soul Samurai; The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G; Alice in Slasherland; Fight Girl Battle World; Men of Steel; Living Dead in Denmark; Krunk Fu Battle Battle; Trial By Water; Bike Wreck; and Aliens Versus Cheerleaders. Honors include 2012 & 2009 GLAAD Media Award nominations (She Kills Monsters and Soul Samurai); 2008 & 2006 NY Innovative Theatre Award noms for Best Production (Fight Girl Battle World and Living Dead in Denmark); 2012 ITBA Patrick Lee Award for Outstanding Off-Off Broadway Show & 2010 nom in the same category (She Kills Monsters and Alice In Slasherland); named a 2012 TCG Young Leader of Color; 2007 Comiccritique.com citation for Best Adaptation of Comics into other Media (Men of Steel); 2004 NYTheatre.com's People of the Year; and cited as a "Downtown Playwright to Watch" by TIME OUT NEW YORK. He is a proud resident artist at New Dramatists, a core member of The Playwrights' Center, an alumnus of Youngblood, and a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, and The Ma-Yi Writers Lab. His company, Vampire Cowboys, is the only theatre organization to be officially sponsored by NY Comic Con.

ROBERT ROSS PARKER (Director) is a the co-artistic director of the Obie award winning Vampire Cowboys and one of NYtheatre.com's 2004 people of the year. For Vampire Cowboys he has co-authored and directed Vampire Cowboy Trilogy, A Beginner's Guide to Deicide, and directed Soul Samurai, Fight Girl Battle World (nominated IT award for best direction, best production, winner best ensemble) Men of Steel, Living Dead in Denmark, Alice in Slasherland and The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G. Other recent directing credits include How to be a New Yorker (CRC Productions) She Kills Monsters (The Flea) Goodbye Cruel World (Roundtable Ensemble) Hamlet{solo} (Edinburgh 07, SoloNOVA 08 at PS 122, Canadian tour) Children's Letters to God (national tour), Stained Glass Ugly, Slicing Andre (both by Nguyen) Lady Convoy (NYC Fringe) and numerous readings and workshops for Ensemble Studio Theatre where he is a member. He holds a BFA in theatre performance from Concordia University and an MFA in directing from Ohio University. He is the former editor of The Dramatist, the Journal of the Dramatists Guild of America.

WATERWELL (Arian Moayed & Tom Ridgely, Artistic Directors; Heather Lanza, Director of Education) is a unique ensemble of theater artists dedicated to the creation of new work and the bold re-interpretation of classics. Founded in 2002 by Arian Moayed and Tom Ridgely, the company's special blend of music, theater and social dialog has been nominated for three IT awards, a Drama Desk, a New York Magazine Culture Award and a Village Voice Best of NYC. The Voice calls them, "dynamic, resourceful and relentlessly entertaining." And TheaterScene says, "There's no way a written description can do justice to their blazing energy and inventiveness." The New York Times hails the work as, "brilliant, original and inspired. Alive enough to surprise even the performers themselves," and Theatermania writes, "Waterwell has staked a claim on our collective conscience." Since 2003, Waterwell has also offered structured classes in collaborative playmaking, or "devising", the process by which the ensemble develops its material. By 2010 those educational activities had grown and coalesced into the Waterwell Drama Program , which now delivers - in partnership with the Professional Performing Arts School (PPAS) - top-quality, year-round, in-school theater training to over 200 NYC public school students. The program addresses the student-artist holistically and demands they develop both as an interpreter and as a creator. Voice and movement work connect with scene study and devising; classroom learning supports rehearsal and performance projects; and everything is designed to be in dialog with what's going on outside the classroom - in their homes, communities and the world at large. www.waterwell.org

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