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Rising Circle Announces 2016 INKtank Lab Playwrights


Rising Circle Theater Collective announces four playwrights for their 2016 playwrights residency, INKtank. Selected from over 50 applicants, the 2016 INKtank writers are Oscar Cabrera, Liz Morgan, Cynthia G. Robinson, and Purvi Shah.

INKtank is a 12-week play development lab with a two-fold mission - to provide emerging playwrights of color an artistic home and support system, while assisting them with a major developmental rewrite of a single full-length script. This intensive lab is a collaborative process whereby Rising Circle provides structure and resources, while playwrights generate work on a week-to-week basis. The lab culminates in Rising Circle's annual PlayRISE Festival, where each INKtank play receives a public staged reading.

Now in its 7th cycle, INKtank alums include Sevan K. Greene, Patricia Ione Lloyd, Christopher Oscar Peña, Matthew Paul Olmos, Susan Soon He Stanton, Mfoniso Udofia, and Rising Circle member, Monet Hurst-Mendoza, among others. INKtank 2016 will be co-facilitated by Raquel Almazan and Mariana Carreño King, who are also alums of the program.

Oscar Cabrera is a Texas born-and-bred actor and playwright. He has worked with Rattlestick Theater, Theater Masters, Rising Circle Theater Collective, NYU, INTAR, the LARK, the Kennedy Center, the LATC, the Amoralists, New York Theater Workshop, and others. He has written and developed work with the Black and Latino Playwrights Festival, Hudson Warehouse WAGG, and the One Minute Play Festival.

Liz Morgan received her MFA from Brown/Trinity Rep where she was the recipient of the Davis Wickham Prize for Excellence in Playwriting. Her play The Clark Doll has had previous developmental workshops at Rites and Reason Theatre, POTPOURRI World Women's Work Series and Manhattan Rep, where Liz also produced her satirical play, A Matter of Taste. A Matter of Taste was previously published as a finalist in the Long Island City One Act Festival. Her play Breaking & Entering is currently in development with Amios Theatre Company.

Cynthia G. Robinson is a playwright, educator, and producer. Her plays include Dancing on Eggshells (Billie Holiday Theatre); Peola's Passing (Samuel French OOB Festival; New Perspectives Theatre); Gold Star Mother (EstroGenius Festival); Ascension (National Black Theatre Festival; FringeNYC); Thunder: A Musical Memoir (FringeNYC). Honors include AUDELCO Award Nominee; Samuel French OOB Finalist; Black and Latino Playwrights Conference Finalist; Calvin B. Grimes Scholar-in-Residence; Tribeca All-Access Open Stage; Best New Play IRNE nomination; Thomas Barbour Memorial Playwright's Award Finalist. Publication in Indie Theater Now: Book of Estrogenius. Member of League of Professional Theatre Women, Dramatists Guild of America, and co-moderator of The Fire This Time Festival Inaugural Writers' Group.

Purvi Shah inspires change as a non-profit consultant, anti-violence advocate, and writer. During the 10th anniversary of 9/11, she directed Together We Are New York, a community-based poetry project to highlight Asian American voices. She won the inaugural SONY South Asian Social Service Excellence Award for her leadership fighting violence against women. Through transformative listening and creative advocacy rooted in storytelling, dialogue, and community action, she seeks to further movement-building and community-based social change while showing that art is an essential part of our sacred space. You can discover her creative work in her award-winning book of poetry Terrain Tracks (New Rivers Press: 2006), and poetry chaplet Dark Lip of the Beloved: Sound Your Fiery God-Praise (Belladonna*: 2015), or at and @PurviPoets.

Founded in 2000, Rod Bowen and Deepa Purohit, both artists of color and educators, created Rising Circle Theater Collective to address the lack of stories and roles on stage that represent the diverse cultural communities in New York City. Now in its 15th year, Rising Circle Theater Collective is a not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to broadening the scope of storytelling on the American stage by placing the stories of people of color first, and empowering artists of color to conceive, develop, and produce original work. The company's members include Kareem Fahmy, Monet Hurst-Mendoza, Nancy Kim, Melissa Mickens, and Pirronne Yousefzadeh. For more information, visit

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