The Playwriting Collective Kicks Off its Inaugural Reading Series

Playwrights Joshua Young and Phillip Christian along with director Lucia Bellini have formed The Playwriting Collective - a new production company aimed at raising up voices from lower class backgrounds. Specifically, The Collective is playwright driven, with a goal to finance and produce new works that support playwrights from poor economic environments and other marginalized communities.

The Collective's central premise contends that voices from poverty and lower class backgrounds seem to be continually underrepresented in the modern American theater landscape. As a group, The Collective aims to even the playing field against a system that gives an inherent advantage to artists from upper and middle class backgrounds. Central to this cause is an inclusive effort to support playwrights from lower economic backgrounds as well as bring life to new works populated with characters from poor communities.

Each year, The Playwriting Collective will be giving out a $1,000 grant to an unknown, likely first-time, impoverished playwright and provide that writer with an opportunity to have their work developed and performed. The grant will be in combination with a full season's worth of programming; a reading series, an inclusive and rotating writers group, and at least one large scale production a year.

The reading series has already kicked off with the first professional reading of playwright and actress Amelia Workman's piece And Ashes Surround Us and Joshua Young's The Execution and The Rapture. Upcoming readings include works by Marcy Lovitch (Inappropriate Relationship), Phillip Christian (The Weird Sisters), and Pauline Pechin's new play Fine China.

The Collective stresses hope for inclusivity and partnership as artists from all backgrounds can unite and work together for this cause. For details please visit ThePlaywritingCollective.com and Facebook.com/ThePlaywritingCollective.

Lucia Bellini is a producer and director for film and theatre. She is the director of the upcoming Who Mourns for Bob the Goon? premiering this summer on the mainstage at the HERE Arts Center as part of their Sublet Series. She is one of the founding members of The Playwriting Collective and runs Bad Babies Films (www.BadBabiesFilms.com) with her husband, George. Her long-time collaboration with Joshua Young includes the shorts High Stakes Soda Machine, The Orientation, and the staged readings, Godzilla Vs. My Ex-Girlfriends, The Assassination of Privilege, and the upcoming Father-Daughter. Other recent credits include: director/actor in A Gathering of Unusual Proportions, a collection of original one act plays for theater company WedRepCo, in which she is a company member.

As a writer Josh has had work developed or produced at: The HERE Arts Center (upcoming), Dixon Place, Naked Angels, Primary Stages, FringeNYC, MITF, and Planet Connections. His work has been supported by The 2015 Playwrights Horizons/ Kenyon Institute Playwriting Conference and The 2015 Dramatists Guild Conference: #WriteChange. He's a proud member of the Dramatists Guild as well as an IATSE technician and designer. As a designer his work can be seen in the MoMA film exhibition 100 Years of Post. He is a founding member of The Playwriting Collective, a playwright driven initiative designed to give voice to artists who've emerged from poverty. http://www.JoshuaDYoung.com

Phillip Christian has worked all over America as a regional theatre actor. He was last seen at Yale Rep in A Streetcar Named Desire. He has worked at Sonnet Repertory Theatre, The Classical Theatre of Harlem, a season at The Alabama Shakespeare Festival, NYSF, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Cincinnati Playhouse in The Park, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Emerge @ The Crossroads, Milwaukee Rep, and Hartford Stage. As a writer his play Biological Tick was a finalist for The Princess Grace Award. He has studied playwriting at ESPA Primary Stages with Brooke Berman, Tessa LaNeve, Halley Feiffer, and upcoming Kara Lee Corthron. Other plays include The Weird Sisters and Jig*a*boo. Phillip co-wrote and starred in the short film The Wrath of Siri, which can be seen in its entirety on Youtube. He is a graduate of The University of New Mexico and Yale School of Drama. He is a founding member of The Playwriting Collective.



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