Horizon Theatre To Host 26th Annual New South Young Playwrights Festival

The week will feature performances, playwrighting workshops and seminars.

By: May. 28, 2024
Horizon Theatre To Host 26th Annual New South Young Playwrights Festival
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Inman Park's Horizon Theatre is set to host a group of promising young playwrights in its 26th Annual New South Young Playwrights Festival, June 2-8. From a wide pool of script submissions from college students across the country, the theatre company selected 23 aspiring writers to attend the free week-long intensive. The chosen students will be able to flex their creative muscles in a packed week of playwrighting workshops and seminars with professional theatre actors, directors and playwrights.

“The New South Young Playwrights Festival is a treasured tradition for Horizon Theatre,” said Horizon Theatre Co-Artistic/Producing Director Lisa Adler. “We take great pleasure in raising up the next generation of playwrights, and every year we're blown away by their talent. The future is in good hands with these bright, young minds!”

The lead teaching artists for the Festival this year are professional playwrights and educators Chisa Hutchinson ad Crystal Skillman. Chisa Hutchinson is a playwright and screenwriter who also teaches creative writing at the University of Delaware. Her plays have been produced in NYC and at regional theatres across the country, and she is currently developing a TV Series for Starz. Crystal Skillman, a professor at The New School (NYC) and Pace University, is an internationally acclaimed playwright whose Rain and Zoe Save the World premiered in the UK in 2022 and whose award-winning musical Mary and Max had its sold-out, critically acclaimed premiere at the largest theatre in Austria, Theatre Linz. The Festival is also led by four associate teaching artists who are playwrights currently pursuing their MFAs in playwriting: Peter Chansky (Temple University), Katie Kirk (Carnegie Mellon University), Cameron Noel (University of Illinois at Carbondale) and Julissa Mishay Norment (Temple University).

The 23 winners of the New South Young Playwrights Festival come from colleges nationwide, including: Emerson College (Boston), Wake Forest University (NC), University of Texas-Arlington, Wellesley College, Columbia College Chicago, Bennington College (VT), Dartmouth College, Marymount Manhattan College, Hunter College, Ball State University (IN), University of Georgia, Kennesaw State University, Point Park University (PA), North Carolina School of the Arts, University of Virginia, Palm Beach Atlantic University (FL) and the School of the Arts at Central Gwinnett High School (GA).

As a part of the festival, the students will also be tasked with drafting a new short play to be featured in the 26th Annual New South Young Playwrights Short Play Festival. During the intensive, the plays will be workshopped and rehearsed with professional Atlanta actors taking on the roles. The week will culminate in the New South Young Playwrights Short Play Festival, a public reading and showcase of the students' work on Saturday, June 8 at 2pm at Horizon Theatre. This NSPF Short Play Festival is free and open to the public. No reservation is required.

For many years, NSYPF has made a positive impact in the lives of high school and undergraduate playwriting students. “This program gave me more playwriting knowledge than a year of playwriting at my school,” reads a comment from a participant from NSYPF 2023. “Being able to form relationships with other people my age and then professionals in the field was incredible. I felt such a sense of community and support and got so much advice that I will carry with me for the rest of my career.”

The Festival is made possible this year by the Molly Blank Fund and by Horizon's season sponsors: City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, the Georgia Council for the Arts, and The Shubert Foundation. Local restaurant partners providing meals for participants as in-kind support include Barcelona Wine Bar, The Wrecking Bar, Bar Taco, Donnie's Donuts, Emerald City Bagels and The Albert.

LEAD TEACHING ARTISTS (see bios below):

Chisa Hutchinson (University of Delaware)

Crystal Skillman (The New School and Pace University)


Peter Chansky (Temple University)

Katie Kirk (Carnegie Mellon University)

Cameron Noel (Southern Illinois University in Carbondale)

Julissa Mishay Norment (Temple University)


Ashadé Altine (Wellesley College)

Jess Anoruigwe (University of Texas at Arlington)

Bridget Blanchard (University of Georgia)

Miriam Campbell (Bennington College)

Toni Colbert (University of Texas at Arlington)

Spencer Daniels (Emerson College)

Tomi Fawehinmi (School of the Arts at Central Gwinnett High School)

Ian Gadapee (Palm Beach Atlantic University)

Mando Gonzalvez (Point Park University)

Loey Jones-Perpich (Emerson College)

Myles Keys (Ball State University)

Anna Kraffmiller (Wellesley College)

Eloise Langan (Dartmouth College)

Amari Lewis (Kennesaw State University)

Angel Lin (University of Virginia)

Hamad Naroze (Hunter College)

Hannah Reynolds (Wake Forest University)

Jhonn Rusic (Columbia College Chicago)

Bella Smith (University of Georgia)

Sam Lee Victor (University of North Carolina School of the Arts)

Lain Walls (Marymount Manhattan College)

Emma Winiarski (Emerson College)

Isaac Woon (Hunter College)


Chisa Hutchinson 

(BA, Vassar College; MFA, NYU - Tisch School of the Arts) is a New York-based playwright and screenwriter. Most recently, her radio drama, Proof of Love, was presented by Audible and New York Theatre Workshop at the Minetta Lane Theater in NYC and can now be found on Audible's digital platform. Chisa's happily presented her other plays at such venues as the Lark Theater, SummerStage, Atlantic Theater Company, Mad Dog Theater Company, Rattlestick Theater, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Contemporary American Theater Festival, the National Black Theatre, Writers' Theatre of New Jersey, Delaware REP, Second Stage Theater and Arch 468 in London. She has been a Dramatists Guild Fellow, a Lark Fellow, a Resident at Second Stage Theater, a Humanitas Fellow, a New York NeoFuturist, and a staff writer for the Blue Man Group. Chisa has won a GLAAD Award, a Lilly Award, a New York Innovative Theatre Award, the Paul Green Award, a Helen Merrill Award, the Lanford Wilson Award, and has been a finalist for the highly coveted PoNY Fellowship. Presently, Chisa teaches creative writing at the University of Delaware, is standing by for the premiere on a new TV series she helped write for Starz (Three Women) and is currently developing a biopic for Chaka Khan as well as a pan-African heist flick for 30,000 FT and SuperSpecial. Her first original feature, The Subject, an indie about a white documentarian dealing with the moral fallout from exploiting the death of a black teen, is available on various VOD platforms after a successful film festival circuit during which it won over 30 prizes. 

Crystal Skillman 

is an internationally award-winning playwright, fictional podcast writer, and comic book author. She has written for Stories Podcast (Wondery Kids), Girl Tales, Adventure Time comics, and Marvel comics. Upcoming theatre credits include The Rocket Men, which was nominated for this year's National New Play Network Showcase and will kick off its first production at The Phoenix Theatre in Fall 2025, and Rain and Zoe Save the World which premiered in the UK in 2022 whose American Premiere will be announced later this year. She is also the playwright of Open, a NYTimes Critics' Pick play published by Dramatist Play Service. Crystal is the recipient of a MidAtlantic Arts Grant, Kilroys, a NY Innovative Theatre Award, an Earth Matters on Stage Prize, a MUT Prize, EST/Sloan, an Offie Nomination, an O'Neill, a BAPF, and is a Broadway World Winner and a McKnight Finalist. Crystal is the book writer of Mary and Max: The Musical (Composer/Lyricist: Bobby Cronin), which is currently in the pipeline for Broadway with Drew and Dane Productions. She was just named a finalist for the Music Theater Conference at the O'Neill Theatre Center. She is the author of the NYTimes Critics' Pick plays Geek and Cut which first put her on the map in the theater scene. She is co-author of King Kirby (with Fred Van Lente), which you can listen to on the Broadway Podcast Network. The graphic novel of their webtoon Eat Fighter (over a million views), will be coming out from Rocketship comics this fall. Crystal teaches playwriting and episodic theory at The New School for both the drama program and MFA department. She is also a professor at Pace University. www.crystalskillman.com


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