The Playwrights Realm Announces 2019-2020 Writing Fellows And 2019-2020 Scratchpad Series Playwrights

By: Sep. 06, 2019

The Playwrights Realm today announces recipients of two career-propelling development programs the organization-led by Founding Artistic Director Katherine Kovner and Producing Director Roberta Pereira-offers to gifted, incisive, and diverse playwrights. Now entering its thirteenth season, The Realm has continually produced work by brave new voices and expanded its commitment to providing holistic support to playwrights striving to make a life in the arts.

The organization honors Tanya Everett, Maya Macdonald, Christopher Reyes, and Tasha Gordon-Solmon as its 2019-2020 Writing Fellows; and, with the third installment of its annual Scratchpad Series, The Playwrights Realm is proud to grant developmental workshops to Andrew Siañez-De La O, Daria Miyeko Marinelli, and Marisa Carr.

"Welcoming new playwrights into The Realm Family is a joy-one of my favorite parts of the job!" said Founding Artistic Director Katherine Kovner. "This year we received nearly 650 applications to our two open submission programs and so making the choice of writers was not easy but I couldn't be more delighted by the Writing Fellows and Scratchpad playwrights who will be joining us this season."

The older of the two open submission programs, The Writing Fellowship, is at the heart of what The Playwrights Realm does: helping writers write. Four early-career playwrights receive nine months of resources, workshops, and feedback designed to help them reach their professional and artistic goals. Over the course of the season-through monthly group meetings, individual meetings with Realm Artistic Staff, and workshops with professional actors, directors, and design consultants-Fellows will develop a single new play. These works include: Tanya Everett's A Dead Black Man, a searing and razor sharp interrogation of society's treatment of black men told through a series of highly theatrical vignettes; Maya Macdonald's Brunch, a darkly comic investigation of female tropes and of the fevered hunt to stave off dying alone; Christopher Reyes' Balikbayan, a touching portrayal of a lost young man searching for home while on a trip to his unfamiliar birthplace of The Philippines; and Tasha Gordon-Solmon's The Lasagna Incident, a play about the power inherent in what we're told and who gets to do the telling as shown through the lens of a chorus of grad students searching for where they fit in to the stories around them. Playwrights also receive professional development resources and a $3,000 stipend. The Fellowship culminates in a final reading of each playwright's finished play as part of the INK'D Festival of New Work. All readings in INK'D are open to the public, free-of-charge, and will occur in late February 2020.

Katherine Kovner said, "Maya Macdonald, Christopher Reyes, Tanya Everett and Tasha Gordon-Solmon each possess vibrant distinct voices and exemplify the type of talented early career playwright we are trying to support. I'm looking forward to diving into the year with these wonderful Fellows, as well as with our 19-20 Scratchpad playwrights."

The Scratchpad Series, in turn, was established in 2017 as a chance for The Realm to engage with a whole New Group of playwrights each year, erasing limitations of geography or access by working to identify playwrights from all across the country to participate. Scratchpad participants receive a developmental workshop of up to one week in New York City, working with top-notch professional collaborators-director, cast, and The Realm's artistic staff. If the playwright is based outside of New York, The Realm will also facilitate the playwright's travel and housing for the workshop. With Scratchpad, playwrights begin a collaborative relationship with The Realm while diving into a rough draft or fine-tuning a specific aspect of a script. These scripts include: Marisa Carr's Punk Rock Mix Tape Play, a gritty coming of age play examining the intersection of race, gender, youth, and the punk scene in the world immediately following 9/11; Andrew Siañez-De La O's Sangre Mía, a poignant, compelling portrait of an Iraq War veteran turned Border Protections Officer in El Paso struggling to reconcile the ghosts of his past life with the difficulties of his present; and Daria Miyeko Marinelli's This is Not What I Expected When I Imagined a Republic, a highly theatrical historical tryptic exploring mythologies of land ownership, partisan identities, and the nature of relationships across many centuries in the United States.

Associate Artistic Director Alexis Williams said of the Scratchpad playwrights, "There are so many wonderful writers living across the country, and I'm thrilled to be able to open our doors to some of them and to work with Andrew Siañez-De La O, Daria Miyeko Marinelli, and Marisa Carr as our new Scratchpad playwrights! Coming to us from Boston, Austin and Minneapolis, and all telling important, timely stories in compelling and unique ways, we can't wait to further engage with these writers here in New York. Between our Fellows, Scratchpad Writers and our other programming I'm so excited about the season ahead!"

In the review process for both programs, applicants' plays are read by playwrights, producers, dramaturgs, and directors from across the country. Semi-Finalists' plays go through several rounds of readings, and Finalists are interviewed by Realm staff. Writers 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.

Past Writing Fellows and Scratchpad Playwrights include Amy Herzog (After the Revolution), Bekah Brunstetter (Hey Brother), Mia Chung (You For Me For You), J.C. Lee (The Inexplicable Disappearance of Hector Villaraigosa), Ethan Lipton (Red-Handed Otter), Stefanie Zadravec (The Electric Baby), Joe Tracz (In The Woods Where Wolves Are), Mfoniso Udofia (Sojourners), Amelia Roeper (Lottie in the Late Afternoon), Elizabeth Irwin (My Mañana Comes), Sarah Gancher (The Place We Built), Donja R. Love (Sugar in Our Wounds), Patricia Ione Lloyd (Eve's Song), Miranda Rose Hall (The Kind Ones), Benjamin Benne (Querencia), Sarah Einspanier (I LOVE SEAN), and Celine Song (Endlings). A complete list of past Writing Fellows can be found at A complete list of past Scratchpad Writers can be found at

In addition to the four selected playwrights, finalists for this year's Fellowship include: Alexa Derman (PSYCHOPSYCHOTIC, or, everyone at Yale is a goddamn sociopath!!!), Amanda Keating (TEACH/TEACH), Julia Izumi (Sometimes the Rain, Sometimes the Sea), Raquel Almazan (Does that Feel Good to you My Lark?: A Doll's House Adaptation), and Steph Del Rosso (The Gradient). Fellowship semi-finalists include: Andrew Rincón (You got that Same kind of Lonely (A Fictionally Non-Accurate Historical KiKi)), Andrew Rosendorf (Refuge), Ankita Raturi (The Elephant is Very Like), Daphne Macy (Cacti), David Zheng (Boogie Down Bastards), Divya Mangwani (Rise of the River), Gina Femia (you know, that bakery out in Bensonhurst that don't got a name), Kari Bentley-Quinn (Hyannis), Krista Knight (High Blonde), Melis Aker (Field, Awakening), Noelle Viñas (DERECHO), Phillip Gregory Burke (A Holy Her), Samantha Godfrey (TUGS O' WAR), Shayan Lotfi (Park-e Laleh)

Scratchpad finalists include Andrew Kramer (The Pitchforks), Chloe Hung (Model Minority), Hannah Kenah (Kitty Hawk or Kill Devil), Haygen-Brice Walker (the extinction of the white bison a queer love story), Marvin Gonzalez De Leon (Pan Genesis), and Preston Choi (You Will Get Used To It). Scratchpad semi-finalists include: a.k. payne (BURNBABYBURN: AN AMERICAN DREAM), Ali Viterbi (Shame Spiral), Caitlin Turnage (What We Scream Underwater When No One Can Hear Us), Christine Evans (Torgus & Snow),Christine Toy Johnson (Till Soon, Anne), Eliana Pipes (DREAM HOU$E), Eric Marlin (Blackberry: A Burial), J. Sebastián Alberdi (Mamágua), Josiah Turner (Uncle Tom's Nephews), Mónica Sánchez (Go, Go Gentle), Nelle Tankus (Slack Water), Reginald Edmund (All the Dying Voices), Sukari Jones (I. Hate. Everyone.), Tlaloc Rivas (Divisadero)

About the 2019-2020 Writing Fellows

Christopher Reyes is a Filipino-American performer, writer and theater marketer. He received a BA in Theatre Arts from Drew University with a minor in Media Studies. He has previously worked with the National Asian American Theatre Company as a Production Assistant in their reiteration of Awake and Sing at The Public Theater. He had the opportunity to work with them once again during their production of SAGITTARIUS PONDEROSA as a Marketing Assistant. He served as the Communications & People Associate at The Lark where he produced and hosted the web series/podcast "Artist Spotlight." He is currently the Marketing Assistant at MCC Theater.

Maya Macdonald is a playwright and native of New York City. Her plays have been developed in NYC and across the country with companies that include The Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, The New Ohio, Echo Theater Company, Bushwick Starr, New Dramatists, Ensemble Studio Theatre, MCC Theater Young Playwrights, Three Legged Dog, The Flea, Rising Phoenix Rep, JACK, Dixon Place, and DePaul University. Her plays include: Brunch, (Honorable Mention, The Relentless Award, Semi-Finalist, Theatre503's Playwriting Award in London), Three Anne Franks (Finalist, Rattlestick Playwrights Commission), Raw Pasta (Semi-Finalist, The O'Neill and Seven Devils Playwrights Conference), Leave the Balcony Open (Finalist, Princess Grace Award). She's been a resident playwright for The Rogue Players, Oye Group, Lake George Theater, Ragdale and Tofte Lake, is a New Georges Affiliated Artist and has been nominated for Cherry Lane Mentor Project and the Doric Wilson Award. BA, Bennington College, MFA from Hunter College (Irv Zarkowr Award for Excellence).

Tanya Everett moved from Massachusetts to Brooklyn to pursue her career as an actor and writer. Her plays have been performed in many Off and Off-off Broadway venues: including the Public, Cherry Lane, HERE Arts Center, TheaterLab, Kraine, Cherry Pit and the Tank. Her play "And The Gods Walk Among Us" was named Semi-Finalist for the Princess Grace Award and Finalist for the Lark Development Week. Her play, "A Dead Black Man," was a Finalist for the Dramatist Guild Fellowship in 2019. She recently graduated from Brooklyn College, under Mac Wellman and Erin Courtney. She won the AAUW Career Development Grant, the Truman Capote Scholarship, and the 2018 MFA in Playwriting Awards to support her academic pursuits. Some of her teachers and mentors include: Stephen Adley Guirgis, Ellen McLaughlin, Maggie Flanigan, and Julia Jordan.When she is neither acting nor writing, Tanya enjoys homemade food, live performances, working with youth, cuddling and communing with artistic spirits.

Tasha Gordon-Solmon's plays include I Now Pronounce (Humana Festival of New American Plays, Perry Mansfield New Works Festival), Same Time, Same Place (Actors Theater of Louisville PTC Commission), Piece Of (developed at Northern Stage's New Works Now), Whip It Up! With Wendy! (AFO Solo Collective Residency) and Pal (developed at Sun Valley Center for the Arts and New Georges). Her musical Fountain of You, written with composer Faye Chiao, has upcoming workshops at The Tank and Zeiders American Dream Theater. Tasha is a recipient of the Dramatist Guild Fellowship, a Puffin Foundation Grant and residencies at the Millay Colony, VCCA and Bethany Arts Center. She is a New Georges Affiliated Artist, a member the BMI Advanced Workshop and Directors Lab West, and an alumna of the Ars Nova Playgroup, Clubbed Thumb Emerging Writers Group and Project Y Writers Group. Tasha's directing credits include EST, Brooklyn Museum, InViolet, The Tank, The Flea, The Brick, Dixon Place, Columbia and NYU Graduate Playwriting, Sound Bites Festival, NY Fringe Festival and Fire This Time Festival.

About the 2019-2020 Scratchpad Playwrights

Andrew Siañez-De La O is a Boston-based Mexican-American playwright from El Paso, Texas. He is currently a 2019 Gish Jen Fellow with the Writers' Room of Boston, a scriptwriter for the Latinx children's fiction podcast "Timestorm," and a playwright with INGENIO Milgaro 2019. Recently, he was a PlayLab Writer with Pipeline Theatre Company (NYC) and, in 2018, a National Young Playwright in Residence with Echo Theater Company (LA) and a Playwright Fellow with Company One (Boston). His collection of short stories, "Lo Siento Miguel," was published by Wilde Press in 2017. His prose has appeared in fiction magazines such as The Grief Diaries, Stork Literary Magazine, and Concrete Literary Magazine. He received his BFA in Theatre and Performance from Emerson College.

Daria Miyeko Marinelli is a non-binary Japanese-Italian playwright. Their plays include Ravenous, A Departure, Beautiful Blessed Child, and This is Not What I Expected When I Imagined a Republic. Daria's work has been performed at Victory Gardens, Ensemble Theatre Company, The Flea, and HERE Arts Center, among others. Mx. Marinelli has developed work with SPACE on Ryder Farm, NNPN's MFA Playwrights Workshop at The Kennedy Center, and The New Harmony Project. Accolades include being a Finalist for The O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, a Semi-Finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and The Princess Grace Award, and a showcased writer at the 2018 Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists. While forever a New Yorker at heart, Daria currently lives in Los Angeles. Upcoming: 10-Min Commission for Without Walls Festival (La Jolla Playhouse.) BA: Brown. MFA: Michener Fellow at University of Texas at Austin.

Marisa Carr is playwright who recently transplanted to Chicago after a decade in the Twin Cities. Her work has been supported by theaters including: The Guthrie, Berkeley Rep. Pillsbury House + Theater, the Playwrights' Center, Intermedia Arts, and others. Selected recent awards and honors include: Bay Area Playwrights' Festival Finalist (2019), McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting Finalist (2019), Jerome Artist Fellowship Finalist (2019), Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellowship Semi-finalist (2019), Berkeley Rep Ground Floor Residency (2018), Forward Flux Three New American Plays Commission (2018), Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant (2017), Playwrights' Center Many Voices Fellow (2016-17), Naked Stages Fellow at Pillsbury House + Theater (2015), and "Best New Political Playwright" (Lavender Magazine, 2014). Marisa is also Co-Founder/former Artistic Director of the Turtle Theater Collective, a Twin Cities-based company committed to producing high-quality, contemporary work that explores Native experiences and subverts expectations about how and when Native artists can create theater. She is Turtle Mountain Ojibwe from the Turtle clan.

About The Playwrights Realm

Hailed as "invaluable" by The New York Times' Ben Brantley, The Playwrights Realm (Katherine Kovner, Founding Artistic Director; Roberta Pereira, Producing Director) is devoted to supporting early-career 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 provides comprehensive support to playwrights through its Page One Residency, Alumni Playwrights Program, Writing Fellowship, Scratchpad Series and, of course, productions.

The Playwrights Realm's Fall production of Anna Moench's Mothers will begin previews at the Duke on 42nd Street on September 13th and will run until October 12th. Previous Productions by the Realm include Jonathan Payne's The Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll'd (2018), Don Nguyen's Hello, From the Children of Planet Earth (2018), Michael Yates Crowley's The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias (2017), Jen Silverman's The Moors (2017), Mfoniso Udofia's Sojourners (2016), Anna Ziegler's A Delicate Ship (2015), Anton Dudley's City Of (2015), Elizabeth Irwin's My Mañana Comes (2014), Lauren Yee's The Hatmaker's Wife, Ethan Lipton's Red-Handed Otter (2012), Jen Silverman's Crane Story (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). In the fall of 2016, The Playwrights Realm produced the world premiere of Sarah DeLappe's The Wolves, which became an Off-Broadway sensation during its sold-out run, extension and remount. It was then named a 2017 Pulitzer Prize Finalist, featured on The New York Times' Best Theater of 2016 list, and remounted at Lincoln Center (with its original director, design team and most of the cast) in the fall of 2017. It's been hailed as one of the "25 Best American Plays Since 'Angels in America'" by The New York Times, and was featured on TCG's "Top 10 Most-Produced Plays in 2018-2019" list