Yale Repertory Theatre Commissions New Work by Guadalís Del Carmen, Dave Harris, Rachel Lynett & Sanaz Toossi

These four artists join a roster of more than 60 others whose work has been supported by Yale’s Binger Center for New Theatre.

By: Apr. 26, 2023
Yale Repertory Theatre Commissions New Work by Guadalís Del Carmen, Dave Harris, Rachel Lynett & Sanaz Toossi
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Yale Repertory Theatre has announced the commissioning of new work by Guadalís Del Carmen (Bees and Honey), Dave Harris (Tambo & Bones), Rachel Lynett [Apologies to Lorraine Hansberry (You Too August Wilson)], and Sanaz Toossi (English). These four artists join a roster of more than 60 others whose work has been supported by Yale's Binger Center for New Theatre-the artist-driven initiative that devotes major resources to the commissioning, development, and production of new plays and musicals.

"I am delighted to welcome Guadalís Del Carmen, Dave Harris, Rachel Lynett, and Sanaz Toossi to Yale Repertory Theatre," said Artistic Director James Bundy. "They are among the most adventurous and singular voices working today in the American theater and their work undoubtedly will advance our artform into the future."

In addition, Yale Rep announces that Dave Harris is the inaugural and first recipient of three annual Peter Shaffer Commissions, which support work of significant scope, and are made possible by a generous gift from the Sir Peter Shaffer Charitable Foundation. Foundation Trustee Alan U. Schwartz said, "The Sir Peter Shaffer Charitable Foundation is very proud to launch this partnership with Yale Rep and looks forward to the development of Dave Harris's and subsequent playwrights' Peter Shaffer Commissions through Yale's Binger Center for New Theatre."

Managing Director Florie Seery said, "We are enormously grateful to the Sir Peter Shaffer Charitable Foundation for their generosity and their commitment to supporting playwriting at Yale Rep and other theaters here in the U.S. and abroad."

Established in 2008, the Binger Center was permanently endowed in 2012 by a gift from the Robina Foundation with additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Time Warner Foundation, Inc., the Lucille Lortel Foundation, and individual donors. The Binger Center is named in honor of James H. Binger (1916-2004), the noted businessman, theatre impresario, and philanthropist who created the Robina Foundation. Additional funding is from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Time Warner Foundation, Inc., the Lucille Lortel Foundation, the Sir Peter Shaffer Charitable Foundation, The Roy Cockrum Foundation, and individual donors.

Associate Artistic Director Jennifer Kiger is the theater's Director of New Play Programs. Under her leadership, the Binger Center has supported the work of more than 70 artists with commissions, residencies, readings, and workshops. Each development process is tailor-made to the artist's need and can take place in New Haven, Connecticut, or New York City. The Binger Center compensates artists for all developmental activities with fees for rehearsals, housing, and travel. This compensation is paid to commissioned artists in addition to commission fees and/or royalties. In addition to the resources offered in the early stages of the development of a commission, the Binger Center has underwritten the premieres and subsequent productions of more than 30 new plays and musicals at Yale Rep.

"The Yale Rep productions that the Binger Center has supported reflect an extraordinary breadth of theatrical imagination, aesthetic sensibility, and human experience," said Jennifer Kiger. "It is also gratifying that plays we develop here are being experienced by audiences across the country. The Binger Center has funded productions of Yale-commissioned plays and work first produced at Yale Rep at theaters large and small in cities including Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Richmond, Virginia; Washington, DC; Greenville, South Carolina; La Jolla, California; Los Angeles, California; and New York City."

Earlier this season, the Binger Center supported the world premiere of The Brightest Thing in the World a Yale-commissioned play written by Leah Nanako Winkler. Next season, the Binger Center will support Yale Rep's productions of Wish You Were Here by Sanaz Toossi and The Far Country by Lloyd Suh, as well as the world premiere of the Yale-commissioned play The Salvagers by Harrison David Rivers.

More information about the artists, commissioned plays, and productions supported by Yale's Binger Center for New Theatre is available online.

Commissioned Artists

Guadalís Del Carmen

(she/her/ella) is a playwright and screenwriter from Chicago, based in New York City. She's an Ars Nova Resident Artist, and a 2020 Steinberg Playwriting Award recipient. She's the Founder and Co-Artistic Director of the Latinx Playwrights Circle. Her plays include Not For Sale (Urban Theater Company, Joseph Jefferson Award New Play Nominee 2019), My Father's Keeper (part of Steppenwolf Theatre's The Mix, The Kilroys Honorable Mention 2019), Bees and Honey (The Kilroys List 2019, LAByrinth Theater/The SOL Project 2020 production postponed due to COVID-19), Daughters of the Rebellion (Montclair State University 2019, The Kilroy Honorable Mention 2017, 50Playwrights Project Best Unproduced Latinx Plays 2017), A Shero's Journey or What Anacaona and Yemayú Taught Me (Theater Magazine, 2019; The Parsnip Ship Podcast, Season 4), Blowour (Aguijón Theater 2013). She was a Co-Producer of Atlantic Theater Company's African Caribbean MixFest 2021 and has worked on projects at FX and HBO. Guadalís has also performed on theater stages across the country.

Dave Harris

is a poet and playwright from West Philly. Selected plays include Tambo & Bones (LA Drama Critics Best New Play Award; Playwrights Horizons, Center Theatre Group, 2022), Exception to the Rule(Roundabout Theatre Company, 2022), and Everybody Black (Humana Festival, 2019). His first feature film, Summertime, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was released in 2021. Selected honors include the 2019 Ollie Award, The Lorraine Hansberry Award and Mark Twain Award from The Kennedy Center, the International Commendation for The Bruntwood Prize, the Venturous Fellowship from The Lark, and a Cave Canem poetry fellowship amongst others. Dave is writing the feature adaptation of The Fortress of Solitude amongst several other feature and television projects for AMC (Interview with the Vampire), ABC Signature, Goddard Textiles, and Amazon. His first full-length collection of poetry, Patricide, was published by Button Poetry. Upcoming: Incendiary (Woolly Mammoth, 2023), Tambo & Bones (Royal Stratford East, London Premiere, 2023).

Rachel Lynett

(she/they) is a queer Afro-Latine playwright, producer, and teaching artist. Their plays have been featured at San Diego Rep, Magic Theatre, Mirrorbox Theatre, Laboratory Theatre of Florida, Barrington Stage Company, Theatre Lab, Theatre Prometheus, Florida Studio Theatre, Laughing Pig Theatre Company, Capital Repertory Theatre, Teatro Espejo, the Kennedy Center Page to Stage festival, Theatresquared, Equity Library Theatre, Chicago, Talk Back Theatre, American Stage Theatre Company, Indiana University at Bloomington, Edgewood College, and Orlando Shakespeare Theatre. Their plays Last Night and HE DID IT made the 2020 Kilroy's List. Their play White People by the Lake was a 2022 Blue Ink Award finalist. Lynett is also the 2021 recipient of the Yale Drama Prize for their play Apologies to Lorraine Hansberry (You Too August Wilson) and the 2021 recipient of the National Latinx Playwriting award for their play Black Mexican.

Sanaz Toossi

is an Iranian-American playwright from Orange County, California. Her plays include the critically acclaimed, award-winning English (co-production Atlantic Theater Company/Roundabout Theatre Company) and Wish You Were Here (Playwrights Horizons; Williamstown/Audible, released 2020). She is currently under commission at Atlantic Theater Company (Launch commission; Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation grant), Roundabout Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club, South Coast Repertory, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival (American Revolutions Cycle). In television, Sanaz recently staffed on Invitation to a Bonfire (AMC); A League of Their Own (Amazon); Five Women (Marielle Heller/ Big Beach); and sold an original idea, The Persians, to FX with Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields attached as Executive Producers. Sanaz is a member of Youngblood and the Middle Eastern American Writers Lab at the Lark, and an alum of Clubbed Thumb's Early Career Writers' Group. She was the 2019 P73 Playwriting Fellow, a recipient of the 2020 Steinberg Playwright Award, the 2022 recipient of The Horton Foote Award and, most recently, the 2023 recipient of the Best New American Play OBIE Award. MFA: NYU Tisch

The Sir Peter Shaffer Charitable Foundation


The Sir Peter Shaffer Charitable Foundation was formed under the will of the late Sir Peter Shaffer for the purpose of encouraging and promoting the creation and production of works for the theater that are large in scope and content. Peter Shaffer was the accomplished playwright of Equus, first produced by The National Theatre, followed by the West End and Broadway; it received revivals in 2007 and 2019 and was made into a 1977 film which earned Peter an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay. Peter's play Amadeusopened at by The National Theatre in 1979 and on Broadway in 1980, and the 1984 film won Peter Shaffer one of its eight Academy Awards. His other works include Lettice and Lovage (ran on the West End for three years), Black Comedy, White Lies, The Battle of Shrivings, Yonadab, The Salt Land, The Prodigal Father, Five Finger Exercise, and The Royal Hunt of the Sun. In 1994, Peter was Visiting Professor of Contemporary Drama at St. Catherine's College, Oxford. He was awarded the CBE in 1987 and was knighted in 2001. Peter passed away in June 2016 at the age of 90.

Yale Repertory Theatre

Yale Repertory Theatre, the internationally celebrated professional theatre in residence at David Geffen School of Drama, has championed new work since 1966, producing well over 100 premieres-including two Pulitzer Prize winners and four other nominated finalists-by emerging and established playwrights. Seventeen Yale Rep productions have advanced to Broadway, garnering more than 40 Tony Award nominations and ten Tony Awards. Yale Rep is also the recipient of the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Established in 2008, Yale's Binger Center for New Theatre has distinguished itself as one of the nation's most robust and innovative new play programs. To date, the Binger Center has supported the work of more than 70 commissioned artists and underwritten the world premieres and subsequent productions of more than 30 new plays and musicals at Yale Rep and theaters across the country.

Yale Repertory Theatre is supported by CT Humanities, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, and the National Endowment for the Arts.



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