The MITTEN Lab Partners with Parallel 45 Theatre and Theatre Nova

The MITTEN Lab (A Michigan Incubator for Theatre Talent Emerging Now), led by co-founders Katherine M. Carter and Rachel Sussman, has announced partnerships with Michigan theater companies Parallel 45 Theatre in Traverse City and Theatre Nova in Ann Arbor.

The MITTEN Lab will partner with Theatre Nova's Playwrights Forum to host a panel discussion on New Play Development on Saturday, September 17th at 4:30 PM at The Yellow Barn (410 West Huron, Ann Arbor, MI.) The event is free to attend, but donations are encouraged at the door.

The MITTEN Lab will also partner with Parallel 45 Theatre to present works-in-progress from the three 2016 artists-in-residence of the inaugural Lab at The Northern Express at The Parlor (205 Lake Ave, Traverse City, MI) Friday, September 23rd at 7:30 PM. This presentation will give the Traverse City community exclusive access to what these artists have been working on, performed by Parallel 45 actors. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Reservations can be made at Casting will be announced shortly.

The MITTEN Lab residency program runs September 19th through September 25th in Northern Michigan.

The inaugural MITTEN Lab artists will be New York-based playwright Monet Hurst-Mendoza, Detroit-based playwright Emilio Rodriguez, and New York-based composer/lyricist Zoe Sarnak.

The MITTEN Lab will provide emerging artists with the time, space, and support to create new work as well as engage with the local landscape. Chosen projects vary in degree of development-from the seed of an idea to a final draft. Housing, studio space, and food are provided. The 2016 dates will be September 19-25, 2016 and will include presentations of work in partnership with various Michigan theatre organizations.

The MITTEN Lab focuses on the advancement of works in the performing arts and is aimed at cultivating early career playwrights, theatre composers, lyricists, librettists, choreographers, and performance artists. The MITTEN Lab will begin by working with three artists in 2016, expanding to include more artists and longer residencies in subsequent years. At least one Michigan artist will be chosen each year. Participation will begin by invitation only, and ultimately lead to an open application process.

Through its residency program, the MITTEN Lab will provide artists with the opportunity to showcase their work in an encouraging and supportive environment, allowing them to present informal workshops of pieces in development at both the MITTEN Lab as well as at various venues in Detroit and Michigan, giving the public access to new work for a pay-what-you-can admission fee. Residents will also engage with the Detroit community, hosting workshops, master classes, and talk backs.

For more information, visit or follow on Facebook: /themittenlab and Twitter: @mittenlab,

Parallel 45 Theatre is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that facilitates the collaboration of nationally-recognized artists in order to create high-quality productions for the northwest Michigan community. We believe that by engaging in public and collective acts of imagination, the theatre helps us to remember where we have been, understand where we are today, and examine where we are going. By producing a repertory of innovative new works, reinvented classics, and imaginative adaptations, Parallel 45 seeks to entertain, encourage critical thought, and inspire. We are the only resident professional theatre company in northwest Michigan. For more, visit

Theatre Nova is a professional theatre company in Ann Arbor, founded by Carla Milarch and Dan Walker, dedicated to raising awareness of the value and excitement of new plays and new playwrights, and providing resources and outlets for playwrights to develop their craft, by importing, exporting, and developing new plays and playwrights. Theatre Nova scours the country for the hottest new work - bringing audiences the most exciting, interesting, cutting-edge plays. Theatre Nova finds plays that are adventurous, journeys of imagination, shocking at times, and always thought-provoking. Plays that respect your intellect, imagination, and curiosity, and offer something new, unexpected, innovative, and stimulating. In addition to a full season of world, regional, and Michigan premieres, Theatre Nova also engages in the development of new work through its annual Michigan Playwrights' Festival, which creates the opportunity for writers who currently live in Michigan to develop a new play using local actors, directors, dramaturges, and audiences as their resources. Got to for more.


Monet Hurst-Mendoza is a New York-based playwright from Los Angeles, CA. Her plays have been developed with Rising Circle Theater Collective, |the claque|, Lookingglass Theatre, The Oneness Project, The Other Mirror, The Kupferberg Center for the Arts, #serials@The Flea, Amios' Shotz!, Women's Project Theater, and Playwright's Playground at Classical Theatre of Harlem. She is the current Playwright in Residence for The Other Mirror, and an inaugural member of the 2016 MITTEN Lab in Michigan. Monet is a member of the 2017 Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater, |the claque|'s Octo-Group, and is a 2014-2016 Women's Project Lab Time Warner Foundation Fellow. She is a proud member of Rising Circle Theater Collective, where she spearheads INKtank/PlayRISE, a developmental writers lab and new works festival for emerging playwrights of color. B.A.: Marymount Manhattan College.

Zoe Sarnak graduated from Harvard University where she was awarded the Ann Radcliffe Trust award. Works include: Mixtape (Silent Street Productions 2012); A Lasting Impression (Pace New Musicals 2012, Off-Broadway, winner of the 2013 NJ Playwright's contest); The Years Between (Musical Theatre Factory's 2014 workshop, March 2016, T-Fellowship Award Presentation); Landed (commissioned by New York Film Academy, scheduled Summer 2016 release). Zoe is the winner of the 2015 Davenport Songwriting contest, NY Stage & Film's Founders Award finalist, Fred Ebb Award finalist, and resident at the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed. Her music has been featured at The Lilly Awards, Women of Note (NYMF), Prospect Theater Company, Cutting Edge Composers and more. New/upcoming projects include: Secret Soldiers (with MarSha Norman), Transport Group's 20th Century Project (with Michele Lowe) and Teddy&Max (with Brian Crawley).

Emilio Rodriguez's plays have been a part of various festivals including the inaugural Latino Theatre Common's Carnaval of New Works (Swimming While Drowning), the inaugural Activate Midwest Festival at Western Michigan University (Spin), and the Austin Latino New Play Festival (Mamacita and the Negrito). He will also be a part of the Play Lab at the Great Plains Conference in Nebraska later this spring. Last fall, Emilio received a residency Djerassi Artist Residency Program. Additionally, Emilio was a 2015 finalist for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education's Excellence in Playwriting Award and 2016 Finalist for the Playwright's Center Many Voices Fellowship. He is currently working on commissions for the JET Theatre and Milagro Theatre. When he's not writing, Emilio teaches theatre to young people in the Detroit area through programs such as Living Arts, Matrix, and Disney Musicals in Schools.

Katherine M. Carter (Co-Founding Artistic Director) directs theatre, opera, and events. In addition to The MITTEN Lab, she is the founding Artistic Director of The Other Mirror, dedicated to adaptations for the stage whose work includes Gods & Kings, Mirror Alchemy, Going Away, Bite the Apple, and Madame Bovary. Katherine is a two-time director in the Directors Company Adaptations for the Stage Workshop, the 2011-2012 Playwrights Horizons Directing Resident, a Drama League Rough Draft Fellow, and a guest director at New York University's Stella Adler and Atlantic Schools. Katherine has worked with The Little Orchestra Society, 54 Below, Flux Industries, Dixon Place, On Site Opera, and Boston Opera Collaborative. In 2014 Katherine was awarded Best Director of a Musical for her direction of La Cenerentola in Boston, MA. Katherine is a 2016 Drama League First Artist Resident and a Wolf Trap Opera Directing Fellow. She is a member of Directors Lab Chicago ('11, '14), and a New Georges Affiliated Artist. Associate member of SDC and the League of Professional Theatre Women.

Rachel Sussman (Co-Founding Artistic Director). A native of Michigan, Rachel is a New York-based producer committed to nurturing diverse work through creative collaboration. Rachel is also a co-founder of The Indigo Theatre Project and has worked with Second Stage Theatre, RKO Stage, Goodspeed Musicals' Mercer Colony, The Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, Lincoln Center's American Songbook, The Tony Awards, and CREATE-Ireland in Dublin, Ireland. Producing credits include: The Woodsman (59E59, New World Stages); The Imaginary Menagerie (Joe's Pub); and The Rug Dealer (The WP Pipeline Festival). Upcoming: Andy Bragen's Don't You Fucking Say a Word directed by Lee Sunday Evans (59E59). Currently, she is the Director of Programming and Artist Services at the New York Musical Festival. Rachel is a 2014-2016 Women's Project Producer Lab Time Warner Fellow and sits on the Advisory Board for Strangemen & Co. and the Musical Theatre Factory.

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