Liberation Theatre Company Selects Four Early Career Playwrights For 24-25 Writing Residency Program

The selected playwrights will receive support to develop their work over ten months, culminating in a reading in Spring 2025.

By: May. 10, 2024
Liberation Theatre Company Selects Four Early Career Playwrights For 24-25 Writing Residency Program
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Harlem NY-based Liberation Theatre Company has selected four emerging playwrights to participate in the seventh year of their Writing Residency Program for 2024-2025.

Playwrights in the program will receive dramaturgical and career support over a ten-month period beginning in May, during which time they will be required to complete the first draft of a new original full-length play. The plays will then have an opportunity to receive a reading in the Spring of 2025.

Established in 2009, LTC provides a creative home for early career Black playwrights to develop their work and express themselves artistically in a supportive and focused environment. Financial support for the Writing Residency Program is provided by the New York State Council on the Arts.

"We were delighted to receive a record number of submissions this year, with several high caliber candidates. It made our selection process more difficult but only in a good way," said Sandra A. Daley-Sharif, Producing Artistic Director. "This tells us our program has gotten people's attention and that the service we provide to Black playwrights is still important and necessary. Our past participants are successfully building their careers and we look forward to working with this year's writers."

Playwrights will meet monthly as a group with LTC staff to share work in progress and offer each other feedback. They will also have access to theatre events around New York, dialogue with working professional theatre artists, attend a writers' retreat, and have access to directors and professional actors for table reads and their end-of-residency reading. Each writer will receive an honorarium upon successful completion of the program.

Playwrights in the Writing Residency Program for 2024-2025 are:

Cris Eli Blak is the winner of the Black Broadway Men Playwriting Initiative, Charles M. Getchell New Play Award, Atlanta Shakespeare Company's Muse of Fire BIPOC Playwriting Festival, the recipient of the Emerging Playwrights Fellowship from The Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre and is currently an artist-in-residence with Abingdon Theatre Company.

Zachariah Ezer is a Dramatists Guild Foundation Catalyst Fellow, the winner of Kumu Kahua Theatre's Hawai'i Prize, a member of The Civilians R&D group, and is currently under commission from Theater J. Plays: The Freedom Industry (Playwrights Horizons' New Works Lab, The Playwrights Center, New York Stage & Film. MFA: The University of Texas at Austin. BA: Wesleyan University.

Mya Ison (she/her) is an actor/playwright from North Carolina. Her plays are a relentless search for Black voices in the places where they've been erased: in the ordinary, in the future, and in the archive. Playwriting accolades: Laure (Workshopped at NYTW and The Tank NYC in 2023); 2023 Bay Area Playwrights' Festival Finalist, 2024 O'Neill New Playwrights' Conference Semi-Finalist.

Abigail C. Onwunali is a 2022 Princess Grace Award Winner. As a writer, her play, Jewel, was a Red Bull Theater's Short New Play Festival winner and her slam poems have been viewed worldwide. She received her MFA from the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale and was an inaugural student for the Lena Waithe's Hillman Grad Mentorship Program.

LTC is managed by Sandra A. Daley-Sharif, co-founder and Producing Artistic Director, Spencer Scott Barros, co-founder and Associate Artistic Director, and Bernard J. Tarver, Associate Producing Director.

Liberation Theatre Company is also a lead collaborator in Harlem9, producers of the annual Obie Award-winning 48Hours in... Harlem 10-minute play festival. Directly and indirectly, LTC has helped to develop or provide exposure to more than 100 writers through its various programs.

Past members of the Liberation Theatre Company Writing Residency Program since its inception in 2017: Shawn Nabors, Germaine Netzband, Liz Morgan, Nathaniel Blake Johnson, Deneen Reynolds-Knott, Maia Matsushita, Marcus Scott, Tylie Shider, Jessica Charles, Camille Darby, Johnny G. Lloyd, Jeremy O'Brian, Gethsemane Herron-Coward, Karen Chilton, Malcolm Tariq, Travis Tate, Calley N. Anderson, Zakeia Tyson-Cross, Devon Kidd, Brysen Boyd, Anthony T. Goss, Rudy Bamenga, Olga El and Jerrica D. White.


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