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Five Young Writers Selected To Be 'National Young Playwrights In Residence' At Echo Theater Company

Currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Echo has been dedicated to creating new work for the stage since 1997.

Five Young Writers Selected To Be 'National Young Playwrights In Residence' At Echo Theater Company

Five early career, young playwrights have been selected as Echo Theater Company "National Young Playwrights in Residence" for 2021-22. The unique NYPR program uses digital platforms to connect young playwrights across the U.S. with professional mentors.

Currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Echo has been dedicated to creating new work for the stage since 1997.

"We've been focused on creating original work since the very beginning," says founding artistic director Chris Fields. "This program, under the stewardship of our director of new programs Andrew Shafer, extends our reach beyond the traditional theater hubs of L.A. and New York to develop new voices around the country."

Once again, the Echo has chosen young writers with bold, original voices who represent a diversity of experiences and backgrounds and paired each with an established professional writer to develop a new work via video chat and voice calls. At the end of the residency, the Echo will fly everyone to Los Angeles to rehearse and present a festival of staged readings of the final works.

Ada A., an early-career playwright and director who graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A in anthropology, will work with Naveen Bahar Choudhury, a playwright, librettist, and lyricist whose work has been produced, commissioned and developed by Ma-Yi Theater, Prospect Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Second Stage Theatre, New Federal Theatre, Joe's Pub at The Public Theater, The Lark Play Development Center, New Dramatists, Martha's Vineyard Playhouse and more.

Zachariah Ezer, an M.F.A. playwriting candidate at the University of Texas at Austin whose work animates theoretical quandaries through dramaturgical forms, is paired with award-winning playwright/screenwriter, noted Eugene O'Neill scholar, and professor at the University of Kentucky Herman Daniel Farrell III.

Lily Gonzales, a graduate of UT Austin whose work has been developed or read at the John F. Kennedy Center, Teatro Vivo, Repertorio Español, Stages, AlterTheater Ensemble and Workshop Theater, will be mentored by Kira Obolensky, a multiple award-winning playwright whose plays have been produced Off Broadway, in Los Angeles, in Prague and Terezin, and in such locations as homeless shelters, prisons, tribal colleges, chemical dependency centers and immigrant centers.

Aris Hines, an African and Native American-identifying facilitator and teaching artist currently pursuing a master's degree in international education and Filipino cultural studies at George Washington University in Washington D.C., is matched with Dominic Finocchiaro whose play The Found Dog Ribbon Dance was produced by the Echo in 2017.

Michael Mobley, who shatters stereotypes through his writing about the intimate and private lives of Black Americans, will collaborate with Matthew Paul Olmos, a three-time Sundance Institute Fellowship/Residency recipient, Actors' Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival commissioned playwright and New Dramatists resident playwright among numerous other credits, whose interactive murder mystery experience Underneath the Freeways of L.A. was inspired by historical events and streamed by the Echo last spring.

For more information about the Echo Theater Company and the National Young Playwrights in Residence program, visit www.echotheatercompany.com.




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