News on your favorite shows, specials & more!

Ars Nova Announces 17 New Artist Residencies and Commissions

Ars Nova amplifies the voices of a new generation of diverse artists and audiences.

By: Jan. 11, 2022
Enter Your Email to Unlock This Article

Plus, get the best of BroadwayWorld delivered to your inbox, and unlimited access to our editorial content across the globe.

Existing user? Just click login.

Ars Nova Announces 17 New Artist Residencies and Commissions  Image

Ars Nova has announced 17 new artists and groups selected in 2022 for residencies and commissions at Ars Nova. The Company's dynamic slate of artist residencies and commissions supports outside-the-box thinking and encourages innovative, genre-bending work. By providing a protective environment where risk-taking and collaboration are paramount, Ars Nova amplifies the voices of a new generation of diverse artists and audiences.

"This is about as Ars Nova as it gets!" says Jason Eagan, Ars Nova's Founding Artistic Director. "Our residencies and commissions live at the very core of our mission, and we're thrilled to be kicking off the new year with a cohort of creators who will advance New York's eclectic artistic landscape, ushering us all into a bold new era of theater making. I'm honored that we get to play a role in their stories."

Designed to foreground Ars Nova's values through the creation of more equitable and power-sharing curatorial practices, the Vision Residency was launched in 2020 with the goal of expanding Ars Nova's artistic vision by inviting artist-curators to program our stages and digital platform with their own work as well as work by artists they champion and admire. Each Resident will be given broad support from Ars Nova's full staff in their curation, which will result in events and performances in-person at Ars Nova and online on Ars Nova Supra. The 2022 Vision Residents are Legacy: a Black Queer Production Collective, River L. Ramirez, and Machel Ross. The Vision Residency program at Ars Nova is made possible by the generous support of the Miranda Family, Diana DiMenna and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Founded in 2007, Play Group is a two-year residency in which members become a part of the Ars Nova Resident Artist community. In addition to biweekly meetings where members share new work and receive feedback from their Play Group peers, members also receive dramaturgical support and artistic match-making advice from the Ars Nova artistic staff; and the opportunity to further develop and showcase one of their plays in a weeklong workshop that can culminate in a public reading. The 2022-2024 members of Play Group are Keelay Gipson, Garrett David Kim, Johnny G. Lloyd, May Treuhaft-Ali, Else Went, and Bailey Williams who join the 2021-2023 cohort including Vichet Chum, Gracie Gardner, Dylan Guerra, Gethsemane Herron-Coward, Ife Olujobi, and Mara Vélez Meléndez.

Launched in January 2021, CAMP deepens Ars Nova's commitment to early career comedy artists at a time when their support systems in NYC have decreased. CAMP provides an eclectic group of creators with peer support and artistic feedback as they work on developing new comedic work in weekly meetings facilitated by Co-Program Directors Mahayla Laurence and Matt Gehring. The 2022 CAMP resident artists are Jonathan Cohall; the trio of Makasha Copeland, Chase Doggett, and Gabrielle Silva; Sam Kebede; Preston Martin; Emily Olcott; and Sabrina Wang.

Ars Nova commissions new work with an eye for artists that work with nontraditional creative processes and projects that often combine generative artists across multiple disciplines to collaboratively create a piece of theater. Their adventurous, process-driven environment allows commissioned projects to develop organically and in an artist-focused way by committing to these groundbreaking, form-defying projects for the long haul over several years. New artists under commission include Manik Choksi and Khiyon Hursey who join Melis Aker, Kevin Armento & Sammy Miller, Michael Breslin & Patrick Foley, Heather Christian, nicHi douglas, Deepali Gupta, James & Jerome, Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu, On The Rocks Theatre Co., Ray Yamanouchi, and Zack Zadek. Manik Choksi's commission is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts.

Makers Lab provides a dynamic group of generative theater artists with individually tailored residencies designed to holistically support their careers and develop their new works. Working in a range of category-defying forms and disciplines, these artists, collaborators, and companies use Ars Nova as a home base for twelve-month creative residencies. Current resident artists include Guadalís Del Carmen, David Mendizábal, Joél Peréz & Emma Ramos, Laura Galindo, Michelle J. Rodriguez, and Jillian Walker.

Rounding out the slate of 2022 Resident Artists, Melis Aker and Khiyon Hursey will be Ars Nova's 2022 New York Community Trust Van Lier Fellows, who join continuing Company-In-Residence On The Rocks Theatre Co.

Please visit for more information.

About the new Play Group Artists

Keelay Gipson is an Activist, Professor, and award-winning Playwright based in New York and hailing from Tulsa, OK. His plays include demons. (JAG Fest/Dartmouth HOP Center), The Red and the Black (Finalist; The O'Neill, Sundance Theatre Lab), #NewSlaves (Finalist; Princess Grace, The O'Neill, Seven Devils), imagine sisyphus happy (Finalist; The O'Neill, P73 Summer Residency), CRH, or the placenta play (Semi- Finalist; The O'Neill, Bay Area Playwrights Conference, AADA Main Stage Live!), Nigger/Faggot (Downtown Urban Theater Festival), The Lost Or, How to Just B (Kernodle New Play Award), What I Tell You in the Dark (Finalist; Premiere Stages at Kean University), and Mary/Stuart, a dramatic queering of Friedrich Schiller's classic play (BAM Next Wave Festival, partnership with Wendy's Subway and Lambda Literary). He is the recipient of a Barrington Stage Spark Grant, the NYSAF Founders' Award, the Van Lier Fellowship at New Dramatists, as well as writing fellowships with Lambda Literary, The Amoralists, Page 73 and the Dramatist Guild Foundation. He has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of New York, the Administration of Children's Services of the City of New York, New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Season at Vassar College and Yale University. His work has been developed at The Bushwick Starr, Wild Project, HERE Arts Center, Pace University, West Connecticut University, National Black Theater, Rattlestick Playwrights' Theater, The Fire This Time Festival, Classical Theater of Harlem, and New York Theatre Workshop. He is published in The Best American Short Plays anthology by Applause Theatre and Cinema Books and 48 Hours in Harlem, Vol. 3 by Harlem9. He has taught workshops, courses and masterclasses at NYU, Pace University, Rutgers University, Fordham, and the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

Garrett David Kim (he/him/his) is a theater-maker and educator based in New York City. His writing explores the queer, millennial, Asian-American/Hapa/brown experience. He's developed and presented work at Pride Plays/Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Leviathan Lab, Irondale, Piper Theater Company, and The 24 Hour Plays. His play Are You There Truman? It's Me, Just Another Guy Who Grew Up Secretly Worshiping Your Chiseled Porn Star Body Online, And Now I Think I Love You was awarded The Barbour Award in 2021. He's currently embarking on a play cycle (which includes his plays Deliver Us and Kim's Fine Food) about his Korean-American family's 100+ history in the United States. He has also written for and directed original work created by the young people of Hell's Kitchen at The 52nd Street Project, where he works as their Program Director. B.A. Fordham University.

Johnny G. Lloyd is a New York-based writer and producer. His work has been seen and developed at Second Stage Theater, Clubbed Thumb, 59E59, Dixon Place, Judson Memorial Church, JAGFest (White River Junction, VT), TheatreLab (Boca Raton, FL), and more. Recent plays include OR, AN ASTRONAUT PLAY (Co-Production, InVersion Theatre & The Tank), THE PROBLEM WITH MAGIC, IS: (Winner: Bay Area Playwrights Festival), and PATIENCE (New Voices Reading Series, Second Stage Theater). Johnny has collaborated as a writer with companies such as Theater in Quarantine and SalonSeance. Previously, he was a member of the 2020-2021 Clubbed Thumb Early-Career Writers Group and 2019-2020 Liberation Theatre Company's Writing Residency. He is the Director of Artistic Development at The Tank and Producing Director for InVersion Theatre.

May Treuhaft-Ali is a playwright and dramaturg. She is a 2021 Visionary Playwright at Theater Masters, a member of the Middle Eastern American Writers Lab at the Lark, and an alumna of Clubbed Thumb's Early-Career Writers' Group and The Playwrights Realm Writing Fellowship. She has worked as a dramaturg at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Ars Nova ANT Fest, and Haven Theatre Chicago. Her dramaturgical essays have been published in Playwrights Horizons' Almanac and Table Work Press' Two Plays. May is the Literary and Community Engagement Assistant at Playwrights Horizons.

Else Went (they/she) is a Brooklyn based playwright and sound designer. They are a member of the 2021-2023 Emerging Writer's Group at The Public Theater. Former fellow at MacDowell Colony, Playwrights Realm, Trans Theatre Lab @ WP & The Public, and Living Room Theatre. Commissions include the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation via MTC (An Oxford Man), Weston Playhouse (Mirror Game; short), and Parity Productions (Boxcar). Else has received residencies from Stillwright and Barn Arts Collective. Semifinalist for ASC's Shakespeare's New Contemporaries (Courage! To the Field!) and the O'Neill Conference (Initiative). Finalist for ASC New Contemporaries (Whate'er). Her work has been previously developed with The Tank, International Shakespeare Center, Florida Studio Theatre, and The Brick, among others. Else is the co-founder and playwright of The Renovationists, an artistic collective dedicated to queering traditional modes of theatre.

Bailey Williams is a writer of plays and fiction. Her play I thought I would die but I didn't (dir. Sarah Blush) was produced at The Tank in a New Georges supported production. Her previous play Buffalo Bailey's Ranch for Gay Horses, Troubled Teen Girls and Other: a 90 Minute Timeshare Presentation premiered with the Exponential Festival in January 2018. It toured in August 2018 at The Brick in NYC, The Annex (Baltimore), and The Whole Shebang (PA). The entire show and additional material are available at Bailey has developed work with Ars Nova, the Brick, Bushwick Starr, Cloud City, Curious Theatre, Dixon Place, La MaMa, the New Ohio Theater, The Tank, Williamstown Theatre Festival, University Settlement, Vital Joint and more. She has received residencies at Barn Arts, Drop Forge & Tool, and La MaMa Umbria. She is under commission by The Hearth Theater. She recently received a MacDowell Fellowship to work on her upcoming novel and is a member of the 2021-2022 Clubbed Thumb Early Career Writers Group. Her play Events will premiere at The Brick in a co-production with The Hearth Theater in 2022. Bailey has also written for a science and technology podcast ("Should This Exist?") and a gay trivia show ("Hosting" on Scruff). She is a Colt Coeur Company member. MFA: Brooklyn College.

About the Vision Resident Artists

Legacy: a Black Queer Production Collective is a group of Black queer artists based in NYC. We collectivized in response to deep-seated underappreciation, undervaluing, and underfunding of Black queer art. We focus on uplifting Black queer voices and experiences by: creating space for artistic endeavors, providing equitable compensation for time and work, and fostering fellowship and opportunity for our community. As artists, we dedicate ourselves to creating works that shift culture and offer historically excluded perspectives. Black queer communities have long driven the arts on a global scale, and we aim to ensure that full creative autonomy becomes and remains central to our collect histories.

River L. Ramirez (they/them) is a Brooklyn-based artist, comedian and writer who wrote, produced and directed the comedy special program "Pervert Everything" for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. Ramirez has appeared on the HBO comedy series 'Random Acts of Flyness' and in the final season of Comedy Central's 'Broad City'. Most recently they have had a residency at Barishnykov Arts Center where they premiered their latest musical piece "GHOSTFOLK." Ramirez has written for High Maintenance, The National Lampoon Radio Hour. Ramirez can be seen in a recurring role in the HBO comedy series Los Espookys opposite Fred Armisen and, opposite Glenn Close, in John Cameron Mitchell's musical anthology podcast Anthem and featured as Charly in BIRDGIRL. Named one of Comedy Central's Up Next Comedians for 2018, Ramirez was featured in the San Francisco Cluster Fest comedy festival, and performed at The Public Theater in New York as part of the January, 2019, Under the Radar Festival.

Machel Ross is a Dominican American director and creative collaborator based in NYC, who specializes in the development of new work and aesthetic world building. Regardless of medium, she's invested in generating rigorous images, in support of framing stories to their fullest potential. She's developed work with Aziza Barnes (NANA), Daniella De Jesús (Mambo Sauce), PigPen Theatre Company (Phantom Folktales), Ellen Winter (This House Is your Home), and directed the world premiere of Jeremy O. Harris' Black Exhibition at The Bushwick Starr. She's worked as an associate for Lileana Blain Cruz (Marys Seacole, The House that Will not Stand), Drew McOnie (King Kong), Lila Neugebauer (Mrs. Murray's Menagerie, The Antipodes, The Wolves) and Annie Baker. Machel is a 2020-2022 WP Directing Fellow, a 2020 Sundance Theater Lab fellow, and a 2019 grant recipient of the Women's Fund for Film, TV and Theatre for her short film Signs He Made at Home. BFA-NYU Playwrights Horizons Theater School.

About the CAMP Artists

Jonathan Cohall is more than a Comedian, he is a "Coneedian." He has to make people laugh for it is his life force. Without humor, he is but a mere mortal. Jonathan received the 1st place prize in the NYC Video Festival sponsored by Showtime with a story about a subway comedian entitled Laugh Track, which was screened at The Paley Center for Media. He also appeared in One Girl Two Hairstyles, a web commercial with Broad City's Ilana Glazer for curly hair care company Ouidad on YouTube. He was named a 2017 Improv Your Life Scholar and Newbie of the year at The Peoples Improv Theater. Most recently he was a winner of the 2018 NBC/UCB Diversity Scholarship.

Makasha Copeland is an actor, comedian, and playwright. Their plays include Extreme Home Makeover (2019 Agnes Nixon Award, San Diego REP, Teatro Espejo, FAU Theatre Lab, Capital Rep, Theatre Exile), Fabuloso! (Vertigo Productions, Sideshow Theatre), and Pitbull's B-Day (The Tank). Most recently, they co-created, co-wrote, and performed in sketch-improv-play fusion Madre Mía/Minha Mãe through Ars Nova's 2020 CAMP residency. Makasha is a member of sketch team Resting Witch Face (iO, Second City) and performs with Social Studies, Kiss Kiss, and God's Faves at Brooklyn Comedy Collective. They graduated from Northwestern University, where they performed, wrote, and improvised with The Titanic Players, Griffin's Tale, Mee-Ow, and Out Da Box. Despite having long hair, they are nonbinary.

Chase Doggett is a Tejano writer, comedian, and artist from Austin, TX. They are a creator, performer and host of various Brooklyn-based comedy shows, including Social Studies, Kid Biologist and the ongoing comedy show KISS KISS. Their work has been featured through Brooklyn Comedy Collective, The Tank, and 24 Hour Play Fest. Most recently, they co-created, co-wrote and performed in sketch-improv-play fusion Madre Mía/Minha Mãe through Ars Nova's 2020 CAMP residency. Chase is a graduate of Northwestern University, where they were a part of The Titanic Players, Griffin's Tale and Out Da Box. They are currently developing on The Goldfish Show. Chase Doggett is the fourteenth reason why.

Gabrielle Silva is a performer from outside of Boston, MA. She recently completed her first Ars Nova Camp Residency where she co-created, co-wrote and performed in the sketch-improv-play fusion Madre Mía/Minha Mãe. Gabrielle has performed in Fabuloso! (Sideshow Theatre) and Extreme Home Makeover (Agnes Nixon Festival) and sings for the UN's Global Goal Initiative. She is a graduate of Northwestern University where she directed Out Da Box Sketch and Comedy, and performed with THUNK and Griffin's Tale.

Sam Kebede is a first generation Ethiopian/Eritrean American from southern California. Though he used to be a neuroscientist, he now is an actor/playwright/comedian. TV/Film: Loveseat (Venice International Film Festival), Rival Peak (Facebook Watch), Blue Bloods, New Amsterdam, Full Frontal w/ Samantha Bee, HBO UrbanFilmFest, TaiwanPlus. Theater: The Public, Ars Nova, IRT Theater, Chicago Shakes, B Street Theater, Adirondack Theater Festival. As a writer he has helped create plays at The Public's DTWG, Ars Nova's ANT Fest, and had a full production at Victory Garden Theater in Chicago. And as a comedian he performs all over whether it be a five minute set at a small bar, or his longer hour long set titled "I'm Ostracized because I'm Ostrich-Sized" at venues such as The PIT in NYC or Upstairs at The B in Sacramento. He recently wrapped a VR performance in collaboration with GO! Pictures in Austria. University of Connecticut: MFA Acting, Duke University: BS Neuroscience, BA Theatre Studies, Minor Biology

Preston Martin (he/they) is a queer actor, director, writer and video artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Preston has performed in over fifty venues in New York City and in eight countries across the world. They direct The Reality Show: NYU, a musical sketch comedy show centered around wellbeing and community. Three productions are annually devised for each of the NYU campuses in New York City, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. Under Preston's curation and direction, The Reality Show has performed at Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, The Beacon, and Barclays Center, as well as at venues throughout Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. Preston has been a member of numerous sketch comedy groups including Liz Swados' Political Subversities and Matt Gehring and Shaina Taub's Shiz. On-screen, Preston devised and starred in The Rest of Us, an ensemble drama produced by Mary Stuart Masterson. They also danced in Greta Gerwig's Little Women and will be seen in the upcoming Quinn Shephard film Not Okay. In these New Ways, Preston is investigating videography and digital audio skillsets and hopes to show you some stuff if you want? has some other stuff to know!

Emily Olcott is a Brooklyn-based performer and writer. She's performed new work around NYC at The Flea, the PIT, 54 Below, NYU, Columbia, Signature Theater, Caveat, and The Tank. She's also performed original musical comedy at Ars Nova, Joe's Pub, Club Cumming, Littlefield, Union Hall, and more. Emily wrote the short film "After You've Gone" which debuted at the Golden Door International Film Fest, the original web series Garbage Town, the solo comedy shows Choose Your Own Adventure and Women's Healing Circle, and the play The Group Chat, commissioned by the substance use disorder educational theater group Second Act. She has toured nationally with Story Pirates as an actor and director to venues like Utah Symphony, the Kennedy Center, and Lincoln Center, and she is a frequent contributor on the Story Pirates Podcast. BA Northwestern, Sagittarius from New Jersey.

Sabrina Wang is a stand-up and comedy writer based in NYC. Sabrina likes using comedy to discuss the experiences of being Asian American and having lost a parent. In her college senior thesis, Good Luck, Sabrina performed stand-up about her mother's immigration process, life in America and passing. Most recently she studied sketch writing at UCB. When Sabrina's not doing comedy, she's living out her childhood dream of having a pet.

About the new commissioned artists & New York Community Trust Van Lier Fellows

Manik Choksi Broadway: Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. Off-Broadway: Indian Ink, Roundabout; Bunty Berman Presents (Lortel Nomination), New Group; Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, Ars Nova; God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, Encores!; King Tot and D, Deb, Debbie, Deborah; Clubbed Thumb; Huck & Holden, Cherry Lane. Regional: Moby Dick and Moby Dick, ART. Film/TV: "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"; "New Amsterdam"; "Good Fight"; "Mindhunter"; "Elementary"; "Happyish"; "One Life To Live" (Vimal Patel), Home, Passing Season. Composer: Those Lost Boys (workshop); Food Odyssey, 3LD. Education: The Juilliard School.

Khiyon Hursey is a writer and composer primarily working to push musical theater into the contemporary world of popular music. Khiyon just signed on to collaborate with Pharrell on a Netflix Movie musical produced by Chernin Entertainment (The Greatest Showman). He recently finished co-penning songs with Grammy Winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Lala Land, Dear Evan Hansen) for SPIRITED, a major motion picture starring Ryan Reynolds, Will Ferrell and Octavia Spencer. He is currently co-writing LOVE IN AMERICA, a movie musical to be produced by Issa Rae at Universal. After Khiyon got his start as the music assistant on the off-Broadway and Broadway productions and the Grammy Award Winning Cast Album of HAMILTON, he's since worked for/with Universal Studios, HBOmax, Netflix, Apple, Nickelodeon, Andre 3000, Issa Rae, and Kevin Hart on various music and tv projects. He is based in Los Angeles and New York.

Melis Aker is a writer, actor, and musician from Turkey, based between London, New York and Los Angeles. Her plays have been commissioned by and developed at Atlantic Theatre (Middle East Mixfest), Ars Nova (Play Group member), NYTW (2050 fellow), O'Neill, NAMT, New Group, Dramatists Guild (DGF fellow), Roundabout Space Jam, LaMaMa, The Lark, Noor, Golden Thread Productions, 24 Hour Plays, Magic Theatre, Corkscrew Festival, BRIC, Golden Thread, and Silk Road Rising in the U.S., as well as the Finborough and Park theatres in London.


To post a comment, you must register and login.