Gingold Theatrical Group Announces 2017-18 SPEAKERS' CORNER Writers Group

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Gingold Theatrical Group Announces 2017-18 SPEAKERS' CORNER Writers Group

Gingold Theatrical Group, now in its 12th Season, adds to its ongoing new play development programs with the new SPEAKERS' CORNER Writers Group.

Named after the corner of London's Hyde Park where George Bernard Shaw and other political speakers have delivered speeches since 1855, GTG's SPEAKERS CORNER brings together six to ten writers each year who will spend the year exploring a specific Shaw play and writing new work in response to that text.

For the 2017-'18 season, writers Julissa Contreras, Emily Daly, Xavier Galva, Nick Gandiello, Hank H. Kim, James Presson, Ren Dara Santiago, and David Zheng will develop works in response to Shaw's Man and Superman.

The group was created and will be coordinated by GTG Associate Director Stephen Brown-Fried. "Speakers' Corner will bring today's writers into conversation with Shaw's plays and ideas. We see Shaw's work -- and his passionate advocacy for human rights, individual liberty, and free thinking -- as an inspiration for contemporary progressive theatre. We're excited to see how his ideas will inspire these writers, and how these writers' diverse points of view will add to our understanding of Shaw's relevance in today's world," says Brown-Fried. GTG aims to shepherd select Speakers' Corner projects towards future full productions.

Speakers' Corner members will meet monthly starting in September, and GTG will host showings of the work that Speakers' Corner develops in the spring or summer of each year. The group's members were identified through an open application process under the guidance of GTG Artistic Director David Staller and GTG's Speakers Corner Advisory Committee: Alison Fraser, Ralph Peña, Daphne Rubin-Vega, and Sharon Washington.

Julissa Contreras is a current member of Rattlestick Playwright's Theater's apprentice company Middle Voice and the Lather, Rinse, Repeat playwright collective. Julissa is also a former member of the MCC Youth Company where she worked as a playwrighting assistant to Lucy Thurber. Julissa is the creator, director, and writer of the YouTube hit "Shit Spanish Girls Say."

Emily Daly's plays have been produced in NY with the Middle Voice/Rattlestick and Stable Cable, and regionally with Capital Fringe and Rhinofest. Development credits include ESPA Drills, Primary Stages, and GPTC. Screenwriting credits include the award-winning pilot Sox News (Martian Media), and the series Sparkle Ultraviolet (Instaminseries). Member of Actors' Equity, Beehive Collective, Stable Cable, and the Middle Voice.

Xavier Galva is a Dominican-American writer/performer born in Washington Heights and raised in the Bronx. He trained as an actor at the Atlantic Acting School. He is a founding member of The Rattlestick's apprentice company, The Middle Voice. He's an Alumni of the 2014-2015 Clubbed Thumb Early Career Writers Group, the MCC Theater youth company, and the 2016 PlayLabs series. His plays have been developed by MCC Theater, Clubbed Thumb, and The Middle Voice.

Nick Gandiello's plays include The Blameless (The Old Globe), Oceanside (Merrimack Repertory Theatre), and The Wedge Horse (Fault Line Theatre). He was the 2015 Page 73 Productions Playwriting Fellow, received the 2016 Marin Theatre Company David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize, and was a member of the Ars Nova Play Group. MFA, The New School for Drama.

Hank H. Kim is a Brooklyn-based playwright, actor and filmmaker. His short play Iago Is Dying was a semi-finalist in the 2012 Network Short Play Festival in New York City. Kim is a 2010 graduate of the William Esper Studio for acting as well as a graduate of the Labyrinth Theater Co. master class.

James Presson wrote Fuck Marry Kill (developed: Lincoln Center, production: New Ohio), Marry in the Club (Judson), and Long Division (Portland Center Stage). Other plays have been produced at Goodspeed, Ars Nova, Walkerspace, Wild Project, Orlando Rep, and the Vineyard. Awards include: the Dramatists Guild Fellowship, ASCAP Workshop, FringeNYC, UnitedSolo, Indie Theater Now Person of the Year. TV: "Vinyl," "Get Shorty," "Civil."

Ren Dara Santiago is a Fila-Rican playwright from Harlem. The Siblings Play has had development at The Cherry Lane Theatre Mentor Project, Labyrinth Theater, MCC Theater, Ojai Playwrights Conference, and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. She has a Playwriting Mentorship Residency at SPACE on Ryder Farm and is a teaching artist for the advanced playwrights at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. Ren is a founding member of Middle Voice at Rattlestick and is an eternal member of The Baldwin Project by Lucy Thurber.

David Zheng is an actor, playwright, and photographer. He is a founding member of The Middle Voice Theater Company. His plays have been workshopped and presented by LAByrinth Theater Company (Kingsbridge) and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (Ghetto Baptism). He is a member of the Ma-Yi's writers lab.

Speakers' Corner adds to GTG's on-going play development program, Press Cuttings, which, in recognition of Shaw's career as a theatre critic, supports the development of new plays written by theatre journalists. Press Cuttings has commissioned new plays by Jeremy McCarter, Robert Simonson, and David Cote, and, in June of 2017, presented an AEA workshop of David Cote's Otherland directed by May Adrales.

For more information about Speakers' Corner Writers Group and all the projects of Gingold Theatrical Group, contact 212-355-7823 or, or visit

Pictured: 2017-'18 Speakers' Corner Writers Group: (top row) Julissa Contreras, Emily Daly, Xavier Galva, Nick Gandiello; (bottom row) Hank H. Kim, James Presson, Ren Dara Santiago, and David Zheng.

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