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Primary Stages Announces Recipient Of Jeffry Melnick New Playwright Award & Inaugural Company In Residence

Primary Stages Announces Recipient Of Jeffry Melnick New Playwright Award & Inaugural Company In Residence

Primary Stages has announced that this year's Jeffry Melnick New Playwright Award will be awarded to Inda Craig-Galván for her play Welcome to Matteson!.

The Jeffry Melnick New Playwright Award, established by Jeffry Melnick and administrated by Primary Stages, is given to worthy playwrights who the selection committee deems deserving of wider recognition. The other finalists for this year's award include Sanaz Toosi, Joshua Young and David Zheng. Those involved in the selection process included Sasha Emerson, Robert O'Hara, Jiehae Park, Christopher Schout and Leah Nanako Winkler.

A free reading of the play will be held September 9, 2019 at 7:00pm at Primary Stages Studios (307 W 38th St, Suite 1510) and will be directed by Logan Vaughn. The reading is free and open to the public. To RSVP, email Reserve tickets early as seating is limited.

A suburban couple hosts a welcome-to-the-neighborhood dinner party for their new neighbors - a couple recently (forcibly) relocated from Chicago's roughest housing project - and it's anything but welcoming. Welcome to Matteson! is a dark intra-racial comedy about reverse gentrification and how we deal with the "other" when the other looks just like us.

Inda Craig-Galván is a Chicagoan living in Los Angeles, where it's warm. Plays include Black Super Hero Magic Mama (Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles) and I Go Somewhere Else (Playwrights' Arena, Los Angeles). Her work has been developed and presented at Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, Oregon Shakespeare Festival BLACK SWAN Lab, San Francisco Playhouse, American Blues Theatre, and others. Honors include the Kilroys List, Kennedy Center Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, Steppenwolf's The Mix, Blue Ink Playwriting Prize, Humanitas Prize Play LA, and Princess Grace Playwriting Prize (runner-up). Inda is a story editor on: "How to Get Away with Murder" and previously wrote on ABC's "The Rookie." MFA in Dramatic Writing, University of Southern California.

Primary Stages is also proud to announce the Latinx Playwrights Circle as their inaugural Company-in-Residence. "We are thrilled to grow our partnership with the Latinx Playwrights Circle after hosting meet-ups and co-producing 'Infinite Stories,' an evening of excerpts from the NYC Latinx Playwright Circle, this past year," says PS Associate Artistic Director, Erin Daley. "It is an honor to support this community of artists and share their work with audiences around the city."

The residency will consist of two components, the first being a writers group open to any Latinx identified playwright based in NYC. Meetings will be held 1-2 times each month where playwrights will bring pages to share and receive feedback. The second component is a 6-month intensive for four LPC members whose works have been selected for further development. The six months will be spent discussing the plays, receiving feedback and meeting with different theater professionals (directors/designers/etc...) to explore the world of the play. The culmination of the intensive will be a public staged reading in the beginning of May 2020.

The Latinx Playwrights Circle started as a "pop up" Playwright Circle organized by Chicago playwrights Nancy García Loza and Isaac Gomez in October 2017. From there, the group has been spearheaded and organized by playwrights Guadalís Del Carmen (Ars Nova Resident Artist) and Oscar A. L. Cabrera (The Public Emerging Writers Group) with Janio Marrero serving as the newly appointed Executive Director. Their mission is to create a network of Latinx playwrights that theaters can get to know by offering space where the playwrights can hear their plays out loud in an environment that nurtures and uplifts their work with the goal to eventually develop new work that is ready to be workshopped/produced in NYC. The group is mentored by Janio Marrero, Migdalia Cruz, Carmen Rivera, and Cándido Tirado. For more information on NYC Latinx Playwright Circle, email or visit The group can also be found on Facebook at

Primary Stages' 2019/20 season will begin with the world premiere of On That Day in Amsterdam, written by Clarence Coo (Beautiful Province (Belle Province)--Yale Drama Prize) and directed by Kareem Fahmy (3/Fifths). Performances begin at the Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street) on October 29, with opening night set for November 19, for a run through December 18, 2019.

The season will continue in January 2020 with The Confession of Lily Dare, written by and starring Charles Busch (The Tribute Artist, You Should Be So Lucky) and directed by Carl Andress (The Divine Sister, The Tribute Artist). The Confession of Lily Dare is produced in association with Jamie deRoy. The 35th Anniversary season will conclude with peerless by Jiehae Park (Hannah and the Dread Gazebo), directed by Margot Bordelon (Plot Points in Our Sexual Development). As part of the 35th Anniversary season, Primary Stages will offer an unprecedented expansion of their Free Student Matinee program and will present two weeks of Free Student Matinees for NYC Public school students during the production of peerless.

Tickets for On That Day in Amsterdam and The Confession of Lily Dare start at $80, with additional premium seating options offered. All tickets are available at or by calling OvationTix at 212-352-3101. Group tickets are available by contacting 212-840-9705 x204. To celebrate the beginning of the 35th Anniversary Season, all tickets for the first two performances of On That Day in Amsterdam will be $35. In addition, Primary Stages will offer a $25 day-of online rush program for On That Day in Amsterdam and The Confession of Lily Dare, allowing anyone to purchase up to a pair of tickets beginning at 10am the morning of each performance.

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