Rattlestick Theater Announces The Inaugural Terrence McNally New Works Incubator Fellows

The fellows are Molly Bicks, HyoJeong Choi and Haygen-Brice Walker.

By: Apr. 28, 2023
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Rattlestick Theater Announces The Inaugural Terrence McNally New Works Incubator Fellows

Rattlestick Theater, in partnership with the Terrence McNally Foundation and Tom Kirdahy Productions, have announced the three (3) inaugural Terrence McNally New Works Incubator fellows: Molly Bicks, HyoJeong Choi and Haygen-Brice Walker. This Incubator will support the three emerging playwrights by awarding each of them critical financial support, personalized mentorship, and a three-week incubation period, followed by a one-week developmental workshop culminating in a presentation of their work. The Playwright Advisory Council for the inaugural cohort of McNally fellows includes Sheila Callaghan, Stephen Karam, MJ Kaufman, Donja R. Love, Taylor Mac, Lynn Nottage, Paula Vogel, and Chay Yew.

"Terrence McNally was an integral part of the Rattlestick community from the very beginning, and the value he placed on ambitious and innovative new play-making remains at the core and ethos of the company. Our three inaugural fellows embody the creative ambition and bold experimentation that has always been central to Rattlestick's mission and a signature of Terrence McNally's work. Rattlestick is grateful for the opportunity to honor Terrence McNally's singular legacy through the Terrence McNally New Works Incubator and is thrilled to partner with Tom Kirdahy Productions and the Terrence McNally Foundation to offer crucial support and resources to early career playwrights." - Will Davis, Incoming Artistic Director at Rattlestick Theater

Mentorship

In consultation with Rattlestick Theater and Tom Kirdahy Productions, each McNally fellow will be paired with a veteran playwright mentor who will read a minimum of two drafts and offer one-on-one feedback, in addition to attending a workshop rehearsal and/or final presentation subject to their availability.

Three-Week Incubation

After the initial mentor meeting, the playwright will revise and develop their play for three weeks. This is time for rigorous thinking, dreaming, and writing outside the constraints of a product-oriented rehearsal space.

In addition to mentor feedback, the playwright will meet with the literary teams at both TKP and Rattlestick to discuss their work and process.

McNally fellows will be invited to participate in a series of luncheons where they will have the opportunity to get to know the teams at TKP and Rattlestick as well as the other McNally fellows and other industry professionals.

Workshop

The second part of the incubator will take the form of a week-long workshop culminating in a public presentation.

Core collaborators (director, dramaturg, actors) will be chosen in consultation with the selected playwright, TKP, and Rattlestick and will be compensated for their time.

The makeup of the audience for the public presentation will be determined by the playwright in consultation with TKP

Finalists for the Terrence McNally New Works Incubator include:

Learn more about the 2023 Terrence McNally New Works Incubator Fellows below.

Molly Herron Bicks (they/them) is a New Hampshire raised, Brooklyn based playwright. Bicks is the co-founder of Rat Queen Theatre Co., where they collaboratively create campy, queer, plays and musicals about history.

Writing credits include: "The Goddamn Tooney Lunes," (co-written with Rat Queen Theatre Co.) developed in Fresh Ground Pepper Playgroup and presented by Colt Couer; "Judy Doomed Us All," (co-written with Rat Queen Theatre Co.) performed at The New Ohio's Ice Factory; "Lily," developed at WTF, selected as a finalist for the Clauder Awards; "Strindberg Vs. Strindberg," (co-written with Carsen Joenk) developed at an independent residency at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and performed as part of China Town Soup's Stag Monday series; "Swaggy," (co-written with Reed Northrup) performed at The Brick Trans Theatre Fest; and "Miss Atomic Power," which was a semi-finalist for the National Playwrights Conference and a runner-up for the Yale Drama Series Prize.

HyoJeong Choi is from Seoul, Boston, and a few other places across the globe. She was an aspiring nuclear physicist until she realized she was spending more time in the theater than in her lab. Her play based on this experience, On Epistemological Problems in Atomic Physics, will be developed at Rattlestick Theater through the Terrence McNally New Works Incubator. She was a finalist for the New Georges JAM, Company One & Pao Fellowship, a semi-finalist for Playwrights Foundation Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, Fresh Ground Pepper Playground Playgroup, and a second-rounder for Orchard Project Episodic Lab and Austin Film Festival. Her plays have been seen/developed at Workshop Theater, Central Square Theater, and Harvard. She currently teaches dramatic writing at Korea National University of Arts, Chung-Ang University, and Sogang University. She holds an MFA from Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, where she studied under Rob Handel.

Haygen-Brice Walker [he/him/his] is a half-Puerto Rican, half-white trash playwright-creative producer born and raised in a Southern swamp [by professional bodybuilding parents] and currently living in South Philly with both his boyfriends (because he's that gay).

In Philadelphia, Haygen-Brice is Co-Founder [along with Director-Producer Elaina Di Monaco] of ON THE ROCKS, a production company devoted to the deep fried, late-night, BYOB, theatrical shit shows Elaina and Haygen-Brice make together.

Haygen-Brice is an Affiliated Writer with The Playwrights' Center where he was a 2018-2019 Jerome Many Voices Fellow; recently developed work at SPACE on Ryder Farm; is an alum Page 73's 2020-2021 I-73 Writers' Group, PlayPenn's The Foundry, Nashville Rep's Ingram New Works, & InterAct Theatre's Core Playwrights; and was a Virtual Mentee with Playwrights' Realm. He's been a Finalist for The O'Neill's National Playwrights' Conference, a Jerome Fellowship, and Page 73's Playwriting Fellowship.

Haygen-Brice's work is like if A Streetcar Named Desire, Mean Girls, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Beloved got shit-faced at a Buffalo Wild Wings' happy hour and then stumbled into the neighborhood bathhouse while belting the soundtrack of In The Heights. In short: lots of cocaine, even more rimjobs, and a fistful of sequins.

Haygen-Brice is repped by CAA and writ-large.

Terrence McNally has been a close friend, collaborator and champion of Rattlestick's work since its inception in 1994. Rattlestick produced McNally's play Corpus Christi in 2008, as well as a 40-person reading of Some Men in conjunction with the Pride Plays Festival in 2019. Unusual Acts of Devotion was originally produced in La Jolla and Philadelphia in 2008, making its way to NYC for the very first time in March 2022 during a special reading at the Daryl Roth Theater.

About Rattlestick Theater:

Founded in 1994 by David Van Asselt and Gary Bonasorte, Rattlestick Theater has been steadfast in producing diverse, challenging, and provocative plays while fostering the future voices of the American theater. Now in our 29th year, the company is focused on energetic theater that responds to the complexities of our culture in conversation with community partners. Our mission is to produce ambitious plays to inspire empathy and provoke conversation that will lead to positive social change.

From our historic West Village theater, Rattlestick has produced the first plays and early works of some of today's leading voices, including Martyna Majok (Ironbound), Diana Oh (mylingerieplay), and Heidi Schreck (There Are No More Big Secrets), and Arturo Luis Soria's Obie award winning Ni Mi Madre. We are proud to make Rattlestick a place where some of our nation's most celebrated playwrights feel safe to test their boldest ideas, including Dael Orlandersmith (Until the Flood), José Rivera (Massacre, Sing to Your Children), and Sam Hunter (Lewiston/Clarkston, nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play and the Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play). Rattlestick provides fellowships to writers through the Van Lier Playwrights Program, the Terrence McNally Incubator Program, the Mellon Foundation's Playwright-in-Residence Program, and has commissioned new work from numerous writers including Cusi Cram, Mahira Kakkar, Basil Kreimendahl, Dael Orlandersmith, Stacey Rose, Arturo Luis Soria, Cori Thomas, Liba Vaynberg, and Rhiana Yazzie. Rattlestick is also dedicated to supporting immigrant artists through the Global Gab and Global Forms Programs.

About Terrence McNally Foundation:

The Terrence McNally Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to supporting bold new voices in the American theatre by providing financial and institutional support to early-career playwrights. Created by Terrence McNally and supported through the royalties of his work, the Foundation is also committed to supporting LGBTQ+ causes, as McNally did throughout his life.

About Tom Kirdahy Productions:

Tom Kirdahy Productions (TKP) is a two-time Tony Award-winning and Olivier Award-winning commercial theatrical production company with projects spanning Broadway, off-Broadway, and the West End. TKP is motivated by a belief in the transformative power of live theatre, and committed to bringing soulful, ambitious, unforgettable work to audiences across the world. With a values-driven approach to commercial producing that centers and empowers artists, TKP has fostered the work of visionary theatre-makers, and continues to develop and produce game-changing projects by some of the most exciting artists in the industry.

TKP recently produced the first Broadway revival of August Wilson's THE PIANO LESSON starring Samuel L. Jackson and directed by LaTanya Richardson Jackson. TKP is currently producing the musical NEW YORK, NEW YORK from legendary songwriting team John Kander and Fred Ebb, featuring additional lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, an original story by David Thompson with Sharon Washington, and direction and choreography by Susan Stroman; the new play GREY HOUSE by Levi Holloway, starring Laurie Metcalf, Tatiana Maslany and Paul Sparks, with direction by Joe Mantello; the Broadway smash-hit HADESTOWN (8 Tony Awards, including Best Musical) and its national tour; and the off-Broadway revival of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (Drama Desk Award, Best Revival).

Select Broadway credits: THE INHERITANCE (4 Tony Awards, including Best Play); Terrence McNally's FRANKIE & JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE starring Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon (2 Tony nominations, including Best Revival); ANASTASIA; the box office record-breaking IT'S ONLY A PLAY starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick; THE VISIT starring Chita Rivera (5 Tony nominations). Select West End credits: THE INHERITANCE (4 Olivier Awards, including Best New Play), THE JUNGLE, Edward Albee's THE GOAT, OR WHO IS SYLVIA? Select off-Broadway credits: the world premiere of THE WHITE CHIP, THE JUNGLE, WHITE RABBIT RED RABBIT (all of which were NYTimes Critics Picks). Additional Tony nominations: MOTHERS AND SONS, AFTER MIDNIGHT, RAGTIME, MASTER CLASS.

Tom Kirdahy, President of TKP, serves on the Broadway League Board of Governors, the Board of Trustees of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the Advisory Council for the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and is a founding director of the nonprofit Berwin Lee London New York Playwrights, Inc., which supports emerging playwrights. He is the 2019 recipient of the Robert Whitehead Award for Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Theater Producing, and a proud recipient of the Miss Lilly Award, a prize in recognition of his advocacy for women in a male-dominated industry. As an attorney, he spent nearly two decades providing free legal services to people living with HIV/AIDS and served for many years on the Executive Committee of the NYC LGBT Center.



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