Roundabout Theatre Company Announces Tenth Annual Underground Reading Series

The Reading Series will feature new works by Liz Appel, Noah Diaz, Daria Miyeko Marinelli and York Walker.

By: Dec. 13, 2021
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Roundabout Theatre Company has announced the tenth annual Roundabout Underground Reading Series, a four-night event that includes nightly readings of new works written by emerging artists. The Reading Series will feature new works by Liz Appel, Noah Diaz, Daria Miyeko Marinelli and York Walker. The Roundabout Underground Reading Series is January 18 - 21, 2022 at 5:00PM at the Five Angels Theater (789 Tenth Avenue).

Roundabout Underground exists to provide a new generation of playwrights with their debut New York productions, at Roundabout's 62-seat Black Box Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. To encourage the widest possible audience, all seats are $30.

Now in its 14th season, Roundabout Underground is part of Roundabout's New Play Initiative, discovering new writers and providing them long-term development and production support. In addition to the Black Box production, every Underground playwright gets a commission for a future play. Roundabout's Jill Rafson serves as Artistic Producer.

The playwrights who made their New York debuts at Roundabout Underground are Stephen Karam (Speech & Debate, 2007), Steven Levenson (The Language of Trees, 2008), Adam Gwon (Ordinary Days, 2009), Joshua Harmon (Bad Jews, 2012), Meghan Kennedy (Too Much, Too Much, Too Many, 2013), Lindsey Ferrentino (Ugly Lies the Bone, 2015), Mansa Ra (Too Heavy for Your Pocket, 2017), Ming Peiffer (Usual Girls, 2018), Daniel Zaitchik (Darling Grenadine, 2020), Sanaz Toossi (English, 2022), Dave Harris (Exception to the Rule, 2022). Ra's commission ....what the end will be will premiere at the Laura Pels Theater in 2022.


By Liz Appel, Directed by May Adrales

Tuesday, January 18 at 5:00PM

When Jo's fiancée disappears, close friend Xanthe and her partner Inez, come to her aid. While they spiral into their own explorations of both grief and love, Jo embarks on a mysterious journey to search for answers in the ghostly darkness of the space between time and between worlds.

Liz Appel (Playwright) is a playwright originally from Toronto now based in New York. She has been a Finalist for the Princess Grace Award, the Leah Ryan FEWW Emerging Playwright Prize, PlayPenn, BAPF, Ashland New Plays Festival and the Playwrights' Center's Core Apprentice Program. She was a winner of the Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women, and an Honorable Mention for the Annual Parity Commission (Parity Productions), and The Hearth Theater's Virtual Retreat. Her short play, SNOW, was produced at the Old Red Lion Theatre in London, and her play MOONSHINE, received a staged reading at the Cherry Lane Theater through Primary Stages, ESPA Drills. Her one-act play, REMEMBER, is published in Blackbird. She has developed work at the Sewanee Writers' Conference, the Kennedy Center, the Banff Centre, the Flea Theater, the Tank, and is a New Georges Affiliate Artist. She is currently finishing her MFA in Playwriting at Hunter College where she was awarded a Roberts Foundation Fellowship (Dec '21). She holds an M.A. and MPhil from Yale University (English) and an MPhil from the University of Cambridge (European Literature).

May Adrales (Director) is a director, artistic leader, teacher and mother; she has directed over 25 world premieres. Her work has been seen most recently at Second Stage (Rajiv Joseph's "Letters of Suresh") Manhattan Theater Club (Qui Nguyen's "Vietgone") Signature Theater, LCT3, The Public Theater, WP, New York Theater Workshop, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Rep, Milwaukee Rep and South Coast Rep. She was awarded the prestigious Ammerman Award at Arena Stage and Theater Communications Group's Alan Schneider award for freelance directors. She is a Drama League Directing Fellow, Van Lier Directing Fellow, Women's Project Lab Director, SoHo Rep Writers/Directors Lab and New York Theater Workshop directing fellow, TCG New Generations Grantee, SDC Denham Fellowship and Paul Green Directing Award. She served as an Associate Artistic Director at Milwaukee Rep; Artistic Associate at The Playwrights Center; Artistic Associate at The Public Theater; and Director of Artistic Programs and Artistic Director at The Lark. She serves on the board of Theater Communications Group. May has directed and taught at Juilliard, Harvard/ART, ACT, Fordham, NYU and Bard College. May has served on faculty at the Yale School of Drama and Brown/Trinity MFA program. MFA, Yale School of Drama. (


By Daria Miyeko Marinelli, Directed by Miranda Cornell

Wednesday, January 19 at 5:00PM

Aimiko is moving across the country to start a life with t/her partner and invites t/her mother, Sharon, to accompany them. (Sharon has never heard of a mother daughter-child road trip.) When Aimiko's Saab-93 breaks down in the middle of Nevada, time and space begin to blur, and soon tales of cannibals, cranes, and samurais guide their journey into the desert and far beyond. Beautiful Blessed Child is a lyrical reckoning about the dreams we give up for the people we love and how the people we love can become our dreams.

Daria Miyeko Marinelli (Playwright) (they/she) is a Japanese-Italian playwright who writes about the nearly impossible long-con, outcasts and underdogs trying to honor the wildness of their hearts, and the things we take for fact that are really just cultural mythology. Their plays include Ravenous, A Departure, Beautiful Blessed Child, and This is Not What I Expected When I Imagined a Republic. Mx. Marinelli has developed work with SPACE on Ryder Farm, The Playwrights Realm, The New Harmony Project, Fault Line Theatre, Jackalope Theatre, and has been a finalist for The O'Neill National Playwrights Conference and The Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Daria has helped develop work with Cirque du Soleil and was a showcased writer at the Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists. Based in LA, Daria is a forever New Yorker at heart. BA: Brown University. MFA: University of Texas at Austin.

Miranda Cornell (Director) (she/her) is a mixed-race, Japanese American theater director and generative artist with a passion for telling stories that are unabashedly sincere, achingly human, and irrevocably alive. Directing credits include the North American premiere of Breach Theatre's It's True, It's True, It's True (Idlewild Theatre Ensemble) and other projects with Ma-Yi Theatre Company, The 24 Hour Plays, New Ohio/Ice Factory Festival, Yale Summer Cabaret, the Asian American Arts Alliance, Fordham University, and more. As an assistant director: New York Theatre Workshop (dir. Chay Yew), Park Avenue Armory (dir. Robert Icke), The Public Theater, McCarter Theatre Center (dir. Emily Mann), New York Stage and Film, and The TEAM (dir. Rachel Chavkin). She was the 2020 Van Lier Fellow in Theater at A4, the inaugural directing apprentice at Dear Evan Hansen, and is a proud member of the Roundabout Directors Group (Cohort 2). BA: Vassar College.


By York Walker, Directed by Lili-Anne Brown

Thursday, January 20 at 5:00PM

Two years after his sudden disappearance, struggling guitarist Johnny "Honeycomb" James returns to his small town a blues star, setting into motion rumors that he may have made a deal with the devil to attain his musical genius. Inspired by the myth of Robert Johnson, Covenant explores the power of belief and tests the thin veil between rumor and truth.

York Walker (Playwright) is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter from Chicago, Illinois. He is the inaugural recipient of the Vineyard Theatre's Colman Domingo Award. He is also a member of Marcus Gardley's New Wave Writer's Workshop. His work includes Holcomb & Hart (Victory Garden's New Plays For A New Year Festival), Asè (Harlem9, Harlem Stage, and Lucille Lortel Theatre's Consequences digital series), The Séance (Winner of the John Singleton Short Film Competition, 48 Hours... in Harlem), Covenant (Colman Domingo Award, Fire This Time Festival, Access Theatre's 4 Flights Up Festival, Arizona Theatre Company's Digital Play Series), White Shoes (Fire This Time Festival), Summer Of '63 (The Actors Company Theatre's New TACTics Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville's Apprentice Reading Series) and Of Dreams To Come (American Conservatory Theatre's New Play Series). York received his MFA in Acting from The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and is currently a writer for Dick Wolf's FBI on CBS.

Lili-Anne Brown (Director). A native Chicagoan, Lili-Anne Brown works as a director, actor and educator, both locally and regionally. Recently she helmed the world premieres of Ike Holter's Lottery Day at Goodman Theatre and Put Your House in Order at La Jolla Playhouse. The former artistic director of Bailiwick Chicago, she directed Dessa Rose (Jeff Award), Passing Strange (BTA Award), See What I Wanna See (Steppenwolf Theatre Garage Rep), and the world premiere of Princess Mary Demands Your Attention by Aaron Holland, while producing several other award-winning shows during her tenure. Other directing credits include School Girls; or The African Mean Girls Play (Goodman Theatre), The Color Purple (Drury Lane Theatre), P.Y.G. or the Mis-Edumacation of Dorian Belle (Jackalope Theatre), The Total Bent (Haven Theatre w/ About Face), Caroline, or Change (Firebrand Theatre w/TimeLine), Tilikum by Kristiana Rae Colón (world premiere, Sideshow Theatre), Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (American Blues Theatre), Hairspray (Skylight Music Theatre), The Wolf at the End of the Block (16th Street Theatre), Marie Christine (Boho Theatre), Peter and the Starcatcher (Metropolis Performing Arts), The Wiz (Kokandy Productions; BroadwayWorld Award), Xanadu (American Theatre Company), Jabari Dreams of Freedom by Nambi E. Kelley (world premiere, Chicago Children's Theatre), American Idiot (Northwestern University); the national tour of Jesus Snatched My Edges; and Little Shop of Horrors, Unnecessary Farce, Cabaret, Sweet Charity, and The 25th...Spelling Bee, among others, at Timber Lake Playhouse where she was an Artistic Associate. She has received 3 Jeff Awards for Best Director of a Musical. Member of SDC, AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and a graduate of Northwestern University.


By Noah Diaz, Directed by Will Davis

Friday, January 21 at 5:00PM

What do you do if you get sick but don't know how to tell your friends and family? Maybe you could hire a stranger and tell them everything instead. In You Will Get Sick, two strangers' lives intertwine as they barrel down the pathway of terminal illness and caregiving. This play is a surreal meditation on grief, shame, and finding peace in your body.

Noah Diaz (Playwright) is a playwright and television writer from the Iowa/Nebraska border. His plays have been developed with La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Two River Theater, The Sol Project, First Floor Theater, and The Playwrights Realm, where he was a Page One Resident Playwright. He is a recipient of the ASCAP Cole Porter Prize for Excellence in Playwriting, a five-time recipient of playwriting awards from the Kennedy Center, and is currently under commission from La Jolla Playhouse, Manhattan Theatre Club/Sloan, The Great Plains Theatre Commons, Baltimore Center Stage, and Audible/Amazon Studios. For television he has written on Joe Exotic (NBC, USA, and Peacock), Up Here (Hulu), and is currently developing projects for Eva Longoria's UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, 20th Century Television, and Hulu. MFA: Yale School of Drama.

Will Davis (Director) is a transgender director and choreographer focused on physically adventurous work for the stage. Off-Broadway credits include: Road Show (Encores! Off-Center); India Pale Ale (MTC); Bobbie Clearly (Roundabout Underground); Charm (MCC); Men on Boats (Clubbed Thumb and Playwrights Horizons-Lucille Lortel nomination); and Duat (Soho Rep). Regional credits include: Spamtown, USA (Children's Theater Company); Everybody (Shakespeare Theater Company); A Doll's House, Part 2 (Long Wharf Theatre); The Carpenter (The Alley Theatre); Colossal (Olney Theatre Center and Mixed Blood Theater-Helen Hayes award for best direction); Evita (Olney Theatre Center-Helen Hayes award nomination); and multiple productions for ATC in Chicago where Davis also served as artistic director. He is an alum of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, the NYTW 2050 Directing Fellowship, the Brooklyn Art Exchange's Artist in Residence program, and is currently a Princeton Arts Fellow.

A limited number of FREE tickets to the reading series will be available to the general public. Tickets can be reserved by emailing

There will be one reading each night at 5:00PM, Tuesday, January 18 - Friday, January 21 at the Five Angels Theater (789 Tenth Avenue).

Learn more at


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