The Playwrights Realm Announces 2022 INK'D Festival of New Plays

Works presented in this year’s festival include Audley Puglisi’s the salt women,  Will Brumley’s Pulling Leather: A Queer Rodeo Fantasia, and more.

By: Apr. 04, 2022
The Playwrights Realm Announces 2022 INK'D Festival of New Plays

The Playwrights Realm will present the 2022 INK'D Festival of New Plays, bringing the festival of readings culminating the organization's Writing Fellowship program back live in person after holding it online last year. The INK'D Festival draws on the generative relationship between playwrights and audiences, introducing attendees to some of the most exciting emerging voices in New York theater while offering playwrights the indispensable opportunity to hear their work as it engages the public.

Works presented in this year's festival include Audley Puglisi's the salt women, directed by abigail jean-baptiste (May 2), Will Brumley's Pulling Leather: A Queer Rodeo Fantasia, directed by Carlos Armesto (May 3), Emma Horwitz's MARY GETS HERS, directed by Josiah Davis (May 4), and Jeesun Choi's Lost Coast, directed by Nana Dakin (May 5). Reservations for INK'D readings can be made at As part of the company's Radical Parent-Inclusion Project, The Realm will offer reimbursements of up to $60 to any patrons who incur caregiving costs (babysitters, after school care, adult caregivers, etc) by attending an INK'D reading.

This year's INK'D marks The Realm's first return to public programming since the beginning of the pandemic, which necessitated the organization's cancellation of the New York premiere production of Noah Diaz's Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally before it ever saw New York audiences. Sustaining their unwavering dedication to artists during the height of the public health crisis, The Realm paid the creative team of the production in full and the actors through opening night. Shortly thereafter, they announced they would become a full-time playwrights service organization-expanding their existing programs and conceiving new networks of support. Feeling this is the best way to fulfill their mission of supporting early-career playwrights and offering visible pathways toward improving all forms of access within the industry, they have decided to continue in this vein through at least Summer 2022. The Writing Fellowship, and INK'D, are fundamental to this approach.

The Playwrights Realm Associate Artistic Director Alexis Williams says, "The INK'D Festival is one of my favorite things we do at The Realm, because it provides theater lovers with the opportunity to get to know new and exciting voices emerging onto the scene. So many of our fellows have gone on to see their work go up in stages all over the country, and it all starts here! This edition is particularly thrilling, because we're welcoming audiences back in person for the first time in over two years, to get a glimpse into what our wonderful fellows have been working on."

The Playwrights Realm Writing Fellowship Program awards four early-career playwrights nine months of resources (including a $3,000 stipend), workshops, and feedback designed to help them reach their professional and artistic goals. Previous Fellows whose groundbreaking writing has gone on to be recognized with major Off-Broadway productions include Bleu Beckford-Burrell (whose play La Race will be produced in the 2022-2023 season by Page 73), Donja R. Love (one in two, Sugar in Our Wounds), Celine Song (Endlings), and Mara Vélez Meléndez (whose work Notes on Killing Seven Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Board Members premieres at Soho Rep in May 2022).

Fellows develop a single new play, with monthly group meetings that provide a collaborative space for writers to share and refine their work, and one-on-one meetings with Realm artistic staff to support each writer's process. Personalized professional development resources are tailored to the group: mentor opportunities, meet-and-greets, and professional seminars designed to shed light on the business of theater,and empower the Fellows to be active, informed participants in their own careers. For INK'D readings, Fellows collaborate with a director, design consultants, and actors; each play gets two readings on its designated day.


the salt women

Audley Puglisi

Directed by abigail jean-baptiste

Monday, May 2nd - 3:00pm & 7:00pm

Three Black women, conjure women, live and work in a river that runs out to the Gulf. One night, a group of outsiders come into the woods, seeking the women-and shaking up the order of things. Blending influences from across the African diaspora in the American South, with hints of our contemporary world winking throughout a nineteenth-century setting, the salt women is alive with the magic of play and the bonding power of sisterhood.

Audley Puglisi is a playwright and poet. Audley has been a 2015 VONA/Voices Playwriting Fellow as well as a 2016 Lambda Literary Playwriting Fellow. Audley has been a resident artist at Blue Mountain Center and has worked with St. Paul's Penumbra Theatre. Writings have been published in ColorBloq and Garage Magazine. Plays include the salt women, Two Sisters (SipFest @ The Wild Project); blues for miss lucille (Lorraine Hansberry Award, finalist); and Home on High. Audley received a B.A. in Africana Studies from Oberlin College and is a recent M.F.A. Graduate from the Yale School of Drama.

Pulling Leather: A Queer Rodeo Fantasia

Will Brumley

Directed by Carlos Armesto

Tuesday, May 3rd - 3:00pm & 7:00pm

After failing to make it in New York, Glen moves back home to Kansas, but he feels even further away from his family than before-until he discovers that his Uncle Darby was the 1990 International Gay Rodeo Champion. Hopeful that a blood relative could also be a kindred spirit, Glen heads to Oklahoma to learn the art of six seconds, and becomes an unexpected part of his uncle's late-in-life family return. A kaleidoscopic desert road trip about the myths of masculinity and cowboys, Pulling Leather is etched in the iconography of the American West.

Will Brumley is a playwright originally from Lawrence, Kansas. His plays include Pulling Leather: A Queer Rodeo Fantasia (2018 Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference Finalist and 2021 Play Lab at the Valdez Last Frontier Theatre Conference); Dollar Store Jesus (2020 O'Neill Semi-Finalist); and The Clinic (2019 O'Neill Semi-Finalist), which was performed in 17 benefit readings across the United States throughout 2019-2020, raising over $11,000 for reproductive rights organizations and featured in American Theatre Magazine. A 2021 Semi-Finalist for the National Young Playwrights in Residence at The Echo Theater Company, Will's work has been developed in masterclasses and through writing groups at Bushwick Starr, Primary Stages' ESPA, and The Vineyard Theatre in the US and Theatre 503, Soho Theatre, and Squint Theatre in London. His musical Williamsburg! The Musical, written with musicians Brooke Fox and Kurt Gellersted was a 2007 NYC Fringe Overall Excellence Award winner and called "an absolute hit" (WFUV).


Emma Horwitz

Directed by Josiah Davis

Wednesday, May 4th - 3:00pm & 7:00pm

It's the 10th century! A plague rages on in Germany! Everyone is turning into foam! When two overzealous hermits find an abandoned orphan named Mary, they scheme a saintly rescue mission to protect her purity at any and all costs. Mary, however, has other plans for herself, in this new play inspired by Hrosvitha of Gandersheim's closet drama-comedy Abraham, or the Rise and Repentance of Mary.

Emma Horwitz is a writer from New York City. Her plays have been produced &/or supported by Williamstown Theater Festival (2020 Playwright-in-Residence), Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Fresh Ground Pepper, Two Headed Rep, Tripwire Harlot Press, & elsewhere. Work in fiction and comics have appeared in Two Serious Ladies, Joyland Magazine, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Spiral Bound, Vol. 1 Brooklyn's Sunday Stories, Moon Missives, & elsewhere. She has held residencies with Arts Letters & Numbers & with CAMP (Collaborative Arts Mobility Projects), & has taught writing at Brown University, Mount Holyoke College, and the Rhode Island School of Design. BA: Bard College, Written Arts. MFA: Brown University, Playwriting with Lisa D'Amour & Julia Jarcho.

Lost Coast

Jeesun Choi

Directed by Nana Dakin

Thursday, May 5th - 3:00pm & 7:00pm

In a coastal forest in Northern California, a community of displaced strangers shares a life-and an unlikely bond. As wildfires rage around them and threaten the worlds they know, they each must confront blazes both personal and global. With their lives in flux due to immigration, financial troubles, and the ever-present threat of fire, each of them must ask what they care to hold on to and let go of, finding moments of joy with one another amidst the uncertainty.

Jeesun Choi (she/her) is a transnational Korean playwright and physical theatre artist. Her plays move through diaspora, (im)migration, transnationalism to reveal the joy and agony of the human condition. Plays include Lost Coast (2021 Nashville Rep's Ingram New Works Festival, reading at New York Theatre Workshop); Manuka (Upcoming: EST Youngblood Podcast); The Seekers (2019 Bay Area Playwrights Festival Winner, 2018-19 Bushwick Starr Reading Series, Fresh Ground Pepper Artist Retreat); Dahlia (Dell'Arte International); Cecilies (Red Eye Theater, Minnesota Fringe Festival). She was awarded Artist of Exceptional Merit by Asian American Arts Alliance in 2020. Currently, she is the Librettist Fellow at American Opera Project, the Ingram Lab Playwright at Nashville Rep, a member of EST/Youngblood, and a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop. She was a fellow at National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation at Pangea World Theater and a Works-in-Progress Artist at Red Eye Theater. MFA Ensemble-Based Physical Theatre, Dell'Arte International.

Reservations can be made at Patrons will be required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19, and to wear a mask during the performance.


The Playwrights Realm, led by Founding Artistic Director Katherine Kovner and Producing Director Roberta Pereira, is devoted to supporting emerging playwrights throughout their careers, helping them to hone their craft, fully realize their vision, and build meaningful artistic careers. To serve this mission, The Playwrights Realm provides comprehensive support to playwrights throughout their creative processes and careers with the Realm Playwrights Program, Writing Fellowship, the Scratchpad Series, and the Page One Residency.

Considering the needs of artists amidst the pandemic and responding to crucial calls for true diversity and accountability in the theater world, The Playwrights Realm announced it would operate full-time as a playwrights service organization for the 2020-21 season, and has continued to do so throughout this, its 15th Anniversary Restart Season (2021-2022). Acknowledging the continued pandemic and ongoing need for support of artists, The Realm is still operating as an artist service organization throughout its 15th Anniversary Restart Season (2021-2022). The organization dedicated its resources to helping playwrights maintain their practices with creative and financial support through initiatives including the International Theatermakers Award, Emergency Relief Funding, and Script Share.

At the beginning of 2020, The Playwrights Realm partnered with Baltimore Center Stage to co-produce the world premiere of Noah Diaz's Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally, which was performed in Baltimore and was scheduled to premiere in New York in April. When the pandemic shut down theaters, The Realm canceled New York performances and paid the entire creative team in full and the actors through opening night, while continuing to support the work of Noah Diaz, bringing his Page One Residency into the 2020-21 season. In the fall of 2019, The Playwrights Realm presented Anna Moench's Mothers, a "tart and bristling satire" that "turns dark, then to pitch black" (Time Out New York) as it examines the primal heartache of raising children in a disintegrating world. Continuing the organization's commitment to introducing new modes of access and inclusion for theater artists and audiences, the production was also accompanied by the launch of the Radical Parent-Inclusion Project (RPI), developed in association with Parent Artist Advocacy League for the Performing Arts (PAAL). RPI seeks to dismantle the barriers preventing parent-artists from succeeding in the theater by illuminating, creating, and tracking new pathways of access and approaches to production. (Roberta Pereira co-wrote an article about this work for American Theatre Magazine with PAAL founder Rachel Spencer Hewitt.)

In the fall of 2016, The Playwrights Realm produced the world premiere of Sarah DeLappe's The Wolves, which was recently featured on TCG's "Top 10 Most-Produced Plays in 2018-2019" list. Other previous productions by The Playwrights Realm include Jonathan Payne's The Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll'd (2018), Don Nguyen's Hello, From the Children of Planet Earth (2018), Michael Yates Crowley's The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias (2017), Jen Silverman's The Moors (2017), Mfoniso Udofia's Sojourners (2016), Anna Ziegler's A Delicate Ship (2015), Anton Dudley's City Of (2015), Elizabeth Irwin's My Mañana Comes (2014), Lauren Yee's The Hatmaker's Wife (2013), Ethan Lipton's Red-Handed Otter (2012), Jen Silverman's Crane Story (2011), Gonzalo Rodriguez Risco's Dramatis Personae (2010), Christopher Wall's Dreams of the Washer King (2010), Anna Ziegler's Dov and Ali (2009) and Anton Dudley's Substitution (2008).


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