Joust Theatre Company Announces Playwrights Selected For 2019 THE WRITER'S ROUND TABLE

By: Jul. 01, 2019
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The Joust Theatre Company is thrilled to announce the four playwrights selected for the 2019-2020 WRITER'S ROUND TABLE. The Writer's Round Table is a developmental writers' group comprised of four carefully selected playwrights whose work challenges and/or reimagines systemic norms. These four playwrights will join us in a 9-month developmental process to exchange ideas and develop their plays which will culminate in each play receiving two public workshop performances, presented in repertory in the Spring and Fall of 2020. Specific dates and locations of these workshops will be announced soon. The four playwrights are Adam Ashraf El-Sayigh, Amy Gijsbers van Wijk, Natalie Zutter, and Tyler English-Beckwith.

THE GREEN CARD DEAL by Adam Ashraf El-Sayigh chronicles the relationship of Ibrahim and Diyala, an Arab-American couple attempting to put Diyala on the path to citizenship through marriage. As secrets and long hidden truths are exposed, time breaks down and Ibrahim and Diyala find themselves confronting their past, their motives, and the secrets of their fraught lineage.

Adam Ashraf El-Sayigh is an NYC-based, Egyptian playwright, producer, and scholar residing between Cairo and New York. Through his playwriting (The House of Grandma Hanem, Drowning in Cairo, and Ramadan on 42nd Street) and curatorial initiatives, Adam interrogates issues of immigration, colonialism and the experience of queerness in the Middle East. Adam holds a BA in Theater with emphasis on Playwriting, Dramaturgy and World Theater from NYU Abu Dhabi. He is an upcoming PhD candidate at The Graduate Centre in the City University of New York, and an Artistic Apprentice at The Lark Center for Play Development.

MORBID OBESITY SURPRISE INTERVENTION BIRTHDAY PARTY by Amy Gijsbers van Wijk: Millie, a queer fat femme, shows up for what she suspects to be her surprise birthday party, only to find her family staging a weight-loss intervention - so no, there will not be cake. But there will be violence. And definitely vengeance. And self-love (if she's lucky). MORBID OBESITY SURPRISE INTERVENTION BIRTHDAY PARTY is an explosive, genre-bending comedy exploring fatphobia, femme-ness, and (kitchen-sink) family (drama) trauma that examines what it takes for one woman to (actually) love herself.

Amy Gijsbers van Wijk is a queer, first-generation American playwright from Pasadena, Texas, now based in Brooklyn, NY. She is the 2018/19 Dennis and Victoria Ross Foundation Playwrights Program recipient for her play, DIRTY DIRTY (2019 O'Neill semi-finalist). She has recently been a semi-finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, a two-time O'Neill semi-finalist, and a finalist for PlayPenn. Her work has been developed with The Flea, Pipeline Theatre Company, Fresh Ground Pepper, New Light Theatre Project, Pride Film & Plays (Chicago) and elsewhere. Her play feminine octagon [or, aristotle can eat me] recently completed a sold-out workshop run at the LPAC Rough Draft Festival in March 2019. She is a New Georges affiliated artist. BA, Brooklyn College under Erin Courtney. MFA, Carnegie Mellon University under Rob Handel. (

TIME CAPSULES by Natalie Zutter: On generation ship Aldhanab, 13-year-old Saga records time capsules, ship AI Dex observes human behavior, and astronaut Helaine copes with being frozen in time. Each tries to maintain ties with their home planet, even as with each passing day the Aldhanab's first generation of colonists become less and less like Earthlings.

Natalie Zutter is a playwright, audio dramatist, and pop culture writer living in Brooklyn. Her plays have been developed/performed at The Brick's Comic Book Theater Festival, The Tank, Caps Lock Theatre's Sex With Robots Festival, The Navigators' Lift-Off Festival, Quantum Dragon Theatre's The Forge, and Otherworld Theatre Company, among others. She has been a resident artist with the Amtrak Residency, Fresh Ground Pepper's BRB Retreat, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Her play Split Second was a semi-finalist for the 2019 Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Her radio plays Not Your (Final) Girl and Proxies can be found online as part of Distilled Theatre Company's dtc radio seasons 5 and 6. BA, NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study (concentration in Serialized Storytelling and Internet Culture). Member, Dramatists Guild, EMG Playwriting Workshop, and the Joust Writers' Round Table. Find her online @nataliezutter and on the New Play Exchange.

YOUNG MAMMY by Tyler English-Beckwith: Rose, a young fat black actress is frustrated with being cast as the funny, asexual friend. She wants to be considered for better roles, but most of all, she wants to be desired. She takes a job as a nanny to 12 year old girl to supplement her income, and quickly forms a strained but close relationship with the young girl's mother, Delilah. Delilah is a struggling political cartoonist, looking for a fresh new worldview. When Rose opens up to Delilah about feeling unloved and unwanted, Delilah conceives her new political cartoon character. Young Mammy is a mammy stereotype superhero, but she's subversive (or so Delilah thinks). Rose, is confused and offended by the character, but in her search for desire she leans into the stereotype, coming to the conclusion that maybe it's the only way she can truly be loved. (It isn't) Young Mammy is about a young woman trying to see her true self through a funhouse mirror. Young Mammy is an audience indictment.

Tyler English-Beckwith is a recent graduate of the Dramatic Writing MFA program at NYU. She holds a B.A. in African and African Diaspora Studies and a BA in Theater and Dance from The University of Texas at Austin. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Tyler currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Her plays include Mingus which was a 2019 O'Neill Finalist, first prize winner of the 2018 KCACTF Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and finalist for the 2018 Goldberg Playwriting Prize. Her play TWENTYEIGHT, received a world premiere in 2017 at The Vortex in Austin, Texas where it received Honorable Mention on The Austin Chronicle's Top Ten Plays of 2017. She is currently writing and directing an afro-futurist interactive film project for Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, NM. Tyler hopes to create worlds, in her writing, where black women live beyond the basic means of survival and have the audacity to be autonomous.

THE JOUST THEATRE COMPANY is an artistic ensemble determined to produce relevant, sensitive, and fearless work that captivates audiences by capturing the spirit of facing challenges great and small. 2018's Literary Series included workshop performances of ALLONDRA by Gina Femia, SOME PICTURES OF THE FLOATING WORLD by Matthew Minnicino, ROSENSTRASSE: A NARRATIVE PROTEST by Jacob Marx Rice, and THE COLONY by Gina Stevensen, Other previous productions include I WAS UNBECOMING THEN by Lyndsey Bourne, INCORRUPTIBLE: THE TRAGICAL HISTORIE OF MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE by Jacob Marx Rice, NAKED: WHAT WOMEN AND THEIR BODIES REPRESENT TO AMERICA by Clinnesha D. Sibley, and BOOK OF ESTHER by Gina Stevensen.


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