The Playwrights Realm Will Present 2020 INK'D Festival of New Plays

By: Feb. 03, 2020
The Playwrights Realm Will Present 2020 INK'D Festival of New Plays

The Playwrights Realm (Founding Artistic Director Katherine Kovner and Producing Director Roberta Pereira) will presents the 2020 INK'D Festival of New Plays, showcasing new works by this year's Realm Writing Fellows Tanya Everett, Maya Macdonald, Tasha Gordon-Solmon, and Christopher Reyes (February 24-27). The festival's plays offer vast tonal and stylistic variation while cohering around complex contemplations of structural issues. INK'D has proven to be an indispensable launching pad for the voices driving the future of playwriting. This year's powerful slate continues to introduce audiences to a diversity of fresh perspectives, thereby underscoring theater's potential to expand the possibilities of dramatic storytelling and engage with the world around it.

This year's INK'D readings include:

Tanya Everett's A Dead Black Man, a razor-sharp interrogation of society's treatment of black men, told through a series of highly theatrical vignettes; Maya Macdonald's brunch, a darkly comic investigation of female tropes; Tasha Gordon-Solmon's The Lasagna Incident, a play about the power inherent in what we're told and who does the telling set in the world of higher education; and Christopher Reyes' Balikbayan, a touching portrayal of a lost young man searching for home while on a trip to his unfamiliar birthplace of The Philippines.

Playwrights Realm Associate Artistic Director Alexis Williams says, "What's so exciting about The Realm's Writing Fellowship is that it's not just a writers' group, we aren't solely working with our fellows on the development of their plays but are also providing professional development opportunities allowing for the fellows to advance their careers. It's been so rewarding to see this cohort grow not just as writers, but as professionals carving out their space in the theater (and larger entertainment) industry. INK'D tends to be the last time we spend with our fellows as 'theater babies;' when we see them again, they're all grown up! This year will be no different - I can't wait to see what they do next."

The 11th INK'D Festival unfolds at the same time that its alumni's plays come to life in bold professional productions. Celine Song's technically challenging Endlings, which she developed as a Realm Writing Fellow (2017/2018), will make its New York premiere in February at New York Theatre Workshop, with a production that originated at American Repertory Theater. It explores the theme of artistic authenticity in its connection between three haenyeo (seafood-harvesting women divers) off the island Man-Jae, South Korea, and a Korean-Canadian playwright telling their story. Sarah Einspanier (Realm Writing Fellow 2018/2019) has received major acclaim for the "charming and smart" (The New York Times, Critic's Pick Review) Clubbed Thumb production of Lunch Bunch, about a group of public defenders sublimating existential dread via ever-more elaborate work lunches. The play returns Off-Broadway this March in a production from The Play Company and Clubbed Thumb, while her latest work, House Plant, premieres at Next Door @ NYTW in February. Donja R. Love (Realm Writing Fellow 2016/2017) had two world premieres in 2018 (Manhattan Theatre Club's Sugar In Our Wounds-which was in 2019 also staged in Chicago by First Floor Theater-and Fireflies at Atlantic Theater Company). In December 2019-January 2020 The New Group world premiere production of his "powerful play" one in two "entered the world in a state of quiet glory," "balanc[ing] tenderness and fury to explore how H.I.V. has become a 'hidden emergency' in the black community" in a "defiantly to action" (The New York Times, Critic's Pick Review). Previous Writing Fellow (2011/2012) and Alumni Playwright Ethan Lipton's 2016 Summerworks play Tumacho, an "impeccably inane horse opera" that "plays dizzily with historical notions of American manliness" (The New York Times, Critic's Pick Review) will be brought back by Clubbed Thumb this February.

INK'D is the culminating event for the Writing Fellowship. Each season, from hundreds of applications, four exceptional Fellows are selected to receive a $3,000 stipend and nine months of script meetings, professional development sessions with industry leaders, a director and design collaborators to work with throughout the year, and both in-house and public workshop opportunities.

INK'D will run from February 24-27 at Siti Company (520 8th Avenue, Suite 310, New York, NY 10018). Tickets go on sale February 3rd. See below for full schedule and descriptions.

INK'D 2020 Schedule

Tanya Everett

A Dead Black Man

Directed by Candis C. Jones

Monday, February 24th at 3pm at 7pm

A black man dies. But who was he when he was alive? And why was he robbed of a dignified death? His death is dissected, his body studied, vilified, defiled, and dehumanized. Through a series of vignettes, an omniscient Dead Black Man narrator attempts to unravel this cruelty, envisioning a world that uplifts and promises a secure passage for the dead - a world in which black men are full of light, joy, and peace.

Tanya Everett hails from Massachusetts, but grew to adulthood in Brooklyn. Her plays have been performed all over NY, including the Public, Cherry Lane, and HERE Arts Center. Her play And The Gods Walk Among Us was named Semi-Finalist for the Princess Grace Award and Finalist for the Lark Development Week. Her play A Dead Black Man was a Finalist for the Dramatist Guild Fellowship in 2019. She recently graduated from Brooklyn College, under Mac Wellman and Erin Courtney. She won the AAUW Career Development Grant, the Truman Capote Scholarship, and the 2018 MFA in Playwriting Awards to support her academic pursuits. She was named an Alternate for the Djerassi Resident Artist Program in California. Some of her teachers and mentors include: Stephen Adley Guirgis, Ellen McLaughlin, Maggie Flanigan, and Julia Jordan.

Maya Macdonald


Directed by Annie Tippe

Tuesday, February 25th at 3pm at 7pm

Beth has a husband and four (count it, four!) new blenders, Bangs keeps having sex that hurts but at least she's got great bangs, and Lynn's just on the hunt for a good appendage to spend the night with. As for Clarissa? She just really doesn't want to die alone. In this biting examination of female tropes and the search for "Mr. Right," the love of your life might terrify you, might even kill you, but hey-at least he's got great dental.

Maya Macdonald is a playwright and native of New York City. Her plays have been developed in NYC and across the country with companies that include The Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, The New Ohio, Echo Theater Company, Bushwick Starr, New Dramatists, Ensemble Studio Theatre, MCC Theater Young Playwrights, Three Legged Dog, The Flea, Rising Phoenix Rep, JACK, Dixon Place, and DePaul University. Her plays include: brunch (Honorable Mention, The Relentless Award, Semi-Finalist, Theatre503's Playwriting Award in London), Three Anne Franks (Finalist, Rattlestick Playwrights Commission), Raw Pasta (Semi-Finalist, The O'Neill and Seven Devils Playwrights Conference), Leave the Balcony Open (Finalist, Princess Grace Award). She's been a resident playwright for The Rogue Players, Oye Group, Lake George Theater, Ragdale and Tofte Lake, is a New Georges Affiliated Artist and has been nominated for Cherry Lane Mentor Project and the Doric Wilson Award. BA, Bennington College, MFA from Hunter College (Irv Zarkowr Award for Excellence).

Tasha Gordon-Solmon

The Lasagna Incident

Directed by Stephen Brackett

Wednesday, February 26th at 3pm at 7pm

A story about a group of graduate students trying to tell the story of a totally different group of graduate students trying to figure out what stories they're telling. Or maybe it's about the power inherent in what we're told and who does the telling. Or maybe it's about when to keep your mouth shut. Or maybe it's about lasagna. It's definitely about lasagna.

Tasha Gordon-Solmon's plays include I Now Pronounce (Humana Festival of New American Plays, Perry Mansfield New Works Festival), Same Time, Same Place (Actors Theater of Louisville PTC Commission), Piece Of (developed at Northern Stage's New Works Now), Whip It Up! With Wendy! (AFO Solo Collective Residency) and Pal (developed at Sun Valley Center for the Arts and New Georges). Her musical Fountain of You, written with composer Faye Chiao, recently received a workshop with Zeiders American Dream Theater. Tasha is a recipient of the Dramatist Guild Fellowship, a Puffin Foundation Grant and residencies at the Millay Colony, VCCA and Bethany Arts Center. She is a New Georges Affiliated Artist, a member the BMI Advanced Workshop and Directors Lab West, and an alumna of the Ars Nova Playgroup, Clubbed Thumb Emerging Writers Group and Project Y Writers Group. Tasha's directing credits include EST, Brooklyn Museum, InViolet, The Tank, The Flea, The Brick, Dixon Place, Columbia and NYU Graduate Playwriting, Sound Bites Festival, NY Fringe Festival and Fire This Time Festival.

Christopher Reyes


Directed by Peter Kim

Thursday, February 27th at 3pm at 7pm

Alvin is searching. Searching for a father he never knew, for a way to grieve for his mother's death, for a country to call his own. Stuck between two identities as an American born in the Philippines, Alvin hopes that a journey to his birthplace will give him the answers he seeks. What he finds is a lonely 8-year-old boy, a sharp landlady, and a handsome nurse, who help him understand what it means to "come home."

Christopher Reyes is a Philippine-born performer, writer, and theater marketer. He received a BA in Theatre Arts from Drew University with a minor in Film & Media Studies. He has previously worked with the National Asian American Theatre Company as a Production Assistant in their reiteration of Awake and Sing at The Public Theater. He had the opportunity to work with them once again during their production of Sagittarius Ponderosa as a Marketing Assistant. He served as the Communications & People Associate at The Lark where he produced and hosted the web series/podcast "Artist Spotlight" and published a collection of essays on their blog. Influenced by his upbringing in the Philippines, his plays explore what it means to be Filipino, what it means to be American, and what it means to be "Filipino-American." And they're always queer as f*ck.

About The Playwrights Realm

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 Page One Residency, Alumni Playwrights Program, Writing Fellowship, Scratchpad Series, and of course productions.

At the beginning of their 2019-2020 season, 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 two new initiatives. The first, the Radical Parent-Inclusion Project (RPI), developed in association with Parent Artist Advocacy League for the Performing Arts (PAAL), 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. The second, the new ticketing program A Ticket for Every Budget, offers prospective audience members Welcome seats ($1 previews/$5 performances), Affordable seats ($25 previews/$30 performances), or Pay It Forward seats ($50 previews/$60 performances-which sponsor the Welcome tickets, allowing The Realm to offer those facing financial barriers the experience of an evening of theatre) for the entire run of a given show. "The Realm isn't just revamping its ticket initiative-it's building a community and helping artists grow their careers," writes Playbill.

In the fall of 2016, The Playwrights Realm produced the world premiere of Sarah DeLappe's The Wolves, which is currently hailed as one of the "25 Best American Plays Since 'Angels in America'" by the New York Times, and 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, 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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