Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director/CEO) and Columbia University School of the Arts (Carol Becker, Dean of Faculty) are pleased to announce the winners of Columbia@Roundabout’s 2018 New Play Reading Series. As part of the collaborative partnership between Roundabout Theatre Company and Columbia University, the reading series awards three playwrights from the current MFA program and recent alumni with a cash prize as well as a reading in Roundabout’s Rehearsal Hall, followed by a post-reading reception. Five finalists have also received cash prizes in recognition of their exceptional work. No other collaborative partnership in the New York area brings together an esteemed Ivy League MFA program with a Tony Award-winning, not-for-profit theatre. The reading series is made possible by a grant from The Tow Foundation.
Playwrights featured in the third annual Columbia@Roundabout New Play Reading Series include Andy Boyd (Os Confederados), Kristin Slaney (Hockey Messiah) and Jay Stull (Undone). Finalists include Melis Aker (When My Mama Was a Hittite), Matt Barbot (Princess Clara of Loisada), Jack T. Calk (Not All That Far), Samantha Cooper (And, And, And Isabella Bootlegs) and Stephen Foglia (Outer Banks).
The New Play Reading Series will be held September 24 – 27 at Roundabout’s Rehearsal Hall. Mentorship is provided by celebrated Columbia faculty members, including Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang, Pulitzer Prize winner and Tony Award nominee Lynn Nottage and Obie Award winner Charles L. Mee. The series creates a bridge for Columbia’s emerging writers and provides Roundabout audience members with an opportunity to experience work by the next generation of leading theatre artists. Readings will be open to industry members and other guests by invitation only.
The selection committee consisted of two representatives from Roundabout Theatre Company: Director of New Play Development Jill Rafson and Artistic Consultant Robyn Goodman; and two representatives from Columbia University: Christian Parker, Chair of the Theatre Program at Columbia University School of the Arts and David Henry Hwang, head of the Playwriting concentration for the program.
Schedule of Readings
By Andy Boyd
Directed by Whitney White
Monday, September 24 at 3:30pm
In the year 1867, following defeat in the Civil War, a small group of men and women from the Southern United States immigrated to Brazil, where they founded a new city known today as Americana. Os Confederados tells the story of that city in two parts: one act in 1867 and one act in 2017. In the first act, the colonists struggle to determine whether their new city will be a recreation of the antebellum South or an experiment in creating a more inclusive society from the ashes of the old. In the second act, set at the city’s 150th anniversary celebration, descendants of the original colonists struggle as well to determine their identity in the context of their history, this time the past of the city itself as well as the past of the Confederate South. Os Confederados is a play about why we hold on to histories of oppression – and how we let go.
By Kristin Slaney
Directed by Ellie Heyman
Wednesday, September 26 at 3:30pm
Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, 2001. Shawn is a thirteen-year-old hockey prodigy, on a track leading him to the NHL. Viola is the weird girl who lives up the street. When Shawn and Viola collide as teens, they begin an unlikely friendship that follows them throughout their lives, constantly complicating both their understandings of what it means to be an adult. Hockey Messiah is about success and love and growing up and hockey.
By Jay Stull
Directed by Knud Adams
Thursday, September 27 at 3:30pm
Undone is a portrait of two friends whose decade-long relationship is fractured by schizophrenia. What are the limits of friendship when reality is less shared? How does one measure sanity against a world that is insane?
ANDY BOYD (Os Confederados) is a playwright based in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. He studied Playwriting at Columbia University, American History and Literature at Harvard College, and Theatre at Arizona School for the Arts. His previous plays include Acres of Diamonds (Phyllis Anderson Prize), She Shall Be Praised (Rhode Island State Council for the Arts Playwriting and Screenwriting Grant), and River Rouge, his MFA Thesis play. During the fall of 2018, Andy will travel to Shanghai to study theatre at the Shanghai Theatre Academy through an exchange program with Columbia. Prior to attending Columbia, Andy served with City Year Providence.
KRISTIN SLANEY (Hockey Messiah) is a Brooklyn-based playwright originally from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. Her plays have been produced and developed by Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Flea Theater, The Tank, Ugly Rhino, Spicy Witch Productions, Ship’s Company Theatre, Eastern Front Theatre, Halifax Theatre for Young People, Doppler Effect Productions, the University of Alberta, the Fountain School for the Arts, DaPoPo Theatre, and Forerunner Playwrights Theatre. She is a member of Pipeline Theatre Company’s 2019 PlayLab, and she is an alum of Youngblood, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Obie Award-winning playwriting group. Kristin is the recipient of a 2018 Creation Grant through the Canada Council for the Arts for her play HOCKEY MESSIAH. She is also the writer for season 4 of the award-winning web series ADULTish. She received her MFA in playwriting from Columbia University in 2016.
JAY STULL (Undone) is a Brooklyn-based playwright and director. His work has been produced and/or developed by Ars Nova, The Amoralists, the Bloomington Playwrights Project, City Center Off Center, Clubbed Thumb, Dixon Place, the Gym at Judson and the Judson Memorial Church, Joe’s Pub with The Civilians, Labyrinth, the Lark, the Flea, New Light Theater Project, Fresh Ground Pepper, and the Tank. He was a 2015 Directing Fellow at Clubbed Thumb, a two-time member of The Civilians R&D Group, and a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab and the SDCF Observership Class. He is currently studying for his MFA in playwriting at Columbia.
WHITNEY WHITE (Director, Os Confederados) is a director originally from Chicago, based in Brooklyn. Recent work: This Land Was Made by Tori Sampson (Vineyard Theatre Lab), Br’er Cotton by Tearrance Chisholm (Endstation Theatre), Rita Tambien Rita by Tony Menses (Juilliard), and Othello (Trinity Rep). She has developed work at: Ars Nova, Roundabout Theatre Company, New York Theatre Workshop, Joe’s Pub, Juilliard, Bushwich Starr, NYU Tisch, Playwrights Realm, Page 73, Bard College, Luna Stage, Princeton University, SUNY Purchase, The Tank, The Lark, and more. Whitney is currently in residency with Ars Nova as part of their 2018 Makers Lab, where she is developing Definition, an original concert musical, and The Drama League as part of their Next Wave Residency, where she is developing an original adaptation of Anton Chekov’s Three Sisters with music. She is an Associate Artist at Roundabout and was a 2050 fellow at New York Theatre Workshop. MFA Brown University / Trinity Rep. More at: whitney-white.com
ELLIE HEYMAN (Director, Hockey Messiah) is a New York-based director and the Director in Residence at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater. Recent credits include: Jason Craig & Dave Malloy’s Beardo (Drama Desk Award Nomination; Pipeline Theater), Erin Markey’s Boner Killer (Under the Radar/The Public Theater), Becca Blackwell ‘s They, Themself and Schmerm (Under the Radar/The Public Theater); Adrienne Truscott’s THIS (Bessie Award Nomination for Outstanding Production; NYLA), Dinner with Georgette (NYTW, Next Door), Jenny Weiner’s I’ll Get You My Pretty (Tilted Windmills), Dane Terry’s Jupiter’s Lifeless Moons (PS122/COIL), Fusiform Gyrus (Talking Band) and The Traveling Imaginary, an internationally touring theatrical rock show with Julian Koster (Neutral Milk Hotel) rated “Top 5 shows of the year” by NPR. Many of these shows are touring internationally throughout 2018-2020. Her narrative podcast, The Orbiting Human Circus (Of the Air) (Night Vale Presents), was rated #1 on Apple Podcasts and downloaded over 5 million times. Upcoming projects include The Tattooed Lady by Max Vernon & Erin Courtney and new fiction podcasts with Night Vale Presents. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and Boston University, and a Drama League and WP Theater Time Warner Directing Fellow Alumni. ellieheyman.com
KNUD ADAMS (Director, Undone). Recent productions: Tin Cat Shoes (Trish Harnetiaux, Clubbed Thumb), Marie and Bruce (Wallace Shawn, JACK), Aloha, Aloha, or When I Was Queen (Eliza Bent, Abrons), The Workshop (Torrey Townsend, Soft Focus), Asshole (Justin Kuritzkes, JACK), Every Angel is Brutal (Julia Jarcho, Clubbed Thumb), On a Clear Day I Can See to Elba (Eliza Bent, The New Ohio), Tom & Eliza (Celine Song, JACK), Snore (Max Posner, Juilliard), An Intimate Evening with Typhoid Mary (Carl Holder, The New Ohio), That Poor Girl and How He Killed Her(Jen Silverman, U. of Rochester), Krazytown (Jenny Schwartz, NYU), and Salome of the Moon (Nick Jones, Waterwell). Knud trained by assisting André Gregory, Elizabeth LeCompte, Richard Foreman, Sam Gold, and Sarah Benson. Affiliations: Drama League Next Stage Resident, Drama League Directing Fellow, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and Playwrights Horizons Directing Resident. knudadams.com
MELIS AKER (When My Mama Was a Hittite) is a New York-based writer, actor and musician from Turkey, and will be a NYTW 2050 Fellow in the fall. Plays: Field, Awakening (2018 Sundance Theatre Lab finalist, 2018 Berkeley Rep Ground Floor finalist, Lark’s 2018 Van Lier New Voices Fellowship finalist) will perform at the Signature Theatre’s New Plays Festival in May, Golden Thread Productions’ New Threads reading series at Brava Theater Center (San Francisco) in June, and in the Corkscrew Festival at Paradise Factory in July; Manar (2017 Columbia@Roundabout finalist, 2016 Theatre503 Playwriting Award semi-finalist) was at Golden Thread Productions’ 2017 ReOrient Festival, LPAC’s 2017 Rough Draft Festival, and was featured by Silk Road Rising on New Play Exchange; 330 Pegasus: A Love Letter [Part I] (Lark’s 2018 Jerome New York Fellowship Finalist) received a Noor Highlight series reading at NYTW; Azul, Otra Vez [Blue, Revisited] was workshopped at NYTW and the BRICLab Residency. Melis recently gave a TEDx Talk in Ankara, and works as Ayad Akhtar’s assistant. Acting (selected): “The Blacklist: Redemption” (NBC), Love in Afghanistan (Arena Stage / Roundabout), Daybreak (Pan Asian Rep), Opium (New Dramatists), Tear A Root From the Earth (Kennedy Center / New Ohio), We Live in Cairo (New World Stages). Training/Rep: MFA Playwriting (Columbia), Acting (RADA), BA Drama & Philosophy (Tufts). Meg Pantera The Agency (acting) | melisaker.com
MATT BARBOT (Princess Clara of Loisada) is a writer from Brooklyn, NY. His play El Coquí Espectácular and the Bottle of Doom, which was a finalist in the 2013 Repertorio Español Nuestras Voces competition and recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Darrel Ayers Award for Outstanding Student-Written Play for Young Audiences, as well as the Kennedy Center’s Latinidad Award for Outstanding Play Written by a Student of Latino/Hispanic Heritage – received its world premiere at Two River Theater in January of 2018. His play Infallibility was produced as part of the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival, where it was named one of Indie Theater Now’s Best of FringeNYC 2013. Recently, his short play “A List of Some Shit I’ve Killed” was published as part of the Red Bull Theater’s anthology Red Bull Shorts Volume III. He was recently a Playwright Observer at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center’s 2017 National Playwrights Conference. Matt received his MFA from Columbia University.
JACK T. CALK (Not All That Far) is a playwright and lyricist based in New York City. His work includes Olivia (St. Lou Fringe, First Run Theatre); Blood by Law (2018 O’Neill New Play Conference semi-finalist/2018 ATHE Judith Royer Award for Excellence in Playwriting finalist); Tabula Rasa (Pendant Productions, four-time Audio Verse Award winner); Some Bastard with a Guitar (Without Bounds Creative Group); and Leaving | To Be Left (Schapiro Theater/Columbia University), now titled Not All That Far. He is also a freelance voice actor (Archive 81, Archer & Armstrong: The Michelangelo Code, Active Radioactive Radio) and sound engineer (Terezin at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre; Field, Awakening at the Ford Signature Studio; Macbeth at the Connelly Theatre). He has worked in other capacities at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. He is a second-year MFA playwriting candidate at Columbia University. In spring 2019, he will assist Halley Feiffer on the world premiere of The Pain of My Belligerence at Playwrights Horizons.
SAMANTHA COOPER (And, And, And Isabella Bootlegs) is a playwright and theatre maker originally from Cheney, Washington. She has been affiliated with organizations such as: Annex Theatre, The Barrow Group, Bay Area Playwrights Festival (2017 Semifinalist), Blood Ensemble, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Columbia University, Crashbox Theatre Company, Disquiet International Literary Program (2015 Short List), HERON Ensemble, Last Frontier Theatre Conference (2015 Play Lab), Macha Theatre Works, Northwest Playwrights Alliance, O’Neill National Playwrights Festival (2017 Semifinalist), Owl and the Cat Theatre (Melbourne, Australia), Princess Grace Awards (2017 Semifinalist), Samuel French OOB Festival (2016 Final 30), Seattle Repertory Theatre, and Western Washington Theatre. BA: Western Washington University MFA: Columbia University. samanthajcooper.com
STEPHEN FOGLIA (Outer Banks) uses diverse theatre forms to approach the intimacy of other lives and search out the magic lurking in the cracks of our experiences. In 2015, he wrote and directed a dance-theatre piece inspired by NASA’s Voyager program (Voyager) and an immersive detective story about mental illness (Mistress Of The House). Prior to arriving in New York, he adapted Ulysses and 1,001 Nights for performance at the Dallas Museum Of Art. His play The Woodking’s Daughter was workshopped at Dixon Place. September Gurls, a timeskipping exploration of first bestfriendship, debuted in 2016 at Columbia. Stephen earned his MFA in Playwriting from Columbia in 2017. Stephen is a member of Lincoln Center Directors Lab.
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Columbia University School of the Arts awards the Master of Fine Arts degree in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts and Writing and the Master of Arts degree in Film Studies; it also offers an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts. The School is a thriving, diverse community of talented, visionary and committed artists from around the world and a faculty comprised of acclaimed and internationally renowned artists, film and theatre directors, writers of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, playwrights, producers, critics and scholars. In 2015, the School marked the 50thAnniversary of its founding. In 2017, the School opened the Lenfest Center of the Arts, a multi-arts venue designed as a hub for the presentation and creation of art across disciplines on the University’s new Manhattanville campus. The Lenfest Center hosts exhibitions, performances, screenings, symposia, readings, and lectures that present new, global voices and perspectives, as well as an exciting, publicly accessible home for Columbia’s Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery. For more information visit arts.columbia.edu. Follow Columbia University School of the Arts on Twitter @Facebook and Instagram.,
The Theatre Program at Columbia University School of the Arts is an international, collaborative and interdisciplinary graduate program named in honor of Oscar Hammerstein II, offering concentrations in Acting, Directing, Dramaturgy, Playwriting, Stage Management, and Theatre Management & Production. The Program’s location in New York City, a global nexus of theatre, affords students the opportunity to experience a wide variety of theatrical productions, spaces, and performances available nowhere else. Students in the Program have the unparalleled opportunity to learn from—and work with—true visionaries in the theatre world; full-time faculty include David Henry Hwang, Lynn Nottage, Charles L. Mee, Steven Chaikelson, James Calleri, Anne Bogart, Gregory Mosher, Brian Kulick, Christian Parker, Andrei Serban, and Michael J. Passaro. Students have access to an extensive network of Columbia alumni who run prestigious Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional theatres; direct and perform in Tony- and other award-winning productions; work in every level of the professional theatre world; and teach, mentor, and engage with students on an ongoing basis. Notable alumni include include Diane Paulus, Beau Willimon, Darko Tresnjak, Anson Mount, and Barbara Whitman.
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Education at Roundabout turns Roundabout’s theaters into classrooms and classrooms into theaters, for more than 35,000 people each year throughout all five boroughs of New York City and around the country. For over 20 years, Roundabout has developed education programs that provide students with access to the arts, encourage social and emotional learning, cultivate skills they will need to succeed in college and careers, and give their teachers the tools to help students flourish. Education at Roundabout has expanded to include diverse programming ranging from student matinees, to classroom residencies and school-wide partnerships in the NYC public schools, to professional development workshops for teachers, to audience engagement programming for our subscribers, to an apprenticeship and internship program, and our after-school program, Roundabout Youth Ensemble. For more information, visit roundabouttheatre.org/education, and youtube.com.
In 2018-2019, Roundabout’s Broadway season will present Bernhardt/Hamlet, a new play by Theresa Rebeck, directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel, starring Janet McTeer, Dylan Baker & Jason Butler Harner; True West by Sam Shepard, directed by James Macdonald, starring Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano; and Kiss Me, Kate, directed by Scott Ellis, starring Kelli O’Hara and Will Chase.
Off-Broadway in 2018-2019, Roundabout will produce Apologia by Alexi Kaye Campbell, directed by Daniel Aukin, with Stockard Channing; Merrily We Roll Along by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth, directed by Noah Brody in a Fiasco Theater production; Toni Stone by Lydia R. Diamond, directed by Pam MacKinnon, with Uzo Aduba; and Usual Girls by Ming Peiffer, directed by Tyne Rafaeli at Roundabout Underground.