Bret Adams Grant Recipients
The stated mission of The Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation is to fund big, theatrical ideas. In the week following Broadway's closure, the foundation was faced with a big idea of its own: to redirect their entire 2020 grand budget into emergency assistance grants–fast. In partnership with the Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation, they administered 80 grants of $2,500 to playwrights, composers, librettists, and lyricists who had a full professional show cancelled, closed, or indefinitely postponed due to the pandemic. Over 300 Theatre writers applied in the three weeks that the lottery was available, and the 80 grants were awarded randomly, to ensure the fairest outcome.
Raquel Almazan: interdisciplinary artist, facilitator, and activist. Recipient: Kennedy Center’s Latinidad Award, Kate Neal Kinley Playwriting Fellowship, NALAC Grant. Select presenters: New York Theatre Workshop, Classical Theatre of Harlem-Lincoln Center, The Playwrights’ Center, New Georges, Bric Arts, Bushwick Starr, and Pregones-PRTT. www.raquelalmazan.com
Kevin Artigue writes plays, TV, and film. He was raised in Redlands, CA, and calls Brooklyn home. His newest play, I, My Ruination, about the director Elia Kazan, will be presented at Cape Cod Theatre Project in July. His play Sheepdog was recently published by Dramatists Play Service.
Hilary Bettis has written a bunch of plays, TV scripts, a movie, and a memoir. She had a nomadic childhood, living mostly in rural America. And she’s been riding horses since she was three.
Liza Birkenmeier's play Dr. Ride's American Beach House recently premiered at Ars Nova, directed by Katie Brook.
Seth Bisen-Hersh: Musicals: Love Quirks (Off-Broadway), The Diamond as Big as the Ritz, Stanley's Party, More to Love, The Spickner Spin, Meaningless Sex. 10 song cycles, sitcom pilot, web series, 3 books, podcast, over 600 produce cabarets. www.sethbh.com FB/Twitter/Instagram: @sethbhdotcom
Carlyle Brown is an alumnus of New Dramatists, a Lifetime Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center, and a recent Mellon Foundation Playwright in residence at Illusion Theater in Minneapolis.
Darcy Parker Bruce
Darcy Parker Bruce is a playwright, activist, educator, and coffee enthusiast living in New London, CT. They’re currently working on several commissions as well as a cycle of plays about being queer in small town America.
Diana Burbano, a Colombian immigrant, is a playwright, and an Equity actor. Diana’s play Ghosts of Bogota a comedy about trauma, was commissioned and debuted at Alter Theater in the Bay Area in Feb 2020.
Heather Christian is an Obie Award winning composer/performer. She makes original music-centric performance work (Oratorio for Living Things Ars Nova, Prime: A Practical Breviary Playwrights Horizons Soundstage, Animal Wisdom Bushwick Starr, The World Is Round BAM) www.heatherchristian.com
J. Julian Christopher
J. Julian Christopher is a queer Dominican and Puerto Rican playwright. MFA: The Actors Studio Drama School. Awards: 2009 Public Theater EWG Fellowship, 2015 Queens Arts Council Grant, and a resident of New Dramatists. Plays include, Animals Commit Suicide, Bruise & Thorn, and Locusts Have No King.
Patricia Cotter’s plays include The Daughters, 1980 (Or Why I’m Voting for John Anderson), The Surrogate, I’ll Give You Something to Cry About. Her work has been produced/ developed at New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, The Actors Theatre of Louisville.
Kate Cortesi writes things about women, young people, liars, and the American psyche. With jokes. katecortesi.com
Nathan Alan Davis
Nathan Alan Davis’ plays include The High Ground, The Refuge Plays, Nat Turner in Jerusalem, Dontrell Who Kissed the Sea, and The Wind and the Breeze. He received a Whiting Award in Drama in 2018.
Guadalís Del Carmen
Guadalís Del Carmen’s plays include Not For Sale, My Father’s Keeper, and A Shero’s Journey or What Anacaona and Yemayá Taught Me. She is an Ars Nova Resident Artist and Co-Artistic Director of the Latinx Playwrights Circle.
Christopher Dimond is a playwright, librettist, and lyricist known for his work with composer Michael Kooman. Their projects include Romantics Anonymous, The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes, Disney's Vampirina, and an upcoming Netflix animated series.
Jeremy Desmon is a bookwriter/lyricist known for The Girl In the Frame, Good News (Goodspeed), The Oliver Experiment, Pump Up the Volume and the upcoming Broadway musical based on Simon & Schuster's iconic Nancy Drew.
Sarah Einspanier’s play House Plant premiered in February at New York Theatre Workshop’s Next Door. Lunch Bunch, last seen in Summerworks, will happen (again!) some/one day with The Play Company and Clubbed Thumb. She teaches at the National Theatre Institute.
Steph Del Rosso
Steph Del Rosso is a playwright, film and television writer, and educator. She lives in Brooklyn. stephdelrosso.net
Daniel Goldstein won the Kleban Prize for Bookwriting. Unknown Soldier was produced at Playwrights Horizons and Williamstown. His musical Row will premiere on the Audible/Williamstown Season. His play Orange Crush is about Tony Schwartz. He also directs lots of things.
An Obie Award winner and PEN/America Laura Pels Award recipient, Kirsten is a current Mellon/HowlRound resident playwright at Company One, and an alum of New Dramatists. She attended the Playwrights Workshop at the University of Iowa.
Caroline Hewitt is an actress and playwright who lives in Brooklyn but is currently staying with family in Maine. Favorite homebound activities include reading nineteenth century novels, talking to friends, and making chocolate chip cookies.
Kate Hamill is an actor/playwright. She is one of the most-produced playwrights in the country. She was named "Playwright of the Year" by Wall Street Journal in 2017.
Jessica Huang’s plays include The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin, Mother of Exiles, and Purple Cloud. She’s the inaugural 4 Seasons resident playwright, three time Playwrights’ Center fellow; alum of Interstate 73 Writers Group, Ars Nova Play Group, and Juilliard.
Anthony Hudson (Grand Ronde) is an artist and writer perhaps best known as Portland, Oregon’s premier drag clown Carla Rossi, an immortal trickster whose attempts at realness almost always result in fantastic failure.
Justin Huertas is an award-winning playwright-composer-lyricist whose works include Lizard Boy, The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion, Lydia & the Troll, Howl’s Moving Castle, and The Lamplighter (with Kirsten deLohr Helland and Sara Porkalob).
Candrice Jones, author of FLEX and Crackbaby, is a current Jerome Fellow. Her plays have been developed at VONA, Ground Floor, the Bay Area Playwrights’ Festival, and the Humana Festival of New American Plays.
Barbara Kahn is a playwright, director, actor, and coach. Her plays have been produced in the US and Europe. She has directed in New York, Paris, and at the National Theatre in London.
Nambi E. Kelley
A writer on Showtime's The Chi (Season 3), Nambi received The Prince Prize 2019, Writers Grant Alliance Dramatists Guild, and is developing a play based on the life of Dr. Maya Angelou.
Michael A. Kooman
Michael Kooman is an Emmy nominated composer for stage ands. Along with lyricist/bookwriter Christopher Dimond, he is the series songwriter on Disney Junior’s Vampirina. His stage musicals include Romantics Anonymous with Emma Rice (Shakespeare’s Globe) and many others.
Hannah Kohl (bookwriter/composer/lyricist and papercutting artist) work includes Die Weihnachtsbäckerei (Germany) and The Houdini Box (Chicago Children’s Theatre). Kohl’s artwork has been featured in The New Yorker Magazine, The NY Times, and The Dramatist Magazine.
Melissa Li is a Queer musical theater writer and composer. She is a Jonathan Larson Award recipient, a Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow, and a MacDowell Colony Fellow. Her recent works include Interstate and MISS STEP.
David M. Lutken
I'm an actor, singer and writer from Dallas, Texas. I've worked in theater and music for forty years. My first musical play, Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie, has been produced around the world.
Caroline V. McGraw
Caroline V. McGraw is a playwright and screenwriter. Her plays include 1983 and Ultimate Beauty Bible. She has been the Page 73 Playwriting Fellow, a Tow Foundation Resident, and is a member of the Kilroys.
Tony Meneses’s plays include Guadalupe in the Guest Room, twenty50, and El Borracho; an alum of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, Ars Nova Play Group, Denver New Play Summit, Berkeley Rep Ground Floor, and Juilliard.
Aaron Meicht is a composer, writer, and performer. The OZET project has been the focus of his work for the last decade. Aaron has composed dozens of scores for Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theaters as Broken Chord.
Rehana Lew Mirza
Rehana Lew Mirza’s plays include: Hatefuck (WP/Colt Coeur); Soldier X (Ma-Yi); Bhangin’ It (with Mike Lew and Sam Willmott); Barriers (Desipina/AATC.) Honors: Mellon National Playwright residency, Kleban Award, NYFA Fellow, Lilly Award, HBO Access. www.rehanamirza.com
Anna Moench is a playwright based in Los Angeles.
Nahal Navidar is an Iranian-born writer raised in upstate New York. Her plays are motivated by the exploration of social issues while employing magical elements to embody the expanse of human emotions.
Ronán Noone emigrated from Ireland. He became a US citizen in 2000. His award winning monologue play, The Smuggler was due to open at Irish Repertory Theatre, NY in April, 2020. RonanNoone.com
Matthew Paul Olmos
A three-time Sundance Fellowship/Residency recipient. Affiliations: Center Theatre Group, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Humana Festival, New Dramatists, INTAR, New York Theatre Workshop, Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Princess Grace Awardee, La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Award (selected by Sam Shepard). Mentored by Taylor Mac & Ruth Maleczech; Kilroys nominator. www.matthewpaulolmos.com
Marisela Treviño Orta
A graduate of the Iowa Playwrights Workshop and Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center. Affiliations: Audible, Arizona Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Halcyon Theatre, Kitchen Dog, Milagro, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Shotgun Players, and Su Teatro.
Gab is a playwright and immersive performance-maker. Her plays explore the tension between cultural geography and individual identify, the way place writes itself on our bodies. Usually they're slightly queer. And a little funny.
Marco Antonio Rodriguez
Bilingual editions of his plays, Ashes Of Light and Barceló On The Rocks - NoPassport Press. Barceló On The Rocks-O'Neill semi-finalist, winner-MetLife Nuestras Voces competition. Commissions: Julia Alvarez’ In The Name Of Salomé. Adapted/directed The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Repertorio Español. www.marcoantoniorodriguez.com
Madhuri Shekar is the 2020 recipient of the Lanford Wilson Award for playwriting. Her plays include Evil Eye, In Love and Warcraft, A Nice Indian Boy, Queen, House of Joy, and Dhaba on Devon Avenue.
Mat Smart has written 25 full-length plays that have been produced around the United States. He has traveled to all seven continents and written a play set on each.
Celine Song is a Korean-Canadian-American playwright based in New York and Los Angeles.
Gary Soto is the author of In and Out of Shadows, Novio Boy Nerdlandia, The Sparks and Fire of It, and, most recently, The Afterlife. His poem “Oranges” is the most anthologized in contemporary literature. An independent writer, he lives in Berkeley, California.
Caridad Svich received the 2012 OBIE for Lifetime Achievement, the 2011 American Theatre Critics Association Primus Prize, two NNPN rolling world premieres. She had three world premieres this spring/fall, cancelled due to COVID-19.
Alex Tatarsky is a writer and performer from New York City. She/they make work at the unfortunate in between zone of dance-theater, comedy, performance art, and deluded rant, often with songs.
Co-writer of book, music and lyrics for Distant Thunder. Company member of Native Voices at the Autry; three seasons as acting company member of Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 2017–2019. In the Heights (OBC), Frankie Valli, Jersey Boys (second national tour).
Melisa Tien is a playwright, lyricist, librettist, and producer. A New Dramatists resident playwright, Melisa is currently co-producing a series of audio theatrical experiences/experiments called Active Listening. www.melisatien.com.
I write plays and music as sacred texts for healing and liberation. I also dramaturg, dream, and keep theorizing toward a better world in my monthly newsletter, The Free List.
Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters
Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters is an InterAct Theatre Core Playwright, a third-year at The Foundry at PlayPenn, and Lead Artist for the Philly Asian Performing Artists’ Playwrights Project.
Cheryl L. West
Cheryl L. West’s plays have been produced in England, Off-Broadway, on Broadway, and in numerous regional theaters. Currently working on commissions for Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Rep, and The Goodman Theatre.
Whitney White is a director, writer, and musician originally from Chicago. She believes in alternative forms of performance, multi-disciplinary work, and collaborative processes.
Jason Odell Williams
Jason Odell Williams has been nominated for an Emmy, OBA and L.A. Ovation Award. His plays Handle With Care and Church & State are published by DPS. He lives in NYC with his wife & daughter.
I'm a musical theater writer and Doctor Who stan.
Nathan Yungerberg’s work has been developed or featured by The Cherry Lane, Roundabout, LAByrinth, The Playwrights’ Center, JAG Productions, Crowded Fire, The Lark, The Fire This Time, National Black Theatre, and The Bushwick Starr. www.nathanyungerberg.com