JAMES FRITZ

A playwright from London whose first full-length play, Four Minutes Twelve Seconds premiered at Hampstead Theatre Downstairs in 2014 and was nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre. In 2017, his radio play Comment is Free won both the Imison and the Tinniswood Awards at the BBC Audio Drama Awards, which is the first time that a writer has won both awards the same year.

LAUREN GUNDERSON

The most produced playwright in America in 2017 and the author of plays such as The Book of Will, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, and I and You. Gunderson’s work has been commissioned, developed and produced at companies including South Coast Repertory, Marin Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Denver Center, San Francisco Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, TheatreWorks, and more.

CHISA HUTCHINSON

An acclaimed playwright raised and currently residing in Newark, New Jersey. Hutchinson holds a B.A. in Dramatic Arts from Vassar College and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from NYU. Her work has been presented at such venues as the National Black Theater and Second Stage Theater. She is a current member of New Dramatists and former staff writer for the Blue Man Group.

ADITI BRENNAN KAPIL

A multi-disciplinary artist of Bulgarian and Indian descent who was raised in Sweden. Kapil's plays include Love Person (Stavis Playwriting Award, 2009), the Displaced Hindu Gods Trilogy (Mixed Blood Theater and across the US and London), Orange (Mixed Blood Theatre and SCR), and Imogen Says Nothing (Yale Repertory Theatre). She is the Playwright-in-Residence at Mixed Blood Theatre, an Artistic Associate at Park Square Theatre, a Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center, and a Resident Playwright at New Dramatists.

PAOLA LÁZARO

A playwright and actor born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Lázaro holds a B.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from SUNY Purchase College and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Columbia University. Her play Tell Hector I Miss Him premiered at the Atlantic Theater Company in fall of 2017, and There's Always the Hudson was recently work-shopped at Sundance. Paola is part of the 2015 Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater.

AARON MARK

A Texas-born, New York-based artist whose distinctive narrative style drew immediate attention for this early-career playwright. Mark’s ongoing series of solo shows, including Empanada Loca, has earned him a reputation as a new leading light of the single-performer genre.

GARY MCNAIR

A playwright, director and performer based in Glasgow, Scotland. McNair's 2017 sold-out, Fringe First award winner Letters to Morrissey is the third in a trilogy of often darkly comedic works drawing on the joys and struggles of growing up in working class Scotland.

ANTOINETTE NWANDU

A New York-based playwright whose honors include the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, and the Negro Ensemble Company’s Douglas Turner Ward Prize. Her play Pass Over (Steppenwolf Theatre, 2017) received a Jeff Award for outstanding New Play. Her most recent play Breach: a manifesto on race in America through the eyes of a black girl recovering from self-hate was produced by Victory Gardens this past February 2018.

DAVID ROSSMER

A writer, actor and musician. Rossmer co-wrote book, music and lyrics (with Steve Rosen) for the critically acclaimed comedy The Other Josh Cohen, which premiered Off-Broadway and was nominated for six Drama Desk Awards, the Lucille Lortel Award and the Off-Broadway Alliance Award. He also co-created the edgy, hit variety show Don’t Quit Your Night Job, which began at the Public Theater in NYC and moved to a successful run Off-Broadway.

MADHURI SHEKAR

A current playwriting student at Juilliard. Madhuri is the 2013-2014 winner of the Kendeda Graduate Playwriting contest held by the Alliance Theatre for her play In Love and Warcraft for which they did the world premiere production. Most recently, her play Queen was produced at Victory Gardens in Chicago.

NASSIM SOLEIMANPOUR

A multidisciplinary theatre-maker from Tehran, currently based in Berlin, Germany. His plays have been translated into more than 25 languages, and performed across the globe.

REGINA TAYLOR

A playwright whose credits include but are not limited to, Oo-bla-dee (recipient of the American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award), Drowning Crow (Manhattan Theatre Club), and The Trinity River Plays (Dallas Theater Center and the Goodman Theatre). Taylor's critically acclaimed Crowns continues to be one of the most-performed musicals in the country, and is the winner of four Washington, D.C. Helen Hayes awards.

JAMES ANTHONY TYLER

An award-winning playwright who holds a MFA in Film from Howard University, an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University, and most recently, an artist’s diploma in playwriting from The Julliard School. Tyler's honors include the Paul Robeson Award, and a John Golden Award for Excellence in Playwriting from NYU. His play Dolphins and Sharks received its world premiere in 2016 with the LABrynth Theatre Company, and his play Some Old Black Man will run this spring at the 59E59 Theatre.

BRIDGETTE A. WIMBERLY

An award-winning poet, playwright, and librettist, has been produced Off-Broadway and across the US in venues including: Opera Philadelphia, Apollo Theatre, Madison Opera, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Wimberly's 2001 play Saint Lucy's Eyes starring Ruby Dee premiered at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre, and The Women’s Project in New York City. Her recent play Charlie Parker's Yardbird starring Lawrence Brownlee, premiered at the Hackney Empire and the English Royal Opera in London in 2017.

LEAH NANAKO WINKLER

A Japanese-American playwright from Kamakura, Japan and Lexington, Kentucky. Her play Kentucky premiered at Ensemble Studio Theatre. Her play God Said This will be in the 2018 Humana Festival of New Plays. She is the inaugural recipient of the Mark O'Donnell Prize.

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