Downtown’s premiere program for new plays

We are please to announce the 2015/2016 Writer/Director Lab, the program’s 18th edition. The Co-Chairs are playwright Jenny Schwartz and Director Ken Rus Schmoll.

Stephanie Del Rosso‘s plays include Flee (Judson Memorial Church, 2016), Mean Well (Clubbed Thumb’s Summerworks Reading Series), Listed (semi-finalist, Bay Area Playwrights’ Festival), Mix Tape (semi-finalist, Clubbed Thumb’s Biennial Commission), and Reverse/Loop/Repeat (Off the Rails Festival). She has been a finalist for the Leah Ryan Fund for Emerging Women Writers, a semi-finalist for Page 73’s Playwriting Fellowship, and a writer-in-residence at Caldera Arts, SPACE on Ryder Farm, and the Disquiet International Literary Program in Lisbon, Portugal. In addition to the Lab, she is a member of Clubbed Thumb’s Early-Career Writers’ Group, Blood Piñata. Stephanie has led creative writing classes and workshops in New York, Chicago, Central Oregon, and at Northwestern and Yale University, and currently teaches high school students at the education non-profit Legal Outreach. She is also a mentor at Girls Write Now and an editor at The Brooklyn Rail.

aprilTony Meneses received a world premiere of his play Guadalupe in the Guest Room at Two River Theater, for whom he is also under commission. He is a 2015/2016 Ars Nova Play Group Resident Playwright, and was previously a Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow and member of Youngblood at The Ensemble Studio Theatre. He’s also previously been developed at the LARK Playwright’s Week and is the recipient of the 2010 Kennedy Center ACTF Latino Playwriting Award. Other productions include The Boy in Black through Chicago Fusion Theatre and Las Hermanas Padilla through Chicago’s DCA Storefront Theatre. Guadalupe in the Guest Room is now published by Dramatists Play Service. MFA: Iowa Playwrights Workshop. BA: The University of Texas at Austin.

10630749_751198691647081_1975923800404798443_oJacob Perkins is a playwright and actor originally from South Carolina.  His play, The Third Rail, won the 1st annual DVRF/O’Henry Productions Emerging Playwright Contest, is a 2015 finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference, and will be featured at Gibney Dance Center this December.  His work has been featured and developed at Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, Makehouse, the NEWvember Festival, Front Porch Arts Collective, and Botanica.  As an actor, he’s worked on new plays by Samuel D. Hunter, Lindsay Joy, Cheri Magid, Mat Smart, Daniel Talbott, and many others.


Catherine Yu grew up in the suburbs of New York surrounded by books set in London and Paris. Her plays include The Sun Experiment (FringeNYC 2014 Award for Excellence in Playwriting; Time Out New York’s Top Ten Music and Nightlife Events of The Week, published by IndieTheaterNow), and The Day Is Long To End (MaYi 2015 Spring LabFest). Her short plays have been commissioned by the 52nd Street Project, UglyRhino, and Culture Project. Her short play “Sand Romance” is a 2015 Heidman finalist. She has been a NYTW Emerging Artist of Color and is a current member of the MaYi Writers Lab and Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. She is a former writer’s assistant to the filmmaker Peter Hedges. BA: Stanford University. MFA: NYU. Twitter handle: @cate_yu


FWTuZcZoQluseWTCkFkWSWAgh4cKDZN7wK05QYW9qx0Zi Alikhan is a California-bred, NYC-based theatre director who really loves contextualizing classic texts in contemporary conversations, new play development, and reinvestigating the American musical. Recent directing: Five Times in One Night (Rutgers), Summer & Smoke (Access), Barrier Islands (Wild Project), The Grind. (Hangar Theatre/Drama League ARP), Strindberg’s To Damascus (Pearl Theatre Company PYP), and Gross Indecency (Abingdon). Recent Assisting: Ripcord (MTC/City Center), It Shoulda Been You! (Broadway), and Uncle Vanya (Pearl Theatre Company). Zi is an alum of The Drama League Director’s Project and Artist Residency Program, and a Manhattan Theatre Club Jonathan Alper Directing Fellow. Artistic Director, The BASiC Theatre Project. NYU/Tisch.


Jaki Bradley is a Brooklyn-based director of new plays and musicals. Recent projects include I’ve Been to Sea Before (The Red Room, Time Out New York Critic’s Pick), #liberated (Ars Nova), A Scavenge (Williamstown), Good Men Wanted (Ars Nova), and What Every Girl Should Know (FringeNYC, Time Out New York Critic’s Pick). She has also developed and presented work with The Public Theater, Naked Angels, The Flea, Pipeline Theater Company and NYU-Atlantic Acting Studio. As an assistant/associate director, she has worked with Michael Greif, Leigh Silverman, Lisa Peterson, and Daniel Aukin, among others. Jaki has researched international theatrical traditions in Malaysia as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar and in Bulgaria as a part of the Rhodopi International Theatre Lab. She is a member of the Williamstown Directing Corps, the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, and SDC.

IMG_0104 Tiffany Nichole Greene received her MFA in Acting from Brown University/Trinity Rep. While there, she also studied directing under the mentorship of Laura Kepley (Artistic Director of 2015 Tony Award winning Cleveland Playhouse) and Brian Mertes (Daytime Emmy award winner). Since the move to NYC, Tiffany has become a Lincoln Center Directors Lab director and a Drama League Director Finalist two years in a row. A few of her latest productions include The Tragedy at Hood: 14542 (a Hoodsical) (Fringe NYC); A Small Oak Tree Runs Red (Venus Adonis Festival); The Danger: A Homage to Strange Fruit (NYU’s Goldburg Theatre); The Glass Menagerie (The Williams Project) where she assisted Ryan Purcell.

Michael Leibenluft headshot DLMichael Leibenluft‘s directing credits include How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel with Drum Tower West Theater in Beijing, I’ll Never Love Again by Clare Barron for Drama League DirectorFest and upcoming at the Bushwick Starr, Lost Tribe by Alex Borinsky as part of Target Margin’s Yiddish Theater Lab, The Subtle Body by Megan Campisi at 59E59 Theaters and the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center, and other projects with LMCC, The Civilians, EST, and NYU/Tisch. Michael has assistant directed at Signature Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Atlantic Theatre, P73, and American Theater Company. Michael graduated from Yale as a double major in Theater Studies and East Asian Studies and completed his Masters in Performance Studies at the Shanghai Theatre Academy. He is a 2010 recipient of a China Fulbright Research Grant as well as a member of the 2013 Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, a SDCF Kurt Weill Fellow, and a 2014 Drama League Fall Directing Fellow. Upcoming projects include a new bilingual Mandarin/English piece in collaboration with the Lark, the Sichuan People’s Art Theater, and the State Department, as well as a project about Chinese start-ups with the National Theater of China.

*Stay tuned for more information about these amazing artists and for details of the Lab reading series coming Spring 2016!*


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