By Carey Purcell
05 Dec 2013
Winner of the Ross Wetzsteon Obie Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Development of New Work and the James Kirkwood Award for fostering and promoting the work of contemporary American playwrights, Mentor Project partners a veteran playwright with a new writer for an entire season of script development, casting, rehearsals and re-writes, culminating with a full, professionally staged, two-week production.
This season's plays include The Hunters by Jen Silverman (Crane Story, Phoebe In Winter), mentored by the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage (Ruined; By The Way, Meet Vera Stark); and The Ragged Claws by Lina Patel (Sankapan (Desire), Disappearance Of Luck), mentored by Tony winner David Henry Hwang (Chinglish, The Dance and the Railroad).
The 2014 Mentor Project will also feature the debut of the Director Mentorship, with director Lisa Peterson (An Iliad, The Model Apartment) working with emerging director Awoye Timpo on Sonnets on Tap.
The Mentor Project will be led by producing artistic director Stephanie Ybarra, after having been run by founding artistic director Angelina Fiordellisi.
"After 15 great years, I'm thrilled to be able to hand Mentor Project off now to the next generation of leadership. Stephanie is a brilliant young woman with substantial credentials and experience, poised to breathe fresh life into Mentor Project and take the program to an exciting new level," Fiordellisi said in a statement.
"I will stand firmly on Angelina's shoulders as Mentor Project moves into its next phase," Ybarra added. "Fifteen years ago — when there wasn't a ton of opportunities for playwrights just starting out — Angelina did a huge service to writers with this program. Now that there are more opportunities for writers, it's time to expand the Mentor Project to include other disciplines, starting with directors, and shine a spotlight on them in the same way we do playwrights."
Alumni of Mentor Project include Katori Hall, Rajiv Joseph, Christopher Shinn, David Adjmi, Julia Cho, Molly Smith Metzler, Anne Washburn, Jakob Holder, Sheila Callaghan, Anton Dudley and Lisa Ramirez.
The schedule follows:
Written by Jen Silverman
Mentored by Lynn Nottage
Directed by Mike Donahue
Feb. 19, 2014-March 1
"The Hunters is about twins, both hustlers, and what happens when one of them lures to a motel room the grandson of the soldier alleged to have killed the twins' Vietnamese grandfather."
Sonnets On Tap
Written and directed by Awoye Timpo
Mentored by Lisa Peterson
"Conceived, developed and performed by Ms. Timpo, Sonnets On Tap draws on Ms. Timpo's experiences as an actress and accomplished tap dancer. She has performed in Chasing the Bird at Joyce Theater, Araby at La MaMa, In the Continuum at Juilliard and elsewhere."
The Ragged Claws
Written by Lina Patel
Directed by Daniella Topol
Mentored by David Henry Hwang
"In The Ragged Claws, as Manhattan is being relocated to upstate due to rising sea levels and a feared tsunami, a British mother, American father and their adopted Indian son must confront the wounds of history, even as the future rises up to meet them."
For performance and ticket information to the Mentor Project, visit cherrylanetheatre.org or call (212) 989-2020.