Keen Playwrights Lab to Feature Works By Jessica Dickey, Gabe McKinley and Qui Nguyen
By Carey Purcell
Jessica Dickey, Gabe McKinley and Qui Nguyen will participate in Keen Company's inaugural Keen Playwrights Lab.
Under the leadership of director of new work Mark Armstrong, each playwright will develop a new full-length play. The program will culminate in three public readings held in April 2014.
"I am thrilled to have my friend and colleague Mark Armstrong lead the inaugural Keen Playwrights Lab. Mark is a passionate and smart advocate for new work and I am grateful he has joined the Keen family to lead our new play initiatives. While Keen has excelled in exploring our theatrical past, I am excited to see how contemporary writers speak to our mission of sincerity and hope. Gabe, Jessica and Qui are all writers I have greatly admired and I look forward to seeing what kind of worlds they dream up," Keen artistic director Jonathan Silverstein said in a statement.
Armstrong added, "Keen Company has always been a friend to playwrights. From our early productions of new work by David Auburn, Keith Reddin and John Belluso to our unique Keen Teens program, which has commissioned and produced over 20 new works during the past seven seasons, we've always looked for opportunities to work with the great writers of our time. With the addition of the Playwrights Lab, we're able to work with three writers over the course of our season to develop new full-length plays. Jessie, Gabe and Qui are incredible writers with an abundance of Keen's signature values — honesty, heart and hope. I can't wait to see the result of our work together."
Dickey's work includes The Amish Project, Charles Ives Take Me Home and Row After Row, which will premiere at the Women's Project in January 2014. Nguyen's plays include She Kills Monsters, Soul Samurai, The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent, Krunk Fu Battle Battle, Aliens Versus Cheerleaders and the Vampire Cowboys productions of Alice in Slasherland, Fight Girl Battle World, Men of Steel and Living Dead in Denmark. McKinley has written CQ/CX, The Kitchen Sink Play, Welcome Home Rock Rogers and Extinction.
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