Audible Inc. has announced the second group of playwrights selected to receive support from its fund dedicated to developing English-language works from around the globe.
The $5 million fund enables the creation of original plays driven by language and voice, keeping with Audible’s commitment to elevating listening experiences through performance and vocal storytelling. In addition to financial support, Audible will provide the playwrights creative and logistical resources that suit the needs of each artist. The fund is also intended to support the audio production of each commission and, in some instances, a live stage component.
In 2017, Audible announced its first class of 15 playwrights: Aaron Mark, Aditi Brennan Kapil, Antoinette Nwandu, Bridgette A. Wimberly, Chisa Hutchinson, David Rossmer, Gary McNair, James Anthony Tyler, James Fritz, Lauren Gunderson, Leah Nakano Winkler, Madhuri Shekar, Nassim Soleimanpour, Paola Lazaro, and Regina Taylor.
The second round of commissions will go to:
Nick Carr, the recipient of the Gary Garrison prize for playwrighting at the American College Theater Festival in Washington, D.C., a selected writer for Theater Masters’ Palm Beach Developmental Workshop Series, and a Kennedy Center Fellow at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference.
Christopher Chen, an Obie-winning playwright whose work has been produced across the United States and abroad. In addition to Audible, he is currently under commission at The Aurora, LCT3, Manhattan Theatre Club, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Playwrights Horizons, and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Elinor Cook, the London-based winner of the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright 2013 and a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award 2018.
Berri George, a London-based playwright and performer, whose work has been staged in leading new writing venues. Her one-woman show LARP, which she also performed, received five star reviews and toured a selection of local and regional venues.
Carla Grauls, an award-winning playwright whose works have been performed in London, Italy, and South Africa. She is the winner of the Nick Darke Award for her play Made for Him, and her critically acclaimed play Occupied at Theatre503 was nominated for two Off West End Theatre Awards in 2014.
Eric Micha Holmes, a playwright and radio dramatist whose work has been heard on the BBC and seen at The National Black Theatre, The New Black Fest, MCC Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, and The Lark Play Development Center, among others.
Lindsay Joelle, a Chicago-born, New York-based playwright and lyricist holding a B.A. in English from Columbia University and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from CUNY/Hunter. She is a member of Nashville Repertory Theatre’s Ingram New Works Lab, a National New Play Network writer-in-residence at Curious Theatre, and an alumna of the BMI Musical Thetre Workshop.
Charlotte Josephine, the winner of the Soho Theatre Young Writers Award 2012, the Clonmel Junction Best Theatre Award 2013, the Holden Street Theatre’s Award 2013, the Adelaide Fringe Award 2014, the Stage Edinburgh Award 2017, the Octagon National Monologue Prize 2017, and the inaugural BBC Screenplay First Award in 2017.
Mike Lew, a Brooklyn-based playwright, Tony voter, and Dramatist Guild Council member whose honors include the PEN Emerging Playwright, Lanford Wilson, Helen Merrill, Heideman, and Kendeda awards as well as a Lark Ventrous fellowship.
Marisela Treviña Orta, a graduate of the Iowa Playwrights Workshop and a Core Writer at The Playwrights’ Center. She has been awarded the 2006 Chicano/Latino Literary Prize in Drama, the 2009 Pen Center USA Literary Award in Drama, the 2013 National Latino Playwriting Award, and is a 2019 Kendeda Finalist.
Currently, three Audible-commissioned plays will be produced in 2019: Proof of Love by Chisa Hutchinson (Minetta Lane in New York in the spring), Evil Eye by Madhuri Shekar (Audible release, May), and Life Ever After by Carla Grauls (Audible release, June). Additional productions from commissioned playwrights will be announced in the coming months.
Among the theatrical productions that have been released on Audible are Dennis Kelly's Girls & Boys, performed by Carey Mulligan; David Cale's Harry Clarke, performed by Billy Crudup; Sharon Washington's Feeding the Dragon; and Alexandra Silber's After Anatevka. The audio storytelling company is currently operating out of the Minetta Lane Theatre Off-Broadway, its creative home for theatrical productions that will later be released on Audible.