Drama League Announces Artists-in-Residence for 2017 | Playbill

News Drama League Announces Artists-in-Residence for 2017 The program allows artists a chance to develop a new theatrical piece.
The Drama League has announced the theatre directors and ensembles chosen to develop new plays and musicals as part of the 2017 Drama League Artist Residency Program.

This year’s Resident Artists include Elena Heyman (2017 Under The Radar Festival), Kristin Marting (Artistic Director, HERE), Jenny Larson (Artistic Director, Salvage Vanguard Theatre, Austin, TX), and more. Public work-in-progress presentations will be held throughout the year at The Drama League Theater Center, 32 Avenue of the Americas, in Tribeca.

The Drama League Artist Residency Program offers director/collaborator teams and ensembles an opportunity to develop a new theatre piece at the Drama League Theater Center. The program includes a residency stipend, rehearsal space, professional mentorship, administrative support, and community engagement.

“The Drama League received triple the number of residency applications over last year's cycle, demonstrating an urgent need for artists to find a nurturing creative home,” stated executive artistic director Gabriel Stelian-Shanks. Many of the artists in the program will offer readings, experiments, and other insights into their creative process at public events throughout the year.

Details of the program, according to the Drama League, follow:

2017 Drama League Artists In Residence


The Impact Residency is a new initiative, in partnership with The LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in Long Island City, which provides a year of resources, space, support, production development, a $10,000.00 grant for a director working inside of an ensemble company.

2017 IMPACT ARTIST IN RESIDENCE: Kevin Doyle/Sponsored By Nobody

Written, directed and designed by Kevin Doyle
Dramaturg: Fannina Waubert de Puiseau
Designers: Jon Bernson, Mayra Castro, Mike McGee
Performed by Mike Carlsen, Josh Edelmann, Sauda Jackson, Eric Magnus, Katey Parker, and April Shannon Sweeney

THE AЯTS is a three-part work of interdisciplinary theatre under development from the Brooklyn-based theatre company, Sponsored By Nobody. The project investigates and deconstructs the history of public funding for the arts in the United States and contrasts it with events in the European Union, where threats to public subsidy have manifested in recent years. THE AЯTS is based upon transcripts from debates and hearings held in the U.S. Congress from 1963-1965 and 1989-1994; in addition to interviews conducted with arts leaders and citizens throughout the United States and Europe from 2012-2016. During their 2017 Impact Residency, Sponsored By Nobody will focus on Parts One and Two of THE AЯTS by condensing transcripts to revolve around two specific dates: October 26, 1963 and May 19, 1989. The former marks the first public hearings held in Congress on public funding of the arts. The latter marks the formal start of a backlash against arts funding, essentially beginning what we now call “the Culture Wars.” For more information on THE AЯTS, visit www.sponsoredbynobody.com.

* * *


Next Stage Residencies are bestowed upon early-career, mid-career, and established directors who are developing projects intended for production in the near future. The residency supports the collaborators with rigorous rehearsal, workshop, and developmental time to ready the work for pre-production.

Artist In Residence: Christopher Burris

Bring The Beat Back
Written by Derek Lee McPhatter
Directed by Christopher Burris

Tru Believers know the Musicship Megarhythmic will save them from the end of the world. But you can’t get on if you can’t get down…and somebody done stole da beat! Bring the Beat Back is a black gay sci-fi music-theatre experience, set in a futuristic, groove-centered alternative reality. Inspired by ball culture, the evolution of house music and the rich Afro-futurist tradition—including Parliament Funkadelic, Sun-Ra, Grace Jones, Prince, Meshell Ndegeocello, and others—our hero journeys towards self-acceptance and affirming spirituality, even as religious authorities and an ostentatious gay subculture clash over music at the center of his world.

* * *

Artist In Residence: Jess Chayes

Written by Helen Banner
Directed by Jess Chayes

Intelligence is a semi-immersive play about three American women diplomats in a Washington, DC basement conference room, role-playing their way to a new handbook on conflict resolution. Sarah, the senior diplomat in the room, has recently undertaken a conversion negotiation with a splinter group leader. As she fights off career implosion, she pulls the junior diplomats into secret recreations of what exactly happened.

* * *

Artist In Residence: Megan Hanley

Graceful Exit
Written by Alanna Coby
Composed by Sean Vigneau-Britt
Directed by Megan Hanley

When 70-year-old Maria receives a cancer diagnosis, she begins to question how she wants to die. While Maria's loved ones grapple with how to keep her alive, Rachel, a climate change activist, heads out to sea. Graceful Exit is a darkly comic play with music that asks, “Who controls your death?” It grapples with questions about climate change and end-of-life care through vaudevillian sketches, puppetry, tap dancing, scientific lectures, and stand-up comedy.

* * *

Artist In Residence: Elena Heyman

Written by Sami Berat Marcali
Directed by Ellie Heyman

Home/Yuva follows an unlikely quartet—two Turkish refugees, a club star, and taxi driver—in search of common bonds. Void of shared language, their bodies begin to speak. Drawing from the current refugee crisis in the Middle East and the increasingly fractured American dream, Home/Yuva is an international collaboration between Turkish and American artists.

* * *

Artist In Residence: Jenny Larson

Written by Adrienne Dawes
Directed by Jenny Larson

Casta explores the casta paintings of Nueva Espana (Mexico), a unique genre of portraiture that depicted different racial mixtures arranged according to a hierarchy of race and status. Casta explores these constructed images of colonial bodies and the failed attempts of the government to control its subjects through increasing social regulations…as well as the shift in attitudes as paintings began to depict family violence and deviant behavior among the lower “classes.” In collaboration with Salvage Vanguard Theatre, Austin, TX.

* * *

Artist In Residence: Kristin Marting

Assembled Identities
Co-created by Purva Bedi, Mariana Newhard, Drew Weinstein and Kristin Marting
Directed by Kristin Marting

What makes a human authentic? Is it their genome sequence? Their DNA profile? Their life experience? Exploring ethnic ambiguity, race and identity, Assembled Identities uses original and found text, live cinematography, and contemporary music to explore the science of identity, including genomics, genetics, eugenics, and cloning, all of which impact our culture.

* * *

Artist In Residence: Shira Milikowsky

Distant Star
Written by Javier Antonio González
Directed by Shira Milikowsky

Distant Star is Caborca Theatre’s adaptation of the ground-breaking novel by Roberto Bolaño, following several young poets during and after Chile’s 1973 military coup. Infused with Bolaño’s perverse humor and mastery of suspense, Distant Star weaves memories of life (and death) under Pinochet’s American-backed dictatorship into a seductive noir of political necessity.

* * *

Artist In Residence: Andreas Robertz

Father God Mother Death
Written and performed by Mario Golden
Directed by Andreas Robertz

Father God Mother Death is a poetic lamentation of a Mexican gay son mourning the loss of his mother the week immediately after her death. Deeply evocative and extremely personal, the piece simultaneously elucidates the author’s experience of immigration to the U.S. as a teenager, and the complex dynamics that triggered a reversal of gender roles between his parents, making his father become increasingly abusive towards his mother.

* * *

Artist In Residence: Travis Lee Russ

America Is Hard To See
Written and directed by Travis Lee Russ

Based on verbatim interviews and archival research, America Is Hard To See investigates the lives in and around Miracle Village, a rural community for sex offenders, buried deep in Florida's sugarcane fields. This groundbreaking play involves an exciting blend of spoken text, religious hymns, and original songs composed by Priscilla Holbrook, lead singer of the band Susan Jane. A talented ensemble of seven actors embody over 50 roles to tell tough and real stories about darkness, uncertainty, and healing in small-town America.

* * *

Artist In Residence: Caitlin Sullivan

Gilded Girls
Written by Mallery Avidon
Directed by Caitlin Sullivan

Gilded Girls is actually comprised of 66 (very) short plays in which Nancy Reagan, Queen Elizabeth, Marie Curie, Leni Riefenstahl and Catherine the Great find themselves together at the end of the world. Over and Over and Over Again. Gilded Girls is an experimental dark comedy about confronting our apocalyptic past, present and future.

* * *

Artist In Residence: Brandon Woolf

The Summer Way
Conceived and Created by Brandon Woolf and Maxwell Flaum

Sequestered in a Tony Soprano-style basement, ravaged by binge consumption of contemporary television and under threat of imminent drone “strike,” Torn (white) and Timbre (black) wrestle with major issues of the day in a podcast designed to “speak to people.” Wondering if their basement banter isn't just more psycho-babble stopping up the arteries of the world-wide-web, the two hapless media-gurus make a wild grab into the cathodic maelstrom of a “haphazardly avant-garde” black-and-white television. The result of this head-on-collision with “classic” TV is a speed of light race riot in the final Nielsen rating analysis. It's all that and more, tonight, on The Summer Way.

* * * * *


First Stage Residencies are bestowed to early and mid-career directors who are beginning the development of a worthy new project, and supports the initial investigations, rehearsals, and collaborations of the work.

Jessica Bashline, Fresh
Jake Beckhard, CHELSEAS
Sophie Blumberg, Trixie The Giant
West Hyler, Stella Nova
Alexandra Keegan,Tough
Cat Miller, Untitled Clara Immerwahr Play
Molly Beach Murphy, Galveston
Tatiana Pandiani, The Poet And The King
Elinor Renfield, Borkhova
Dan Rogers, The Future Perfect
Marcus Scott, Cherry Bomb
Michelle Tattenbaum, Ideas
Gabriel Vasquez, Such A Tragedy

The Drama League is dedicated to “creating transformative interactions between artists and audiences…above and beyond the performances they experience.”

Performance schedules are available at www.dramaleague.org or by calling (212) 244-9494.

Recommended Reading:

Blocking belongs
on the stage,
not on websites.

Our website is made possible by
displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

Please consider supporting us by
whitelisting playbill.com with your ad blocker.
Thank you!