Each writer will develop a new piece within a collaborative and supportive environment, with plans to receive future readings and exposure from the Drama Desk and Obie Award-winning company. Mark Armstrong, director of new work, said of the writers, "[they are] all important artists whose work I've been eager to bring to Keen."
"New work is an important part of Keen Company's mission and playwrights are essential to the Keen community," said Armstrong. He added, "The challenge is clear: mid-career playwrights need more support. And Keen Company has stepped up."
Berman, Finkle and Ryan are writers whose works have been produced and developed across the U.S. at theatres including Primary Stages, Soho Rep, Hangar Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Second Stage.
Berman's plays include Hunting and Gathering and Until We Find Each Other; Finkle is the writer of Alive and Well and Penelope of Ithaca; and Ryan is the playwright of The Mysteries and The Judy Show.
Under the leadership of Armstrong, each playwright will develop new work inspired by the company's mission, "enduring stories that provoke identification, reflection and emotional connection." Keen's artistic director Jonathan Silverstein announced that he was eager to work with the new participants; "Last year's inaugural Keen Playwrights Lab was a tremendous success and I am excited to see what kind of Keen new work Brooke, Kate and Kenny dream up."
Keen Company also announced the writers for the ninth season of its Keen Teens program, an educational initiative in which professional writers are commissioned to develop new scripts for high school students. The playwrights for the 2015 Keen Teens are Max Posner, Jen Silverman and Lauren Yee. Performances will be April 25-27 at the Lion Theatre at Theatre Row.
As previously reported on Playbill.com, next month Keen will stage a rare Off-Broadway revival of the musical John & Jen starring Kate Baldwin at the Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row. Previews begin Feb. 10. The Clurman Theatre is located at 410 West 42nd St, New York.