New Dramatists' New Residents Are Nachtrieb, Baker, Beaty, George, Kempson, McManus, Shamieh and Volpe | Playbill

News New Dramatists' New Residents Are Nachtrieb, Baker, Beaty, George, Kempson, McManus, Shamieh and Volpe
New Dramatists, an artistic home and developmental laboratory for professional playwrights, announced the addition of eight writers to New Dramatists' company of playwrights on July 16.
Annie Baker
Annie Baker Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The incoming resident playwrights are Annie Baker, Daniel Beaty, Madeleine George, Sibyl Kempson, James McManus, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, Betty Shamieh and Francine Volpe.

The new group of theatre artists was selected by a seven-person committee of New Dramatists playwrights, alumni, and outside theatre professionals from 325 applicants after undergoing a highly competitive, eight-month evaluation process.

They will be in residence with the New York City organization through 2017.

New Dramatists will kick off their seven-year residencies with an evening of readings and celebration on Sept. 13 starting at 6 PM.

Here are profiles of the writers: Annie Baker grew up in Amherst, MA. Her full-length plays include Circle Mirror Transformation (Playwrights Horizons, OBIE Award for Best New American Play, Drama Desk nomination for Best Play), The Aliens (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, OBIE Award for Best New American Play), Body Awareness (Atlantic Theater Company, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Play/Emerging Playwright) and Nocturama. Her work has also been developed and produced at New York Theatre Workshop, MCC, Soho Rep, the Orchard Project, the Ontological-Hysteric, Ars Nova, the Huntington, South Coast Rep, the Magic Theatre, the Cape Cod Theatre Project, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab in Utah and Ucross, Wyoming. She is a member of New Dramatists, MCC's Playwrights Coalition and E.S.T. She is an alumna of Youngblood, Ars Nova's Play Group, and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. Recent honors include a New York Drama Critics Circle Special Citation, a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize nomination, a Time Warner Storytelling Fellowship, a MacDowell Fellowship, and commissions from Center Theatre Group and Playwrights Horizons. She holds an MFA from Mac Wellman's playwriting program at Brooklyn College.

Daniel Beaty is an award-winning actor, singer, writer and composer. His latest play, Through the Night, will have a commercial run at the Union Square Theater in New York City produced by Daryl Roth beginning September 2010. His critically acclaimed solo play, Emergence-See!, directed by Kenny Leon, ran Off-Broadway to a sold-out, extended run at The Public Theater in the fall of 2006. For this production, he received the 2007 Obie Award for Excellence in Off- Broadway Theater for Writing & Performing and the 2007 AUDELCO Award for Solo Performance. He is the recipient of the 2007 Scotsman Fringe First Award for the best new writer at the Edinburgh Festival and was presented with a Lamplighter Award from the Black Leadership Forum in Washington, DC. In the spring of 2008, Emergence-See!, now re-titled Emergency, had a sold-out seven-week engagement at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles directed by Charles Randolph Wright and was awarded two 2009 NAACP Theatre Awards including Best Actor. He has worked throughout the U.S., Europe, and Africa performing on programs with artists such as Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Jill Scott, Sonia Sanchez, MC Lyte, Mos Def, Tracy Chapman, Deepak Chopra, and Phylicia Rashad. He holds a BA with honors in English and music from Yale University and an MFA in acting from the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.). His ensemble play, Resurrection, received its world premiere production at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, in August 2008 (where he was awarded the 2008 Edgerton Foundation's new American Play Award); followed by engagements at Hartford Stage, the Philadelphia Theatre Company, and eta Theater in Chicago. His play, Tearing Down the Walls, will open at eta in October 2010. He is a proud member of New Dramatists.

Madeleine George's plays have been produced or developed at Clubbed Thumb, Soho Rep, About Face Theatre, Diversionary Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, The Playwrights' Center/Guthrie Theater, the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, and other venues. She collaborated with LightBox on the multimedia play, Milk-n-Honey, about democracy and appetite in America, which ran at 3LD. Support includes a MacDowell Fellowship, the Princess Grace Playwriting Award, a Manhattan Theatre Club Playwriting Fellowship, and the Jane Chambers Award. She is a 2010 Lark Playwrights Workshop Fellow and an alum of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. She holds an MFA in dramatic writing from NYU.

Sibyl Kempson lives and makes theatre plays in New York City and the Pocono Mountains. She performs in NYC and internationally in collaboration with NYC Players, Elevator Repair Service, and Nature Theater of Oklahoma. She has also performed in her own plays. Her work has been presented at Dixon Place (Potatoes of August; Crime or Emergency; Zeit af der KürbisGeistNachten; The Wytche of Problymm Plantation; Industrialisation und die Fütür), P.S. 122 (Crime or Emergency), Soho Rep (Crime or Emergency), CATCH! Series (The Secret Death of Puppets), Little Theatre (This Property is BAUHAUS!; Spargel Time!; The Secret Death of Puppets), 13th Street Theater ((In)communicable, (Con)Genital, Incommensurable), the Brick Theater (Bad Girls, Good Writers), and Austin's Fusebox Festival (Crime or Emergency). She has been funded by several Mondo Cane! commissions (2002, 2005, 2008, 2011) and by the Greenwall Foundation. Her works are published by the 53rd State Press, PLAY: Journal of Plays, the Brooklyn Review, Midway Literary Journal, i-theatron, and Semiotext(e) Native Agents/MIT Press. She is a founding member of the Joyce Cho Initiative and of Machiqq Women's Auxiliary playwriting group. She holds an MFA in playwriting from Brooklyn College, 2007, where she studied under the instigation of Mac Wellman, and a BA in drama from Bennington College, 1995.

James McManus has written many plays including Over/Under, Blood Potato, Underground, Cherry Smoke, Bulldog Whiskey and Dorothy 6. His plays have been developed and performed at The Clockwork Theatre, Glass Umbrella Creative (Sydney), The Kennedy Center, New Dramatists, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Barebones Productions, Irish Repertory Theatre, Lark Play Development Center, The Inkwell, Diverse City Theater and the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. McManus was the recipient of the 2006 Princess Grace Award in Playwriting for Cherry Smoke.

Peter Sinn Nachtrieb is a San Francisco-based playwright whose works include boom (TCG's most produced play 2009-10), T.I.C. (Trenchcoat In Common), Hunter Gatherers (2007 ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award, 2007 Will Glickman Prize), Colorado and Multiplex. His work has been seen off-Broadway and across the country at Ars Nova, SPF, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Seattle Repertory, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Public Theatre, Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep, Wellfleet Harbor Actor's Theatre, Dad's Garage and in the Bay Area at Encore Theatre, Killing My Lobster, Marin Theatre Company, Impact Theatre, and The Bay Area Playwrights Festival. He is completing commissions from South Coast Rep, A.C.T., and is a resident playwright at the Playwrights Foundation, San Francisco. He holds a degree in Theater and Biology from Brown and an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. He likes to promote himself online at

Betty Shamieh's Off-Broadway premieres are The Black Eyed (New York Theatre Workshop) and Roar (The New Group), which was selected as a New York Times Critics Pick and is currently being taught at universities throughout the United States. Her recent European productions in translation include Again and Against (Playhouse Teater, Stockholm), The Black Eyed (Theater Fournos, Athens) and Territories (co-production of the Landes-Theatre and the 2009 European Union Capital of Culture Festival). Her play, Free Radicals, is slated for production in Dutch translation at Het Zuidelijk Toneel in 2012. Shamieh has performed in her play of monologues Chocolate in Heat in three sold-out off-off-Broadway runs and over 20 university theatres. The Machine was produced by Naked Angels in 2007. A graduate of Harvard College and the Yale School of Drama, she was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and selected as a Clifton Visiting Artist at Harvard in 2004. Shamieh was named as a Playwriting Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies in 2006 and is currently an artist-in-residence at HERE Arts Center. For more information visit

Francine Volpe was born, and still lives, in Brooklyn, NY. Her play, The Given, opened at Studio Dante in October, 2006 and was directed by Michael Imperioli. The play was subsequently named a finalist for the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her play, Late Fragment, was produced at Studio Dante in September 2005 and also produced by The New Company in London in July 2006. Her one-act play, Sweethearts, was commissioned by The New Company and premiered in London. Her most recent play, Giftbox, was commissioned and produced at the stageFARM Theater in New York City, and is published in The Best Short Plays 2008 by Smith and Krauss. Her other plays have received readings and workshops at A.C.T., Arena Stage, Rattlestick Theater, Soho Rep, and The Juilliard School. Her screenplays include "Queenie" and "I'll Be Your Mirror," based on the life of Nan Goldin. She has worked extensively as a script consultant. She received her B.F.A. from New York University's Tisch School of The Arts in Dramatic Writing, and later received a two-year Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwriting Fellowship at The Juilliard School where she studied with Marsha Norman and Christopher Durang. She has twice received grants from the Lecomte du Nouy Foundation. She was nominated in 2008 for The Kesselring Award, The Wasserstein Prize and The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She served as director of play development at Studio Dante Theater in New York between 2003 and 2008 where she was champion and dramaturg to new works by young playwrights. She currently teaches playwriting and screenwriting classes in New York and Los Angeles.


The following playwrights completed their seven-year residencies in June 2010, and will be celebrated in New Dramatists' annual After Seven Festival in October 2010: Michael John Garcés, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Daniel Alexander Jones, Julia Jordan, Ellen Maddow, Gary Sunshine, Anne Washburn and Barbara Wiechmann.

New Dramatists accepts applications to become a member of the Playwright Company between July 15 and September 15 (not a postmark deadline) annually. For more information, visit Printable applications are available at the website.

New Dramatists "is dedicated to the playwright, and pursues a singular mission: to find gifted playwrights and give them the time, space, and tools to develop their craft, so that they may fulfill their potential and make lasting contributions to the theatre."

According the organization, "New Dramatists has remained a pioneer in the field of new play development since our inception in 1949. We offer our company of approximately 50 playwrights a home base and self-guided laboratory for seven years, free of charge, in the company of a gifted community of peers. Current playwrights and alumni include some of the most revered and influential playwrights of our time and have won 15 Pulitzers (including 8 of the last 11), 24 Tonys, 69 Obies, 18 Drama Desk Awards, four MacArthur Fellowships, and 12 Susan Smith Blackburn Awards."

New Dramatists itself is the recipient of a 2001 Tony Honor and a 2005 Obie Award, in recognition that its writers are, as the Tony puts it, "blessing" the future of the American theatre.

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