NYC’S PREMIER HUB FOR NEW TALENT
Ars Nova exists to discover, develop and launch singular theater, music and comedy artists
who are in the early stages of their professional careers. Our dynamic slate of programs supports outside-the-box thinking and encourages innovative, genre-bending work. By providing a protective environment where risk-taking and collaboration are paramount, Ars Nova gives voice to a new generation of diverse artists and audiences, pushing the boundaries of live entertainment by nurturing creative ideas into smart, surprising new work.
The Ars Nova Hub
511 West 54th Street, NYC 10019
Dubbed by The New York Times as a “fertile incubator of offbeat theater,” Ars Nova blurs genres and subverts the status quo. With our feverish bounty of programming, we are the stomping ground and launching pad for visionary, adventurous artists of all stripes.
Through year-round programming, the Ars Nova Hub bustles with comedy, music and theater artists testing out new ideas in front of adventurous audiences.
An annual festival of All New Talent designed to showcase new, hybrid theater work from NYC's most adventurous emerging artists.
Our raucous variety show-meets-party with performances ranging from hilarious to titillating to utterly inappropriate!
A vibrant and eclectic group of resident playwrights who gather biweekly to share new work and get peer feedback.
WHAT'S NEXT:Play Group 2020 finalists will be notified by December 14, 2019
A dynamic group of generative theater artists, each with individually tailored residencies designed to holistically support their careers and develop their new works.
Promising emerging artists and devised companies that receive holistic support. Residencies are flexibly, individually tailored and can include concerts, workshops, stipends, dramaturgical support, retreats and more.
Ars Nova at Greenwich House
27 Barrow Street, NYC 10014
Ars Nova fosters a creative environment that welcomes emerging artists from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, and serves as a creative home and laboratory—a place to meet collaborators, test ideas, develop new work, earn industry recognition, and launch their unique voices and careers.
In 2019, we will expand our launch activities into the historic, 199-seat Greenwich House Theater in Manhattan’s West Village, giving us a new home for our Off-Broadway Productions, and ensuring we can support the ambitions of our artists and meet audience demand as our community continues to grow.
World premiere Off-Broadway productions of original, innovative projects that are radically supported through our development programs.
WHAT'S NEXT:The world premiere of Liza Birkenmeier's Dr. Ride's American Beach House
Ars Nova is a 501(C)(3) Not-For-Profit Organization and was founded in memory of Gabe Wiener.
Ars Nova’s artist development programs are generously supported by
Ars Nova was founded in memory of Gabe Wiener in 2003 to provide a welcome home for young artists and audiences alike. In 2005 Ars Nova became a 501(c)(3) Not-For-Profit Organization. In addition to Ars Nova’s vast array of development programs for emerging artists, we’re also committed to commissioning new work and producing world premieres.
Since our founding, we’ve launched the careers of luminaries like Lin-Manuel Miranda (Tony winning playwright/composer of Hamilton & In The Heights), Liz Meriwether (Emmy nominated creator of television’s New Girl), Beau Willimon (Emmy winning creator of Netflix’s House of Cards), Amy Herzog (OBIE Award winning playwright of 4000 Miles), Dave Malloy (Richard Rogers Award for Musical Theatre winner for Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812), Annie Baker (Pulitzer Prize winning playwright of The Flick & Circle Mirror Transformation) and many more!
PAST PRODUCING CREDITS INCLUDE:
Ars Nova has been honored with an OBIE Award and a Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics’ Circle for sustained quality and commitment to the development and production of new work. Notable past productions include: “Best New American Theatre Work” OBIE Award-winner & New York Times’ “Best of 2016” Underground Railroad Game by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard with Lightning Rod Special (now on international tour); Outstanding Musical Lortel Award-winner Futurity, by César Alvarez with The Lisps; the New York Times’ and New York Post’s “Best of 2015” Small Mouth Sounds by Bess Wohl (now touring the US after a return engagement Off Broadway); Time Out New York’s “Best of 2014,” JACUZZI by The Debate Society; the Tony award-winning smash-hit Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 by Dave Malloy (now on Broadway); Jollyship the Whiz-Bang by Nick Jones and Raja Azar; the world premiere of the 2009 season’s most-produced play boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and directed by Alex Timbers; audience favorite Dixie’s Tupperware Party by Kris Andersson; the show that put Bridget Everett on the map, At Least It’s Pink, by Everett and Kenny Mellman; and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s and Thomas Kail’s first New York production, Freestyle Love Supreme, by Anthony Veneziale and Miranda.
Founding Artistic Director
Audience Engagment Assoc.
Associate Production Manager
Individual Giving & Special Events Manager
Manager of Artistic Programs
Associate Artistic Director
Director of Marketing & Communications
Interim Business Manager
Company Photographer Ben Arons
Legal Jason P. Baruch, Sendroff & Baruch LLP
Accounting Rich & Bander, LLP
Insurance Maury Donnelly & Parr
Season Photography & Art Marc Bovino & Joe Curnutte
Public Relations John Wyszniewski, Everyman Agency
Alisa Lessing, Chair
Jenny Steingart, Founding Chair, Co-Founder
Dana Kirchman, Vice Chair
Judy Bedol, Secretary
Jason Kemper, Treasurer
Renee Blinkwolt, Managing Director
Jason Eagan, Founding Artistic Director
Mei Lin Kwan-Gett
Jon Steingart, Director Emeritus, Co-Founder
Alumni Advisory Board
Robin Lord Taylor
Tow Foundation Playwright-In-Residence
LIZA BIRKENMEIER (Playwright) is a recent alum of Play Group at Ars Nova. Her work has been developed at Dixon Place, University Settlement, Playwrights Realm, The Public Theater, CATCH, City Theatre, NYSAF and elsewhere. Her newest collaboration with director Katherine Brook, ISLANDER, will premiere at NYTW Next Door in 2020. She is a MacDowell Colony and Yaddo Fellow. MFA Carnegie Mellon.
MELIS AKER is a writer, actor and musician from Turkey. She is currently a 2050 Playwriting fellow at NYTW and a 2019-2021 member of Ars Nova’s Play Group. She was recently commissioned by Atlantic Theater Company for their Middle Eastern Mixfest to develop her one-act Scraps and Things, and she is part of the Middle East America writers room hosted by Mona Mansour, Heather Raffo and Kareem Fahmy at the Lark Play Development Center. Melis’ plays include: Field, Awakening (2018 Sundance Theatre Lab semifinalist, 2018 Berkeley Rep Ground Floor finalist, Lark’s 2018 Van Lier New Voices Fellowship finalist), which performed at Signature Theatre’s New Plays Fest, Golden Thread’s New Threads reading series and Corkscrew Festival at Paradise Factory; Manar (2017 Columbia@Roundabout finalist, 2016 Theatre503 Playwriting Award semi-finalist) which was at The New Group’s New Works series, LaMaMa, Golden Thread’s 2017 ReOrient Festival, LPAC’s 2017 Rough Draft Festival and was featured by Silk Road Rising on NPX; 330 Pegasus: A Love Letter [Part I] (Lark’s 2018 Jerome New York Fellowship finalist) received a Noor Highlight series reading at NYTW; Azul, Otra Vez [Blue, Revisited] was workshopped at NYTW and the BRICLab Residency; When My Mama was a Hittite (2018 Columbia@Roundabout finalist) is currently in development at NYTW. Her acting credits include: The Blacklist: Redemption (NBC), Love in Afghanistan (Arena Stage / Roundabout), Daybreak (Pan Asian Rep), Opium (New Dramatists), Tear a Root from the Earth (Kennedy Center / New Ohio), We Live in Cairo (New World Stages). Melis recently gave a TEDx Talk in Ankara, and works as Ayad Akhtar’s assistant. MFA Playwriting (Columbia), Acting (RADA), BA Drama and Philosophy (Tufts). melisaker.com
PRESTON MAX ALLEN is a trans masculine writer based in New York City. His work has been featured at the New Amsterdam Theatre, Lincoln Center, New York Musical Festival, Signature Theatre, York Theatre, Musical Theatre Factory, Feinstein’s/54 Below and Joe’s Pub. Preston conceived and wrote book, music and lyrics for We Are The Tigers (Hudson Backstage Theatre, L.A. Stage Alliance Ovation winner for Best Lyrics/Composition), Agent 355 (co-book/dramaturgy by Jessica Kahkoska, Marion International Fellowship Winner), NEVER BETTER (NYMF Developmental Reading Series) and Carrie 2: The Rage, An Unauthorized Musical Parody (Jeff Nominee, Best Musical/Underscore Theatre). His original music can also be heard in Bradical and the Pink Sock and The Hunted: Encore. Preston is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, the Second City Chicago Comedy Studies Program and the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. @prestonmaxallen
Preston Max Allen
SERENA BERMAN is a playwright, actress and producer living in NYC. Her work has been produced at The Davenport Theatre (Wisdom, and Other Short Plays) and developed with Artilliers Theatre Company (sea/sick – devised), The Renegade Theatre Festival and Less Than Rent Theater (Études). Serena’s short plays have been performed at The Samuel French OOB Festival (Sex Friends – finalist), Williamstown Theater Festival, Absolu Théâtre (French translation) and more. Serena is also currently Director of Performance at LES gallery Chinatown Soup, where she produces theater and organizes political activism events. She has been doing improv since she was 14 years old (UCB, Second City LA, NYU). As an actor, favorite credits include Diaspora (NY Premiere), Set it Up (Netflix), Murder at the Gates (Steven Sater) and Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales (Voice of Lucy – ABC). BFA in Drama, NYU Tisch (CAP21). serenaberman.com
JOHN J. CASWELL JR. is a queer, Mexican-American playwright and director originally from Phoenix. He is a 2018 MacDowell Fellow, a 2018 SPACE on Ryder Farm Creative Resident and the 2017 Page 73 Playwriting Fellow. He is the Artistic Director of Progressive Theatre Workshop, a company that has made plays for the past ten years. He has developed and shown work across Arizona and in New York City at Page 73, HERE, Dixon Place, The Public Theater, Theater for the New City, and more. He has been a finalist for the Princess Grace Award, Sundance Theatre Lab, New York Theater Workshop 2050 Fellowship, Drama League Impact Residency and the Woodward Newman Drama Award. His work is cited frequently as an example of queer-themed theater, most recently referenced in articles appearing in Theatre Topics, The International Journal of the Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice and the European Journal of Comparative American Studies. Included as a consummate demonstration of auto-ethnographic theater, his play SHOTS: A Love Story was published as part of Johnny Saldaña’s book Ethnotheatre: Research From Page to Stage published by Left Coast Press. He is pursuing an MFA in Playwriting at Hunter College.
John J. Caswell, Jr.
DUSTIN CHINN is a Seattle native whose plays include Colonialism is Terrible, But Pho is Delicious; I Am Nakamura; Snowflakes or Rare White People; the EST/Sloan commission Herschel: Portrait of a Killer and Let’s Ninja Science Ranger Team Get! His work has been developed with the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep Summer Residency Lab, A.C.T.’s New Strands Festival, the University of Washington via a Mellon Creative Fellowship, UMASS Amherst, Ensemble Studio Theatre, SPACE on Ryder Farm and Vampire Cowboys. He’s also written for the 52nd Street Project. Proud member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. dustinchinn.com
Currently based in NYC, GUADALÍS DEL CARMEN was born and raised in Chicago. Her first play, Blowout, was produced by Aguijón Theater in 2013. In 2014, she was one of eight early career playwrights to be chosen to form El Semillero, a playwright writing group curated by ALTA (Alliance of Latino Theater Artists) in residency at Victory Gardens Theater. My Father’s Keeper was developed through El Semillero, had a public staged reading in June 2015 and was a semi-finalist in Quick Silver Theater Company’s 2018 Playwrights of Color Summit. My Father’s Keeper went on to be selected in Latinx Theatre Commons Carnaval 2018, which took place in Chicago. It was also selected as Steppenwolf Theater’s The Mix, a new play resource highlighting plays that feature casts of diverse social identities. Her play Bees and Honey was part of The Sol Project’s SolFest 2018 in NYC and part of San Diego Rep’s Latinx New Play Festival, which was produced by Amigos del Rep in the summer 2018. Guadalís’ play Tolstoy’s Daughters was part of UrbanTheater Company’s 2015 R.A.W. (Real Aggressive Writing) Series. Tolstoy’s Daughters went on to be selected as a finalist in Quick Silver Theater’s Playwrights of Color Summit, which culminated in a public staged reading in Geneva, NY in June 2016. In 2017, Tolstoy’s Daughters was selected as one of 50 Playwrights Projects Best Unproduced Latino/a Plays, received an Honorable Mention in the Kilroys’ List and is the 2018-2019 winner of Montclair State University’s New Works Initiative. It will be produced at Montclair in the Spring of 2019 under the new title Daughters of the Rebellion. Her play A Shero’s Journey or What Anacaona and Yemayá Taught Me was selected to be part of The Parsnip Ship’s 4th Season of podcast plays, and will published by Yale Magazine in late winter 2019. Created through The Brooklyn Generator’s fifth season, A Shero’s Journey… was a semi-finalist in The Playwrights Realm’s 2017-2018 Writing Fellowship. The world premiere of Guadalís’s first commissioned play, Not For Sale, was produced by UrbanTheater Company Chicago in conjunction with CLATA’s (Chicago Latino Theater Alliance) Destinos Festival 2018 and was Jeff Recommended by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee. Guadalís has been part of the One Minute Play Festival in Chicago and multiple times in NYC, and is a Seattle Public Theatre’s 2017 Emerald Prize nominee. She’s an artistic associate of Black Lives Black Words and is a Co-Creator of the NYC Latinx Playwright Circle.
Guadalís Del Carmen
ERIKA DICKERSON-DESPENZA is a Blk feminist poet-turned-playwright, educator and grassroots organizer from Chicago, Illinois. She’s a 2018-2019 Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow and The Lark’s 2018 Van Lier New Voices Fellow. Erika is a member of Ars Nova’s Play Group and Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Obie-winning Youngblood collective. She is also a New Georges affiliated artist. Her work has been developed at The Lark and Jackalope Theatre and is currently being developed at The Public Theater. Select stage plays include: a water tetralogy examining water as a reflection of Blk women’s bodies as sites of consciousness development and exile during key events in Black History: ocean’s lip/ heaven’s shore (the Middle Passage), took/tied hung/split (Jim Crow), shadow/land (Hurricane Katrina) and cullud wattah (Flint Water Crisis). In addition to this fourfold work, she is currently developing a 10-play Katrina Cycle, focused on the effects of Hurricane Katrina and its state-sanctioned man-made disaster. shadow/land and [hieroglyph] are the first completed works of this Cycle.
JESSICA HUANG is a playwright and producer from Minneapolis, who lives in New York. Her work includes The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin (History Theatre commission/premiere, 2017 Kilroys’ List, 2018 Barry and Bernice Stavis Award), Zero-Infinity Flight Path, Purple Cloud (Mu Performing Arts premiere) and Transmissions in Advance of the Second Great Dying (Mixed Blood Theatre commission). Her plays have been commissioned, developed and/or produced by New York Theatre Workshop, Manhattan Theatre Club, The New Group, Atlantic Theater Company, Mixed Blood Theatre, TimeLine Theatre Company, History Theatre, Theater Mu, Pillsbury House Theatre, The Minnesota Museum of American Art, Yellow Earth Theatre and many more. She is a MacDowell Fellow, two-time Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellow, Playwrights’ Center Many Voices Fellow and has received awards from the Sloan Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, MRAC/McKnight, the NEA and the Hemera Foundation. Jessica cofounded and codirects Other Tiger Productions, which has a mission to pursue multidisciplinary collaborations, intentional inclusivity and re-examination of traditional theater practices. She is a member of the Civilians R&D Group, and attends the Playwrights Program at Juilliard. jessica-huang.com
JULIA MAY JONAS recently developed MICHIGAN MURDERS with Meghan Finn and composer Brian Cavanagh-Strong as part of the New Works Initiative at Montclair State University. Other recent work includes Emily Climbs (Machine Méchant), Raise Your Voice in Medieval Counterpoint, Evelyn, For Artists Only and Your Own Personal Exegesis. Currently in development: All Long True American Stories (a 5-play cycle reimagining contemporary classic American-male-experience plays for other people (mostly women)). Her work has been presented/developed at venues including The Bushwick Starr, Prelude Festival, Incubator Arts Center, The International Revolutions Festival in New Mexico, The Brick, Dixon Place, PS122 (with TerraNova), HERE Arts Center, Chashama and the International Theater Society of Vietnam. Founder and Artistic Director of Nellie Tinder, she has been granted support by The Mental Insight Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation. 2016 Audrey Resident, 2016/17 member of The Jam, New Georges Affiliated Artist. MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University, she teaches playwriting at Skidmore College.
Julia May Jonas
NOAH MEASE is a writer and designer. His plays include Omega Kids (NLTP / Access Theater, directed by Jay Stull) and Republic (JACK, Manbites Dog Theatre, adapted from Plato, conceived & directed by Alec Duffy). He’s developed work with the Fresh Ground Pepper Playground Play Group and BRB Retreat, Loading Dock Theatre, Teatro IATI, Duke University, Dixon Place, The Tugboat Collective and The Brick. He also designs props for new plays — including Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (Kazino, A.R.T., Broadway; Tony Awards for Best Set & Lighting), Small Mouth Sounds (Ars Nova, Signature Center, National Tour), An Octoroon (Soho Rep., TFANA), After the Blast (LCT3), Streepshow! (The Tank) and multiple projects with The Debate Society, including Jacuzzi (Ars Nova), The Light Years (Playwrights Horizons) and Blood Play (The Bushwick Starr). He received an Obie Award in 2016 for his work on Annie Baker’s John (Signature). Originally from Vermont, Noah now lives in the South Bronx.
MICHAEL BRESLIN & PATRICK FOLEY make plays and videos (and plays with video) about their mutual obsessions. Their work draws on material from modern drama, reality television, American method acting, technology and dance, in combination with original text. Underlying the duo’s work is an investigation into theatrical form — how to subvert and manipulate it — and theater’s relationship to the media that dominates our lives: television, Instagram, FaceTime and Hollywood movies. Their work has been seen at New York Theatre Workshop Next Door (This American Wife), Ars Nova’s ANT Fest, the Exponential Festival, Wesleyan University (A Doll’s House, Part 3) and Yale Cabaret. They frequently collaborate with dramaturgs Cat Rodríguez and Ariel Sibert. michaelandpatrick.com
Michael Breslin & Patrick Foley
DEEPALI GUPTA is a writer and performer making music-driven theater across New York City. Her work explores themes of mania and insanity, and their relationship to femininity. She makes work in an attempt to unravel the warped weave of narratives surrounding mental disorder and neurodivergence in contemporary America. Her music has been heard at venues such as The Public Theater, Joe’s Pub, Ars Nova, Lincoln Center Theater, The Bushwick Starr and Judson Memorial Church — as well as many backyards and living rooms across the city. Recent and ongoing projects as a performance artist include No Way To Say Goodbye, Over(Reverberating) and I Love You Stranger. Recent and ongoing projects as a composer include original music for Madonna Col Bambino (written by Sarah Einspanier, directed by Caitlin Sullivan), Cute Activist (written by Milo Cramer, directed by Morgan Green), Ski End (created by Piehole, directed by Tara Ahmedinejad) and MINOR CHARACTER (created by New Saloon, directed by Morgan Green). Her writing has been published in Moon Missives (an astrology quarterly) and Musical Theater Today. She is an affiliated artist with The Civilians and Target Margin Theater, as well as a member of the New Georges Jam and the BMI Advanced Musical Theatre Songwriting Workshop. B.A. Brown University (Weston Award, Writing for Performance). M.F.A. Tisch (Musical Theater Writing).
NIGHTDRIVE makes big, funny, strange, spooky, formally experimental plays that push the boundaries of storytelling in order to make unique, meaningful connections with audiences. They’ve made a live, immersive alien movie about becoming a better person (Alien Nation at The Paradise Factory); created a town in a theater, complete with city council meetings and a community pancake breakfast cooked on-stage (Providence, RI at The Tank’s Flint & Tinder series); and played a fictionally autobiographical rock concert about an artists’ residency in a haunted, foreclosed house in Detroit (Thank You Sorry at Ars Nova). Their show Apathy Boy was an O’Neill finalist, and they’ve developed additional work at Pipeline Theatre, Ice Factory at the New Ohio, The Flea, The Brick and Fresh Ground Pepper. Skylar Fox and Simon Henriques are the co-artistic directors of Nightdrive; Jenny Gorelick is its executive producer. @nightdriveplays nightdrive.org
JILLIAN WALKER is a multi-faceted artist and thinker who is shaping culture through interdisciplinary forms of performance. Her genre-pushing work SKiNFoLK: An American Show has appeared in the Starr Reading Series, ANT Fest at Ars Nova and the inaugural SPARK Festival for new small musicals at Pittsburgh CLO. Her play Sarah’s Salt. has received developmental support from Roundabout Theater Company and MCC Theater, and was chosen as an Honorable Mention for the 2017 Relentless Award (American Playwriting Foundation). With dramaturgy as the core of her artistic practice, Jillian is theatermaker as archaeologist. She investigates the processes and workings of time, ritual, identity and structure to unearth the ways theatrical forms can impact the larger cultural landscape. Through her residency at University Musical Society (University of Michigan), she researched her new play, Tignon, and a lecture/performance work, Songs of Speculation, which premiered at JACK in November 2018. Jillian was recently commissioned to create brand-new work for the critically-acclaimed Soho Rep. and holds an MFA in Dramaturgy from Columbia University.
HIT THE LIGHTS! THEATER CO. is an award-winning company created out of an artistic agreement to tell simple stories through unconventional ways. Using found materials, cardboard and various sources of light, HTL! specializes in the transformation of the ordinary into the extraordinary. HTL! also focuses on the interplay between darkness and light, utilizing shadow puppetry as the lifeblood of their storytelling. The company is comprised of five experienced multidisciplinary artists: puppeteers, actors, musicians, artisans and everything in between. The work is of a heightened style, hyper-theatrical in nature, with performers multitasking onstage in real time to create the technical, musical and narrative components of a story simultaneously. Believing that motion, color, sound and atmosphere are more evocative and experiential than spoken text, a heavy emphasis is placed on dialogue-less, action-oriented storytelling. HTL! follows the motto ‘Less Talk, More Rock.’ Original works include DUNGEON (Audience Pick of the Fringe at the Cincinnati Fringe and Editors Pick at the Minnesota Fringe), WHALES (nominated for three Innovative Theater Awards including Outstanding Innovative Design, Outstanding Original Music and Outstanding Premiere Production of a Play) and a world premiere immersive theater experience THE OTHER RHINE (Know Theatre of Cincinnati). HTL!’s Off-Broadway credits include their original performance of HORSETALE at Ars Nova’s 2017 ANT Fest, La MaMa ETC Puppet Slam and most recently DUNGEON at Ars Nova as a One Night Stand. More info at hitthelights.org.
Hit The Lights! Theater Co.
ON THE ROCKS THEATRE CO. is a California born, New York-bred company comprised of longtime collaborators Christopher Ford and Dakota Rose. Through rigorous blending of humor and heart, camp and poignancy and with a rich visual aesthetic drawing on a wide range of mid-century Americana, ON THE ROCKS create wholly original work that tells the stories of imperfect characters making their way in uncertain worlds. With a recurring crew of performers, musicians and dancers, they have made McBeth (2010), Wolfert (2015), The White Stag Quadrilogy (2016), FRED (2017) and their annual holiday bar pageant, Edelweiss (2017 & 2018).
On The Rocks Theatre Co.
The Ars Nova Hub
511 West 54th Street
New York, New York 10019
Box Office Phone: 212.352.3101
Hours: 30 minutes prior to showtime.