Play Group is a two year residency in which members become a part of the Ars Nova Resident Artist community. In addition to biweekly meetings where members share new work and receive feedback from their Play Group peers, members also receive dramaturgical support and artistic match-making advice from the Ars Nova artistic staff; invitations to Ars Nova shows, Resident Artists mixers, and to see the work of Play Group alums around the city; two Play Group writing retreats; and the opportunity to further develop and showcase one of their plays in a weeklong workshop that can culminate in a public reading.
This ongoing public reading series showcases new work from Ars Nova’s Play Group residents, offering writers the chance to see their work in front of an audience in the early stages of development. Each new reading is the culmination of a week-long workshop in which Ars Nova provides artistic support and essential resources for key creators to collaborate with leading actors and directors.
Nkenna Akunna is an Igbo playwright and performer from London whose work primarily explores friendship, time, and various dimensions of Black femme life. Plays include Some Of Us Exist in the Future (2022 Bruntwood Prize longlist, 2021 Papatango Prize; 2021 Neukom Institute Literary Award for Playwriting second place; 2021 Women’s Prize in Playwriting shortlist; UK audio tour inc. Bush Theatre, Everyman Theatre Liverpool, Theatr Clwyd, Leeds Playhouse, Bristol Old Vic, Lyric Theatre Belfast), cheeky little brown (Bushwick Starr, Brown University), good god (VoxFest, Brown University), Good Fit (2020 Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, 2020 Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award second place, Theatre Renegade, The Dare Tactic), a meal (Polaroid Theatre). Nkenna is a member of the 2022/23 Soho Rep Writer Director Lab cohort and a recipient of an MTC Sloan commission for her play Pure Water. Other honors include an upcoming residency at Hedgebrook, 2022/23 DGF finalist, and a Playwriting Fellowship at Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She has a BA in Economics and African Diaspora Studies from Dartmouth College and is completing an MFA in Playwriting from Brown University, where she is the recipient of the Lucille Lortel Playwriting Fellowship. Nkenna is also co-director at Skin Deep, a collective that makes space for Black creatives and creatives of color through cultural production. nkennaakunna.com
Lucas Baisch is a playwright and artist from San Francisco. Select plays include: Dry Swallow (Brown University), 404 Not Found (2022 O’Neill NPC Finalist), REFRIGERATOR (First Floor Theater), On the Y-Axis (The Bushwick Starr Reading Series), import speech_memory (Cutting Ball’s Variety Pack), and co-writing on The Arrow Cleans House (The Neo-Futurists). Lucas is a recipient of the Steinberg Playwright Award, the Princess Grace Award, the Kennedy Center’s KCACTF Latinx Playwriting Award, the Chesley/Bumbalo Playwriting Award, and a Jerome Fellowship from The Playwrights’ Center. He has taught writing at Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design, Macalester College, The Playwrights’ Center, and through the Chicago Public Schools. His plays have been published by Bloomsbury/Methuen Drama and Yale’s Theater Magazine. Outside of writing for theater, Lucas’ artwork has been presented at Elsewhere Museum, the Electronic Literature Organization, gallery no one, and the RISD Museum. He has held residencies through ACRE, Millay Arts, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, the Goodman Theatre’s Playwrights Unit, and as a Lambda Literary Playwriting Fellow. MFA: Brown University. lucasbaisch.com
Lyndsey Bourne (she/they) is a queer Canadian writer, teacher and a birth/abortion doula working with The Doula Project. Her plays have been developed with The Tank, Dixon Place, La MaMa, New Georges, Judson, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Brooklyn College, Williams College, Theatrelab, Playwrights Horizons, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Ojai Playwrights Conference, New York Stage and Film and Ars Nova. They have been a resident artist at The Barn Arts Collective, Stillwright (Erik Ehn’s Silent Writing Retreat), Judson and SPACE on Ryder Farm. Lyndsey teaches at Playwrights Horizons Theater School (NYU) and previously taught at Williams College. They are a New Georges affiliated artist, a member of the New Georges Jam, a 2022 New Georges Audrey Resident, A 2022 Writer in Residence at The Ojai Playwrights Conference, a member of EST/Youngblood and the recipient of a 2020 NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theater Grant. BFA NYU, MFA Brooklyn College (studied with Mac Wellman and Erin Courtney).
Keelay Gipson is an Activist, Professor, and award-winning Playwright based in New York and hailing from Tulsa, OK. His plays include demons. (JAG Fest/Dartmouth HOP Center), The Red and the Black (Finalist; The O’Neill, Sundance Theatre Lab), #NewSlaves (Finalist; Princess Grace, The O’Neill, Seven Devils), imagine sisyphus happy (Finalist; The O’Neill, P73 Summer Residency), CRH, or the placenta play (Semi- Finalist; The O’Neill, Bay Area Playwrights Conference, AADA Main Stage Live!), Nigger/Faggot (Downtown Urban Theater Festival), The Lost Or, How to Just B (Kernodle New Play Award), What I Tell You in the Dark (Finalist; Premiere Stages at Kean University), and Mary/Stuart, a dramatic queering of Friedrich Schiller’s classic play (BAM Next Wave Festival, partnership with Wendy’s Subway and Lambda Literary). He is the recipient of a Barrington Stage Spark Grant, the NYSAF Founders’ Award, the Van Lier Fellowship at New Dramatists, as well as writing fellowships with Lambda Literary, The Amoralists, Page 73 and the Dramatist Guild Foundation. He has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of New York, the Administration of Children’s Services of the City of New York, New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Season at Vassar College and Yale University. His work has been developed at The Bushwick Starr, Wild Project, HERE Arts Center, Pace University, West Connecticut University, National Black Theater, Rattlestick Playwrights’ Theater, The Fire This Time Festival, Classical Theater of Harlem, and New York Theatre Workshop. He is published in The Best American Short Plays anthology by Applause Theatre and Cinema Books and 48 Hours in Harlem, Vol. 3 by Harlem9. He has taught workshops, courses and masterclasses at NYU, Pace University, Rutgers University, Fordham, and the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.
Garrett David Kim (he/him/his) is a theater-maker and educator based in New York City. His writing explores the queer, millennial, Asian-American/Hapa/brown experience. He’s currently a resident artist at Ars Nova as part of their Play Group, and he’s developed or presented work at Ars Nova, The New Harmony Project, The Parsnip Ship, Pride Plays/Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Leviathan Lab, The Space at Irondale, Piper Theater Company, and The 24 Hour Plays. His play Are You There Truman? It’s Me, Just Another Guy Who Grew Up Secretly Worshiping Your Chiseled Porn Star Body Online, And Now I Think I Love You was awarded The Barbour Award in 2021. He’s currently embarking on a play cycle (which includes his plays Deliver Us, Belligerency, and Kim’s Fine Food) about his Korean-American family’s 100+ history in the United States. He has also written for and directed original work created by the young people of Hell’s Kitchen at The 52nd Street Project, where he works as their Program Director. B.A. Fordham University.
Johnny G. Lloyd is a New York-based writer and producer. His work has been seen and developed at Second Stage Theater, Clubbed Thumb, 59E59, Dixon Place, Judson Memorial Church, JAGFest (White River Junction, VT), TheatreLab (Boca Raton, FL), and more. Recent plays include Or, An Astronaut Play (Co-Production, InVersion Theatre & The Tank), The Problem With Magic, Is: (Winner: Bay Area Playwrights Festival), and Patience (New Voices Reading Series, Second Stage Theater). Johnny has collaborated as a writer with companies such as Theater in Quarantine and SalonSeance. Previously, he was a member of the 2020-2021 Clubbed Thumb Early-Career Writers Group and 2019-2020 Liberation Theatre Company’s Writing Residency. He is the Director of Artistic Development at The Tank and Producing Director for InVersion Theatre. jglloyd.com
Nadira Simone is the proud daughter of immigrants, Jamaican and Panamanian descent raised in Queens/Brentwood, NY. She is a Storyteller, Playwright, Poet and self-taught Illustrator/Graphic Artist. She has studied Film/Theater at Cornell University. Is a National Theater Institute Alum – Advanced Playwright ‘20. A Semi-Finalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference (2021, 2018). Henley Rose Playwright Competition – First place Winner. An Austin Film Festival Second Rounder, Broadway Bound Theater Festival Finalist. Brave New Works Finalist. A Top 10 finalist Warner Bros./HBO Chase Your Dreams Filmmaker Competition. Her play The Killing of Kings (part one) received a virtual reading (Brave New World Repertory Theatre). Her full Length Plays include: Here In Vain, The Killing of Kings (part one), The Barings of Blood (part two). She is currently finishing her 3-part series of Black Tragedies, in addition to her collection of short plays that ‘kinda go together’ – PLAY HERE [some plays].
ruth tang writes plays & poetry and makes weird internet experiments out of Brooklyn, NY. Their play FUTURE WIFE was selected for the 2022 Theatertreffen Stückemarkt in Berlin. They are a member of the New Georges Jam, under commission from Long Wharf Theatre + NAATCO, and a recipient of the Sundance Institute Interdisciplinary Program Grant. In the recent past, they’ve been part of Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers’ Group & NYTW’s 2050 Fellowship. Their past work includes FUTURE WIFE: Party in A Google Sheet (New Georges; Corkscrew Festival 4.0), Bad Chinese (Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Festival), and Building A Character (Wild Rice Singapore). MFA: The New School of Drama. ruthtang.com
Charlie Oh’s plays have been developed at Manhattan Theatre Club, South Coast Rep, The Lark, Second Stage, The Goodman, the BMI Lehmen Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, and the American Music Theater Project. His play LONG won the Kennedy Center’s Paula Vogel Award In Playwriting, placed second for the Mark Twain Prize for Comedic Playwriting, and was a 2019 Honorable Mention for The American Playwriting Foundation’s Relentless Award. His play Coleman 72 won the Kennedy Center’s Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award and will premiere at South Coast Rep spring 2023, directed by Chay Yew. Commissioned by Manhattan Theater Club and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and developing projects for television with Amazon Studios and Universal. A recent graduate of The Juilliard School’s Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program. BA: Northwestern University.
May Treuhaft-Ali is a playwright, director, and dramaturg. She is the 22-23 Van Lier New Voices Fellow at Rattlestick Theater. She is a member of Ars Nova’s Play Group, and an alumna of Clubbed Thumb’s Early-Career Writers’ Group and The Playwrights Realm Writing Fellowship. She has received commissions from Barrington Stage Company and South Coast Repertory. She recently served as Associate Director on the world premiere of SHHHH by Clare Barron at Atlantic Theater Company, and her play ABCD had its world premiere at Barrington Stage Company in July 2022. May is the Literary and Community Engagement Assistant at Playwrights Horizons.
Else Went (they/she) is a Brooklyn based playwright and sound designer. They are a member of the 2021-2023 Emerging Writer’s Group at The Public Theater. Former fellow at MacDowell Colony, Playwrights Realm, Trans Theatre Lab @ WP & The Public, and Living Room Theatre. Commissions include the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation via MTC (An Oxford Man), Weston Playhouse (Mirror Game; short), and Parity Productions (Boxcar). Else has received residencies from Stillwright and Barn Arts Collective. Semifinalist for ASC’s Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries (Courage! To the Field!) and the O’Neill Conference (Initiative). Finalist for ASC New Contemporaries (Whate’er). Her work has been previously developed with The Tank, International Shakespeare Center, Florida Studio Theatre, and The Brick, among others. Else is the co-founder and playwright of The Renovationists, an artistic collective dedicated to queering traditional modes of theater.
Bailey Williams is a writer of plays and fiction. Now: Events, dir. Sarah Blush, The Hearth at the Brick, December 1 – 18, 2022. Future: Coach Coach, dir. Dara Malina, Clubbed Thumb’s Winterworks 2023. Past: I thought I would die but I didn’t, dir. Sarah Blush, The Tank, 2019; Buffalo Bailey’s Ranch for Gay Horses, Troubled Teen Girls and Other: a 90 Minute Timeshare Presentation, Exponential Festival, 2018. She is a member of Ars Nova’s Play Group and a recipient of the 2022 New Georges’ Audrey Residency with Emma Horwitz. She was a member of the 2021-2022 Clubbed Thumb Early Career Writers Group and a 2022 MacDowell Fellow for Fiction. MFA: Brooklyn College, Playwriting.
All playwrights who identify as emerging and who are able to attend meetings in NYC are eligible to apply. In selecting new members, we will take into account the writing in the submitted play (all plays are read in their entirety), how/if the writer stands to benefit from membership at this point in their career, what they would bring to the other writers in the group, and the overall balance of voices, styles and experiences in Play Group. Ars Nova recognizes both that it is a predominantly white organization and that historic institutional theater practices have led to an exclusionary and harmful environment for those who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color. We are actively working to become a more diverse, anti-racist, inclusive organization in all ways. Writers of all races, genders, backgrounds and abilities are strongly encouraged to apply. If you have any questions about eligibility or the application, please reach out to email@example.com
Submission timeline for Play Group