2014 National Playwrights Conference

TIGER STYLE! by Mike Lew
Directed by Jaime Castañeda
Readings: Wednesday, July 2 at 8:15pm; Thursday, July 3 at 8:15pm

Albert and Jennifer Chen were at the pinnacle of academic achievement, but now they suck at adult life. Albert's just been passed up for promotion, and Jennifer's just been dumped by her loser boyfriend. So they do what any reasonable egghead brother and sister would do and go on an Asian Freedom Tour! From California to Shenzen, Tiger Style! examines the successes and failures of tiger parenting from the point of view of a playwright who's actually been through it.  

I'M GONNA PRAY FOR YOU SO HARD by Halley Feiffer
Directed by Trip Cullman
Readings: Friday, July 4 at 7:15pm; Saturday, July 5 at 8:15pm

Ella is a precocious and fiercely competitive actress whose sole aim in life is to make her famous playwright father David proud. Over the course of a boozy, drug-fueled evening, Ella and David deliberate over whether to read the reviews of her off-Broadway debut. But when David finally hurts Ella so badly that she refuses to crawl back to him, she decides to strike out on her own, abandoning her biggest fan and harshest critic in order to write her own play… about her father. 

UGLY LIES THE BONE by Lindsey Ferrentino
Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch
Readings: Wednesday, July 9 at 8:15pm; Thursday, July 10 at 8:15pm

Jess returns from war severely burned, only to find her Floridian hometown in a state of decay. With the use of virtual reality video game therapy, she desperately tries to restore her relationships, her home, and all that was lost. 

THE IMAGINARY MUSIC CRITIC WHO DOESN'T EXIST by David Mitchell Robinson
Directed by Wendy C. Goldberg
Readings: Saturday, July 12 at 8:15pm; Sunday, July 13 at 7:15pm

Lacey runs what’s, like, probably the most influential music site on the internet – a site that can determine whether an act pops off or becomes an endnote in pop history. But when she uses the site’s clout to hype a gifted but controversial MC, it threatens to unravel everything she’s built. The Imaginary Music Critic Who Doesn’t Exist, a play with endnotes, is about aging out, authenticity, and what we’re willing to do to stay relevant.

A POWER PLAY; OR, WHAT'S-ITS-NAME by A. Rey Pamatmat 
Directed by May Adrales
Readings: Wednesday, July 16 at 8:15pm; Thursday, July 17 at 8:15pm

After State Assemblywoman Alex Hathaway's district suffers a violent and heart-wrenching tragedy, she goes to great lengths to capture a House seat in the next election. She even employs a strange, nameless thing to gain victory over her enemies through supernatural practices. But with all that determination and those ancient powers on her side, how did Alex end up with a community in shambles and a gun pointed at her head? 

BRIGHT HALF LIFE by Tanya Barfield 
Directed by Giovanna Sardelli
Readings: Friday, July 18 at 7:15pm; Saturday, July 19 at 8:15pm

A kaleidoscopic love story, Bright Half Life collides an ever-shifting present with fragments of the past. Erika and Vicky are hurled through 25 years of love and heartbreak in a collection of the moments that make up a life.

Creative Team Bios

Mike Lew (Playwright, TIGER STYLE!)

Mike LewMike Lew is thrilled to receive this opportunity from the O’Neill. Mike is the recent recipient of the Lanford Wilson Award, the Helen Merrill Award, and a NYFA fellowship in playwriting. His plays include Tiger Style! (O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Juilliard, and InterAct readings), Bike America (Ma-Yi, NYC; Alliance, Atlanta; Juilliard, Lark, Kennedy Center, and Playwrights Foundation workshops), microcrisis (Ma-Yi, NYC; InterAct, Philly; Next Act, Milwaukee), Stockton (AracaWorks and EST workshops), People’s Park (Victory Gardens workshop, Chicago), Tenure (24 Hour Plays on Broadway), In Paris You will Find Many Baguettes… (Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville), Roanoke (Humana), and Moustache Guys. Several of his short plays are published by Playscripts. Mike is an EST member, a TCG Young Leaders of Color Fellow, and a Dramatists Guild Membership Committee member, and is a former staff writer for Blue Man Group, Bon Appetit, and PBS Kids’ “PEG+CAT.” He is co-director of the Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab, the largest collective of Asian-American playwrights in the country. Other awards include the Kendeda and AracaWorks Grad Playwriting Awards, Heideman Award, and was Samuel French Short Play Festival Winner. Training: Juilliard (2013), Yale (2003). Website: mikelew.com.

Jaime Castañeda (Director, TIGER STYLE!)

Jaime CastañedaJAIME CASTAÑEDA The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Dallas Theater Center), Chimichangas and Zoloft (Atlantic Theater Company), Welcome to Arroyo’s (American Theater Company, Old Globe, Summer Play Festival), The Motherf**ker with the Hat (Kitchen Dog Theater), Red Light Winter (Perseverance Theatre), A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Long Way Go Down (Harold Clurman Lab), Biggest A**hole Ever Born (INTAR), Timberbrit (Ontological), One for the Road (Directorfest), The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, and This Is How It Goes (Amphibian Stage Productions), A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant (Circle Theatre), Blue/Orange and Sonnets for an Old Century (FireStarter Productions). Jaime is a recipient of a Drama League fellowship, a Princess Grace Award, and a TCG New Generations grant. He is an ensemble member at American Theater Company in Chicago, and the Artistic Associate at Atlantic Theater Company. M.F.A. Directing, University of Texas at Austin.

Halley Feiffer (Playwright, I'M GONNA PRAY FOR YOU SO HARD)

Haley FeifferHalley Feiffer is a New York-based playwright and actress. Her full-length plays include I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard (LAByrinth Barn Series, MTC Ernst C. Stiefel Series), Sidney and Laura (terraNOVA Groundworks Series, NYTW Mondays @ 3), A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (Rising Phoenix Rep Cino Nights, Harold Clurman Lab), and How To Make Friends And Then Kill Them, which had its world premiere last fall at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre (dir. Kip Fagan). Her plays have been produced or developed by Second Stage, The Orchard Project, Berkshire Theatre Group, Naked Angels, Cape Cod Theatre Project, SPACE on Ryder Farm, and the Stella Adler Studio, where she was a playwright-in-residence last year. Her work is published by Vintage Books and Smith & Kraus. She is an alumna of terraNOVA’s Groundbreakers Playwrights’ Group, a former resident writer for Blue Man Group, and a winner of the Young Playwrights Competition. She is currently working on commissions for Keen Company and Manhattan Theatre Club. As an actress, her credits include the current revival of Jon Robin Baitz’ The Substance of Fire at Second Stage, (dir. Trip Cullman), as well as the recent production of Ethan Coen's Women or Nothing (Atlantic, dir. David Cromer), Kenneth Lonergan’s Medieval Play (Signature, dir. Kenneth Lonergan), the Broadway revival of John Guare’s The House of Blue Leaves (Theatre World Award, dir. David Cromer), Kim Rosenstock’s Tigers Be Still (Roundabout; Drama League Nom., dir. Sam Gold), HBO’s “Bored To Death,” and “Mildred Pierce,” and the films The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding, and He's Way More Famous Than You (dir. Michael Urie), which she co-wrote with Ryan Spahn, and which was released in theaters last May. She holds a BA from Wesleyan University.

Trip Cullman (Director, I'M GONNA PRAY FOR YOU SO HARD)

Trip_Cullman_Director_Headshot.jpg20140602205301.jpgSelect NYC: Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Choir Boy(MTC), Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash’s Murder Ballad (MTC and Union Square Theater), Paul Weitz's Lonely, I'm Not (Second Stage), Leslye Headland’s Assistance (Playwrights Horizons), Adam Bock’s A Small Fire (Playwrights Horizons, Drama Desk nom.), Adam Rapp’s The Hallway Trilogy: Nursing (Rattlestick), Headland’s Bachelorette (Second Stage), McNally's Some Men(Second Stage), Bert V. Royal’s Dog Sees God (The Century Center), Bock’s The Drunken City (Playwrights Horizons), Weitz's Roulette (EST), Jonathan Tolins’s The Last Sunday In June (Rattlestick and Century Center), Bock's Swimming In The Shallows (Second Stage), Gina Gionfriddo’s US Drag (stageFARM), and several productions with The Play Company. Select regional: John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation (Old Globe), Richard Greenberg’s The Injured Party (South Coast Rep), McNally’s Unusual Acts of Devotion. (La Jolla Playhouse), Christopher Durang’s Betty’s Summer Vacation (Bay Street Theater), Bess Wohl’s Touched (Williamstown Theater Festival), McCraney’s Choir Boy(Alliance Theater).

Lindsey Ferrentino (Playwright, UGLY LIES THE BONE)

Lindsey FerrentinoLindsey Ferrentino is a New York-based playwright originally from the sunny state of Florida, where many of her plays are set.  In addition to the O'Neill, her latest play Ugly Lies the Bone was chosen for Roundabout Theater Company's Underground Reading Series, Premiere Stages New Play Contest and Reading Series, The Great Plains Theater Conference New Play Lab, and The Florida Studio Theater New Play Festival.  She is a proud 2014 Kendeda playwright with The Alliance Theater. In May 2014, her play Magic Man will have a reading at Playwrights Horizons through the Alliance Theater Kendeda Program. Her work has been developed/performed at Atlantic Theater Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, 3LD Art and Technology Center, Manhattan  Repertory Theater, and the Marilyn Monroe Theater in New York. Her work has been seen regionally at The Kennedy Center in D.C., the Alliance Theater in Georgia, the Blank Theater in LA, and the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. She has received commissions from the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute, and is a recipient of the Edward Albee Playwriting Fellowship and Residency, as well as the Blue Ridge Summer Theater Festival’s Playwriting Fellowship. Her short stories have been published in New York Magazine and Aaduna Literary. She holds a BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, an MFA in playwriting from Hunter College, and is currently pursuing a second master's degree in playwriting at the Yale School of Drama.  www.lindseyferrentino.com.

Gaye Taylor Upchurch (Director, UGLY LIES THE BONE)

Gaye Taylor UpchurchOff-Broadway: Laura Marks’s Bethany with America Ferrera (Women’s Project, Lortel nomination for Best New Play and Best Actress), Lucy Thurber’s Stay (Rattlestick Theater), Simon Stephens’s Harper Regan with Mary McCann (Atlantic Theater), Simon Stephens's Bluebird with Simon Russell Beale (Atlantic Theater). Regional: Bethany (Old Globe, San Diego), She Loves Me (UNCSA). Her work has been seen at the Culture Project, La Mama, and Lincoln Center Institute, among others, and she has developed new work at New Dramatists, Playwrights Realm, NY Stage & Film, the Kennedy Center, Playwright's Center, LCT Director's Lab, and SPACE on Ryder Farm. She worked with Sam Mendes as his Associate Director for two years on The Bridge Project's productions of The Cherry OrchardThe Winter's TaleTempest, and As You Like It (BAM/Old Vic/International tour). She is an alumna of the Women’s Project Directors Lab and The Drama League. Upcoming: Nancy Harris’s American premiere of Our New Girl (Atlantic).

David Mitchell Robinson (Playwright, THE IMAGINARY MUSIC CRITIC WHO DOESN'T EXIST)

David Mitchell RobinsonDavid Mitchell Robinson is likely a playwright because growing up in the frosty Twin Cities suburbs requires one to develop a surplus of indoor, isolation-intensive hobbies. So far, his goal to write a play about every place he’s ever lived has resulted in Carapace (Minneapolis), Olympic Village (Atlanta), The Imaginary Music Critic Who Doesn’t Exist (Chicago), and Terminals (airplanes).

These and other plays have been produced, developed, or commissioned by the Alliance Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Primary Stages, the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Actor’s Express, Forum Theatre, Theater J, B Street Theatre, the Inkwell, Rep Stage, Ohio University, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Rorschach Theatre, the Source Festival, Field Trip Theatre, and the Horn Project. His play Carapace is available through Samuel French, Inc.

David has been the winner of the Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition and the Scott McPherson Playwriting Award. He has also been a finalist for the Jerome Fellowship, the Old Vic’s TS Eliot Commission, the Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission, and the Inkwell’s development programs. He has also been a semi-finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the WordBridge Playwrights Lab, and the Ashland New Play Festival. 

He holds an MFA in Playwriting from Ohio University and a BA in Literature/Theater from the New College of Florida. He currently lives in DC, where he is working on his plays about Baltimore and southeast Ohio.


Wendy C. Goldberg (Director, THE IMAGINARY MUSIC CRITIC WHO DOESN'T EXIST)

Wendy C. GoldbergWendy C. Goldberg is in her tenth season as Artistic Director of the Tony Award winning National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. During Goldberg’s tenure, almost 60 projects have been developed for the stage, and many have gone on to great acclaim in New York and around the country. Included in that group are the 2012 and 2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Award Winning plays (Jennifer Haley's The Nether and Julia Cho’s The Language Archive), and two American Theatre Critics Association Citation Award winning plays (Lee Blessing’s Great Falls and Deborah Zoe Laufer’s End Days). In both the 2007-2008 as well as 2011-2012 seasons, nine projects developed during Goldberg’s tenure saw their world premieres at theaters across the country. Other critically acclaimed work developed at the O’Neill during Ms. Goldberg’s tenure include Idris Goodwin's How We Got On (directed by Goldberg at ATL's Humana Festival 2012), Adam Bock’s The Receptionist, Rebecca Gilman’s The Crowd You’re in With, Jason Grote’s 1001, and Julia Cho’s Durango. Goldberg’s own directing credits include productions at the Goodman Theatre, the Guthrie Theater, Arena Stage, Actors Theater of Louisville, Denver Center, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, among others. Click to view Ms. Goldberg's full biography.

A. Rey Pamatmat (Playwright, A POWER PLAY; OR, WHAT'S-ITS-NAME)

A Rey PamatmatA. Rey Pamatmat’s play after all the terrible things I do will open at the Milwaukee Repertory and Huntington Theatres in 2014 – ’15. Rey was the ’12/’13 Hodder Fellow in Playwriting and the ’11/’12 PoNY Fellow. His play Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them premiered at the Humana Festival, was produced nationwide, received the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Citation, and was nominated for 2013 GLAAD Media and Lambda Literary Awards. Edith’s Spanish translation will be featured at Guadalajara’s Semana Internacional de la Dramaturgia this June and will be translated into Russian through a residency at Moscow’s Mayakovsky Center this October. Productions: Thunder Above, Deeps Below (Second Generation), A Spare Me (Waterwell), DEVIANT (the Vortex), High/Limbo/High (HERE); publication: Samuel French, Playscripts; awards: Princess Grace Award, Princess Grace Special Projects Grant, NYFA Playwriting Fellowship, E.S.T./Sloan Grant. Rey is Co-Director of the Ma-Yi Writer’s Lab. BFA: NYU, MFA: Yale School of Drama.

May Adrales (Director, A POWER PLAY; OR, WHATS-ITS-NAME


Headhsot_Director_Adreles.jpg.pngMay Adrales is thrilled to work with A. Rey Pamatmat on this play, originally devised together at A.R.T. She will be directing his world premiere of after all the terrible things I do at Milwaukee Rep this Fall.  Directing credits: Off-Broadway, Luce (LCT3) Dance and the Railroad (Signature Theater),  Regional: Mary (Goodman Theatre), Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them (Humana Festival), Whaddabloodclot!!! (Williamstown Theater Festival), The Mountaintop, Yellowman (Milwaukee Rep), Chinglish (Portland Center Stage and Syracuse Stage) Breath and Imagination (Cleveland Playhouse), Deathtrap (Pioneer Theatre).Awards and Fellowships: Drama League Directing Fellow, NYTW Directing Fellow, Women’s Project Director’s Lab, SoHo Rep Director’s Lab, Denham Fellow, Associate Artist Milwaukee Rep. Artistic Associate, The Public Theater (2006-08) and The Lark Play Development Center (2008-11).  MFA, Yale School of Drama. Faculty: ESPA and Yale School of Drama.  (www.mayadrales.net)  


Tanya Barfield (Playwright, BRIGHT HALF LIFE)

Tanya BarfieldTanya Barfield’s The Call premiered last spring at Playwrights Horizons in co-production with Primary Stages and was a New York Times Critic’s Pick. Her play Blue Door was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and premiered at South Coast Rep, and has been seen at Playwrights Horizons and numerous theaters around the country. A recipient of a Lilly Award, the inaugural Lilly Award Commission, and a Helen Merrill Award, Tanya is a proud alumna of New Dramatists and is a member of The Dramatist Guild Council. 

Giovanna Sardelli (Director, BRIGHT HALF LIFE)


Geovanna.jpgGiovanna Sardelli – At the O’Neill, Anna Ziegler’s
An Incident and Jeff Augustine’s Little Children Dream of God which is going to have a 2015 production at The Roundabout Theatre Underground! Recent productions include the East Coast Premiere of Somewhere by Matthew Lopez at Hartford Stage (she also directed the World Premiere at the Old Globe, West Coast Premiere at TheatreWorks). Other World Premieres include Joe Gilford’s Finks (EST, Drama Desk nomination Best Play) and Zayd Dohrn’s Muckrakers for Barrington Stage. Also for Barrington, The Lord of the Flies and Rajiv Joseph’s The North Pool (TheatreWorks, Vineyard), Other World Premiers with Rajiv are Animals Out of Paper (Joe A. Callaway Award for Outstanding Director), All This Intimacy (both for Second Stage), The Leopard and The Fox (Alter Ego), and Huck & Holden (Cherry Lane). Ms. Sardelli directed the West Coast Premiere of The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez (Old Globe, NAACP nomination Best Director. Ms. Sardelli has developed plays with The Lark, EST, Sundance, Playwright’s Realm, and the Playwrights’ Center among others. Giovanna was recently named the Director of New Works for TheatreWorks in California.  She’ll be splitting her time between coasts and continuing her freelance directing career.  MFA: Grad Acting NYU, graduate of their Director’s Lab. Upcoming: A new project with Rajiv Joseph to be produced at NYU in October, Little Children Dream of God by Jeff Augustine.