2017 National Playwrights Conference
The O’Neill’s founding program will present eight new works this summer season. Each play will undergo the O’Neill’s signature development process, employing professional creative and support staff, including acclaimed directors, dramaturgs, actors, and designers to bring new plays to life. All eight plays were chosen from 1,350 plays received through the O’Neill’s open submissions process.
Wed., July 5; 8:15pm
Thur., July 6; 8:15pm
We Are Among Us
By Stephen Belber
War; love; deceit; omission. A 20-year-old son still living with his mother; a daughter and her dead father. WE ARE AMONG US tells the story of a younger generation grappling with the actions and inactions of those who came before it.
Stephen Belber’s plays have been produced on Broadway and in more than 25 countries. They include Match; Tape; Don’t Go Gentle; Dusk Rings A Bell; McReele; Finally; Geometry of Fire; Fault Lines; Carol Mulroney; A Small, Melodramatic Story; One Million Butterflies; The Power of Duff; and The Muscles in our Toes. Theaters where he has been produced include Roundabout Theatre Company, Atlantic Theater Company, MCC Theater, Primary Stages, Naked Angels, Huntington Theatre Company, and Geffen Playhouse. He was an associate writer on The Laramie Project and co-writer on The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later. Movies include Tape (directed by Richard Linklater); The Laramie Project (associate writer); Drifting Elegant; Management, starring Jennifer Aniston; and Match, starring Patrick Stewart, the last two of which he also directed. Television credits include Rescue Me, Law & Order SVU, and pilots for F/X, the History Channel, FTVS, and HBO. Upcoming films include O.G., starring Jeffrey Wright. As an alumnus of the O’Neill, Stephen developed his play A Small, Melodramatic Story at NPC ‘03.
Fri., July 7; 7:15pm
Sat, July 8; 7:15pm
The Quiet Ones
By Mary Elizabeth Hamilton
Katherine’s old-school methods as a kindergarten teacher have come under new scrutiny. She struggles to handle a disturbing event between two of her students; her only son is getting married and she can’t decide on a pair of shoes; and she is still working to recover from the breakup of her family 17 years ago after her husband transitioned genders. As Katherine attempts to navigate a new culture using all the old rules, the fragility of her world-view becomes painfully clear. The Quiet Ones explores what is lost or gained as we evolve as people and as a society.
Mary Elizabeth Hamilton is the 2015-2017 Jerome New York Fellow at The Lark. Her plays include We Three, The Plan, One of the Women, and The Quiet Ones. She was a recipient of the Iowa Arts Fellowship and has participated in Youngblood, I-73, New Georges’ The Jam, Play Penn Theater Conference, and Wordbridge. Her plays have been finalists for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference, the Lark PONY Fellowship, the Yale Drama Series, the Princess Grace Award, and New Dramatists. Mary holds her MFA in Playwriting from the University of Iowa and was a Lila Acheson Wallace fellow at The Juilliard School. She is working on a commission from Studio Theater in Washington, DC and a NYSCA commission.
Wed., July 12; 8:15pm
Thur., July 13; 8:15pm
Book by Martyna Majok
The lives of two generations of immigrant women from Poland, Ukraine, Honduras, and Afghanistan haunt a basement apartment in the borough of Queens. In 2017, Inna comes looking for the mother who abandoned her as a child in Ukraine, and Renia is assaulted by the memories of the women who occupied the building wherein she once sought refuge and now owns. Spanning 2001 to 2017, queens looks at the choices these women made for security, family, dignity, and desire in a country that plays favorites with its fortune. What are you forced to leave behind when working so hard to move forward?
Martyna Majok’s plays have been performed at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and Women’s Project Theatre, among others. Awards include The Dramatists Guild's Lanford Wilson Award, Helen Hayes Award's Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play or Musical, the Kennedy Center's Jean Kennedy Smith Award, David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize, New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellowship, and NNPN Smith Prize for Political Playwriting. Commissions include Lincoln Center, The Bush Theatre in London, Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Rep, and Manhattan Theatre Club. BA: University of Chicago; MFA: Yale School of Drama, The Juilliard School. Alumna of Ensemble Studio Theatre's Youngblood and Women's Project Lab. Core Writer at The Playwrights Center. Member of The Dramatists Guild, The Writers Guild of America East, and NYTW’s Usual Suspects. Martyna was the 2015-2016 PoNY Fellow at the Lark Play Development Center.
Fri., July 14; 7:15pm
Sat, July 15; 7:15pm
By Steve DiUbaldo
A play about the world of AAU basketball and the dark side of NCAA Division-1 recruiting. When Eli Gamble grows seven inches the summer after his junior year of high school, he becomes a major college recruit with NBA potential. On the murky path to realizing his newfound potential, Eli must navigate who he can and cannot trust while he attempts to differentiate the game of basketball from the game of life.
Steve DiUbaldo is a writer living in New York City. His plays include Exposure, Wayward, Boomer’s Millennial Hero Story, Under the Water Tower, and It’s Only Quiet in the Dark. His work has appeared in production and workshop in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. Steve is a proud member of the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater apprentice company, The Middle Voice. He was a 2014 terraNOVA Collective Groundbreaker and a 2015 member of Page 73’s Interstate 73 writers group. Steve was the recipient of the Clifford Odets Ensemble Play Commission at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in 2015, where his play Wayward was developed and produced. He was awarded The Rita and Burton Goldberg Playwright Foundation Fellowship and the Excellence in Playwriting Award at NYU, where he received his MFA (’13) in Dramatic Writing. He has been to the NCAA Tournament as a Division-1 basketball player and to the Grammy’s as a Beyoncé dancer. He is represented in film and television by Jeff Ciabattari at Thruline Entertainment.
Wed., July 19; 8:15pm
Sat, July 20; 8:15pm
By Elaine Romero
The third play of Elaine Romero’s U.S./Mexican border trilogy, Title IX follows a border family of Latina educators from 1972 to the present. Has sexism in the U.S. been eradicated, or has it just found new forms? Does the right to equal treatment lead to that equal treatment, or is it an insidious path to something else?
Award-winning playwright Elaine Romero has had her plays presented at the Alley Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Kennedy Center, across the U.S. and abroad. Recent commissions: Modern Slave (Ford's Theatre), Title IX (Arizona Theatre Company), A Work of Art (Goodman Theatre, Playwright Unit), and Ponzi (NNPN/Kitchen Dog Theater, Edgerton New American Play Award). Publishers: Samuel French, Playscripts, and Vintage Books. From the U.S. at War trilogy: Graveyard of Empires (Blue Ink Playwriting Award/American Blues Theater) premiered at 16th Street Theater in 2015 alongside A Work of Art, which premiered at Chicago Dramatists in conjunction with the Goodman Theatre. The third play of the trilogy is tentatively titled Rain of Ruin. Her Arizona/Mexican border trilogy includes Wetback, Mother of Exiles, and Title IX. Mother of Exiles was commissioned by and produced at Cornell University. Modern Slave was given staged readings at Victory Gardens Theater and at the Road Theatre in Los Angeles in 2016, and will be developed at the 2017 Seven Devils Playwrights Conference. Her short play, Swastika, was commissioned and produced by American Blues Theater and was presented at Irondale as part of Art in Resistance. Romero is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists. She holds her MFA from UC Davis. She is an assistant professor at the University of Arizona and splits her time between Tucson and Chicago.
Fri., July 21; 7:15pm
Sat, July 22; 7:15pm
THE ONE ATM IN ANTARCTICA
By Adam Esquenazi Douglas
Sobriety is hard. Like, really hard. I'm talking Saturday crossword puzzle hard. Everyone thinks Sunday is the hardest, but the Sunday puzzle has a theme which makes it slightly easier. Saturday has no theme, so you're just flying solo. It's way harder. Almost as hard as sobriety.
Adam Esquenazi Douglas is an award-winning playwright whose work has been produced across the country, from Los Angeles to Texas to New York City, as well as internationally in Canada and Japan. His work has been featured in the Great Plains Theatre Conference, Downtown Urban Theater Festival, Texas State University Black and Latino Playwrights Conference, and many others. He currently lives in California where he is a writer for noted and celebrated video game publisher Telltale Games. Once upon a time, he was a game show host.
Wed., July 26; 8:15pm
Thur., July 27; 8:15pm
BLACK SUPER HERO MAGIC MAMA
Book by Inda Craig-Galván
Sabrina Jackson cannot cope with the death of her son by a white cop. Rather than herald the Black Lives Matter movement, she retreats inward, living out a comic book superhero fantasy. Will Sabrina stay in this dream world or return to reality and mourn her loss?
Inda Craig-Galván is a Chicago native living in Los Angeles. Inda is an MFA candidate in Dramatic Writing at University of Southern California's School of Dramatic Arts. Her plays have been developed and read at theatres including Oregon Shakespeare Festival Black Swan Lab, Skylight Theatre, Intiman Theatre, and Playwrights' Arena New Pages Lab. Awards include the Kennedy Center Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, Jane Chambers Student Playwriting Award, WomenWorks, 2016 Trustus Playwrights Festival winner, and Black & Latino Playwrights Conference winner. www.indacraig-galvan.com
Fri., July 28; 7:15pm
Sat, July 29; 7:15pm
By Michael Tucker
Three couples in their golden years, thick as thieves, are gathered together at Sunny and Jer’s farmhouse to celebrate milestone birthdays that span three decades. The foundation of their long-lasting friendship is honesty and support – as well as a mutual commitment to the enjoyment of food, wine, and laughter. They’re so close that Sunny even suggests that they all move in together—to live and work and assist one another as they grow older. Their companionship is put to the test, however, when a marital betrayal is discovered. The bonds of loyalty and truth are explored in this mature comedy.
Michael Tucker is an actor and a writer last seen on stage in Evening at the Talk House by Wallace Shawn at The New Group. Before that, he appeared in The M Spot, a play of his own devising, at the New Jersey Repertory Company. Before that, he danced and sang in Enter Laughing at the York Theater. Most of his other stage work was in the last century, on, off, and off-off Broadway, Lincoln Center, The Delacorte, MTC, Roundabout, etc. Television and film: LA Law for eight years; films by Woody Allen, Barry Levinson, and many others. He has written three memoirs, a novel, two plays – The M Spot and Assisted Living -- and a blog about eating and cooking. As an alumnus of the O’Neill, Michael appeared as an actor in multiple plays in the 1982 and 1983 National Playwrights Conference.