national playwrights conference

Wendy C. Goldberg, Artistic Director

The O’Neill’s founding program presents eight new works this summer season by a broad mix of brand new, mid-career, and established artists. The plays were chosen from 1,429 plays received through the O’Neill’s open submissions process. Each new play undergoes the O’Neill’s signature development process and is presented in staged readings featuring award-winning casts and creative teams. 

july 5 at 8:15pm   •

about the new play


Juliet is losing her marriage. Her mother Pam is losing her memory. And there’s a mysterious forest growing in and around their living room. A play about grief, weird love, and what to do when there aren’t any right answers.




about the writer


Lia Romeo’s plays have been produced at 59E59, Project Y Theatre Company, Unicorn Theatre, HotCity Theatre, Stillwater Theatre, Renegade Theatre Experiment, Forward Flux Productions, New Origins Theatre Company, Jersey City Theater Center, Porch Light Productions, The Skeleton Rep, MCS Theater, and Xpressions Performing Arts Network, and have been developed at the Lark, San Francisco Playhouse, Orlando Shakes, Abingdon Theatre, and elsewhere. She has been nominated for the ATCA/Steinberg Award for best new play and the NYIT Award for outstanding full-length play, and has been recognized by the O’Neill (finalist), the Heideman Award (finalist), and the Kilroys List (honorable mention). She was a 2018 Individual Artist Fellowship winner in playwriting from the New Jersey State Council for the Arts, and was the National New Play Network Emerging Playwright-in- Residence at Writers Theatre of New Jersey. She is currently a member of the Project Y Playwrights Group and a company member with InViolet Theater. She is also the associate artistic director at Project Y Theatre Company and the new play coordinator at Jersey City Theater Center. She is the author of a novel, Dating the Devil (Amazon bestseller, optioned by ABC Family), and a humor book, 11,002 Things to Be Miserable About (sold over 35,000 copies worldwide). Her plays are published by Playscripts and Smith & Kraus. She earned her B.A. from Princeton University and her M.F.A. in playwriting from Rutgers/MGSA, and she teaches in the graduate creative writing program at Fairleigh Dickinson University.




cast & creative team


Director: Melia Bensussen Dramaturg: Carrie Chapter Scenic Designer: Carolyn Mraz Lighting Designer: Christian DeAngelis Cast: John Concado, Sam Lilja, Maryann Plunkett, Makela Spielman,





july 6 & 7 at 7:15pm   •

about the new play


Juliet is losing her marriage. Her mother Pam is losing her memory. And there’s a mysterious forest growing in and around their living room. A play about grief, weird love, and what to do when there aren’t any right answers.




about the writer


Lia Romeo’s plays have been produced at 59E59, Project Y Theatre Company, Unicorn Theatre, HotCity Theatre, Stillwater Theatre, Renegade Theatre Experiment, Forward Flux Productions, New Origins Theatre Company, Jersey City Theater Center, Porch Light Productions, The Skeleton Rep, MCS Theater, and Xpressions Performing Arts Network, and have been developed at the Lark, San Francisco Playhouse, Orlando Shakes, Abingdon Theatre, and elsewhere. She has been nominated for the ATCA/Steinberg Award for best new play and the NYIT Award for outstanding full-length play, and has been recognized by the O’Neill (finalist), the Heideman Award (finalist), and the Kilroys List (honorable mention). She was a 2018 Individual Artist Fellowship winner in playwriting from the New Jersey State Council for the Arts, and was the National New Play Network Emerging Playwright-in- Residence at Writers Theatre of New Jersey. She is currently a member of the Project Y Playwrights Group and a company member with InViolet Theater. She is also the associate artistic director at Project Y Theatre Company and the new play coordinator at Jersey City Theater Center. She is the author of a novel, Dating the Devil (Amazon bestseller, optioned by ABC Family), and a humor book, 11,002 Things to Be Miserable About (sold over 35,000 copies worldwide). Her plays are published by Playscripts and Smith & Kraus. She earned her B.A. from Princeton University and her M.F.A. in playwriting from Rutgers/MGSA, and she teaches in the graduate creative writing program at Fairleigh Dickinson University.




cast & creative team


Director: Melia Bensussen Dramaturg: Carrie Chapter Scenic Designer: Carolyn Mraz Lighting Designer: Christian DeAngelis Cast: John Concado, Sam Lilja, Maryann Plunkett, Makela Spielman,





july 11 & 12  at 8:15pm   •

about the new play


A writer and a prison inmate embark on an unexpected journey to the realities of long term incarceration and grief, as they work together to craft a statement for his upcoming parole hearing. Lockdown was commissioned by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater through the Toulmin Foundation, and inspired by Cori Thomas’ experiences getting to know and working alongside a number of men currently serving life sentences at San Quentin State Prison.




about the writer


Cori Thomas’ plays include: Lockdown; When January Feels Like Summer; LIBERIAN LEGACY TRILOGY: Pa’s Hat, Flight 109, In The Beginning; Citizens Market; The Ballad of Ella May; My Secret Language of Wishes; The Princess, The Breast, and The Lizard; The Unusual Love Life of Bedbugs and Other Creatures; The Hair Play; Waking Up; His Daddy; our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. Developed and produced: Sundance Institute, City Theatre Company (Pittsburgh), Goodman Theater, Page 73 Productions, Playwrights Horizons, Lark Play Development Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, GTTR, Pillsbury House Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, Mosaic Theatre Co, Central Square Theatre, Penumbra Theatre, Passage Theatre, Working Theater, Playwrights Realm, New Federal Theatre, New Georges, New Black Fest. Commissions: Rattlestick Playwright’s Theatre, South Coast Rep, Sloan Foundation, Pillsbury House Theatre, Central Square Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New Black Fest, The Slavery Project, The Working Theater. New Dramatists Resident, Fellow at Sundance, MacDowell, Bogliasco Foundation, and Baryshnikov Center Fellow. Playwrigh-in-Residence at Yale through Page 73 Productions. Awards and Honors: Inaugural Italian American Playwrights Project pick ( When January feels Like Summer) will be translated into Italian and published. American Theater Critics Association 2011 Osborn Award— When January Feels Like Summer; Edgerton Foundation New Play Award; 2016 Horton Foote Playwriting Prize Finalist; 2 time Theodore Ward Prize Winner. When January Feels Like Summer—Dramatic Publishing Company. Upcoming: World Premiere 2019 Lockdown at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater Co; Writer - Audible Original Content Series “The Walls”; “untitled” feature Film for HBO Films. Cori is a founder of the non-profit organization www.pashatfoundation.org which does work with former male child soldiers in Liberia, West Africa. She is represented by Leah Hamos at The Gersh Agency lhamos@gersh.com.




cast & creative team


Director: Kent Gash Dramaturg: Ignacia Delgado Scenic Design: Lawrence Moten Lighting Design: Raquel Davis Cast: John Earl Jelks, Andy Lucien





july 13 & 14  at 7:15pm   •

about the new play


Ruth, a young woman from a mysterious and sheltered background, attempts to create a new life in New York. Navigating the strange, bewildering environment, she struggles to make her way in the city and to answer the question that drove her out into the world in the first place: is it possible to be alive and not be alone?




about the writer


Enid Graham is a writer and actress living in New York City. Her work includes—plays: Ruth, What Martha Did, and For I Know the Plans I Have For You; screenplay: Texas; short stories: “Galveston”, “Blind Spot”, and “Go Fish”. What Martha Did was a finalist for the 2015 National Playwrights Conference and a semi-finalist in the American Blues festival in Chicago. Ruth was seen at the Sacred Monsters Summer Reading Series in Los Angeles and the 2017 newTACTics new play festival in NYC. She is a founding member of the 72nd Street Gang, a playwrights’ collective. As an actress, Ms. Graham has numerous Broadway and off-Broadway credits including The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (original Broadway company), Bull in a China Shop (LCT3), King Lear (Public Theatre), Honour (Tony Award nomination), and the 2017 revival of M. Butterfly at the Cort Theatre. Her television and film credits include The Sinner, Boardwalk Empire, Grey’s Anatomy, Margaret, and Margot at the Wedding among others. Enid is a graduate of The Juilliard School.




cast & creative team


Director: Mark Brokaw Dramaturg: Catherine Sheehy Scenic Design: Lawrence Moten Lighting Design: Christian DeAngelis Cast: Lisa Emery, Ben Horner, Louisa Krause, Hallie Samuels, Matt Stadelmann





july 18 & 19  at 8:15pm   •

about the new play


On the island of Man-Jae in Korea, three elderly women spend their dying days diving into the ocean to harvest seafood with nothing but rusty knives. They are “haenyeos”—“sea women”—and there are no heiresses to their millennium-old tradition. Endlings is a real estate lesson from the last three remaining “haenyeos” in the world: Don’t Live On An Island. Unless it is the island of Manhattan.




about the writer


Celine Song is a member of the Public Theater’s 2016-2017 Emerging Writers Group, a member of Ars Nova’s 2014-2015 Play Group, a member of the Orchard Project's inaugural NYC Greenhouse 2018, and a Playwrights Realm 2017-2018 Writing Fellow. Her play Endlings was a part of the 2017 Kilroys list and a semifinalist for P73 playwriting fellowship. Tom & Eliza was a semifinalist for the American Playwriting Foundation's 2016 Relentless Award. Celine has been awarded residencies, fellowships, and commissions from: MTC/Sloan, Sundance, the Millay Colony for the arts, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Edward F. Albee Foundation. Celine was an IATI Theater 2015 Cimientos Playwright and a 2014 & 2016 Great Plains Theatre Conference Playlab Playwright. Her plays include The Feast (MAP Theater in Seattle, New Court Theatre in LA, Shelterbelt Theatre in Omaha, Red Theater Chicago), Family (Signature Theater, Potomac Theater), Tom & Eliza (Ars Nova, JACK, Theatre503), and Endlings (The Public, Echo Theater, OSF Black Swan Lab). She holds an MFA from Columbia.




cast & creative team


Director: Sammi Cannold Dramaturg: Ignacia Delgado Scenic Design: Carolyn Mraz Lighting Design: Brian Lilienthal Cast: Lori Tan Chinn, Jiehae Park, Matt da Silva, Andy Talen, Virginia Wing, Jo Yang, Ryan Rosenheim, John DeSilvestri, Robert Duffley





july 20 at 7:15pm & july 21 at 3:15pm   •

about the new play


Juliet is losing her marriage. Her mother Pam is losing her memory. And there’s a mysterious forest growing in and around their living room. A play about grief, weird love, and what to do when there aren’t any right answers.




about the writer


Lia Romeo’s plays have been produced at 59E59, Project Y Theatre Company, Unicorn Theatre, HotCity Theatre, Stillwater Theatre, Renegade Theatre Experiment, Forward Flux Productions, New Origins Theatre Company, Jersey City Theater Center, Porch Light Productions, The Skeleton Rep, MCS Theater, and Xpressions Performing Arts Network, and have been developed at the Lark, San Francisco Playhouse, Orlando Shakes, Abingdon Theatre, and elsewhere. She has been nominated for the ATCA/Steinberg Award for best new play and the NYIT Award for outstanding full-length play, and has been recognized by the O’Neill (finalist), the Heideman Award (finalist), and the Kilroys List (honorable mention). She was a 2018 Individual Artist Fellowship winner in playwriting from the New Jersey State Council for the Arts, and was the National New Play Network Emerging Playwright-in- Residence at Writers Theatre of New Jersey. She is currently a member of the Project Y Playwrights Group and a company member with InViolet Theater. She is also the associate artistic director at Project Y Theatre Company and the new play coordinator at Jersey City Theater Center. She is the author of a novel, Dating the Devil (Amazon bestseller, optioned by ABC Family), and a humor book, 11,002 Things to Be Miserable About (sold over 35,000 copies worldwide). Her plays are published by Playscripts and Smith & Kraus. She earned her B.A. from Princeton University and her M.F.A. in playwriting from Rutgers/MGSA, and she teaches in the graduate creative writing program at Fairleigh Dickinson University.




cast & creative team


Director: Melia Bensussen Dramaturg: Carrie Chapter Scenic Designer: Carolyn Mraz Lighting Designer: Christian DeAngelis Cast: John Concado, Sam Lilja, Maryann Plunkett, Makela Spielman,





july 25 & 26  at 8:15pm   •

about the new play


On the island of Man-Jae in Korea, three elderly women spend their dying days diving into the ocean to harvest seafood with nothing but rusty knives. They are “haenyeos”—“sea women”—and there are no heiresses to their millennium-old tradition. Endlings is a real estate lesson from the last three remaining “haenyeos” in the world: Don’t Live On An Island. Unless it is the island of Manhattan.




about the writer


Celine Song is a member of the Public Theater’s 2016-2017 Emerging Writers Group, a member of Ars Nova’s 2014-2015 Play Group, a member of the Orchard Project's inaugural NYC Greenhouse 2018, and a Playwrights Realm 2017-2018 Writing Fellow. Her play Endlings was a part of the 2017 Kilroys list and a semifinalist for P73 playwriting fellowship. Tom & Eliza was a semifinalist for the American Playwriting Foundation's 2016 Relentless Award. Celine has been awarded residencies, fellowships, and commissions from: MTC/Sloan, Sundance, the Millay Colony for the arts, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Edward F. Albee Foundation. Celine was an IATI Theater 2015 Cimientos Playwright and a 2014 & 2016 Great Plains Theatre Conference Playlab Playwright. Her plays include The Feast (MAP Theater in Seattle, New Court Theatre in LA, Shelterbelt Theatre in Omaha, Red Theater Chicago), Family (Signature Theater, Potomac Theater), Tom & Eliza (Ars Nova, JACK, Theatre503), and Endlings (The Public, Echo Theater, OSF Black Swan Lab). She holds an MFA from Columbia.




cast & creative team


Director: Sammi Cannold Dramaturg: Ignacia Delgado Scenic Design: Carolyn Mraz Lighting Design: Brian Lilienthal Cast: Lori Tan Chinn, Jiehae Park, Matt da Silva, Andy Talen, Virginia Wing, Jo Yang, Ryan Rosenheim, John DeSilvestri, Robert Duffley





july 27 & 28  at 7:15pm   •

about the new play


A writer and a prison inmate embark on an unexpected journey to the realities of long term incarceration and grief, as they work together to craft a statement for his upcoming parole hearing. Lockdown was commissioned by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater through the Toulmin Foundation, and inspired by Cori Thomas’ experiences getting to know and working alongside a number of men currently serving life sentences at San Quentin State Prison.




about the writer


Cori Thomas’ plays include: Lockdown; When January Feels Like Summer; LIBERIAN LEGACY TRILOGY: Pa’s Hat, Flight 109, In The Beginning; Citizens Market; The Ballad of Ella May; My Secret Language of Wishes; The Princess, The Breast, and The Lizard; The Unusual Love Life of Bedbugs and Other Creatures; The Hair Play; Waking Up; His Daddy; our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. Developed and produced: Sundance Institute, City Theatre Company (Pittsburgh), Goodman Theater, Page 73 Productions, Playwrights Horizons, Lark Play Development Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, GTTR, Pillsbury House Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, Mosaic Theatre Co, Central Square Theatre, Penumbra Theatre, Passage Theatre, Working Theater, Playwrights Realm, New Federal Theatre, New Georges, New Black Fest. Commissions: Rattlestick Playwright’s Theatre, South Coast Rep, Sloan Foundation, Pillsbury House Theatre, Central Square Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New Black Fest, The Slavery Project, The Working Theater. New Dramatists Resident, Fellow at Sundance, MacDowell, Bogliasco Foundation, and Baryshnikov Center Fellow. Playwrigh-in-Residence at Yale through Page 73 Productions. Awards and Honors: Inaugural Italian American Playwrights Project pick ( When January feels Like Summer) will be translated into Italian and published. American Theater Critics Association 2011 Osborn Award— When January Feels Like Summer; Edgerton Foundation New Play Award; 2016 Horton Foote Playwriting Prize Finalist; 2 time Theodore Ward Prize Winner. When January Feels Like Summer—Dramatic Publishing Company. Upcoming: World Premiere 2019 Lockdown at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater Co; Writer - Audible Original Content Series “The Walls”; “untitled” feature Film for HBO Films. Cori is a founder of the non-profit organization www.pashatfoundation.org which does work with former male child soldiers in Liberia, West Africa. She is represented by Leah Hamos at The Gersh Agency lhamos@gersh.com.




cast & creative team


Director: Kent Gash Dramaturg: Ignacia Delgado Scenic Design: Lawrence Moten Lighting Design: Raquel Davis Cast: John Earl Jelks, Andy Lucien





about the new play


A writer and a prison inmate embark on an unexpected journey to the realities of long term incarceration and grief, as they work together to craft a statement for his upcoming parole hearing. Lockdown was commissioned by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater through the Toulmin Foundation, and inspired by Cori Thomas’ experiences getting to know and working alongside a number of men currently serving life sentences at San Quentin State Prison.




about the writer


Cori Thomas’ plays include: Lockdown; When January Feels Like Summer; LIBERIAN LEGACY TRILOGY: Pa’s Hat, Flight 109, In The Beginning; Citizens Market; The Ballad of Ella May; My Secret Language of Wishes; The Princess, The Breast, and The Lizard; The Unusual Love Life of Bedbugs and Other Creatures; The Hair Play; Waking Up; His Daddy; our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. Developed and produced: Sundance Institute, City Theatre Company (Pittsburgh), Goodman Theater, Page 73 Productions, Playwrights Horizons, Lark Play Development Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, GTTR, Pillsbury House Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, Mosaic Theatre Co, Central Square Theatre, Penumbra Theatre, Passage Theatre, Working Theater, Playwrights Realm, New Federal Theatre, New Georges, New Black Fest. Commissions: Rattlestick Playwright’s Theatre, South Coast Rep, Sloan Foundation, Pillsbury House Theatre, Central Square Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New Black Fest, The Slavery Project, The Working Theater. New Dramatists Resident, Fellow at Sundance, MacDowell, Bogliasco Foundation, and Baryshnikov Center Fellow. Playwrigh-in-Residence at Yale through Page 73 Productions. Awards and Honors: Inaugural Italian American Playwrights Project pick ( When January feels Like Summer) will be translated into Italian and published. American Theater Critics Association 2011 Osborn Award— When January Feels Like Summer; Edgerton Foundation New Play Award; 2016 Horton Foote Playwriting Prize Finalist; 2 time Theodore Ward Prize Winner. When January Feels Like Summer—Dramatic Publishing Company. Upcoming: World Premiere 2019 Lockdown at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater Co; Writer - Audible Original Content Series “The Walls”; “untitled” feature Film for HBO Films. Cori is a founder of the non-profit organization www.pashatfoundation.org which does work with former male child soldiers in Liberia, West Africa. She is represented by Leah Hamos at The Gersh Agency lhamos@gersh.com.




cast & creative team


Director: Kent Gash Dramaturg: Ignacia Delgado Scenic Design: Lawrence Moten Lighting Design: Raquel Davis Cast: John Earl Jelks, Andy Lucien





 

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Eugene O'Neill Theater Center

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