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


Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Beth Henley comes to the O'Neill for the first time with her play, Lightning. In a cabin high on a peak surrounded by the Blue Mountains and sky, a young woman is visited by a traveling salesman as a storm gains strength. The play is a theatrical and captivating story of resilience and determination in a most unforgiving world.




about the writer


Beth Henley was born in Jackson, Mississippi. Her plays have been produced internationally and translated into over ten languages. Crimes of the Heart (The Golden Theatre) and The Wake of Jamey Foster (Eugene O'Neill Theatre) were performed on Broadway. Off-Broadway productions include: The Miss Firecracker Contest, Am I Blue, The Lucky Spot, The Debutante Ball, Abundance, Impossible Marriage, and Family Week. Her play Ridiculous Fraud was produced at McCarter Theatre as well as South Coast Repertory Theatre. Ms. Henley’s, The Jacksonian premiered at the Geffen Theatre in January 2012 to great acclaim. Robert Falls directed and the cast included Ed Harris, Bill Pullman, Amy Madigan, and Glenne Headly. It was performed Off-Broadway at the New Group. Studio Theatre produced the world premiere of her play, Laugh in 2015. Beth Henley was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Drama and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best American Play for Crimes of the Heart. Other awards include: American Theatre Wing 1998 Award for Distinguished Achievement in Playwriting, Susan Smith Blackburn Finalist for Crimes of the Heart, and Ridiculous Fraud; Richard Wright Literary Excellence Award 2000; New York Stage and Film Honoree, 2007; ATHE Career Achievement Award, 2010: Honoree William Inge Festival, 2017. Ms. Henley has the honor of serving as Theatre Arts Presidential Professor at LMU, Los Angeles. She is a member of The Fellowship of Southern Writers, the Dramatist Guild, and the Academy of Arts and Science.




cast & creative team


Director: Wendy C. Goldberg Dramaturg: Kristin Leahey Scenic Designer: Lawrence Moten Lighting Designer: Raquel Davis Cast: Marin Ireland, Maggie Lacey





july 6 & 7 at 7:15pm   •

about the writer


Benjamin Benne’s plays include at the very bottom of a body of water, q u e r e n c i a: an imagined autobiography about forbidden fruits, and #nowall. He’s been the recipient of a 2017-18 McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting and 2016-17 Many Voices Fellowship at The Playwrights’ Center, as well as the Robert Chesley/Victor Bumbalo Playwriting Award. His plays have been finalists for the Princess Grace Award, Ingram New Works Lab, Blue Ink Playwriting Award, National Playwrights Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Headwaters New Play Festival, and Austin Playhouse Festival of New American Plays, as well as runner-up for the National Latino Playwriting Award and semifinalist for the P73 Playwriting Fellowship. His work has been developed/produced by The Playwrights Realm’s Scratchpad Series, The Lark’s Playwrights’ Week, Two River Theater, Pillsbury House Theatre, Teatro Milagro, Seattle Repertory Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Annex Theatre, Forward Flux, Umbrella Project, and Parley, among others. Most recently, Benjamin's work was featured on 50 Playwrights Project's Best Unproduced Latin@/x Plays 2018 list. He was born and raised in Los Angeles County and currently resides in Minneapolis, MN. www.benjaminbenne.com




about the new play


Nearly 18 years ago, Alma crossed the border between Mexico and the United States, pregnant with a child and great dreams for the life ahead of them. Now it’s December 2, 2016, Alma has been studying for her citizenship test while her daughter, Angel, studies for her SATs. But since the election, Alma has been having haunting nightmares about elephants and spider webs. And on the eve before Angel’s test, Trump’s voice is blaring from the television when Alma comes home early to discover that Angel isn’t at home studying.




cast & creative team


Director: Elena Araoz Dramaturg: Catherine Rodríguez Scenic Designer: Lawrence Moten Lighting Designer: Christian DeAngelis Cast: Cynthia Bastidas, Andrea Morales





july 11 & 12  at 8:15pm   •

about the new play


As Monica Lewinsky rehearses for her TED Talk, her PTSD keeps getting in the way, sending her spinning, literally, into an alternate universe. Will Marvel-ous Monica rescue The Pretty Young Coed from the Lecherous Professor? Will she learn the secret of Nasty-Woman, the mighty matriarchal superhero? And finally, will Monica be able to give her talk by making peace with her traumatic past? Combining humor, fantasy, and verbatim theater, Marvel-ous Monica offers an overdue #MeToo look at the slut-shamed young woman at the center of a notorious political scandal.




about the writer


Sarah Tuft’s plays have been developed, read and/or produced at theaters in 19 states and abroad including Geffen Playhouse, The Public Theater, Vineyard Theatre, Toledo Repertoire Theatre, EST’s Lexington Center, IAMA Theatre Company directed by Thomas Sadoski, Monster Box Theatre, Naked Angels’ Tuesdays@9, Sundog Theatre, and 24Hour Plays at BAM with actors Billy Crudup, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Edie Falco, James Gandolfini, Neil Patrick Harris, Samuel L. Jackson, Melissa Leo, Tony Shalhoub, and Kathleen Turner. Plays include Marvel-ous Monica; In Which Monica Lewinsky Is a Superhero Hell-Bent On Revenge (2018 Last Frontier Theatre Conference PlayLab, 2017 Austin Film Festival Playwriting Competition, 365 Women a Year); 110 Stories; Awesome Big Somebody; Patti Smith, P.I.; and Shoot Me. 110 Stories is published by Playscripts. Awards include 2018 HUMANITAS Play LA Workshop finalist and a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship. Sarah has blogged for HuffPost, Indiewire Women and Hollywood, and The New York Times. A member of the Dramatists Guild and Antaeus Playwrights Lab, Sarah teaches dramatic writing at SF Creative Writing Institute.




cast & creative team


Director: Giovanni Sardelli Dramaturg: Tanya Palmer Scenic Designer: Carolyn Mraz Lighting Designer: Christian DeAngelis Cast: Betsy Aidem, David Wilson Barnes, Catherine Curtin, Angel Desai, Scott Drummond, Jenny Mudge, Remy Zaken





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


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 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


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 27 & 28  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





about sarah delappe


Sarah DeLappe's debut play The Wolves (The Playwrights Realm/NY Stage & Film/Lincoln Center Theater) was a co-winner of the Relentless Award and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and the Yale Drama Series Prize. Other honors include the Page One Fellowship at the Playwrights Realm and the Sky Cooper New American Play Prize. Fellowships and developmental support include The MacDowell Colony, The Ground Floor, LCT3 Playwright in Residence, Ars Nova Play Group, Clubbed Thumb, SPACE on Ryder Farm, and Sitka Fellows Program. She holds an MFA from Brooklyn College.




about j.t. rogers


J.T. Rogers’s plays include Oslo (Lincoln Center Theater, then Broadway; National Theatre, London, then West End); Blood and Gifts (Lincoln Center Theater; National Theatre); The Overwhelming (National Theatre, then UK tour with Out of Joint; Roundabout Theatre); White People (Off Broadway with Starry Night Productions); and Madagascar (Theatre 503, London; Melbourne Theatre Company). For Oslo he won the Tony, New York Critics, Outer Critics, Drama Desk, Drama League, Lortel, and Obie awards. He has been twice nominated for London’s Olivier Award, for Oslo and as coauthor of The Great Game: Afghanistan. His works have been staged throughout the United States and in Germany, Canada, Australia, and Israel, and his essays have appeared in the New York Times, American Theatre, the Guardian, and the New Statesman. He is a Guggenheim fellow and has received three NYFA fellowships in playwriting. Rogers is a member of the Dramatist Guild, where he is a founding board member of the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund. He is an alum of New Dramatists and holds an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.





 

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Eugene O'Neill Theater Center

305 Great Neck Road

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