“It gives me hope to bring these four storytellers to the National Playwrights Conference and invest in the development of these plays, artists and our theatrical future. NPC 2021 represents some of the most exciting voices writing today. I’m thrilled to be able to work with these playwrights and support their bold and brilliant new plays through in-person opportunities this summer.”
- Wendy C. Goldberg, Artistic Director
Since 1964, NPC has developed more than 750 new plays, including early works of award-winning writers such as Lee Blessing, Adam Bock, Kia Corthron, Christopher Durang, John Guare, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Samuel D. Hunter, David Henry Hwang, David Lindsay-Abaire, Martyna Majok. Dominique Morisseau, Lynn Nottage, Robert O’Hara, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Wendy Wasserstein, August Wilson, Lanford Wilson, and Jeremy O. Harris (whose 2018 NPC play Slave Play is nominated for a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards this year).
Utilizing a hybrid model, the 2021 Conference will focus on collaboration and development through on-campus writer residencies, community building, and mentorship with top professionals across the industry. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, staged readings will not be held. These four plays were selected from 1,216 received through the O’Neill’s open submissions process:
Ben and Jasmine are the only two Black teachers at Penn Valley, a liberal, private Quaker school. Jasmine is passionate and boundary pushing, while Ben has worked his way up the ranks at the school to be Diversity Dean thanks to his “agreeable” nature. A racially-charged discipline decision ignites a divide at the school and in Jasmine and Ben’s collegial relationship.
Nick Malakhow (he/him/his) is a Dominican and Ukrainian playwright and teacher based in Boston. His full-length work includes Seeing Eye (developed with Victory Gardens, Fresh Ink Theatre, 2019 O'Neill Finalist, the 2018 LTC/HowlRound Carnaval, and the 2020 In-Progress Reading Series at the Unicorn Theatre), A Picture of Two Boys (developed with Abingdon Theatre Company, Mirrorbox Theatre Company, Skylight Theatre Company, the Quarantine Series), and Grit (developed with Playhouse on Park, Fuse Theater, Theatre@First). His other work has been developed or produced by the Ithaca College Theatre Department, Theatre Rhino, Open Theatre Project, the Q Collective, the Boston Theater Marathon, and others.
Nick was a Company One Playlab Unit member for C1's 2019 season. He has also taught theater, English, and creative writing at the secondary level for over ten years in the greater Philly and Boston areas. He grew up in the diverse town of Teaneck, NJ. BA: Swarthmore College, MA: Emerson College
It’s 1999, and Ami is an awkward, Japanese American highschooler whose world comes crashing down with a terrible discovery: her family is responsible for manufacturing MSG, the poison spice getting all the kids hooked! Meanwhile, a cool new girl, Exotic Deadly, arrives from Japan, and she’s not playing by the rules. In this time-traveling adventure, Ami vows to save the world from MSG and realizes what she’s capable of, if she could just get off the ocean floor...
Keiko Green is a Nintendo-loving, half-Japanese playwright and performer, looking forward to starting her third and final year at UCSD’s MFA Playwriting program under Naomi Iizuka. She was born in Atlanta, Georgia to a bilingual household and writes often about the collision of cultures. Keiko lived in Seattle for six years, where she is still a Core Company Member at ACT Theatre and a former member of the Seattle Repertory Theatre's Writers' Group. Her plays have been developed and/or produced by ACT Theatre, the Kennedy Center, National New Play Network, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cygnet Theatre, Playwrights Realm, and Actors Express.
Her play Nadeshiko won Seattle’s Gregory Award for Outstanding New Play and was an Honorable Mention on the Kilroy’s List. She has been a finalist for the Neukom Playwriting Award, the Blue Ink Prize, Seven Devils Playwrights Festival, and both the Many Voices and Jerome Fellowships at the Playwrights Center. She was recently selected for the UCSD Friends of the International Center Fellowship and is hoping to conduct research on a ghost story in rural Japan this winter. As an actor, Keiko has performed at the Denver Center of Performing Arts, Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT Theatre, among others. Keiko's original work ranges from comedy to horror and everything in between, spinning narratives to centralize characters that are usually plot devices. BFA: NYU Tisch.
When Kat Chan's ex-husband posts revenge porn of her online and tags everyone she knows, she has to wrestle with a choice: be humane to someone she used to love or take him out in a very public way? A play about public shaming, ownership of women’s bodies and images, and the earthquakes that come from dissolving a marriage.
A native (and current) Angeleno, Carla Ching called NYC home for 16 years. She started off writing/performing autobiographical work with the pan-Asian collective Peeling. Her plays include Nomad Motel (NY Premiere: Atlantic Theater Company; NNPN Rolling World Premiere: City Theatre Company, Horizon Theatre Company, Unicorn Theatre Company), Fast Company (South Coast Rep, Ensemble Studio Theatre), The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up (Artists at Play, Mu Performing Arts) and TBA (2g). Her work’s been developed or produced by Aurora Theatre, Berkeley Rep, CTG Writers’ Workshop, Huntington Theatre Company, The Lark Playwrights Workshop, Lyric Stage, Ma-Yi, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and The Women’s Project among others.
Former Artistic Director of 2g. She’s writing a play called Revenge Porn, or The Story of a Body as a Toulmin Commission for The Atlantic. Founding member of The Kilroys and proud member of New Dramatists. Co-recipient of the Horton Foote Playwriting Award from the Dramatist Guild. TV credits: Graceland, Fear the Walking Dead, I Love Dick, The First, Preacher, Home Before Dark, and the forthcoming Mr. and Mrs. Smith co-created by Francesca Sloane, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Donald Glover.
How can I get over slavery if I can't even get over my ex? Watch Me takes place in the subconscious void of an interracial couple in a reckoning with ancestry, love, and Black Jesus.
Dave Harris is a writer from West Philly. He is the Tow Playwright-in-Residence at Roundabout Theatre Company. His play TAMBO & BONES will be produced at Playwrights Horizons and Center Theatre Group, and his play EXCEPTION TO THE RULE will be produced at Roundabout whenever theatre allows. His work has been seen at Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival of New American Plays, Roundabout Underground, Manhattan Theatre Club, Center Theatre Group, The Goodman, The Kennedy Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, SPACE on Ryder Farm, The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, and Ojai Playwrights Conference amongst others.
Honors include: the 2019 Ollie Award, the Lorraine Hansberry Award and the Mark Twain Award from The Kennedy Center, the International Commendation for The Bruntwood Prize, the 2018 Venturous Fellowship from The Lark, and a Cave Canem poetry fellowship, amongst others. His adapted film Summertime had its premiere at Sundance in 2020 and will be released in 2021. His first full-length collection of poetry, Patricide, was published in May 2019 by Button Poetry. Dave received his B.A. from Yale University and his MFA from UC San Diego.