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June 21–July 8

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"For this 59th season, sebastian, a.k., Liba, Jan, Alex, and Collin, will bring their extraordinary imaginations to life for our community and will no doubt grow and transform their works even further. These six plays promise to be works that will move us and bring us to an even stronger awareness of the power of live theater and new American playwriting.  I cannot wait to see where their work will go!”

- Melia Bensussen, Guest Artistic Director

NPC has developed more than 750 new plays since 1964, including 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.


Six plays were selected in 2023, each of which will undergo the O’Neill’s signature development process and be presented as public staged readings featuring award-winning casts and creative teams.


FRIDAY, JUNE 23 | 7:15PM

Dina Merrill Theater



Tanner & Archie work at a museum. Finn & Cillian are Americans in Ireland. Osgar & Irial died over four thousand years ago. A play about power-dynamics, love, and preserving dead things (or trying to) that traverses place, time, and culture.

 Sebastian, a light-skinned person with short black hair and a short mustache  is in front of a white background. He wears a green baseball cap, round gold glasses, and has earbuds in his ears. Additionally, he wears a green shirt with a painted design on it and an orange/white/tan windbreaker.

jose sebastian alberdi is a Mexican-Basque-American playwright. Born and raised in San Diego, he now lives in Brooklyn and writes plays to make sense of religion, queerness, faith, power, love, sex, and other things he finds interesting &/or important. sebastian has received commissions from SpeakEasy Stage for their annual Boston Project and is currently under commission at INTAR as their inaugural Max Ferrá Playwriting Fellow. He was a writer-in-residence at Fresh Ground Pepper’s first-ever Eco Week as a part of their 2022 BRB Retreat, and a playwriting fellow at Lambda Literary’s 2018 Writer’s Retreat. Selected plays: bogfriends (O’Neill NPC Selection 2023); The Family Saves A Life (O’Neill Semifinalist 2022); rachel, nevada; and de tal palo, tal astilla, a ten-minute play (Take Ten Theater Masters 2023, Concord Theatricals/Sam French). MFA: NYU; BA: Northeastern; @milk_jello



Dina Merrill Theater



Fourteen-year-old Cleo and Bea are twins. Cleo can't stop running away from womanhood. Bea can't stop running away, period. A dark coming-of-age play about the feelings we have as teens that we're not given words for, so we make up monsters and myths instead.

 Jan, a white non-binary human with short blonde hair and blue eyes. They wear a mustard colored sweater and there is a solid white background behind them.

Jan Rosenberg (they/them) is the author of GUSHER! (NPC Finalist), How To Destroy An American Girl Doll (NPC Semifinalist), What's Wrong With You (NPC Semifinalist), Janie Wants A Dog, and many other coming-of-age stories with a dark twist. They have been a finalist for the Princess Grace Award, the Theatre503 World Playwriting Award, and the Lanford New American Play Festival. They have collaborated with the LAByrinth Theater Company, Seattle Rep, IAMA Theatre, Cherry Lane, The Lark, The Bechdel Project, The Last Frontier Conference, Possibilities Theatre Company, Vertigo Theater, Wide Eyed Productions, and countless others. They were the playwright in residence at Stella Adler Studio and The Farm Theater. They are a member of the Playwright/Directors Unit at The Actors Studio. Their radio play, We Came All This Way (of The Lovely Dark series), can be heard anywhere podcasts are available. Their short film, Meal Support, featuring Tony- and Emmy-nominee Kate Burton, is forthcoming. 


FRIDAY, JUNE 30 | 7:15PM

Dina Merrill Theater

Love I Awethu Further


Callie been dreaming bout three days in which they may conjure who they be beyond Mistress’ language, box, tomb and barrel, to dream beyond Mistress’ “woman.” From her plans drawn out between tobacco rows, come a collective: her twin, her friends, her nameless mother and ancestor. In this adaptation of Julius Caesar, seven plan a revolt in the Antebellum South.

 a.k., a Black person with brown skin is outside in a park full of foliage during the day. They wear a black shirt, a gold bracelet, light blue and yellow earrings, a class ring, a gold headband and white frames. One hand rests on her cheek, the other rests on the opposite elbow. Their 4C hair is in a twist-out and contains thick coils. Their gaze is direct and calm.

a.k payne (she/they) is a playwright, artist-theorist, and theatermaker with roots in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her plays love on and engage Black lives and languages beyond the confines of linear time to find/remember stories that might create conditions for our collective liberation(s). They hold a B.A. in English and African-American Studies from Yale College and will graduate in May 2023 with an MFA in Playwriting under Tarell Alvin McCraney from fka Yale School of Drama. Their work has been a finalist for the L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, winner of the David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award, and 3x Semifinalist for the O'Neill National Playwriting Conference. She is a current recipient of the Kemp Powers Commission Fund for Black Playwrights and Atlantic Theater Company's Judith Champion Launch Commission. Her work has been developed with the New Harmony Project, Great Plains Theater Conference, and Manhattan Theatre Club's "Groundworks Lab." They are a graduate of Pittsburgh Public Schools; grandchild of the Great Migration; descendant of a music teacher and a carpenter who both march every year with their unions in Pittsburgh’s Labor Day parade; a queer & non-binary abolitionist affected in community by the ‘New Jim Crow'; and of a great lineage of Black women storytellers and livingroom archivists; all of which deeply informs, uplifts, and amplifies their work as a playwright, community organizer, and spacemaker. 




Dina Merrill Theater



When high-flying finance it-girl Katie Liu loses the promotion of a lifetime to a nepo-baby colleague, she embarks on a treacherous endeavor to make a labor union out of her Republican work aunties. Welcome to the world of Chinese Republicans, where the best bags are Birkin, the best shoes are Prada, and the best president is Reagan.

 A young mixed race Chinese-American woman in a black turtleneck.

Alex Lin is just a girl from Jersey. Her work as a playwright has been developed with Ma-Yi Theater Company, Magic Theatre, Playwrights Realm, Manhattan Theatre Club, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Theater Mu, The COOP, South Coast Rep, and Central Square Theater. As a producer for A24's Supercluster, she's collaborated with NASA, SpaceX, Boeing, Apple TV+, and Netflix to bridge the gap between scientific discovery and the culture it inspires. As an actor, she has performed at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Commonwealth Shakespeare, and the Connelly. She is currently under commission at South Coast Rep and MTC. Accolades: 2022 New Harmony Project finalist, 2022 National Playwrights Conference finalist, 2022 Elizabeth George commission, 2023 Weissberger New Play Award nominee, 2023 Sloan commission.


Edith Oliver Theater


Dina Merrill Theater

Natural History


The year is 2165. As wildfires rage across the West, environmental activists and partners-in-crime Jane and Clyde embark on a daring caper to steal the last taxidermied bison from the American Museum of Natural History. Only problem? It's already gone. This apocalyptic cowboy heist spotlights the tensions between history and nostalgia, personal and public interest, and representation and art.

 Collin, a white man with messy brown hair, is outside on a summer evening. He wears black-rimmed glasses and a flannel shirt. Behind him are wildflowers, a wooded hillside, and a distant mountain range.

Collin Van Son's full-length plays include TARVA, which he directed in 2018 with Penn State University’s No Refund Theatre, and Two-Man Rule, for which he was named a 2021 NPC Finalist. His one-act plays include Moreland & Halifax: Well-Read Detectives, which has received student productions in State College, PA, and Hackensack, NJ; Professor Eric’s Science Spectacular, winner of No Refund Theatre’s 2018 Tell Me a Story playwriting competition; and Præy for the Mantis, which he wrote while a fellow at the University of Chicago STAGE (Scientists, Technologists, and Artists Generating Exploration) Lab. His debut chapbook of poetry, How to Draw a Blank, was published by Cathexis Northwest Press in 2020. His poems have also appeared in The Normal School, antilang., and Typishly. Since graduating from Penn State with a degree in physics, Collin has lived in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Denver, where he is currently a master’s student in international security at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. He is originally from Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.

The Matriarchs


Edith Oliver Theater


Dina Merrill Theater


Six squabbling teenage girls at a weekly Talmud lesson negotiate snacks, sex, and the Sabbath—and everything in between. Loosely based on the underwritten women of the Torah, The Matriarchs charts the journey of six friends as they grow up and out of orthodoxy. A play about gods, mothers, and other creators.

 Liba Vaynberg, a white Jewish woman with long brown hair, is outside in the sun against a gray backdrop. She smiles and looks directly at the viewer.

Described by the New York Times as "wonderfully real and raw," Liba Vaynberg is a bilingual first-generation American writer and actor. The daughter of Ukrainian and Azeri Jews, she studied Molecular Biology at Yale before receiving her MFA at Columbia. Plays: The Matriarchs was developed with The Civilians and is a Theater J Finalist and a Blue Ink Award finalist. The Gett was the inaugural commission at Rattlestick with CBE, a Princess Grace Semifinalist, and Colorado New Play Festival Selection. Round Table premiered at 59E59 (TSQ Chronicles’ 10 Best Plays of 2019), and her first play Scheiss Book won Best One-Woman Show at the United Solo Theater Festival as well as the Backstage Magazine Audience Choice Award. Her play with Emily Perkins, The Russian & The Jew, received a COJECO Fellowship and was produced by the Tank. The Blue Parts, her collaboration with Dina Vovsi, was commissioned by the Working Theater and is the recipient of an NYSCA grant. As a performer, highlights include the PBS broadcast of The Soap Myth opposite Ed Asner and Tovah Feldshuh; recurring on New Amsterdam and Madam Secretary; Bekah Brunstetter’s Oregon Trail at WP Theatre; Lost In Yonkers opposite Marsha Mason (CT Critics Circle Nominee); and The Golem of Havana at La MaMa. She contributes to Lilith Magazine.

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