Ashland New Plays Festivals Inaugural New Voices Emerging Playwrights
June 29, 2021
Ashland New Plays Festival announces the five emerging playwrights chosen for the inaugural New Voices Retreat: Kathryn de la Rosa, Ty Greenwood, Heesun Hwang, Jasmine Sharma, and Carlos-Zenen Trujillo.
"These young playwrights are passionate, generous, and original artists poised to make big waves in the future of theatre,” says ANPF Artistic Director Jackie Apodaca. “We are thrilled to be able to support them as they develop new works for the stage."
The retreat, held virtually August 1–7, will allow the artists to fully engage with the writing process. They will be paired with established theatre professionals as mentors who will assist with the development of a script in progress. Mentors will include comedy writer and playwright Sarah Cho; playwright and TV writer Inda Craig-Galván; playwright and director Lavina Jadhwani; Amrita Ramanan, Senior Cultural Strategist and Dramaturg for Play On Shakespeare; and, dramaturg Luan Schooler of Artists Repertory Theatre. The playwrights will also receive a $500 stipend and come together during the week for virtual workshops with special guests. The retreat is funded in part by a grant from the Kinsman Foundation.
"It's been an incredibly difficult year—emotionally, physically, and financially,” says Apodaca. “My hope for the retreat is to ‘buy back’ some of these playwrights’ time, from their day jobs or other commitments, so they can spend that on developing their art. ANPF’s mission is centered on supporting and assisting playwrights. That support shouldn't be focused solely on competition and presentation. The New Voices Retreat will extend our earnest commitment to inclusivity by uplifting underrepresented and largely unproduced talent. We are excited to welcome into our sphere emerging playwrights, currently grappling with the difficult, messy, and vital work of the craft."
The retreat week will conclude in conversations with the playwrights, available on ANPF’s podcast. They will also be featured in a live virtual panel during ANPF’s Fall Festival, October 20–24, where they will talk about their work and what it’s like to be a new writer during this unprecedented time.
MEET THE PLAYWRIGHTS
Kathryn de la Rosa (they/she/siya) is a Filipinx playwright and dramaturg born and raised in Kentucky. They dream of theater that loves people and their gods in the middle of America and the edges of its empire. Plays include Holy Virgins and Ribs, which have been produced and developed by student groups at Northwestern University and Indiana University. Kathryn was a 2019–20 dramaturgy apprentice at Actors Theatre of Louisville and previously interned with The New Harmony Project, Asolo Repertory Theatre, and the Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts. They are a current MA Theology and the Arts student at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.
Ty Greenwood has a BA in Communication Arts with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Honors in Theatre from Washington & Jefferson College and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon. In 2013, he landed a four-year scholarship/apprenticeship with KDKA TV-News Pittsburgh. There he wrote anchor packages and helped produce the “Pittsburgh Today Live Show” through the Emma Bowen Foundation, an organization that places college students with corporate sponsors, with a goal of promoting diversity in the media. In 2016, his short film Fuzzy on the Details was entered into the British Film Festival. That same year he also received the Ubuntu Emma Award through the Emma Bowen Foundation for his sense of community and promotion of diversity and togetherness in his work at college and in the media. He has presented his short play Not a Fairy Tale and research “Protecting our Black Men: Black Masculinity and the use of the Black Body” in For Black Boys Who Have Considered Homicide… at the Mid-America Theatre Conference. He developed and had a staged reading of his full-length choreopoem play Death Dream at Alumni Theatre Company in 2019. He participated in City Theatre’s 2019 Momentum Festival: New Plays at Different Stages where he presented an excerpt of Untitled Thesis Play as part of the In Their Own Voices event. His work focuses on telling stories that are not damaging to the identity, existence and bodies of Black people, but rather are empowering, unapologetic and radical in nature. Recently, City Theatre chose Ty as the inaugural recipient of a commission from the Kemp Powers Commission Fund for Black Playwrights. Asolo Repertory Theatre awarded Ty its first Ground Floor Playwright Commission to pursue a work he’s developing, inspired by Black writer and activist James Baldwin. He was commissioned by The Hansberry Project to develop new works for The Drinking Gourd: Black Writers at Work. This is a multi-year project aiming to develop a coalition of five Black theaters with shared goals to commission, develop, and premiere works by Black artists at theaters across the country.
Heesun Hwang (she/her) is a queer, Korean-American playwright and artist currently based in Brooklyn. Her recent writing work was part of Mona Pirnot writers’ group and Kenneth Lonergan workshop at Williamstown Theatre Festival and was a finalist at YoungArts UpNext: Writing. Her recent acting work includes pov: u run joe biden’s tiktok (ANTFEST, Ars Nova); Kim, Alternate, in Miss Saigon (National Tour); who’s a good girl? (Williamstown Theatre Festival ); and National YoungArts Foundation (finalist). Heesun will be joining UT Austin’s MFA playwriting program in the fall of 2021.
Jasmine Sharma (she/her) is a South Asian-American actor/writer/activist and recent graduate of Northwestern University. Jasmine and her writing have been recognized nationally by the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center (NPC semifinalist); Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards); The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards; New Jersey Governor's Awards; UCROSS; American Blues Theater; and Athena Project. Her work has been further supported by Lime Arts Productions, Permafrost Theatre Collective, NextStage Theatre Company, Mad Cow Theatre, Samuel-Lancaster Productions, Mayo Performing Arts Center, The Valdez Last Frontier Theatre Conference, The Blank Theater Company, AstonRep, AlterTheater Ensemble and Access Theater NYC. She is currently a member of The Road Theatre’s Under Construction 2021-2022 Cohort and is also partnered in the inaugural AGE: Ignite the Arts Spring 2021 Cohort. Jasmine is represented by CHI Talent Management and KMR & Associates.
Carlos-Zenen Trujillo (they/them) was born in Bejucal, Cuba, and has been an Oregonian since 2006. Carlos acknowledges that they live and work on the ancestral lands of the Kalapuya peoples. Their writing work includes: The Island in Winter or La Isla en Invierno (Inaugural Problem Play Project Commission); Abundancia (Reading; Matchbox Theatre); Christmas, Contigo (Oregon Cabaret); and Our Utopia (Bag & Baggage Productions; Fertile Ground). Their acting work includes: Alfie Byrne in A Man of No Importance; Tutor in Elektra; and Teacher in Small Mouth Sounds (Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University); Patrick Chibas in Spinning into Butter (Bag & Baggage Productions); Chorus in Oedipus (Isolation Theatre); Understudy: Toby/Pirelli in Sweeny Todd (Oregon Cabaret Theatre); Nurse/Prince/Sampson in Romeo y Julieta (Seattle Shakespeare Company); Letter Writer Three in Tiny Beautiful Things (Rogue Theatre Company); and OSF Acting Company Trainee 2020. Their honors include: Certificate of Merit in Dramaturgy (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui); Irene Ryan Award nominations (A Man of No Importance; Elektra); Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) ASPIRE Leadership Fellow 2019, KCACTF John Cauble Award. They are also a KCACTF Directing Fellow 2020. Carlos-Zenen has a BFA in Theatre Arts from Southern Oregon University.