New York, NY (February 19, 2014) –  –  The Drama League (Gabriel Shanks, Executive Director;  Roger T. Danforth, Artistic Director) has announced the ten artists and theater ensembles chosen to develop new plays and musicals as part of the 2014 Artist Residency Program.  The development of these works, which include two 2014 Artists In Residence, Rachel Dickstein/Ripe Time and Jeremy Bloom/Rady&Bloom,  will be held at The Drama League Theater Center (32 Avenue of the Americas) in Tribeca from March-July 2014.

The Resident Artists Program, made possible in part by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, offers director/collaborator teams and/or ensembles an opportunity to comfortably develop a new theatre piece as artists-in-residence at the Drama League Theater Center in Tribeca.  A residency stipend, significant hours of rehearsal space, professional mentorship, administrative support, and community engagement allow selected artists to fully inhabit an extended, process-oriented residency experience.

All artists in the program will also offer insight into their creative process at public events on dates from March-April.  To reserve seats, please visit http://www.dramaleague.org or call (212) 244-9494.

The Drama League Directors Project has grown to become the preeminent development program for theatre directors – providing talented artists with career-changing experiences in the professional theatre.

The 2014 Drama League Artist Residency Program Recipients


Artist/Collaborator Team:  Rachel Dickstein / Ripe Time

The World is Round

adapted from Gertrude Stein

Written, Conceived, and Directed by Rachel Dickstein

Music and Lyrics by Heather Christian

Public Event: “Eyes A Surprise,” Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.

Premiering at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in April, The World is Round transforms Gertrude Stein’s modernist children’s novel into a contemporary folk opera fable for adults and children. Written, conceived, and directed by Rachel Dickstein (Septimus and Clarissa) in collaboration with composer and lyricist Heather Christian (Mission Drift), the piece tells a cautionary tale about a young girl who embarks on a personal quest to reach the top of a mountain and experiences firsthand how ambition can both shape and erode a woman’s sense of self

On March 25, Rachel Dickstein will offer “Eyes A Surprise,” a workshop exploring the methods used to devise the new music-dance-theater work The World is Round. Participants will transform Stein’s text into visual, physical and compositional ideas.  The World is Round will have its world premiere at BAM Fisher Space in April.

Rachel Dickstein devised, choreographed, and directed the world premieres of the critically acclaimed Septimus and Clarissa (adapted by Ellen McLaughlin from Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway) at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, Fire Throws at 3LD ART & Technology Center, Innocents at the Ohio Theatre (based on Edith Wharton’s The House Of Mirth), and Betrothed (based on stories by Jhumpa Lahiri, Chekhov and S. Ansky) at the Ohio Theatre. Rachel has created and directed other new works for New York Theatre Workshop, New Georges, HERE Arts Center, The Ohio Theatre, SUNY-Purchase, NYSF/Joe’s Pub, Lincoln Center Theatre Directorʼs Lab, Drama League Directors Project and Seattleʼs Annex Theatre. She has served as a resident director at New Dramatists and Assistant Director to dance-theatre luminary Martha Clarke nationally and internationally. Rachel is developing Sylvan Wood, a site specific collaboration with designer Susan Zeeman Rogers commissioned by People’s Light and Theatre Company.

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Artist/Collaborator Team:  Jeremy Bloom / Rady&Bloom

The Upper Room

A Devotional Music-Theater Work

Public Event: “Environmentalism and Theater,” Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.

The Upper Room is a devotional music-theater work incorporating play, choral concert, and congregation. Sunday by Sunday, we witness the miraculous human-to-sea-creature-humanoid transformation of a small religious cult on a remote Maine island that is being submerged by sea-level rise.   Quirky small-town characters and zany supernatural tales resonate sharply in contrast with an earnest “bootstrap” American spirituality, and the very real dangers of climate change and sea-level rise.

With The Upper Room, Rady&Bloom tackles extreme devotion and the very real dangers of global warming and sea-level rise. On June 14, the company will host an environmentalist panel discussion and perform brief selections from the play.

Based in New York, Jeremy Bloom is the Artistic Director of Rady&Bloom.  New work with Brian Rady includes The Orange Person, The Girl of The Golden West and currently The Upper Room; the company has appeared at Ars Nova and The Ice Factory at New Ohio Theatre, among other venues. In opera, Jeremy has directed the world premieres of Oration with Center for Contemporary Opera, Loose, Wet, and Perforated with Guerrilla Opera of Boston and the New York premiere of Aperghis’ Sextuour: l’origine des especes. He is an artist in residence at The Cell and Artistic Executive with Evenstar Films. He is a Drama League Directing Fellow, an EST Resident Director, Soho Rep Lab Director, a TS Eliot director at The Old Vic, and an alumnus of Northwestern University.

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Artist:  Anna Brenner

Won’t Be A Ghost

A Play by Francis Weiss Rabkin

Directed by Anna Brenner

Public Event: “Transgender Representation on Stage,” Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

Won’t Be A Ghost, by Frances Weiss Rabkin, weaves together the stories of St. Sebastian and Army Intelligence Analyst/WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning.  The script uses AIM chats between Manning and Adrian Lamo, the hacker informant who turned her in to the FBI.  Immediately following her sentencing to 35 years in prison at Fort Leavenworth, Manning, in a letter read by her lawyer as her last opportunity to communicate directly with the press, came out as transgender.  Ft. Leavenworth, an all-male military prison, seems like a death sentence for a 5’2”, transgendered woman.  No American citizen has ever been so severely punished under the Espionage Act.

On May 8, Ms. Brenner will invite the audience to view excerpts from the piece in development, and participate in a discussion of contemporary political issues and transgender representation onstage.

Anna Brenner‘s directing credits include The Hotel Colors (Bushwick Starr); The Glass Menagerie (Theatreworks, Colorado Springs);  Crime and Punishment and The Idiot (Classic Stage Company);  Peter Gil-Sheridan’s Cockfight (PlayPenn and Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab);  Stone Open House (with Laurie Anderson), and  The Misanthrope (PS 122;  undergroundzero Audience Award).  Anna adapted and directed Robert Altman’s 3 Women (Columbia Stages),  Anton Chekhov’s Anyuta (Philadelphia Shakespeare), and devised Terra Incognita (CPR), Disquiet (Living Theatre),  Are We Here Yet? (PS122). She directs and teaches at SUNY Purchase and is Artistic Associate at Classic Stage Company.

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Artist:  Michael Goldfried

The Indelible Mark on Edward Barron

An Innovative New Play with Puppets, Music, and Dance

Public Event: “LGBT Generations Workshop,” Date TBA

Mr. Goldfried will work with co-writer, puppet designer and director Stefano Brancato to develop The Indelible Mark on Edward Barron, an innovative new play that uses puppets, actors, original music and dance to tell a powerful story.  Based on real historical figures, that follows failed set-designer Edward Barron – handsome, brilliant, and terrified of people – who retreats from New York City’s high-pressure theater world in the late 1950’s to hide in his parents’ attic and obsess over the minutiae of his elaborately constructed, lavish toy theater operettas.

The creators of The Indelible Mark on Edward Barron will offer a community engagement event that connects at-risk LGBT youth with LGBT seniors for a creative workshop on the subject of the struggles and strengths derived from coming of age as a gay person.

Michael Goldfried has directed at The Summer Play Festival, Ars Nova, Joe’s Pub, A.R.T., Trinity Rep, HERE, The Barrow Group, EST, and more.  He is co-writer of Icarus, a new play with music and puppets. A graduate of the MFA Program at Brown University/Trinity Rep Consortium, Mr. Goldfried was a 2009-11 participant in the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors and was the 2007 Directing Fellow at the Geva Theatre Center.  He is a 2005 alumnus of The Drama League Directors Project.

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Artist/Collaborator Team: Daniel Nelson / Woof Nova Collective

Give Back My Beast

Adapted from multiple sources

Public Event: “Hijacking Nostalgia,” Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.

Give Back My Beast is a new devised theater piece that explores the struggle to maintain connection to the present moment in the face of overwhelming nostalgia for the past and future.  Utilizing oral narratives by the Swampy Cree Indians of North America, Jose Ramon Jimenez classic portrait of a remote town Platero and I, and the work of 19th Century theorist Francoise Delsarte, the piece will feature Woof Nova’s unique style of combining handcrafted/found objects and scenic elements.

On May 4, Nelson and Woof Nova will explore the structure of their upcoming devised theater piece Give Back My Beast, along a wavering line between fact and fiction. A present-time demonstration of objects, slide shows, and intermittent Q & A sessions will get hijacked by nostalgic images that have the power to take hold of and possess the performers.

Daniel Nelson is a New York based performer, writer, director, designer and founding member of Woof Nova Collective (www.woofnova.org).  His original works include The Vanishing Play (Incubator Arts Project), Don’t Peek (LaMama ETC), Hearts & Tongues (LaMama ETC, LOF/T Space- Baltimore, & Ko Festival), Spoleum (Ontological-Hysteric Theater, Baltimore Theater Project ), Sedimentary (Ontological Theater, Galapagos Art Space), and Veils/Vestiges (Ontological Theater). Performance credits include Richard Foreman’s Idiot Savant (Public Theater);  Marie-Christine Katz’s Unraveling (The Kitchen);  Jeff McMahon’s Straight Talk (Dixon Place); Object Collection’s: No Hotel (Incubator Arts), Actua (Invisible Dog)  and Famous Actors (Ontological Theater);  Joshua Gelb’s Blind Alley Guy (IAP);  Pioneers Go East’s: 7AM di Mattina,” and Charles Mee’s Fire Island  (3-Legged Dog). Directorial credits include  Tom Breidenbach’s Pharmacose, and Bleat, both staged at Ontological Theater & Galapagos Art Space; Chris Tanner’s Footballhead (Dixon Place); and the world premiere of John Patrick Shanley’s Veronica (Hudson Guild).  His scenic and puppet designs have been seen at various venues in NYC including St. Ann’s Warehouse, Mabou Mines, and Poet’s Den.

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Artist:  Kevin Doyle


An Original Work in Progress based on Congressional Transcripts

Public Event: “1960’s: Pell and Arts Funding,” Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.

The AЯTS is original work of interdisciplinary theater that investigates the history of public funding for the arts in the United States. Based upon transcripts from Congressional hearings from 1963-1965 which led to the creation of the National Endowment and transcripts from 1989-1994, when a series of “culture war” controversies initiated by a new generation of Congressional leaders led to the largest budget cuts in the history of the Endowment, the piece also includes interviews with contemporary European and American arts leaders about their thoughts and approaches to arts funding.

On March 13, a work-in-progress excerpt of The AЯTS will focus on the 1960s and Congressional hearings on arts funding chaired by the late Senator Pell (D-RI). A short presentation and discussion about the company’s findings will follow, led by director Kevin Doyle.

Kevin Doyle works as a playwright, director, designer, and artistic director of Sponsored By Nobody, an international theatre company based in Brooklyn.  Recent works include ATM or this is [not] new york at the Monty Arts Center (Antwerp);  Behind The Bullseye at the Ontological Theater (New York); Les années amputées at Les nuages en pantalon (Québec City);  The Position  in a Romanian translation at Theatru Godot (Bucharest);  these images are written on my body, a collaboration with choreographer Kajsa Sandström at MDT (Stockholm); and the premiere of  W.M.D. (just the low points)  at The Game Is Up! Festival at the Vooruit Arts Centre (Ghent), which received a national tour of Belgium and The Netherlands.  Doyle is a recipient of a Thornton Wilder Fellowship at The MacDowell Colony; residencies in Performance & Media at the Corporation of Yaddo (2010/2013); and Playwriting residencies at the Edward F. Albee Foundation (NY), the Brush Creek Arts Foundation (WY), Playa (OR), Escape To Create (FL), Willapa Bay (WA) and Fundación Valparaiso in Mojácar, Spain. In 2012, Doyle received a Cultural Exchange Fund Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and was as a 2013 Emerging Leaders Fellow at the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

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Artist: Jesse Jou

One Hundred Hungry Ghosts

A play based on the Japanese ghost story tradition of Hyakumonogatari Kaidan-Kai

Public Event: “Imagining Spirits,” Tuesday,  June 3, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.

One Hundred Hungry Ghosts investigates the ways unresolved grief shapes, distorts, and transforms how one lives in and perceives the world. A personal family tragedy is filtered through the inspirations provided by Japanese/Chinese ghost stories and the urban legends of New Jersey. The title of the play comes from the Japanese ghost story tradition of Hyakumonogatari Kaidan-Kai, a game in which 100 candles are lit and extinguished one by one as each participant tells a ghost story, until the last story is told in a room lit by only one candle, an exquisite turning of a screw.

On June 3, in an evening of selected readings and audience participation, One Hundred Hungry Ghosts invites you to imagine an invisible world of spirits to aid the development of this new theater piece.

Jesse Jou is based in New York City where he works as a freelance theater director primarily of contemporary and new plays. Favorite projects include Say You Heard My Echo (HERE); The Betrothed by Dipika Guha and Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom by Jennifer Haley (Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, Cape Cod, MA); The Netflix Plays (Ars Nova).  His directing work has also been seen at the Lark Play Development Center, the New York International Fringe Festival,  The Kitchen Theatre Co. (Ithaca, NY), and the Yale Cabaret.  Jesse was the Artistic Director of the 2010 Yale Summer Cabaret and served as the Staff Repertory Director of The Acting Company. He was the 2012 Classical Fellow of the Drama League’s Directors Project, a member of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and a member of The Civilians R&D Group. MFA, Yale School of Drama.

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Summer 2014

Artist/Collaborator Team: Christopher and Justin Swader

The Beetle

Adapted from the supernatural novel by Richard Marsh

Richard Marsh’s supernatural novel The Beetle was published in 1897, within days of Bram Stoker’s DraculaThe Beetle dramatically outsold Stoker’s novel, and its immediate success made it a staple among the Victorian horror genre.  Oddly, it fell into obscurity and was essentially forgotten once the novel went out of print in the 1960s.  With the exception of a lost silent film, the material has questionably remained untouched.  This residency will unearth the novel’s ambitious creative potential as a stage adaptation, inviting the company to take risks, and responsibility, with artistic experimentation.

Christopher and Justin Swader are New York-based directors and scenic designers.  Most recently, they directed an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Oval Portrait for The Dark Festival at The Tank Theatre.  Directing credits include The Receptionist (dir. Christopher Swader) and The Thugs (dir. Justin Swader), and Oliver Lansley’s Ernest and the Pale Moon.  Selected co-design credits include If [or when] the Roof Falls In (Rescue Agreement/Cap 21), God’s Ear, and the world premiere of the original musical The Circus in Winter.  They have recently worked on projects with Mabou Mines, Beth Morrison Projects, HERE Arts Center, Basil Twist, Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, Theatre for a New Audience, and Julian Crouch.  In the spring, they will be assisting director Arin Arbus on King Lear at Theatre for a New Audience.

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Friday February 28,  2014 at  7:00 p.m.


A new play by Harrison David Rivers

Directed by David Mendizabal

In this riveting, fabulous new play, “The Trojan Women” meets “Paris is Burning,” Jennie Livingston’s seminal documentary on Harlem ball culture. Set in a hospital waiting room in the midst of a mysterious plague, the play explores the complicated issues of gender, sexuality, health, family and motherhood.

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Friday, March 14, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.


Excerpts from an Epic Play

By Tadeusz Slobodzianek

Directed by Cosmin Chivu

Spanning 80 years and moving between Poland and America, Tadeusz Slobodzianek’s epic play Our Class follows ten classmates – five Catholic, five Jewish – as their lives take dramatically unexpected turns in a country torn apart by invading armies, first Soviet, then German, then Soviet again. Director Cosmin Chivu will mine themes and ideas for a future production in this revealing evening of exploration.

For additional information, please visit the website at www.dramaleague.org.

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