Art House Productions is proud to announce the 2020-2021 cohort of its INKubator Program. INKubator is a year-long generative process for a select group of 6 playwrights in residence at Art House Productions. This year's playwrights are Andrea Coleman, Izzi D’Esposito, Madeline Dennis-Yates, Nathaniel Foster, Aja Nisenson, and SMJ.
Playwrights will meet on a monthly basis alongside program director Alex Tobey to share new work, receive feedback, and develop a first draft of a new play. Meetings will begin virtually, but are expected to transition to in-person when it’s safe to do so. In the spring, each writer will team up with a director and actors to present a public reading in May as a part of the annual INKubator New Play Festival. In addition to monthly meetings, INKubator playwrights will receive free admission to performances, mixers, and other events at Art House Productions. Playwrights will also have the ability to schedule time in both the theatre and classroom for any meetings, rehearsals, and readings as needed for free. The 3rd Annual INKubator New Play Festival, a six-day marathon festival that serves as the culmination of the residency will take place in May 2021. Audiences who attend the festival will also have the opportunity to participate in conversations with the writers, directors, and actors following each performance.
This year's submissions were evaluated through a process coordinated by Art House Productions’ INKubator Program Director, Alex Tobey, in partnership with Art House Productions’ Meredith Burns, playwright and director Kevin R. Free, Art House Productions’ Courtney Little, and playwright Lia Romeo.
The following finalists were also honored in this year’s submission process: Avery Deutsch, Bixby Elliot, Vince Gatton, Amy Gijsbers van Wijk, Steven Hayet, James Kennedy, Grant MacDermott, Matt Minnicino, Max Reuben, Amalia Oliva Rojas, and Emma Catherine Watkins.
Meredith Burns, Executive Director of Art House Productions, says, “I think playwriting is more important than ever before. The traditional playgoing theater experience is mostly on hold, but when all is fully safe, I believe theater will experience a renaissance by bringing people together to cathartically explore ideas in the same room again. A few of the selected playwrights will incorporate virtual options for audiences and we’re thrilled to support new, traditional, and hybrid forms of theater. We at Art House know how difficult this period in time is for theater artists and we’re continuing to look for ways to support. We encourage all of the playwrights that applied this year to keep creating. The theater will come back and your voice will be needed.”
Andrea Coleman is a Brooklyn based writer, performer and lawyer originally from Virginia. She writes sketch comedy, standup comedy, screenplays and stageplays. Her Medium articles have been viewed online over half a million times. The law comedy show she created and stars in, Woke Laws, has been featured in The New York Times, TimeOut NY, NPR and aired on PBS. In New York, Andrea has performed standup at Comedy Cellar, Comic Strip, Gotham and Caroline’s. She's toured her standup at SF Sketchfest, Women in Comedy Festival and Austin Sketch Fest. She is an Actor on a UCB Maude Team and a writer on an Armory Sketch team. Andrea has written and executive produced 5 short films which have been Official Selections at 16 Film Festivals and her feature script was in IFPs 2010 Film Week and her Woke Laws podcast was selected for IFP’s 2020 Audio Lab. She is in her 14th year as a Senior Trial Attorney at a Fortune 100 company.
Izzi D’Esposito (she/her) is a New York based playwright, and songwriter. Her work has been produced or developed at The Playwrights Realm, Workshop Theater, Homegrown Theater, the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Ars Nova, Arts Tristate, Carnegie Mellon University, Horizon Theater, Boise Contemporary Theater and more. Isabella received her MFA in Dramatic Writing at Carnegie Mellon University, studying under Rob Handel, and a degree in Playwriting and Screenwriting from Purchase College, studying under Christina Anderson and Sylvan Oswald. She has a podcast called lowercase sober about being sober in your 20’s (out now on all podcast platforms), and she releases new music under the name Bizzi.
Madeline Dennis-Yates (she/her) is a playwright and screenwriter whose most recent project, this is not the reunion, was a commissioned play for Stagefemmes at Kenyon College. She studied playwriting at the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. She’s also worked in the literary office at the O’Neill, as well as at Abingdon Theatre Company. Her work has been produced and received readings at the New Short Play Festival (playwright ensemble member), the Source Festival, New York Winterfest, Manhattan Repertory Theatre, D.C. Shorts Film Festival, and others. She’s also studied at Upright Citizens Brigade and Second City. Madeline attended George Washington University in D.C., where she was an art history major and captain of the equestrian team. (She likes horses.)
Nathaniel Foster is a New York City-based Playwright, Performer, and Dramaturg. He is a 2017 Kennedy Center New Play Dramaturgy Fellow, 2018 ASTEP Artist as Citizens Fellow, a 2018 Cape Cod Theatre Project New Play Development Fellow and a 2019 New Play Development Apprentice at The Public Theater. He was the recipient of the 2018 Kennedy Center Ken Ludwig Young Playwright Award. He served as an associate producer for Loading Dock Theatre’s 2020 Forklift season and is currently an associate producer for Black Lives, Black Words. His plays have been seen or developed at The Kennedy Center, The Workshop Theatre, New York Theatre Festival, The Brick, Fort Collins Fringe Festival, Southern Utah University, Pharmacy Theatre and The Tank.
Aja Nisenson is a playwright and performer originating from New Jersey. Her plays include: Slap (Take Ten, National MFA Playwrights Festival), Park Slope Under Water (Iowa New Play Festival), The Wait (Iowa New Play Festival), Funk (Iowa Playwrights Workshop), Piccola Cosi (FringeNYC, soloNOVA Arts Festival, Triad Theatre), Daja Vu, A French Cabaret Gone Awry (Eugene O’Neill Cabaret Conference, FringeNYC, Flute Bar Gramercy), My Life is a Woody Allen Film (United Solo Theatre Festival, EstroGenius Festival), Five Years Later (Salem Theatre). Her play Love was part of the 2020 Kennedy Center MFA Workshop. She is a MacDowell fellow and has held fellowships at the Eugene O’Neill Cabaret Conference and The Marble House Project. She is published in Theater Masters’ Take Ten Vol.4 with Samuel French, and received the Jane Chambers Student Playwright Award. Aja received her BA from Brown University and MFA at the Iowa Playwrights Workshop.
SMJ (they/them) is an NYC-based, mixed, and non-binary playwright, mime, and theater educator originally from Mount Vernon, Ohio. Their work has been seen in various forms in New York, Connecticut, Texas, Ohio, and the UK. SMJ is a mime of 13 years with training from Gregg Goldston, Rick Wamer, Lorie Heald, and Stephen Chipps. They’ve been a resident artist at Access Theater, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, NWPR in Grand Lake, CO, and Dragon’s Egg Studio. They’re a proud graduate of the BFA Acting program with a Dance minor at Otterbein University and the National Theater Institute.
Art House Productions is generously supported by The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, MACK-CALI Realty, SILVERMAN, Manhattan Building Company, CoolVines, and Congressman Frank Guarini.
Art House Productions is committed to accessibility and inclusivity in all the public programming presented by our organization at our newly constructed performance venue. Art House Productions produces work with a shrewd sense of social responsibility and challenges the idea of "universal" mind and "universal" body in each artistic endeavor.
About Art House Productions:Art House Productions is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to the development and presentation of the performing and visual arts in Jersey City, NJ. Art House Productions presents theater, performing and visual arts festivals, arts events, visual art exhibitions, and adult and youth art classes For more information about our programs, please visit our website at www.arthouseproductions.org. Follow us on social media @arthouseproductions @arthouseprods.