Athena Theatre’s annual Playwriting Fellowship, Athena Writes, selected eight playwrights assembled for a one-year exploration of the theme: “A Deafening Silence” and centered on Athena Theatre’s commitment to supporting new work which pushes at the boundaries of live theatre.
Athena Writes 2019 Playwrights:
KATE THOMAS (Resident Dramaturge) is a Brooklyn-based theatre writer. She is a 2018 Jonathan Larson Grant Finalist, and the book writer and lyricist for her musicals with Joey Contreras, Ring Around (Provincetown Playhouse, NYU, IWU, O’Neill NMTC Finalist) and Forget Me Not (The Dare Tactic). She is currently an Athena Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow, and her plays include Dirty July (Monsterpiece Theater Collective, The Eddy, New York Theater Festival) and Shooting Janine (Athena Theatre Company, Symphony Space). She received her MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from Tisch School of the Arts.
JENNY LYN BADER frequently works with This Is Not a Theatre Company, where she co-authored Café Play (Cornelia St. Café) and wrote The International Local (2018 NY Int’l Fringe Festival), a “phoneplay” available on the app Subway Plays. Jenny Lyn’s other plays include None of the Above (New Georges); In Flight (Turn to Flesh Productions), and Manhattan Casanova (Hudson Stage), winner of the O’Neill Center’s Edith Oliver Award. One-acts include Miss America (NY Int’l Fringe, “Best of Fringe” selection) and Worldness (Humana Festival). She co-founded Theatre 167, where she co-wrote The Jackson Heights Trilogy. A Harvard graduate, she belongs to The Dramatists Guild. www.jennylynbader.com
CHIMA CHIKAZUNGA , an actor, writer, and director. Graduated from Florida State University. His play 3 the Hard Way (11th Annual DUTF, semi-finalist 2014 Mentor Project, MITF Summer reading Series 2016) Sophies Sweet 16, For Chance, The Accidental Kiss (THEATRE FOR NEW CITY’S DREAM UP FESTIVAL 13,14,15). “Best Kept Secret” New City, New blood series TFNC. “No One Is promised Tomorrow, Yesterday” (CTH Playwrights Playground, NO Peeking.) “The Eye of the Wake” MITF 2016, “Touch My Heart Masterpiece “( CTH Future Classics). “A Thing Called Balance” (INTAR) “Not Just You” (AND Theatre Co.) “Echoes of a Lost Son “(AWOW) “Echoes of a Lost Son”( DREAM UP FESTIVAL 18)
JARED MICHAEL DELANEY is a playwright & actor based Philadelphia PA. Full-length productions: The Hand of Gaul, produced 2013 (Inis Nua Theatre), Noli Timere (Don’t Be Afraid) premiered 2017 (Theatre Conspiracy). Upcoming: Voyager One, New Jersey Repertory Company, 2019. Readings: Paint It Black,You Devil, Strange Sun Theatre, Best Medicine Rep; Child of Lions, HRC Showcase Theatre and “Honorable Mention” New Works of Merit; The Cannibal of Ajax, Best Medicine Rep, Vintage Theatre New Comedy Play festival; Voyager One, New Jersey Repertory Company, Khaos Theatre Company and Azuka Theatre and semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s 2018 National Playwrights’ Conference; Falstaff & the Endless Machine, Philadelphia Artist’s Collective, semi-finalist for the inaugural Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries competition. His short play “Fortune’s Fool” was selected for Aberrant Theatre’s first Ghost Light Anthology and New Jersey Repertory Company’s Theatre Brut Festival and was published in a related anthology.M.F.A. Creative Writing, Queens University of Charlotte; M.A. Theatre Arts, Villanova University. Member, AEA; Dramatists’ Guild. He has appeared as an actor off-Broadway and regionally across the country.
LUIS ROBERTO HERRERA is a Miami based playwright with a Bachelors Degree in Acting from the University of Florida. He was a resident playwright in the GREENHOUSE Residency at SPACE on Ryder Farm. He has had work produced at the Fort Lauderdale Fringe Festival, and the New York Summer Theatre Festival. He has also had readings produced by Main Street Players and South Dade Cultural Arts Center. His full-length plays include; Pale Blue Dot, BANG BANG, and Poolside Glow. Poolside Glow was most recently chosen for the New Year New Works reading series at Fantasy Theatre Factory on January 26th.
YASMINE LEVER is an award-winning writer and Equity actress with am MFA from NYU. Her short plays have been produced at theaters all over London and New York including The Cherry Lane, The Signature, The Flea, Nylon Fusion, Theater 503, Pensive federation among others. Her full lengths have been accepted and workshopped in both countries including schemes with Stratford East, The Arcola, The Belgrade among others. Her full lengths have been produced at numerous festivals including The New York International Fringe Festival, The Midtown International Fringe Festival among others. She is thrilled to join Athena’s Emerging Writers group.
JOEY MASSA is a writer/director and a graduate of Brown University where she studied Writing for Performance under Erik Ehn, Lisa D’Amour and Elmo Terry-Morgan. Her work explores gender and sexuality, often by looking at family dynamics. She is interested in themes related to motherhood and women’s positions as caretakers. She recently moved to New York and is thrilled to be participating in Athena Writes 2019.
JD STEWART is a gay Scottish writer and performer who splits his time between New York and the UK. He received his MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, ‘17. He is writer/performer of his acclaimed one man show, GAY BOY. He was a recipient of a Dewar Arts Award for Scotland in 2016 and is the Executive Story Editor for the upcoming web series, Tech Bae (created by Fikile Kani). His work has been performed and developed in South Korea, New York, and the UK.
The playwrights will also be considered for full production by Athena Theatre Company in its next season. The playwright group will be meeting twice a month, beginning in mid-January, for three hour sessions, to discuss the year’s theme, share new work, talk playwriting and the business of theatre. The meetings also comprise of discussion about individual playwrights’ projects, as well as readings of new work, where playwrights will hear their work read aloud. Athena Theatre believes that a play cannot be fully understood until the words hit the ear of an audience. This process allows playwrights to deepen their understanding of their own work, as well as glean ideas and approaches from their fellow playwrights.