"The List" Released by The Kilroys

by Naomi Crews

The KilroysThe Kilroys recently released their second-annual vetted list of un- and under-produced plays written by both female and trans* playwrights. 


LA-based collective releases vetted list of female and trans* penned plays

Following a record-breaking year of success for female and trans* playwrights, LA-based playwright/producer collective THE KILROYS has released its second annual LIST of industry-recommended new plays.

2015’s THE LIST, released today, compiles the top un- and under-produced plays written by female and trans* writers, following a survey of over 300 professional artistic directors, literary managers, professors, producers, directors, and dramaturgs. The list is facilitated by The Kilroys: an independent, LA-based group of female playwrights and producers, dedicated to taking action in the face of gender disparity in American Theatre.

In 2014, The Kilroys began THE LIST as a response to systemic gender bias in theater programming. The vetted collection of industry-recommended works was designed to bring worthy plays by female and trans* playwrights to the forefront of American theater conversation: and it has. Following inclusion in the 46 plays on 2014’s THE LIST, more than 47 productions have been mounted or announced. Playwrights featured on THE LIST have cited a significant increase in interest and readership of their work. One theater agent noted that a LIST play received a level of inquiry usually reserved for “when a new play goes into production or we announce a premiere.” Public reading series’ devoted to LIST-nominated plays have been produced in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles; Summer 2015 festivals are planned in Baltimore and Portland.

Momentum for female theater makers is on the rise, as marked by composer/lyricists Jeanine Tessori & Lisa Kron’s historic TONY Awards® win for Fun Home (the first female team to win for Best Score in the Awards’ 69-year history). As Lisa stated at the Tonys, "It's statistically 10% better [to be a woman playwright] than it used to be. It's unacceptably low, but it seems that perhaps we're making some progress." THE LIST serves as a resource for producers and theaters in continuing this movement. The Kilroys have partnered with the New Play Exchange to provide interested parties fast & easy access to THE LIST plays.

2015’s THE LIST features the 53 most recommended works of over 755 nominated plays. The nominees represent an abundance of excellent new work by female and trans* playwrights, and reflect a wide ethnic, geographic, and aesthetic diversity.

THE LIST survey uses the following criteria:

  • Each industry respondent may recommend 3-5 plays, representing the best work they have encountered in the past 12 months.
  • A nominated play must be unproduced or have had only a single professional production.
  • A nominated play must be by an author who identifies as female or trans*.
  • Plays on 2014’s THE LIST are not eligible.

Theater professionals who have read or seen at least 40 plays in the previous year are invited to nominate themselves as respondents for next year’s LIST. Recommendations are submitted anonymously. Members of The Kilroys act as facilitators and do not recommend plays for THE LIST.

THE LIST from both years is available at www.thekilroys.org.

2015’s THE LIST

  • YOU GOT OLDER by Clare Barron
  • PEERLESS by Jiehae Park
  • THE GHOSTS OF LOTE BRAVO by Hilary Bettis
  • CARDBOARD PIANO by Hansol Jung
  • NO MORE SAD THINGS by Hansol Jung
  • KENTUCKY by Leah Nanako Winkler
  • THE ROOMMATE by Jen Silverman
  • I WILL BE GONE by Erin Courtney
  • SOJOURNERS by Mfoniso Udofia
  • BALLAST by Georgette Kelly
  • FEATHERS AND TEETH by Charise Castro Smith
  • FRUITING BODIES by Sam Chanse
  • GIRL SHAKES LOOSE HER SKIN by Zakiyyah Alexander and Imani Uzuri
  • KING LIZ by Fernanda Coppel
  • STILL NOW by Katie Bender
  • WOLF PLAY by Hansol Jung
  • KING OF THE YEES by Lauren Yee
  • MILLER, MS by Boo Killebrew
  • PETTY HARBOUR by Martyna Majok
  • SMART PEOPLE by Lydia R. Diamond
  • SOLDIER X by Rehana Lew Mirza
  • THE WOLVES by Sarah DeLappe
  • UGLY LIES THE BONE by Lindsey Ferrentino
  • UNSEEN by Mona Mansour
  • SWEAT by Lynn Nottage
  • CAMDENSIDE by Sarah Burgess
  • COLONY COLLAPSE by Stefanie Zadravec
  • MANAHATTA by Mary Kathryn Nagle
  • NATIVE SON by Nambi E. Kelley
  • ROMEO & NAOMI RAMIREZ by Kathryn Walat
  • RESIDENCE by Laura Jacqmin
  • NOLLYWOOD DREAMS by Jocelyn Bioh
  • MEN ON BOATS by Jaclyn Backhaus
  • SPILL by Leigh Fondakowski
  • BULLY by Amina Henry
  • COCKED by Sarah Gubbins
  • DIRTY CRUSTY by Clare Barron
  • FADE by Tanya Saracho
  • GIVE IT ALL BACK by Calamity West
  • THE LAST MATCH by Anna Ziegler
  • MADAME HO by Eugenie Chan
  • SUPERTRUE by Karen Hartman
  • THE ASHES UNDER GAIT CITY by Christina Anderson
  • THE INSURGENTS by Lucy Thurber
  • THE TIGER AMONG US by Lauren Yee
  • THE WOLFE TWINS by Rachel Bonds
  • TO THE BONE by Lisa Ramirez
  • TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY by Susan Soon He Stanton

2015's THE LIST including play descriptions 
Photo of The Kilroys (high res version available upon request)

THE KILROYS is a gang of playwrights and producers in LA who are done talking about gender parity and are taking action. They mobilize others in their field and leverage their own power to support one another. They are Zakiyyah Alexander, Bekah Brunstetter, Sheila Callaghan, Carla Ching, Annah Feinberg, Sarah Gubbins, Laura Jacqmin, Joy Meads, Kelly Miller, Meg Miroshnik, Daria Polatin, Tanya Saracho, and Marisa Wegrzyn.


ZAKIYYAH ALEXANDER is a playwright, television writer, and occasional actor. Her plays have been seen and/or developed around the country, received numerous awards and commissions.  A graduate of the Yale School of Drama (MFA in playwriting); for four years she was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Bard College where she taught undergraduate playwriting, as well as graduate television writing at Columbia University.  Most recently, a writer on the television show Grey’s Anatomy. Currently, she is developing a musical with Imani Uzuri (featuring the poetry of Sonia Sanchez).  Zakiyyah is a native New Yorker and was raised in Queens and Brooklyn.

BEKAH BRUNSTETTER’s plays include Going to a Place Where you Already Are (SCR, Spring 2016), The Oregon Trail (O’Neill Playwright’s Conference; Upcoming, DC Women’s Playwright’s festival), Be A Good Little Widow (Ars Nova, The Old Globe) and Oohrah! (The Atlantic; Steppenwolf Garage.) She is currently an Executive Story Editor on ABC Family’s Switched at Birth. MFA, the New School for Drama.


SHEILA CALLAGHAN is a NY and LA based playwright, founding member of the Obie winning playwright's organization 13P, and New Dramatists alum. Plays include Scab, Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake), Dead City, That Pretty Pretty; Or, The Rape Play, Everything You Touch, Elevada, and Women Laughing Alone With Salad. She is published with Playscripts and Samuel French, and several of her collected works are published with Counterpoint Press. Sheila is currently a writer/producer on the Showtime comedy Shameless. http://www.sheilacallaghan.com/

CARLA CHING started doing theater with NYC collective Peeling. Fast Company, TBA and The Sugar House at the Edge of the Wilderness have been produced by South Coast Rep, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Ma-Yi Theatre Company, 2g and Porkfilled Productions. Alumna: Women’s Project Lab, Lark Playwrights Workshop, CTG Writers’ Workshop, Ma-Yi Writers Lab. Former Artistic Director of 2g and staff writer on Graceland. Proud member of New Dramatists. Upcoming: Nomad Motel at the 2015 O’Neill Playwrights Conference.


ANNAH FEINBERG's plays, which include The Beautiful Beautiful Sea Next Door, Numismatics, and The Ivories, have been developed and produced by Ars Nova, Naked Angels, EBE Ensemble, and Clubbed Thumb. She has served in artistic and literary capacities for The Civilians, LCT3, MTC, Steppenwolf, Northlight, ICM, TimeLine  and 13P. She wrote and directed short film "Gretch and Tim" and recently assisted on A+E's Damien and HBO's Veep. MFA Dramaturgy: Columbia University. http://www.annahfeinberg.com/

SARAH GUBBINS hails from Chicago. Her plays include The Kid Thing (Jeff Award and Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award), fml: how Carson McCullers saved my life, Fair Use, The Drinking Problem, and Cocked. She’s has been a Carl J. Djerassi Fellow and Jerome Fellow. Currently she’s an Artistic Associate at About Face Theater and a Core Writer of the Playwrights’ Center. She holds a M.F.A. from Northwestern University in Writing for the Screen + Stage. She lives in Los Angeles with her dog Gil.

LAURA JACQMIN is a Chicago-based playwright, TV writer, and video game writer. Plays: A Third (Finborough Theatre), Look, We Are Breathing (Sundance Theatre Lab; Rivendell Theatre),January Joiner (Long Wharf Theatre), Ski Dubai (Steppenwolf Theatre), Dental Society Midwinter Meeting (Chicago Dramatists/At Play, remounted 16th Street Theater and Theater on the Lake; Williamstown Theatre Festival), and more. Awards: Wasserstein Prize, two NEA Art Works Grants, ATHE-Kennedy Center David Mark Cohen Playwriting Award, two MacDowell Fellowships. Television: Grace and Frankie (Netflix); Lucky 7 (ABC). Video games: Minecraft: Story Mode(Telltale Games). BA Yale University, MFA Ohio University. http://www.laurajacqmin.com/

JOY MEADS is Literary Manager/Artistic Engagement Strategist at Center Theatre Group. Recent dramaturgy credits include Forever by Dael Orlandersmith, Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison (2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist), The Royale by Marco Ramirez, & Radiate by Daniel Alexander Jones. Previously, Joy was Literary Manager at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Associate Artistic Director at California Shakespeare Theater. Joy has also developed plays with NYTW, Berkeley Rep, Denver Center, the O'Neill, Portland Center Stage, South Coast Rep, & Campo Santo, among others.

KELLY L. MILLER is the Director of Development for New Neighborhood. For the last six years, she served as South Coast Repertory’s Literary Director and the Co-Director of the Pacific Playwrights Festival. She dramaturged over 40 world premiere productions and readings at SCR and created the CrossRoads commissioning project. Miller has worked at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Williamstown, Long Wharf Theatre and consulted for the O’Neill, Berkeley Rep, the Kennedy Center, PlayPenn, the Public and many others. She continues to develop new work with her company Creative Destruction.

MEG MIROSHNIK’s plays include The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls (Yale Rep; Alliance), The Tall Girls (Alliance; O’Neill; La Jolla Playhouse DNA Series), The Droll (Pacific Playwrights Festival) and Lady Tattoo. Awards: Whiting Award, Susan Smith Blackburn finalist, Alliance/Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award. Publications: Samuel French. Commissions: South Coast Rep, Steppenwolf, and Yale Rep. MFA: Yale School of Drama under Paula Vogel. Affiliation: Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center. Meg hails from Minneapolis and currently lives in Los Angeles.


DARIA POLATIN is a playwright and TV writer, and recently worked on the upcoming Starz ballet drama “Flesh and Bone.” Her plays include In Tandem, The Luxor Express, Guidance, That First Fall, D.C., and A Fair Affair; her work has been produced at The Kennedy Center, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Naked Angels, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Cape Cod Theatre Project, Golden Thread Productions, in London, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. Member of Center Theatre Group Writers' Workshop, residency with London's Royal Court Theatre, alumna of EST's Youngblood. She has directed plays, and the short film “Till It Gets Weird.” BFA Boston University, MFA Columbia University. Kennedy Center/A.C.T.F. Best One-Act Play, Middle East America Playwriting Prize Honorable Mention. Plays published by Dramatists Play Service, Dramatic Publishing Company, and Vintage Books. http://www.dariapolatin.com/

TANYA SARACHO (born in Sinaloa, México) is a playwright, actor and TV writer (HBO'sLooking & Girls, Devious Maids) who is currently writing for How To Get Away With Murder.  Produced at: Denver Theatre Center (upcoming), 2nd Stage (NYC), Steppenwolf Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Goodman Theater, Teatro Vista, Teatro Luna, Fountain Theater, Clubbed Thumb, NEXT Theater and 16th Street Theater. Plays include: Fade; Hushabye; The Tenth Muse;Song for the Disappeared; Enfrascada; El Nogalar (inspired by The Cherry Orchard); an adaptation of The House on Mango Street for Steppenwolf; Our Lady of the Underpass; Kita y Fernanda andQuita Mitos. In Development with: HBO (adaptation of Mala Hierba), Two Rivers Theatre, Denver Theater Center, South Coast Rep., Goodman Theater, and Steppenwolf Theatre. Tanya's a proud Union member of SAG/AFTRA & WGA.

MARISA WEGRZYN Chicago playwright working in LA. Writer of Mud Blue Sky, The Butcher of Baraboo, Hickorydickory, Killing Women, Ten Cent Night, other stuff. Gigs at Steppenwolf, Second Stage NYC, Baltimore Centerstage, A Red Orchid Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Theatre Seven, Moxie Theatre, other places. Winner of the Wendy Wasserstein Playwriting Prize. Writer on TV shows Mind Games (ABC) and The Mentalist (CBS). Enjoys weather.