Kilroys Publish 2016 Version of The List

by Jacob Coakley
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THE KILROYS Photo by Elisabeth Caren at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
THE KILROYS Photo by Elisabeth Caren at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

The Kilroys, an LA-based playwright and producer collective that fights for gender parity in American theatre, released its 2016 list of industry-recommended new plays. “The List” contains 32 production-ready plays by female and trans playwrights, chosen after surveying 230 professional artistic directors, literary managers, professors, producers and more. Since its introduction in 2014, more than 100 productions of plays on The List have been mounted or announced.

THE KILROYS LAUNCH 3RD ANNUAL “THE LIST”

LA-based collective continues momentum for female and trans* playwrights, spotlighting 32 production-ready new plays

Continuing the fight to achieve gender parity in the American Theater, LA-based playwright/producer collective THE KILROYS has released its third annual list of industry-recommended new plays.  

THE LIST 2016, released today, features the most nominated unproduced plays written by female and trans* writers, following a survey of 230 professional artistic directors, literary managers, professors, producers, directors, and dramaturgs. THE LIST is facilitated by The Kilroys, an independent group dedicated to taking action in the face of gender disparity in the American Theater.  

Dubbed “the Superheroines of the American Theater” by Backstage magazine, The Kilroys created THE LIST in 2014 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 the American Theater conversation: and it has. In the first two years of its existence, THE LIST has featured 99 plays (46 plays on THE LIST 2014; 53 plays on THE LIST 2015), and over 1,000 plays have been nominated by upwards of 450 industry professionals. Since then, more than 100 productions of plays on THE LIST from both years have been mounted or announced.

Playwrights report that inclusion on THE LIST has given an undeniable boost to their careers. “I owe my career to The Kilroys’ LIST,” says Jiehae Park, author of Peerless (THE LIST 2015, Yale Rep 2015) and Hannah and the Dread Gazebo (THE LIST 2014, Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2017). Writer Gabrielle Reisman (Catch the Wall, THE LIST 2014) says, “As a tool for introducing writers to people interested in writers, THE LIST is unparalleled.” In a survey of LIST playwrights, 95% of respondents reported an increase of requests for their plays following inclusion in THE LIST, and 80% report subsequent productions at such notable theaters as Actors Theatre of Louisville, Center Theatre Group, South Coast Rep, Atlantic Theater Company and others.

Momentum for female theater makers is on the rise, despite continued under-representation of female and trans* playwrights on American stages. According to The Count, an ongoing study funded by The Lilly Awards and The Dramatists Guild, released in 2015, only 22% of productions in regional theaters over the three years prior were written by women. The Kilroys have worked to help propagate new momentum. Playwright Georgette Kelly (Ballast, THE LIST 2015) notes, “In just a few years, The Kilroys have done a huge amount of work to shift the paradigm about gender parity in the theater. They have increased my visibility as a playwright, called me to a greater engagement with the national dialogue about equity in theater, and generally reminded me that a small, committed group of bad-asses can change the world.”

THE LIST serves as a resource for producers and theaters committed to gender parity. The Kilroys have partnered with the New Play Exchange to provide interested parties fast and easy access to THE LIST plays.

THE LIST 2016 features the 32 most-recommended plays out of 569 plays nominated (each of these 32 plays received between 5 and 14 nominations). Eighty two plays received honorable mentions (each of these received 3 to 4 nominations). In an effort to further diversity the writers represented, THE LIST 2016 features only unproduced 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 2016 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.

•      A nominated play must be by an author who identifies as female or trans*.

•      Plays on THE LIST 2014 and 2015 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 is available at www.thekilroys.org.

THE LIST 2016

•      THE ART OF GAMAN by Dipika Guha

•      KINGS by Sarah Burgess

•      CURVE OF DEPARTURE by Rachel Bonds

•      LAURA AND THE SEA by Kate Tarker

•      AIR SPACE by Tori Keenan-Zelt

•      RADIO ISLAND by Liz Birkenmeier

•      COST OF LIVING by Martyna Majok

•      DANCE NATION by Clare Barron

•      CYGNUS by Susan Soon He Stanton

•      PILGRIMS by Claire Kiechel

•      PRETTY HUNGER by Patricia Ione Lloyd

•      SCHOOL GIRLS; OR THE AFRICAN MEAN GIRLS PLAY by Jocelyn Bioh

•      381 BLEECKER by Gia Marotta

•      BRILLIANT WORKS OF ART by Donna Hoke

•      COLLECTIVE RAGE: A PLAY IN FIVE BOOPS by Jen Silverman

•      MERIT by Lenelle Moïse

•      OUT OF ORBIT by Jennifer Maisel

•      THE RUG DEALER by Riti Sachdeva

•      TRANSFERS by Lucy Thurber

•      WILD GOOSE DREAMS by Hansol Jung

•      WINK by Jen Silverman

•      AGAINST THE HILLSIDE by Sylvia Khoury

•      EAT AND YOU BELONG TO US by MJ Kaufman

•      FIRECRACKER by Rachel Bonds

•      GOOD GRIEF by Ngozi Anyanwu

•      ORANGE by Aditi Brennan Kapil

•      PASS OVER by Antoinette Nwandu

•      ROZ AND RAY by Karen Hartman

•      SOFONISBA by Callie Kimball

•      SOMEBODY’S DAUGHTER by Chisa Hutchinson

•      WELCOME TO FEAR CITY by Kara Lee Corthron

•      WOLF AT THE DOOR by Marisela Treviño Orta

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.

BIOS FOR THE KILROYS

ZAKIYYAH ALEXANDER’s work has been seen and developed around the country, including: 10 Things To Do Before I Die (Second Stage), Sweet Maladies (Brava Theater Center, Rucker Theater) and, The Etymology of Bird (Summerstage). Her musical, GIRLShakes Loose, has been the recipient of a Map and Joyce Fund Award with Penumbra Theater and will be developed at the O’Neill Music Theater Conference. An alumni of: The MacDowell Arts Colony, New Dramatists, Center Theater Groups Writers Lab, Women’s Project Lab, Drama League Fellow, Youngblood EST. Yale School of Drama: MFA in playwriting. Television: 24 Legacy and Grey’s Anatomy.

BEKAH BRUNSTETTER’s plays include Cake (Ojai Playwrights Conference, upcoming), Going to a Place Where you Already Are (SCR), The Oregon Trail (O’Neill Playwright’s Conference, DC Women’s Playwright’s festival), Be A Good Little Widow (Ars Nova, The Old Globe) and Oohrah! (The Atlantic; Steppenwolf Garage). She has written for Switched at Birth and Starz' American Gods and is currently a co-producer on NBC's This is Us. MFA, the New School for Drama. blog.bekahbrunstetter.com

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. sheilacallaghan.com

CARLA CHING is a native Angeleno who fell into theater in New York.  Her plays include Nomad Motel (O'Neill Playwrights Conference), Fast Company (EST; South Coast Rep; Lyric Stage; Porkfilled Players), TBA (2g), The Sugar House at the Edge of the Wilderness (Ma-Yi), and The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up (forthcoming with Artists at Play and Mu Performing Arts), among others. Alumna of the Women’s Project Lab, Lark Playwrights Workshop, CTG Writers’ Workshop and the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. Former Artistic Director of Asian American theater company, 2g. Published by Samuel French. Proud member of New Dramatists. Carla has written on USA's Graceland and AMC's Fear the Walking Dead. carlaching.com

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, The Blank 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”, cartoons @memyselvesand, and has assisted on Netflix’s Arrested Development and Flaked, A+E’s Damien and HBO’s Veep. MFA Dramaturgy: Columbia University. 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 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.

LAURA JACQMIN is a Chicago-based playwright, TV writer, and video game writer. Plays: Residence (40th Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville), 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: Get Shorty (MGM/Epix); Grace and Frankie (Netflix); Lucky 7 (ABC). Video games: Minecraft: Story Mode (Telltale Games). BA Yale University, MFA Ohio University. 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 MILLER is a Manager at The Shuman Company in LA. Recently, she served as the Director of Development for New Neighborhood and as South Coast Repertory’s Literary Director and the Co-Director of the Pacific Playwrights Festival from 2009-2015. 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, Public Theater, Native Voices at the Autry and many others. She serves on the board for the Women’s Project and develops new work with her company Creative Destruction. Upcoming: Lake Tofte Center, Kennedy Center, and SPACE on Ryder Farm.

MEG MIROSHNIK is an LA-based, Minneapolis-bred playwright who writes heightened language. 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; Undermain) and Lady Tattoo (Pacific Playwrights Festival). Awards: Whiting Award, Susan Smith Blackburn finalist, Alliance/Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award. Publications: Samuel French. MFA: Yale School of Drama under Paula Vogel. Affiliation: Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center. Upcoming: Utopia, MN at Williamstown Theatre Festival and Fickle: A Fancy French Farce, a new Marivaux adaptation for Olney Theatre Center.

DARIA POLATIN is a playwright and TV writer, currently working on the upcoming Hulu drama series, Shut Eye. Daria’s plays include Palmyra, In Tandem, The Luxor Express, Guidance, That First Fall, and D.C.; her work has been produced at The Kennedy Center, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Naked Angels, Ensemble Studio Theatre NY, Golden Thread Productions, Noor Theatre, Malibu Playhouse, The Wilshire Ebell Theatre, Cape Cod Theatre Project, in London, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong.  Member of Center Theatre Group Writers’ Workshop, residency with London’s Royal Court Theatre, alumna of Youngblood.  Daria has directed plays, and her short film, “Till It Gets Weird.”  BFA Boston University, MFA Columbia University.  Daria’s thriller novel Devil in Ohio will be published by Macmillan in 2017.  Awards: Kennedy Center/A.C.T.F. Best One-Act Play, Wasserstein Prize Nominee, Middle East America Playwriting Prize Honorable Mention, Princess Grace Award Finalist.  Plays published by Dramatists Play Service, Dramatic Publishing Co., and Vintage Books. dariapolatin.com

TANYA SARACHO was born in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, México. She is a playwright and Television Writer who's worked on How To Get Away With Murder, HBO's Looking & Girls, and Devious Maids. Named "Best New Playwright" by Chicago Magazine, Saracho has had plays produced at: Primary Stages in NYC (upcoming), Second Stage in NYC, Denver Theatre Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Goodman Theater, Steppenwolf Theater, Teatro Vista, Teatro Luna, Fountain Theater, Clubbed Thumb, NEXT Theater and 16th Street Theater. Saracho was named one of nine national Latino "Luminarios" by Café magazine and given the first "Revolucionario" Award in Theater by the National Museum of Mexican Art. She is the founder of Teatro Luna (the first all-Latina Theatre Company in the nation, now defunct) as well as the founder of ALTA (Alliance of Latino Theatre Artists). She is currently in development with STARZ and under commission with South Coast Repertory Theatre and Two Rivers Theatre.

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 Center Stage, 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), The Mentalist (CBS), and Feed the Beast (AMC).

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www.thekilroys.org