The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and about all time.
The deadline for applying to GTG’s 2019-2020 Speakers’ Corner Writers’ Group has now past. Applications for the 2020-2021 group will be accepted from April 1 through June 15, 2020.
Speakers’ Corner meets monthly from September through June. Member writers read and discuss a specific play by George Bernard Shaw before responding to Shaw’s work through targeted writing prompts. Writers then spend the remainder of the year developing this work into full-length new plays inspired by Shaw’s work. At their monthly meetings, writers share their work and receive constructive feed-back from one another and from members of GTG’s artistic staff.
Works developed through Speakers’ Corner will then be nurtured through a multi-year developmental process aimed at bringing Speakers’ Corner plays to full production.
The following plays have been developed and workshopped through Speakers’ Corner:
- The Unbearable Lightness of Christopher Cross by Hank Kim
- Album of the Year, or Kathleen Lempit in Hell by James Presson
- Mamó by Emily Daly
- La Greña by Julissa Evette Contreras
- Something in the Balete Tree by Ren Dara Santiago
Named after the corner of London’s Hyde Park where Shaw and other political speakers have delivered speeches since 1855, GTG’s Speakers’ Corner brings together six to ten writers who spend the year exploring a specific Shaw play and writing new work in response to that text.
Speakers’ Corner is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
2019-20 Speakers’ Corner Writers
Karina Billini is a Dominican-American playwright, poet, and teaching artist from Brooklyn. She began playwriting at the age of 15 where her first play, Hidden Poetry, was recognized by NYC Young Playwrights. Karina completed her undergraduate degree in playwriting at Marymount Manhattan College (2011) and received her MFA in Playwriting from The New School for Drama (2018). She is a proud member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood group. She was a recent finalist for the NYTW 2050 fellowship and Lark’s New Voices Fellowship. Her play, 2144 South St, was a recent finalist for Barrington Stage’s Bonnie and Terry Burman New Play Award. Her play, Faded, was a recent finalist for the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition (2019). This work along with other plays have been workshopped and/or produced at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Cherry Lane Theatre, Secret Theatre, Modern Day Griot Theatre Co., among others. Her poetry has been published in Burningword Magazine, Huizache Magazines, scissor & spackle, among others.
Andy J. Boyd is the recipient of the the Phyllis Anderson Prize from The American Repertory Theatre for his play, Acres of Diamonds; a Rhode Island State Council for the Arts grant for She Shall be Praised, and an award from Columbia@Roundabout for Os Confederados. His plays, which include these as well as Affordable Rates and Color TV, River Rouge, The Trade Federation, The Terrifying Tale of the Brothers Grimm, and Yesterday Was Beautiful, have been produced at theatres including the Lenfest Center for the Arts, Epic Theatre Company, Artist’s Exchange, Contemporary Theatre Company of Rhode Island, and others. Andy received his MFA from Columbia School for the Arts, his BA from Harvard University, and was a visiting artist at the Shanghai Theatre Academy.
Penny Jackson is the recipient of many writing awards including a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, The Pushcart Prize, a Mirrellies Fellowship from Stanford University and The Elizabeth Janeway Prize. Penny’s play about gun violence, Before, was chosen as one of the best plays in 2016 by Applause Books. Penny is a member of The Playwrights/Directors’ Unit at The Actors Studio, and is a resident playwright of the A.R.T/New York theater company NYMadness. Her plays have been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Edinburgh and Dublin. Member of The Dramatists Guild and The League of Professional Theatre Women. www.pennybrandtjackson.com
Stefani Kuo (郭佳怡) is a native of Hong Kong and received her B.A. from Yale. She is a playwright, poet, and performer. Her play, Architecture of Rain, premiered at the Iseman Theatre at Yale and received a reading in the DVRF Roundtable and Checkmark Theatre Company series. She is currently a member of the writers group Interstate 73 with Page 73, and is a 2019 finalist for the National Playwrights Conference, NAP Series, semi-finalist for the Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship, and 2018 finalist for the Jerome Fellowship at the Playwrights Centre, the Van Lier New Voices Fellowship, the DVRF Playwrights’ Program, and semi-finalist for SPACE on Ryder Farm, and the Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep. Her play delicacy of a puffin heart was recently produced as part of the 2018 Corkscrew Theatre Festival and The Parsnip Ship. (www.stefanikuo.com)
Erica Mann is a Queens-based playwright and screenwriter. She was a semi-finalist for a Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellowship, and her play DITMAS PARK received special consideration from the subcommittee of readers at the American Playwriting Foundation for the 2018 Relentless Award. Her play, PROCEED TO HIGHLIGHTED ROUTE, will receive a developmental production at the Acadiana Repertory Theatre in Lafayette, Louisiana in December 2019. She is a member of Pipeline Playlab’s Class of 2020 and her play CARM will be featured in The Bechdel Group’s Fall 2019 Reading Series. MFA in Playwriting from The New School, 2018.
Frank Murdocco is a New York-Based writer and performer. His first play, The Public and Private Deaths of Carol O’Grady, a solo piece which he also performed, had its New York City Premiere in the 2018 New York International Fringe Festival before moving Off-Broadway to HERE Arts Center. In 2018, he graduated from Stony Brook University with a BA in Theatre Arts, where he received The Chair’s Award for Outstanding Achievements as a Theatre Practitioner. @frankmurdocco, www.frankmurdocco.com
Lorenzo Roberts is a Playwright and Performer from New York by way of the Carolinas. He was a member of the 2018 Greenhouse Residency at SPACE on Ryder Farm. Plays include HELLYOUTALMBOUT, The Many Lives of Antonio Jermaine, and A Play About Love. He has acted both regionally and internationally. He is a member of ACT Theater’s Inaugural Core Company. He holds a BFA in Acting from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
John Socas received his MFA at the National Theatre Conservatory and PhD. at New York University. His creative work has been seen at Lincoln Center, the Lamb’s Theatre, Soho Rep, Jacob’s Pillow, the Guggenheim Museum, PS 122, George Street Playhouse, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Hartford Stage and internationally at the We Love Dance Festival in Japan and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. He’s been awarded the Spirit of the Fringe Award and the John Golden Incentive Award for playwriting. John uses playwriting to advance literacy in impoverished communities in Tanzania, Kenya, and India through a not-for-profit he co-founded and directs, Global Empowerment Theatre.
Past Speakers’ Corner Writers
Shaun Bennet Fauntleroy
Amy Gijsbers van Wijk
Sarah Rose Kearns
Mallory Jane Weiss
Hank H. Kim
Ren Dara Santiago
Prior to 2017, GTG developed new work through its program, Press Cuttings.
Shaw began his career in the theatre as a critic before moving on to write more than 60 plays. In recognition of this, GTG’s Press Cuttings program commissioned and supported the development of new plays written by theatre journalists. This project was named after one of Shaw’s one-act plays: Press Cuttings, which takes aim at the power of the press in society.
Press Cuttings commissioned new plays by Jeremy McCarter, Robert Simonson, and David Cote. In 2008, GTG workshopped Robert Simonson’s play with Michele Pawk and Jonathan Groff. In 2012, GTG workshopped Jeremy McCarter’s new play with Adam Green and Jennifer Morris. David Cote’s Otherland has received multiple workshops and readings through GTG, the most recent of which was in June, 2017 with Jennifer Dorr White, Daphne Gaines, Victoria Janicki, Joseph Ngo, Peter O’Connor, Maulik Pancholy, Claudia Givings, and Derek Smith under the direction of May Adrales.