The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and about all time.
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Speakers’ Corner 2020-21 Writers
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, located at Hyde Park in London, was designated as an official safe place where anyone could offer their own beliefs, opinions, and treatises with no fear of arrest. Along with many of his time, Shaw regularly used this location as an opportunity to openly communicate with the general public who may not have been able to afford going to the theatre.
Member writers read and discuss a specific play by George Bernard Shaw before responding to Shaw’s work through targeted writing prompts. The writers’ new works needn’t be commentaries on Shaw or adaptations of Shaw’s work, but original works inspired by the ideas sparked by reading and discussing the initial Shaw play as a cohort. Speakers’ Corner writers then spend the remainder of the year developing these ideas into plays to be developed through readings and workshop labs.
At monthly and bi-monthly meetings, writers share their work and receive constructive feedback from one another and from members of GTG’s artistic staff. The goal, ultimately, is to create play that will be fully produced as part of the GTG future seasons.
Some works developed through Speakers’ Corner will 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 Treeby Ren Dara Santiago
- Howl From Up High by Mallory Jane Weiss
- Untitled by Nikhil Mahapatra
If you have questions about Speakers’ Corner, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Douglas (she/her) is a writer, composer and performer. Recent work includes The Ninth Hour, her operetta with Shayfer James at The Met Cloisters (the first performance of its kind in the Fuentidueña Chapel), her immersive play Extinct (produced with support from a LMCC Engagement Grant) and her audio experience Dandelion Story, which received an Honorable Mention from SPACE on Ryder Farm’s CSArt Program. Her work has been developed at The Orchard Project, New Victory Theater, The Civilians R&D Group, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Rhinebeck Musicals and the Writer’s Colony at Goodspeed. She is a Dramatists Guild Fellow and a current member of The Orchard Project Greenhouse. As a complement to her artistic practice, she is a student of herbalism, horticulture and biodynamic craniosacral therapy. www.kate-douglas.com
Aeneas Sagar Hemphill (he/him) is an Indian-American playwright and screenwriter based in NYC and DC. Weaving through many genres, his work builds new worlds to illuminate our own, investigating the ghosts that haunt our lives and communities with passion, pathos, and humor. He was a 2019 Resident Artist with Monson Arts Center and 2017-2018 Playlab fellow at Pipeline Theatre, as well as semi-finalist for the 2019 Princess Grace Award, semi-finalist for the 2019 Mabou Mines Resident Artist Program, and finalist for the 2017 Many Voices Fellowship. His plays include: Black Hollow (Argo Collective, Dreamscape Theatre), The Troll King (Pipeline), Childhood Songs (Monson Arts), The Republic of Janet & Arthur (Amios), The Red Balloon (Noor Theatre), A Stitch Here or There (DarkHorse Dramatists, Slingshot Theatre), A Horse and a Housecat (Slingshot Theatre). MFA Playwriting, Columbia University.
Divya Mangwani (she/her) is a writer and theatre artist from Pune, India, now based in New York. She examines the absurdities of the social, political and mythical. Divya was the founder and Artistic Director of Moonbeam Factory Theatre, where she wrote, directed and produced plays that were staged in India, Singapore and Glasgow. In New York, she has developed work with UNICEF, Soho Rep, New York Theatre Workshop, The Flea, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Mabou Mines, Hypokrit Theatre, Project Y, Pipeline Theatre, Rising Sun, LMCC and Governors Island. Selected work: Elements of Change (UN Climate Change Week), Yes, Uncle (finalist, Leah Ryan Prize 2018), Rise of the River (semi-finalist Playwrights Realm 2019), and One, Two, Three (winner of best script, director, play and audience vote, Short+Sweet Festival). Divya was a NYTW 2050 Artistic Fellow, Hypokrit Theatre Tamasha playwright, Playlab fellow at Pipeline Theatre and is currently in the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab.
Seth McNeill (he/him) is a New York City based playwright and theatre artist. His plays include Bastard (Dixon Place, Last Frontier Theatre Conference, Up Theater Company), we’re all athletes (Amios First Draughts, Samuel French OOB Festival), and Natchetoches (Fresh Ground Pepper, Hambidge Center, JookMS). Other plays have been presented or developed with Fresh Ground Pepper, Amios NYC, Exquisite Corpse, The Barrow Group, Primary Stages, TinyRhino, The Secret Theatre, and Rule of 7×7, and he has been a semifinalist for the Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries Prize and Primary Stages ESPA Drills. As a script reader and dramaturg he has worked with Theatre for a New Audience, the American Shakespeare Center, the Hambidge Center, and The Farm Theater, and he is a two-time recipient of the Vera Mowry Roberts Fellowship. Member of the Dramatists Guild. Education: Masters from Hunter College. Teaching: Hunter College. www.sethmcneill.com
Sophie Sagan-Gutherz (they/them) is a NYC based writer, actor and singer. Their first full-length play Marked Green at Birth, Marked Female at Birth has been supported by Pride Plays (Rattlestick), the Williamstown Theatre Festival and the Tribe Theatre Company. They’ve written a monologue with the 24 Hour Play Festival (performed by Lea DeLaria) and have devised and performed a 10 minute solo piece Disability & Celebrity Culture (Am I Write Ladies?). They have been a finalist for the Emerging Writers Group (The Public) as well as a semi-finalist for The R&D Group (The Civilians) & PlaySpace (Pipeline Theatre Company). BFA: NYU Tisch in Drama with an Honors Thesis in Theatre Studies. sophiesagangutherz.com
Marcus Scott (he/him) is a playwright and journalist. Selected works: Fidelio (Libretto; Heartbeat Opera at Baruch Performing Arts Center, 2018; called “poignant” by NY Times), Tumbleweed (Finalist for the 2017 BAPF; semi-finalist for the 2017/2018 New Dramatists Princess Grace Fellowship Award), Cherry Bomb (recipient of the 2017 Drama League First Stage Artist-In-Residence; 2017 Finalist for the Yale Institute for Music Theatre) and Sundown Town (Finalist for Abingdon Theatre Company’s Virtual Fall Festival Of Short Plays). His work has been developed or presented by Joe’s Pub, 54 Below, APAC, Dixon Place, Space on Ryder Farm, Cherry Lane Theater (DUAF), CoLAB Arts, Symphony Space, MicroTheater Miami, among others. Scott is a four-time finalist for the R&D Group at The Civilians, a two-time finalist for NBT’s I AM SOUL Playwrights Residency and a 2019 finalist for the Bushwick Starr’s Starr Reading Series. His articles appeared in TimeOut New York, American Theatre, Playbill, Elle, Out, Essence, among others. MFA: NYU Tisch.
•Gingold Theatrical Group accepts no unsolicited manuscripts.
•Gingold Theatrical Group presents no new works not specifically developed through its programs
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
Nora Brigid Monahan
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.
Jonathan Groff and Michele Pawk working on a new play for GTG by Robert Simonson.
Jeremy McCarter conducting an informal reading of his new play for GTG.
With Adam Green and Jenny Morris