Next Stage Residency

Writer/director and Directors Project alumnus Alec Duffy (C) working on his new play Dysphoria with actors Jason Howard and Nisi Sturgis.   Photo: Richard Termine. 

The Drama League Arists Residency Program, made possible in part by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, gives theater directors and their collaborators unique, supportive opportunities to develop new plays and musicals. Dedicated to focused creative process, and specifically designed to avoid the creative stressors and economic pressures of public performance, these developmental residencies nurture collaboration at its central creative core.

Initiated in 2013, The Drama League Artist Residency Program has already developed many award-winning productions, including The TEAM’s RoosevElvis (Vineyard Theatre, London’s Royal Court Theatre); Ripe Time’s The World Is Round (BAM); Rady&Bloom’s The Upper Room (New Ohio Theatre); Georama (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis); and Piehole’s Hand Foot Fizzle Face (JACK).


Designed for directors who are shepherding a project through the middle or late stages of its development, the NEXT STAGE RESIDENCY is meant to bridge the gap in support so that the piece is ready for pre-production. The residency is meant to be a serious interrogation of the piece, discovering both questions and answers in a supportive environment. The NEXT STAGE RESIDENCY includes:


20-45 hours, to be determined by the selection committee, for rehearsal and experimentation in the Stewart F. Lane/Bonnie Comley Studio Lab at The Drama League Theater Center in Tribeca.


A stipend to be determined by the selection committee will be awarded for developmental expenses. In 2016, projects received between $1000 and $2750.


An introduction to other NEXT STAGE artists and their work will begin the residency process in an all-day session, developing a network for support and feedback. Mentorship will also be provided by Associate Producer Travis Ballenger.

Artist In Residence: Christopher Burris
Bring The Beat Back
Written by Derek Lee McPhatter
Directed by Christopher Burris
Tru Believers know the Musicship Megarhythmic will save them from the end of the world. But you can’t get on if you can’t get down…and somebody done stole da beat! Bring the Beat Back is a black gay sci-fi music-theatre experience, set in a futuristic, groove-centered alternative reality. Inspired by ball culture, the evolution of house music and the rich Afro-futurist tradition -- including Parliament Funkadelic, Sun-Ra, Grace Jones, Prince, Meshell Ndegeocello, and others -- our hero journeys towards self-acceptance and affirming spirituality, even as religious authorities and an ostentatious gay subculture clash over music at the center of his world.
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Artist In Residence: Jess Chayes
Written by Helen Banner
 Directed by Jess Chayes
Intelligence is a semi-immersive play about three American women diplomats in a Washington, DC basement conference room, role-playing their way to a new handbook on conflict resolution. Sarah, the senior diplomat in the room, has recently undertaken a conversion negotiation with a splinter group leader. As she fights off career implosion, she pulls the junior diplomats into secret recreations of what exactly happened.
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Artist In Residence: Megan Hanley
Graceful Exit
Written by Alanna Coby
Composed by Sean Vigneau-Britt
Directed by Megan Hanley
When 70-year-old Maria receives a cancer diagnosis, she begins to question how she wants to die. While Maria's loved ones grapple with how to keep her alive, Rachel, a climate change activist, heads out to sea. Graceful Exit is a darkly comic play with music that asks, “Who controls your death?” It grapples with questions about climate change and end-of-life care through vaudevillian sketches, puppetry, tap dancing, scientific lectures, and stand-up comedy.
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Artist In Residence: Elena Heyman
Written by Sami Berat Marcali
Directed by Ellie Heyman
Home/Yuva follows an unlikely quartet -- two Turkish refugees, a club star, and taxi driver -- in search of common bonds. Void of shared language, their bodies begin to speak. Drawing from the current refugee crisis in the Middle East and the increasingly fractured American dream, Home/Yuva is an international collaboration between Turkish and American artists.
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Artist In Residence: Jenny Larson
Written by Adrienne Dawes
Directed by Jenny Larson
Casta explores the casta paintings of Nueva Espana (Mexico), a unique genre of portraiture that depicted different racial mixtures arranged according to a hierarchy of race and status.  Casta explores these constructed images of colonial bodies and the failed attempts of the government to control its subjects through increasing social regulations…as well as the shift in attitudes as paintings began to depict family violence and deviant behavior among the lower “classes.”  In collaboration with Salvage Vanguard Theatre, Austin, TX.
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Artist In Residence: Kristin Marting
Assembled Identities
Co-created by Purva Bedi, Mariana Newhard, Drew Weinstein and Kristin Marting
Directed by Kristin Marting
What makes a human authentic? Is it their genome sequence? Their DNA profile? Their life experience? Exploring ethnic ambiguity, race and identity, Assembled Identities uses original and found text, live cinematography, and contemporary music to explore the science of identity, including genomics, genetics, eugenics, and cloning, all of which impact our culture.
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Artist In Residence: Shira Milikowsky
Distant Star
Written by Javier Antonio González
Directed by Shira Milikowsky
Distant Star is Caborca Theatre’s adaptation of the ground-breaking novel by Roberto Bolaño, following several young poets during and after Chile’s 1973 military coup. Infused with Bolaño’s perverse humor and mastery of suspense, Distant Star weaves memories of life (and death) under Pinochet’s American-backed dictatorship into a seductive noir of political necessity.
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Artist In Residence: Andreas Robertz
Father God Mother Death
Written and performed by Mario Golden
Directed by Andreas Robertz
Father God Mother Death is a poetic lamentation of a Mexican gay son mourning the loss of his mother the week immediately after her death. Deeply evocative and extremely personal, the piece simultaneously elucidates the author’s experience of immigration to the U.S. as a teenager, and the complex dynamics that triggered a reversal of gender roles between his parents, making his father become increasingly abusive towards his mother.
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Artist In Residence: Travis Lee Russ
America Is Hard To See
Written and directed by Travis Lee Russ
Based on verbatim interviews and archival research, America Is Hard To See investigates the lives in and around Miracle Village, a rural community for sex offenders, buried deep in Florida's sugarcane fields. This groundbreaking play involves an exciting blend of spoken text, religious hymns, and original songs composed by Priscilla Holbrook, lead singer of the band Susan Jane. A talented ensemble of seven actors embody over 50 roles to tell tough and real stories about darkness, uncertainty, and healing in small-town America.
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Artist In Residence: Caitlin Sullivan
Gilded Girls
Written by Mallery Avidon
Directed by Caitlin Sullivan
Gilded Girls is actually comprised of 66 (very) short plays in which Nancy Reagan, Queen Elizabeth, Marie Curie, Leni Riefenstahl and Catherine the Great find themselves together at the end of the world. Over and Over and Over Again. Gilded Girls is an experimental dark comedy about confronting our apocalyptic past, present and future. 
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Artist In Residence: Brandon Woolf
The Summer Way
Conceived and Created by Maxwell Flaum & Brandon Woolf
Sequestered in a Tony Soprano-style basement, ravaged by binge consumption of contemporary television and under threat of imminent drone “strike,” Torn (white) and Timbre (black) wrestle with major issues of the day in a podcast designed to “speak to people.” Wondering if their basement banter isn't just more psycho-babble stopping up the arteries of the world-wide-web, the two hapless media-gurus make a wild grab into the cathodic maelstrom of a “haphazardly avant-garde” black-and-white television. The result of this head-on-collision with “classic” TV is a speed of light race riot in the final Nielsen rating analysis. It's all that and more, tonight, on The Summer Way.