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Six diverse L.A.–based playwrights selected for
IAMA’s 2022-23 ‘Emerging Playwright Lab’
LOS ANGELES (October 19, 2022) — IAMA Theatre Company has selected six Los Angeles-based playwrights to participate in this year’s Emerging Playwrights Lab, an artistic home and writing community that fosters playwrights of varied backgrounds, vocations and skill levels.
Over the course of a one-year residency, early-career and emerging writers Amanda L. Andrei, Xavier Clark, Peter Pasco, Jasmine Sharma, Mak Shealy and Thomas Daníel Valls will meet on a monthly basis to share and develop a full-length play in a peer-guided format led by program director Nicholas Pilapil. In addition, members of the Lab will be given dramaturgical support from the artistic and literary staff at IAMA, as well as a ticket to each of IAMA’s mainstage productions. The Lab will culminate in the summer of 2023 with readings of the newly developed plays.
The 2022-23 season marks the fourth year of the program, known in prior years as the Under 30 Lab. IAMA has announced the world premiere of The Bottoming Process, written by Pilapil as a member of the inaugural “Class of ’20,” as the final offering of its 15th anniversary “Jubilee” season in Spring 2023.
For more information about the IAMA Emerging Playwrights Lab, go to www.iamatheatre.com/emergingplaywrights
About the Class of 2023:
Amand L. Andrei is a Filipina Romanian American playwright and literary translator who writes epic, irreverent plays that center the concealed, wounded places of history and societies from the perspectives of diasporic Filipina women, and she translates from Romanian to English. Her plays have been produced by Relative Theatrics and developed with NY Classical Theater, La MaMa, Parity Productions, Echo Theatre Company, The Vagrancy, Pasadena Playhouse, Artists at Play and more. Her play Mama, I Wish I Were SIlver won the 2022 Jane Chambers Award for Feminist Playwriting, and her other work has received finalist status with the Princess Grace Award, Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Playwrights Realm Scratchpad Series, and Ashland Festival. She is a teaching artist with 7 Daughters of Eve, co-facilitator for the South Eastern European Film Festival screenwriters group, producer/writer for Filipinx Actors Barkada, member of the Dramatists Guild of America, and an alum of the Echo Theater Playwriting Lab and The Vagrancy Writing Group. She is the recipient of an M.A. at Georgetown and an M.F.A. from USC.
Xavier Clark is a multidisciplinary theater artist, born and raised in Turkey. As a playwright, he has developed work with the National Black Theatre, Fault Line Theatre, Playwrights’ Arena and the Echo Theater Company of Los Angeles. His play supper was a finalist for the 2022 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. His play backstroke boys was selected as a finalist for the 2021 Blue Ink Playwriting Award and the New Harmony Project’s 2020 spring conference. He was a member of the Gatekeeper’s Collective’s inaugural “learning to love” playwriting fellowship, led by Donja R. Love. He has a B.F.A. from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and an M.F.A: from U.C. San Diego.
Peter Pasco first started writing during the shutdown in 2020, and his first play was a semifinalist for the O’Neill Playwrights Conference. Several of his works have been accepted into the Workshop Theater’s intensives. As an actor, he has appeared in commercials, on TV, in film and on stage. He was nominated for Ovation and Stage Raw awards for his work in the Los Angeles premiere of My Mañana Comes at the Fountain Theatre. He appeared in the world premiere of Twenty50 at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and the regional premiere of Octavio Solis’s Quixote Nuevo at Round House Theatre in Maryland in 2021. In 2022, he was in the world premiere of The Play You Want at the Road Theatre. He is a graduate of NYU where he majored in literature and psychology.
Jasmine Sharma is a South Asian-American actor, writer and activist whose work is focused at the intersection of race, femininity and “Americanness.” Plays include Radical Gradient (upcoming world premiere at Shattered Globe Theatre, Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference semi-finalist, American College Theater Festival, Lime Arts Productions, Samuel-Lancaster Productions, Avalanche Theatre Company at the Den Theatre, Mad Cow Theatre, NextStage Theatre Company, Permafrost Theatre Collective), For Your Consideration (Moxie Arts NYC), Cancelled/Cancel Me (The Road Theatre, Ashland New Plays Festival), VIRGINS: A Madonna Bootcamp (Jackalope Theatre Company), Kids Club/Club Kids (SERIALS by The Fled Collective), Gut Punch (AlterTheater Ensemble First Acts commission), Leaving Wonderland (Access Theater NYC, American Blues Theater Finalist, the Athena Project semi-finalist, Aston Rep), and Hot Dogs and Feminism (Mayo Performing Arts Center, Valdez Last Frontier Theatre Conference) among others. Jasmine has also contributed to @iWeigh, and worked with @24HourPlays, both as an actor and as a writer. Jasmine a 2022-2023 Reel Sisters Fellow through @Gro.UpTheWebSeries, which she co-wrote and stars in, premiering this month at the Reel Sisters Film Festival.
Mak Shealy is a writer, performer and producer whose work highlights queer and non-binary experiences through the subversion of form and humor. They are a Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival top 30 finalist, an Orchard Project finalist, RAVE theater festival finalist, and 2021 OnWomen’s Festival MainStage selection at Irondale Ensemble Theatre. Their writing has been seen at the Road Theatre, Entertainment Community Fund, The Tank, Kervigo Ensemble Theatre and the 24: Hour Plays Viral Monologues. They’ve created original immersive material for The Balcony Arts, Cell Theatre and Wonder Media Network. Their feature film Bethlehem Slutbag is a semi-finalist for the 2022 Emerging Screenwriters Competition.
Thomas Daníel Valls is a Cuban American playwright, poet and television writer from Miami, Florida. The son of immigrants, Thomas holds B.F.A.s from NYU in dramatic writing for theater and television; Russian literature; and psychology. Mentored by Eduardo Machado and Edward Albee, his works have been produced and workshopped at Dixon Place, Ensemble Studio Theatre, LAByrinth, the New York Drama League, Cherry Lane Theatre, Lakeland Center of Performing Arts, Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, Sheen Center, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, McCadden Place Theatre, New Theater Miami, Artistic Vibes Miami, and Roxy Theatre.
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