Lucy Pollak Public Relations

IAMA names Ryan J. Haddad 2020 recipient of Shonda Rhimes ‘Unsung Voices Playwriting Commission’


Press Contact: Lucy Pollak

[email protected]  (818) 887-1499 (for media only)


IAMA Theatre Company names Ryan J. Haddad 2020 recipient of
Shonda Rhimes-sponsored ‘Unsung Voices Playwriting Commission’


LOS ANGELES (May 7, 2020) — IAMA Theatre Company has named playwright Ryan J. Haddad as the 2020 recipient of the Rhimes Unsung Voices Playwriting Commission. The commission, sponsored by award-winning writer and producer Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal), was created to help grow and nourish budding playwrights and artists with emphasis on cultural inclusion and the goal to showcase fresh, creative, thought-provoking work. This is the third year of the commission.

Ryan J. Haddad is an actor, playwright and autobiographical performer based in New York. His acclaimed solo play Hi, Are You Single? was presented in the Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival and toured the country. Other New York credits include My Straighties (Ars Nova/ANT Fest), Noor and Hadi Go to Hogwarts (Theater Breaking Through Barriers) and the cabaret Falling for Make Believe (Joe’s Pub). Regional credits include The Maids, Lucy Thurber’s Orpheus in the Berkshires (Williamstown Theatre Festival) and Hi, Are You Single? (Guthrie Theater, Cleveland Play House, Williamstown Theatre Festival). He has a recurring role on the Ryan Murphy Netflix series The Politician, and his additional television credits include Bull, Madam Secretary and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Haddad has performed original work at La MaMa E.T.C., the New Museum and The LGBT Center of New York City. His plays in development include Good Time Charlie and Dark Disabled Stories. He is an alum of the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group and a former Queer/Art Performance and Playwriting Fellow under the mentorship of Moe Angelos. Earlier this week, Ryan was named the second recipient of Rising Phoenix Repertory’s Cornelia Street American Playwriting Award, presented to an emerging playwright of exceptional work ethic, character and talent.

According to IAMA co-artistic directors Stefanie Black and Katie Lowes, the Rhimes commission helps foster long-lasting relationships with the diverse voices the company is committed to developing. By incorporating the talent and inspiration of IAMA’s acting ensemble into the development of writers and their work, IAMA continues to create a growing and dynamic family of artists.

“At a time when the world has come together as a global community, we can celebrate all our differences and how we each contribute a unique voice to this world, all the while finding a universal connectivity. Ryan’s voice is one of the most unique we’ve ever had the pleasure to get to know and we couldn’t be more thrilled to help play a part in his creative journey. His humor and strength come through in every word he writes. There isn’t a more charismatic writer/performer at this moment. He embodies every aspect of why this commission was created in the first place.”

IAMA has been dedicated to developing plays and musicals by new, emerging and established playwrights since 2007. Rhimes, a frequent IAMA audience member, came on board in March 2017 as the company’s first-ever “Patron of the Arts,” committing funds for the commission through her Rhimes Family Foundation.

Designated by Playbill as “one of 20 regional houses every theater lover must know,” IAMA is a Los Angeles-based ensemble of artists committed to invigorating live performance for a streaming generation. Through cutting-edge, cool and hyper-modern stories, IAMA is invested in the immediacy of production and strives to bring audiences out of their personal space and into a shared experience. The Ovation award-winning company has seen many plays generated at IAMA travel to off-Broadway, Second Stage and the Roundabout Underground, then go on to be performed regionally and internationally. Recent productions include West Coast premieres of A Kid Like Jake by Daniel Pearle and Found, a new musical based on the Found books and magazines by Davy Rothbart, featuring a book by Hunter Bell and Lee Overtree and music and original lyrics by Eli Bolin. IAMA members have been featured in numerous critically acclaimed TV shows and films as well as in a vast array of theater and live performances all over the country; in Fall 2018, IAMA co-artistic director Katie Lowes and her husband, founding IAMA company member Adam Shapiro, made their Broadway debuts in Waitress.

The Rhimes Family Foundation was established in 2016 by writer/producer Shonda Rhimes and her family.  The foundation was created to support arts, education and activism with a focus on promoting cultural inclusion, fighting for equality and standing up against bigotry of any kind. 


For more information about IAMA Theatre Company and the Rhimes Unsung Voices Playwriting Commission, call Lucy Pollak (818) 887-1499 (media only) or go to

For more information about Shonda Rhimes and The Rhimes Family Foundation please contact: Kristin Robinson at 323-499-4800 or [email protected].