Labbie Mrinalini Kamath’s STUFF presented Feb 5 2018


Ma-Yi Writers Lab Member Mrinalini Kamath’s radio play, STUFF will be presented at Mission to (dit)Mars, a theatre arts collective serving Queens artists. This free reading will be performed on Monday, February 5th, 2018, at 7 pm at The Broom Tree Theatre located at 23-35 Broadway in Astoria, NY.   RESERVATIONS REQUIRED

Inspired by the NY Times article “The Lonely Death of George Bell,” STUFF tells the story of lives that intersect when a man dies alone in his cluttered apartment. A radio play about living alone in modern times. STUFF is directed by Colette Robert and live foley provided by Tony Vo.


The evening is presented by Mission to (dit)Mars co-founders Kari Bentley-Quinn,  Don Nguyen ( also a Ma-yi Writers Lab Member) Meredith Packer, and Laura Pestronk.

On the unique nature of the play format, Don Nguyen explains:

“We wanted to immerse the audience in the world of this play which is why we decided to bring in a live foley artist to add that extra dimension to the night’s performance. It’s a whole different set of challenges than what we’re used to, but we’re up for it.”

Spotlight on Labbie Leah Nanako Winkler


Leah Winkler’s TWO MILE HOLLOW at Theater Mu/Mixed Blood Minneapolis


Mixed Blood Theater of Minneapolis presents TWO MILE HOLLOW by Writers Lab member, Leah Nanako Winklea premiere co-production with Theatre Mu , Directed by Randy Reyes, beginning February 16 through  March 4, 2018.

Per the Chicago Tribune’s review of a late 2017 production, “Winkler’s blistering comedy takes a page from George C. Wolfe’s “The Last Mama-on-the-Couch Play” (a sketch in Wolfe’s 1986 comedy “The Colored Museum”), in which the long-suffering black matriarchs of African-American drama — specifically, “A Raisin in the Sun” — get sliced and diced to satiric effect. But arguably, Winkler’s targets, being stuffed with unexamined privilege and insufferable angst, deserve the dissection they get here far more than the black families immortalized by Lorraine Hansberry and those who followed her.”

“The beauty part of Winkler’s play is that all the characters are played by actors of color, sporting platinum-blonde wigs and silver-spoon cluelessness as the dysfunctional Donnellys, heirs to the legacy of deceased film legend Derek Donnelly!”

Ma-Yi Writers Lab Playwright

Leah Nanako Winkler

Leah was awarded First-Ever Mark O’Donnell Prize in late 2017 and the Lark announced that the Jerome Fellowship for the years 2017-2019 had been awarded to Leah for the purpose of providing assistance to her in the development of a new play. She is the recipient of the inaugural prize from The Actors Fund and Playwrights Horizons, and a 2016-2018 Time Warner Fellow.

Actors Theatre of Louisville 2018 Humana Festival includes Winkler and Two other Labbies:


In November of last year her play God Said This was announced as being part of the Actors Theatre of Louisville  42nd Humana Festival of New American Plays, Feb. 28-April 8, 2018, and will include works by two other  Ma-Yi Writers Lab Members Susan Soon He Stanton, and Dipika Guha. Ma-Yi offers congratulations and kudos to all three of these ground-breaking women playwrights:


New City Stage Review TWO MILE HOLLOW First Floor Theater at The Den Theatre, Milwaukee, WI

Interview with Twin Cities Reader

Photo Gallery Broadway World Chicago Production of TWO MILE HOLLOW

An article about Leah from Kentucky Tribune

More about Leah and the  Humana Festival 2018 : At The Humana Festival, The Plays Are Not the Only Thing

Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band Premieres West Coast


Lauren Yee

Ma-Yi Writers Lab Member Lauren Yee’s new play, Cambodian Rock Band with music by Dengue Fever and directed by Chay Yew begins at the JULIANNE ARGYROS STAGE
March 4, 2018 – March 25, 2018 at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, CA.

Part comedy, part mystery, part rock concert, this thrilling story toggles back and forth in time, as father and daughter face the music of the past. Neary, a young Cambodian American has found evidence that could finally put away the Khmer Rouge’s chief henchman. But her work is far from done. When Dad shows up unannounced—his first return to Cambodia since fleeing 30 years ago—it’s clear this isn’t just a pleasure trip. 


This play is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award

Lab Member David Zheng awarded 2018 Van Lier New Voices Fellowship


Congratulations to our newest Ma-Yi Writers Lab member David Zheng, recipient of the 2018 Van Lier New Voices Fellowship along with Erika Dickerson-Despenza. This year long residency is designed to support extraordinary playwrights of color under the age of 30, in order to help address the lack of inclusion of early career playwrights of color in the theater field. The Fellowship includes a cash award of $15,000, plus up to $3,000 in health insurance reimbursement, as well as access to a wide range of The Lark resources, including artistic program participation, office and rehearsal space, and staff support.

Regarding the fellowship, Zheng says: “I can’t wait to start developing new work with the artistic guidance of such an amazing community of theater-makers. I look forward to challenging myself and creating conversations. And most of all, I am thrilled to have a space to grow – and to use this as an opportunity to build the bridge between where I come from and where I want to go.”

Zheng is a first-generation Chinese American Actor, Playwright, and Photographer from The Boogie Down Bronx. His plays include KINGSBRIDGE and Ghetto Baptism, which has received workshops and public sharing at The LAByrinth Theater Company, Cherry Lane Theater Company, and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater.  He is the recipient of the 2017 Playwriting Observer Fellowship at the LAByrinth Theater Company and the 2017 inaugural Greenhouse Residency at SPACE on Ryder Farm. He is a current member of the Gingold Theatrical Group’s Speakers’ Corner. David is a founding member of the Middle Voice at Rattlestick.

Ma-Yi Theater and Barrington Stage presents THE CHINESE LADY


Ma-Yi Theater Company in a coproduction with Barrington Stage Company present


Written by Former codirector and Member of Ma-Yi  Writers Lab, Lloyd Suh and Directed by Ma-Yi’s Producing Artistic Director, Ralph B. Peña the show will premier July 19 through Aug 11 2018 at St. Germain Stage, in Pittsfield, MA. 

In 1834, Afong Moy was brought from Bejing to America and put on display as the “Chinese Lady.” Over the next 45 years, she performed in a side show that both defined and challenged her own view of herself, as she witnessed stunning transformations in the US.

Per Barrington Stage Company’s founding artistic director, Julianne Boyd. “It’s a season of plays about women in difficult situations.”

“I really don’t consciously set out looking for a theme for the season,” Boyd said during a phone interview, just before officially rolling out the 2018 season at a press luncheon at BSC’s Wolfson Center on North Street. “I mean, usually I pick the plays first and then it seems a theme emerges. This year, I wanted to choose plays that had great roles for women.

Announcements about The Chinese Lady:

Theater Mania

Broadway World

American Theatre

Albany Times Union

Berkshire Eagle

July 19- Aug 11 2018 at St. Germain StageSydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden Street at Center St. in Downtown Pittsfield, MA, (1 block west of North St., 2 blocks north of Main)

Labbies Madhuri Shekar and Dustin Chinn Join Ars Nova’s PLAY GROUP Residency


ARS NOVA  announced the new additions to PLAY GROUP 2018, a resident playwright membership that meets twice a month to share new work and get peer feedback. Lab Members Dustin Chinn and Madhuri Shekar, along with four others, will join the 12 member group.

Play Group is a two year residency in which members become a part of the Ars Nova Resident Artist community. In addition to biweekly meetings where members share new work and receive feedback from their Play Group peers, members also receive dramaturgical support and artistic match-making advice from the Ars Nova artistic staff; invitations to Ars Nova shows, Resident Artists mixers, and to see the work of Play Group alums around the city; two Play Group writing retreats; and the opportunity to further develop and showcase one of their plays in a weeklong workshop that can culminate in a public reading. Play Group alumni include Labbies Dipika Guha and Sam Chanse.

Labbies Nandita Shenoy and Mrinalini Kamath Plays Presented at UW Mellon Creative Series


Ma-Yi Theater is honored to continue this program in partnership with the University of Washington’s Meany Center. This year’s participants are Ma-Yi Labbies Nandita Shenoy and Mrinalini Kamath. Their plays will be presented at UW Mellon Creative Series.


Ma-Yi Writers Lab Members Nandita Shenoy and Mrinalini Kamath will present readings of their works at A Mellon Creative Process Series in cooperation with University of Washington Drama faculty, and graduate and undergraduate actors. The readings will take place on Thursday, January 18th, 2018 at 6:00pm in the Cabaret Theatre in Hutchinson Hall in Seattle. This is a FREE event.



ESSPY by Nandita Shenoy / Directed by L. Zane Jones

Can compassion be taught? A medical student and an actor cross paths repeatedly during medical simulations, developing a friendship that reveals how much they have to learn from each other.


LET THERE BE LOVE by Mrinalini Kamath / Directed by Andrew Tsao

A modern mash-up of D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers and the Greek myth Eros and Psyche, Let There Be Love is a play about online dating and modern matchmaking, and our cravings for—and fears of—intimacy and connection.


Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded these projects providing University of Washington a three-year, $750,000 grant to support a Creative Fellowships Initiative. The Initiative, spearheaded by The Meany Center, supports the development of new artistic work and connects the arts, sciences and humanities. Through research-directed interdisciplinary creative residencies, the Initiative provides a way forward, both to serve the performing arts field and to champion the values of art in the culture at large.through a partnership where our Lab playwrights participate in 1-week teaching residencies, 2-week developmental residencies, and/or month-long writing residencies and presentations of their work.

 In 2017, UW hosted Kyoung Park and Deepa Purohit for teaching residencies and Dustin Chinn for a one-month writing  and research residency.

Kyoung Park’s Pillowtalk Premieres January at The Tank

Kyoung Park_sq

Kyoung Park

Kyoung’s Pacific Beat and The Tank will co-produce the World Premiere of PILLOWTALK, written and directed by Kyoung H. Park at The Tank (312 West 36th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues) January 11-27, as part of The Exponential Festival. Set in Brooklyn in 2017, PILLOWTALK brings to life one night in the lives of Sam and Buck, a recently married interracial couple.


“PILLOWTALK queers the intersections of race, gender, and class to challenge our assumptions of love and marriage. Confronting the backlash against marriage equality and #BlackLivesMatter, PILLOWTALK explores how liberation and oppression co-exist in our most intimate spaces, transforming social and cultural traditions into radical performances of change.” more

Written and directed by Kyoung H. Park, Performed by JP Moraga and Basit Shittu


On Stage
The Labbies
Ma-Yi Theater Company 520 Eighth Avenue, Suite 309 New York, NY 10018 212.971.4862 info [at]