Writers Lab Members Fill Kilroys List 2017
Nine Ma-Yi Writer’s Lab Member’s new plays received a record 11 Kilroys this year. Each year, The Kilroys compiles a list of the most recommended un- and underproduced new plays by female and trans authors of color. This year, each Kilroy play received between 6 and 28 nominations. The Kilroys List is a tool for producers committed to ending the systemic underrepresentation of female and trans playwrights in the American theater. 273 influential new play leaders — Artistic Directors, Literary Managers, Professors, Producers, Directors, and Dramaturgs — who had read or seen at least 40 new plays in the past year, recommended 3 to 5 plays each, identifying a total of 403 plays as among the best un- and underproduced work by female and trans writers of color they had encountered in the past year.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FOLLOWING LAB MEMBERS:
CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND
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.
THE GREAT LEAP
When an American college basketball team travels to Beijing for an exhibition game in 1989, the drama on the court goes deeper than the strain between their countries. For two men with a past and one teen with a future, it’s a chance to stake their moment in history and claim personal victories off the scoreboard. American coach Saul grapples with his relevance to the sport, Chinese coach Wen Chang must decide his role in his rapidly-changing country and Chinese American player Manford seeks a lost connection. Tensions rise right up to the final buzzer as history collides with the action in the stadium. Inspired by events in the life of the playwright’s own father.
Just when newly hired CEO Joan is about to launch a new brand of women’s yoga pants, yoga apparel giant Jojomon is hit by a terrible scandal. Desperate to win back the company’s reputation (and her own), Joan stakes everything on a plan so crazy it just might work. YOGA PLAY is a journey towards enlightenment in a world determined to sell it.
Gretchen is a lawyer. Yusuf is her client. Yusuf is being held indefinitely without trial for terrorism. Hattie is Gretchen’s mother. Only, Hattie thinks Gretchen is a secretary, Gretchen thinks Hattie is sick and Yusuf believes he’s been framed. In a world of competing narratives, facts no longer exist. UNRELIABLE investigates the consequences of living only in a story of your choosing.
WE, THE INVISIBLES
In 2011, the director of the International Monetary Fund was accused of sexual assault by a hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo, but all charges were dismissed. we, the invisibles shares the rarely-heard stories of people like Diallo, people from all over the globe working at New York’s luxury hotels. Funny, poignant, and brutally honest by turns, the play is an investigation of the complicated relationship between movers and shakers and the people who change their sheets.
TWO MILE HOLLOW
When the Donnelly’s gather for a weekend in the country to gather their belongings for their recently sold estate—both an internal storm and a literal storm brews (uh oh!). As this brood of famous, longing-to-be-famous and kind of a mess but totally Caucasian family comes together with their non-white personal assistant, Charlotte, some really really really really really complicated and totally unique secrets are revealed over white wine…
ALSO, HONORABLE MENTION FOR – Thirty-Six
At the very last minute, a scientist realizes that her groundbreaking environmental paper – co-authored with her best friend – is based on flawed data. Should she risk her friendship, her career, the fate of the world… for the truth?
THE OPPORTUNITIES OF EXTINCTION
Taking refuge from a twitterstorm and other assorted upheaval on a last-minute camping trip, Mel and Arjun meet Georgia, a solitary young woman studying the impact of climate change on the imperiled Joshua tree.
ALSO HONORABLE MENTION FOR – The Other Instinct
TO THE YELLOW HOUSE
Paris and Provence. A failing artist in desperate pursuit of a new way of seeing, haunted by his past, and hoping to remake his future in the color and light of the south. At what point in an endless cycle of failures does faith and persistence become delusion and foolishness? A meditation on love, art, and not being popular.
A local Michigan literary professor seeks out a famous Muslim-American novelist to find out if he’s a self-hating Islamophobe or a really good lay. But they find that getting under each other’s skin can easily become a habit, for better or worse.
ALSO HONORABLE MENTION FOR – A People’s Guide to History In the Time of Here and Now
Alix lives in a tiny motel room with her mother and two brothers, scrabbling to make weekly rent. Mason lives comfortably in a grand, empty house while his father runs jobs for the Hong Kong Triad. Until the day his father disappears and Mason has to figure out how to come up with grocery money and dodge Child Services and the INS. Mason and Alex develop an unlikely friendship, struggling to survive, and trying to outrun the mistakes of their parents. Will they make it out or fall through the cracks? A play about Motel Kids and Parachute Kids raising themselves and living at the poverty line in a land of plenty.
2017 Honorable Mentions:
– The Shaking Earth
In the autumn of 1984, during the three days of Sikh massacres following the assassination of the Indian prime ministe, an estranged husband and wife both secretly hide a Sikh neighbor while their brother participates in the violence outside. In the present, a mother and daughter try to reconcile what it means to survive.
– A Valentine
Set in a blighted American city, two ex-lovers meet up on Valentine’s night. What starts out as a casual reunion becomes a night where the past and present collide —exposing old truths and revealing new lies.
– A Deal
A young Chinese actress in America invents a background of political oppression to get a part in a new play – but it could all be undone when her parents show up from China to claim their piece of the American Dream.
A RECAP/THE LIST:
WRITERS LAB MEMBERS WINNING KILROYS:
Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee
The Great Leap by Lauren Yee
Yoga Play by Dipika Guha
Unreliable by Dipika Guha
We, the Invisibles by Susan Soon He Stanton
Queen by Madhuri Shekar
The Opportunities of Extinction by Sam Chans
Two Mile Hollow by Leah Nanako Winkler
To the Yellow House by Kimber Lee
Hatefuck by Rehana Lew Mirza
Nomad Motel by Carla Ching
WRITERS LAB KILROYS/ HONORABLE MENTIONS:
The Other Instinct by Sam Chanse
The Shaking Earth by Mashuq Mushtag Deen
A People’s Guide to History In the Time of Here and Now by Rehana Lew Mirza
A Valentine by Deepa Purohit
Thirty-Six by Leah Nanako Winkler
A Deal by Zhu Yi