These 4 Playwrights to Be Featured in Playwrights Realms' 2023 INK'D Festival Line-Up | Playbill

Off-Broadway News These 4 Playwrights to Be Featured in Playwrights Realms' 2023 INK'D Festival Line-Up

Alex Lin, Andrea Ambam, Jesse Jae Hoon, and Alyssa Haddad-Chin will present their new plays at Off-Broadway's The Loft at Theater 511 later this month.

Alex Lin, Andrea Ambam, Jesse Jae Hoon, and Alyssa Haddad-Chin

From April 24-27, The Playwrights Realm's will present its annual INK'D Festival of New Plays, the culminating event of its Writing Fellows Program, at The Loft at Theater 511. The 2023 line-up features works by playwrights Alex Lin, Andrea Ambam, Jesse Jae Hoon, and Alyssa Haddad-Chin. Each work will receive a day of readings at 3 PM and 7 PM.

This year’s festival comprises readings of Andrea Ambam’s Fragile State (April 24), Jesse Jae Hoon’s Somebody is Looking Back At Me (April 25), Alyssa Haddad-Chin’s The Ancestry Dot Com Play (April 26), and Alex Lin’s LASTHUNTER (April 27). Across these works, playwrights grapple—through nuanced, inventive, and unexpected approaches—with urgent societal and gripping interpersonal questions that inhabit our everyday, as they explore everything from diasporic identity and generational divides, to gentrification and the limits of our personal value systems, ancestry’s unseen grip on the present, and the morality of radical revenge.

Over the course of their time with The Realm, Fellows develop a single new play (the works that are ultimately presented in reading form at INK’D). This process includes monthly group meetings that provide a collaborative space for writers to share and refine their work, and one-on-one meetings with Realm artistic staff to support each writer's process. For two readings—one private in late fall and one for audiences at INK’D—Fellows collaborate with a director, design consultants, and actors. Personalized professional development resources are tailored to the group: mentor opportunities, meet-and-greets, and professional seminars are designed to shed light on the business of theater, and empower the Fellows to be active, informed participants in their own careers. Former Realm Writing Fellows have gone on to win countless awards, accolades, and be produced across the country; most recently, 2017/18 Fellow Sarah Mantell won the 2023 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

The Realm’s Writing Fellows program is a career accelerator, helping emerging writers build agency and gain wider access to the New York theater world—and offering these playwrights a roadmap to navigate it. The Realm’s Associate Artistic Director Alexis Williams says, “We’ve been receiving more and more open submissions these days, nearly 900 last year, and that growing number makes clear the very acute need for programs like this. It also highlights the amount of wonderful theatrical minds that are looking for institutional support to accelerate their careers. With INK’D, these writers whose processes have been nurtured with resources, generative collaborations, and dramaturgical support, are ready to present the fruit of nine months spent with ideas that excite them and showcase their artistic visions. We can’t wait to offer audiences a glimpse into what they have been working on!”

Andrea Ambam’s Fragile State will kick off the four days of readings April 24. The afro-surrealist coming-of-age fable follows Manny, a gen-z radical Black organizer whose life turns upside down when her grandmother visits from Cameroon. Chika Ike will direct.

Following on April 25, Jesse Jae Hoon’s Somebody is Looking Back At Me will be directed by Miranda Cornell. Olivia, a bestselling Asian American author,  returns to the Chinatown which inspired her work where she discovers the neighborhood is quickly being gentrified by people from her past. As she makes new friends, Olivia is increasingly faced with the conflict between the lifestyle she can now afford and the values she's preached. 

The Ancestry Dot Com Play by Alyssa Haddad-Chin will be presented April 26 under the direction of Kate Moore Heaney. Arab American Samia never knew her father and can't get answers out of her mother. So when Samia's friend does a DNA test without Samia's consent, she gets answers to the questions that she's been asking for years. But is the truth of her ancestry too much?

Closing out the festival will be Alex Lin's LASTHUNTER April 27. NASA interns Reggie Nielson and Elisa Yang decide to go on a time-traveling adventure across the multiverse. Why? It turns out their employer's greatest aerospace hero was a former Nazi, and the two want to get revenge by killing him. Mike Donahue directs the work which explores the fragility of nationalism and the grayness of morality.

The nine-month Writing Fellows Program fosters four early-career playwrights annually. Along with resources, workshops, and feedback, each playwright receives a $4,000 stipend and a reading.

Attendees of the INK'D Festival whose attendance incurs caregiving costs will be able to receive up to $60 in reimbursements as part of Playwrights Realm's Radical Parent-Inclusion Project.



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