Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo), Sheila Callaghan (TV's Shameless) and Katori Hall (Broadway's The Mountaintop) are the distinguished returning alumni who shepherded the current crop of exciting new talent through the 18th year of this prestigious program at the famed Cherry Lane Theatre. The trio of plays set to make their debut include The Surgeon and Her Daughters, about a mother deployed on a dangerous mission overseas, leaving a seemingly kindhearted stranger behind with her two daughters to try and make their family whole again. A lesbian couple are thinking of moving away and making a big change in The Convent of Pleasure, billed as "a play about our excess and our emptiness, and also ants." The modern absurdist parable Pass Over asks where a black man in America might find the promised land.
The Surgeon and Her Daughters
by Christopher Gabriel Nunez
Mentor: Rajiv Joseph
Who is Amon El-Hashem? When no one is who they seem to be and fear is the enemy of truth, can two daughters struggling to cope with the abrupt deployment of their mother on a dangerous overseas mission trust a seemingly kindhearted stranger who suddenly enters their lives and tries to make their family whole again?
The Convent of Pleasure
by Sarah Einspanier
Mentor: Sheila Callaghan
Margaret, a scholar, and Katherine, her partner, are moving to small-town Missouri. Katherine packs and Margaret procrastinates while their friend Laurel tries to convince them to stay. REI, self-loathing, and the 17th century threaten their course. A play about trying to escape your surroundings and failing to escape yourself. (And also ants.)
by Antoinette Nwandu
Mentor: Katori Hall
A mash-up of the biblical Exodus story and some Godot-inspired absurdity in a modern, urban setting, Pass Over asks, if there is a Promised Land for black men in America, what does it take to get them there?