Mashuq Mushtaq Deen Named Inaugural Recipient of NYU Tisch-New Dramatists Joint Commission

The works commissioned in the new program will premiere in the Graduate Acting program’s season of productions.

NYU Tisch School of the Arts and New Dramatists have established a new partnership ensuring the continued development and performance of new works.

Each year, the school will commission an alum or current member of the playwright development laboratory to write and workshop a play specifically for NYU students. The work will then premiere as part of the Graduate Acting program’s annual season of productions.

The partnership marks the formalization of a longstanding tradition between the school and new playwrights, as the program routinely commissions and presents world premieres by established playwrights.

The first commission recipient is playwright Mashuq Mashtaq Deen, whose earlier works include FloodThe Betterment Society, and The Shaking Earth.

His Tisch commission, to be directed in the 2019–2020 season by Johanna McKeon, is an exploration of mathematics, culture, and existentialism, derived in part from improvisation and research conducted with the students. An 11-day workshop included abacus and meditation classes and trips to Chinatown markets.

The full article by Ryan McPhee is available at Playbill.com.

The Kilroys’ 2019 List Name Audrey Cefaly and Jacqueline Goldfinger, While Others Make Honorable Mentions

Audrey Cefaly‘s ALABASTER, and Jacqueline Goldfinger’s BABEL make the Kilroy’s 2019 List of un- and underproduced plays  un- and underproduced new plays by woman, trans, and non-binary authors per our survey results. Each play received between 5 and 19 nominations. .

ALABASTER: A darkly comic southern drama about love, art, and the power of women. This heart-wrenching story of a reclusive Alabama folk artist won the David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize. After a tornado barrels through town leaving nothing but death and destruction, only June and her pet goat Weezy live to tell the tale. When a prominent photographer visits to take pictures of June’s scars, both are forced to reconcile the pain of loss and recovery. This all-female drama explores the meaning and purpose of art and the struggle of the lost and tortured souls that seek to create it.

BABEL: What would you do if you had the power to build your own baby? In this version of a near future society, prospective parents learn within the first weeks of conception which genetic traits their child will have, and what behaviors they are likely to exhibit. Based on these test results, the parent(s) are either issued a PRE certification which legally guarantees the baby will be a “good” person or not. Without the certification, the child will be limited in what it is allowed to do. Two couples collide over what to do with their PRE certification test results. With rapid advances in reproductive technology, modern eugenics is science’s Wild West. What will we do to “civilize” it and ourselves? How far will we go when playing God? If you like Booker’s “Black Mirror,” Ishiguro’s “Never Let Me Go,” or Haley’s “The Nether,” then this play is for you.

Honorable Mentions include:
FRANCE-LUCE BENSON – Deux Femmes on the Edge de la Revolution
PATRICIA COTTER – The Daughters
JACQUELINE GOLDFINGER – Click
TIRA PALMQUIST – The Way North

DRAW THE CIRCLE By Mashuq Deen Wins LGBTQ Drama Lambda Literary Award

Lambda Literary Award winners were celebrated at a star-studded ceremony last night in New York City at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.

Once again, the winners of this year’s Lambda Literary Awards demonstrate how LGBTQ writing is far from monolithic. Across twenty-four categories, one finds the range of queer brilliance and a whole new set of books for your to-read list.

LGBTQ Drama

Draw the Circle, Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, Dramatists Play Service

Read the full list of winners here and the post from the Windy City Times here.

TERRA FIRMA, Written by Barbara Hammond, Selected for Baruch College’s 2019/2020 Season

Baruch Performing Arts Center at Baruch College announces its 2019-20 Season of music, theatre, dance, opera and more, a season spanning genres and cultural influences, rich in imagination and ideas.

Terra Firma *World Premiere*

September 27 – November 10, 2019

Co-presented with The COOP

In a not-so-distant Beckettian future, years after The Big War, a tiny kingdom wrestles with the problems of running a nation, sparring with the concepts of what makes a citizen, a country and a civilization. The play is inspired by real life events: In the 1960’s a retired army major in the United Kingdom claimed an abandoned aircraft platform in international waters off the coast of Essex as a sovereign nation, planted his flag, declared his wife Princess and their motto E Mare Libertas! ‘From the Sea, Freedom!” Written by award winning New Dramatist resident Barbara Hammond, and directed by Shana Cooper (Princess Grace Award), Terra Firma was originally commissioned by The Royal Court, Britain’s premier company for cultivating new plays. The COOP is a new company founded by established New York artists Andrus Nichols (Bedlam’s Saint Joan, Sense & Sensibility; “I’m beginning to think she can do anything.” – Ben Brantley, The New York Times) and Kate Hamill(Playwright of the Year -2017 – The Wall Street Journal, author of Sense & Sensibility, Vanity Fair, Little Women).

Read the full announcement from Broadway World here.

Jay-Z and Kanye set the tone in premiere of ‘Les Deux Noirs’ at Mosaic Theater


James J. Johnson, left, as Richard Wright, and Jeremy Hunter as James Baldwin in Psalmayene 24’s “Les Deux Noirs: Notes on Notes of a Native Son,” at Mosaic Theater Company. (Stan Barouh)

The Richard Wright-James Baldwin showdown “Les Deux Noirs” briefly becomes “Les Quatre” in the frisky, flippant new show at Mosaic Theater. Wright takes on a Jay-Z persona and Baldwin is Kanye West as the Jay-Z/Kanye West song “Niggas in Paris” gets the music video treatment, complete with choreography and projections. No telling where playwright Psalmayene 24 might swerve after that irreverent, heady start to his 70-minute power play between mid-20th-century titans of black American culture.

You can’t say Psalmayene 24 is jumping on the hip-hop bandwagon of “Hamilton”; he’s been doing this for at least 20 years, since he performed his “The Hip-Hop Nightmares of Jujube Brown” at Arena Stage. The new drama’s full title is “Les Deux Noirs: Notes on Notes of a Native Son,” and it’s based on a 1953 meeting in Paris between Wright and Baldwin. The beef was the upstart Baldwin’s critique of Wright’s 1940 novel, “Native Son,” a groundbreaking book that’s still troubling in its representation of Bigger Thomas’s violent reaction to an oppressive society.


The show is a fantasia that isn’t entirely sure of itself yet. Sexuality rears its head — Baldwin was gay, Wright married two white women — and in that complicated key, RJ Pavel and Musa Gurnis are terrific as the solicitous maitre d’ and waitress (both white) with creamy French accents and lusty eyes. The chats and the action never feel remote — lessons on the n-word, a great joke about reparations — even if the show is still seeking the thread that will pull it all tight.

Les Deux Noirs: Notes on Notes of a Native Son, by Psalmayene 24. Directed by Raymond O. Caldwell. Set, Ethan Sinnott; lights, William K. D’Eugenio; costumes, Amy MacDonald; projections, Brandi Martin; sound, Nick Hernandez; choreography, Tiffany Quinn. About 70 minutes. Through April 27 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. $20-$65. 202-399-7993. mosaictheater.org.

Read the full review by Nelson Pressley of the Washington Post here.