15 playwrights have been commissioned to pen new radio plays for Audible as part of the Audiobook company’s recently announced $5 million emerging playwrights fund. The commissioned plays, to feature one- or two-person casts, will be created specially for broadcast via the Audible app.
The selected writers are Empanada Loca playwright Aaron Mark; Aditi Brennan Kapil, who is the playwright-in-residence at Mixed Blood Theatre; Jeff Award winner Antoinette Nwandu (Pass Over at Steppenwolf); Bridgette A. Wimberly (Charlie Parker’s Yardbird); Chisa Hutchinson (Somebody's Daughter at 2ST); David Rossmer (Don’t Quit Your Night Job); Scottish playwright Gary McNair (Letters To Morrissey); James Anthony Tyler, whose Some Old Black Man is currently playing Off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters; Olivier-nominated British playwright James Fritz (Four Minutes Twelve Seconds); The Book of Will playwright Lauren Gunderson; Leah Nanako Winkler, whose play Kentucky was recently seen Off-Broadway; Madhuri Shekar (Queen at Victory Gardens in Chicago); White Rabbit Red Rabbit playwright Nassim Soleimanpour; Paola Lázaro, whose play Tell Hector I Miss Him debuted at Atlantic Theater Company Off-Broadway; and Regina Taylor, whose musical Crowns is the winner of four Helen Hayes awards.
In addition to financial support, Audible will provide the selected playwrights creative and logistical resources in the development and production of the new works. The new plays will be available later this year.
“We are delighted to welcome our first class of talented playwrights to the Audible aesthetic, and look forward to bringing their words in performance to theatergoers along with our millions of listeners,” said Audible founder and CEO Don Katz in a statement.
The grant recipients were chosen by an advisory board made up of Annette Bening (20th Century Women); playwrights Lynn Nottage (Sweat), Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead), and David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly); directors Trip Cullman (Significant Other) and Leigh Silverman (Sweet Charity); and artistic directors Oskar Eustis (The Public Theater) and Mimi O’Donnell (Labyrinth Theater Company).