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JAW 2017 Playwrights Announced

April 17, 2017

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Introducing this year's picks for JAW 2017! This year's festival begins with artists in residence starting July 17; the Big Weekend of staged readings and other events open to the public will occur July 28 - 30. As always, JAW is free and open to the public!

by Kate Attwell

Present day: A rained out women's cricket match between India and England leaves tensions bare and as the rainy day drones relentlessly on, no one can play nice any more. Then: The British East India Company rules in eighteenth century West Bengal, as two members of the Royal Cricket Team, ardent players of the game, debate the rules of engagement, the problem of the women, the trouble with mosquitoes, all against the backdrop of a country that they are destroying through famine. And before that?...

Testmatch is a new play about women’s sports, mangos, cricket, and ever present legacy of colonialism; written for an all-female cast.

Kate Attwell is a playwright and theater maker. She is a member of Ars Nova's PlayGroup 2017/18, a 2016 member of Page 73’s writers' group and was a finalist for the 2016 Page 73 playwriting fellowship. She is a Mabou Mines Resident Artist, and a member of the Public Theater’s devised theater working group. Kate co-founded and creates work with the interdisciplinary performance group, I AM A BOYS CHOIR. Recently her work has been seen at: REDCAT (LA), Under the Radar (The Public Theater), JACK, La MaMa, Dixon Place, BRIC, BAM (Everybooty), The Bushwick Starr (reading series), The Prelude Festival (CUNY), The Segal Center (Festival of Performance and Film), and The Wassaic Project. B.A. Performance and Film, The University of Bristol, UK.

Small Steps
by Briandaniel Oglesby

Finally fed up with the bot-and-disappointment-filled world of online gay dating, Skip Powers volunteers to go to Mars. And NASA says, “You'll do.” This is a comedy that traverses 50 million miles and a million years.

Briandaniel Oglesby is a queer, (half) Latino emerging playwright and California ex-pat now living in Texas. He writes plays for teens and plays very much not for teens. His play Halfway, Nebraska was developed at Playwrights’ Week at the Lark a few years ago, and went on to win the award for Outstanding Playwriting from the New York International Fringe Festival. His play She Gets Naked in the End won the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Latinidad Award, and may or may not premiere somewhere in northern California in the next year. He is a three-time National Finalist in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Regarding his theatre-for-teens: His adaptation of The Jungle Book was commissioned by Big Idea Theatre, and published by Steele Spring Stage Rights. He recently wrote and directed a gay adaptation of [a different] Romeo & Juliet for middle schoolers. For ten years, he spent his summers breathing barn dust on a farm as Literary Manager for Barnyard Theatre, a company he co-founded and housed in an old barn. He has an M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He now splits his time between Austin and Sacramento.

In Old Age
by Mfoniso Udofia

Isolated within the walls of her derelict New England home and suffering the residual pain of years of abuse, an ancient Abasiama Ufot makes an unlikely spiritual connection with an elder stranger, Azell Abernarthy. Just as life takes a new turn, Abasiama and Azell learn the true nature of love and forgiveness.

Mfoniso Udofia, a first-generation Nigerian-American storyteller and educator, attended Wellesley College and obtained her M.F.A. in acting from the American Conservatory Theater. Ufot Family Cycle plays, Sojourners and Her Portmanteau will be produced this coming Spring 2017 as part of New York Theatre Workshop's season. In Winter 2016, Playwrights Realm produced the Off-Broadway world premiere of Sojourners. In Spring 2016, The Magic Theater in San Francisco produced the West Coast premiere of Sojourners and the world premiere of the third installation in the Ufot Family Cycle, runboyun. Mfoniso’s currently working on Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Play On! commission translating Shakespeare’s Othello. She’s also the Artistic Director of the NOW AFRICA: Playwrights Festival and a proud member of New Dramatists class of 2023. Mfoniso’s plays have been developed, presented and/or produced by Seattle Repertory Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Realm, The Magic Theatre, Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre, Hedgebrook, Sundance Theatre Lab, Space on Ryder Farm, NNPN New Play Showcase, Makehouse, Soul Productions, terraNOVA, I73, The New Black Fest, Rising Circle's INKTank, At Hand Theatre Company, The Standard Collective, American Slavery Project, Liberation Theatre Company and more. Her acting credits include: [feature film starring Elliot Gould] Fred Won't Move Out, [play] Current Good , [musical] Children of Eden, A Christmas Carol and more. Please follow her at

Tiny Houses
by Stefanie Zadravec

On July 17, 2014, Malaysian Flight MH-17 rained down upon a tiny, war-torn Eastern Ukraine village after being targeted by a surface-to-air missile launched by pro-Russian Separatists. Bodies and objects alike become fodder for those trying to escape the circumstances in which they were born. Tiny Houses is a comic riff on Pandora’s Box that explores the ripple effect on several women who suddenly realize they can disrupt the status quo.

Stefanie Zadrevec is a resident playwright at New Dramatists, playwright-in-residence at Women’s Project and member of the 2017 Keen Playwright’s Lab. Plays includes: Colony Collapse (Kilroys list, Theatre Boston Court) The Electric Baby (Two River Theater, Quantum Theatre); Honey Brown Eyes (Theater J, Working Theater); The Boat (The Working Theater Commission). Honors include 2015 Helen Merrill Award, Francesca Primus Prize, Helen Hayes Award, Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, WAMCo Award; as well as fellowships from the The Lark, New York Foundation for the Arts, The Playwrights Realm, The Edgerton Foundation and Dramatists Guild; and commissions/production support from: NYSCA, Ford Foundation, NEA, Mellon Foundation, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Play Penn, Women’s Project,The Lark, New York Stage and Film, and New Dramatists. Her plays are published by DPS and featured in Best Women’s Monologues (Smith & Kraus) and 99 Scenes From The Kilroys List (TCG).

Learn more about JAW: A Playwrights Festival

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