Pipeline PlayLab

PlayLab 2021 applications are closed.


The PlayLab is a playwrights group that aids and encourages artists in growing their biggest, wildest ideas into imaginative and daring new plays. Through monthly meetings, workshop-events, and an artistic retreat, each writer is supported in developing their ambitious initial concept into a new script. At the end of the year, each playwright will have the opportunity to present their script.

Class of 2021: Karina Billini, Phaedra Michelle Scott, & Minghao Tu

Class of 2021

Karina Billini

Karina Billini is a Dominican-American playwright, poet, and teaching artist from Brooklyn. She began playwriting at the age of 15 where her first play, Hidden Poetry, was recognized by NYC Young Playwrights. Karina completed her undergraduate degree in playwriting at Marymount Manhattan College (2011) and received her MFA in Playwriting from The New School for Drama (2018.) She is a proud member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood and a recent member for Gingold’s Speakers Corner. She was a finalist for the NYTW 2050 fellowship and Lark’s New Voices Fellowship. Her play, 2144 South St, was a recent finalist for Barrington Stage’s Bonnie and Terry Burman New Play Award. Her play, Faded, was a recent finalist for the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition (2019.) This work along with other plays have been workshopped and/or produced at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Cherry Lane Theatre, Modern Day Griot Theatre Co., among others. Her poetry has been published in Burningword Magazine, Huizache Magazines, scissor & spackle, among others.

Project: Teach

Yvette has landed her dream job working in a charter school in her hometown, teaching brown and black kids who are beautifully Brooklyn and melanin like her. Yvette and all the new teachers are easily wooed by the perks of the job: new electronics, an unusually high starting salary, young and perky administrators, and the sense of “community” among the new teachers. The only red flag for Yvette is the admin’s insistence that the staff build their classroom management on the robotic (and unrealistic) tactics from the famous book called “Teach Like A Champion.” In the beginning, she attempts to conform to these tactics, but begin to realize how much it demands of her to wash away her sensibilities as a teacher and a black woman…and that these tactics is intended to do the same to her black students. A radical and kaleidoscopic examination of the racializing of teacher pedagogy, the effects of white-washing of black/brown bodies, and identity politics.

Phaedra Michelle Scott

Phaedra Michelle Scott is a playwright and dramaturg based in New York City. Her work primarily focuses on the intersection between story structure, race, class, and myth. As a playwright, her work has been developed at SpeakEasy Stage through the Boston Project in a two year fellowship for her play Diaspora! Her latest play Plantation Black was developed at SPACE on Ryder Farm. She is a member of the Obie-award playwriting ensemble Youngblood with Ensemble Studio Theater, and a recipient of the EST/Sloan Foundation Grant for her play Good Hair. As a dramaturg, she has developed works at Playwrights Realm, MCC Theater, Huntington Theater Company, Cleveland Play House, Salt Lake Acting Company, Utah Shakespeare Festival, among others. She is the resident dramaturg of the New Harmony Project and Black Theater Commons. She is a fan of horror, sci-fi, and folklore. www.phaedrascott.com.

Project: Good Hair

Good Hair follows three women through three different time periods, exploring the science of Black hair. Florence is a high schooler in 2017 whose hair is being questioned for its ‘professionalism’, Sarah Breedlove is on the cusp of a major discovery that can change Black women’s lives forever at the turn of the 20th century, and Eliza is a slave to the wealthy family who craves mobility from her current station. Ultimately, they each question themselves asking the question: does the cost of perceived beauty outweigh the proof of science? Good Hair is a recipient of the EST/Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project grant.

Minghao Tu

Minghao Tu writes challenging plays that make people laugh, eclectic plays in which disparate worlds and styles collide. Born in Wuhan, China, he provokes people to think globally, to embrace the unfamiliar and foreign. He expands theatre of the ridiculous with a queer, transcultural POV and earnest heart. His plays have been developed and presented/produced at Voyage Theater Company, Tofte Lake Center, Ground Floor Theatre, Lucky Chaos Productions, UT New Theatre; featured on The Steppenwolf Theatre’s The Mix; and semifinalists at PlayPenn, Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, American Shakespeare Center, and Many Voices Fellowship of the Playwrights’ Center. He was a James A. Michener fellow at UT Austin.

Project: A Silkworm Play

Inside a shoebox, two silkworms, Huge and Humongous, strive for friendship despite their imminent metamorphosis. Soon, bodies and identities will be unrecognizable. Their connection will be stretched beyond Nature’s cycles.

Class of 2020

righteous kill, a requiem by Nissy Aya

Red Clay Halo by Andy Boyd

BUST by Zora Howard

Untitled Cruise Ship Horror Play by Molly Beach Murphy & Erica Mann

Nasty Yatra by Utkarsh Rajawat

Chava the Giant & the Oldest Bird by Ran Xia

Class of 2019

Society by Skylar Fox & Simon Henriques

When Bees Last Whispered by Sevan K. Greene

Office Comedy by Sukari Jones

Coop by Sam Max

The Ortiz Twins Are Coming Home by Andrew Siañez-De La O

Let’s Hex the President by Kristin Slaney

Class of 2018

Five Hundred by Rick Burkhardt

Bundle of Sticks by J. Julian Christopher

feminine octagon [or, aristotle can eat me] by Amy Gijsbers van Wijk

Earth is Greedy by Jae Kramisen

House of Telescopes by Kairos Looney

Rise of the River by Divya Mangwani

wyrd by Matt Minnicino

Class of 2017

Bruise & Thorne by J. Julian Christopher

Heart of Duckness by A.J. Ditty

The Holdfolk by Freddy Edelhart

The Troll King by Aeneas Sagar Hemphill

Wunderkammer by Francesca Pazniokas

Trick of the Light by Charly Evon Simpson

Class of 2016

Princess Clara of Loisaida by Matt Barbot

Hags, Mopes, and the End of All Existence by Jen Browne

The Mermaid Parade by Gina Femia

The Puppet Show by Reina Hardy

Cracks by Jacob Marx Rice

Girl Becomes Bone by Callan Stout

Eleven Shades of Blue by Amy E. Witting

Class of 2015

Let Me Be Frank by Salty Brine

Untitled Time Dilation Play by Colby Day

The Convent of Pleasure by Sarah Einspanier

The Serpent in Quicksilver by Adam Fried

Pilgrims by Claire Kiechel

Nostalgia is a Mild Form of Grief by Jerry Lieblich

Hiding in Sanity: A Tragicomedy by Rachel Music

Proximity by Jeremy Wine

Class of 2014

Optimism, Or by A.P. Andrews

The Great Molly by Colby Day

Tom’s Nightmare by Andrew Farmer

Show of Hands by Jessica Fleitman

Mystery of Fucking by Scott McCarrey

The Carrion Man by Alex Malcolm Mills

I’s Twinkle by Nate Weida