This fall, we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of our PlayLab. Click here to learn more about the program from our playwrights and staff (including a PlayLab Retrospective by Co-Director Philip Santos Schaffer), see photos of the festivities, and support our PlayLab artists this season.

Jonathan Alexandratos

PlayLab 2023 Playwright

Jonathan Alexandratos (they/them) is a Non-Binary, New York City-based playwright. Their work lives at the intersection of pop culture, ancient Queerness, and emotional catharsis. Jonathan’s plays have explored their family’s immigrant past (We See What Happen [Strange Sun Theater Greenhouse Award Winner, Nashville Rep Ingram New Works Lab project], Words Cannot Describe This [Queens Council on the Arts New Works Grant]), the Queer history of toys (TOYS 101 [the So-Fi Festival, Strange Sun Theater’s Explorations: Digital Theater Festival]), transitioning to an ancient Albanian gender in the modern rural Kentucky (Turning Krasniqi [2020 Parity Productions Commission Winner]), among other threads of their own tapestry. Find Jonathan on Instagram @toy_circus.

Proposed Project: The Hills

Liv, a Trans woman, is returning home to her native East Tennessee Appalachia, after the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic force her out of NYC and back into her mother’s Sevierville toy store. My Little Ponies and Transformers are the trappings of the home Liv always knew, but one “baby doll” no longer fits on the shelf: her. In deciding whether to run for The Hills or from them, Liv must find – through play, politics, and power – her true purpose in Queer Appalachia.

Cris Eli Blak

PlayLab 2023 Playwright

Cris Eli Blak is an emerging Black playwright whose work has garnered him recognition from The Negro Ensemble Company, Kairos Italy Theater, Austin Film Festival, Barrington Stage Company, TEDxBroadway, and Ignition Arts. His work has been produced Off-Broadway and around the country; on university stages (Columbia University, Northwestern University, New York University); as well as in London, Australia, Ireland, and Canada. He is currently the recipient of the Emerging Playwrights Fellowship from The Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre and a resident playwright with Yonder Window Theatre Company. 

Proposed Project: There Are Black Roses Under The Sea 

An examination of the forgotten Black towns in history, and what it would be like if one of these drowned towns survived and built a new civilization at the bottom of the ocean. When one of the younger residents of one of these towns sneaks off and finds themselves on land, they are immediately swept into the changing world, finding love and discovering the difference between life in the ocean and life on American soil.

Jeffrey James Keyes

PlayLab 2023 Playwright

Jeffrey James Keyes is an interdisciplinary writer and artist. He co-authored the New York Times bestseller Killer Chef with James Patterson in 2016. He was an inaugural recipient of the PEN America L’Engle Rahman Prize for Mentorship in 2021. His plays have been developed or featured at SoHo Playhouse, the Old Vic/Old Vic New Voices, 59E59, the Ensemble Studio Theatre, and Rogue Machine Theatre among others. He is a recipient of the Artists’ Patron Fund’s 2019 Gold Award and wrote the script for Digital Arrest, which took the top prize in the Creative Technology category at the NYC Media Lab 2019 Demo Expo. BA: Fordham University College at the Lincoln Center, MFA: Columbia University School of the Arts. Website: IG/Twitter: @jjkeyes

Proposed Project: The Great American Holiday Crafting Show

Crafts. Storytelling. Healing. Come join Orange and Clove for an unexpected holiday experience. Go back to the basics and gather with us as we roll up our sleeves and embark on some good old fashion holiday crafting exercises. We’ll swap stories, unpack the holidays, and go back to the basics while working together to not only craft, but discover some hope and a bit of magic for the holiday season.


Class of 2022

1898 by Nelson Diaz-Marcano

do this in [x] of me by Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin

Radclyffe and the Archivist by Kairos Looney

Class of 2021

Teach by Karina Billini

Good Hair by Phaedra Michelle Scott

A Silkworm Play by Minghao Tu

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