The Kilroys Launch 4th Annual THE LIST Featuring Female and Trans Writers

THE KILROYS Photo credit: Elisabeth Caren at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Continuing the fight to achieve gender parity in the American Theater, LA-based playwright/producer collective The Kilroys has facilitated its fourth annual List of industry-recommended new plays.

The List 2017 features the most recommended un- and under-produced plays written by female and trans writers of color, following a survey of hundreds of professional artistic directors, literary managers, professors, producers, directors, and dramaturgs. The List is organized by The Kilroys: an independent, LA-based group of female playwrights and producers, dedicated to taking action in the face of gender disparity in American Theatre.

In 2014, The Kilroys created The List survey in response to systemic gender bias in theater programming. The vetted collection of industry-recommended works was designed to bring worthy plays by female and trans playwrights to the forefront of the American theater conversation. And it has. In the first three years of its existence, The List has featured 131 plays (46 plays on the List 2014; 53 plays on The List 2015; 32 plays on the List 2016), and over 1,000 plays have been nominated by hundreds of industry professionals. Since then, more than 100 productions of plays on The List have been mounted or announced.

Momentum for female theater makers is on the rise, despite continued under-representation of female and trans playwrights on American stages. According to The Count, an ongoing study funded by The Lilly Awards and The Dramatists Guild released in 2015, just 22% of productions in regional theaters over the previous three years were written by women.

However, only 3.4% of the overall plays produced reported by The Count were written by women of color. This year’s List assembled by The Kilroys addresses this concern in the hopes for inclusive parity.

The Kilroys seek to focus attention on underrepresented voices as a powerful means of overcoming systemic and implicit biases that create exclusion. Through our and others’ efforts, the results of attention on underrepresented voices has increased visibility and opportunity. Historically, female and trans writers of color face additional discrimination. This year, in an effort to widen our scope and attention toward the underrepresented, and explore the intersectional facets that make up the dynamics of bias, The Kilroys have asked nominators to recommend plays by female and trans writers of color, resulting in The List 2017.

The List serves as a resource for producers and theaters committed to gender parity. The Kilroys have partnered with the New Play Exchange to provide interested parties fast and easy access to The List plays.

  • The List survey uses the following criteria this year:
    Each industry respondent may recommend 3-5 plays, representing the best work they have encountered in the past 12 months.
  • A nominated play must be un-produced, or have had no more than one production.
  • A nominated play must be by an author of color who identifies as female or trans.
  • Plays on The List 2014, 2015 and 2016 are not eligible.

Theater professionals who have read or seen at least 40 plays in the previous year are invited to nominate themselves as respondents for next year’s List. Recommendations are submitted anonymously. Members of The Kilroys act as facilitators and do not recommend plays for The List.

The List is currently available at

Part comedy, part mystery, part rock concert, this thrilling story toggles back and forth in time, as father and daughter face the music of the past. Neary, a young Cambodian American has found evidence that could finally put away the Khmer Rouge’s chief henchman. But her work is far from done. When Dad shows up unannounced—his first return to Cambodia since fleeing 30 years ago—it’s clear this isn’t just a pleasure trip.

THE GREAT LEAP by Lauren Yee
When an American college basketball team travels to Beijing for an exhibition game in 1989, the drama on the court goes deeper than the strain between their countries. For two men with a past and one teen with a future, it’s a chance to stake their moment in history and claim personal victories off the scoreboard. American coach Saul grapples with his relevance to the sport, Chinese coach Wen Chang must decide his role in his rapidly-changing country and Chinese American player Manford seeks a lost connection. Tensions rise right up to the final buzzer as history collides with the action in the stadium. Inspired by events in the life of the playwright’s own father.

YOGA PLAY by Dipika Guha
Just when newly hired CEO Joan is about to launch a new brand of women’s yoga pants, yoga apparel giant Jojomon is hit by a terrible scandal. Desperate to win back the company’s reputation (and her own), Joan stakes everything on a plan so crazy it just might work. YOGA PLAY is a journey towards enlightenment in a world determined to sell it.

THIRST by C. A. Johnson
Samira and Greta lead a peaceful life. They have their own clearing in the woods, their own hut, and their son Kalil to keep them laughing. When Kalil returns home one day without their water rations, however, Samira and Greta find themselves in conflict with their local political leader. Set in a tense segregated society, Thirst is a complex look at race and love in war-time.
BLKS by aziza barnes
Some days feel like they will never end. After a morning that includes a cancer scare and kicking her girlfriend out of the house, Octavia decides to have a last turn up with her best friends.

In Affreakah-Amirrorkah, an imaginary but uncannily familiar place, debutantes Akim, Adama, Kaya, and Massassi embody the culture’s notion of Beauty in all its shades and shapes. Still, something about Akim sets her apart, and her allure makes her a target for Massassi and her pretty, “jealous” peers. If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka weaves contemporary African and American cultures into a sweeping journey about what—and whom—we suppress in pursuit of an ideal always just beyond reach.

IS GOD IS by Aleshea Harris
IS GOD IS is an epic tale of twin sisters who, haunted by a brutal family history, sojourn West to seek revenge.

WE, THE INVISIBLES by Susan Soon He Stanton
In 2011, the director of the International Monetary Fund was accused of sexual assault by a hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo, but all charges were dismissed. we, the invisibles shares the rarely-heard stories of people like Diallo, people from all over the globe working at New York’s luxury hotels. Funny, poignant, and brutally honest by turns, the play is an investigation of the complicated relationship between movers and shakers and the people who change their sheets.

QUEEN by Madhuri Shekar
At the very last minute, a scientist realizes that her groundbreaking environmental paper – co-authored with her best friend – is based on flawed data. Should she risk her friendship, her career, the fate of the world… for the truth?

Taking refuge from a twitterstorm and other assorted upheaval on a last-minute camping trip, Mel and Arjun meet Georgia, a solitary young woman studying the impact of climate change on the imperiled Joshua tree.

HANG MAN by Stacy Amma Osei-Kuffour
The community of a shitty southern town grapples with the murder of a Black man who is found hanging from a tree.

When Monique and her 10-year-old daughter Samantha show up unexpectedly on her sister’s Brooklyn doorstep, it’s the beginning of the end for Rachel and her partner Nadima’s orderly lifestyle. Monique is on the run from deep trouble, her husband Reggie is nowhere to be seen, and Samantha becomes ever haunted by the life in southern Georgia she was forced to leave behind. Poetic, dark and often deeply funny Last Night and the Night Before explores the complex power, necessity, and beauty of loss.

EL HURACÁN by Charise Castro Smith
In Miami, on the eve of Hurricane Andrew, three generations of women huddle together to weather the storm. Beset by late-stage Alzheimers, Valeria (the family matriarch and a former magicienne) wanders between present-day family tensions and the siren call of her memories. But thirty years later, in the wake of a seemingly unforgivable mistake, the family is faced with the impossible necessity of reconciliation. Inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest, El Huracán is a story about what we carry when we’re forced to leave everything behind.

TWO MILE HOLLOW by Leah Nanako Winkler
When the Donnelly’s gather for a weekend in the country to gather their belongings for their recently sold estate—both an internal storm and a literal storm brews (uh oh!). As this brood of famous, longing-to-be-famous and kind of a mess but totally Caucasian family comes together with their non-white personal assistant, Charlotte, some really really really really really complicated and totally unique secrets are revealed over white wine…

Sabrina Jackson cannot cope with the death of her 14-year-old son by a White cop. Rather than herald the Black Lives Matter movement, Sabrina retreats inward, living out a comic book superhero fantasy. Will Sabrina stay in this splash-and-pow dream world where sons don’t die, or return to reality and mourn her loss?

ENDLINGS by Celine Song
On the island of Man-Jae in Korea, three elderly women spend their dying days diving into the ocean to harvest seafood with nothing but a rusty knife. They are “haenyeos”— “sea women” —and there are no heiresses to their millennium-old tradition. ENDLINGS is a real estate lesson from the last three remaining “haenyeos” in the world: don’t live on an island. Unless it’s the island of Manhattan…

EVE’S SONG by Patricia Ione Lloyd
Outside, black men and women are being killed by police. Inside, Deborah is trying to keep her smart-but-weird son and newly-out daughter safe and happy as light bulbs pop, shadows come to life, and the house gets strangely colder. With theatricality and lyricism, this unlikely ghost story explores what it means to let your song be heard in a world that’s trying to silence you.

1888. Paris and Provence. A failing artist in desperate pursuit of a new way of seeing, haunted by his past, and hoping to remake his future in the color and light of the south. At what point in an endless cycle of failures does faith and persistence become delusion and foolishness? A meditation on love, art, and not being popular.

florissant & canfield by Kristiana Rae Colón
at the intersection of tear gas and teddy bear memorials, at the intersection of darren wilson and michael brown, at the intersection of looting and liberation, florissant & canfield refracts the realities of ferguson in the wake of the black lives matter movement. colliding in the unlikely eden of a civil rights renaissance, a newly formed alliance of protesters are forced to put their nascent ideologies to the test in the quest for new visions of justice.

LES FRÉRES by Sandra A. Daley-Sharif
Inspired by Lorainne Hansberry’s Les Blancs, Les Fréres tells the story of three estranged brothers of Haitian descent, who come home to Harlem for their father’s final days. Troubled memories filled with anger and abuse come rushing back as they deal with their father’s death. They are forced to deal with how each choose to deal with memories, how each have escaped, feelings of abandonment, betrayal and loss. Finally, the end asks two of the brothers if they will escape back into the lives they have forged for themselves or will they try to make new life amongst the embers of pain. The play deals with issues of race and culture, family, and identity.

A bestselling novelist returns to Nigeria to care for her ailing father, but before she can bury him, she must relearn the traditions she’s long forgotten. Having been absent for over a decade, she must collide with her culture, traumatic past, painful regrets, and the deep, deep love she thought she could never have.

REDWOOD by Brittany K. Allen
Redwood concerns an interracial couple (Meg, a middle school teacher, and Drew, a physicist) who are thrown into crisis when Meg’s recently-retired Uncle Stevie makes a project of charting the family tree, via When Stevie discovers that his would-be nephew-in-law is heir apparent to the family that owned his (and subsequently, Meg’s) relatives in an antebellum Kentucky, a time and space-bending dramedy of manners gone very far South ensues. Long-dead ancestors appear, to comment on their light-skinned progeny. Meg speechifies on the nature of forgetting before the State Senate, and a hip-hop dance class chorus guides the action. The play is interested in the ways love can and cannot transcend both modern social barriers and historical power structures. Meg and Drew must learn if we can we ever truly forgive, champion or fully understand those beloved who are fundamentally ‘other.’

BURNED by Amina Henry
Jamal wants to be force for good, like a Jedi in Star Wars, but he did a bad thing, firebombing a synagogue for money. Now he wonders if he’s an evil Sith. A fugitive, he lays low at his mother Mary’s house. Mary and Jo, Jamal’s girlfriend, wonder about the good and evil in Jamal, too, as they witness the different parts of him. For Officer Brown, Jamal is just one thing: black.

HATEFUCK by Rehana Lew Mirza
A local Michigan literary professor seeks out a famous Muslim-American novelist to find out if he’s a self-hating Islamophobe or a really good lay. But they find that getting under each other’s skin can easily become a habit, for better or worse.

An explosive elixir of power, class, and immigration status, which, when shaken hard with love and betrayal, creates a dangerous cocktail that threatens to destroy lives. In this Spanish language infused contemporary adaptation of Strindberg’s Miss Julie is set in the back kitchen of a Miami hotel during a night of debauchery.

NOMAD MOTEL by Carla Ching
Alix lives in a tiny motel room with her mother and two brothers, scrabbling to make weekly rent. Mason lives comfortably in a grand, empty house while his father runs jobs for the Hong Kong Triad. Until the day his father disappears and Mason has to figure out how to come up with grocery money and dodge Child Services and the INS. Mason and Alex develop an unlikely friendship, struggling to survive, and trying to outrun the mistakes of their parents. Will they make it out or fall through the cracks? A play about Motel Kids and Parachute Kids raising themselves and living at the poverty line in a land of plenty.

NOURA by Heather Raffo
NOURA reflects the dilemma facing modern America: do we live for each other or for ourselves? Told from inside the marriage of an Iraqi immigrant family to New York, the play speaks directly to modern marriage and the leaving of home. This fast paced script highlights an acutely relevant awakening of identity that tackles our notions of, shame, violence, assimilation, exile and love. It’s a unique insight into the interior crisis that lies behind the collapse of the modern Middle East and America’s inseparable relationship to it.

USUAL GIRLS by Ming Peiffer
On an elementary school playground, a boy threatens to tell on a group of girls for swearing – unless one of them kisses him. But just before lips can touch, Kyeoung tackles the boy to the ground. The victory is short-lived. Over the coming years, Kyeoung herself is knocked down again and again. By an alcoholic dad. A group of quick-to-judge friends. And an endlessly invasive parade of men. As we follow Kyeoung from the discoveries of childhood to the realities of adulthood, her stories get stranger, funnier, more harrowing – and more familiar. How do girls grow up? Quickly, painfully, wondrously.

AZUL by Christina Quintana
When a lifelong New Yorker faces the loss of her Cuban-born mother and her own sense of identity in the process, she digs into her legacy and uncovers the story of her mother’s beloved aunt, her own tia-abuela whom she never met. While the family fled Cuba at the time of Castro’s revolution, she remained on the island for the love of another woman—a complicated choice in a less forgiving time.

What happens when a woman trapped in a dead-end job and a fizzling relationship accidentally gets pregnant by a man that she’s not dating? A coming of age story about race, class and motherhood, BREACH examines how hard it is to love others when it’s you that you loathe most of all.

HOW TO CATCH CREATION by Christina Anderson
A wrongly convicted man is released from prison after 25 years. As he settles into a new life he begins the quest to become a father. Spanning more than 40 years, this play explores family, connection, parenthood, and the right to start over.

Is an Origin story of the Goddess Nike and a retelling of the Olympus myth Black Greek Super hero style

SELLING KABUL by Sylvia Khoury
Taroon once served as an interpreter for the United States military in Afghanistan. Now the Americans – and their promises of safety – are gone, and Taroon spends his days in his sister Afiya’s apartment, hiding from the increasingly powerful Taliban. Desperate to escape with his wife and newborn son, Taroon must navigate a country left in upheaval, in which everyone must fend for themselves and few can be trusted.

SOMEBODY’S DAUGHTER by Chisa Hutchinson
A Chinese-American guidance counselor helps a troubled protege through some gender-bias bullshit.

During the Chinese Exclusion Act, Harry Chin, a Chinese national, entered the U.S. by buying forged documentation. Like other “Paper Sons,” Harry underwent a brutal detention and interrogation, and lived the rest of his life keeping secrets – even from his daughter. Told through the eyes of a middle-aged Chin, THE PAPER DREAMS OF HARRY CHIN reveals the complicated loves and regrets of this Chinese immigrant who wound up in Minnesota. Through dreamlike leaps of time and space and with the powerful assistance of ghosts, the story of the Chin family reveals the personal and political repercussions of making group of people “illegal.”

In this satirical comedy, a mismatched but well-meaning foursome sets out to devise a politically correct school play that can somehow sensitively celebrate both Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month. How can this wildly diverse quartet-separated by cultural chasms and vastly different perspectives on history-navigate a complicated, hilarious thicket of privilege, representation, and of course school district regulations? The schools are waiting, and the pageant must go on!

UNRELIABLE by Dipika Guha
Gretchen is a lawyer. Yusuf is her client. Yusuf is being held indefinitely without trial for terrorism. Hattie is Gretchen’s mother. Only, Hattie thinks Gretchen is a secretary, Gretchen thinks Hattie is sick and Yusuf believes he’s been framed. In a world of competing narratives, facts no longer exist. UNRELIABLE investigates the consequences of living only in a story of your choosing.

THE KILROYS are a gang of playwrights and producers in LA who are done talking about gender parity and are taking action. They mobilize others in their field and leverage their own power to support one another. They are Zakiyyah Alexander, Bekah Brunstetter, Sheila Callaghan, Carla Ching, Annah Feinberg, Sarah Gubbins, Laura Jacqmin, Joy Meads, Kelly Miller, Meg Miroshnik, Daria Polatin, Tanya Saracho, and Marisa Wegrzyn.


ZAKIYYAH ALEXANDER’s work has been seen and developed around the country, including: 10 Things To Do Before I Die (Second Stage), Sweet Maladies (Brava Theater Center, Rucker Theater) and, The Etymology of Bird (Summerstage). Her musical, GIRL Shakes Loose, has been the recipient of a Map and Joyce Fund Award, developed at the O’Neill Music Theater Conference and recently received a world premiere at Penumbra Theater. An alumni of: The MacDowell Arts Colony, New Dramatists, Center Theater Groups Writers Lab, Women’s Project Lab, Drama League Fellow, Youngblood EST. Yale School of Drama: MFA in playwriting. Zakiyyah has written for: 24 Legacy and Grey’s Anatomy.

BEKAH BRUNSTETTER’s plays include The Cake (upcoming at The Echo Theater, La Jolla), Going to a Place Where you Already Are (SCR), The Oregon Trail (O’Neill Playwright’s Conference), Be A Good Little Widow (Ars Nova, The Old Globe) and Oohrah! (The Atlantic; Steppenwolf Garage). She has written for Switched at Birth and Starz’ American Gods and is currently a producer on NBC’s This is Us. MFA, the New School for Drama.

SHEILA CALLAGHAN is a NY and LA based playwright, founding member of the Obie winning playwright’s organization 13P, and New Dramatists alum. Plays include Scab, Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake), Dead City, That Pretty Pretty; Or, The Rape Play, Everything You Touch, Elevada, and Women Laughing Alone With Salad. She is published with Playscripts and Samuel French, and several of her collected works are published with Counterpoint Press. Sheila is currently a writer/producer on the Showtime comedy Shameless.

CARLA CHING is a native Angeleno who fell into theater in New York. Her plays include Nomad Motel (forthcoming at City Theatre in Pittsburgh; O’Neill Playwrights Conference), The Two Kids That Blow Shit Up (Artists at Play; Mu Performing Arts; Huntington’s Breaking Ground), Fast Company (EST; South Coast Rep; Lyric Stage; Porkfilled Players), TBA (2g) and The Sugar House at the Edge of the Wilderness (Ma-Yi) among others. Alumna of the Women’s Project Lab, Lark Playwrights Workshop, CTG Writers’ Workshop and the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. Former Artistic Director of Asian American theater company, 2g. Proud member of New Dramatists. Carla has written on Amazon’s I Love Dick, USA’s Graceland, AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead and The First forthcoming from Hulu.

ANNAH FEINBERG’s plays, which include The Beautiful Beautiful Sea Next Door, Numismatics, and The Ivories, have been developed and produced by Ars Nova, Naked Angels, EBE Ensemble, The Blank and Clubbed Thumb. She has served in artistic and literary capacities for The Civilians, LCT3, MTC, Steppenwolf, Northlight, ICM, TimeLine and 13P. She wrote and directed short film “Gretch and Tim”, cartoons @memyselvesand, and her musical web series “Balloon Room” is coming soon. She served as script coordinator on I Love Dick, and has assisted on Arrested Development, Flaked, Damien and Veep. MFA Dramaturgy: Columbia University.

SARAH GUBBINS hails from Chicago. Her plays include The Kid Thing (Jeff Award and Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award), fml: how Carson McCullers saved my life, Fair Use, The Drinking Problem, and Cocked. She’s has been a Carl J. Djerassi Fellow and Jerome Fellow. Currently she’s a Core Writer of the Playwrights’ Center. She holds a M.F.A. from Northwestern University in Writing for the Screen + Stage. She lives in Los Angeles.

LAURA JACQMIN is a writer for television, video games, and the live theatre. She currently writes for Get Shorty (MGM/Epix). Plays: Residence (40th Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville), A Third (Finborough Theatre), Look, We Are Breathing (Sundance Theatre Lab; Rivendell Theatre), January Joiner (Long Wharf Theatre), Ski Dubai (Steppenwolf Theatre), Dental Society Midwinter Meeting (Chicago Dramatists/At Play, remounted 16th Street Theater and Theater on the Lake; Williamstown Theatre Festival), and more. Awards: Wasserstein Prize, two NEA Art Works Grants, ATHE-Kennedy Center David Mark Cohen Playwriting Award, two MacDowell Fellowships. Other television: Grace and Frankie (Netflix); Lucky 7 (ABC). Video games: The Walking Dead – A New Frontier: The Telltale Series and Minecraft: Story Mode (both with Telltale Games). BA Yale University, MFA Ohio University.

JOY MEADS is Literary Manager/Artistic Engagement Strategist at Center Theatre Group. Recent dramaturgy credits include Forever by Dael Orlandersmith, Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison (2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist), The Royale by Marco Ramirez, & Radiate by Daniel Alexander Jones. Previously, Joy was Literary Manager at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Associate Artistic Director at California Shakespeare Theater. Joy has also developed plays with NYTW, Berkeley Rep, Denver Center, the O’Neill, Portland Center Stage, South Coast Rep, & Campo Santo, among others.

KELLY MILLER is a Manager at The Shuman Company in LA. Recently, she served as the Director of Development for New Neighborhood and as South Coast Repertory’s Literary Director and the Co-Director of the Pacific Playwrights Festival from 2009-2015. She dramaturged over 40 world premiere productions and readings at SCR and created the CrossRoads commissioning project. Miller has worked at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Williamstown, Long Wharf Theatre and consulted for the O’Neill, Berkeley Rep, the Kennedy Center, Public Theater, Native Voices at the Autry and many others. Recent residencies include Lake Tofte Center and SPACE on Ryder Farm. She serves on the board for the Women’s Project Theater and is an Ambassador-at-Large for the National New Play Network. She develops new work with her company Creative Destruction.

MEG MIROSHNIK is an LA-based, Minneapolis-bred playwright who writes heightened language. Plays include The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls (Yale Rep; Alliance), The Tall Girls (Alliance; O’Neill; La Jolla Playhouse DNA Series), The Droll (Pacific Playwrights Festival; Undermain) and Lady Tattoo (Pacific Playwrights Festival, Rattlestick F*cking Good Plays Festival). Awards: Whiting Award, Susan Smith Blackburn finalist, Alliance/Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award. Publications: Samuel French. MFA: Yale School of Drama under Paula Vogel. Affiliation: Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center. Upcoming: Sonnet: A Play, a Shakespeare-inspired commission for the Acting Company.

DARIA POLATIN is a playwright, TV writer and author. Daria’s plays include Palmyra, In Tandem, Guidance, That First Fall, D.C., and The Luxor Express, inspired by her father’s life growing up in Egypt; work produced at The Kennedy Center, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Naked Angels, Ensemble Studio Theatre NY, Golden Thread Productions, Noor Theatre, Malibu Playhouse, Cape Cod Theatre Project, in London, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong. Member of Center Theatre Group Writers’ Workshop, Echo Theater Writer’s Lab, residency with London’s Royal Court Theatre, alumna of Youngblood. Daria has directed plays, and her short film, “Till It Gets Weird.” She writes for the upcoming Amazon TV series Jack Ryan, starring John Krasinski, and wrote for the Hulu psychic drama Shut Eye. Daria’s debut novel Devil in Ohio will be published in November 2017 by Macmillan. Awards: Kennedy Center/A.C.T.F. Best One-Act Play, Middle East America Playwriting Prize Honorable Mention, Wasserstein Prize Nominee, Princess Grace Award Finalist; MFA Columbia University.

TANYA SARACHO was born in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, México. She is a playwright and Television Writer who’s worked on How To Get Away With Murder, HBO’s Looking, & Girls, and Devious Maids. She is creating and has been tapped as showrunner by Starz for “Pour Vida,” a series in development. Named “Best New Playwright” by Chicago Magazine, Saracho has had plays produced at: Primary Stages in NYC, 2nd Stage in NYC, Denver Theatre Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Goodman Theater, Steppenwolf Theater, Teatro Vista, Teatro Luna, Fountain Theater, Clubbed Thumb, NEXT Theater and 16th Street Theater. Saracho was named one of nine national Latino “Luminarios” by Café magazine and given the first “Revolucionario” Award in Theater by the National Museum of Mexican Art. She is the founder of Teatro Luna (the first all-Latina Theatre Company in the nation, now defunct) as well as the founder of ALTA (Alliance of Latino Theatre Artists). Saracho is currently in development with Big Beach Films for a project about brujería and under commission with: South Coast Repertory Theatre and Two Rivers Theatre.

MARISA WEGRZYN Chicago playwright working in LA. Writer of Mud Blue Sky, The Butcher of Baraboo, Hickorydickory, Killing Women, Ten Cent Night, other stuff. Gigs at Steppenwolf, Second Stage NYC, Baltimore Center Stage, A Red Orchid Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Theatre Seven, Moxie Theatre, other places. Winner of the Wendy Wasserstein Playwriting Prize. Writer on TV shows Mind Games (ABC), The Mentalist (CBS), and Feed the Beast (AMC). Enjoys weather.

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Meet Shellen Lubin

Screen+Shot+2015-02-22+at+4.27.01+PMMy conversation on gender parity continues with Shellen Lubin. Shellen is a powerhouse. She wears numerous hats as a Songwriter, Playwright, Director, and Vocal/Acting Coach.  She is also the Co-President of the Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, VP of Programming of the League of Professional Theatre Women, and a member of most unions and guilds in our industry, and of the National Theatre Conference.

Shellen shares about The Women in Arts & Media Coalition:

Founded in 1990 (as the New York Coalition of Professional Women in the Arts & Media, Inc.), the Women in the Arts & Media Coalition is a centralized resource for the advancement of professional women in film, theater, television and communications. Combining member organizations’ abilities and strengths in a collaborative effort, the Coalition’s mission is to empower women in these industries through advocacy, mentoring, networking, and events. Members include many of the unions and guilds in our industry, as well as larger and smaller organizations dedicated to the advancement of women.

There are a number of benefits of being a member of the Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, starting with being part of a movement promoting parity and diversity in our industry. Membership in the Coalition is not by individuals, but by organizations, and is determined by the size of membership. Full Member Organizations have the greatest number of individual members and include unions and guilds, such as Local 802 AFM, Actors’ Equity Association, Dramatists Guild, SAG-AFTRA, Stage Directors and Choreographers, Writers Guild of America East, and organizations like the League of Professional Theatre Women, New York Women in Film and Television, and New York Women in Communications. Affiliate members include the International Center for Women Playwrights, the Women’s Media Center, Women Make Movies, Women in Music, the Drama Desk, and The National Theatre Conference, to name but a few.  Last year a new membership category for academic institutions emerged with The School of Visual Arts becoming the first academic affiliate. All together, the organizational membership totals more than 100,000 women and men.

The Coalition often co-produces events with its member orgs. Member orgs are not only able to help with the design and follow-through of these programs, the Coalition is also available to help with any events from its member orgs that are of particular interest or value to women. If any one of our organizations offers a discount to the broad Coalition membership, the Coalition will publicize those events in their newsletter, calendar, and blog. Additionally, the Coalition is always interested in creating a Cross Meet and Greet between member orgs who are interested in having their membership network with each other. Our last such Meet and Greet was a three-way jam-packed networking event at WGAE with NYWIFT and WMM.

The Coalition offers a huge number of valuable resources on their website.

One useful resource is the Women in the Arts & Media Communal Calendar, which lists all events of interest for women, arts, and media, and is becoming the place to look for events, and to schedule in advance and check for conflicts. As a member of Local 802,, you are a member of The Coalition and are invited to all the events, awards galas, and networking opportunities listed there (unless they are listed as blackout dates only).

Go to to learn about upcoming events and openings of interest.

Newer projects include: the Studies page,, an extensive database with links to Studies around the world on gender representation in theatre, film, and television.

For those seeking funding, residencies and opportunities to submit original work, go to for both  #StageOpps and #ScreenOpps newsletters.

Last fall the Coalition spearheaded a Percolating Gender Parity in Theatre summit, bringing organizations together from the Coalition and beyond, from around the world, to share and coordinate efforts. A Percolating Gender Parity in Music summit is planned for Fall 2016 and Gender Parity in Media for Spring 2017..

The Coalition also shares news and information from all its member orgs and other organizations of interest on their blog and on facebook and Twitter. Anything any member org has to publicize that would be of interest to sister organizations in the Coalition can be shared by any and all of those means.

The Coalition also sponsors two Signature events, usually one each year in rotation.  The first is The Collaboration Awards, which honor professional women in the arts and media from different specializations working collaboratively on the creation of new work. The award recognizes the best of these collaborations. The last Collaboration Awards Gala in 2015 celebrated honorees in the disciplines of playwriting, songwriting, filmmaking, and directing. The winners were playwright T.D. Mitchell and director Sheryl Kaller for QUEENS FOR A YEAR which will be premiering at Hartford Stage in Fall 2016.

The other Signature event for which the Women in the Arts & Media Coalition is known is VintAge, which celebrates older women, and what is possible both in their representation and in their employment. In 2014, The Coalition granted the 1st Elsa Rael VintAge Award, for advocacy of women aging in the arts and media, presented by Tisa Chang to Morgan Jenness for her work on behalf of the playwright Maria Irene Fornes.

The Women in the Arts & Media Coalition’s combined membership is larger and more diverse than that of any other alliance of women in the arts and/or media. As a resource for professional development and social exchange, and as a force for the voice and vision of women working towards parity and diversity in the arts and media, the Coalition is a continually expanding force to be reckoned with. It is a wonderful resource from which we hope you will benefit.

Shellen Lubin

Writer/Director/Teacher of Theatre & Music

facebook:  Shellen Lubin

LinkedIn:  shellenlubin

twitter:  @shlubin


Co-President ~ Women in the Arts & Media Coalition


twitter: @WomenArtsMedia


VP of Programming ~ League of Professional Theatre Women


twitter: @LPTWomen


Monday Morning Quote


twitter: @MonMornQuote

Meet Felicia Lin


My conversation on gender parity continues with Felicia Lin who is a Taiwanese American writer. The diaspora of her parents’ generation and Taiwan’s international isolation, have fueled her interest in Taiwan. In 2001, she left New York to live in Taiwan, where a creative breakthrough led her to pursue a career as a writer. Metropolicks, the first book she has co-written, is a romantic comedy novel. Currently she is working on the memoir of Su Beng, a Taiwanese revolutionary, activist and historian.

Here’s her take on the publishing world:

As far as the publishing industry goes, it is a female dominated industry, i.e. there are more women working in the field of publishing than men. However the majority of book reviewers and authors reviewed are men.

Here are some of the statistics from the field of literature and publishing that I referred to while on the panel:

1) According to a Publishers Weekly salary survey in 2010, 85% of publishing employees with less than three years of experience are women

2) Here’s a link to data gathered by VIDA Women in Literary Arts which shows a breakdown of the number of men and women in the categories of authors reviewed and book reviewers: 

Out of 40 charts, women outnumbered men on only two of them.

This New Republic article takes a closer look at what’s behind these numbers:

The New Republic article states: At Harper’s, there were 27 male book reviewers and six female; about 69 percent of the books reviewed were by male authors. At the London Review of Books, men wrote 78 percent of the reviews and 74 percent of the books reviewed. Men made up 84 percent of the reviewers for The New York Review of Books and authored 83 percent of the books reviewed. 

3) As for self-publishing, this Guardian article indicates that self-publishing allows women to break through the glass ceiling of the book industry.

The article also states that according to a report from online publishing platform FicShelf, the authors doing best in the medium tend to be women. 

The man whose biography I’m working on, Su Beng (he’s a nonagenarian Taiwanese revolutionary) was a very strong supporter of Tsai Ing-wen, who is the first woman be elected to be the President of Taiwan. She was elected on January 16th and she even mentioned Su Beng in one of her acceptance speeches. I wrote about this on my blog about Su Beng here: I’m attaching the photo of Su Beng ad Tsai Ing-wen that appears in that blog post.


Biographer of Su Beng

Lifelong Taiwan independence activist, revolutionary and author of TAIWAN’S 400 YEAR HISTORY

Co-author of Metropolicks and The Metropolicks We Call New York City: A Guide for Singles

Twitter @felishalin


Instagram @felishalin

Meet Naomi McDougall Jones

4.21x5.47 laurelsMy last blog post was on gender parity and the panel that I moderated. Naomi McDougall Jones  represented the discipline of film as a filmaker shared these three stats about the role of women in films:

  • Of the top 100 Hollywood films in 2014, only 12% featured a leading female character.
  • Of the top 100 Hollywood films of the last 13 years, only 4% were directed by women.
  • In the 88-year history of the Oscars, only one woman has ever been awarded Best Director.

She is part of the solution and her artist statement is profound.

Get to know Naomi and her upcoming film Imagine I’m Beautiful

Twitter: @NaomiMcDougallJ


Film website:

Naomi’s Artistic Statement:

As a storyteller, I am driven by the belief that more and more audiences are tired of re-makes and prequels and sequels that have been formulaically assembled under the assumption that a great film is a mathematical equation. I believe there are those who crave what I crave as an audience member: to be genuinely surprised; to have my own prejudices exploded; to leave the theater altered from who I was when I went in.

I believe that my generation has not given up on goofy, joyful, freewheeling optimism even in the face of technology, internet self-invention and post-9/11 world terror.  I believe that we are, rather, starving more than ever for stories that will lift our minds to look beyond ourselves; to engage with and improve upon the world around us.

 I believe furthermore that we are on the frontier of an unexplored expanse of the female perspective in filmmaking. I am not satisfied that one or two or four women are being given a seat at the table to tell their stories. That happening is good, but it is not good enough. 

We do not yet even know what it will look like to actually have a substantial choir of female voices, sharing with richness and diversity the multitudinous facets of the female perspective. I believe that as we are able to share our perspective, to have an artistic dialogue with one another, to save ourselves from the dismissiveness of the “chick flick,” that the very fabric of our society will change for the better, as men and women are presented with a broader perspective.

And I am exhilarated, because, as the traditional distribution models break down, we filmmakers are more keenly positioned than ever to get our work directly into audiences’ hungry hands, bypassing the gatekeepers who have, for so long, dictated the “tastes” of the viewer.

As women and as indie filmmakers, I believe we must come together as strong individual voices and as a community to offer audiences a stronger alternative to the monochrome fare of the mainstream.