jakub | May 2, 2023

AMERICAN THEATRE | Four Playwrights Receive Yale Rep Commissions


Guadalís Del Carmen, Dave Harris, Rachel Lynett, and Sanaz Toossi.

NEW HAVEN, CONN.: Yale Repertory Theatre has named four newly commissioned artists. With support from the Binger Center for New Theatre, Yale Rep will develop new works by Guadalís Del Carmen (Bees and Honey), Dave Harris (Tambo & Bones), Rachel Lynett [Apologies to Lorraine Hansberry (You Too August Wilson)], and Sanaz Toossi (English).

In a statement, artistic director James Bundy called this group of writers “among the most adventurous and singular voices working today in the American theatre…Their work undoubtedly will advance our art form into the future.”

Yale Rep further announced that Dave Harris will be the inaugural and first recipient of three annual Peter Shaffer Commissions, which support work of significant scope, and are made possible by a generous gift from the Sir Peter Shaffer Charitable Foundation.

Under the leadership of associate AD and director of new play programs Jennifer Kiger, the Binger Center has supported the work of more than 70 artists with commissions, residencies, readings, and workshops. Each development process is tailored to the artist’s needs and can take place in New Haven, Connecticut, or New York City. The Binger Center compensates artists for all developmental activities with fees for rehearsals, housing, and travel. This compensation is paid in addition to commission fees and/or royalties. In addition to the resources offered in the early stages of the development of a commission, the Binger Center has underwritten the premieres and subsequent productions of more than 30 new plays and musicals at Yale Rep.

Guadalís Del Carmen is a playwright and screenwriter from Chicago, based in New York City. She’s an Ars Nova resident artist and a 2020 Steinberg Playwriting Award recipient. She’s the founder and co-artistic director of the Latinx Playwrights Circle. Her plays include Not For SaleMy Father’s KeeperBees and HoneyDaughters of the RebellionA Shero’s Journey or What Anacaona and Yemayú Taught Me, and Blowour. She was a co-producer of Atlantic Theater Company’s African Caribbean MixFest 2021 and has worked on projects at FX and HBO.
 
Dave Harris is a poet and playwright from West Philly. Selected plays include Tambo & BonesException to the Rule, and Everybody Black. His first feature film, Summertime, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was released in 2021. Selected honors include the 2019 Ollie Award, The Lorraine Hansberry Award and Mark Twain Award from The Kennedy Center, the International Commendation for The Bruntwood Prize, the Venturous Fellowship from The Lark, and a Cave Canem poetry fellowship amongst others. Dave is writing the feature adaptation of The Fortress of Solitude amongst several other feature and television projects. His first full-length collection of poetry, Patricide, was published by Button Poetry.
 
Rachel Lynett is a queer Afro-Latine playwright, producer, and teaching artist. Their plays have been featured at San Diego Rep, Magic Theatre, Mirrorbox Theatre, Laboratory Theatre of Florida, Barrington Stage Company, Theatre Lab, Theatre Prometheus, and others. Their plays Last Night and HE DID IT made the 2020 Kilroy’s List. Their play White People by the Lake was a 2022 Blue Ink Award finalist. Lynett is also the 2021 recipient of the Yale Drama Prize for their play Apologies to Lorraine Hansberry (You Too August Wilson) and the 2021 recipient of the National Latinx Playwriting award for their play Black Mexican.
 
Sanaz Toossi is an Iranian-American playwright from Orange County, Calif. Her plays include the critically acclaimed, award-winning English and Wish You Were Here. She is currently under commission at Atlantic Theater Company, Roundabout Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club, South Coast Repertory, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In television, Sanaz recently staffed on Invitation to a Bonfire (AMC); A League of Their Own (Amazon); Five Women (Marielle Heller/ Big Beach); and sold an original idea, The Persians, to FX. Sanaz is a member of Youngblood and the Middle Eastern American Writers Lab at the Lark, and an alum of Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers’ Group. She was the 2019 P73 Playwriting Fellow, a recipient of the 2020 Steinberg Playwright Award, the 2022 recipient of The Horton Foote Award and, most recently, the 2023 recipient of the Best New American Play OBIE Award.

Yale Repertory Theatre is a professional theatre in residence at David Geffen School of Drama. The theatre seeks to train and advance leaders in the practice of every theatrical discipline, making art to inspire joy, empathy, and understanding in the world.

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