jakub | April 29, 2023

AMERICAN THEATRE | Rattlestick Names First Terrence McNally New Works Incubator Fellows


Molly Herron Bicks, HyoJeong Choi, and Haygen-Brice Walker.

NEW YORK CITY: Rattlestick Theater, in partnership with the Terrence McNally Foundation and Tom Kirdahy Productions, has announced that Molly Bicks, HyoJeong Choi, and Haygen-Brice Walker will be the inaugural Terrence McNally New Works Incubator fellows. This incubator program will support three emerging playwrights by awarding each critical financial support, personalized mentorship, and a three-week incubation period, followed by a one-week developmental workshop culminating in a presentation of their work. Each McNally fellow will receive a one-time stipend of $5,000 to be used as the playwright sees fit to best further their goals.

Terrence McNally was an integral part of the Rattlestick community from the very beginning,
and the value he placed on ambitious and innovative new play-making remains at the core and
ethos of the company,” said incoming Rattlestick artistic director Will Davis in a statement. “Our three inaugural fellows embody the creative ambition and bold experimentation that has always been central to Rattlestick’s mission and a signature of Terrence McNally’s work.”

Each McNally fellow will be paired with a veteran playwright mentor who will read a minimum of two drafts and offer one-on-one feedback, in addition to attending a workshop rehearsal and/or final presentation subject to their availability. After the initial mentor meeting, the playwright will revise and develop their play for three weeks outside the constraints of a product-oriented rehearsal space.

In addition to mentor feedback, the fellows will meet with the literary teams at both TKP and Rattlestick to discuss their work and process. McNally fellows will be invited to participate in a series of luncheons where they will have the opportunity to get to know the teams at TKP and Rattlestick as well as the other McNally fellows and industry professionals.

The second part of the incubator will take the form of a week-long workshop culminating in a
public presentation. Core collaborators (director, dramaturg, actors) will be chosen in consultation with the selected playwright, TKP, and Rattlestick, and will be compensated for their time. The makeup of the audience for the public presentation will also be determined by the playwright in consultation with TKP.

Finalists for the Terrence McNally New Works Incubator fellowship include playwrights Shara Feit, David L. Caruso, Azure D. Osborne-Lee, Reid Pope, and Rivka Rivera. The Playwright Advisory Council for the inaugural cohort of McNally fellows includes Sheila Callaghan, Stephen Karam, MJ Kaufman, Donja R. Love, Taylor Mac, Lynn Nottage, Paula Vogel, and Chay Yew.

Molly Herron Bicks is a New Hampshire-raised, Brooklyn-based playwright. They are the co-founder of Rat Queen Theatre Co., where they collaboratively create campy queer plays and musicals about history. Writing credits include: The Goddamn Tooney Lunes, co-written with Rat Queen Theatre Co., developed in Fresh Ground Pepper Playgroup and presented by Colt Couer; Judy Doomed Us All, co-written with Rat Queen Theatre Co., performed at The New Ohio’s Ice Factory; Lily, developed at WTF, selected as a finalist for the Clauder Awards; Strindberg Vs. Strindberg, co-written with Carsen Joenk, developed at an independent residency at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, and performed as part of Chinatown Soup’s Stag Monday series; Swaggy, co-written with Reed Northrup, performed at The Brick Trans Theatre Fest; and Miss Atomic Power, which was a semi-finalist for the National Playwrights Conference and a runner-up for the Yale Drama Series Prize.

HyoJeong Choi is from Seoul, Boston, and a few other places across the globe. She was an aspiring nuclear physicist until she realized she was spending more time in the theatre than in her lab. Her play based on this experience, On Epistemological Problems in Atomic Physics, will be developed at Rattlestick Theater through the McNally Incubator program. She was a finalist for the New Georges JAM, Company One & Pao Fellowship; a semi-finalist for Playwrights Foundation Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, and Fresh Ground Pepper Playground Playgroup; and a second-rounder for Orchard Project Episodic Lab and Austin Film Festival. Her plays have been seen and/or developed at Workshop Theater, Central Square Theater, and Harvard. She currently teaches dramatic writing at Korea National University of Arts, Chung-Ang University, and Sogang University. She holds an MFA from Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, where she studied under Rob Handel.

Haygen-Brice Walker is a half-Puerto Rican, half-white-trash playwright-creative producer born and raised in a Southern swamp by professional bodybuilding parents. He currently lives in South Philly with both his boyfriends. Walker is co-founder, along with director-producer Elaina Di Monaco, of On The Rocks, a production company devoted to the deep fried, late-night, BYOB, theatrical shit shows they make together. He is an affiliated writer with the Playwrights’ Center, where he was a 2018-2019 Jerome Many Voices Fellow; recently developed work at SPACE on Ryder Farm; is an alum Page 73‘s 2020-2021 I-73 Writers’ Group, PlayPenn’s The Foundry, Nashville Rep’s Ingram New Works, & InterAct Theatre’s Core Playwrights; and was a virtual mentee with Playwrights’ Realm. He’s been a finalist for the O’Neill’s National Playwrights’ Conference, a Jerome Fellowship, and Page 73’s Playwriting Fellowship.

Rattlestick Theater is a nonprofit Off-Broadway theatre company based in New York’s West Village. The theatre seeks to produce diverse, challenging, and provocative plays while fostering the future voices of the American theatre. Now in its 29th year, the company is focused on energetic theatre that responds to the complexities of our culture in conversation with community partners. Rattlestick’s mission is to produce ambitious plays to inspire empathy and provoke conversation that will lead to positive social change.

The Terrence McNally Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to supporting bold new voices in the American theatre by providing financial and institutional support to early-career playwrights. Created by Terrence McNally and supported through the royalties of his work, the foundation is also committed to supporting LGBTQ+ causes, as McNally did throughout his life.

Tom Kirdahy Productions (TKP) is a two-time Tony Award-winning and Olivier Award-winning
commercial theatrical production company with projects spanning Broadway, Off-Broadway, and
the West End. TKP is motivated by a belief in the transformative power of live theatre, and
committed to bringing soulful, ambitious, unforgettable work to audiences across the world.

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