New York Stage and Film: Pfaelzer and Founders' Award Recipients Announced, Introducing New Indigenous Voices Residency - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Sunday, July 9, 2023

New York Stage and Film: Pfaelzer and Founders' Award Recipients Announced, Introducing New Indigenous Voices Residency

JaMeeka Holloway

New York Stage and Film, considered “one of the preeminent incubators for theater in the country,” announced UGBA as the 2023 recipient of the Founders’ Award and JaMeeka Holloway as the recipient of this year’s Pfaelzer Award. The NYSAF summer season at Marist College, which begins July 14 and runs to August 6, will also include the creation of the Indigenous Voices of the Northeast Residency.


The Founders' Award for Emerging Playwrights was created in honor of the founders’ enduring commitment to nurturing earlier career artists. Selected by a panel of former recipients, the Founders’ Award winner receives a monetary award, an extended residency within the annual summer season, and financial and administrative support for a project that they curate. This year’s selection committee featured Nissy Aya, jeremy o’brian, and Kirya Traber, and the finalists were Charlene Jean, kanishk pandey, TJ Lewis, and Lauren Whitehead.

The Pfaelzer Award was created in honor of former Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer’s twenty-year commitment to supporting artists and their developing stories at NYSAF, and this award goes toward an emerging artistic leader. Selected by a panel of former recipients, the Pfaelzer Award winner receives a monetary award, residency time within the annual summer season, and mentorship from Johanna Pfaelzer. The selection panel featured Elisa Bocanegra, Estefanía Fadul, and Dawn Monique Williams, with Alisha Espinosa, Jessica Harris, Lauren Turner, and Rebecca Wear as finalists.

This season, NYSAF has created the Indigenous Voices of the Northeast Residency, in collaboration with some of the original stewards of the land and as part of ongoing efforts to share community with Indigenous artists of the northeastern bioregion of Turtle Island. NYSAF is proud to welcome artists from these communities to gather and be nurtured by all the organization offers.

"Working in theatre, TV, and film for over 15 years I've often noticed the absence of the "I" in BIPOC Indigenous, First Nations, Native American artists, and their stories.” says Rad Pereira, Director of

Engagement & Impact, who initiated the residency. “ Part of my job is to continually notice who is not in the room and why. The New York arts and culture field often sets the bar for bringing people together in our myriad diversities, together we can work to support the Indigenous people of these lands and their immense contributions by advocating for their rightful place in every space we're in.   This new program is a step towards being better guests and in deeper solidarity with these artists. It is an immense honor and privilege to experience these stories which are the foundation of the rich cultural tapestry held in the memory of these lands, waters, and winds. We are so excited to continue to collaborate, build relationships and support Indigenous theatre, TV, and film of our region in the Northeast."


The inaugural host is Vickie Ramirez (Tuscarora, Six Nation), who will be joined by fellow artists Montana Adams (Aamjiwnaang), Dawn Jamieson (Cayuga), and  Danielle Soames (Kahnawake_Mohawk) for the duration of the residency.

The 2023 Summer Season at Marist will begin with a VIP Reception and Kick-Off concert on July 14 with “Joe Iconis & Family.”  Proceeds from the Reception will go towards NYSAF’s Early Career Apprentice Program and scholarships for Marist College’s Summer Pre-College Program. The season will also include a new play workshop written and performed by Laurence Fishburne; a new musical workshop of A Wrinkle in Time; the launch of a new initiative to develop dance-driven musicals with Paradise Ballroom, created by Princess Lockerooo and Harold O’Neal; and play readings by Sopan Deb, Beth Henley, Emily Kaczmarek, and Jason Kim. Casting by Telsey + Company.

For 38 years, NYSAF has operated as a vital incubator for artists and their work, a catalyst for stories that continue across the country and around the world. For more New York Stage and Film at Marist College Summer Season information and to purchase season bundles, Kick-Off Concert and VIP Reception access, and individual tickets for workshops or “Pay What You Wish” readings, visit


JAMEEKA HOLLOWAY (Pfaelzer Award Recipient) is a multi-dimensional Human and Artist identifying as an “Imaginative-Cancerian-Empath with a deep curiosity about the complex nature, experiences, and relationships of humans.” Raised and based in the South, she’s a revolutionary optimist with deep affection and concern for her local and diasporic communities and the plights of current and future art-makers.  She is a Storytelling Strategist, often emerging as a director elevating worlds and underrepresented voices, a Pathfinder raising platforms and unlocking opportunities, and a Creative Producer shaping compelling live performance experiences and events. A recipient of a 2018 Indy Arts Award, JaMeeka is also the recipient of a BOLD Ventures grant from the National BOLD Women's Circle as well as an NC Arts Council Art Equity grant.  In 2019, the African American Heritage Commission and Governor Cooper honored her for her contribution to North Carolina's arts and culture landscape. An alumnus of The Lark Play Development Center Apprenticeship program, JaMeeka has been an Assistant Director with The Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Playmakers Repertory Co. Her directing has been presented at La MaMa, Durham Performing Art Center, Kent State University, Northern Stage, Shakespeare in Detroit, The National Black Theatre Festival, Classic Stage, Ohio University, Dartmouth College, Duke Performances, and the School of Dramatic Art at UNC-Chapel Hill.

UNGRATEFUL BLACK ARTIST (UGBA - 'oog ba') (pronoun inclusive) (Founders’ Award Recipient) is a queer poet, rapper, playwright, actor, and activist based out of Brooklyn, NY. UGBA is the founder/host of CEREMONIES—a Brooklyn-based monthly Black-Queer artist showcase held in honor of Essex Hemphill. UGBA is also the founder of "Dark-Skin Support Group" a virtual support network for dark-skin Black Americans in need of a space to discuss the realities of colorism. In 2020, UGBA was named a “Black LGBTQ+ playwright you need to know '' by Time Out NY. UGBA is the script assistant for the Pulitzer Prize-winning and 5-time TONY nominated Broadway show Fat Ham. He is an alumnus of the Public Theater’s #BARS program. He is a current member of the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group 2020-2023 cohort. He is a 2023 Artivism Fellow through Broadway Advocacy Coalition, a 2022 MAP Grant recipient, a 2020-2021 BAM Resident, and current Artistic Director at NY Writers Coalition


All performances will be held on the Marist College Poughkeepsie, NY campus


Directed by John Simpkins

Friday, July 14

VIP Reception: 5:30 PM in Symphonic Hall

Concert: 7:00 PM in Nelly Goletti Theatre

Line up includes Laura Dadap, Seth Eliser, Morgan Siobhan Green, Molly Hager, Lorinda Lisitza, Lauren Marcus, Eric William Morris, Jeremy Morse, Jason Tam, and Jason SweetTooth Williams

JOE ICONIS & FAMILY are proud to make their New York Stage and Film debut with this celebratory blow-out concert. Featuring a wild cast of Joe’s beloved Rogue’s Gallery of showtune punks, expect to hear new numbers, works-in-process, and classic Iconis tunes. Grab a drink and spend a summer evening with a tribe of artists determined to bring along their traditional musical theater principles as they blaze into the future. 


Prior to the concert, there will be an exclusive VIP Reception with Joe Iconis and the NYSAF artists-in-residence, as well as a toast to the  start of the committed collaboration with NYSAF and Marist leadership. Proceeds from the event will go towards NYSAF’s Early Career Apprentice Program and scholarships for Marist College’s Summer Pre-College Program.

JOE ICONIS is a Tony-nominated musical theater writer and performer. His musical Be More Chill has played Broadway, London, and Tokyo and his new show The Untitled Unauthorized Hunter S. Thompson Musical will have its world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse this summer. Joe is the author of Love in Hate Nation, Broadway Bounty Hunter, Bloodsong of Love, The Black Suits, Punk Rock Girl!, and more.  He frequently performs at 54 Below and the Laurie Beechman Theater. His albums include Album (Joe Iconis & Family), the original cast recordings of Love in Hate Nation, Broadway Bounty Hunter, Things To Ruin, and Be More Chill (both OCR and OBCR, which have been streamed over 750 million times); Two-Player Game (with George Salazar), and The Joe Iconis Rock & Roll Jamboree, all available on Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records. Joe is hugely inspired by Robert Altman, Dolly Parton, The Muppets, and the Family of artists he frequently surrounds himself with. 

JOHN SIMPKINS (Director) is happy to be a part of the NYSAF summer with writer Joe Iconis.  He has collaborated as a Director with Iconis on World Premieres of Love in Hate Nation (Two River Theater); Bloodsong of Love (Ars Nova); The Black Suits (Center Theatre Group, Barrington Stage Company); ReWrite (Urban Stages, Goodspeed Opera House); The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks (Lucille Lortel); and Things to Ruin (co-conceived).  The two are currently working on a new project called Family Album.  Other World Premieres:  Legendale (by Andrea Daly/Jeff Bienstock) at Fredericia Teater (Demark) and Human Race Theatre, Raging Skillet (by Jacques Lamarre) at Theaterworks Hartford, The Bus (by James Lantz) at 59E59.  He has directed regionally at Sacramento Music Circus, Lyric Theatre Oklahoma, North Carolina Theatre, Engeman Theatre, Sharon Playhouse (where he was Artistic Director). A strong supporter of new work, John has recently directed new musicals by artists including Kirsten Childs, Mike Reid/ Sarah Schlesinger, Alexander Sage Oyen/Lauren Marcus/James Presson, Josh Salzman/Ryan Cunningham, Sam Salmond, Matthew McCollum/Sofya Levitsky-Weitz, Maria Wirries/Christian Thompson, and Gilbert Bailey.  He is Head of Musical Theatre at Penn State University, where he created and curates a New Musicals Initiative.  



Written and Performed by Laurence Fishburne 

Directed by Leonard Foglia

Presentations: Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6 at 3:00 PM in Nelly Goletti Theatre (NEW DATES)

A world premiere one-man tour-de-force, written and performed by Tony Award winner, Emmy Award winner, and Oscar nominee Laurence Fishburne (What’s Love Got to Do with It?, The Matrix Trilogy, Apocalypse Now, Thurgood,  August Wilson’s Two Trains Running). Mr. Fishburne describes this unique and intimate evening as “The stories and lies people have told me. And that I have told myself.”  

LAURENCE FISHBURNE (Playwright and Performer) has achieved an impressive body of work as an actor, producer, and director. Fishburne’s versatile acting has won him awards in theatre, film and television. In 1992, Fishburne won a Tony Award for his portrayal of Sterling Johnson in August Wilson’s Two Trains Running. He won his first Emmy Award in 1993 for “The Box” episode of Tribeca, and his second for his one-man show, Thurgood, in 1997. In 1993, Laurence also received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for the Tina Turner biopic, What’s Love Got to Do with It. His most recent Emmy win was for his role in Quibi’s #FreeRayshawn. Laurence may be best known for his role as Morpheus in the Wachowksi siblings’ blockbuster The Matrix trilogy, but his many film credits include: Academy Award nominee John Singleton’s Boyz ‘n the Hood, Richard T. Heffron’s telefilm A Rumor of War, Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple, Steven Zaillian’s Searching for Bobby Fischer, Mr. Singleton’s Higher Learning, Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River and cult classics, Deep Cover and King of New York

LEONARD FOGLIA (Director) is a theater and opera director as well as librettist. Broadway Productions: Master Class, Wait Until Dark, Thurgood (filmed for HBO), The People in the Picture, On Golden Pond, The Gin Game. Off-Broadway: Let Me Down Easy (filmed for PBS), Notes From The Field (filmed for HBO), One Touch of Venus, The Stendhal Syndrome, If Memory Serves, About Alice. He directed the world premieres of the operas of Everest, Moby Dick (filmed for PBS), It’s a Wonderful Life, Cold Mountain, The End of the Affair, Three Decembers, Stonewall, A Coffin in Egypt (also librettist), Cruzar la Cara de la Luna/To Cross the Face of the Moon (also librettist), El Pasado Nunca Se Termina/The Past Is Never Finished (also librettist), El Milagro del Recuerdo/The Miracle of Remembering (also librettist). His production of Dead Man Walking has been seen across the US and Europe. The three ‘mariachi operas’ for which he wrote the librettos have been staged on three continents and are continually produced in the U.S.



Adapted from the novel by Madeleine L’Engle

Book by Lauren Yee

Music & Lyrics by Heather Christian

Directed by Lee Sunday Evans

Presentations: Friday, July 21 and Saturday, July 22 at 7:00 PM & Sunday, July 23 at 1:00 PM in Nelly Goletti Theatre

Casting includes Leanne Antonio, Kim Blanck, Ashley Perez Flanagan, Robi Hager, Emily Xu Hall, Katrina Lenk, Diego Lucano, Kenita Miller, Mia Pak, Martín Solá, Phillip Taratula, Adrienne Walker, Jayke Workman.

Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger. “Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.” Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?

LAUREN YEE (Book; She/Her). Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band, with music by Dengue Fever, premiered at South Coast Rep, subsequent productions at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Victory Gardens, City Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Signature Theatre, and Jungle Theatre/Theater Mu, and is currently touring. Her play The Great Leap has been produced at the Denver Center, Steppenwolf, Seattle Repertory, Atlantic Theatre, the Guthrie Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Arts Club, Pasadena Playhouse/East West Players, InterAct Theatre, and Asolo Rep. Honors include the Doris Duke Artists Award, Whiting Award, Steinberg/ATCA Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters literature award, Horton Foote Prize, Kesselring Prize, Primus Prize, a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton, and the #1 and #2 plays on the 2017 Kilroys List. She's a Residency 5 playwright at Signature Theatre, New Dramatists members, Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab member, and Playwrights Realm playwright. TV credits:  Pachinko (Apple), Soundtrack (Netflix). Upcoming TV credits: Interior Chinatown (Hulu), Billions (Showtime), The Sterling Affairs (FX). She has developed pilots for Apple and Netflix. Current commissions include Arena Stage, Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Second Stage, South Coast Rep. B.A: Yale. M.F.A: UCSD. 

HEATHER CHRISTIAN  (Music and Lyrics) is a Lortel, Drama Desk, and two-time Obie Award-winning composer/performer making music-centered shows and rituals. She is a  2021 Richard Rodgers Award winner, 2022 Stephen Schwartz Outstanding New Composer awardee, and  Sundance Institude Time Warner Fellow. Recent composing/performing credits include her own work Oratorio for Living Things  (Ars Nova), Animal Wisdom (The Bushwick Starr, now a motion picture made in collaboration with Woolly Mammoth in DC and American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco), I am Sending You the Sacred Face (Theater In Quarantine/ YouTube— Named Vulture’s #5 Theater Experience of 2020), Prime: A Practical Breviary (Playwrights Horizons Soundstage—named IndieWire’s #1 Podcast Episode of 2020) in addition to being a lead artist on devised works Mission Drift (Nat’l Theater London), The World Is Round (BAM).  Film composition credits include The Craft: Legacy (Sony Pictures/ Blumhouse 2020), Lemon (2017 Sundance Film Festival and SXSW), Gregory Go Boom (Sundance Grand Jury Prize), Adult Swim series Teenage Euthanasia and The Shivering Truth (2021 BMI TV Music Award for Outstanding Score), and all four films in the Criterion Collection’s Restrospective of Janicza Bravo.  She was named one of TimeOut NY's Downtown Innovators To Watch and is a 2019 Harold and Mimi Steinberg Trust commissionee.  She has released 13 records, teaches vocal-based music composition at NYU, owns and operates her own recording studio in Beacon, NY, and can be seen regularly in concert halls and dive bars as Heather Christian & the Arbornauts. 

LEE SUNDAY EVANS (Director) is a New York-based, two-time Obie award-winning director and choreographer. Lee most recently directed the acclaimed production of Heather Christian’s Oratorio For Living Things (Lucille Lortel Award for Best Director). She is developing a TV project for A24, and directed The Courtroom, a feature-length film written by Arian Moayed. Notable credits include Dance Nation by Clare Barron (Playwrights Horizons, OBIE and Lortel Awards), The Courtroom (Waterwell; NYTimes Best Theater of 2019 List), Detroit Red by Will Power (ArtsEmerson), Sunday by Jack Thorne (Atlantic Theater Company), In The Green by Grace McLean (LCT3), Miller, Mississippi by Boo Killebrew (Dallas Theater Center, Long Wharf Theater), The Winter’s Tale (The Public), Home (BAM), Farmhouse/Whorehouse by Suzanne Bocanegra (BAM), Bull in a China Shop by Bryna Turner (Lincoln Center/LCT3), Caught by Christopher Chen (The Play Company), [Porto] by Kate Benson (WP Theater/The Bushwick Starr), A Beautiful Day In November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes by Kate Benson (OBIE Award; WP Theater, New Georges). Lee’s work has been also presented and developed at Baryshnikov Arts Center, Sundance Theater Lab, BAX, CATCH, LMCC, Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, and Juilliard among others. She is the Artistic Director of Waterwell.



Co-Created by Princess Lockerooo & Harold O’Neal

Book and Lyrics by Princess Lockerooo

Music by Harold O’Neal

Directed by Colette Robert

Choreographed by Princess Lockerooo

Presentations:  Friday, August 4 and Saturday, August 5 at 7:00 PM & Sunday, August 6 at 1:00 PM in Nelly Goletti Theatre

Casting includes William Bailey (Jada Valenciaga), Tyrone Bevans, and Tytus Larue James Gibson-Jackson.

After being rejected by his conservative parents, Teddy flees Buffalo and finds refuge and community at the Paradise Ballroom—an underground LGBTQ+ safe-haven in West LA. Surrounded by supporters and mentors, Teddy develops his dancing skills and learns the ways of waacking, but when a shady producer promises fame and success, Teddy turns on his found family and loses his way. A musical about forgiveness, community, and the importance of living one’s truth. 

PRINCESS LOCKEROOO (Book and Lyrics & Choreography) is a visionary in the dance industry, known for her exceptional work as a producer, public speaker, event curator, director, and choreographer. With a reputation for excellence and numerous accolades, including a Bessie award for Breakout Choreographer and a nomination for Sustained Achievement as a fellow of the RSA, Princess is a highly regarded artist and leader in the dance world. In 2022, she founded The Fabulous Waack Dancers, a dance company, and the Waack dancer training program, showcasing her commitment to preserving the legacy of Waacking. Through her passion and expertise, she has brought the art of waacking to communities around the world, promoting self-love, building communities, and inspiring confidence. Princess is dedicated to preserving the history of waacking and conducted the interview for the oral history of Choreographer and Waacking Pioneer Bill Goodson for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Lockerooo has been featured on leading television platforms such as So You Think You Can Dance? and America's Got Talent, and has collaborated with renowned pop artists such as Madonna, Jody Watley, Icona Pop, Bob The Dragqueen, Pangina Heals, and more. Her productions have been showcased at world-renowned venues including Lincoln Center, The Guggenheim Museum, NYBG, Summerstage, Women's Entrepreneurship Day, HATCH, Original Thinkers, ASAP NextGen, and the United Nations. Her impact on the dance world has earned her recognition from prestigious press outlets, including the New York Times, which featured her on the cover of the Sunday Times Metro section for her pioneering work in the resurgence of Waacking. She has also been featured in Brut, Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher, The Medium, Document Journal, and Get Out Magazine. Princess is not only an artist but also a philanthropist and activist for LGBTQ rights, producing a night of entertainment for Global Ambassadors at the United Nations event F4D, and working with and raising funds for organizations such as Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, The Omomuki Foundation, The Center, GMHC, and NYC Pride. Lockerooo continues to push the boundaries of her art and industry through her current role as co-director of an untitled feature film with an Academy Award-winning team, and as writer and director of a new musical, Paradise Ballroom, supported by the Musical Theater Factory. She is an Artist in Residence with Guggenheim Works & Process and will be producing events with The New York Public Library for The Performing Arts and Lincoln Center in the summer of 2023.

HAROLD O’NEAL (Music) is a versatile musician, producer, pianist, composer, public speaker, and storyteller, renowned for his association with the legacy of jazz pianists. He has worked with a diverse range of artists across various musical genres, including Jay Z, Damien Rice, Bob Geldof, and Lupe Fiasco. His work has garnered widespread recognition in top media outlets such as NPR, Forbes, The Hollywood Reporter, and Fortune Magazine. Recently, O'Neal brought his expertise to Pixar's Academy Award-winning film, Soul, as a creative expert. He has also made a name for himself as a sought-after director and producer, working on high-profile events like Electric Burma with U2, the CNN All Star Tribute, and The Albie Awards with The Clooney Foundation. O'Neal's captivating presentations have been delivered to a diverse range of innovation leaders, including Salesforce, TIME, Google, McKinsey & Company, United Nations Ambassadors, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and The World Economic Forum at Davos. Currently, O'Neal is working on a range of exciting projects, including producing and scoring a feature-length film with an Academy Award-winning director. With his impressive track record, O'Neal continues to make waves in the entertainment industry and beyond, inspiring audiences with his passion for creativity and storytelling.

COLETTE ROBERT (Director) is director and playwright from Los Angeles, currently based in New York. Most recently, she wrote and directed The Harriet Holland Social Club Presents The 84th Annual Star-Burst Cotillion In The Grand Ballroom Of The Renaissance Hotel (The Movement Theatre Company/New Georges.) Other New York directing credits include: the first New York revival of Lynn Nottage’s Crumbs From The Table Of Joy (Keen Company), and the world premieres of STEW (Page 73, Pulitzer Prize Finalist) and Behind The Sheet (Ensemble Studio Theatre). Regional credits include THE WANDERERS (City Theatre Company), Weathering (Penumbra Theatre), Egress (Salt Lake Acting Company), and Celebrating The Black Radical Imagination: Nine Solo Plays (Williamstown Theatre Festival). She was the Associate Director for the Broadway revival of Caroline, Or Change.  Colette is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, a New Georges affiliated artist, and an adjunct lecturer at NYU. M.A., RADA and King’s College, London. B.A., Yale University. Member, SDC. SDCF Denham Fellow.




Written by Jason Kim

Directed by Danny Sharron

Presentation: July 15

Casting includes Molly Griggs, Greg Keller, Sue Jean Kim, and Jon Norman Schneider

Set in the near future, This Way to the Fire imagines how racism is invented inside the walls of a marketing office — as a PR campaign — and the disastrous and violent impact it has on the world.

JASON KIM (Playwright) is a multiple Emmy-nominated screenwriter, playwright, and producer. He received a Primetime Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series for Barry in 2022 and 2019 and won the Writers Guild Award for Best Comedy Series for Barry in 2020. In addition to writing on HBO’s “Girls,” he was a consulting producer for HBO’s “Divorce” and the Netflix series “Love.” He is currently in an overall television deal with 20th and Onyx Studios at Disney.  In film, he is writing the spinoff to Crazy Rich Asians and adapted the true crime book The Flawless for Fox Searchlight Pictures. Along with Stacey Sher, he is producing an adaptation of the New York Times best seller Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner for Orion.  In theater, his musical KPOP opened on Broadway at Circle in the Square in Fall 2022.  The 2017 off-Broadway production of KPOP won the Richard Rogers Award, the Off-Broadway Alliance Award, and Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical.  MFA in Playwriting. Acclaimed Beyonce historian.

DANNY SHARRON (Director) is a Brooklyn-based Middle Eastern-American theater director with a focus on developing new plays and musicals. He is committed to creating work about the LGBTQ+ and MENA communities, and providing a platform from which those voices can be heard. Danny is the Senior Associate Director for the Tony Award-winning Dear Evan Hansen (Broadway/West End/Toronto/Tour). He has developed and directed work with The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Ars Nova, LAByrinth Theater Company, Primary Stages, Ma-Yi, and The Lark. Danny was most recently a 2021-2022 Next Stage Directing Resident with The Drama League. He is also a recipient of New York Theatre Workshop's 2050 Fellowship, Williamstown's Bill Foeller Fellowship, The Drama League's New York Fellowship, and is an alumnus of the Ars Nova Director's Troupe. BA/BS University of Florida. Proud member of SDC. 


Written by Emily Kaczmarek

Director Jo Bonney

Presentation: July 22

Something bad has happened to 9-year-old Amanda, and her toys – Jonah, a stuffed penguin; Molly, an American Girl Doll; her trusted Diary; and newcomer Ugly, a weighted “emotional support” bunny – find their once-peaceful world thrown into darkness and chaos. Soft Target is a play about childhood, guns, and all the wounds we can’t see.

EMILY KACZMAREK (Playwright) is an LA-based writer for TV, theatre, and film. Her TV credits include Monsterland for Hulu and The Staircase for HBO Max (for which she was nominated for a 2023 Writers Guild Award), among others. Her plays and musicals have been produced and developed at numerous theaters across the country, including the 5th Avenue Theatre, Second Stage Theater, American Conservatory Theatre, WP Theatre, and many others. Emily is a 2019 Princess Grace Award finalist, a 2019 Kilroys Honorable Mention (for Sam & Lizzie), a 2018 Jonathan Larson Award winner, and a 2018 Kleban Prize finalist, and has been in residence at SPACE on Ryder Farm, the Orchard Project, the O'Neill, the Hermitage Colony, Goodspeed, and more. Emily is the book writer of the original musicals  Afterwords and Afloat (music and lyrics by Zoe Sarnak), and is currently writing a feature and several TV projects for Amazon, Sony, and Fifth Season. 

JO BONNEY (Director) has directed premieres of plays by: Alan Ball, Hilary Bettis, Eric Bogosian, Eleanor Burgess, Hammaad Chaudry, Culture Clash, Eve Ensler, Jessica Goldberg, Isaac Gomez, Danny Hoch, Ione Patricia Lloyd, Neil LaBute, Warren Leight, Martyna Majok, Lynn Nottage, Dan O'Brien, Dael Orlandersmith, Suzan-Lori Parks, Darci Picoult, John Pollono, Will Power, David Rabe, Jose Rivera, Seth Zvi Rosenfeld, Christopher Shinn, Diana Son, Universes, Naomi Wallace, Michael Weller. Productions of plays by: Caryl Churchill, Nilo Cruz, Anna Deavere Smith, Charles Fuller, Lisa Loomer, Paul Lucas, Carey Perloff, Lanford Wilson. Tony Award nomination for Cost of Living, two Obie Awards for Sustained Excellence of Direction, Lucille Lortel Best Musical and Lucille Lortel Best Revival, Drama Desk nomination for Direction of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark. Audelco Award for Father Comes Home from the Wars. Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations. Alliance and Lilly Award. Editor of Extreme Exposure: An Anthology of Solo Performance Texts from the Twentieth Century (TCG).


Written by Sopan Deb

Directed by Trip Cullman

Presentation: July 29

Casting includes Siraj Huda, Keshav Moodliar, Reshma Shetty, Alok Tewari and Rita Wolf.

Vikas Choudhury is a thoughtful but aimless young man living with his aunt and uncle in the New Jersey suburbs as he grieves the death of his parents. A mysterious bag appears at the door, sparking revelations that help them face ignored truths and a quietly buried past. As each family member wraps their hopes and fears up in the bag’s contents, they find themselves unraveling their relationships to each other. The Good Name is an examination of duty and cultural expectations, grief and forgiveness, and the love we have for our children.

SOPAN DEB (Playwright) is a writer for The New York Times, where he has covered sports and culture. He is the author of the critically acclaimed novel "Keya Das's Second Act," and a memoir, "Missed Translations: Meeting The Immigrant Parents Who Raised Me." 

TRIP CULLMAN (Director). Broadway: The Rose Tattoo, Choir Boy, Lobby Hero, Six Degrees of Separation, Significant Other. Select Off Broadway: Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow, YEN, Punk Rock (Obie Award), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Gynecologic Oncology Unit At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Of New York City (MCC); Days Of Rage, The Layover, The Substance of Fire, Lonely I’m Not, Bachelorette, Some Men, Swimming In The Shallows (Second Stage); Unknown Soldier, The Pain Of My Belligerence, Assistance, A Small Fire (Drama Desk nomination), The Drunken City   (Playwrights Horizons); Choir Boy (MTC); Murder Ballad (MTC and Union Square Theatre); The Mother, I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard (Atlantic); Roulette (EST); The Hallway Trilogy: Nursing (Rattlestick); The Last Sunday In June (Rattlestick and Century Center); Dog Sees God (Century Center); US Drag (stageFARM); and several productions with The Play Company. London: The Colby Sisters of Pittsburgh, PA (Tricycle). Select regional: Geffen, Alliance, Old Globe, La Jolla, South Coast Rep, Bay Street, Williamstown Theater Festival.


Written by Beth Henley

Directed by Jaki Bradley

Presentation: July 29 at 7:00 PM (NEW DATE)

Casting includes Carolyn Braver, Lily Harris and Will Turner

A waning playwright, Old Low, is trying to write a play in seven days, because her time is limited. The play is set in 1970s Tarson, Mississippi. Sharon Bunn, a pornographic puppeteer, moves into the downstairs apartment below Wayne Purvis and Young Low, and things go bad. Tilting between the struggle to write a play and the struggle within the play, a chaotic, horrific, and effervescent vision of creation is revealed.

BETH HENLEY (Playwright) is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and professor. Her plays include Crimes of the Heart (Pulitzer Prize in Drama and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best American Play) The Wake of Jamey Foster, The Miss Firecracker Contest, Am I Blue, The Lucky Spot, The Debutante Ball, Abundance, Control Freaks, Impossible Marriage, Family Week, Ridiculous Fraud, The Jacksonian Laugh, and The Unbuttoning.  Her plays have been produced on Broadway and across the country as well as internationally and translated into 12 languages. Originally from Mississippi, Ms. Henley now lives in Los Angeles.

JAKI BRADLEY (Director) is a director for theater, TV and film. Recent theater projects include The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin (IRT), How to Load a Musket (LTR) White Noise (Berkeley Rep); Radio Island and Good Men Wanted (NYSAF); House Plant and 1969: The Second Man (NYTW: Next Door); Mama Metallica (Denver Center); and Playing Hot (Ars Nova). She has developed and presented work with The Public, Williamstown, Soho Rep, Clubbed Thumb, the O’Neill, and Arena Stage, among others. She has been a member of the Civilians R&D Group, an artist-in-residence at Ars Nova, a Drama League artist-in-residence and TV/Film Fellow, the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, Williamstown Directing Corps, Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, and a U.S. Fulbright Scholar. In TV and film, she has written for Netflix, FX, AGBO, Chernin, and Paramount and is in development with her feature directorial debut starring Adria Arjona, Nicholas Hoult, and Riley Keough. 


New York Stage and Film’s Summer Season runs July 14 to August 6 at Marist College. Tickets to the Kick-Off Concert: Joe Iconis & Family on July 14 are $50. Tickets to the Kick-Off Concert: Joe Iconis & Family plus the VIP Reception are $250. Proceeds from the VIP Reception will support education initiatives for both NYSAF and Marist College.

Individual tickets for Workshops are $30. Individual tickets for Readings are "Pay What You Wish".

The “Saturday Club” package will occur on each of the four Saturdays in the season and will be $55 - $85. The package includes a ticket to a Saturday afternoon Reading; dinner and intimate socialization and conversation with artists; and a ticket to the evening workshop presentation that Saturday night.

There is a 10% discount if you purchase at a full season package with at least one ticket to each production in our season. Tickets are on sale now at 845-293-2934. For more New York Stage and Film Summer Season information, visit


DANIELLE SOAMES (Mohawk) acts, writes, directs, educates and was a featured artist for Identity/ Identify at the Iroquois Museum in Howes Cove, NY in 2022. An artist in residency for AICH NYC on Governors Island -Summer 2023. Facilitated and selected Native plays for Exploring the Canon reading/discussion series for Theatre Kapow. Honored by the Artist Forum for directing Este Cate by Nicholson Billey. One of six playwrights for the theatrical experience piece, The Butterfly Effect NYC,- produced by NoMad Theatrical Co. Wrote “Stuck” for Nomad Theatrical Company’s microfilms in Winter, 2022. Featured on the cover for Spring 2021 issue of Smithsonian, National Museum of the American Indian magazine. Founding and ensemble member of Safe Harbors NYC. Featured in the show Don’t Feed the Indians as “Birdie” by Murielle Borst-Tarrant for Safe Harbors NYC- Reflections of Native Voices Theater Festival, hosted by New York Theatre Workshop and LaMama, ETC. Directed a performance piece into film titled: Este-Cate by Nicholson Billey, as part of the festival. Summer of 2019, worked with People’s Light Theater in Malvern, PA to help develop a new script: The Crushed Earth written by Sanjit De Silva and Deepa Purohit. Fully produced Vickie Ramirez’s play: SMOKE at the Signature Theatre on 42nd Street as part of Mixed Phoenix Theatre Group (2008-2014); which she was the Artistic Director for 6 years. Holds a Masters Degree in Educational Theatre from NYU  with Honors and Bachelor of Science degree from Northeastern University. Her personal mission has been to break stereotypes of mixed-ethnicities and mixed cultures by exploring identity, primarily in new plays and arts events which address conflict within cultures. She is thrilled to be a part of the NYSAF Artists in Residency Program~ Nia:wen- Thank you


New York Stage and Film (Interim Artistic Director Liz Carlson; Executive Producer Eric Kuhn; Executive Artistic Producer Natalie Gershtein) is a not-for-profit company dedicated to artists developing new stories for theater, film and beyond by supporting responsive processes and by providing a home for artists free from critical and commercial pressures. Since 1985, New York Stage and Film has been a vital incubator for emerging and established artists and their work, a catalyst for stories that start with us and continue across the country and around the world. Through this work, NYSAF has established itself as a vital cultural institution for residents of the Hudson Valley and the New York metropolitan region. The New York Times calls the company a “formidable breeding ground for new work,” and dozens of notable works trace their developmental roots to NYSAF, including the Tony Award winners Hamilton, Hadestown, Side Man and The Humans; Broadway productions such as American Idiot, Junk, and Bright Star; and Pulitzer winners and finalists such as Doubt, The Wolves and Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music. 


Located on the banks of the historic Hudson River and at its Florence, Italy campus, Marist College is a comprehensive, independent institution grounded in the liberal arts. Its mission is to “help students develop the intellect, character, and skills required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century.” Marist is consistently ranked among the best colleges and universities in America by The Princeton Review (Colleges That Create Futures and The Best 386 Colleges), U.S. News & World Report (3rd Most Innovative School/North), Kiplinger’s Personal Finance (“Best College Values”), and others. The College is top-ranked for long-term study abroad (#3 in the U.S.) by the U.S. State Department’s Open Doors report. Along with the College’s prestigious reputation as a whole, it also boasts a robust Arts and Music scene for its students and the community. Marist offers more than 15 academic programs in music and arts including Art History, Digital Media, Studio Art, Music, Theatre, and its world-renowned Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising programs, ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Colleges That Are Shaping The Future of Fashion.” Marist also provides a wide range of non-academic opportunities in the arts, such as over 15 College-and student-run music ensemble groups and the Marist Theatre program and performances. The College also operates the Institute for Data Center Professionals, which provides individuals and corporate teams with skills-based education and credentialing to support the data center and enterprise computing environments of the future. Marist educates more than 5,000 traditional-age undergraduate students and 1,400 adult and graduate students in 47 undergraduate majors and numerous graduate programs, including fully online MBA, MPA, MS, and MA degrees, and also Doctor of Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant programs.

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