Playwright Residency Program

In our ongoing mission to nurture new work, every season we select two emerging playwrights for a year-long residency with Abingdon. Each artist receives free rehearsal and office space, supplies, access to printing, mentorship, dramaturgical support, and a modest stipend to develop a new play from scratch. The residency culminates in a work-in-progress showing at the end of the season for the general public.

 

2017 – 2018 Artists in Residence

ELIZA BENT

“Having the time, space, resources, and support of a residency at Abingdon is helping me grow as an artist. Instead of racing to the finish line, I am marinating, allowing all kinds of flavors to seep into a slow cooked play.”

A playwright and performer based in Brooklyn, Bent is a New Georges Audrey Residency artist and has been a SPACE on Ryder Farm “Working Farm” resident writer, a MacDowell Colony fellow, a Target Margin Institute Fellow, the recipient of an LMCC Process Space grant, a Bay Area Playwrights Finalist, and an alum of Project Y Playwright’s Group and TerraNova’s Groundbreakers group. Bent is a former senior editor at American Theatre magazine, where she still writes, a performer with the Obie-award winning company Half Straddle, and an adjunct lecturer at Brooklyn College where she received an MFA in playwriting. Her plays include: On a Clear Day I Can See to Elba (New Ohio’s 2016 ICE Factory), The Beyonce (Breaking String Theatre, 2014 Payne Award for Outstanding Theatrical Event), Blue Wizard / Black Wizard (Incubator Arts Project / Other Forces 2014 festival) and The Hotel Colors (Bushwick Starr, L magazine’s 25 best stage shows of 2013). Hybrid Events: Real Talk / Kip Talk (Abrons 16/17), Toilet Fire (runs at Abrons Arts Center, the Brick and JACK, Time Out New York Critics’ Pick 2015), Karma Kharms (or Yarns by Kharms) (Target Margin 2012 Lab at Bushwick Starr), and Pen Pals Meet (Iranian Theatre Festival at the Brick 2011). As an actor Eliza has appeared in Celine Song’s Tom & Eliza, directed by Knud Adams, and has voiced a few characters in Pokemon. With Half Straddle: Ancient Lives, Seagull (thinking of you), Football, Nurses in New England, and The Knockout Blow. Also, various appearances as Mark Twain (Twain on a Plane, in development) and O’Lynne in Toilet Fire, Fire the Hire, and Asleep at the Wheel.

 

JOEY MERLO

“What excites me about my residency with Abingdon is having the time and support I need to fully develop this play from it’s very first draft to a workshop production. After a series of readings, Abingdon will provide me with the actors, rehearsal time and space necessary to take my process beyond the table and get this play on its feet — all while giving me the opportunity to connect and engage with a wide community of artists and theatre-makers along the way.”

Joey is the founder of the nonprofit theatre company, Wolfpack Theatrics. He is an actor and playwright who has worked all over the world including Ghana, where he completed a documentary on the illegality of homosexuality called Voices, and Greece, where he took part in a collaborative residency that focused on creating public art installations and theatre with Athenian activists and students. Recent productions of his plays include: The Witch of St. Elmora Street (Access Theatre) and This Boy Cometh to the Mountain (Rough Draft Festival.) His play Love of Men Ferocious was a semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, and he has worked with The Lark, Dixon Place and Westport Country Playhouse. His writing has been featured on OUT.com and his poetry has been presented at the Hearts on the Wall, All Boats and Siren Den salons. He currently resides in Washington Heights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous Artists

 

2016 – 2017 Artists in Residence

 

DOMINIQUE FISHBACK


A Brooklyn native, and accomplished spoken word poet, playwright and stage actress, Dominique currently stars as “Darlene” in HBO’s critically acclaimed drama series The Deuce. TV credits: HBO’s Show Me a Hero as “Billie Rowan,” The Affair (Showtime), Blue Bloods (CBS) and Royal Pains (USA). Dominique is currently in production on FOX’s feature film The Hate U Give, which is based on the best-selling young adult novel of the same name. She also recently wrapped production on the leading role of Angel in Jordana Spiro’s Night Comes On, which is due for release in 2018. Additionally, she has toured internationally, with performances at the White House, the United Nations in Switzerland and as part of a TedX Talk. Her groundbreaking original one-woman show, Subverted, was nominated for an Innovative Theater Award for Outstanding Solo Performance.

 

AMY E. WITTING


Originally from NJ and now residing in Sunnyside, NY, some of Amy’s plays include The House On The Hill (Atlantic Theater LAUNCH Commission, Kennedy Center MFAPW, Unicorn Theater Workshop Reading), There’s Never A Gavin: The True Story of a Disco Roller Skater (Atlantic Theater Amplified Reading Series, nominated 2016 Weissberger Award), The Midnight Ride of Sean & Lucy (Roundabout Underground Reading Series), A Bad Night (2015 Jerome Emerging Artist Fellowship), Day 392 (Kennedy Center ACTF/NNPN MFAPW, Nominated Susan Smith Blackburn prize.) She currently works as a Teaching Artist with Roundabout Theatre Company, received her MFA at Hunter College and is a member of PIPELINE’S 2016 PlayLab, Mission To (Dit)mars Propulsion Lab, and The Dramatists Guild.