In 2019, my play “The Incels” was chosen for a residency at The New Jersey Play Lab and the residency was extended one more year when COVID hit. I am enormously grateful for the time and resources the team shared, helping me rip open this play and re-shape it into a powerful stage piece which has had two readings off-Broadway and was nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
I primarily worked with Cheryl Katz, whose keen insight, professionalism, and talent for getting me to pry open my eyes and see different possibilities were indispensable. Cheryl believes in my ability to write for the stage, and there is no greater feeling than having your artistic output validated by a seasoned theatre professional. Cheryl was backed by a dream team of dramaturgs who spent time reading through multiple drafts of the play, listening to readings, and sharing their feedback: Kaitlin Stillwell, Emily Dzioba, Sanjida Chowdhury, Jimmy Kenna, and Georgette Hamlett—thanks to all of you for sharing your time, talent and shrewd observations.
NJ Play Lab produced readings of “The Incels” online and in-person, sourcing professional actors, directors, tech directors and other creatives who allowed us to “see the play on its feet,” explore the intricate technical requirements, and get feedback from the people embodying my characters. A big thanks to Danny Viola, Zachary Cohn, Joey Palazzo, Patrick Andrew Jones, David Neal, and Kire Tosevski, who participated in the readings. Your acting, direction and tech help were unparalleled and the insights that emerged from these readings led to important changes in the script.
Again, I am exceedingly grateful for NJ Play Lab’s investment in my work. It is a remarkable organization and I look forward to seeing all the amazing plays that emerge from the residency program.