FEATURED PLAYWRIGHT/FOUR SEASONS RESIDENCY
Jessica Huang is a playwright based in New York, from Minnesota. She is the inaugural recipient of the 4 Seasons Residency; the 2019 resident playwright at Chance Theater; a 2018 MacDowell Fellow; and a three-time Playwrights’ Center Fellow. Her work includes The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin (2018 Barry and Bernice Stavis Award, 2017 Kilroy’s List), Mother of Exiles (2020 Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, 2020 Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award, 2020 Kendeda Prize Finalist),Transmissions in Advance of the Second Great Dying, and Purple Cloud. She has commissions with Manhattan Theatre Club, TimeLine Theatre Company, Audible, Theater Masters, History Theatre, and Theater Mu. Her work has been seen or read at New York Stage and Film, The New Group, Atlantic Theater Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Old Globe, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, The Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Minnesota Museum of American Art, Yellow Earth Theatre and more. She has received awards from the Sloan Foundation, the Jerome Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board. Jessica co-founded and co-directs Other Tiger Productions, a theatrical production company with a mission to pursue multidisciplinary collaborations, intentional inclusivity and a re-examination of traditional theater practices. She has been a member of the Civilians R&D Group, Page 73's Interstate 73 and Ars Nova Play Group. She attends the Playwrights Program at Juilliard.
Noah Diaz - YOU WILL GET SICK
Noah Diaz is a playwright from the Iowa/Nebraska border. His plays have been developed with La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, The Playwrights Realm, The Sol Project, Two River Theater, Howlround Latinx Theater Commons, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, and WildWind Performance Lab. He’s a five-time recipient of playwriting awards from the Kennedy Center and is currently under commission from La Jolla Playhouse, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Manhattan Theatre Club/Sloan, Baltimore Center Stage, and Audible/Amazon Studios. MFA: Yale School of Drama.
Anya Pearson - THE KILLING FIELDS
Anya Pearson is an award-winning actress, playwright, poet, producer, and activist. She is thrilled to continue developing The Killing Fields at Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, which reimagines Agamemnon through the war on drugs and its effect on inner city communities. She was the inaugural winner of the $10,000 Voice is a Muscle Grant from the Corporeal Voices Foundation, for her choreopoem, Made to Dance in Burning Buildings. Made to Dance in Burning Buildings was showcased at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater and received its World Premiere at Shaking The Tree Theatre where Anya was the Playwright-in-Residence for the 2018-2019 season. Anya is currently working on a series of projects (in dialogue with to Made to Dance) aimed at empowering other survivors of sexual violence (especially survivors of color), raising awareness around the lasting effects of PTSD and trauma, and combatting rape culture. They include: a collection of poetry, a TV show, a documentary, a memoir, and a guide to healing co-authored with a leading trauma expert. Anya received the $10,000 Problem Play Commission from Bag&Baggage Productions to adapt Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure focused on mass incarceration and its effect on black families. Her adaptation, The Measure of Innocence received its World Premiere in March 2020. She was a finalist for the 2020 George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation Fellowship in Playwriting and a finalist for the 2019 National Black Theatre’s I Am Soul Playwriting Residency. Anya runs a production company called Urban Haiku whose mission is to produce groundbreaking work that transcends the traditional boundaries of theatre while also serving as the catalyst for art and community action to combine for real social change. She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, Linestorm Playwrights, Couch Film Collective, and a graduate of the William Esper Studio in New York City. Her best production is her 7-year-old daughter, Aidee, who can be seen, most nights, trying to circumvent bedtime by asking deep philosophical questions like: “When are we going to see the world? When is my life going to truly begin?” www.anyapearson.com
Matt Pelfrey – THE ALLIGATOR GOSPELS
Matt Pelfrey is a theatre, film and television writer. His plays have been produced around the country and include COCKROACH NATION, TERMINUS AMERICANA, AN IMPENDING RUPTURE OF THE BELLY, PURE SHOCK VALUE, FREAK STORM and the stage adaption of THE PILO FAMILY CIRCUS and JOHN BALL’S IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT.
Los Angeles Theatre Works produced an audio version of IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, which aired nationally on National Public Radio. A live version of the LATW production toured the U.S. His work is available from Broadway Play Publishing, Original Works Publishing, and Samuel French.
He is the winner of the Actor’s Theater of Louisville’s Heidman Award, a Backstage Garland Award for playwriting, and was nominated for an LA WEEKLY playwriting award and a Los Angeles Ovation award.
He worked as a writer on the MTV drama “Skins” and for the Facebook Watch series “Turnt.”
He is a member of the WGA. He received his BA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State and his MFA in Playwriting from U.C.L.A. He is the program director for Point Park University’s MFA in Writing for Screen & Stage.
Marshall Botvinick – THE HERO AND THE SCHOLAR
Marshall Botvinick is a playwright, dramaturg, director, and educator based in Durham, North Carolina. He is a founding member of Bulldog Ensemble Theater. He holds an M.F.A. in Dramaturgy from the A.R.T./MXAT Institute at Harvard University and is currently a faculty member at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. His play The Hero and the Scholar was a finalist for the Todd McNerney Playwriting Award and the Georgia College Arts & Letters Prize for Drama. He is also the author of the monograph Jonson: Volpone.
Jenny Sternling – MADAM EUPHORIA REVEALS YOUR FUTURE
Jenny Sternling is a native Idahoan who has worked in the Northwest for over 35 years as a professional actor, director, writer, and producer in stage, film, voice-over, and television. Her past theatrical adventures include founding a comedy improv troupe; starring in a Marine World TV special alongside a baby tiger; appearing as Lyubov Ranevskaya in The Cherry Orchard, directed by Michael Hoffman at Boise Contemporary Theatre; and writing and producing dozens of custom-tailored corporate theatre productions with her company, Event Entertainment. As a theatre arts teacher for organizations including Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Boise State University’s MBA program, and Bishop Kelly High School (where teaches and directs theatre,) Jenny has collaborated with students and colleagues to write, produce and present numerous plays and films. After she toured numerous archives conducting research on a forgotten 19th-century form of melodrama called dog dramas, Jenny wrote a unique play: Taking the Seize: A Dog Drama. Selected as a Playwright in Residence, Jenny honed her play and skills at the 2015 Seven Devils Playwrights Conference and her play Breathe Me was selected for the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference in 2016. She has been an actor for “Seven Devils” and a playwright in their “My Own Private Idaho” program. Jenny’s newest play, Madam Euphoria Reveals Your Future, was selected for Boise Contemporary Theater’s 5x5 Reading series in 2019.
WRITERS IN RESIDENCE
Bob Bartlett - THE REGULAR
Bob Bartlett's plays include UNION, an ink-still-drying fiction chronicling Walt Whitman’s years living and loving in Washington, DC during the Civil War; E2, a contemporary reimagining of Marlowe's EDWARD II, which premiered last season at Maryland's Rep Stage; THE ORBIT OF MERCURY (2017 O'Neill Finalist); SWIMMING WITH WHALES (1st Stage - nominated for six 2019 Helen Hayes Awards; developed at Seven Devils Playwrights Conference); HAPPINESS (AND OTHER REASONS TO DIE) (The Welders); THE ACCIDENT BEAR (The Avenue Laundromat); FALWELL (Active Cultures); KUCHU UGANDA (DC Queer Theatre Festival); KANSAS; and others. His work has also been seen at The Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage Festival and The Capital and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, and developed at Seven Devils, Rep Stage, Theater Alliance, Spooky Action Theatre, Mosaic Theater Company, and Alliance Theatre. His play BAREBACK INK, a queer reimagining of the Ganymede myth, recently had a run at NYC's Hard Sparks. He is the 2018 Playwright-in-Residence at New Voices for the Theater, an affiliated artist with the National New Play Network, a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, and a member of the faculty at Bowie State University, where he teaches playwriting, screenwriting, and dramatic literature/theory. Bartlett is a founding member of The Welders, a DC-based, producing playwrights collective, who earned his MFA in Playwriting at Catholic University of America and lives in Central Maryland in an old farmhouse. (bob-bartlett.com)
Gay Smith - THE BARTENDER'S TALE
Gay Smith is thrilled to be returning to Seven Devils, with so many good experiences over the years as dramaturg, preceded by a dozen years at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference and Padua Hills in L.A. (those early Sam Shepard and Irene Fornes days). She is now Professor Emerita of Theatre at Wesleyan after founding the playwriting program and teaching for 35 years. Her publications include several articles and a few books: Lady Macbeth in America: From the Stage to the White House; George Sand’s Theatre Career; George Sand’s Gabriel; edit and introduction for Plays by Phil Bosakowski. Living in Montana this past year, she is adapting a play from a novel written by a beloved western writer, in addition to continuing research for a historical novel with a cast of real historical characters: writers, artists, actors, army captains, and French trappers, spanning time from the French Revolution to the American Civil war. She loves McCall, Idaho- a prime destination!
What are we doing?
While we are unable to convene in Idaho this June, we are thrilled to continue serving our mission by supporting the work of nine amazing playwrights, even as they shelter in place at homes all across the country. We'll also be providing mentorship and video workshops for the drama students and young playwrights of McCall-Donnelly High School.
How will we do it?
Lots of different ways!
We're thrilled to support Jessica Huang, who comes to us as part of the first ever Four-Seasons Residency Program with a home-stay residency that includes the support of a director and dramaturg, along with opportunities to hear her work.
Conference Reading playwrights will be exploring their work in an online rehearsal room process that culminates in an online reading experience. We'll be using virtual design meetings to engage the physical world of the play.
The Playwrights Intensive will offer writers a process focused on work with a director and dramaturg followed by a rehearsal-style read-thru of their play.
Our Writers-in-Residence, working with a director, will create a self-directed process in which each playwright supports the other as they explore and deepen their work.
When will we do it?
Most Conference events will happen during the dates originally set for the Conference (June 8-20) with Conference readings on June 18, 19 & 20.
Who can see it?
The truth is, we don't know yet! While audience is an important part of our process, so is protecting playwrights so they feel free to explore and take the kinds of risks that fuel and inspire their creativity.
So... we'll let you know. If you're not already on our mailing list, just fill out the handy form below.