Teresa Avia Lim and Tiffany Villarin in Jiehae Park's PEERLESS
Eileen Rivera, Brenna Palughi and Shannon Marie Sullivan in Jesse Jou's re-envisioned KING LEAR
Elizabeth Ramos and Lisa Ramirez in Kristina Poe's THE IDEA OF ME
MP 15 photos by Chasi Annexy
Images from Mentor Project 2014
Ruy Iskandar and Vichet Chum in THE HUNTERS by Jen Silverman. Photos by Erik Pearson
Claudia Rahardjanoto, Cartier Williams, Hillary-Mary in SONNETS ON TAP, directed by Awoye Timpo, photo by Chasi Annexy
Jack Sochet and Dalia Davi in SONNETS ON TAP, photo by Chasi Annexy
Sanjit De Silva and Amy Lynn Stewart in LIna Patel's THE RAGGED CLAWS, photo by Chasi Annexy
Kahan James and Mahira Kakkar in THE RAGGED CLAWS, photo by Chasi Annexy
Images from MENTOR PROJECT 2013
MP 13 Photos by Chasi Annexy
MENTOR PROJECT 2017 TICKETS
Early Bird Membership: $48
See all 3 plays for $48 (Reg $75 at the door)
Available through December 31st only
Regular Membership: $57
Available beginning January 1
$20 for first 5 performances
$25 for remaining performances
$25 for all tickets at the door
Three siblings fight to keep each other safe from the demons their parents created. For Mars, Leon and Marie, what defines family is survival. As love seems to leave them, they begin to battle their own desires and destiny, praying at the end of the day they'll still have one another.
Esai's Table follows the journey of three young black men on a mythical night sea journey atop a magical old table. Through artistic expression and personal revelations, we learn why they've been chosen to navigate this journey. Destiny meets eternity in this story of black lives, friendship, family, and love.
In the 1990s, Nollywood (the Nigerian film industry) is on the rise. Ayamma dreams of leaving her job at her parents' travel agency and becoming a star. When she auditions for a new film by Nigeria's hottest director, tension flares with his former leading lady - as sparks fly with Nollywood's biggest heartthrob.
About the 2017 Artists:
REN DARA SANTIAGO (Playwright) is a Harlem-based playwright and actor of Filipino and Puerto Rican descent. She writes inclusive, current, empathic stories that breed bravery and compassion in conversation. She has been nominated for the Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award both in 2015 and 2016 for her family drama, The Siblings Play, which has been work-shopped at LAByrinth Theater under a playwright's apprenticeship, MCC Theater (PlayLabs), and has a home with Middle Voice at Rattlestick, where she is currently an Artistic Producer.
JOCELYN BIOH (Playwright) is a 1st generation Ghanaian-American writer/peformer from New York City. She has her B.A. in English and Theatre from The Ohio State University and MFA in Theatre-Playwriting from Columbia University School of the Arts. Jocelyn is a commissioned playwright with Manhattan Theatre Club and the Atlantic Theater Company and she is a Resident Playwright at LCT3. Her plays include: African Americans (Produced at Howard University 2015; Southern Rep Ruby Prize Award Finalist 2011; O'Neill Center Semi-Finalist, 2012), Nollywood Dreams (Kilroy's List 2015) and her new play School Girls (Kilroy's List 2016.) Her musical The Ladykiller’s Love Story, for which she conceived the story and wrote the libretto, with music/lyrics by Cee Lo Green, is currently in development with Hi-Arts NYC. As an actress, Jocelyn's credits include: Men on Boats (Playwrights Horizons,) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time(Broadway; Tony Award Winner for Best Play, 2015), An Octoroon (Soho Rep, Obie Award Winner for Best Play, 2014), Booty Candy (Wilma Theater), Seed (Classical Theater of Harlem, Audelco Award Nominee), and Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet (City Theatre). She also originated the role of "Topsy" in the world premiere of Neighbors (The Public Theater, Audelco Award Nominee). TV: Former Cover Girl spokesmodel, “Blue Bloods” (NBC), “The Detour” (TBS), “The Characters” (Netflix), “Louie” (FX), and “One Life to Live” (ABC).
STEPHEN ADLY GUIRGIS (Mentor) is a member and former co-artistic director of LAByrinth Theater Company. His plays have been produced on five continents and throughout the United States. They include Between Riverside and Crazy (Pulitzer Prize), Our Lady of 121st Street (Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle Best Play Nominations), Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train (Edinburgh Festival Fringe First Award, Barrymore Award, Olivier Nomination for London’s Best New Play), In Arabia, We’d All Be Kings (2007 LA Drama Critics Best Play, Best Writing Award), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (10 best Time Magazine & Entertainment Weekly), and The Little Flower of East Orange (with Ellen Burstyn & Michael Shannon). All five plays were directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman and were originally produced by LAByrinth. His 2011 play, The Motherf***er with the Hat (6 Tony nominations, including Best Play), was directed by Anna D. Shapiro and marked his third consecutive world premiere co-production with The Public Theater and LAByrinth. In London, his plays have premiered at The Donmar Warehouse, The Almeida (dir: Rupert Goold), The Hampstead (Robert Delamere), and at The Arts Theater in the West End. Other plays include Den of Thieves (Labyrinth, HERE, HAI, Black Dahlia) and Dominica The Fat Ugly Ho (dir: Adam Rapp) for the 2006 E.S.T. Marathon. He has received the Yale Wyndham-Campbell Prize, a PEN/Laura Pels Award, a Whiting Award, and a TCG fellowship. He is also a New Dramatists Alumnae and a member of MCC’s Playwright’s Coalition, The Ojai Playwrights Festival, New River Dramatists, and Labyrinth Theater Company. As an actor, he has appeared in theater, film and television, including roles in Kenneth Lonergan’s film "Margaret," Todd Solondz’s "Palindromes," and Brett C. Leonard’s "Jailbait" opposite Michael Pitt. A former violence prevention specialist and H.I.V. educator, he lives in New York City.
BRANDEN JACOBS-JENKINS (Mentor) Credits include Everybody (forthcoming at the Signature Theatre), War (LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater), Gloria (Vineyard Theatre; Pulitzer Prize-finalist), Appropriate (Signature Theatre; Obie Award), An Octoroon (Soho Rep; Obie Award) and Neighbors (The Public Theater). He is a Residency Five playwright at Signature Theatre and under commissions from LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater, MTC/Sloan, and the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. His recent honors include the MacArthur Fellowship, the Windham-Campbell Prize for Drama, the Benjamin Danks Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation Theatre Award, the Steinberg Playwriting Award, and the Tennessee Williams Award. He currently teaches in the Hunter College Playwriting MFA Program, where is a Master-Artist-in-Residence.
LUCY THURBER (Mentor) is the author of twelve plays: Where We’re Born, Ashville, Scarcity, Killers and Other Family, Stay, Bottom of The World, Monstrosity, Dillingham City, The Locus, Perry Street, The Insurgents and Transfers. Transfers was part of The New York Stage and Film 2016 Powerhouse Season also in the summer of 2016 Orpheus in The Berkshires at The Williamstown Theatre Festival. The Insurgents was produced at Labyrinth Theater Company and Contemporary American Theater Festival. Her five play cycle The Hill Town Plays was produced Off Broadway by Rattlestick Playwright’s Theater in-conjunction with The Cherry Lane Theater, The Axis Theater and The New Ohio Theatre. Lucy’s theatrical homes are Rattlestick Playwright’s Theater, The Atlantic Theater, Labyrinth Theater, New Dramatists and The Lark. Lucy wrote the text for QUIXOTE, conceived and directed by Lear deBessonet, a site-specific performance with the Psalters made for and with The Broad Street Community, also with Lear deBessonet and produced by 13P, Monstrosity. Lucy is published by Dramatists Play Service. She is an alumni of New Dramatists, A member of 13P, Labyrinth Theater Company, Rising Phoenix Rep and New Neighborhood. She got to spend an amazing time with Sundance Theatre at UCROSS in Wyoming and Lucy has been commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, The Contemporary American Theatre Festival, House on The Moon, Yale Rep. and Williamstown Theatre Festival. She is the recipient of Manhattan Theatre Club Playwriting Fellowship, the 1st Gary Bonasorte Memorial Prize for Playwriting, a proud recipient of a LILLY AWARD and an OBIE Award for The Hill Town Plays.
About Mentor Project
Cherry Lane’s Obie Award-winning Mentor Project is the cornerstone of our development programs. Mentor Project engages leading dramatists in one-on-one mentoring relationships with emerging playwrights for a theater season, the result of which is a showcase production in our Studio theater.
"The Plays of Mentor Project: a Cherry Lane Anthology"
Mentor Project is now in print! Read more
Katori Hall’s Hoodoo Love (Lynn Nottage, mentor 2006) Following its Mentor Project production, Cherry Lane Theatre presented the World Premiere production of Hoodoo Love in its Discovery Series, 2007 (Nominated: Three 2006 AUDELCO awards, winning for Best Supporting Actress). Chicago's The Collective Theatre presented Hoodoo Love in 2012, directed by Nelsan Ellis. Katori’s other credits include: Olivier Award, Broadway: The Mountaintop (starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett). Awards include Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award; 2nd place, Paula Vogel Playwriting Award at the 2005 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival; 2007 Fellowship of Southern Writers Bryan Family Award in Drama. Other plays: Freedom Train, Awake, Hurt Village (Signature Theatre, 2012), Diaspora, awarded the 09-10 Playwrights of New York Fellowship through the Lark Play Development Center, Children of Killers, (Castillo Theatre, 2012), Our Lady of Kibeho (Signature Theatre, 2014), Blood Quilt (Arena Stage, 2015).
Rajiv Joseph Huck and Holden (Theresa Rebeck, mentor, 2005). Cherry Lane Theatre presented the World Premiere production of Huck & Holden in its Discovery Series, 2006. Subsequently produced at The Black Dahlia Theatre in Los Angeles, 2006. Rajiv’s other credits include Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist, winner of an NEA Outstanding New American Play Award, Broadway in 2011 (starring Robin Williams), Drama League Award nomination: Distinguished Production of a Play, four Los Angeles Ovation Nominations including Playwriting for an Original Play; 2004 John Golden Award for Playwriting; 2005 Dramatists Guild Fellow; 2008 Vineyard Theatre’s Paula Vogel Award; 2009 Kesselring Fellowship, 2009 Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation Emerging Writers Playwright Award; 2015 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award. Other plays include: Gruesome Playground Injuries, Animals out of Paper, The North Pool, The Monster at the Door, The Lake Effect (Joseph Jefferson Award), Mr. Wolf, and Guards at the Taj. He is co-writter of the screenplay for Draft Day, directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner.
Eliam Kraiem Sixteen Wounded (Michael Weller, mentor, 2002). Long Wharf Theatre, 2003 and on Broadway, 2004
Sheila Callaghan Lascivious Something (Michael Weller, mentor, 2006) World premiere production at Women’s Project in a co-production with Cherry Lane Theatre, 2010. Sheila’s plays have been produced at Soho Rep, Playwright's Horizons, South Coast Repertory, Clubbed Thumb, The LARK, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, New Georges, Woolly Mammoth, and Rattlestick Playwright's Theatre, among others. She has received the Princess Grace Award for emerging artists; Jerome Fellowship from the Playwright's Center in Minneapolis; MacDowell Residency; Susan Smith Blackburn Award; Whiting Award; international productions in New Zealand, Norway, Germany, Portugal, and the Czech Republic. Plays include SCAB, CRAWL FADE TO WHITE, CRUMBLE (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake), WE ARE NOT THESE HANDS, DEAD CITY, LASCIVIOUS SOMETHING, KATE CRACKERNUTS, THAT PRETTY PRETTY; OR, THE RAPE PLAY, FEVER/DREAM, PORT OUT, STARBOARD HOME, EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH, and ELEVADA. Affiliated artist with Clubbed Thumb; Member of the Obie winning 13P; Resident of New Dramatists; Profiled by Marie Claire as one of "18 Successful Women Who Are Changing the World"; Named one of Variety magazine's "10 Screenwriters to Watch" of 2010. Sheila will write ABC's new drama series, "Bright Young Things," based on the bestselling novels.
David Adjmi Strange Attractors, (Craig Lucas, mentor, 2001) World Premiere production: Seattle’s Empty Space Theatre, 2003. Other credits: Juilliard playwriting fellowship; 2002 Lecomte Du Nouy Award; a Writer-in-Residency, Royal Court Theatre; 2003 Helen Merrill Award; 2004, Northern Lights: the 9/11 plays, Illusion Theatre in Minneapolis. 2008 World Premiere The Evildoers, Yale Repertory Theater. 2008 world premiere Stunning, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, LCT3 at the Duke on 42nd Street; 2009 Bush Foundation Fellowship, Steinberg Emerging Playwright Award, 2011 Whiting Writers’ Award. 2012 World Premiere of 3C by piece by piece productions, Rising Phoenix Repertory, and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. The Correspondent was presented by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, 2014. Marie Antoinette had its world premiere with A.R.T. and Yale Rep and New York premiere at Soho Rep.
Anton Dudley slag heap (Ed Bullins, mentor, 2003) Cherry Lane Theatre presented the World Premiere production of slag heap in its Discovery Series, 2005 (starring Vincent Kartheiser and Polly Lee). Later produced in 2006 by Theatre Pro Rata. Anton’s other credits include: 2003 The Lake’s End Adirondack Theatre Festival; 2004 Triptych Entertainment musical based on Twelfth Night; Getting Home, Second Stage Theatre 2006. 2008 The Intentional Theatre Group UP HERE/IN HERE, Altered Stages; Short film, DAVY & STU on BOYS LIFE 6. Substitution, Playwrights Realm 2008; A Dram of Drummhicit, co-written with Arthur Kopit, La Jolla Playhouse, 2011; Cherry Lane commission for a new musical based on the story of Orpheus & Eurydice; The Queen of Pop, published by Heuer Publishing 2013; CIty Of, Playwrights Realm, 2015.
Julia Cho, 99 Histories (David Henry Hwang, mentor, 2002). 99 Histories was a Susan Smith Blackburn Finalist, 2002. Ms. Cho’s other credits include: The Language Archive, South Coast Repertory 2009, Roundabout Theater Company (2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for playwriting); The Piano Teacher, Vineyard Theater, 2007; Durango, Long Wharf Theatre, Public Theater, 2006; The Architecture of Loss, New York Theater Workshop, 2004; BFE, Playwrights Horizons; 2004-05 L. Arnold Weissberger Award; Playwriting fellow at New York Theatre Workshop; recipient of a New York Foundation for The Arts grant; playwright-in-residence at The Juilliard School.
Bridgette Wimberly’s Saint Lucy’s Eyes (Wendy Wasserstein, mentor, 1999) Cherry Lane Theatre presented the World Premiere production of St. Lucy’s Eyes in its Discovery Series, 2001 starring Ruby Dee (Audelco Awards and a Kesselring Nomination). Bridgette’s works include productions at: The Women’s Project, Cherry Lane Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and Arena Stage. Recent credits include: The Separation of Blood,EST/Alfred P. Sloan Science Foundation-commissioned play, World Premiere, Kuntu Repertory Theatre, 2007; Rally, 2009 and Modern Romance, 2011, Ensemble Studio Theatre; From Breast Cancer to Broadway, Karamu House Theatre, 2010; several Susan G. Komen grants for From Breast Cancer to Broadway, a program she created to teach playwriting to breast cancer survivors, staged in Cleveland and New York at Cherry Lane, Cleveland Play House, and Pregones Theatres. Most recently, Bridgette wrote the libretto for Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD with composer Daniel Schnyder, which was awarded a grant from OPERA America and opened Opera Philadelphia, summer 2015.
Christopher Shinn’s Four (Charles Fuller, mentor, 1999) Four has been produced at The Tribeca Playhouse, 2001 and Manhattan Theatre Club, 2002; Currently being adapted for a film version. Other credits include: Other People, Playwrights Horizons, 2000; What Didn’t Happen, 2002; Olivier award nominee, Where Do We Live, London’s Royal Court, 2002, The Studio Theatre, Second Stage, 2004; Obie Award, On the Mountain, Playwrights Horizons, 2004; Dying City, Royal Court Theatre, 2006, Lucille Lortel nomination for best new Off-Broadway play, Lincoln Center Theater, 2007, Signature Theatre 2012, 2008 Pulitzer Prize Finalist; adaptation of Hedda Gabler, Broadway at American Airlines Theatre, 2009; Picked, The Vineyard Theatre, 2011. Now or Later, Huntington Theatre 2012, Boston. The New York Times called Mr. Shinn “among the most promising playwrights to emerge in the last decade.”
Bathsheba Doran’s The Parents’ Evening (Michael Weller, mentor, 2003) was subsequently produced at The Flea Theater, 2010. Other credits include: Living Room in Africa, Edge Theater; Nest, Signature Theater (DC); Until Morning, BBC Radio 4; adaptations of Great Expectations, TheatreworksUSA, Lucille Lortel Theater; Maeterlinck’s The Blind, Classic Stage Company; Ben and the Magic Paintbrush, South Coast Repertory, 2010; Drama League Award nomination: Distinguished Production of a Play, Kin, Playwrights Horizons, 2011; Kin was later produced by Griffin Theatre Company at Theater Wit, Chicago, 2012; 2009 Helen Merrill Emerging Playwright Award; The Mystery of Love and Sex, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, 2015. TV: Boardwalk Empire.
Deirdre O’Connor’s Jailbait (Michael Weller, mentor, 2008) was later produced by Profile Theatre, 2010 & 2011; Silhouette Theatre Company (Denver) 2012; Alliance Repertory Theatre Company (New Jersey), 2012; and Ghostlight Repertory Theatre (Massachusetts). Other credits include: Assisted Living, Profile Theatre, 2011; 2008-09 Lark Playwrights Workshop Fellow; John Golden Playwriting Award; Emmy Award, The Electric Company on PBS; Writers Guild Award Nomination, Five, Lifetime.
Allison Moore’s Urgent Fury (Marsha Norman, mentor 2003) Urgent Fury was one of 36 finalists for the 2002 O’Neill Playwrights Conference. Other credits include: Collapse, National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere: Aurora Theater, Curious Theater, Kitchen Dog Theater, B Street Theater, Third Rail Rep, and Know Theater, 2011-12, Women's Project (2012-13 season); Slasher, Humana Festival at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, 2009, more than a dozen productions around the country; Ivey Award for Best Play, My Antonia, Illusion Theater, 2010 & 2012; Seven Dallas Critics Forum Awards and five Leon Rabin Awards, including Best New Play, End Times, Kitchen Dog Theater, 2007; Hazard Country, Humana Festival, 2005, and regional productions; American Klepto, Illusion Theater; Split, Guthrie Theater; Eighteen, O’Neill Playwrights Conference; CowTown, Guthrie Theater Commission; Two Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellowships; two McKnight Advancement Grants; Bush Fellowship; Iowa Arts Fellowship.
Jakob Holder's Housebreaking (Charles Mee, mentor, 2009) was subsequently produced by Poison Apple Initiative, 2011 and Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre (Kansas City), 2013. Published by Dramatists Play Service 2012.
Molly Smith Metzler (Training Wisteria, Jules Feiffer, mentor 2007.) Other credits include: Elemeno Pea, South Coast Rep 2012, Humana Festival, 2011; Susan Smith Blackburn Finalist, Close Up Space, Manhattan Theatre Club, 2012. Her work has been developed by The O’Neill Theatre Center, MTC, Chautauqua Theater Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, hotINK, Playwrights Horizons, and The Kennedy Center. Three KCACTF awards including the Kennedy Center National Student Playwrighting Award; Member of EST, Ars Nova Play Group, and Primary Stages writing group; two-time recipient of the Le Comte du Nouy Prize from Lincoln Center. Currently working on commissions for South Coast Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Manhattan Theatre Club
Samuel Brett Williams’ The Woodpecker (Charles Fuller, mentor, 2008) was subsequently presented by Mutineer Theatre Company, 2011. He is the co-founder of The Camisade Theatre Company, whose recent inaugural production was his own Derby Day at Theatre Row, 2011.
Peter Gil-Sheridan's Topsy Turvy Mouse (Michael Weller, mentor, 2007) was the winner of the Timothy Smith Prize from the National New Play Network. Peter was the recipient of a Jerome Fellowship at the Playwright's Center and was commissioned by the Guthrie Theatre to write a new play which premiered in April 2009. He has had residencies at the Ucross Foundation and the Millay Colony for the Arts. His work has been seen/ developed at New York Theater Workshop, The Lark Theatre, The Sundance Institute, The Kennedy Center, the New York International Fringe Festival, The University of Colorado at Boulder, A Theatre Group of Silverton, Colorado, The Toy Box Theatre, the figments, Working for Tips Productions, Riverside Theatre of Iowa City, and Prospect Theatre Company. Peter is a graduate of the University of Iowa’s Playwright’s Workshop. In addition to teaching at Fordham University, he often guest directs and mentors young directors
Nate Rufus Edelman's The Belle of Belfast (Charles Fuller, mentor, 2010) received its world premiere at Ensemble Studio Theatre LA fall 2012 and its New York premiere at Irish Repertory Theatre, 2015. Nate is a writer and director for the stage and screen who divides his time between New York City, Los Angeles and Ireland. His stage plays have been produced and developed at The Vineyard Theatre, Firstlook Theatre, the Celtic Arts Centre, FirstStage, EST/LA, Antaeus Theatre Company, Bank of Ireland Theatre, Samuel Becket Theatre and the Road Theatre. He wrote, produced and directed Twist of Fate for the Galway Arts Festival. He produced and co-directed the Los Angeles premiere of Amy Freed's "The Psychic Life of Savages" at the Los Angeles Theatre Centre with the Latino Theatre Company and the Savage Players, which he is a founding member. His screenplay "The Scavengers" was on Hollywood's "The Black List," which singles out the best yet to be produced scripts. Nate was educated at University of California, Santa Cruz, Trinity College Dublin and received his MFA at New York University.
Cherry Lane Mentor Project: The Buzz
"What the Cherry Lane is doing is so exciting. Most important, I think, is its mentoring program of young playwrights, and while it is nice that the Cherry Lane programming takes care of the important theatrical past, it is the mentoring program which will allow us to have an important theatrical future."
–MP 1999-2013 EDWARD ALBEE
"The Mentor Project is artfully designed to avoid the pitfalls of most play development workshops, directionless rewrites, lack of exposure to actors and audiences, and instead plunges the playwright directly into an intensely practical, tightly focused, experience...The Cherry Lane is doing essential work in building the next generation of American theatre artists."
–MP 2005 Mentor DAVID AUBURN
"The Mentor Project has my enthusiastic support. I have seen performances at the Cherry Lane rival the very finest professional theater this country has to offer."
–Co-Founding and Supervising Mentor 1999-2008 MICHAEL WELLER
"The Cherry Lane's belief in writers is absolute. And whether you are a young playwright staging a new play, or an experienced playwright passing along your advice and comfort, the mentor program at the Cherry Lane works on the most astonishing level, giving people a chance to talk with each other about the nearly impossible but nevertheless thrilling task of writing for the theater."
–MP 2001, 2002, 2003 Mentor MARSHA NORMAN
"Cherry Lane's Mentor Project asked me to read five plays, pick out the best one and be prepared to work with the playwright through drafts, reading, and showcase production. It proved to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my literary life."
–MP 1999, 2008, 2010 Mentor CHARLES FULLER
"I've been in touch with enough other fledgling playwrights to notice that buzz about your program is very good indeed. Writers in it seem happy, and writers outside of it want to get in."
–MP 1999, 2000, 2003 Mentor A. R. GURNEY
"Through the Cherry Lane Mentorship, I have had the privilege of working with two wonderfully gifted and dedicated young writers. They have taught me at least as much as I have taught them, and I am grateful for the opportunity to revisit that electrifying moment when a new playwright first emerges into the theatrical world."
–MP 2001, 2002, 2010 Mentor DAVID HENRY HWANG
"I am honored to be invited into the Cherry Lane Mentor Project. The playwriting art has been at the center of my life for so long that it is a great affirmation to me that an American institution of this historical stature and cultural scope recognized my motivation to serve."
–MP 2003, 2004 Mentor ED BULLINS
"I'm so proud of the Mentor Project and all the playwrights it's supported over the years. I feel so blessed to have been born at the Cherry Lane"
--MP 2006 Finalist Playwright KATORI HALL
"the greatest pay of all is the privilege to take part in the guidance of an artist who will be a vital contributor to the American theatre canon. In that respect with Nastaran [Ahmadi] I feel already I've been paid a thousand times over."
--MP 2012 Mentor KIA CORTHRON
More About Mentor Project
Mentor Project, our Obie Award-winning program, engages leading dramatists in one-on-one mentoring relationships with emerging playwrights for an entire theater season. Established in 1998, Mentor Project was inspired by an important precursor in residence at Cherry Lane in the 60s: ALBARWILD, a collaboration between producers Richard Barr, Clinton Wilder and playwright Edward Albee, who created production opportunities for such early-career playwrights as Sam Shepard, LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), A. R. Gurney and Jean-Claude van Itallie. To date, Mentor Project has nurtured and launched new works by 53 emerging dramatists. The Mentors help the young writers hone their craftsmanship through meetings, readings, and workshops while forming a personal and trusted relationship of support. The project culminates in a showcase production that remains critic-free to avoid commercial concerns that would inhibit the writer's creative process. The Project has elevated a third of its alumni to professional and public notice. Their work has flourished on and Off-Broadway, regionally and around the world. Cherry Lane's Mentors are truly a priceless resource - they count among their distinctions eight Pulitzer Prizes, seven Pulitzer Prize nominations, fifteen Obie Awards, eight Tony Awards, six Tony nominations, two Oscars, and an Oscar nomination.
Edward Albee, Charles Fuller, A.R. Gurney, Tony Kushner, Wendy Wasserstein, Michael Weller
Angelina Fiordellisi and Susann Brinkley
Mentor Project Founders
What We Provide
To meet the goals of Mentor Project, CLT offers generous rehearsal and performance time within our 60 seat Studio Theatre, publicity, audience outreach for all readings and performances, administrative support, Master Classes taught by our Mentors and other pre-eminent playwrights, culminating in an AEA approved showcase production. We provide financial support in the form of a $5,000 stipend to each Fellow and Mentor. This affords the writer freedom to concentrate on the development of the work and partnership between Master and Fellow.
The effectiveness of our Mentor Project program is affirmed by the continued success of the early- career playwrights we have worked with. It is our goal to provide these playwrights with a supportive yet challenging developmental structure for their plays. It is our hope that the writers leave the Mentor Project experience with a stronger draft of their play, an appreciation for what the audience can teach us, a professional working process and a deepened commitment to their craft. They will have benefited from the crucial element of interaction between master and protégé, and realize that it is within a community that the artist thrives. The creative bond and continued relationships of our alumni with their mentors, as well as their lasting membership in the Cherry Lane community is a clear indication of the need for this type of program. Thanks to our gracious mentors, CLT Mentor Project is a rarely experienced phenomenon among playwrights.
Cherry Lane is thrilled to introduce the first of our multi-volume anthology featuring 16 years of Mentor Project and beyond!
Since 1999 our Obie Award-winning program has engaged leading dramatists in one-on-one mentoring relationships with emerging playwrights. To date, Mentor Project has launhced 50 playwrights to Broadway, regional, and world stages. The plays of Mentor Project are central not only to Cherry Lane's history, but to the history of American Theater. Now they're collected together into an ongoing, multi-volume anthology!
EXTREMELY LIMITED EDITION! Get your copy today!
Volume 1 now on sale: $35 (plus shipping and handling)
THE PLAYS OF MENTOR PROJECT: A Cherry Lane Anthology
Volume 1: 1999-2001
Featuring a forward by mentor and Tony winner David Henry Hwang introducing the following plays:
by Peter Buchman
mentored by Michael Weller
As his family life closes in around him, an airline pilot escapes into an imaginary world of polar exploration in this tragic comedy.
NOTES FROM THE CONFEDERACY
by Heather Hill
mentored by A. R. Gurney
In the south today, three women deal with history’s hand-me-downs in a funny, brutal play about sisterhood.
by Lizzie Olesker
mentored by Tony Kushner
A quirky, surreal drama that takes us on a journey of escape and salvation when three “criminal” women come together in a remote boarding house.
by Christoper Shinn
mentored by Charles Fuller
Four is the story of a sixteen year old boy on a Fourth of July date with a married professor he’s met over the Internet.
SAINT LUCY’S EYES
by Bridgette Wimberly
mentored by Wendy Wasserstein
A warm, heartfelt play about two women forced to confront their pasts and the changing world around them.
by Hunt Holman
mentored by Michael Weller
A father tries to reconcile with his teenage son by introducing him to the joys of handgun target shooting. A coming of age comedy about a boy, his girl and their firearms.
by Ward Just:
mentored by Wendy Wasserstein
Lowell Limpett is a famous newspaperman but lately the fame has worn thin. The newspaper has gotten away from him, too. His personal life is in some disorder. When he returns from the funeral of a much loved colleague, he discovers that his editor has plans for him – and these plans begin to look suspiciously like the velvet shelf reserved for former greats. Question: The news can live without Limpett, but can Limpett live without the news?
by Rosemary Moore
mentored by A. R. Gurney
In Aunt Pieces, a woman in her sixties leaves the stagnant safety of a long term half-way house and returns to her family home after decades away. Her effort to reclaim her place in the house disturbs the fragile equilibrium of her nephew and his children.
by Gary Winter
mentored by Alfred Uhry
In the myth of “The Golem” Rabbi Loew creates a man of clay to defend the Jews of Prague in the sixteenth century. Once their enemies are destroyed, however, the Golem turns on the Jews and must be turned back to dust by its creator. In this modern-day version, Gil Shamberg is dubbed a Golem in a Manhattan brothel. Endowed with the power to create himself in his own image, Gil becomes the monster of his fantasies. And when all desire becomes reality, nothing is left to the imagination. Mayhem ensues until Rachel enters his life, and then Gil must find a way to turn the Golem back to dust.
by David Adjmi
mentored by Craig Lucas
Betsy’s good. There’s the charities, the AIDS benefits. Her life is good too: Ad exec hubby, Park Avenue penthouse, live-in maid. But Betsy’s been bad. Photos on the Internet prove it. Now she’s a download away from finding out just how bad life can get.
THE SHOEBOX OF EBBETS FIELD
by Ross Berger
mentored by Michael Weller
The Shoebox of Ebbets Field illustrates how idyllic 1950’s Brooklyn may not be as secure and stable as it seems. Rather, the play questions our common ideas of the home: where it once stood as a safe haven for all family members to live, now serves only as a vehicle to leave for somewhere else.
by Glyn O’Malley
mentored by Alfred Uhry
En route to the gilded city of Vienna, two remarkable women become unlikely allies, and discover in a refugee, Serbian Gypsy Girl, the key that unlocks the grip of their very different pasts.
THE ALLEGORY OF PAINTING
by Cybele Pascal
mentored by Marsha Norman
When young Queen Henrietta Maria of England asks the famous baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi to paint her portrait she gets more than she bargained for – she gets a lesson on life. At the queen’s prodding, Artemisia recounts her past, and what unfolds is a story of rape, betrayal, and ultimately her triumph as she overturned the prejudices of her time.
by David Wiener
mentored by David Henry Hwang
In the summer of infinite heat, Ray-Ray feels small. His father is gone. His mother is fading. And his cul-de-sac is ruled by Clinton. But sometimes, when night falls on Orange County, Ray-Ray sits alone in the dark and feels a volcano growing inside.