Mentor Project




























































Read about last year's plays

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


with David Anzuelo*, Rosa Arredondo*, Russell G. Jones*, Eden Marryshow*, Diana Oh*, Elizabeth Ramos*

Raul Abrego, Scenic Design; Sueann Leung, Costume Design; Grant W.S. Yeager, Lighting Design; M.L. Dogg, Sound Design; Deborah Gaouette, Property Design

Jonathan Kim Phillips, Stage Manager; Carolyn Reich,* Assistant Stage Manager; Pia Cincotti, Company Manager; Michael Leahy, Production Manager; Sean Gorski, Technical Director

Who is Amon El-Hashem? When no one is who they seem to be and fear is the enemy of truth, can two daughters struggling to cope with the abrupt deployment of their mother on a dangerous overseas mission trust a seemingly kind-hearted stranger who suddenly enters their lives and tries to make their family whole again?   


with Will Dagger, Crystal Lucas-Perry*, Kelly McCrann*, Joshua David Robinson*, Ariel Woodiwiss*

Arnulfo Maldonado, Set Design; Asta Bennie Hostetter, Costume Design; Amith Chandrashaker, Lighting Design; Ani Taj, Choreographer; Deborah Gaouette, Property Master

Angela Perez*, Stage Manager; Michael John Crotty*, Assistant Stage Manager; Jesse Thurston, Assistant Director

Margaret, a scholar, and Katherine, her partner, are moving to small-town Missouri. Katherine packs and Margaret procrastinates while their friend Laurel tries to convince them to stay. REI, self-loathing, and the 17th century threaten their course. A play about trying to escape your surroundings and failing to escape yourself. (And also ants.)


with Eden Marryshow*, Jaime Lincoln Smith*, Joe Tapper*

Becky Bodurtha, Scenic + Costume Design; D.M. Wood, Lighting Design; Jane Shaw, Sound Design

Allison Raynes*, Production Stage Manager; Abbey Lowenstein, Assistant Stage Manager

A mash-up of the biblical Exodus story and some Godot-inspired absurdity in a modern, urban setting, Pass Over asks, if there is a Promised Land for black men in America, what does it take to get them there?

Please be advised that this show contains explicit language.


*Equity Approved Showcase


About the 2016 Artists


CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL NÚÑEZ (Playwright) is a writer, rapper, and actor. He holds a dual degree in Television Writing and Acting from NYU Tisch in addition to having completed the two-year Meisner program at Maggie Flanigan Studio. He was the head writer for the year long site-specific theater piece  The Odyssey Project (directed by Jenny Koons). His play Mr. Nobody at Point Blank Range was produced at the Red Room by Black Moniker Theater Company. Under his (rap) moniker Anonymous {And.On.I.Must} he has released the full length album Cough Syrup For Your Offspring, performed on four national tours, and shared the stage with such artists as Latin Grammy nominee Ana Tijoux and Rob Swift.  By day he writes screenplays for production companies and independent contractors and coaches writers. His play The Surgeon and her Daughters was workshopped at the 2015 Ojai Playwrights Conference. He is a proud member of José Rivera’s writing group.


SARAH EINSPANIER (Playwright) is a writer from Dallas, TX. She is a member of Clubbed Thumb's Early Career Writers' Group and Ars Nova's Play Group. Her plays, including THE CONVENT OF PLEASURE and I LOVE SEAN, have also been developed or produced by Pipeline Theatre Company, Samuel French, Dixon Place, The Barn Arts Collective, the Drama League, INTAR, the Flea, the cell, Cloud City, The Habitat, the Harold Clurman Playwrights Division, Bookshop Workshops, and The Tank. Sarah is a New Georges Affiliated Artist; a member of RADY&BLOOM collective playmaking; a two-time finalist in the Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival; and an alum of Pipeline Theatre Company’s PlayLab and Bookshop Workshops Writers Group. BA: Northwestern University.



ANTOINETTE NWANDU (Playwright) is a New York-based playwright via Los Angeles. She is a member of the Ars Nova Play Group and the Naked Angels Issues PlayLab Resident Playwright. She is also a Dramatists Guild Fellowship alum. Her plays, including PASS OVER and FLAT SAM, have been produced and developed by Page73, Ars Nova, The Flea, Naked Angels, Fire This Time, Theatre Morgan, The Movement Theater Company, WordBRIDGE and Dreamscape Theatre. Honors include the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, the Negro Ensemble Company’s Douglas Turner Ward Prize and a Literary Fellowship at the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference. Antoinette has also been named a PoNY Fellowship finalist, Page73 Fellowship finalist, NBT’s I Am Soul Fellowship finalist, and two-time Princess Grace Award semi-finalist. She is a proud member of the Dramatist’s Guild. Education: Harvard, University of Edinburgh, NYU Tisch.



RAJIV JOSEPH (Mentor) Joseph’s play HUCK AND HOLDEN was mentored by Theresa Rebeck in 2005 and had its world premiere at Cherry Lane Theatre in 2006. Other plays include  Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, a  2010 finalist  for  the Pulitzer  Prize;  Gruesome Playground Injuries;  Animals Out of Paper;  The North Pool;  The Lake Effect;  Guards at the Taj; and Mr. Wolf. He is the book writer and co-lyricist for the musical Fly.  Rajiv also wrote for the Showtime series “Nurse Jackie” for Seasons  3 and  4.  Additionally, Rajiv was the co-screenwriter of the film Draft Day, which was released earlier this year,  starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner.  Rajiv received his B.A. in Creative Writing from Miami University and his M.F.A. in Playwriting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa.


SHEILA CALLAGHAN (Mentor) Callaghan’s play, Lascivious Something, was mentored by Michael Weller in 2006, and in 2010 received its world premiere presented by Cherry Lane Theatre and Women’s Project Theater. Her plays have been produced and developed with Soho Rep, Playwright's Horizons, Yale Rep, South Coast Repertory, Clubbed Thumb, The LARK, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, New Georges, The Flea, Woolly Mammoth, Boston Court, and Rattlestick Playwright's Theatre, among others. Sheila is the recipient of the Princess Grace Award for emerging artists, a Jerome Fellowship from the Playwright's Center in Minneapolis, a MacDowell Residency, a Cherry Lane Mentorship Fellowship, the Susan Smith Blackburn Award, and the prestigious Whiting Award. Her plays have been produced internationally in New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Germany, Portugal, and the Czech Republic. These 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, EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH, ROADKILL CONFIDENTIAL, ELEVADA, and WOMEN LAUGHING ALONE WITH SALAD. She is published with and Samuel French, and several of her collected works are published with Counterpoint Press. She has taught playwriting at Columbia University, The University of Rochester, The College of New Jersey, Florida State University, and Spalding University. Sheila is an affiliated artist with Clubbed Thumb and a member of the Obie winning playwright's organization 13P. Sheila is also an alumni of New Dramatists. In 2010, Callaghan was profiled by Marie Claire as one of "18 Successful Women Who Are Changing the World." She was also named one of Variety magazine's "10 Screenwriters to Watch" of 2010. Sheila is currently a writer/producer on the hit Showtime comedy Shameless and a founder of the feminist activist group The Kilroys.


KATORI HALL (Mentor) Hall’s play Hoodoo Love was mentored by Lynn Nottage in 2006 and had its world premiere at Cherry Lane in 2007. Hall is a writer hailing from Memphis, Tennessee.  Hall’s plays include: The Mountaintop (2010 Olivier Award for Best New Play), which ran on Broadway in 2011 starring Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson (For two theatrical seasons, the play has been one of the most produced plays in America.), Hurt Village (2011 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize), Children of Killers, Hoodoo Love, Remembrance, Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, WHADDABLOODCLOT!!!, Our Lady of Kibeho, Pussy Valley and The Blood Quilt. Her plays have been presented on six continents, and she is currently under commission to write a new play for the UK’s National Theatre.  Her additional awards include the Lark Play Development Center Playwrights of New York (PoNY) Fellowship, the ARENA Stage American Voices New Play Residency, the Kate Neal Kinley Fellowship, two Lecomte du Nouy Prizes from Lincoln Center, the Fellowship of Southern Writers Bryan Family Award in Drama, a NYFA Fellowship, the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, the Columbia University John Jay Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement, the Otto Rene Castillo Award for Political Theatre, and the Otis Guernsey New Voices Playwriting Award.  She was a participant of the Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab, where her play Hurt Village was developed into a film, and also Sundance’s inaugural Episodic Story Lab, where she developed her television show The Dial.  Also in television, Hall was staffed on the first season of TNT’s show LEGENDS, executive produced by Howard Gordon and Alex Cary, and is currently developing Stephen L. Carter’s #1 national best-seller The Emperor of Ocean Park into a pilot with Fox Network executive produced by John Wells.


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


Explore MP's History

Select Mentor Project Success Stories

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
Founding Mentors

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!


Volume 1 now on sale: $35 (plus shipping and handling)

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.

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.


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.



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.



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.