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Mentor Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images from THE HUNTERS

Ruy Iskandar and Vichet Chum. Photos by Erik Pearson

Images from Sonnets on Tap

Claudia Rahardjanoto, Cartier Williams, Hillary-Mary, photo by Chasi Annexy

Jack Sochet and Dalia Davi, photo by Chasi Annexy

Images from The Ragged Claws

Sanjit De Silva and Amy Lynn Stewart, photo by Chasi Annexy

Kahan James and Mahira Kakkar, photo by Chasi Annexy

Images from Mentor Project 2013


MP 13 Photos by Chasi Annexy View more photos

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 theatre. 

Introducing "The Plays of Mentor Project: a Cherry Lane Anthology." Read more

Congratulations to the participating artists of Mentor Project 2014 on a fantastic season!

THE HUNTERS
by Jen Silverman
Mentored by Lynn Nottage
Directed by Mike Donahue

February 19 - March 1, 2014
Alex and Cameron are twins who, despite their shared career as hustlers, are going in very different directions. While Alex is focused on the demands of the future, Cam is obsessed with a past in which family legend says that his Vietnamese grandfather was the victim of an American soldier's bullet. When Cam lures the soldier's grandson to a motel, he must ask himself how far he is willing to go to obtain reparations, while Alex is faced with the question: how much will the past determine their future?

Mentor Project 2014 introduced its first ever directing mentorship...

SONNETS ON TAP
Conceived and directed by Awoye Timpo
Mentored by Lisa Peterson
March 12 - 22, 2014

Pairing  expert tap dancers with experts in the classics, this piece delves into the text, rhythm, meter, language, and beauty of Shakespeare's sonnets.

THE RAGGED CLAWS
By Lina Patel
Mentored by David Henry Hwang
Directed by Jedadiah Schultz
April 2 - 12, 2014

As midtown Manhattan is being relocaterd upstate due to rising sea-levels and a feared tsunami, a British mother, American father, and their adopted Indian son must confront the wounds of history, even as the future rises up to meet them. 

About the 2014 Fellows

JEN SILVERMAN was raised in Asia, Europe, and Scandinavia and the US. Her work has been produced off-Broadway by the Playwrights Realm (CRANE STORY), off-off Broadway by Clubbed Thumb (PHOEBE IN WINTER), regionally at Cleveland Public Theatre (AKARUI), and commissioned and produced by the Gallatin School/NYU (BONES AT THE GATE). She is an affiliated artist and recipient of the 2013 Audrey Residency with New Georges, a Workspace residency with the LMCC, an NYFA Playwriting Grant, and is an affiliated artist with The Playwrights Realm, The Lark, and a member of Youngblood at EST. She is a two-time MacDowell Fellow and has developed work with Playwrights Horizons, InterAct Theatre, Abingdon Theatre, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, NY Stage & Film/ Powerhouse, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. She has also held residencies at Hedgebrook, New Harmony Project, and the Millay Colony. In 2011 she was invited to be a US Delegate for a China/America Writers Exchange in Beijing. She is under commission by The National New Plays Network with InterAct Theatre and Ars Nova. Her play STILL won the Jane Chambers Award and the 2013 Yale Drama Series Award, and received a reading at Lincoln Center. BA: Brown. MFA: Iowa Playwrights Workshop. Lila Acheson Wallace Fellowship: Juilliard. More information: www.jensilverman.com

AWOYE TIMPO. New York directing credits include: Chasing the Bird (Joyce Theater), Araby (La MaMa), The Vanished (site specific), Ndebele Funeral (Players Theater), In the Continuum (Juilliard), Tears of Anatolia (Columbia), My Sister In This House (NYU). Awoye has directed readings and workshops at Joe’s Pub, Leviathan Lab, 52nd Street Project, Partial Comfort, Culture Project, and the Emerging Writers Group. She has worked as Assistant Director at theaters such as the Public Theater, Signature Theater, Two River Theater and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Translations include The Bald Soprano and Rhinoceros by Ionesco as well as The Vanished, A Crying Friend, and Stay With Me by Olivier Coyette. Other previous work includes: Associate Artist (August Wilson American Century Cycle Celebration – WNYC/The Greene Space), Associate Artistic Director (Shakespeare on the Sound), Van Lier Directing Fellow (Public Theater), Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. 

 

LINA PATEL is an actor and playwright. Lina’s full-length plays include, Sankalpan (Desire), a Sundance semi-finalist and invited to Playwright’s Week at Lark Play Development Center in New York. Disappearance of Luck, developed with Jose Rivera and at New Harmony Project. The Ragged Claws, developed at Center Theatre Group and a BAPF finalist. Neel and Nicky, presented at the New Group in New York, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  Perfect Fit developed at The Groundlings Theater, West Hollywood.  Lina is currently working on a commission for a new play from Yale Repertory Theater and was selected for the 2013-2014 Warner Brother’s Writers Workshop. Productions include, That Could Be You, Commissioned by Silk Road Theater Project, and co-presented with the Goodman; Sweet Life, at Circle X Theater in Los Angeles and recently at the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival (final 8). Belief, commissioned by Chalk Repertory Theater and produced at the Page Science Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.  Lina’s work has also been presented and developed at East West Players and The Sewanee Writer’s Conference, where she was a Walter E. Dakin Fellow. Lina is also a critically acclaimed actor and voice-over artist who has performed on stage in New York, Los Angeles and regionally, and guest-starred on several television shows. Titles Lina has narrated for Penguin and Random House include Faulkner’s, As I Lay Dying, Rajesh Parameswaran’s I am an Executioner, and Arturo Perez-Reverte’s, The Queen of the South. For information about Lina’s plays: www.dogear.org .

About the 2014 Mentors

LYNN NOTTAGE (mentoring Jen Silverman) Lynn new play, By The Way, Meet Vera Stark, enjoyed an extended run Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre (Lily Award, Drama Desk Nomination) and most recently at the Geffen Playhouse. It can be seen this upcoming season at Lyric Stage in Boston and The Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Her Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined premiered at Manhattan Theatre Club and Goodman Theatre (OBIE, Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Audelco, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play). It subsequently toured widely throughout US regional theatres and premiered internationally at the Almeida Theatre in London. The play has since been produced throughout the world, including Cambodia, Chad, The Caribbean, The Democratic Republic of Congo, and Germany. Her other plays include Intimate Apparel (American Theatre Critics and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Play); Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine (OBIE Award); Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Las Meninas; Mud, River, Stone; Por’knockers and POOF!. Nottage is the recipient of the 2010 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, the Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, the inaugural Horton Foote Prize for Outstanding New American Play (Ruined), Helen Hayes Award (Ruined), the Lee Reynolds Award, and the Jewish World Watch iWitness Award. Her other honors include the 2007 MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant,” the National Black Theatre Festival’s August Wilson Playwriting Award, the 2005 Guggenheim Grant for Playwriting, the 2004 PEN/Laura Pels Award for Drama, as well as fellowships from the Lucille Lortel Foundation, Manhattan Theatre Club, New Dramatists and New York Foundation for the Arts. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Drama, where she is currently a visiting lecturer. She is a co-founder and producer at Market Road Films LLC, a film production company. Nottage is a board member for Theatre Communications Group, BRIC Arts Media Bklyn, Donor Direct Action, The New Black Fest, Voice and Vision, and the Dramatists Guild .

LISA PETERSON (mentoring Awoye Timpo) Recent NY credits include The Patron Saint of Sea Monsters (Playwrights Horizons); An Iliad, written with Denis O’Hare (NYTW- 2012 Obie Award, Lortel Award, Drama Desk nominations); Shipwrecked by Donald Margulies and Motherhood Outloud by 15 writers (Primary Stages); The Trestle at Pop Lick Creek by Naomi Wallace, Slavs! (Thinking About the Longstanding Problems of Virtue and Happiness) by Tony Kushner, Traps by Caryl Churchill, The Waves adapted from Virginia Woolf by Peterson and David Bucknam (Drama Desk nominations) and Light Shining in Buckinghamshire by Caryl Churchill (Obie Award for Directing), all at New York Theatre Workshop; The Fourth Sister by Janusz Glowacki and The Batting Cage by Joan Ackerman (Vineyard Theatre); The Poor Itch by John Belluso, The Square by 16 writers, and Tongue of a Bird (The Public); Collected Stories by Donald Margulies (MTC); Birdy adapted from the William Wharton novel by Naomi Wallace (Women’s Project); The Chemistry of Change by Marlane Meyer (Playwrights Horizons/WPP); The Model Apartment by Donald Margulies (Primary Stages); and Sueno by Jose Rivera (MCC).  Lisa has directed regionally at the Mark Taper Forum (where she was Resident Director for 10 years), La Jolla Playhouse (Associate Director for 3 years), Guthrie, Berkeley Rep, Seattle Rep, Arena Stage, McCarter, Actors’ Theater of Louisville, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf, Yale Rep, Baltimore Center Stage, Huntington, Dallas Theater Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and California Shakespeare Theater.  She is a Usual Suspect at NYTW, a member of Ensemble Studio Theater, and on the executive board of SDC. Lisa directed Nastaran Ahmadi’s Exile, presented in Cherry Lane’s Mentor Project 2013, mentored by Kia Corthron.

DAVID HENRY HWANG (mentoring Lina Patel) David Henry Hwang was awarded the 1988 Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, and John Gassner Awards for his Broadway debut, M. Butterfly, which was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His play Golden Child, which premiered at South Coast Repertory, received a 1998 Tony nomination and a 1997 OBIE Award.  His new book for Rodgers & Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song earned him his third Tony nomination in 2003.  Yellow Face won a 2008 OBIE Award for Playwriting and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His most recent work, Chinglish, won a 2011 Chicago Jeff Award before moving to Broadway, where it received a 2012 Drama Desk Nomination.  Other plays include FOB (1981 OBIE Award), The Dance and the Railroad (1982 Drama Desk Nomination), Family Devotions (1982 Drama Desk Nomination), The Sound of a Voice and Bondage.  He co-authored the book for Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida, which ran almost five years on Broadway, and was the bookwriter of Disney’s Tarzan, with songs by Phil Collins.  As America’s most-produced living opera librettist, he has written four works with composer Philip Glass, as well as Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar (two 2007 Grammy Awards), Bright Sheng’s The Silver River (1997), and Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland (2007 “World Premiere of the Year” by Opernwelt Magazine). Hwang penned the feature films M. Butterfly, Golden Gate, and Possession (co-writer), and co-wrote the song "Solo" with composer/performer Prince.  He won the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award for Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre, the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, and is a 2013 US Artists Donnelly Fellow. He is currently the Residency One playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre Company, which has recently revived two of his earlier plays, and will premiere his newest work, Kung Fu, in 2013-14.

 

Cherry Lane welcomes Stephanie Ybarra as the Producing Artistic Director of Mentor Project 2014!

MP14 Finalists Awoye Timpo and Jen Silverman with Stephanie Ybarra. Photo by Walter McBride

Sponsor a Mentor Project Playwright!

Explore Mentor Project's History

Select Mentor Project Success Stories

Katori HallKatori 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), later produced by Milwaukee Rep (2012) and Philadelphia Theatre Company (2013). 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; Hattiloo Theatre, Memphis, 2012) and Diaspora, awarded the 09-10 Playwrights of New York Fellowship through the Lark Play Development Center. Currently, the American premiere of Children of Killers, Castillo Theatre, 2012.

Rajiv Joseph
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; produced at Roundhouse Theatre (MD), 2012; 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. Other plays include: Gruesome Playground Injuries (Alley Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Second Stage), Animals out of Paper (world premiere, Second Stage Theatre), The North Pool (Theatreworks, Barrington Stage Company, Vineyard Theatre), The Monster at the Door (world premiere, Alley Theatre), and The Lake Effect (Chicago's Silk Road Rising, Joseph Jefferson Award). 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, and PORT OUT, STARBOARD HOME. 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 now on stage at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, 2014.

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. 

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 has written the libretto for Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD with composer Daniel Schnyder, which has been awarded a grant from OPERA America and is set to open at Opera Philadelphia in June 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; 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) will receive its world premiere at Ensemble Studio Theatre LA fall 2012. 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 47 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, six Pulitzer Prize nominations, thirteen 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.

Time Table and Process

Nomination Process

March 15 - June 15

Cherry Lane Theatre does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Our Nominating Committee consists of a diverse group of theatre professionals from across the country. The Committee members nominate a maximum of three playwrights each. Nominees are mailed notification along with application materials and instructions.

Selection Process

June - October

The Selection Committee reads each submitted play and chooses a group of semi-finalists. Subsequently, each Mentor receives 3-5 scripts from this group and selects the writer with whom they will work. This is a time consuming process and demonstrates the level of commitment each Mentor makes to the Project. At the end of the selection process, we have three distinct voices that will receive the all too rare opportunity to be supported and developed by peers AND receive a production.

Phase One

First Draft Readings - November

The first readings of the three selected plays are held in November. This private reading provides an opportunity for both the Mentor and the Fellow to hear the play read aloud by professional actors. The first reading serves as a formal beginning for their mentoring relationship.

A formal announcement of the season's Mentors and Fellows is scheduled for the first Monday in December. The event is both celebration and performance, as the Fellows read a 10-minute selection from each new play and their Mentors read a selection from one of their earlier plays or works in progress. The evening successfully fosters a strong group dynamic within the community of Mentors and Fellows who will be working together during the season.

Phase Two

Staged Readings - January

Following private exploration and revision, we present public readings of each Fellow's play. The readings, held in January in the Studio at Cherry Lane, are open to the public, which includes many theatre professionals. Mentor and Fellow actively participate in the selection of director and cast. The preparation for the public reading provides an opportunity to hear revisions in front of an audience, experiment with casting and begin to address production needs and challenges.

Phase Three

Three workshops, 12 performances each - March - May

Both Mentor and Fellow have been striving toward this crucial phase. Each of the three plays receives a full production with a professional director, actors and designers. This artistic collaboration with the entire company in preparation for the production provides the basis for the most intense work to occur on the play to date. Revisions are strongly encouraged and supported throughout the three-week rehearsal period and subsequent 12 performances.

Summary

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:

CROCKERLAND 
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.

 

RAZING HOUSES
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.

 

FOUR
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.

 

 

GUN CLUB
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.

LOWELL LIMPETT
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?

 

AUNT PIECES
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.

 

 

 

 

GOLEM
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.

STRANGE ATTRACTORS
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.

 

 

 

CONCERTINA’S RAINBOW
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.

 

 

BLOOD ORANGE
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.