Seven New Members Include New Co-ordinators
Ma-Yi Theater Company has announced the newest members of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, which is the largest collective of AAPI playwrights in the country. Founded in 2004 by Sung Rno in connection with the TCG/NEA residency program, the Ma-Yi Writers Lab is a professional peer-based workshop in permanent residence at Ma-Yi, designed to nurture and showcase Asian-American Playwrights across the country. The seven new members of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab are Nina Ki, Kalina Ko, Claro de los Reyes, ayla xuân chi sullivan, Gaven D. Trinidad, Seayoung Yim, and Max Yu. Ko and Trinidad serve as co-coordinators.
The Ma-Yi Writers Lab is unique for its peer-to-peer format, and how it leverages its collective AAPI brain trust in creating a space where writers do not have to explain themselves. Its members include Michi Barall, Hansol Jung, Kimber Lee, Michael Lew, Rehana Lew Mirza, Qui Nguyen, Jiehae Park, Nandita Shenoy, Lloyd Suh, and Lauren Yee, to name a few. Collectively, the Ma-Yi Writers Lab has altered the face of Asian American Theater with works that break stereotypes and redraws boundaries for what is considered culturally specific theater.
Ma-Yi Theater is committed to providing the Writers Lab with rehearsal facilities and development support for workshops and readings. As always, the playwright is at the center of this process, driving all aspects of development.
Additionally, Ma-Yi will host an Anti-Asian Violence Forum following the 2pm performance on February 4 of Hansol Jung‘s Wolf Play, which is enjoying an encore engagement at MCC Theater through March 5. New York State Assemblymember Ron Kim Historian Minju Bae will break down the themes within Wolf Play and how they correlate to our understanding of Korean diasporic history today.
Since its founding in 1989, Ma-Yi Theater Company has distinguished itself as one of the country’s leading incubators of new work shaping the national discourse about what it means to be Asian American today. Please visit www.ma-yitheatre.org for more information.
About the Playwrights
(xe/she/they) is a Queerean (Queer + Korean) American playwright who lives in Brooklyn. Xe holds a BFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and xer plays have been read, recorded, and presented nationwide, including with MCC Theater, Queens Theatre, Yale Summer Cabaret, and The Parsnip Ship. Xer play Moon Bear was given special consideration for the Relentless Award, and xer play Taemong (Birth Dream) was a finalist for the Van Lier Fellowship. Xe was also an inaugural member of The Parsnip Ship’s Radio Roots Writer’s Group and is currently a part of Clubbed Thumb‘s Early Career Writer’s Group. To contact xer or learn more about xer work, please visit xer website at www.nina-ki.com.
(she/her) is a Cantonese-American theater director, dramaturg, and literary administrator. She is interested in the radical connection and community building of storytelling. Past experience includes directing Paige Conway’s Tag (drafted) and Sophie Poole’s Ethanol (NOMADS), assisting Will Detlefsen on T. Adamson’s The Straights (The JACK, Brooklyn), and script assisting Hansol Jung on Wolf Play (Soho Rep) and Amy Jo Jackson on Hatchetation (National Music Theater Conference). She is currently the Literary Assistant at Roundabout Theatre Company, a Curator for Hedgepig’s Expand the Canon, and Associate Producer at Playground-NY. She has also been a NAMT directing observer. www.KalinaKo.weebly.com
Claro de los Reyes
(he/him) is an actor and a theater & film storyteller of the Filipino diaspora. As a playwright, his recent works have been featured in Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Virgin Labfest and Leviathan Lab’s Filipino American History Month Reading Series. He is a graduate of the Fordham College at Lincoln Center Theater program. As an actor, he has performed with Pan Asian Rep, NAATCO, Leviathan Lab, International WOW, and he was recently in The Strange Case of Citizen de la Cruz at the Ice Factory Festival / New Ohio Theatre. In his work and practice, Claro is committed to exploring cross cultural exchange, pluralism, and decolonized creative practices. He is excited and honored to be part of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab community and sends a big SALAMAT to the team of coordinators for continuing to nurture this generative creative space.
ayla xuân chi sullivan
(they/them) is a Black and Vietnamese, non-binary, performance artist from the lands of the Cheyenne, Arapahoe, and Nuche colonially known as Denver Colorado. They are an actor, a playwright, a director, a poet, an educator, and a co-founder of Shift 23 Media. Harlem based, Sullivan is the inaugural New Visions Fellow of National Queer Theatre and the Dramatists Guild. Their work has been showcased at MCC Theatre, TOSOS, the LGBT Center, throughout the Denver Metro Area, and briefly in Dakar, Senegal. They have been published in American Theatre, The Dramatist, Playbill, Westword, and 303 Magazine. https://www.aylasullivan.com/
Gaven D. Trinidad
(they/he/siya) is a first generation Filipinx American theatremaker and educator from NYC. Their artistic work examines the intersections of race, language, immigration, queerness, ritual, community, and futurity. They taught undergraduate courses on the work of contemporary BIPOC playwrights at the University of Massachusetts Amherst under the mentorship of Dr. Priscilla Page. They’ve had the privilege to collaborate with folx in various artistic and administrative positions at places such as The Juilliard Drama Division, Musical Theatre Factory, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Roundabout Theatre Company, 2nd Stage, and National Queer Theater. Selected dramaturgy credits: PreP Play, or Blue Parachute (National Queer Theater, NCTC), June is the First Fall (Yantze Repertory Theater), Collidescope 2.0 (Ping Chong + Company), Patience (2nd Stage). Selected directing credits: Joker (National Queer Theater), Are You There Truman? (Pride Plays, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Parsnip Ship, Leviathan Lab), Sa Aming Puso (Global Forms Theatre Festival, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, New York Theatre Salon). B.A. American Studies, Dickinson College; M.F.A. Dramaturgy, UMass Amherst. Proud former public-school teacher in Memphis, TN with Teach for America. Theatre Communications Group named them a 2021 Rising Leader of Color. They are the Community Engagement Associate at New York Theatre Workshop. As someone living with bipolar disorder, they are an advocate for Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention. www.gaventrinidadtheatre.com
(she/her) is a playwright from Seattle. Her play Jar of Fat (Brown University) won the 2022 Yale Drama Series Prize and second place for the Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award at KCACTF. Other awards/honors include an upcoming residency at Hedgebrook, finalist for Playwrights Realm Scratchpad Series, a Playwriting Fellowship at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the People’s Choice Award for Outstanding New Play at Theater Puget Sound’s Gregory Awards and Seattle’s Rose Lee Award for Excellence in Local Playwriting. She has studied with playwrights Stephanie Timm, Lisa D’Amour, and Julia Jarcho. She recently completed her MFA in Playwriting at Brown University, where she was the recipient of the Stephen Sondheim Graduate Fellowship in Theater Arts. www.seayoungyim.com
(he/him) is a first-generation Chinese-American playwright from the San Francisco Bay Area. He recently moved from Shanghai and is now based in New York. His play Nightwatch won the 2019 Relentless Award, was a finalist for the Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship, and was selected for the 2022 O’Neill Playwriting Conference. He is a proud member of Page 73’s 2021-22 Interstate 73 Writers Group. He is currently under commission from Atlantic Theater Company and Shaking the Tree Theater. His plays that have been workshopped and developed include Nightwatch (Goodman Theatre), Distance Abandoned (Second Generation Productions), Dragonfly (American Playwriting Foundation), The Edge (Shaking the Tree Theater), and Little Red (Horizon Theatre). He has taught playwriting at the National Theater Institute. His poetry and prose have been published in China in Spittoon and Babel. He is represented by United Talent Agency (UTA) and 3 Arts Entertainment. He received his B.A. in Theater from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he studied playwriting under Sylvan Oswald. You can find him at @maxyuliang and https://maxyu.carrd.co/
About Ma-Yi Theater Company
Founded in 1989, Ma-Yi Theater Company is a Drama Desk, Lortel, and Obie Award-winning, Off-Broadway not-for-profit organization whose primary mission is to develop and produce new and innovative plays by Asian American writers.
Its numerous acclaimed productions include Mike Lew‘s Teenage Dick and Bike America, Qui Nguyen‘s The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G and Soul Samurai (with Vampire Cowboys), and Hansol Jung‘s Among The Dead. Other productions include: Rescue Me by Michi Barall, Lloyd Suh‘s The Chinese Lady, and Lonnie Carter‘s The Romance of Magno Rubio.
The Ma-Yi Writers Lab, a signature program founded in 2004, is the largest resident company of Asian-American Playwrights ever assembled. The Lab emboldens a new generation of Asian American artists to voice their experiences, while developing a steady stream of quality new works by Asian American Playwrights for Ma-Yi’s own performing repertory. New works developed at the Writers Lab have gone on to successful productions around the country, at such theaters as Victory Gardens, Laguna Playhouse, Long Wharf Theater, Woolly Mammoth and the Actors Theater of Louisville, to name a few.
Ma-Yi’s productions have earned 10 Obie Awards, 5 Henry Hewes Award nominations, a Drama Desk nomination for Best Play and the Special Drama Desk Award for “more than two decades of excellence and for nurturing Asian-American voices in stylistically varied and engaging theater.”