The Refugee Plays

What does it mean to be a refugee in a world on fire? In this group of short plays, contemporary playwrights Carlos Castro, Penny Jackson, Charles Gershman, Sean E. Cunningham, and Callie Kimball tell powerful stories of refugees today. Conceived during the 2016 presidential campaign, these stories resonate even more loudly now.

Charles Gershman (Playwright and Artistic Director, SNOWY OWL)’s plays have been produced and developed by Theater for the New City, La MaMa ETC, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (UK, forthcoming in 2017), the New York International Fringe Festival, the Playwrights’ Center, The Barrow Group, Horse Trade/FRIGID New York, Three Bone Theatre, NYU-Tisch School of the Arts, The University of Pittsburgh, the Nantucket Short Play Festival, and the New York Avant Garde Arts Festival. They have been semifinalists for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference (The Waiting Game, Null & Void, and The Prenup) and are published on Indie Theatre Now. BA: Columbia. MFA (in progress): NYU/Tisch.



Penny Jackson (Playwright)’s plays include Safe, I Know What Boys Want, Bitten, and Bowery Street Blues. Applause Theatre Books recently chose her play Before as one of the best American short plays in 2016. She is the recipient of a MacDowell Colony Fellowship in writing and a Mirriliees Fellow from Stanford University. Her novel Becoming the Butlers, published by Bantam Books, was chosen as one of the best novels for young adults by The New York Public Library and was optioned for a film by Warner Brothers. Jackson’s short stories are published in literary magazines in the U.S., U.K., and Ireland. Her short story collection L.A. Child, published by Untreed Reads, features the title story that won a Pushcart Prize. A dramatization of these short stories was recently performed at Dixon Place in New York City. Jackson is a proud member of The League of Professional Theater Women, The Dramatists Guild, and The Authors Guild. Her plays are published by Next Stages Press and Indie Theater Now and are taught in various universities in the U.S. Her plays have been produced in New York City, Los Angles, Chicago, and Seattle and internationally in Ireland and Scotland.


Callie Kimball (Playwright) earned her MFA at Hunter College under Tina Howe. Her plays have been produced and developed in New York, Chicago, L.A., D.C., at Team Awesome Robot, Halcyon Theatre, Lark Play Development Center, Drama League, The Brick Theater, Project Y Theatre, Absolute Theatre, Washington Shakespeare Company, The Kennedy Center, Mad Horse Theatre, and elsewhere. She's received a MacDowell Fellowship, a Playwrights' Center Core Apprenticeship, a Ludwig Vogelstein grant, and the Rita & Burton Goldberg Playwriting Award two years in a row. Her play Sofonisba won the Clauder Gold Prize, was a finalist for the O'Neill and a semifinalist for the Princess Grace Award, and was included on The Kilroys' 2016 List.


Carlos Castro (Playwright) is a Venezuelan-American TV writer, playwright, and producer. He has been actively working in the Venezuelan theatre community since 2004, and has worked for several networks and media companies throughout Latin America, primarily in Venezuela, Mexico, and Peru. His work has been seen at various theatres and festivals including: Festival Teatral de Autor (Venezuela) and Encuentro Internacional de Escena Contemporánea (Mexico). He holds a B.A. in Social Communication from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (Venezuela) and an M.A. in Theatre from Hunter College (CUNY).



Sean E. Cunningham (Playwright)’s plays include the Drama Desk-nominated God Hates the Irish (which the Irish Echo described as "possibly the most foul-mouthed show ever done off-Broadway") and The Herbert Hoover Comeback Special, a musical created in collaboration with Tony nominee Alex Timbers and Obie winner Michael Friedman.




Logan Reed (Director) is a New York-based theatre director with select credits including Terrence McNally’s It’s Only a Play, Josh Drimmer’s The Lighthouse Invites the Storm (Sanguine Theatre), Gabriel Vega Weissman’s and Brian Reno’s Loose Canon (Scranton Shakespeare Festival/FringeNYC/SoHo Playhouse), Blake Bishton’s No Baby and Sarah DeLappe’s But I Digress (The Habitat), and Maria Irene Fornes’s Springtime (Williamstown). He has also collaborated with the playwrights MJ Kaufman, Jessica Penzias, Charles Gershman, Helen Banner, Julia Izumi, Jeremy O. Harris, and Jacob Perkins. He is a Creative Associate at Tom Kirdahy Productions which is producing the upcoming Broadway musical Anastasia. BA: Tufts University.



Dan Dinero (Director) is dedicated to developing new work and fostering diversity in the theatre. Current project: Dan Fingerman’s Boys of a Certain Age at Theaterlab. Other recent projects include Yilong Liu’s Joker (FringeNYC) and Dan Fingerman’s The Austerity of Hope (Best Director-Fresh Fruit Festival). Dan has also directed plays with Emerging Artists Theatre, Artistic New Directions, and the Greenland Theatre Collective, a company he co-founded. Dan assisted Jeff Calhoun on the Broadway productions of Brooklyn and Deaf West’s Big River. Dan teaches theatre at NYU-Tisch and is the Editor in Chief of Theatre is Easy ( Ph.D. in Performance Studies from NYU-Tisch; B.A. from Yale University.


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