About The Inkwell Theater Development Lab

A unique program in Los Angeles, the LAB aims to bring the writer out of their office, or coffee shop, and into the rehearsal room. While we recognize the necessity for writers to work on their own, we believe that nothing benefits works-in-progress more than artistic collaboration.

Submission Guidelines and Instructions

The LAB is focused on developing new plays through a collaborative workshop process. We believe that by working in a rehearsal setting with a director and actors, a playwright can best further their plays. Playwrights tell us often how they gained a new insight from simply seeing their work with a cast, not to mention the constructive input from directors and other artists. The LAB gives them that opportunity.

We begin with a writer and their first draft. During a one – six week intensive process, writers will not only see and hear that draft as written, but will see their re-writes, changes, and inspired ideas come to life. This is first aided by introducing an experienced and versatile director, bringing his or her own unique insights to the play. Mixing in a cast of talented performers only adds to the volume of artistic brainpower being brought to bear upon the play. And pulling the playwright into the rehearsal room brings the whole thing together.

The authors selected for each LAB season are the recipients of The Lerner Fellowship, which provides financial, logistical and artistic support to our playwrights. Max K. Lerner was special council and a senior advisor to the Shubert Theatre Organization for over 30 years. During his tenure there, new writers and plays were strongly fostered, including such pieces as: Amadeus, Children of a Lesser God, City of Angels, Dreamgirls, A Few Good Men, Glengarry Glen Ross, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, “Master Harold”…and the Boys, ‘night, Mother, The Real Thing, Sunday in the Park with George, and Little Shop of Horrors. Max was always a passionate advocate for both new and emerging writers in the theater, and this Fellowship honors his lifelong commitment.

 

Season 7 (2018-19)

No Place Like Gandersheim

a new play by Elizabeth Dement

Directed by Randee Trabitz

Featuring: Marguerite Moreau, Meeghan Holaway, Nicole Erb & Tyree Marshall

Produced by Daniel Shoenman & Annie McVey

Roz is a nun and newbie playwright in medieval Gandersheim, Germany. When she and her fellow nuns present her brazen, feminist comedy for the Holy Roman Emperor, his rejection of her work catapults Roz on a journey of millennial proportions to Hollywood and beyond. No Place Like Gandersheim reimagines the never-ending question, “Can women have it all?”

Inhalation

a new play by John Lavelle

Directed by Melissa Coleman-Reed

Featuring – Ronald Auguste, Frank Faucette, Felipe Figueroa, Chet Grissom, Noah James, Devere Rogers, Graham Sibley

Produced by Annie McVey & Daniel Shoenman

In 1978, Brooklyn was on fire. This is the story of the Soul Patrol, the firemen who tried to put out the flames. Through laughter, brotherhood, and psychedelic war stories, this haunting, disco dancing dark comedy asks us all: “How much wreckage can one man breathe in before they become a ghost?”

The Last Croissant

a new play by Veronica Tjioe

Directed by Rosie Glen-Lambert

Featuring – Taylor Bennett, Brandon Blum, Tyler Bremer, Meg Cashel, Kat Devoe-Peterson, Julia Finch, Luke Medina, Conor Murphy, Victoria Ortiz

Produced by Rebecca Carr, Rosie Glen-Lambert & Daniel Shoenman

A one-act farce that replaces the rooms and doors of a traditional farce with the great outdoors, The Last Croissantemploys magical realism, clowning, and whimsy to tell the story of nine crowded campers who hope to find what they’re looking for in the woods.

OLLIE & D

a new play by Ilana Turner

Directed by Jessica Hanna

Featuring – Marguerite Moreau and Joseph Will

Produced by Daniel Shoenman & Rosie Glen-Lambert

Driving an endless loop of New England country road, two long-time friends-with-benefits discover they are stuck in a Maserati prison — and that only dealing with their relationshit will break them out. OLLIE & D takes a darkly comedic look at the intersection of love and the long-term relationship.

Not A Monster

a new play by Susan Josephs

Direction & Dramaturgy by Diana Wyenn

Featuring – Madeline Fair, Rachel Kann, Solomon Shiv & Ivy Strohmaier

Produced by Daniel Shoenman, Rosie Glen-Lambert
& Annie McVey

On the heels of sexual abuse allegations, a controversial New Age guru welcomes a veteran journalist into his backstage greenroom so she can interview him for a retrospective piece about his transformation from obscure Orthodox Jewish rabbi to celebrity spiritual leader. As their conversation unfolds, revelations emerge about a shared past and the truth becomes a slippery, malleable tool in this timely drama about sexual and spiritual abuse, male privilege and female agency.

Chickenheads

a new play by Ruth Fowler

Directed by Rosie Glen-Lambert

Featuring – Leo Oliva, Emily Reas, & Bart Tangredi

Produced by Daniel Shoenman and Annie McVey

Porn is hard. Relationships are harder.

Season 6 (2017-18)

Motherland

a new play by Lisa Kenner Grissom

Directed by Laura Stribling

Featuring – Alexis Genya, Schoen Hodges, Ross Kramer, Abigail Marks, & Jayne Taini

With Original Music by J.R. Schwartz

With her life in crisis, Lizzie returns home to hide from the world, but when her Russian grandmother Bella starts telling “stories” and her mother Sarah tries to meditate the past away, Lizzie goes down a rabbit hole of discovery. This time-bending drama features four generations of women and asks us all, can you reclaim your life without knowing your roots?

 

Match

a new play by Jennifer Maisel

Direction & Dramaturgy by Diana Wyenn

Featuring –Carolina Hoyos, Josh T. Ryan, Ilana Turner, Ray Xifo, and Miebaka Yohannes

Lighting Design – Joey Guthman
Sound Design – John Zalewski
Costume Design – Rebecca Carr
Prop Design – Effy Yizhou Yang
Stage Manager – Jeffree Davis


Leo has a wife and needs a kidney. Leyla needs Leo and wants a baby—or is it the other way around? Ben needs a kidney and desperately longs for human connection. Maddy needs redemption—will donating a kidney give her that? Moss deals in flesh, seeking the highest bidder. As a bromance flourishes and organs are harvested, as faith is tested and baked goods are devoured, these five New Yorkers find themselves asking: Can there really be such a thing as a gift with no strings attached? Match is an audacious new dramedy from award-winning playwright Jennifer Maisel about failing kidneys, delicious muffins, and the lengths we will go to to save the people we love.

 

 

Last Stop

a new play by Katherine Cortez

 

Directed by Rosie Glen-Lambert

 

Featuring – Tyler Bremer, Ronnie Clark, Marian Gonzalez, Ammy Ontiveros, Victoria Ortiz, Kevyn Richmond, Deborah Strang and Julian Yuen


Society has changed. Fear has de-civilized. A new underground railroad arises for those oppressed peoples seeking freedom. ‘Last Stop’ looks at the world as it could become and the resilience of “ordinary” people, asking the question: what will you do when push comes to shove?

 

 

Journey To Alice

a new play by Aja Houston

 

Directed by Annie McVey

 

Featuring – Shirley Jordan, Sola Bamis, Alma Collins, Nadège August, and Leonard R. Garner Jr.

Associate Producer – Chandler Turk


Flying with her mother to a wedding, Lynè encounters the unexpected and inexplicable, threatening her struggle to hold her own world together. ‘Journey to Alice’ grapples with family, loss, as well as the weight and power of inheritance.

 

Friends with Guns

a new play by Stephanie Walker

 

Directed by Randee Trabitz

Featuring –  Arianna Ortiz, Joe Fria, Justin Huen, and Paula Weston Solano

 

Two sleep-deprived moms meet at a West LA park, and it’s instant sisterhood. Their husbands hit it off, too, and it seems as though they’ve found their ‘tribe’ — until the issue of guns comes up. Friends With Guns explores the question of what we can compartmentalize…and what we can’t.

 

Ascent

a new play by Henry Ong

based on the true story of Qian Xuesen

direction and dramaturgy by Diana Wyenn


Featuring –
West Liang, Kara Wang, Bart Tangredi, and Russell Edge


with original music by J.R. Schwartz

Born in China. Trained by America. Ascent is the story of how one promising Chinese immigrant shaped the rise of not one, but two, world nuclear powers.

 

   

About The Max K. Lerner Felowship

The authors selected for each Lab season are the recipients of Max K. Lerner Playwriting Fellowship, which provides financial, logistical and artistic support to our playwrights. Max K. Lerner was special council and a senior advisor to the Shubert Theatre Organization for over 30 years. During his tenure there, new writers and plays were strongly fostered, including such pieces as: Amadeus, Children of a Lesser God, City of Angels, Dreamgirls, A Few Good Men, Glengarry Glen Ross, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, “Master Harold”…and the Boys, ‘night, Mother, The Real Thing, Sunday in the Park with George, and Little Shop of Horrors.

Max was always a passionate advocate for both new and emerging writers in the theater, and this Fellowship honors his lifelong commitment.

“Here are a few things I learned from my father and his boundless excitement for life. I hope you can benefit from Max’s wisdom as much as I have.

Don’t focus on the negative. “It’ll get you every time,” he used to say. When you find yourself spiraling, stop it. Go forward, not backward. “Straight ahead” was his favorite phrase, cropping up on cards and letters as well as in conversation. In fact, several members of our family now sign off this way. Keep your sense of humor. We would often find Max whistling and talking at the same time, even up until the end. At parties, he would dance and sing along to the music (his favorite move being “the cha-cha-cha”). He also used his creative side to produce a few records and off-Broadway shows. Be a mentor. Dad was always looking to offer help to those around him, and young people would flock to him in search of his advice.”

— Helene Lerner Her tribute on The Huffington Post