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 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. Then, after all that work is accomplished, the play will be presented, as a reading, for leaders in the theatre community as well as our fellow artists and dedicated supporters. 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.

 

 

Most Recently at The LAB…

Falling Water 

 

By Vanessa Espino

Directed by Diana Wyenn

Featuring:
Stephanie Aguilar, Christine Avila, Brendan Bradley, Anastasia Coon, Claudia de Vasco, Marta Portillo, Sharon Omi, Brian Tran 

Produced by Daniel Shoenman & Annie McVey

 

** Winner of the Playwright’s Pen Award from the Holywood Fringe Festival 2016 **

 

From last season…

Sisters Three 

 

By Jami Brandli

Directed by Annie McVey

Featuring:
Robyn Cohen, Dana DeRuyck, Kara Hume

Produced by Daniel Shoenman

The Brontë sisters, modern day, Christmas Eve. Due to the death of their brother, Charlotte has dropped out of society and joined a commune on Gondol Island. So Emily and Anne build a canoe to rescue her. Sisters Three is an off-center dramedy about family, social media, fame, the holidays, and the perfect cupcake.

 

Previously at the Inkwell Development LAB

M-Theory: a play told in 11 dimensions

 

By Jami Brandli

Directed by Diana Wyenn

Featuring:

Brenda Varda, Kristy Johnson, & Reena Dutt

Produced by Daniel Shoenman, Bonnie Hallman & Annie McVey

 

 

 

Euphrates

 

By Terence Anthony

Directed by Bonie Hallman

Featuring:
Libby Clearfield, S.A. Griffin, Ken Narasaki, Tyson Turrou, Diarra Kilpatrick & Sola Bamis

Produced by Daniel Shoenman, Annie McVey & Tommy Dunn

 

 

Sentence

 

By Elizabeth Chomko

Directed by Bonnie Hallman

Featuring:
Michael Butler Murray, Holly Fulger, & Johnny Hawkes

Produced by Tommy Dunn, Annie McVey, & Daniel Shoenman

 

 

Fortune Wheel

 

By Joey Damiano

Directed by Jeff Liu

Featuring:
Emily Kuroda, Peter James Smith, Burl Moseley, Deja Soufka

Produced by Daniel Shoenman & Annie McVey

 

 

 

Trochilidae

 

By Meghan Brown

Directed by Tommy Dunn

Featuring:
Alexandra Grossi, Dasha Flynn, Stephen Sullivan, Steven J. Pershing

Produced by Daniel Shoenman & Annie McVey

 

 

10 Lovers

 

By Rachelle Anthes

Directed by Annie McVey

Featuring:
Robyn Cohen, John Lavelle, William Barker, Nik Tyler, Reem Kadem, John Kelly, Seril James, Guy Birtwhistle

Produced by Daniel Shoenman and Tommy Dunn 

 

 

Sisters of Transformation

 

By Jeremy Frazier

Directed by Annie McVey

Featuring:
Marlo Bernier, Andrew Fromer, Jamie Miller, Peter Monro, Jennifer Kenyon, Domaine Javier

Produced by Daniel Shoenman

 

Luigi

 

By Louise Munson

Directed by Annie McVey

Featuring:
Helena Bugacov, Helen Duffy, Jacinta Marasco, Maria Mastroyannis, Mark Saul, Fernando Scarpa, Ray Xifo

Produced by Daniel Shoenman

 

 

Degrees

 

By Michael David

Directed by Mandi Riggi

Featuring:
Samantha Sloyan, Mark McCullough Thomas, Matt Austin

Produced by Daniel Shoenman & Tommy Dunn

 

 

   

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

 

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