L.A. Writers' Workshop Festival 2024
The Festival Pass has sold out. Tickets for individual reading performances remain onsale for $15 each.
These performances are made possible in part by the City of Culver City and its Cultural Affairs Commission. The L.A. Writers’ Workshop and new play development at Center Theatre Group are generously supported by an anonymous donor. Learn more about the L.A. Writers' Workshop.
Los Angeles audiences will have the opportunity to experience six brand new plays—thanks to Center Theatre Group’s L.A. Writers’ Workshop Festival which will take place January 26 to 28, 2024 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Since its inception in 2005, Center Theatre Group has supported a cohort of playwrights to help them author new plays with the L.A. Writers’ Workshop on topics as varied as Los Angeles itself.
“CTG has a long history of nurturing and supporting Los Angeles-based playwrights and plays,” said Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Snehal Desai. “This year, I am particularly excited to include the L.A. Writers’ Workshop as part of our CTG:FWD programming. Great storytelling is only as powerful as the community surrounding it. And CTG:FWD is all about supporting and celebrating community. I hope you’ll join us in January as we welcome six extraordinary playwrights into our space, and help give breath to these incredible new works. There’s nothing quite like being the first to see the next hit play as it begins to take its first steps. We can’t wait to see you there.”
The six plays and their playwrights are Alien Girls by Amy Berryman; Pigeonhole by Jasmine Sharma; Help, But Better by Inda Craig-Galván; Brother Gary by Ramiz Monsef; malcreados by christopher oscar peña; and Teresa by Issac Gómez.
ABOUT THE PLAYS AND PLAYWRIGHTS
Alien Girls by Amy Berryman
Tiffany is pregnant. Her best friend, Carolyn, is trying to be happy for her. When Carolyn's true feelings become public in the form of an essay that goes viral, the fallout may be irreparable. Time traveling through decades of friendship between two writers on the brink of huge life changes, Alien Girls is a meta-theatrical dark comedy about the joys and challenges of creating art and creating life.
Amy Berryman is a playwright, screenwriter, actor, and teaching artist originally from Seattle by way of West Texas. Her play Walden, produced by Sonia Friedman and directed by Ian Rickson, premiered on London’s West End in May 2021. Walden was also produced at TheaterWorks Hartford in August 2021 (New York Times Critic’s Pick) and was published by Faber & Faber. Other full-length plays include God's Flesh (MTC/Sloan Commission), The New Galileos (O’Neill Finalist 2019); Three Year Summer; Epiphany, Or What Would You? (finalist for Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries, O'Neill Semi-Finalist 2020); and The Whole of You (commissioned for Rising Phoenix Rep). Her work has been developed at Premiere Stages, Kitchen Dog, Caltech, East 15, Portland Stage, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Valdez Last Frontier Theatre Conference, and AMiOS, among others. Amy has a television project in development at Warner Bros and was awarded a MacDowell Fellowship 2023. amy-berryman.com
Pigeonhole by Jasmine Sharma
Kaaya and Dev are siblings with nothing in common except their childhood home in New fkn Jersey. Over fifty years on the day of Raksha Bandhan, or, Rakhi, two siblings played by six actors try to protect each other from their past flying by them in real time. Jasmine Sharma’s Pigeonhole is a new play about an old Big Ask—can you build a nest where there was none?
Jasmine Sharma (she/her) is a South Asian-American performer/writer/activist, and thrilled to be working on PIGEONHOLE with Center Theater Group. She aims to focus her work at the intersection of race/femininity/Americanness. Recent acting includes the west coast premieres of Wives and Calvin Berger: A Musical, The Wolves (McCarter Theater), and a lot of new work development (ASCAP, NYTW, The Public, The New Group, Ma-Yi, etc). Upcoming: Much Ado About Nothing (OSF). Her writing has been recognized/developed/produced by The Kilroys, The O’Neill, The Kennedy Center, Shattered Globe Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Jackalope Theatre Company, IAMA Theatre Company, The Entertainment Community Fund, Moxie Arts NYC, Ashland New Plays Festival, The Road Theatre, The 24 Hour Plays, AlterTheater Ensemble, Valdez Last Frontier Theatre Conference, The Blank Theatre, and Lime Arts Productions, among others. As a screenwriter, her short film “Conflicted Cuties of Color” is currently in post production, releasing spring 2024, and she is a 2022-2023 Reel Sisters Fellow. Jasmine has also contributed to @iWeigh. Northwestern University. jasminesharma.org | @jasminesharmaa
Help, But Better by Inda Craig-Galván
You know how everybody started baking sourdough bread and growing houseplants during the pandemic? They also went hard on online therapy because we were in the middle of a fucking pandemic. Help, But Better is the story of an online therapist who is overworked and needs some help of her own to deal with personal losses amid the nonstop bureaucracy of corporate-run therapy.
Inda Craig-Galván is a Los Angeles-based playwright and television writer, born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. Her work explores conflicts and politics within the African-American community, grounded in reality, and with a touch of magical realism. Upcoming: A Jumping-Off Point (Round House Theatre, April 2024), Welcome to Matteson! (Orlando Shakes, Fall 2024). Other plays: The Great Jheri Curl Debate (East West Players), Black Super Hero Magic Mama (Geffen Playhouse), a hit dog will holler (Playwrights’ Arena/Skylight Theatre), I Go Somewhere Else (Playwrights’ Arena). Awards: Kesselring Prize, Jeffry Melnick New Play Award, Blue Ink Prize, Jane Chambers Award, Kennedy Center’s Rosa Parks Award for plays focused on social justice and/or civil rights. Commissions: The Old Globe, Round House Theatre. TV: Co-Executive Producer of ABC’s Will Trent. Previous: The Rookie, How to Get Away with Murder, Demimonde, Happy Face. Inda is an Adjunct Professor at University of Southern California’s School of Dramatic Arts, where she received her MFA in Dramatic Writing.
Brother Gary by Ramiz Monsef
Welcome to Tuscany, land of fine food, wine, culture, romance, and Diane Lane movies. Yes it is beautiful here but at the Tuscan church of San Giovanni, things have not been going well. Tourismis dwindling, people are stealing their copper rain gutters, there’s even a hornets nest, and now, in an effort to diversify their ranks, they’ve hired Brother Gary, an American, to ring their bells. But Gary is not qualified for the job, and Brother Mauro, who has grown up in the church of San Giovanni has made it his mission to show the powers that be, that HE is who they should have given that job to. Diversity be damned.
Ramiz Monsef is an alumni of The EPG at Circle X as well as The Writers’ Room at the Geffen Playhouse, where his play The Ants was developed, and was produced earlier this year. It also was developed at The Ojai Playwrights Conference in 2021. Ramiz is co-author of the musical The Unfortunates produced at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and ACT in San Francisco. He wrote that show’s accompanying graphic novel as well. He also co-wrote The Many Deaths of Nathan Stubblefield, which premiered in the 2017 Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville. His play 3 Farids was part of The Bushwick Starr reading series and selected to be in the New Works Festival at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, the DNA New Work Series at La Jolla Playhouse, and at Playwrights Horizons. Ramiz is an actor and has appeared in major theatres across the country, most recently playing the title role in Rajiv Joseph’s Letters of Suresh Off-Broadway at SecondStage, numerous television series including NCIS, SWAT, SEAL Team, Kidding, Shameless, Modern Family, and Young Sheldon. He is also in the film SYNCHRONIC.
malcreados by christopher oscar peña
Julian and Erick are estranged brothers reuniting in their recently deceased mother's home. They don't know how to communicate with each other or themselves, and old wounds are rehashed as they argue over their mother's estate and where her ashes are meant to be.
christopher oscar peña is a storyteller originally from California, now splitting his time between New York and L.A. In 2019, with Sean Daniels’ he co-directed the world premiere of Daniels’ adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s “lost novel” The Haunted Life at Merrimack Rep. The production marked the first time the Kerouac Estate had ever sanctioned an official theatrical adaptation of Kerouac’s work and solidified the artistic partnership between peña and Daniels. Shortly after, Daniels was appointed artistic director of Arizona Theatre Company, where he invited peña to become an artistic associate, as his first hire. As a playwright, the Clarence Brown Theatre commissioned and produced the world premiere of his play The Strangers. In New York, the Flea Theatre produced the world premiere of his play, a cautionary tail. He collaborated with actress Solea Pfeiffer on her solo show You Are Here which was commissioned by Audible, and played to sold-out acclaim at the Minetta Lane Theatre Off-Broadway, and is now available on Audible. Most recently, his critically acclaimed play, how to make an American Son had its world premiere at Arizona Theatre Company.
For the next two years, Profile Theatre in Portland, Oregon, will produce a season of his work: the second production of how to make an American Son, the world premiere of his Goodman Theatre commissioned play awe/struck, and the world premiere of a new Profile Theatre commission. His work has been developed by Playwrights Horizons, the Goodman Theatre, Public Theater, Two River Theater, INTAR, Ontological Hysteric Incubator, Playwrights Realm, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Old Vic, Orchard Project, Naked Angels, and New York Theatre Workshop, among many others. A two-time Sundance Institute Theater Fellow, he has also held fellowships with the Lark Play Development Center, was a recipient of the Latino Playwrights Award, an Emerging Artist Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow, and was a part of the US/UK Exchange (Old Vic New Voices). A proud member of New Dramatists, he was named one of “The 1st Annual Future Broadway Power List” by Backstage, and has been published by Methuen, No Passport Press, and Smith and Krauss. He has an extensive relationship with the 24-Hour plays where he has written for their plays on Broadway and Musical Benefits, and written viral monologues for Hugh Dancy, Bonnie Milligan, Cory Michael Smith, John Gallagher Jr., Raviv Ullman, Evan Jonigkeit, and many more. In television, he was a writer on the Golden Globe nominated debut season of the CW show Jane the Virgin, the critically-acclaimed HBO show Insecure (in which he also appeared as the character Gary), as well as the STARZ show Sweetbitter, Motherland: Fort Salem on Freeform, and the ABC/Hulu series Promised Land. He produced the BET+ holiday film A Jenkins Family Christmas and co-wrote this year’s BET+ holiday film The Cookoff. He is currently a Supervising Producer on an upcoming Disney + show, and developing original series for HBO (with filmmaker Crystal Moselle and artist Derrick B. Harden), and STX (with Omar Sharif Jr.). He received his BA from UC Santa Barbara and his MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Teresa by Isaac Gómez
“Love, to be real, has to hurt.” Following the death of one of the most iconic women in history, the nuns she left behind struggle to keep her legacy alive without destroying everything she’s built to get them there. One part ghost story, another part femme fatale, Teresa is a meditation on sin, penance, and the great cost of trying (and failing) at being the greatest living saint the world has ever known.
Isaac Gómez (they/them) is an award-winning Chicago and Los Angeles based playwright and screenwriter originally from El Paso, Texas/Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. They identify as na’wi–the third gender marker of the Rarámuri, a Mexican Indigenous community in northern Chihuahua, of which they’re a direct descendent. They’re currently under commission with LCT3, Steppenwolf Theater Company, South Coast Repertory, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and IAMA Theatre Company. Their plays have been produced by Audible Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Primary Stages, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Goodman Theatre, the Alley Theatre, Seattle Rep, and many others. Their television credits include the Netflix Original Series Narcos: Mexico, the upcoming Apple TV+ Limited Series The Last Thing He Told Me, the second season of Paramount TV+’s Joe Picket, amongst others. They currently have a series in development with Stacey Sher and FX as well as a full-length feature in development with Focus Features.
|Fri, Jan 26
|Help, But Better
by Inda Craig-Galván
|Sat, Jan 27
by christopher oscar peña
|Sat, Jan 27
by Amy Berryman
|Sat, Jan 27
by Ramiz Monse
|Sun, Jan 28
by Isaac Gómez
|Sun, Jan 28
by Jasmine Sharma
This performance is made possible in part by the City of Culver City and its Cultural Affairs Commission, with support from Sony Pictures Entertainment.