Young Playwrights' Theater inspires young
people to realize the power of their own voices.
YPT is proud to introduce our Advisory Council. This group of accomplished dramatists celebrates and supports the work of Young Playwrights’ Theater. As leading voices in the theatre community, they endorse our mission to cultivate the next generation of playwrights.
We are grateful to these trailblazers for their example and support.
Nilo Cruz is a Cuban-American playwright whose work has been produced widely around the United States. His plays are many and include
Anna in the Tropics, Night Train to Bolina, Dancing on her Knees, A Park in Our House, Two Sisters and a Piano, A Bicycle Country, Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams (World premiere at New Theatre 2001),Lorca in a Green Dress, Beauty of the Father, and translations of Lorca’sDoña Rosita the Spinster andThe House of Bernarda Alba.
Cruz has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, making him the first Latino to ever win a Pulitzer.
Even though he’s a Cuban exile who often writes about Cubans in America, Cruz doesn’t think his plays are political. “I’m more interested in humanity than anything," he says. "There are political elements in my work, but unlike some writers I don’t have a political agenda."
Sarah Ruhl is an American playwright. She studied under Paula Vogel at Brown University and currently lives in New York.
Ruhl gained widespread recognition for her play The Clean House, a romantic comedy about a physician who cannot convince her depressed Brazilian maid to clean her house. It won the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize in 2004. It was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2005.
Her play Eurydice was produced by Circle X Theatre Company. Ruhl is also known for her Passion Play cycle that opened at Washington’s Arena Stage in 2005. Other Plays include Orlando, Late: A Cowboy Song and Demeter in the City.
In September, 2006, she won a MacArthur Fellowship. In the announcement of that award, she was described this way: "Sarah Ruhl, 32, playwright, New York City. She is a playwright creating vivid and adventurous theatrical works that poignantly juxtapose the mundane aspects of daily life with mythic themes of love and war."
Anna Deavere Smith
Anna Deavere Smith is an American actress, playwright, and professor in the Department of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She formerly taught in the drama department at Stanford University. She may best be known as the author of Fires in the Mirror, which dealt with the 1991 Crown Heights Riot, and Twilight: Los Angeles 1992, which dealt with the 1992 Los Angeles riots, both of which featured Smith as the sole performer. In 1993 Newsweek declared her as "The most exciting individual in American theater." Smith is the author of Talk to me: Listening between the lines published in 2000. Smith has appeared in several films, such as Philadelphia, The American President, and had recurring roles on The West Wing and The Practice.
Smith was one of the 1996 recipients of the MacArthur Fellowship, often referred to as the "genius grant." She also won a 2006 Fletcher Foundation Fellowship for her contribution to civil rights issues.
Paula Vogel, the Adele Kellenberg Seaver Professor of Creative Writing at Brown University, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for her play, How I Learned to Drive, which has been produced all over the world.
Her other plays, The Baltimore Waltz, Hot N Throbbing, Desdemona, The Mineola Twins, The Long Christmas Ride Home, And Baby Makes Seven, and the Oldest Profession, tackled such subjects as AIDS, pornography, prostitution, and gay and lesbian relationships.
Vogel possesses the ability not only to explore such taboo topics, but also make them accessible to a wide audience. Her plays, paved with humor and humanity, entertain audiences while seducing them to travel to a place of thoughtful reflection.
Charles Randolph Wright
Charles Randolph Wright has built a dynamic and diversified career in directing, writing, and producing for theatre, television, and film.
Wright’s play Blue, starring Phylicia Rashad, broke box office records at Arena Stage, the Roundabout Theatre in New York City, and in Los Angeles. He wrote and directed Cuttin’ Up, a play based on the new book by Craig Marberry (author of the bestseller Crowns) which premiered at Arena Stage. Charles also wrote the screenplay for Paixao Crua (Raw Passion), a film in Portuguese and English set in Brasil and directed by Tim Reid.
He directed and co-wrote Me and Mrs. Jones at the Prince Music Theatre and The Diva is Dismissed at the New York Shakespeare Festival Public Theater and the Hudson Theatre, Homework and Agency, also in NYC and LA. He is a past winner of the NAACP Image, Helen Hayes and American Black Film Festival awards.
Stew’s work includes Passing Strange, for which he received the 2008 Tony award for Best Book of a Musical, and four other Tony nominations including Best Musical. He is also a two-time Obie award winner for Passing Strange (Best New Theater Piece/Best Ensemble). Spike Lee shot a feature film of the Broadway production of Passing Strange and it rocked selected theaters throughout the US before debuting on PBS’ Great Performances in 2009.
Stew leads a band called Stew & The Negro Problem whose eight albums have survived much critical acclaim and numerous "Album of the Year" awards.
The Total Bent, a new musical performed at the Public Theater Lab in Winter 2012, goes into regular production in the 2013/14 season. Stew’s work has been featured on multiple occasions at Lincoln Center, the United Nations, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Getty Museum, Hammer Museum, UCLA Live, Seattle Repertory Theater, and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Stew is currently under commission at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, UCLA Live, Chicago MOCA, Studio Theatre Washington DC, St. Louis Repertory Theater, University of Iowa and the Public Theater of New York.
Stew and Heidi Rodewald wrote "Gary Come Home" for the "Sponge Bob SquarePants" cartoon… which means much more than any of the above to some people.