DHARMA is a finalist with the 2018 Sultan Padamsee Playwriting Awards! There were submissions from around the world and I have been invited to attend the Mumbai Tata Literature Live Festival, November 15 – 18, where winners will be announced and plays will be presented.
Filmmaker Adi Shankar is crowdsourcing a “cure” to The Simpsons’ Apu problem, asking fans to write their very own episode.
Last year, comedian Hari Kondabolu’s The Problem With Apu documentary looked at the problematic nature of the Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, arguing that the character perpetuates a racial stereotype.
Indian-American filmmaker Shankar has now launched a contest for a “screenplay centering on the character Apu set in the world and canon of The Simpsons that takes the character of Apu and in a clever way subverts him, pivots him, intelligently writes him out, or evolves him in a way that takes a mean spirited mockery and transforms him into a kernel of truth wrapped in funny insight aka actual satire”.
Shankar has promised to “take the winning script to The Simpsons writers’ room and Fox Broadcasting Company, to make it an official episode of The Simpsons‘ upcoming season, and recommend that they hire the winning writer into their room for the next season”.
“If The Simpsons writers’ room rejects the episode,” he adds, then Shankar himself will “finance the winning script and produce it as an unofficial fan film that looks identical to an official Simpsons episode”.
I’m delighted to share that I’ve advanced to the second round of the Warner Bros. Writers’ Workshop selection process. Every year, the Workshop selects up to eight participants out of more than 2,500 submissions and exposes them to Warner Bros. Television’s top writers and executives, all with the ultimate goal of earning them a staff position on a Warner Bros.-produced television show. For over 40 years, the Workshop has been the premiere writing program for new writers looking to start and further their career in the world of television. The Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop consists of three components, all geared towards preparing the writer for a successful career in television writing.
In its second year for the Playwriting Competition, Dharma placed among the top 20% of nearly 700 plays submitted. Long regarded as “The Writers Festival”, AFF is thrilled to include writers for the stage in our mission for championing storytellers.
I am a finalist for the Humanitas 2018/2019 PLAY LA Workshop. Finalists are in strong consideration for LA-based readings in September. Fingers crossed!
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational arm of Sesame Street, has awarded creative development deals to Nayna Agrawal and Roxy Simons, two emerging television writers at the culmination of the second annual “Sesame Street Writers’ Room“ fellowship program.
The Program is an intensive eight-week program to highlight and grow underrepresented talent in children’s media. After an open call for script submissions in January, seven fellows were selected from a pool of over 450 applicants through a series of blind readings. Coming from a range of professional and artistic backgrounds, the fellows met in New York for eight sessions led by Emmy-nominated television writer Susan Kim, participating in hands-on workshopping and meeting with agents, executive producers, and other industry professionals. Guest speakers included The Backyardigans creator Janice Burgess, Doc McStuffins creator Chris Nee, Wallykazam! creator Adam Peltzman, and Gullah Gullah Island creator Maria Perez-Brown, plus Ken Scarborough, Sesame Street’s head writer. At the recent closing reception, the formal announcement of the winning fellows was followed by staged readings of their scripts and a networking mixer with award-winning industry professionals.
News and announcements on next year’s program – as well as more information on this year’s guest speakers and fellows – will be posted on www.sesamewritersroom.org.
My full-length play, Catcall, has been selected for the Fall 2018 series with Sitting Shotgun Theatre in Brooklyn, NY. Catcall will receive three readings the weekend of September 21st. More information can be found at https://www.sitting-shotgun.com/.
My play Reality Check has been accepted for a reading in the 2018 Midwest Dramatists Center Conference on September 27-29, 2018. Reality Check was selected from hundreds of plays.
Industry professionals from New York City, Beth Blickers (literary agent with APA), and Sean Grennan (playwright), will attend play readings held during the conference and conduct workshops for the playwrights whose plays have been selected for the conference.
The conference will provide actors and directors and feedback on plays of the selected playwrights from literary managers and artistic directors from around the country.
I am one of seven fellows selected from approximately 500 applicants for the 2018 Sesame Street Writers Room Program. This fellowship is designed to develop new screenwriting talent, amplify underrepresented voices, and foster diversity in children’s media. Fellows gather weekly for hands-on workshopping and conversations with writers, producers, agents, and executives in eight three-hour sessions. When the program concludes, each fellow will have completed at least one script, and up to two winners will receive development deals from Sesame Workshop. The winning scripts will be performed in a staged reading at an industry networking event.
“By helping emerging writers from diverse backgrounds build industry experience and connections, programs like this one have the potential to change the children’s media landscape,” said Kay Wilson Stallings, SVP of Creative Development, Sesame Workshop.
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re present in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically-funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit sesameworkshop.org.
My half-hour comedy pilot, American Pia, about my real-life experience living with a Xenophobic family outside LA was selected as one of 40 projects from nearly 1800 submissions to participate in the 2018 New York Television Festival.
Over the last decade, the NYTVF has distinguished itself as an industry leader in the cultivation and fostering of independent artists across episodic storytelling platforms while engaging a wide swath of decision-makers, buyers, agents, and managers as a trusted curator of new voices. With NYTVF SCRIPTS, that opportunity is extended to emerging writers by offering a Festival experience designed to provide maximum exposure, access, and opportunity.
American Pia has moved on to the second round of deliberation in the 2018 New York TV Festival Scripts Competition; the second round recognizes comprises the top 15% of scripts submitted to the competition. Over the last decade, the NYTVF has distinguished itself as an industry leader in the cultivation and fostering of independent artists across episodic storytelling platforms while engaging a wide swath of decision-makers, buyers, agents, and managers as a trusted curator of new voices. With NYTVF SCRIPTS, that opportunity is extended to emerging writers by offering a Festival experience designed to provide maximum exposure, access, and opportunity.
My play, Slut, will be presented in Manhattan via Hunger and Thirst Theatre! Please come join us. More information can be found at: www.hungerandthirsttheatre.com
In partnership with The Black List, the New Normal Series will feature "Like Bandana With A V", my half-hour comedic pilot, at their March 27th event (8 p.m., The Next Door Lounge, Los Angeles)! Please join us! Tickets can be purchased online!
Dharma is a semi-finalist with Play-Makers Theater in Spokane, WA. Ten semifinalists were selected from this year's submissions pool as part of their annual "Women Are Funny" initiative.
My play has been selected from 130 submissions to be workshopped, developed, and presented at the 2018 Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) conference to be held in Boston, MA August 1-5. Founded in 1986, ATHE serves the interests of its diverse individual and organizational members, including college and university theatre departments and administrators, educators, graduate students, and theatre practitioners. An advocate for the field of theatre and performance in higher education, ATHE serves as an intellectual and artistic center for producing new knowledge about theatre and performance-related disciplines, cultivating vital alliances with other scholarly and creative disciplines, linking with professional and community-based theatres, and promoting access and equity.
My film, which I wrote and co-produced, was accepted into the California Women's Festival!
I have advanced in the process of consideration of the Fox Writers Lab (FWL) for their 2018 program. The program receives up to 750 applications and ultimately eight writers will be selected. Participants are connected with showrunners, screenwriters, directors and creative executives across television, feature films and digital entertainment. The FWL offers trained writers an immersive four-month curriculum focused on developing original material, honing writing skills and exploring the business of media and entertainment.
I was invited to submit a 10-minute play which was ultimately selected for THE CAR PLAYS, an immersive theatrical experience. Blurring the lines between theatre and real life, this unique, site-specific theatrical sensation returns to Segerstrom Center. 5 cars, 5 different 10-minute plays, and you’re right in the middle of each one. Conceived by Paul Stein and produced by Moving Arts, The Car Plays is "adventurous theatre packed into a Jeep or a Jetta or an Audi" (Huffington Post). Please join us and hop in for the ride of your life! There are 22 performances in January 2018 and tickets can be purchased at: https://www.scfta.org/events
The 2017 empowHER Reading Series of Clutch Productions is dedicated to exploring hidden gender bias and features:
by Nayna Agrawal
directed by Vanessa Morosco
by Jacqueline Bircher
directed by Vanessa Morosco
by Jane Jeffries
directed by Julia Sears
my favorite flower
by Arika Larson
directed by Raquel Almazan
by Barbara Lindsay
directed by Christianne Greiert
Raji Ahsan*, Jeanette Bonner*, Rajesh Bose*, Christianne Greiert*, Rebecca Hirota*, Esther Mira, Pooya Mohesni*, Pilar Rehert*, Jennifer Dorr White*, Miranda Noelle Wilson*, and Clint Zugel*
*Actors appear courtesy of Actors' Equity Association
Clutch Productions, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to creating opportunities for emerging female artists in theatre and film.
DHARMA is one of seven finalists selected from several hundred submissions for the Harold Clurman Playwright-in-Residence! Now in its tenth year, the program supports emerging playwrights and identifies one writer annually. Each residency is unique and writers work with the Artistic Director to build a year of activities that will be beneficial to them and their process. For one year the resident writer has the opportunity to make use of the studio's resources to advance their craft, spend time on works-in-progress or develop new work.