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Cost

Free

Venue

Online via Zoom

Date/time

May 20 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm CDT

Featuring playwrights Benjamin Benne, Mathilde Dratwa, and Peter Gil-Sheridan
Moderated by Associate Artistic Director Pirronne Yousefzadeh

Join us for a conversation amongst the three playwrights featured in Playwrights’ Center’s 2024 PlayLabs festival. They will discuss the importance of secrets in their work, and the art of knowing how and when to reveal those secrets. They’ll also discuss balancing surprise with inevitability in how their narratives’ events unfold, and how they bring themselves, each in different ways, into their stories.

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Benjamin Benne
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Mathilde Dratwa
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Peter Gil-Sheridan

Benjamin Benne

The playwright he, him, his
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based inTacoma, WA
Benjamin Benne (he/him) is a playwright from Los Angeles who has been based in the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, and most recently the East Coast where he completed an MFA in Playwriting at the David Geffen/Yale School of Drama '22. He is a current member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages NYC, a Playwrights' Center '23-26 Core Writer, and has been commissioned by South Coast Repertory Theatre and Seattle Repertory Theatre. He was named part of "LA Vanguardia: The Latino innovators, investigators and power players breaking through barriers" by the Los Angeles Times.

Ben's plays—including Alma (World Premiere '22: Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City CA & American Blues Theater in Chicago IL; Seattle Premiere '22: ArtsWest Playhouse; Regional Premiere '23: Curious Theatre Company in Denver CO; Central Square Theater in Cambridge MA '23), In His Hands (World Premiere '22: Mosaic Theater Company of DC), and What / Washed Ashore / Astray (World Premiere '23: Pillsbury House Theatre in Minneapolis MN)—feature intimate relationships grounded in emotional realism but allow environment, time, and objects to introduce aspects of the surreal, expressionistic, and absurd into the fabric of their worlds. These works center movement and sensory experiences of the human body to ask existential questions (about grief and loss, faith and the divine, mortality and the afterlife) with wit and an imagistic dramaturgy. His play Manning is scheduled to have its World Premiere at Portland Stage in Portland ME in 2024.

Ben is a recipient of Portland Stage's Clauder Competition Grand Prize (2022), the ASCAP Cole Porter Prize in Playwriting (2022), Arizona Theatre Company's National Latinx Playwriting Award (2019), Kennedy Center/KCACTF Latinx Playwriting Award (2019), American Blues Theater's Blue Ink Playwriting Award (2019), Robert Chesley/Victor Bumbalo Playwriting Award (2017), Playwrights' Center's McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting (2017-18), and Many Voices Fellowship (2016-17). His plays have been developed by the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference, The Public Theater NYC, Roundabout Theatre Company, Playwrights Realm, The Lark, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, The Old Globe, Two River Theater, Boston Court Pasadena, IAMA Theatre Company, New Harmony Project, SPACE on Ryder Farm, among many others. He is represented by Luminosity Management and Paradigm Talent Agency. www.benjaminbenne.com

Mathilde Dratwa

The playwright
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based inBrooklyn, NY
Mathilde Dratwa's plays include Milk and Gall (Theatre503, London), A Play about David Mamet Writing a Play about Harvey Weinstein, Dirty Laundry (Audible), and Esther Perel Ruined My Life. Her work has been developed and presented by the Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, Rattlestick, LAByrinth Theater Company, Playwrights’ Center, the Ojai Playwrights Conference, and in London at the Young Vic. On the film/TV side, Mathilde has developed content for Picture Start, Endeavor, LuckyChap, Dirty Films, FX, Red Wagon, Sony/TriStar, Chernin and wiip.

Peter Gil-Sheridan

The playwright
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based inPoughkeepsie, NY
Peter Gil-Sheridan was recently a writer-in-residence at The New Harmony Project where he developed his new play, This Space Between Us. That same play was given readings at Bloomington Playwright’s Project (BPP) and at Indiana Rep. This Fall, he will collaborate with director Jonathan Michaelsen on a devised piece about the addiction epidemic in America. The play will be produced as part of Indiana University’s Mainstage season in 2020. Peter was a founding member of The Pool, a pop-up theatre company formed with Lynn Rosen and Susan Bernfield that produced his play The Rafa Play in rep with Rosen’s and Bernfield’s work at the Flea Theatre in NYC in November of last year. He is a regular writer-in-residence with the Silverton Theatre Mine in Silverton, CO where he’s generated several new plays. He also wrote a new independent film, Hungry, commissioned by Amar Srivastava that will be released in 2020. He was a contributor to Artbarn in Tacoma, Washington, a site-specific immersive piece about women created in residence at the Warner Gym on the University of Puget Sound under the direction of Jess K. Smith. Peter was a guest at the University of Iowa’s New Play Festival where he also gave a video talk on the art of dramatic writing for Iowa’s renowned International Writing Program’s online course “Power of the Pen: Identities and Social Issues in Poetry and Plays” and was a recipient of the Iowa Playmakers Residency.

His play Cockfight was originally written at Soho Rep’s Writer/Director Lab and was further developed by PlayPenn in Philadelphia. His play Ritu Comes Home, originally commissioned by InterAct in Philadelphia as part of their 20/20 Commission program had its world premiere there in 2015.

Other plays include Courtney and Caroline, a piece devised by and performed in Farmington, NM with Navajo and non-Navajo community members about religious and cultural traditions in the area, What May Fall, commissioned by the Guthrie and performed there. Topsy Turvy Mouse was produced by the Cherry Lane Mentor Project and Borderlands Theatre in Tucson and was the winner of The Smith Prize awarded by the National New Play Network for outstanding political work. Other work developed by the Lark’s Playground, New York Theatre Workshop, and Queens Theatre in the Park.

Residencies include the Jerome Fellowship in Minneapolis, The Sundance Institute, The Millay Colony, The Ucross Foundation, and the Tofte Lake Residency. Peter has also been a member of I73, Page 73’s weekly writing group in New York. He’s performed his solo piece People Tell Me Things at several venues across the U.S. including Ars Nova’s ANTFest, Identity, Inc. in Farmington, NM, at Ucross in Wyoming and on Martha’s Vineyard. He is a proud Affiliated Artist with the Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis. Peter currently runs the MFA Playwriting Program at Indiana University MFA: Iowa, BA: Fordham.