March 21, 2023
New Core writers, clockwise, from top-left, Darren Canady, Ariel Stess, Marisela Treviño Orta, Erin Courtney, Ray Yamanouchi and Stacey Rose.

MINNEAPOLIS (May 23, 2018) — The Core Writer program at the Playwrights’ Center gives 25-30 of the most exciting playwrights from across the country the time and tools to develop new work for the stage. The Center is announcing new Core Writers Darren Canady, Erin Courtney, Marisela Treviño Orta, Stacey Rose, Ariel Stess and Ray Yamanouchi. In addition, the Playwrights’ Center is pleased to welcome three new student playwrights to its Core Apprentice program for 2018-19: Lily Padilla, Drew Paryzer and Lauren Wimmer.

“The Playwrights’ Center cares as much about developing the artist behind the script as it does any single text,” says incoming Core Writer Darren Canady. “It understands that challenging, vital theater comes from artists who have been given a place to freely and dangerously explore, sharpen, go back and try again.”

Incoming Core Writer Erin Courtney adds, “Ever since I first began writing plays, I heard about the great work and collaborators that come through the Playwrights’ Center. I am so excited to have this opportunity in which to build innovative work, take risks and to share the results with new audiences.”

“The incredible writers in this new cohort join a group of visionary playwrights creating work at the Playwrights’ Center,” says Jeremy B. Cohen, the Center’s producing artistic director. “They are at the heart of the changing voice and face of American theater. We are excited to support these dynamic writers and their work so that their plays can reach audiences across the country.”


Darren Canady, Erin Courtney, Marisela Treviño Orta, Stacey Rose, Ariel Stess, Ray Yamanouchi

The Core Writer Program at the Playwrights’ Center provides play development workshops and professional support over a three-year term. Work by Core Writers composes the Center’s public season (the PlayLabs new play festival in October and the Ruth Easton New Play Series December through April). Playwrights who have benefited from the Core Writer program include Christina Anderson, Trista Baldwin, Lee Blessing, George Brant, Carlyle Brown, Connie Congdon, Marcus Gardley, Jeffrey Hatcher, Sherry Kramer, Carson Kreitzer, Martyna Majok, Melanie Marnich, Winter Miller, Greg Moss, Qui Nguyen, Kira Obolensky and Alice Tuan.

Joining the 20 continuing Core Writers are these six playwrights, whose Core Writer terms will run through June 2021:

  • Darren Canady (Lawrence, Kan.), whose plays include “False Creeds” and “Brothers of the Dust” and who teaches playwriting at the University of Kansas
  • Erin Courtney (Brooklyn, N.Y.), whose plays include “I Will Be Gone” (Humana Festival, 2015) and the Obie award-winning “A Map of Virtue” (produced by 13P)
  • Marisela Treviño Orta (Iowa City, Iowa), who is graduating this month from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop and whose plays include “Braided Sorrow” and “American Triage”
  • Stacey Rose (St. Paul, Minn.), a 2017-18 Many Voices Fellow at the Playwrights’ Center and 2018 Sundance Theatre Lab Fellow whose plays include “The Danger: A Homage To Strange Fruit”
  • Ariel Stess (Charlottesville, Va.) whose plays include “The World My Mama Raised” (Clubbed Thumb), “Heartbreak” (The Bushwick Starr/New Georges) and “I’m Pretty Fucked Up” (Clubbed Thumb)
  • Ray Yamanouchi (Queens, N.Y.), whose play “Tha Chink-Mart” will be part of the 2018 PlayPenn Conference, and who also authored “Impact” and “The American Tradition”

2018-19 COR

New Core Writer apprentices, from left, Drew Paryzer, Lauren Wimmer and Lily Padilla.


Lily Padilla, Drew Paryzer, Lauren Wimmer

 The Core Apprentice program at the Playwrights’ Center pairs student playwrights or recent graduates with professional mentors and offers full play development workshops at the Center. Past recipients include George Brant, Ike Holter, Hansol Jung, Kimber Lee, Andrew Saito, Jen Silverman, Lauren Yee and Martín Zimmerman. The 2018-19 Core Apprentices are Lily Padilla (University of California San Diego), Drew Paryzer (The University of Texas at Austin) and Lauren Wimmer (Carnegie Mellon University).

Core Writers and Core Apprentices are selected by diverse national panels of artists and theater leaders.

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