Brown University MFA Playwrights at WP

Readings of plays by Graduating Playwrights

Continuing WP Theater’s mission to foster the next generation of female artists, WP joins Brown University’s Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies in a unique residency for third-year MFA playwrights Julia Izumi and Kyla Searle. As part of the Writing for Performance program at Brown University, this partnership creates a year-long vehicle for professional support and development of these graduating writers’ thesis projects and opportunities for mentorship and collaboration with seasoned actors and directors. The Brown Playwrights at WP residency will culminate in spring 2019 with 29-hour industry readings of Julia Izumi’s (An Audio Guide for) Unsung Snails and Heroes, and Kyla Searle’s Mimi, directed by WP Directors Lab member Sarah Hughes and by Caitlin Sullivan.

This reading series is made possible through support from an endowed fund for the Adele Kellenberg Seaver ’49 Professorship in Literary Arts.

by Kyla Searle ’19 MFA
directed by Caitlin Sullivan
Saturday, April 27 at 1pm
Monday, April 29 at 1pm

Eighty-seven year old Mimi has decided to end her life but she doesn’t want to do it alone. Her granddaughter Joi broke up with her girlfriend and now she’s drowning in regret. How do women ask each other for help when they are at their most vulnerable? Taking place against the burning backdrop of the 1980s real estate boom in San Francisco, Mimi confronts the intimacy of pain in the lives of two mischievous women.

(An Audio Guide for) Unsung Snails and Heroes
by Julia Izumi ’19 MFA
directed by Sarah Hughes
Sunday, April 28 at 1pm
Monday, April 29 at 4pm

(An Audio Guide for) Unsung Snails and Heroes is an epic yet personal play about a young girl journeying from Japan to Manchuria to retrieve her deceased father’s bones in 1945, just before the end of World War II. Inspired by a true story from the playwright’s family history, this beguiling play follows an ancestor snail and a self-guided audio tour to excavate the definition of heroism across generations and cultures.

Readings will be at WP’s rehearsal space at 55 West End Ave. (Entrance on W.62nd street)

Kyla Searle

Kyla is a playwright from the San Francisco Bay Area. Her debut play Fall, In Love and War was developed by Anna Deavere Smith and supported by the Astrea Foundation.  She has developed her work through the Hemispheric Institute, Institute for Art and Civic Dialogue and the Institute for Theatre in the Jazz Aesthetic.  Kyla’s work as a producer informs her playwriting practice; Kyla co-piloted/produced the Creative Ecosystem initiative at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, a model later expanded at 651 Arts and the Kennedy Center.

As a dramaturg Kyla has worked extensively with artists such as Daniel Alexander Jones and Sharon Bridgforth and has dramaturged works developed at Lincoln Center, Soho Rep, the Classical Theatre of Harlem, the Sundance Institute and La Mama, Etc.

Kyla’s work in creative research – exploring the history of California real estate, agribusiness and conservative campaign management – has been presented at the University of Heidelberg, The American University of Paris, New York University and the New School.  She holds a BA in Metropolitan Studies, minor in Public Health from UCLA and an MA in Interdisciplinary Research from NYU.

Julia Izumi

is a Japanese-American writer and performer who makes plays, musicals, and several opportunities for dance parties. She has developed work through Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Black Swan Lab, Barn Arts Collective’s Hamilton Project Residency, the BMI Librettists Workshop, Great Plains Theatre Conference’s PlayLab, the Maria Irene Fornés Playwriting Workshop, and HB Studio’s First Floor Studio Residency. Her work has been presented at Trinity Repertory Company, the National Asian-American Theatre ConFest, Dixon Place, On the Verge Summer Repertory, A-Squared Theatre Workshop, and FringeNYC, among others. She is a winner of KCACTF’s 2019 Darrell Ayers Playwriting Award, the 2017 Theater Masters’ National MFA Playwrights Festival, the NY Society Library’s Emerging Women’s Artist Grant and a Puffin Artists’ Grant. She is currently finishing her MFA in Playwriting at Brown University and this summer she will be participating in Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor Residency and the NNPN/Kennedy Center MFA Playwrights’ Workshop.


is a New York-based director and theater maker. WP credits: Ole White Sugah Daddy (2019 Parity Play Festival), Natural Shocks (Benefit Reading starring Kathy Najimy) and Sundown Yellow Moon (Associate Director). Other recent credits: MADONNA col BAMBINO (created with Sarah Einspanier/Deepali Gupta; New Georges, Ars Nova, New Ohio), Next Year People (created with Katie Bender, Rachel Mars and Gab Reisman, Fusebox Festival 2019), Cherie Dre (Danspace Project),16 Winters (Ars Nova) and The Haunted (City Theater). She is the Associate Director of The Lucky Ones and Hundred Days (dir. Anne Kauffman). Caitlin co-founded Seattle’s critically acclaimed Satori Group, where she directed seven collaboratively created, original works. As Artistic Director of the Williams College Summer Theatre Lab, she developed new plays by Martyna Majok, The Bengsons, Dipika Guha, Mallery Avidon and Caroline McGraw. Born and raised in Boston (Dorchester), Massachusetts, Caitlin is a graduate of Williams College, an alum of the Drama League Directors Project and Next Stage Artist Residency, and a New Georges Affiliate Artist.

Sarah Hughes

is a director and producer of theater and new media. Her work has been presented at Abrons Arts Center, BAM Next Wave, The Bushwick Starr, Clubbed Thumb, New Ohio, JACK, Prelude and more, and she’s co-created AR / VR pieces for Tribeca Film Festival, New York Theatre Workshop, and The New York Times. She served as Assistant Director on the West End, off-Broadway, and on tour for Elevator Repair Service’s Gatz, The Select, Arguendo, Fondly Colette Richland and more, has worked extensively with Target Margin Theater, and is the recently-appointed Director of Artistic Programming at Theatre Row. She is a current member of the WP Theater Directors Lab and the New Georges Jam, an alum of Clubbed Thumb’s Directing Fellowship and The Civilians’ R&D Group, and a recipient of residencies at The Drama League, New Georges, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, NACL, and Target Margin Theater. She teaches at NYU and Dartmouth College.