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The Terrence McNally New Works Incubator


“Terrence McNally was an integral part of the Rattlestick community from the very beginning, and the value he placed on ambitious and innovative new play-making remains at the core and ethos of the company. Our three inaugural fellows embody the creative ambition and bold experimentation that has always been central to Rattlestick’s mission and a signature of Terrence McNally’s work. Rattlestick is grateful for the opportunity to honor Terrence McNally’s singular legacy through the Terrence McNally New Works Incubator and is thrilled to partner with Tom Kirdahy Productions and the Terrence McNally Foundation to offer crucial support and resources to early career playwrights.”

- Will Davis, Artistic Director of Rattlestick Theater

Introducing our Cycle 2 Fellows

Jesse Jae Hoon is a playwright, organizer, and actor whose work combines raucous comedy with a deeply felt sense of urgency to investigate power, class, hope, and our responsibility to the collective good. 2022-2024 CRNY Resident Artist, Ma-Yi Theater Company; 2023-2025 member, Public Theater Emerging Writers Group; Winner, 2023 Ollie Award; 2024 MacDowell Fellow; 2022-2023 Writing Fellow, The Playwrights Realm; under commission from Theater J; 2023 Radio Roots fellow, The Parsnip Ship; inaugural member, Orchard Project Adaptation Lab; member, The TANK NYC's LIT Council, Page Break. MFA in Playwriting from Hunter College, BFA in Drama from NYU Tisch.

Sam Mueller [they|she] is a Chicago-born, Florida-raised, New York-based playwright. Their work primarily explores bodies, public spaces, and the search for security to live as one's authentic self. Their plays include PIN. (2024 O’Neill Finalist, 2023 EST/Sloan First Light), Laced (2022 Princess Grace Semifinalist, 2020 Kilroys List, 2019 O’Neill Finalist), and 70.3 (2020 Hearth Theater Virtual Retreat Commission). Sam is a proud member of EST/Youngblood and an alum of the Ucross Foundation. They feel most at home in the pit of a punk show. The plays (and Sam) are all very queer. BS: Northwestern University

Eliana Theologides Rodriguez is a playwright, dancer, and Dance Moms historian. Her work includes MARBLE ROOFTOP, EMMA HAS CHURCH (2024 O’Neill Finalist, 2021 Princess Grace Semifinalist, 2020 John Golden Award for Excellence in Playwriting), INDIAN PRINCESSES (2024 Seven Devils Finalist, 2023 Playwrights Realm Fellowship), POOR QUEENIE (2021 Playwrights Realm Fellowship Finalist, 2021 Goldberg Play Prize Finalist, 2020 Kennedy Center Playwrights Workshop), and JUNIPERFECT (2021 commission with Adventure Theatre MTC). She is currently under commission at South Coast Repertory and is a proud member of EST Youngbloods. An upcoming production of POOR QUEENIE is scheduled for 2025 at Subtext Studio.

Rattlestick Theater, in partnership with the Terrence McNally Foundation and Tom Kirdahy Productions, is excited to announce the three inaugural Terrence McNally New Works Incubator fellows. This Incubator will support three emerging playwrights by awarding each of them critical financial support, personalized mentorship, and a three-week incubation period, followed by a one-week developmental workshop culminating in a presentation of their work. 

The Cycle 2 Fellows were selected from a pool of 500 applications, in consultation with the Playwrights Advisory Council, which includes: Sheila Callaghan, Halley Feiffer, Madeleine George, Mike Lew, donja r. love, Rehana Mirza, and Lynn Nottage. This year's Incubator Finalists include Marvin González De León, Mary Hamilton, Chad Kaydo, Stefani Kuo, Elia Monte-Brown, Gage Tarlton, and Max Yu.

"The Rattlestick's Terrence McNally New Works Incubator is a peerless program, fostering unique voices by pairing them with like-minded mentors and benefiting them both in the process. The opportunity to then further develop the work in a workshop with top-tier creatives is a dream-come-true for any writer. The Rattlestick has always been a haven for daring new voices and this initiative only furthers that singular aim by cementing the future of ambitious playwriting in a strong and salient way."

- Halley Feiffer, Playwright and Mentor for Cycle One

About the Terrence McNally New Works Incubator

As a continuation of Terrence McNally’s singular legacy of mentorship, and his commitment to fostering bold new voices in the American theater, the Terrence McNally New Works Incubator is designed to support ambitious early-career playwrights by giving them time and space to develop their work, professional mentorship with veteran playwrights, and access to the community of artists and work being developed at Rattlestick and Tom Kirdahy Productions.

McNally fellows are selected by a panel of renowned American playwrights. The Playwright Advisory Council for cycle two includes Sheila Callaghan, Halley Feiffer, Madeleine George, Stephan Karam, Mike Lew, donja r. love, Rehana Mirza, and Lynn Nottage.

Elements of the program:

Each McNally fellow will receive a one-time stipend of $7500 to be used as the playwright sees fit to best further their goals.

In consultation with Rattlestick Theater and Tom Kirdahy Productions, each McNally Fellow will be paired with a veteran playwright mentor who will read a minimum of two drafts and offer one-on-one feedback, in addition to attending a workshop rehearsal and/or final presentation subject to their availability.

Three-Week Incubation
After the initial mentor meeting, the playwright will revise and develop their play for three weeks. This is time for rigorous thinking, dreaming, and writing outside the constraints of a product-oriented rehearsal space.
In addition to mentor feedback, the playwright will meet with the literary teams at both Tom Kirdahy Productions and Rattlestick to discuss their work and process.
McNally fellows will be invited to participate in additional Rattlestick events where they will have the opportunity to get to know the teams at Tom Kirdahy Productions and Rattlestick as well as the other McNally Fellows and other industry professionals.

29-Hour Workshop
The second part of the incubator will take the form of a developmental workshop culminating in a industry presentation. Core collaborators (director, dramaturg, actors) will be chosen in consultation with the selected playwright, Tom Kirdahy Productions, and Rattlestick and will be compensated for their time.

Alumni of the Terrance McNally Incubator
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