Ma-Yi seeks playwrights for the Ma-Yi Writers Lab; applications are to open on July 1


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NEW YORK — The Ma-Yi Theater Company has announced that the application call to the Ma-Yi Writers Lab will open on Monday, July 1, 2024, and close on Wednesday, July 31, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. or when 100 applications are received.

The Ma-Yi Writer’s Lab is a professional peer-based workshop in permanent residence at Ma-Yi, designed to nurture and showcase Asian-American playwrights nationwide. There is no fee to apply. Applications are currently available at

Founded in 2004 by Sung Rno in connection with the NEA/TCG Playwright’s Residency program, the Ma-Yi Writers Lab shifted in 2022. Now led by Gaven Trinidad and Kalina Ko, the Ma-Yi Writers Lab welcomes new emerging AAPI playwrights to the Playground Program each year. Former Playground Labbies include Claro de los Reyes, ayla xuân chi sullivan, Seayoung Yim, Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin, Ankita Raturi, Minghao Tu, and Liqing Xu.

The Playground Program is a six-month program where four writers meet in person every month, along with two directors and three actors. Writers are encouraged to bring no more than ten pages of material each month for the director and actors to the stage. The goal is to play with space, movement, and staging to understand how these pages and words might live in bodies and three dimensions. Members will collaborate with directors and actors from the Ma-Yi community and beyond. The four writers selected for the program will be chosen based on an application process. Ma-Yi encourages self-identifying, New York-based, emerging writers from the AAPI diaspora to apply.

Ma-Yi said it strives to ensure that each cohort collectively represents diverse worldviews, backgrounds, and aesthetics. It is especially interested in elevating new voices that revel in the theatrical and have exciting inquiries into the world.

An informational session will be held on Sunday, June 30, at 4 p.m. EST. Interested applicants are encouraged to attend. To sign-up, please visit

Applicants will be asked to answer the following questions: Where are you in your life (both in playwriting/theatre and generally) right now? What is exciting to you? What is challenging? What are you trying to solve or learn about in your writing process? Can you tell us about a moment of discovery in a collaborative process that affected your writing going forward? What does a playwright-driven development process look like?

Additionally, you must submit a resume and a 20-page work sample explaining why you selected those pages.

The next Ma-Yi Writers Lab’s Playground Program cohort will run from January to June 2025. If you have questions or comments, please email

Founded in 1989, Ma-Yi Theater Company is a Drama Desk, Lortel, and Obie Award-winning, Off-Broadway not-for-profit organization whose primary mission is to develop and produce new and innovative plays by Asian American writers.

Its numerous acclaimed productions include Mike Lew’s Teenage Dick and Bike America, Qui Nguyen’s The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G and Soul Samurai (with Vampire Cowboys), and Hansol Jung’s Among The Dead. Other productions include Rescue Me by Michi Barall, Lloyd Suh’s The Chinese Lady, and Lonnie Carter’s The Romance of Magno Rubio.

The Ma-Yi Writers Lab, a signature program founded in 2004, is the largest resident company of Asian-American playwrights ever assembled. The Lab encourages a new generation of Asian American artists to voice their experiences while developing a steady stream of quality new works by Asian American playwrights for Ma-Yi’s own performing repertory. New works created at the Writers Lab have gone on to successful productions around the country at such theaters as Victory Gardens, Laguna Playhouse, Long Wharf Theater, Woolly Mammoth, and the Actors Theater of Louisville, to name a few.

Ma-Yi’s productions have earned 10 Obie Awards, 5 Henry Hewes Award nominations, a Drama Desk nomination for Best Play, and the Special Drama Desk Award for “more than two decades of excellence and for nurturing Asian-American voices in stylistically varied and engaging theater.”

Ma-Yi Theater is under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña.

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