The Inkwell Theater Development Lab

About The Inkwell Theater Development Lab and Max K. Lerner Playwriting Fellowship

A unique program in Los Angeles, The Lab aims to bring the writer out of their office, or coffee shop, and into the rehearsal room. While we recognize the necessity for writers to work on their own, we believe that nothing benefits works-in-progress more than artistic collaboration.


The Lab is focused on developing new plays through a collaborative workshop process. We believe that by working in a rehearsal setting with a director and actors, a playwright can best further their plays. Playwrights tell us often how they gained a new insight from simply seeing their work with a cast, not to mention the constructive input from directors and other artists. The Lab gives them that opportunity.

We begin with a writer and their first-draft. During a six-week intensive process, writers will not only see and hear that draft as written, but will see their re-writes, changes, and inspired ideas come to life. This is first aided by introducing an experienced and versatile director, bringing his or her own unique insights to the play. Mixing in a cast of talented performers only adds to the volume of artistic brainpower being brought to bear upon the play. And pulling the playwright into the rehearsal room brings the whole thing together. Then, after all that work is accomplished, the play will be presented, as a reading, for leaders in the theatre community as well as our fellow artists and dedicated supporters.

The authors selected for each Lab season are the recipients of The Lerner Fellowship, which provides financial, logistical and artistic support to our playwrights. Max K. Lerner was special council and a senior advisor to the Shubert Theatre Organization for over 30 years. During his tenure there, new writers and plays were strongly fostered, including such pieces as: Amadeus, Children of a Lesser God, City of Angels, Dreamgirls, A Few Good Men, Glengarry Glen Ross, Jerome Robbins' Broadway, "Master Harold"...and the Boys, 'night, Mother, The Real Thing, Sunday in the Park with George, and Little Shop of Horrors.

Max was always a passionate advocate for both new and emerging writers in the theater, and this Fellowship honors his lifelong commitment.

Most Recently...

By Terence Anthony
Directed by Bonnie Hallman

Libby Clearfield, S.A. Griffin, Ken Narasaki, Tyson Turrou
Diarra Kilpatrick (1/20), Sola Bamis (1/27 , 28, & 29)

Produced by Daniel Shoenman, Annie McVey & Tommy Dunn

Associate Producer
Natalie Rose

Ari Agbabian

Casting by
Lisa Pantone

Earlier this season from the LAB

By Meghan Brown
Directed by Tommy Dunn

Featuring: Alexandra Grossi, Dasha Flynn,
Stephen Sullivan, Steven J. Pershing

Produced by Daniel Shoenman & Annie McVey

Previously at the LAB

By Louise Munson
Directed by Annie McVey

Featuring: Helena Bugacov, Helen Duffy, Jacinta Marasco, Maria Mastroyannis, Mark Saul, Fernando Scarpa, Ray Xifo

Produced by Daniel Shoenman

By Elizabeth Chomko
Directed by Bonnie Hallman

Featuring: Michael Butler Murray, Holly Fulger, & Johnny Hawkes

Produced by Tommy Dunn, Annie McVey, & Daniel Shoenman

↓ Click the Boxes to Expand ↓


By Michael David

Directed by Mandi Riggi

Samantha Sloyan
Mark McCullough Thomas
Matt Austin

Performed November 12 & 14, 2012 at VS Theatre

10 Lovers

By Rachelle Anthes

Directed by Annie McVey


John Lavelle

Robyn Cohen

William Barker

Nik Tyler

Reem Kadem

John Kelly

Seril James

Guy Birtwhistle

Performed December 3 & 5, 2012 at VS Theatre

Submissions or Questions? Email

The Inkwell Theater Development Lab

Produced by Daniel Shoenman

Associate Producers: Tommy Dunn and Annie McVey
Literary Manager: Bonnie Hallman
Executive Consultant: Elliot Shoenman
Director of Casting: Lisa Pantone