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About The Inkwell Theater Development Lab

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.

Submission Guidelines and Instructions
 

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.

More about The Max K. Lerner Playwrighting Fellowship

Previously at the LAB

Euphrates
By Terence Anthony
Directed by Bonnie Hallman

 

Featuring:
Libby Clearfield, S.A. Griffin, Ken Narasaki, Tyson Turrou, Diarra Kilpatrick & Sola Bamis

 

Produced by Daniel Shoenman, Annie McVey & Tommy Dunn

Trochilidae
By Meghan Brown

Directed by Tommy Dunn

 

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


Produced by Daniel Shoenman
& Annie McVey


 

Luigi

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

Sentence

By Elizabeth Chomko


Directed by Bonnie Hallman
 

Featuring

Michael Butler Murray, Holly Fulger, & Johnny Hawkes

Produced by Tommy Dunn, Annie McVey, & Daniel Shoenman

10 Lovers

By Rachelle Anthes

 

Directed by Annie McVey
 

Featuring

Robyn Cohen, John Lavelle, William Barker, Nik Tyler, Reem Kadem, John Kelly, Seril James, Guy Birtwhistle

Produced by Daniel Shoenman and Tommy Dunn

Degrees

By Michael David


Directed by Mandi Riggi
 

Featuring

Samantha Sloyan, Mark McCullough Thomas, Matt Austin

 

Produced by Tommy Dunn and Daniel Shoenman



About The Max K. Lerner Felowship

The authors selected for each Lab season are the recipients of Max K. Lerner Playwriting 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.

 

"Here are a few things I learned from my father and his boundless excitement for life. I hope you can benefit from Max's wisdom as much as I have.

Don't focus on the negative. "It'll get you every time," he used to say. When you find yourself spiraling, stop it.

Go forward, not backward. "Straight ahead" was his favorite phrase, cropping up on cards and letters as well as in conversation. In fact, several members of our family now sign off this way.

Keep your sense of humor. We would often find Max whistling and talking at the same time, even up until the end. At parties, he would dance and sing along to the music (his favorite move being "the cha-cha-cha"). He also used his creative side to produce a few records and off-Broadway shows.

Be a mentor. Dad was always looking to offer help to those around him, and young people would flock to him in search of his advice."

— Helene Lerner
Her tribute on The Huffington Post