Season 34

Playwright Residencies

Downstage Left residencies are designed to help playwrights take a project from the conceptual stage all the way to a production-ready script. Playwrights work closely with one of our ensemble directors and members of the literary team to design a process tailored to the particular needs of their project. We are now accepting applications for Season 36 residencies. Please download the application form below, which also provides detailed instructions. The deadline for submissions is April 15, 2017. Email questions and submissions to 

Click here to download: Stage-Left-17-18-Residency-Application

Season 35 Residencies

The Sitayana
by Lavina Jadhwani

In The Sitayana—a new perspective on the Sanskrit epic poem The Ramayana—the young princess Sita follows her new husband Ram to his kingdom in Ayodhya – only to learn that he has been banished to the forest! Refusing to abandon her partner, she joins him in exile, but finds her loyalty tested to surprising lengths. A solo piece written for a South Asian woman, The Sitayana is part Hindu epic, part coming of age story, and, ultimately, a break up play.

The development process for The Sitayana will be led by guest director Nathan Singh.

PIG.GOV Part 2
by Alex Lubischer

Grace Pollock, the CEO of a hog factory farm empire, will stop at nothing to become governor of Nebraska. But to realize her destiny and oust the incumbent governor—former Cornhusker football coach Tom White—she must first cover up a quarter century of scandals while running the best damn campaign Our. Country. Has. Ever. SEEN! PIG.GOV Part 2 picks up where Part 1 left off: with a campaign in shambles and a family dynasty on the brink of oblivion. This Shakespearean epic casts women, LGBT, nonwhite, and characters with disabilities as the main players, zeroing in on the intersection of misogyny and power in 2016 America.

The development process for PIG.GOV Part 2 will be led by guest director Sheryl Kaller, assisted by dramaturg Zev Valancy.

The Playwrights

Lavina Jadhwani is a Chicago-based director and adaptor. Her adaptations include The Sitayana, VANYA or “That’s Life!” (full production with Rasaka Theatre Company in January 2017), and Shakuntala: an East-Meets-West love story. Lavina maintains relationships with Lifeline Theatre (Casting Director), Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Phil Killian Directing Fellow), and Silk Road Rising (Artistic Associate). She is the founder and curator of the Diverse Directors Database and The Mildly Rehearsed Players, a student-run troupe at DePaul University that performs Shakespeare based on original practices. Graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University (MFA, Directing) and Carnegie Mellon University (BFA, Scenic Design; Masters, Arts Management).

Alex Lubischer is an MFA candidate in the Playwriting Program at the Yale School of Drama. Prior to pursuing his MFA, he spent several years in Chicago, followed by a short time in New York as a member of the Page 73 Writers Group. His playBobbie Clearly will open Steep Theatre Company’s 2016/17 season. Other plays include Ogallala, Giving Is Sexy: a gay/bi scifi, PIG.GOV Part 1, The Xylophone West, Acts of Contrition, Weird Kids, and Survey No. 5. In Chicago, his scripts have been produced by Haven Theatre, The Fine Print Theatre Company, Collaboraction, and Tympanic Theatre Company, among others. He has developed new work at Steep Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Theater, The House Theatre, Route 66 Theatre Company, Interrobang Theatre Project, the Great Plains Theatre Conference, and Actors Theatre of Louisville. Alex has been a semifinalist for the P73 Playwriting Fellowship, a two-time finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, and a resident playwright at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. He received his B.A. from the University of Southern California and is a proud alumnus of the National Theater Institute. Alex grew up on a farm in Nebraska.

photo of Alex Lubischer: joe mazza — brave lux inc.

Previous Residencies:

2015/16: St. Sebastian by Andrew Kramer
The New Deal by Mrinalini Kamath
The Bottle Tree by Beth Kander
Heartland by Gabriel Jason Dean
2013/14: The Comparables by Laura Schellhardt
The Firestorm by Meridith Friedman
The Liar Paradox by Kristin Idaszak
The Abacus by Bilal Dardai
2011/12: Warped by Barbara Lhota
Witches Vanish by Claudia Barnett
2010/11: Blessed Assurance: The Story of Boston Corbett, Slayer of Booth by Randall Colburn
2009/10: The Face of a Ruined Woman (later Impenetrable) by Mia McCullough
2008: Here Where It’s Safe by M.E.H. Lewis