Newest Members of The Foundry


After an extensive search three new members are chosen to join The Foundry 

PlayPenn previously announced their intent to further integrate The Foundry into the day to day workings of the institution. After an open submission process, PlayPenn has chosen three new members who will participate in this free program for Philadelphia based playwrights. All three new members, Chaz T. Martin, Zahra Patterson and Lex(i) Thammavong are Black or POC, gender nonconforming, as well as members of the LGTBQIA+ community. 

Santiago Iacinti (they/them), one of PlayPenn’s Associate Artistic Directors says “Apparent in the 2022 New Play Development Conference, was that even through a blind submission process, the writers that rose to the top were in large part either a current member and/or an alum of The Foundry. Foundry Playwrights are not only winning awards but also getting the attention of renowned Regional Theaters nationwide. The Foundry in a way is giving us insight into the future. As our field continues to get up to speed with the depth of stories that make up this country, what made sense to me was that our new members offer the Philadelphia theatre community glimpses into a nonexhaustive variety of lived experiences and new futures.” 

The three new members are Philadelphia based playwrights Chaz T. Martin, Zahra Patterson and Lex(i) Thammavong. 

Chaz T. Martin (they/she) is a playwright, screenwriter, actor, and teaching artist. They are also the Literary Manager at InterAct Theatre Company, the ‘22-‘23 Theater Management Fellow at Lantern Theater Company, and one of the co-founders of Rendezvous Theatre Co. Chaz says “I wanted to join The Foundry because I needed a place where I’d be held accountable. Not just to actually write pages (and rewrite pages), but maybe even more importantly to be faithful to the multitudes I know I contain

Zahra Patterson (she/they) is the author of Chronology (Ugly Duckling Presse) and creator of Raw Fiction, a youth publishing project. Her prose has appeared in The Yale Review, Wasafiri, The Felt, and elsewhere. She is a 2019 recipient of a Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir/Biography, and a former CLMP Face Out Fellow. She holds an MFA in Writing from Pratt Institute. Zahra says “I am most drawn to The Foundry for the writing community it will provide over the next three years. As I develop my dramatic writing voice and network, I cannot imagine a better opportunity than to be supported by the people who comprise PlayPenn.” 

Lex(i) Thammavong (they/she) is the child of first and second generation immigrants and a proud Cuban, Lao-Thai, and queer artist. She obtained her BFA in Musical Theatre with a minor in Creative Writing from The University of the Arts, where they were a Student Valedictory Speaker. Lexi says “…Groups like the Foundry are essential in uplifting the unique creators that Philly produces. I’m so excited to gain inspiration from the Foundry’s members, as well as have the space and freedom to challenge myself to push genre conventions, write new pages, and to ultimately tell the stories of the communities I grew up in— communities that are often ignored or misrepresented.” 


The Foundry creates a space where under the guidance of lead artists, playwrights meet as a group and have the opportunity to share their work and add tools to their craft and creative practice. Lead Artists, L M Feldman and R. Eric Thomas, facilitate the meetings. Members participate in craft building workshops with guest speakers, network with theater professionals, and receive graduation readings. 

The program is free of charge and is only open to playwrights living in Philadelphia.