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Meet Our New Lead Artists

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We’ve hired new, interim lead artists, L Feldman and Keelay Gipson, for The Foundry, our emerging writer’s group, to cultivate and mentor the next generation of PlayPenn-supported playwrights. 

 

Keelay Gipson

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Foundry Lead Artist

Keelay Gipson is an Activist, Professor, and award-winning Playwright whose plays include demons. (JAG Fest/Dartmouth HOP Center), #NewSlaves (Finalist; Princess Grace, The O’Neill, Seven Devils), imagine sisyphus happy (Finalist; The O’Neill, P73 Summer Residency) CRH, or the placenta play (Semi- Finalist; The O’Neill, Bay Area Playwrights Conference, AADA Main Stage Live!), Nigger/Faggot (Downtown Urban Theater Festival), The Lost Or, How to Just B (Kernodle New Play Award), What I Tell You in the Dark (Finalist; Premiere Stages at Kean University), and Mary/Stuart, a dramatic queering of friederich schiller’s classic play (BAM Next Wave Festival, partnership with Wendy’s Subway and Lambda Literary). He is the recipient of a Spark Grant from Barrington Stage, the NYSAF Founders’ Award, the Van Lier Fellowship at New Dramatists, as well as writing fellowships with Lambda Literary, The Amoralists, Page 73 and the Dramatist Guild Foundation. He has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of New York, the Administration of Children’s Services of the City of New York, New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Season at Vassar College and Yale University. His work has been developed at the Wild Project, HERE Arts Center, Pace University, West Connecticut University, National Black Theater, Rattlestick Playwrights’ Theater, The Fire This Time Festival, Classical Theater of Harlem, and New York Theatre Workshop. He is published in The Best American Short Plays anthology by Applause Theatre and Cinema Books and 48 Hours in Harlem, Vol. 3 by Harlem9. He has taught workshops, courses and masterclasses at NYU, Pace University, Rutgers University, Fordham, and the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

L M Feldman

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Another Kind of Silence (PlayPenn, 2016), Foundry Lead Artist

L M Feldman is a queer, feminist playwright (and circus artist) who pens plays that are wildly theatrical but deeply intimate. Formally ambitious plays that move, take up space. Plays that are questing, wrestling, asking. Plays without answers. Plays about women and queers, about outsiders and searchers. Plays grappling with voice and agency, opportunity and access, history and its wake. Plays about the human connection. Plays that seek to be a greater, communal, rare theatrical event in which something transcendent transpires – for those both onstage & off.

She loves theater that is dynamic, honest, brave, and the smallest bit impossible. Her plays are formally adventurous, physically kinetic, deeply inquisitive, and frequently ensemble-driven. They are as deft in their language as they are in their movement.

Her plays include THRIVE, OR WHAT YOU WILL (American Shakespeare Center, Kitchen Dog New Works Festival, New Georges & Page 73 Residencies, InterAct Core Playwrights); ANOTHER KIND OF SILENCE (Colorado New Play Summit, FEWW Prize Honorable Mention, Magic Theatre New Play Festival, PlayPenn & Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, Playwrights Realm Fellowship); AMANUENSIS, OR THE MILTONS (Emerson Stage, Georgetown University, Ramah Theatre commission); THE EGG-LAYERS (Jane Chambers Honorable Mention, New Georges/Barnard College commission); GRACE, OR THE ART OF CLIMBING (Denver Center, Barrymore & ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award Nominations); and A PEOPLE (Orbiter 3, Jewish Plays Project); as well as several ensemble-devised works, including GUMSHOE (New Paradise Labs + the Free Library of Philadelphia + the Rosenbach Museum), WAR OF THE WORLDS: PHILADELPHIA (Swim Pony + Drexel University), AND IF YOU LOSE YOUR WAY, OR A FOOD ODYSSEY (The Invisible Dog), LADY M (Philadelphia Live Arts Festival), and others.

She has been nominated for the Wendy Wasserstein Prize, Barrie and Bernice Stavis Playwright Award, the New York Innovative Theatre Award, the Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award, and twice for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She was awarded an artist grant through the Boomerang Fund and a creation grant from the State of Vermont, and she has been an artist-in-residence at the MacDowell Colony, Fresh Ground Pepper, Terra Firma, SPACE at Ryder Farm, the School of Making Thinking, Tofte Lake Center, Montana Artists Refuge, Montana Repertory Theatre, Sewanee University of the South, Cornell University, and Theater Emory/Brave New Works Festival.

A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, L is also a New Georges Affiliated Artist, a devised-work collaborator, a teacher of playwriting, and a freelance dramaturg.

In 2010, L fell in love with theater & circus as a hybrid art form through the queer-feminist, Brooklyn-based ensemble LAVA; soon her passions led her to the New England Center for Circus Arts for full-time professional training. So L also freelances as a performer & dramaturg of contemporary circus. She has performed duo trapeze, solo static trapeze, handbalancing, and circus-theater in festivals & cabarets around the world, and she’s a dramaturg for circus artists around the country. She loves theater that moves, and circus that asks hard questions.

L has lived in seven cities and is now based in Philly – where she’s been an InterAct Core Playwright and a proud member of Orbiter 3. She is writing two very different new plays: commissions from the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte and the EST/Sloan Foundation.