Announcing the 2022, Cycle 8, group of Audrey Residents at New Georges! Lyndsey Bourne, Alisha Espinosa and Galia Backal, Emma Horwitz and Bailey Williams, MJ Kaufman and Sivan Battat, Emily Mendelsohn and Justine Williams, Molly Beach Murphy, Deepa Purohit

Named for Audrey Bernfield, Susan’s mom, an innovative mentor and of course a great supporter of our company, the year-long residencies that make up our primary play development program are project-based and collaboration-focused. Residents spend up to 3 weeks of space in The Room working (individually or in collaboration) on their new-play project over the course of the year, in a process of their own devising; meet monthly with the full resident community for a meal and conversation; and have access to additional resources we muster as needs emerge.

Big thanks to current residents Sanaz Ghajar, Riti Sachdeva and Shannon Sindelar, who joined Susan, Jaynie, Deadria and Sonya in one long inspiring day of conversations with potential residents (honestly: our favorite day of the year). Here are the people and projects they chose:

Playwright and doula Lyndsey Bourne will place personal stories beside the history, poetry and practice of perinatal care to construct a collage-style performance essay about birth, abortion and the bleeding body–its intimate landscapes.

For an ensemble-driven, immersive theatrical event, playwright Alisha Espinosa and director Galia Backal will combine scripted dialogue with improvisational, interactive gameplay to explore race and identity in Dungeons & Dragons and other fantasy worlds, uncovering how our fantasies can reveal our realities.

Emma Horwitz and Bailey Williams will write a play about two sisters who discover a box of lesbian erotica in the woods. Exploring the extremities of lesbian iconography and narrative (as well as the oddity of the writer/writer pairing), they will pull from archival material and generate new text. They may also perform in the play.

Playwright MJ Kaufman (a two-time resident!) and director Sivan Battat will develop a new play about MJ’s grandfather’s 1948 migration from Palestine to Germany, seeking to discover a theatrical language for an ensemble-based play that spans 50 years, three continents, and three generations.

Emily Mendelsohn and Justine Williams will co-create A History of Gatherings, an original work of live cinema that investigates the act and art of gathering–its different meanings, forms, functions and resonances–through encounters in live and virtual spaces that explore presence, performing, and the traces we offer forward and leave behind.

Playwright Molly Beach Murphy will hatch an enhanced-interrogation solo cabaret based on memories (real and imagined) of high school, the Iraq War, girl power in the CIA, and that time her aunt told her “There’s a lot more to life than being a woman, you know.”

Playwright/director Deepa Purohit will work with actors to render M xx/perience–part immersive play, part installation, part happening–inspired by the medical and wedding machinery that houses her own psychological, spiritual, political, and cultural landscapes and those of women in her ancestry.