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Diversity Cohort

An Experiment in Using the Language and Stories
of William Shakespeare as the Launching Pad for
Diversity-centric New Work

At NYSX, we believe that Shakespeare’s plays are profound and relevant. Not everyone agrees. Through our new Diversity Playwrights Cohort, we aim to engage an ensemble of artists with varying points-of-view and artistic heritage who can help us wrestle with how classical theater fits in today’s world. Using elements of Shakespeare's stories, characters, and language as their springboard, the members of the cohort will provide each other with inspiration as they work to create a series of new plays written in verse that will resonate with contemporary American audiences.

We are seeking 6-8 playwrights to join the NYSX Diversity Cohort. Applicants should be committed to participating in a large-scale conversation about diversity in the theatrical community. Also essential are a passion for the power of new plays and a curiosity for exploring heightened language/verse. We are looking to gather a passionate group representing a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. And while we recognize that no playwright can be the spokesperson for any one community, we are absolutely committed to exploring representation by finding differing perspectives that can contribute to the dialogue and spark new conversations.

Selected playwrights will gather on a monthly basis for writing labs in which various prompts and guiding principles will lay the groundwork for creative expression. The cohort will also participate in public Diversity Cohort Forums/Panel Discussions addressing subjects like our contemporary connection (or disconnection) to classical theater; how different perspectives can provide countless entry points for exploration; and how the politics of diversity and inclusion affect audiences and artists. The culmination of the Diversity Cohort will be a week-long publicly performed festival of short plays written in verse. 


APPLICATION DEADLINE -- Friday, December 1, 2017

We are aiming to express diversity quite broadly and include individuals representing varied national origins, ethnicities, religions, socioeconomic strata, gender identifications, disability statuses, etc. We are not pre-determining any diversity breakdown, nor are we excluding any perspective from consideration.