The Play Writers Festival
Sep 24 – Oct 28, 2021
The Play Writers is a professional development playwrighting course led by our remarkable Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Playwrights-in-Residence, Mildred Ruiz-Sapp and Steven Sapp of UNIVERSES. The course is geared toward writers of all levels with the goal of nurturing the dramatic writing skills of participants and deepening our ties to Greater New Haven’s keen pool of talent. The Play Writers Festival is a consummating showcase of works developed by many of the cohort’s gifted contributors.
Short Film written by
Sharece Sellem (she/her)
Premieres Thursday, September 24 at 7PM EST
Animated Experience written by
Ash Carrington (she/her)
Premieres Thursday, September 31 at 7PM EST
A Black Woman, A Black Mother
Poem written by
IfeMichelle Gardin (she/her)
Premieres Thursday, October 7 at 7PM EST
Short Play written by
Jacqueline Brown (she/her)
Premieres Thursday, October 14 at 7PM EST
Monologue written by
Ayse Coskun (she/her)
Premieres Thursday, October 21 at 7PM EST
Eddie Chase (he/they)
Premieres Thursday, October 28 at 7PM EST
The Play Writers Festival was made possible by the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Sharece M. Sellem (she/her)The Ghost of America’s Past Playwright
A native of Hartford, CT, Sharece M. Sellem is a playwright, choreographer, director, and performing arts instructor from New Haven, CT. She was trained by Bryn Mawr College’s Headlong Performance Institute and Yale University’s Practical Approach to Directing summer program. Her resume includes performances at Bregamos Community Theater, Long Wharf Theatre, Pride Arts Center of Chicago, Charter Oak Cultural Center, Carriage House Theater, Illinois Voices Theatre, Norwich Arts Center, University of California San Diego, and more. She is the founder of Vintage Soul Productions LLC and currently resides in Delaware.
Ashaleigh “Ash” Carrington (she/her)Rearview Playwright
Ash Carrington is a recent graduate from the University of Connecticut with a double major in English and History. She is a recipient of the Teagle Humanities Fellowship who has written for Yale and various online magazines. In her spare time she enjoys tutoring at New Haven Reads and watching various historical documentaries. (Ash would like to thank her mentor and former Director of Learning and Community Organizing at Long Wharf Theatre, Madelyn Ardito for believing in her and pushing her to become a better writer.)
IfeMichelle Gardin (she/her)A Black Woman, A Black Mother Playwright
IfeMichelle Gardin is a native New Havener who has been a cultural curator with a family legacy of advocacy in the African American community. From attending Bowen-Peters School of Dance to managing the Unique Boutique (New Haven’s first African American beauty supply store), Ife has been involved in promoting the arts and expanding cultural awareness.
Jacqueline Brown (she/her)Chocolate Milk Playwright
Jacqueline Brown aka Jacque “The Storyteller” is a force born and raised by experiences with people, places, and God. She aspires to transform others with these experiences.
Ayse Kubra Coskun (she/her)The General Playwright
Born and raised in Turkey, Ayse Coskun trained as a physician at Istanbul University and now serves as an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Medical School in the Surgery department. After completing a doctorate, Ayse got her MA in Islamic Studies and Christian & Muslim Relations from Hartford Seminary. She is a physician, scientist, researcher, poet, storyteller, interfaith and intercultural dialogue activist, community organizer, and most importantly, a traveler on a delightful quest to discover the Divine intent behind existence.
Eddie Chase (he/they)An Abduction Playwright
Eddie Chase grew up in a haunted house in Seymour, CT and has been telling ghost stories ever since. While he was attending the University of the Arts in Philadelphia he wrote, directed, and produced a fairy tale about suicide titled Ethereal. Since graduating, his work has been featured in several Halloween Play Festivals at the John Desotelle Acting Studio in New York. He regularly streams on Twitch and creates horror analysis content on YouTube under the moniker Paranormal Playwright. He currently serves as the Patron Services and Accessibility Coordinator at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas.