The Up Next Series identifies talented early-career playwrights with fresh and diverse voices who have written exciting, complicated and challenging new plays about the world we live in. These plays are then developed during a 29-hour workshop before finally receiving a public staged reading before an invited audience.

Over the course of the year, Labyrinth will present a new reading in our Up Next Series each month. During the workshop, the playwright will be partnered with an established director and actors as well as receive dramaturgical assistance from the artistic staff of Labyrinth.

Supreme Leader workshop

Ed Sylvanus Iskandar directs Don Nguyen’s workshop of The Supreme Leader, with actors Steffanie Leigh, Jeffrey Omura, Joe Godley, David Shih & RJ Hatanaka.

There are three primary goals for Up Next Series. First, to allow Labyrinth to build relationships with new, exciting and diverse writers. Second, to allow the playwrights to do concentrated work on a script with a talented team of actors and directors. And third, to give the playwrights greater exposure to the New York theater community.

The seven playwrights selected for the Up Next Series are Kirby Fields, Keli Goff, Geraldine Inoa, Don Nguyen, Jonathan Payne, Ricardo Pérez González and Abby Rosebrock.


March 29, 2017
by Geraldine Inoa; directed by Niegel Smith

April 14, 2017
The Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll’d
by Jonathan Payne; directed by Melissa Crespo


The World Gets Lowen and Joe by Frank Boudreaux; directed by Christopher Burris

Black Bee (or Beloved Mine) by Pia Wilson; directed by Charlotte Brathwaite

Where Storms Are Born by Harrison David Rivers; directed by Sheryl Kaller

Dolphins and Sharks by James Anthony Tyler; directed by Charlotte Brathwaite

Eve’s Song by Patricia Ione Lloyd; directed by Michael Goldfried

Stand-Off at Hwy #37 by Vickie Ramirez; directed by May Adrales

There’s Always the Hudson by Paola Lázaro; directed by David Mendizábal

The Supreme Leader by Don Nguyen; directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar

The Black Friend by Keli Goff; directed by Jade King Carroll

Ashé by  Ricardo Pérez González; directed by David Mendizábal

Summer Session with the Bones Brigade by Kirby Fields; directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar

Dido of Idaho by Abby Rosebrock; directed by Danya Taymor

About the Artists

kirby-fields-square-bwKirby Fields received his MFA in Playwriting from Carnegie Mellon. His play Lost/Not Found will be produced by UP Theatre Company in Spring 2017. UP also previously produced his play K Comma Joseph. In June 2016 his one-act, “Steal This Play,” was produced by The Gallery Players (Brooklyn) as part of their Black Box Festival. His work has received readings in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, DC, and Kansas City. An excerpt from his prose adaptation of Summer Session with the Bones Brigade was featured on The Other Stories podcast. You can track his progress at Summer Session with the Bones Brigade, where he occasionally posts drafts of various works-in-progress. He is from Joplin, Missouri, and currently lives in Washington Heights with his wife and two sons.

A widely published journalist, Keli Goff’s writing has appeared in the magazines Time, Cosmopolitan, and keli-goff-square-bwEssence, and the web editions of The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Elle and New York magazine. Currently a Columnist for The Daily Beast, in 2016 she began hosting “Political Party with Keli Goff,” a series of specials devoted to covering the presidential election for NPR affiliate WNYC. In 2014 Keli began writing for theater and television. Her play Redeemed was included in Crossroads Theater’s Genesis Festival of New Plays in 2014, and was a finalist in Premiere Stages’ playwriting competition in 2015. From January 2014 to December 2015 Keli was an Emerging Writers Group Fellow with The Public Theater. During that time she wrote The Black Friend which was recently designated a semi-finalist for The Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship and a finalist for the AracaWorks reading series. In 2016 Keli was awarded an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series for her work on season 3 of the critically acclaimed television drama Being Mary Jane. The author of two books, Keli holds a B.A. from New York University and a Master’s from Columbia University. Born and raised in Texas she now splits her time between New York and Los Angeles. Please visit or @keligoff on twitter for additional information.

geraldine-inoa-sqaure-bwGeraldine Inoa is a playwright and activist based in Brooklyn. She is a member of The Public Theater’s 2016-17 Emerging Writers Group. She is the winner of Pride Films & Plays’ 2016 LezPlay Contest and was a finalist for the Lark’s 2015 Playwrights’ Week. Her work has been developed by a reading series with the Fresh Fruit Festival, a new works festival at HUB-BUB in South Carolina, and at the Gallatin Arts Festival. Her plays Fragments, Scraps, and Bold As Love are part of her three-play cycle, The Good Kids of New York City, which explores the young black experience in New York City during the last years of the Obama administration. She holds a B.A. from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.

don-nguyen-square-bwDon Nguyen. Full length plays include: Red Flamboyant (World Premiere: Firebone Theatre Company 2015, 2015 GAP Prize Winner, Ojai Playwrights Conference, finalist – O’Neill NPC), Sound (World Premiere: Azeotrope/ACT, developed at Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Playwrights Realm Fellowship, finalist: Princess Grace Award), The Commencement of William Tan (Produced by Yale Cabaret, developed at New York Stage and Film), The Man from Saigon (developed at NYSAF, Naked Angels), The Supreme Leader and Hello, From the Children of Planet Earth (both developed at Ma-Yi Theatre Company).   Don was also one of forty-eight playwrights commissioned to write for The Mysteries which had its world premiere at The Flea (AD: Jim Simpson, dir: Ed Iskander). In addition, Don’s work has been developed or produced at The Public Theater, The Flea, Ojai Playwrights Conference, New York Stage & Film, Naked Angels, Naked Radio, The Civilians, Ma-Yi Theatre, The Playwrights Realm, The Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Joe’s Pub, The 52nd Street Project, SPACE on Ryder Farm, and Tofte Lake.  Don is the recipient of the 2015 GAP Prize from the Aurora Theatre and New York Stage & Film Founder’s award and has been a finalist for The O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, The Princess Grace Award, Woodward International Playwriting Prize, and New Dramatists.  Nominations include: the Laurents/Hatcher award and the L. Arnold Weissberger Award.  Don is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, the Public Theater’s inaugural Emerging Writers Group, The Civilians inaugural R&D Group, the 52nd Street Project, and a co-founder of Mission to (dit)Mars, a Queens based theatre arts collective.  For more information, please visit:

jonathan-payne-square-bwJonathan Payne received the 2015 Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship. His work has been produced and developed at the Tristan Bates Theatre (UK), Ars Nova, Fringe Festival NYC, The Bushwick Star, and the Fire This Time Festival. He is a proud fellow at New Dramatists, Playwrights Realm and The Dramatist Guild, as well as an Ars Nova Play Group member 2014-15. Awards include the Holland New Voices Award (2014), Rosa Parks Award (2011), John Cauble Short Play Award (2002). He received a BA from the GSA Conservatoire (UK) and an MFA in Playwriting from Tisch School of the Arts. Jonathan is currently enrolled at Juilliard.

ricardo-perez-gonzalez-square-bwRicardo Pérez González (MFA Tisch) is a Queer Puerto Rican playwright who splits his time between his stoop garden in NYC and his window garden in LA. The New York Times calls his work “gripping” and “moving drama,” and he was part of the first Sundance Institute Screenwriter’s Intensive. His Alan Turing Biopic, The Tender Peel, won him an Alfred P. Sloan Grant. He is a proud alumnus of the EWG at the Public Theater. Produced writing credits include: Neon Baby, a drag ball musical (book writer/co-lyricist, Pregones 2013); Inside Out, addressing anti-gay bullying (Pregones); Ashé, a Puerto Rican style two brothers myth (MetLife Award winner); Separate & Equal, an old-fashioned romance set in racially segregated gay bars in 1950s Houston (NY Public reading); and his short film Losses and Gains about gay male body image. Unproduced credits: his transgender family drama, La casa de Ocaso; his comedic play about cultural scapegoating, Name & Blame, Inc.; and his play about the cutthroat world of women in academia, The Judgment of Athena.

abby-rosebrock-square-bwAbby Rosebrock is a New York-based playwright and actress from South Carolina. Before turning to theatre, she taught writing on a literature fellowship and completed a doctorate in medieval English at Columbia University. Her plays have been produced or read at Cherry Lane, Playwrights Horizons, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Dixon Place, The Brick, IRT, Naked Angels, Littlefield, The Flea, INTAR, C.O.W., and more. Abby has been named a finalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference (Singles in Agriculture), received three EST/Sloan Foundation commissions, and been featured in Dixon Place’s Female Playwrights Project as well as various best-of anthologies by Smith & Kraus and Applause (SIA, Different Animals, Dido of Idaho, No One Is Home). Recent acting credits include shows and workshops with La Jolla Playhouse/WOW Festival, Classic Stage, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Clubbed Thumb/Playwrights Horizons, UCB, The PIT, and LA Fringe (nominee, Best Actress). She originated the role of Meg in Chiara Atik’s bicoastal hit Women and the role of Blondi in Mac Wellman’s critically acclaimed new play The Offending Gesture. Her webseries My Ex is Trending, co-created with Layla Khoshnoudi and Jennifer Wilson, appears on Control Top TV. Abby has been a member of Playground at The Lark Play Development Center and The Tank NYC’s TV- and new media-writers’ collective. She is currently a proud member of the Obie Award-winning playwrights’ collective EST/Youngblood.