Home in the World: How PlayCo Brings Us Closer

June 24, 2024
PlayCo is a formative artistic home for hundreds of theatremakers from over 17 countries (and counting)! With each new collaboration, we bring the world closer.
Meet the Participants

Keenan Tyler Oliphant (he/him) is a Theatremaker and Director from South Africa. Keenan’s work is in the lineage of the communal theatre-making and storytelling traditions of South Africa. As a Theatremaker Keenan recalls his traditional Southern African storytelling lineage by simultaneously exchanging with histories and futures to create spaces of healing, investigation, mourning and celebration through performance. Selected directing credits include Heather Christian’s TERCE: A Practical Breviary, Will You Come With Me? (PlayCo May 2022), Jeesun Choi’s To the Ends of the Earth (JACK), Jay Stull’s The Singularity Play (Havard TDM; Alliance Theatre Reading) Sam Grabiner’s People on Earth (Columbia University), Vivian Barnes’ Intro To (Ensemble Stage Theatre), Live from Mount Olympus Podcast (The Team), Kyk Hoe Skyn Die Son [Look at How the Sun Shines] (Clubbed Thumb Winterworks) and Self-Combustion of a 30 Something Year Old... (New Ohio Producers Club). Keenan has developed work with Ars Nova, New York Theatre Workshop, The Vineyard Theatre and more. Keenan is an alumnus of the Clubbed Thumb Directing Fellow (2020-2021), the Drama League Directing Fellowship (2021-2022) and Columbia University MFA in Directing for Theatre program.

Josep Maria Miró (Author) (Prats de Lluçanès, 1977) is the author of Me, Trans (2023) Remains of the Glowing Night (2021. Compañía Nacional de Teatro Clásico de Madrid), The Lady Butler (2020), The Nicest Body Every Seen Around These Parts (2020. National Prize for Dramatic Literature 2022 from the Spanish Ministry of Culture / XXV Critics’ Prize for best playwright / Selected by the association of European translators EURODRAM as one of the 3 best texts premiered in Catalonia during the 2021-22 season / XLV Born Prize 2020), The White Room (2020), A Nice Place (2017. Max Prize 2019 / Selected by the association of European translators us EURODRAM as one of the 3 best texts premiered in Catalonia during the 2018-2019 season), Let’s Forget about Being Tourists (2017), Cúbit (2016), The Passage (2015. Frederic Roda Prize 2015), Obac (2014), Tearing Up the Earth (2013. Autor Exprés Prize – Society of Spanish Authors and Editors 2013), Smoke (2012), Nerium Park (2012. Jaume Vidal i Alcover Prize 2013), Archimedes’ Principle (2011. XXXVI Born Prize 2011), Gang Bang [Open until the Angelus (2010-11 Resident playwright at the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya), The Woman Who Always Missed Her Flight (2009. XXXIV Born Prize 2009), and several brief texts.

He has also authored several adaptations. His works have been translated into more than twenty languages and have had approximately 100 world premieres and numerous publications. He has directed some of his own plays, as well as works by other authors. In 2015-16 academic year he joined the faculty at the ERAM, the undergraduate degree program in Performing Arts at the University of Girona, where he coordinates the academic section devoted to Dramaturgy. He regularly teaches courses and workshops at the Obrador de la Sala Beckett in Barcelona, as well as numerous workshops and seminars, both in Catalonia and abroad.

Afsoon Pajoufar (Set Designer) is a NYC based designer of stage and environment for play, opera, and other live performances. Afsoon’s artistic practice is often focused on the intersection of space and new technologies including XR and live video. Her recent works include Don Juan (Bard Summerscape 2022), Lady-M (HeartBeat Opera), MƆɹNIŊ / MORNING//MOURNING (Prototype Festival), Mad Forest (Theatre for a New Audience/Bard), Word.Sound.Power (Brooklyn Academy of Music, BAM), Will You Come With Me (Play Co.), Purple Room (New Ohio Theatre), s.i.n.s.o.f.u.s (HARVARD), The Silence (MIT). She is a proud member of USA829.

Ebru Nihan Celkan (Playwright, she/hers) received her bachelor's degree in labor economics from Uludağ University in 2001 and MBA (master's degree in business administration) from Istanbul University and started her professional career in 2003. List of publications and plays staged in Turkey, Germany and USA; Complete Plays I: After The Day Nobody Died & Where Were We? Mitos-Boyut (İstanbul 2013); Complete Plays II: Home! Sweet Home! & 17:31. Mitos-Boyut (İstanbul 2015); Complete Plays III: Babel Towers & Triggerman. Mitos-Boyut (İstanbul 2016); Complete Plays IV: Tilt & A Prince from Outer Space. Mitos-Boyut (İstanbul 2018).

Toshiki Okada (Playwright / Director / Novelist) chelfitsch, his company, made its debut abroad in 2007 in “Five Days in March” at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels, Belgium. chelfitsch has since performed works in a total of more than 90 cities in the world. Toshiki Okada works not only with chelfitsch but also with other Japanese and European theatres, for example direction of the repertory programm in Münchner Kammerspiele (Germany), Thalia Theatre (Hamburg, Germany) and so on.

Abhishek Majumdar is a playwright, scenographer, and director working in India and internationally. His work has been produced and commissioned in leading theaters of the world including Royal Court Theatre London, Prithvi Theatre Mumbai, Ranga Shankara Bangalore, Deutsch Shauspielhaus Hamburg, Ruhrfest Recklinghausen, Théâtre du Soleil Paris, National Theatre London, San Francisco Opera, PEN World Voices, Internacionale Dramaturgie Festival Buenos Aires and PlayCo New York amongst others. He is a recipient of multiple awards including the International Theatremakers award New York, Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Award Delhi, The Shankar Nag Rangakarmi Award Bangalore, the Toto Funds the Arts Award, Segal Center Award for Civic Engagement in the Arts, Best Director in London Movie Awards, Best Director 8 and Hal/ Film Festival (Rome) Awards amongst others. He works in Theater, Film and Opera. His book of essays, Theater Across Borders is published by Bloomsbury International as part of the Theatermakers series and he has been published, performed and translated in Hindi, English, French, German, Czech, Kannada, Bengali, Marathi, Kashmiri, and Spanish. He is the Artistic Director of Nalanda Arts Studio Bangalore and creative producer at New Voices Arts Project based in Bangalore. He is also Associate Professor at New York University in Abu Dhabi and the Program head of the Theater Program.

Stefania Bulbarella (Video and Projections Designer) from Buenos Aires, Argentina based in Brooklyn, NY. Broadway credits include: Kimberly Akimbo as associate video designer (The Booth) Desiger credits include Off Broadway: Space Dogs (MCC), Semblance (New York Theatre Workshop), The Watering Hole (Signature Theatre), Will You Come With Me? (The Play Company), Turtle on a Fence Post (Theatre 555). Opera: Letters You Will Not Get (American Opera Project). Regional: House of Joy (St Louis Rep), The Mountaintop (Weston Playhouse). Other: Eva Luna (Repertorio Español), Desaparecidas (Jack) Nominations: Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Video/Projection Design for Space Dogs. www.stefaniabulbarella.com

Many of the playwrights, directors, and designers who make their NYC debuts with us go on to have their work produced across the U.S. and the world. Together with our community partners, audience members, and supporters, PlayCo artists—no matter where in the world they come from—have become an indelible part of New York theatre.

Hear from seven artists who have championed our mission to always hold a place at the table for a global menu of dynamic, adventurous, thought-provoking new plays.

“PlayCo’s courage and commitment to expanding the theatrical canon to include international voices is uniquely impactful to me as an immigrant artist. Beyond carving a space for me and my art specifically, PlayCo is a beacon for true theatrical conversation between worlds and people.”

Keenan Tyler Oliphant, Director for Will You Come With Me?, is from South Africa.

“PlayCo is a family where I feel happy. I take with me a beautiful experience of incredible people, learning and sharing a lot of love for the theatre.”

Josep Maria Miró, Playwright in Residence, is from Catalonia.

“PlayCo was among the first companies to step up and reunite artists and revive the spirit of the theatre community while we were still emerging from the pandemic.”

Afsoon Pajoufar, Set Design for Will You Come With Me?, is from Iran.

“At PlayCo, I recognize that the power of theatre lies in its ability to amplify voices, perspectives and stories from all walks of life. PlayCo’s commitment to diversity is not just a box to check; it is woven into the fabric of the creative process and enriches every narrative you bring to life.”

Ebru Nihan Celkan, Playwright for Will You Come With Me?, is from Turkey.

“It is not often that my plays are performed in English. PlayCo gave me that. My voice could reach audiences in New York. That experience is my treasure.”

Toshiki Okada, Playwright for Enjoy, The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise, and Time's Journey Through A Room, is from Japan.

“PlayCo foregrounds artistic and collaborative values that continue to inform me in my practice in other parts of the world.”

Abhishek Majumdar, Playwright and Director for 9 Kinds of Silence, is from India.

“Working with PlayCo was such a wonderful and enlightening experience. We’d sometimes encounter limitations, but PlayCo was eager to find ways to bring my vision to life. I'd work with them over and over again.”

Stefania Bulbarella, Projections Design for Will You Come With Me?, is from Argentina.