April 23, 2024

Announcing Yilong Liu for the Playwright Residency Exchange

PlayCo is delighted to announce that playwright Yilong Liu will be an artist-in-residence at Sala Beckett this summer, as part of the PlayCo/Sala Beckett Playwright Residency Exchange. Liu, who was selected by staff at both institutions through an open application process earlier this year, will spend three weeks in Barcelona working on his own writing and attending Sala Beckett’s esteemed Obrador d’Estiu (Summer Workshop) with other playwrights from around the world. Liu's residency is made possible by a grant from The Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation.

In the fall of 2023, thanks to funding from the Institut Ramon Llull, PlayCo and Sala Beckett completed Phase 1 of the residency exchange, when Catalan playwright Josep Maria Miró spent 3 weeks in residence with PlayCo in New York. Director Jay Stull recently reflected on his experience collaborating with Miró and actor David Skeist on a public reading of Miró’s play The Nicest Body Ever Seen Around These Parts at the Martin E. Segal Center on November 16, 2023, for The Hub.

“This program with Sala Beckett, an organization we admire so much, is a dream come true for PlayCo, as we expand the ways we can meaningfully support international dialogue and collaboration between artists here in the U.S. and around the world,” said Kate Loewald, PlayCo’s Founding Producer, “We're excited for Yilong's experience there, with his own practice and in the company of the global artists who will gather in Barcelona for the summer workshop and festival performances. We're grateful to all the playwrights who applied to this program and we are working to offer more opportunities like this in the future.”

As part of the Residency this summer, Liu will also have his full-length play We Borrowed Brokenness translated into Catalan and workshopped with actors in Barcelona, culminating in a public presentation. Victor Muñoz, Artistic Coordinator responsible for International Activities at Sala Beckett, said of We Borrowed Brokenness: “It tackles a very complex subject with humor, without forgetting the reflection and dramatic moments. Yilong knows how to create a play with different character arcs, with a classical structure, yes, but at the same time with current and original narrative solutions.”

From Liu: “I'm deeply honored and thrilled to join the PlayCo/Sala Beckett Residency. Having the time and space to write while immersing in Barcelona's rich cultural landscape and connecting with fellow artists there feels like an incredible gift for a playwright. This residency offers a unique chance to blend global perspectives, ignite meaningful conversations, and develop stories that transcend boundaries of language and culture. I can't wait to start this journey and share the transformative power and joy of theatre with audiences near and far.”

In addition to Liu, the finalists for the PlayCo/Sala Beckett Residency were Dillon Chitto (Pueblo Revolt!), Adrian Einspanier (Lunch Bunch), Talene Monahon (Ararat), and Madeline Sayet (Where We Belong).

“We were impressed by the breadth of writers who applied, and who we could imagine thriving in this residency,” says Annie Jin Wang, PlayCo’s Associate Director for Artistic Programming, “It was clear to us from this application process that American writers find immense value in opportunities to connect with the global theatre community, which is heartening in a field that often feels insular at this moment.”

Programs like the PlayCo/Sala Beckett Residency Exchange fulfill PlayCo’s mission to advance an innovative and inclusive theatre ecosystem, and to put US-based artists in conversation with artists from across the world.

About Yilong Liu

Yilong Liu is a playwright in the Juilliard School’s Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program. His play The Book of Mountains and Seas received the Lambda Literary Award for Drama. His play Good Enemy had its premiere off-Broadway at Minetta Lane Theatre as part of Audible Theater’s 22/23 season. Yilong is a Core Writer at Playwrights’ Center and an alumnus of Ensemble Studio Theatre's Youngblood. He has developed work with Ojai Playwrights Conference, Kennedy Center, and SPACE on Ryder Farm, among many others. Yilong is currently writing under commission for the Manhattan Theatre Club’s Sloan Initiative. Plays include We Borrowed Brokenness (The Juilliard School, Alliance Theatre/Kendeda Playwriting Award Finalist, O'Neill Finalist), The Book of Mountains and Seas (Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award), June is the First Fall (Kennedy Center Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, Yangtze Rep, Kumu Kahua Theatre), Joker (Po’okela Award, Kumu Kahua Theatre), Flood in The Valley, a Bilingual Folk Musical (Beijing Tianqiao Theatre Center, Gung Ho Project), PrEP Play (New Conservatory Theatre Center), and Good Enemy (Audible, Ojai Playwrights Festival). Yilong grew up in China and received his MFA from the University of Hawai‘i.

About Sala Beckett

Sala Beckett is a space for the theatre-related creation, training and experimentation, devoted especially to promoting contemporary playwriting and to dissemination Catalan theatrical authorship. A meeting point for theatrical authors with other stage creators and professionals from different spheres and disciplines, the Sala Beckett hosts intense activity in show production and programming, courses and labs, lectures, meet-ups and all kinds of activities involving exchange, thinking and debate on playwriting and the contemporary world. The Fundació Sala Beckett/Obrador Internacional de Dramatúrgia is its steering body which, with a board of trustees formed by 12 playwrights, ensures compliance with the founding aims and guarantees the organization’s transparency and democratic functioning. The Sala Beckett is one of Barcelona City Council’s Art Factories and also has the support of the Catalan Government’s Department of Culture and INAEM (National Institute of Performing Arts and Music).

*Featured photo from the reading of The Nicest Body Ever Seen Around These Parts in the Fall 2023. Left to Right: Kate Loewald, Sharon Feldman, Josep Maria Miró, David Skiest, Jay Stull, and Frank Hentschker.