Theater Begins Here 


The Playwrights’ Center recognizes the importance of supporting and mentoring the next generation of playwrights and will work specifically with college and universities who are part of our New Plays on Campus program to extend the Ruth Easton Lab to student playwrights. This program works in partnership with the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), a national champion of student dramatists.

The Core Apprentice program is an excellent opportunity for student playwrights to develop a play and explore playwriting as a career. Core Apprentices are partnered with a mentor in an effort to foster deeper connections between professional playwrights and playwrights-in-training, and to encourage excellence in the student writer’s work.

During the Core Apprentice year, The Playwrights’ Center pays for a professional playwright to mentor the student during their year as an Apprentice, 10 hours of workshop time with up to 5 professional actors, a dramaturg and a director, travel, local transportation, and housing to while in Minneapolis at the Playwrights’ Center.

Download the 2014-15 Core Apprentice program application (PDF) >

Application due: February 13, 2014

For more information about the New Plays on Campus membership program, of which Core Apprenticeship is a benefit, please visit this page on our site.

Former Core Apprentices include:

2013 Emma Goidel
2013 Hansol Jung
2013 Tori Keenan-Zelt
2013 Katherine Sherman
2013 Abe Koogler
2012 Liz Ellison
2012 Amina Henry
2012 Callie Kimball
2012 Basil Kreimendahl
2011 Sarah Dooley
2011 Diana Grisanti
2011 Krista Knight
2011 Matt McGeachy
2011 Dan O'Neil
2011 Riti Sachdeva
2011 Andrew P. Saito
2011 Benjamin Weiner
2010 Siobhan Antonioli
2010 Kevin Artigue
2010 Jessica Baxter
2010 Ellen Conn
2010 Margot Connolly
2010 Faith Griffiths
2010 Kimber Lee
2010 Patricia Loughrey

2010 Andrew Pierce
2010 Dean Poynor
2010 Jen Silverman
2010 Julie Tosh
2010 Lauren Yee
2009 Joe Luis Cedillo
2009 Matthew Fotis
2009 Benjamin Graber
2009 Meghan Kennedy
2009 Andrew Kramer
2008 George Brant
2008 Julia Brownell
2008 Emily Feldman
2008 Gwyneth Shanks
2008 Martín Zimmerman
2007 Dan Trujillo
2007 Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig
2007 David Largman Murray
2007 Tiffany Antone
2006 Lou Clark
2006 Ted Dahlman
2006 Terry Davis
2006 Zach Hart
2006 Ike Holter

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Kelly Lusk

Core Apprentices   

Kelly Lusk is a playwright who recently completed his MFA in playwriting at Indiana University. His play, (a love story), was selected as a participant in NNPN’s 2013 MFA workshop at the Kennedy Center (Dir. Tina Parker) and was a part of Orlando Shakespeare Theatre’s Playfest! (a love story) has been chosen to be produced as part of University of Central Florida’s 2014-2015 mainstage season. Lusks ten minute Play, Space, was chosen as a finalist for Actor’s Theatre of Louisville’s National Ten-Minute Play Contest and the Heideman Award. His newest play, king oedipus, will be produced at The John Waldron Arts Center in the fall of 2015 (dir. Paul Daily).

Workshop productions include: The Day We Fell in Love (dir. Neal Utterback) and The Girl Who Ate the World (dir. Paul Daily). Original works produced in the Indianapolis Fringe Festival include: Seems to Fit, We The Boys, Caffeine/Nicotine (Co-written by Courtney Crary) and Love/Out.

In the summer of 2009 Kelly was chosen to study in Umbria, Italy with Charles Mee through LaMaMa ETC. Lusk also was a two-time winner of the Indiana Repertory Theaters Young Playwrights-in-Process Competition.

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Stephanie Mohr

Core Apprentices   

Stephanie Mohr is a playwright, screenwriter and filmmaker completing her MFA in Writing for Screen + Stage at Northwestern University. Her ten-minute play The One-Year Hump recently received a reading at Chicago Dramatists where Stephanie is a network playwright. Other plays including Incest: A Love Story, Corruption, and Welcome to the Neighborhood have received readings and workshops in Chicago, New York, and Victoria BC Canada.

As a filmmaker Stephanie received the Film Student of the Year award from University of the Pacific (2011) where she holds a BA in Film Studies. Her short films include Fran & Gert, (Winner for Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Editing at the University of the Pacific Film Festival 2010) Elevator Style (Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Director 2011) and Hungry For Salami (Northwestern MFA Film Festival 2013)

She currently has an original TV pilot in development, along with her new play Pregnancy Wireless. She was born in Washington DC, raised in Victoria BC, and now lives in Chicago.

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Bianca Sams

Core Apprentices   

Bianca Sams is an Actor/Writer hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area. Her plays are lyrical investigations of found stories out of todays headlines or the pages of history, that ask audiences to face their own complex love affair with misery. She recently finished her MFA in Playwriting at Ohio University. She received her BFA from New York Universitys Tisch School, where she earned the distinction of being Tischs first ever Triple Major (Acting, Dramatic Writing, Africana Studies). Awards and honors include KCACTF Lorraine Hansberry (2nd place), Rosa Parks Award (2nd place), Kennedy Center/Eugene O’Neill New Play Conference fellow, Jane Chambers Student Playwright Award/Athe (2nd Place), Scott McPherson Award, TRI Research Fellowship at Ohio State University, and T. S. Eliot Acting Fellowship. For more information and samples of her work please go to or check out her food blog at

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David Turkel

Core Apprentices   

David Turkel is a playwright, screenwriter, and poet based in Corvallis, Oregon. A 2014 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin’s MFA program in playwriting, David writes darkly comic, research-driven plays of ambitious scale and scope. With twenty years’ experience working collaboratively on site-specific projects, David has had plays produced in abandoned churches (Wild Signs), repurposed breweries (Holler), textile mills (Stroke/Book), lofts (F.O.R.D.) and even the occasional theatre (Nadia, Crimson and Clover, Key to the Field).

He is a founding member of Chapel Hill’s The Somnambulist Project and Pittsburgh’s Bricolage Theatre Company. F.O.R.D. was awarded Best Play in Pittsburgh Playwrights’ Theatre Festival in Black and White. His play Nadia won the Pipeline Reading series award and premiered at the Actor’s Theater of Grand Rapids in 2012.

In 2014, Nadia (a multi-media interrogation of sex-trafficking, pornography, and censorship) was adapted into a feature length film by Preposterous Productions. His play ‘ratio (a bloody afterword to Hamlet set in Fortinbras’ Denmark) was developed into a graphic “art-script” with designer William Anderson. His next play, BLACKOUT is an all-female-cast melodrama about the suspicious suicide of Hitler’s niece in 1931, which will premier in Austin in 2015.

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Emily Zemba

Core Apprentices   

EMILY ZEMBA is an MFA Candidate in Playwriting at Yale School of Drama (2015) with a BA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her plays include Puppeteers are the Most Horrible People (LAByrinth’s One-Act Experiment), The House That Blows Down (10-min,Theater Masters, Aspen /New York), Have You Been There?, I’m Sorry I Brought God (Yale), We Know Edie La Minx Had A Gun (co-writer, Yale Cabaret), and Uninviting Margaret (semi-finalist: 2013 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference). Emily is a member of The Middle Voice (Rattlestick Theater’s apprentice company), and a co-founder of “Guided Tour,” a collective where she creates and performs site-specific theatrical experiences.

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