2013 MAINSTAGE PLAYWRIGHTS



Cody Daigle  |   David Jacobi  |   Dean Poynor  |   Jonathan Payne  |   Kenley Smith



Cody Daigle

Paoli, PA


Cody Daigle is a playwright and teaching artist living in south Louisiana. His plays have been produced or developed by Maieutic Theatre Works, On the Square Productions, Playhouse Theatre Tulsa, Acting Unlimited, Acadiana Repertory Theatre, The Actor’s Company Theatre, New Jersey Repertory Theatre and by universities and high schools across the country. He will also be a participant in the 2013 O'Neill Theatre Center's National Critics' Institute.






William and Judith


Inspired by a passage from Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own,” William and Judith imagines the relationship between William Shakespeare and his equally talented sister, Judith, who arrives in London after being disowned for refusing marriage. William is facing a crisis of his own — nearing his career’s end, his creative well is running dry, forcing him to rely on collaborators like young John Fletcher. When Burbage requires a play, and William has none, an act of creative thievery threatens to bring his career — and family life — to an end.




Cody Daigle  |   David Jacobi  |   Dean Poynor  |   Jonathan Payne  |   Kenley Smith



David Jacobi

La Jolla, CA


DAVID JACOBI'S plays have been produced throughout the U.S. and in Beijing, China. His work has been presented or developed at such places as Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Purchase Performing Arts Centre, Clemson Brooks Center, Penghao Theater, and 798. David Jacobi's plays include Self Destruction Opera, Widower, Mai Dang Lao, The Monster Below, Jenny and Xiao Han, Ex Machina, and Charles Atlas’ Miracle System. In 2008, He received a BFA in Dramatic Writing from Purchase College, and served as guest lecturer at Clemson University. David Jacobi is a WordBRIDGE alum. He currently lives in La Jolla, California, and is a 2015 MFA Playwriting candidate at UCSD under Naomi Iizuka.



Mai Dang Lao


Sophie just gave her eight week notice to McDonald’s to study to be a veterinarian. Managers Roy and Kara both take turns enticing Sophie to stay and maligning her for leaving, and confuse Sophie’s disinterest in being treated like inventory with insubordination. Kara receives a phone call from Officer Bill, who informs Kara about an ongoing investigation of a McDonald’s employee who has been stealing from customers. Kara detains Sophie. Officer Bill demands that she delegate the job to Roy. Roy is able to insert his own desires under the guise of handling a criminal investigation, but Sophie decides to destroy the play. Sophie tears Roy down, and in doing so, reveals that not only is Bill neither a police officer nor a real person, but he is speaking a language we aren’t supposed to understand. This story is loosely based on true events that led to Ogborn v. McDonald’s Corp. in 2009.




Cody Daigle  |   David Jacobi  |   Dean Poynor  |   Jonathan Payne  |   Kenley Smith



Dean Poynor

New York City, NY


Dean Poynor is an emerging playwright whose work explores the crossroads of religious calling and the daily grind. His plays has been developed and produced with the Playwrights’ Center, Kennedy Center, The Puzzle Festival NYC, The Drawing Board (NYC), The Flea, Carnegie Mellon University, Trustus Theatre, Arena Players Repertory, Hyde Park Theatre, American Theatre of Actors, Cairns Festival (Australia), Piccolo Spoleto Festival, and in residency at The Studios of Key West. Dean received the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation screenplay award, the Helford Prize for Drama, the Trustus Playwriting Award, and has been a Semi-Finalist for the Princess Grace Award, O’Neill Theatre Conference, and others. MFA from Carnegie Mellon. BA from Wheaton College (IL). Dean’s latest adventure is becoming a brand new dad. www.deanpoynor.com



Young Negress Stepping Out of the River at Dawn


Alyze and Martin are Rwanda immigrants living in Queens, NY. When Martin proposes marriage, Alyze accepts, hoping for the wedding of her dreams. But in this new country, far from their native land, what good is a wedding without family or tradition? And how can they afford a dress? As Alyze struggles to keep the old ceremonies, she must confront a past that has haunted her for so long. Following the structure of a traditional Rwandan wedding, this play tells a story of hope, family, and finding yourself even in a new home.




Cody Daigle  |   David Jacobi  |   Dean Poynor  |   Jonathan Payne  |   Kenley Smith



Jonathan Payne

Brooklyn, NY


Jonathan Payne, originally from Los Angeles, lives in Brooklyn, New York with his girlfriend Betty and his lovely-yet-clumsy polydactyl cat. He is a member of an improvised theatre troupe called Impossible Bottle. His play, Borne to the Ocean, received the Rosa Parks Award in 2011, from the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival. His first play, Slavery, had a very successful tour of the UK for their Black History month in 2007, and has been shown in several theatres around the country, including the Kennedy Center in DC and the Bottle Factory as part of the New York Fringe Festival. It is published by Samuel French Inc. Although he received a BA from the GSA Conservatoire for Acting (UK) and an MFA in Playwriting from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, he considers his time at Santa Monica Community College as his strongest foundation in the theatre.



The Briar Patch


Bishop Micah Ball quits his Mega-church to save the inner-city from descending further into madness, only to find, his past follows close behind him, his message isn’t welcomed, and there’s someone frantically digging on the lot where he plans to rebuild his father's church. This someone has his own ideas of how to save the world, and he has to do it before the Jacky comes. The Briar Patch explores the taboo of mental illness in the black community and asks how one copes with a cultural PTSD.




Cody Daigle  |   David Jacobi  |   Dean Poynor  |   Jonathan Payne  |   Kenley Smith



Kenley Smith

Nashville, TN


Kenley Smith is making his second visit to GPTC, where his “Devil Sedan” was a featured play in 2008. He wrote “Empires of Eternal Void” while an Ingram playwright-in-residence at Tennessee Repertory Theatre for 2011-12. Currently a resident of Nashville, he previously was founder and artistic director of Studio Roanoke, a Virginia new-works theatre.

“Devil Sedan” won first place at the Barter Theatre’s 2008 Festival of Appalachian Plays and Playwrights. It was produced in Omaha by Baby D Theatre in 2009. Kenley’s “Shade of the Trees,” also a Barter finalist, was produced at Studio Roanoke, as were “Twelve Stations of the Cross,” “The Brand New Testament” and “Monkey Wrench.”

Kenley earned an M.F.A. in Playwriting and an M.A. in English and Creative Writing, both from Hollins University. He has taught playwriting at Randolph College and at the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. For more information, check him out at www.kenleysmith.com



Empires of Eternal Void


Locked in a transparent cell with a seemingly delusional young soldier, a military chaplain attempts to learn the truth about a violent, shocking crime. But as the session unfolds, punctuated by threats and even torture, the chaplain's sense of purpose and reality begins to shift. Are the prisoner's conversations with God the ravings of a disturbed soul, or the revelations of an enlightened one? Is the crime an act of brutality, or of grace? Who, in fact, is the real prisoner, and who is interrogating whom?