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Emerging Writers Group

The Emerging Writers Group is a fellowship at The Public Theater for playwrights and other generative artists at the early stages of their professional careers. For over 15 years, EWG has brought artists together to create and develop their work in conversation with their peers and The Public Theater community. EWG is a cornerstone of The Public’s mission to celebrate and support new generations of storytellers. 

EWG members are selected bi-annually and receive a two-year fellowship at The Public, which consists of bi-weekly meetings where cohort members share new work in progress. We also offer special sessions that connect EWG-ers to the wider theatrical community, including industry panels, "speed-dating" with directors, financial advice, master classes from professional playwrights and more. At the end of the fellowship, The Public presents the EWG Spotlight Series, a festival of professionally produced readings for members of the industry and the general public. Other program benefits include:

  • A $10,000 stipend 
  • $1,000 in reimbursable funds for buying tickets to shows outside The Public 
  • Complimentary tickets to Public Theater productions, workshops, special events and Joe's Pub performances. 
  • Professional headshots
  • Opportunities to observe the rehearsal processes of Public Theater shows


Applications for the Emerging Writers Group are currently closed. Applications for the next cycle of EWG will open in December 2024. 

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KARINA BILLINI is a Dominican-American playwright, poet, and educator from Brooklyn. Billini completed her undergraduate degree in playwriting at Marymount Manhattan College and received her MFA in Playwriting from The New School for Drama. She is a proud alum of the New Harmony Project Conference, Ensemble Studio Theatre's Youngblood, and Pipeline PlayLab, among others. Her plays have been workshopped and/or produced at Alliance Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, New Harmony Project, Fault Line Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, among others. Her play, Apple Bottom, is a recipient of the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation commission. Billini is a first-year Lila Acheson Wallace American playwriting fellow at The Juilliard School. She is forever grateful for her mother (her favorite poet), Rafaela, and her five siblings for their limitless hope and humor. 



TOMAS ENDTER is a Nehithaw actor and playwright from the lands of the Suquamish on the Key Peninsula and Ho-Chunk land in Verona, Wisconsin. A founding member of the Fair Verona Shakespeare Company, Endter has been involved in the theater since 2012, eventually moving on to study at The New School of Drama, graduating in 2020. Their works have been most recently seen with Amplify Theatre Collective in their 2021 showcase, with their play Hostile, and the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program, where they won the 7th annual competition in 2022 for their play Built on Bones. A scene from Built on Bones would later be featured in The Public Theater’s “What do you know?: Reflections from Indigenous Artists” in November of 2022. 



JESSE JAE HOON is a playwright, organizer, and actor–born in South Korea, raised in Chicago and Berlin, and based in Queens. Hoon is a hopeful cynic whose work combines raucous comedy with a deeply felt sense of urgency to investigate power, class, hope, and our responsibility to the collective good. He’s the current CRNY Resident Artist at Ma-Yi Theater Company; a 2024 MacDowell Fellow; a 2022-2023 Writing Fellow at The Playwrights Realm; under commission from Theater J; the inaugural Radio Roots fellow with The Parsnip Ship, under guidance from Iyvon Edebori and Al Parker; an inaugural member of the Orchard Project Adaptation Lab; and a member of The TANK NYC's LIT Council, Page Break, and the COOP’s Clusterf**k. He holds an MFA in Playwriting from Hunter College and a BFA in Drama from NYU Tisch (Playwrights Horizons). 



HUMAIRA IQBAL (she/her) is a British Indian Muslim, writer-poet-actor based in N.Y.C, born and raised in East London/Essex, U.K. Iqbal’s key inspirational themes are women and violence, but community and history are at the core of her work, striving always to tell the unknown story. Iqbal is a recent MFA graduate from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in the Dramatic Writing department. Iqbal has also had the honor to train as an actor at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama’s BA (Hons) Acting program and has now been in the professional business for just over four years. Iqbal was the 2022 recipient of The BAFTA Pigott award and has had the privilege to be part of two in-demand writing groups in the UK; SOHO Writers Lab and the Royal Court Writers' Group. Some of Iqbal’s previous acting work includes working with the BBC, Arcola Theatre (Spun), Royal Court, Royal Stratford East (Director: Nadia Fall), and debuting the short film Didi at HollyShorts (USA). Follow Iqbal on Instagram @humi.iqbal to get all current creative updates. 



CELESTE JENNINGS is a playwright and costume designer. Using the language of her family, she quilts love songs for Black folks. Her work invites her community to stop and rest awhile as they refamiliarize themselves with the poetic diction of home. She loves to incorporate her unique perspective into her work and is particularly motivated to uplift and protect Black women as a writer and designer. Her dream projects evoke the past, present, and future and remind Black women that they are loved, that they’re soft, powerful, capable of resting, deserving of liberation, and that they are everythingthat they always have been. She’s a 2023/24 NYTW artistic fellow, and most recently, her play Bov Water was produced at Northern Stage. She developed another play with music, Contentious Woman, with PlayCo. Selected work includes Citrus (produced at Northern Stage) and Processing. Lately, she collaborated with JAG in a designer workshop for Urinetown. Recent/current design work includes Malvolio, with the Classical Theatre of Harlem; Finding Freedom at the Charleston Gailliard Center; and Fat Ham at Huntington Theatre and The Alliance. 

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NINA KI (xe/she/they) is a Queerean (Queer + Korean) American playwright living in Brooklyn. Xe graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 2008 with a BFA in Dramatic Writing, and xer plays have been read, recorded, and presented nationwide, including with Clubbed Thumb, Ma-Yi Theater Company, MCC Theater, The Parsnip Ship, Yale Summer Cabaret, and Queens Theater. Xer play Moon Bear was given special consideration for the Relentless Award, and xer play Ravage was a finalist for the Playwrights Realm's Fellowship. Xe was also an inaugural member of The Parsnip Ship's Radio Roots Writer's Group and a member of Clubbed Thumb's Early Career Writer's Group, and is a member of Ma-Yi's Writers Lab. To contact xer or learn more about xer work, please visit xer website at www.nina-ki.com



GLORIA OLADIPO is a playwright based in New York, proudly hailing from Chicago, IL. She writes Black comedies about Black women, exploring themes of caregiving, mental health, and trauma through a mix of realism and absurdism. Oladipo is a 2022-2023 Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow and 2023 Seven Devils New Play Conference resident, where her play The Care and Keeping of Schizophrenia (and Other Demons) was in development. She is a 2023 Gingold Group Speaker's Corner fellow, with her play I Wanna Kill, Annie G. Oladipo is 2023 artist-in-residence with New York Stage and Film in Poughkeepsie, NY. Oladipo is also a Velvetpark Writers Residency finalist. Oladipo is also an award-winning cultural critic and journalist. She is a 2022 National Critics Institute fellow at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, an opportunity she was selected for via the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy. Oladipo's work has appeared in Teen Vogue, The Guardian, Bitch Media, and other publications. She is incredibly grateful and excited to be joining the Public Theater's Emerging Writers Group. Oladipo holds a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences from Cornell University. gloriaoladipo.com 



VALEN-MARIE SANTOS (she/they) is a Latine writer, director, and actor originally from south Florida. As a multi-hyphenate artist, she believes each discipline has an undeniable effect on the others. Through their work, Santos spotlights young people, women, family, and the Latine experience within the U.S. Her play National Merit—a drama about the faults of the American education system—received a virtual reading by BoHo Theatre in May 2021, and went on to receive its first full production in August 2022. Her play Perreo, a drama set in the Miami reggaeton scene, was selected for the 2020 Agnes Nixon Playwriting Festival, and her comedy about the murder of a fourth-grade class pet Butterscotch was student-produced at Rider University in 2019. Using Protection, a web series they directed and co-created with Rishi Mahesh and Madi Hart, premiered at the 2022 SeriesFest in Denver. When she's not working on projects, Santos is also studying tarot and astrology, painting, songwriting, and spending way too much time making Spotify playlists.  



AMITA SHARMA (she/her) is a writer and actor. Her plays include Birth of a Mother and Nani. She participated in the Restorative Story Writers Workshop at The Barrow Group (2020-2022). She then performed her works-in-progress at the Solo Development Series at The Barrow Group. Sharma is a graduate of the professional actors training program at the William Esper Studio. She hails from rural Iowa and the outskirts of Detroit. The generational impact of the South Asian diaspora, hope, and transformation are driving forces in her work. amita-sharma.com 

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AL SIERRA (he/they) is an Afro Puerto Rican-Jamaican, New York City-born and -based playwright, writer, and actor. He received a BSc. from Cornell University and worked in advertising as a copywriter and creative director before embarking on his journey as a storyteller. His plays include clean, The Peak, and ...when the sea comes home. His work has received developmental support from The National Black Theatre and The National Queer Theater. He is a 2022 Learning to Love Fellow of The Gatekeepers Collective. When he’s not telling stories, Sierra spends an inordinate amount of time thinking about inequality, identity, NYC, blackholes, the 90s, and Rihanna.