Tackling the Issue
Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists' Playwrights Project (PAPA Playwrights) raises up the voices of emerging Asian and Asian American playwrights in our city. Over the course of a 2 year residency, our playwrights hone their craft through workshops, readings, professional development opportunities, and guidance from a lead artist. We hope the PAPA Playwrights Project will make Philadelphia's Asian and Asian American voices and stories increasingly visible on the stage.
Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists Playwrights Project is beginning their second year. PAPA Playwrights meet monthly to share drafts, work with local dramaturgs, and discuss local and national theatre. Over the course of the two-year residency, PAPA Playwrights work with Lead Artist, Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters. They engage with the new play development process and culminate with a reading of their work.
Stephanie Kyung-Sun Walters
Stephanie Kyung-Sun Walters is a Barrymore nominated actor, playwright, and teaching artist in Philadelphia. She’s an InterAct Theatre Core Playwright, a graduate of The Foundry at PlayPenn, and the Lead Artist for the Philly Asian Performing Artists’ Playwrights Project. Her play, Esther Choi and the Fish that Drowned, was presented at the PlayPenn Conference. Esther Choi… will have a world premiere production with Simpatico Theatre Company in 2020 (postponed due to COVID-19). Keep Me Posted received a staged reading at the 2018 Philly Asian American Film Festival. Her play, Are You My Father or the dream ballet of north korea, received a workshop and reading with PlayPenn, as well as a residency with Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists/Asian Arts Initiative. She is a two-time finalist for Unicorn Theatre’s In-Progress New Play Reading Series. She was a semi-finalist for Nashville Repertory Theater's Ingram New Works and received a nomination for the NNPN Smith Prize for Political Theatre. As Lead Artist of the Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists Playwrights Project, she led a two-weekend festival of plays written by local emerging Asian-American playwrights. Additional plays have been produced and developed with Dragon’s Eye Theatre, Revamp Collective, Asian Arts Initiative, Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival, and Philadelphia’s Future is Female Festival. She has taught playwriting at Bucknell University, PlayPenn, Arden Theatre, and Theatre Exile. Stephanie is a proud graduate of Bucknell University and is currently earning her MFA in Writing for Screen and Stage from Point Park University. Her plays can be found on NPX.