Playwrights Project (PAPAPP)

Raises up the voices of emerging Asian and Asian American playwrights in our city with Lead Artist, Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters [see below]. We hope the PAPA Playwrights Project will make Philadelphia's Asian and Asian American voices and stories increasingly visible on the stage.


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. PAPA Playwrights meet monthly to share drafts, work with local dramaturgs, and discuss local and national theatre. They engage with the new play development process and culminate with a reading of their work.

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Learn more about our newest PAPAPPs!

LEXI THAMMAVONG (she/they) is a Philly-based performing artist and writer. A recent graduate of The University of the Arts, they obtained their BFA in Musical Theatre with a minor in Creative Writing and was a Student Valedictory Speaker. Lexi loves to experiment with various genres and styles, investigating new, authentic approaches to material— whether classical or new work. No matter the medium, they strive to create art that is specific, nuanced, and rooted in decolonization. She believes that the work she creates has an intrinsic connection and responsibility to the many communities who influence it— she is eternally grateful for the collective power of working folk and citizen artists.

DANIEL KIM (is an actor and standup comedian who has appeared across the country. While in Los Angeles, he played the villainous Judge Turpin in the award-winning production of Sweeney Todd at East West Players, the nation's oldest Asian American theater. Dan also played family friend Stan on Margaret Cho's sitcom All American Girl. In Philadelphia, Dan was a founding member of the performance group Asians Misbehavin' (NY & Philly Fringe Festivals, WYBE-TV), as well as the Edge of the World ensemble (NAATCO, LaMama). In addition, Dan appeared in Tiger Style, the inaugural production of Philadelphia Asian Performance Artists (PAPA). At the South Camden Theatre (NJ), Dan played the role of Wong in both the premiere and revival of Fortune Cookies. Dan has performed stand-up comedy at clubs in Chicago (Zanies, Comedy Cottage), New York (Improv, Gotham Comedy Club), and Philadelphia (Comedy Cabaret). In addition, Dan was a member of the Warner Bros. Comedy Writing Workshop. Love to Doris, Melody, Maple, and Lolly!

JACINTA YELLAND is an Australian theatre performer, creator and teacher based in Philadelphia. Jacinta has collaborated with companies across Australia and America including David Gordon, Quintessence Theatre Group, Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists, Philadelphia Artists’ Collective, Tribe of Fools, Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, and Visual Expressions. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Devised Performance from University of the Arts led by award-winning Pig Iron Theatre
Company, a Bachelor of Creative Industries: Drama from Queensland University of Technology, and was supported by Arts Queensland to study at École Philippe Gaulier, Paris. Jacinta is co-artistic director of inFLUX Theatre Collective, whose debut show, The Choice, won the Philly Fringies Award for Theatre at the 2021 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Jacinta is an adjunct professor at Temple University and the theatre instructor at Circadium School of Contemporary Circus. Her projects have been supported by Australia Council for the Arts, Network of Ensemble Theaters, City of Philadelphia, and American Australian Association.

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Cohort 1 2020/2022

October 2020 marks the second year of this residency. They will be spending the next two years convening monthly to share work, workshop writing, and prepare for some inevitably fantastic showcasing!

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Chantal Vorobei Thieves

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Cinder Kuss

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Crys Clemente

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Joseph Ahmed

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Nimisha Ladva

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Priyanka Shetty

 

Cohort 0 2019/2019

This was the first year that PAPAPP premiered, with a culminating reading series in 2019.

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Amy Boehly

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Arthur Robinson 

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Claris Park

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Pratima Agrawal

 
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About the Lead Artist:

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. 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. 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 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.  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. Her plays can be found on NPX.