Development History

This is the first season of The New Jersey Play Lab, but Cheryl and Kaitlin have been developing plays together for many years. Check out their bios here.

2019 Fall Residency

We Victorians
by Matthew Cole Kelly

A 21-year old assistant brings a sexual harassment suit against a respected white-glove attorney. A bedroom is transformed into an Intergalactic Court of Justice to try the Greek gods for acts of rape against mortals and to decide whether their monuments – the constellations – should be ripped from the heavens. Oh, and it’s raining cattle in Manhattan. Queer empowerment and old-school privilege collide in this radical interrogation of power in the Me Too Era, blurring distinctions between reality and myth, between the past and the present, and between victimization and liberation.

Matthew Cole Kelly is a queer New Jersey-based playwright, librettist, lyricist, and screenwriter whose work has been nominated for over a dozen awards. His plays and musicals have been developed by Abingdon Theatre (HOMEGROWN BEGINNINGS), Luna Stage (THE PLASTIC CITY), Metropolitan Playhouse (RUSSIAN TEA), the Theatre Lab (THE PLASTIC CITY), HRC Showcase Theatre (THE PLASTIC CITY), Talk Back Theatre (THE PLASTIC CITY), Loose Change Productions (THE GODS OF THE OZARKS), Occupy Wall Street (TURQUOISE AND CLOVES), the Makor Steinhardt Center (PASTRAMI APPARITIONS), Turn Park Art Space (THE SEA GOD’S SONG), and Art Center Live (ON THE NATURAL FORM). This summer, his play THE GODS OF THE OZARKS will receive a full production by Ireland’s AboutFACE Theatre while his opera AMI & TAMI is being translated into Italian for a winter production at the Teatro Coccia di Novara.

Matthew’s plays have been nominated as finalist or semifinalist for the Abingdon Theatre’s Christopher Brian Wolk Award (HOMEGROWN BEGINNINGS), the Bloomington Playwright Project’s Woodward/Newman Drama Award (HOMEGROWN BEGINNINGS), the College of Charleston’s Todd McNerney Playwriting Award (THE PLASTIC CITY), the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s Award for Excellence in Playwriting (for both THE PLASTIC CITY and THE GODS OF THE OZARKS), the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference (THE PLASTIC CITY), ScreenCraft’s Stage Play Contest (THE GODS OF THE OZARKS), and the Shakespeare in the Berg Award (PUTIN AT THE RITZ). His original screenplay GROUP THERAPY has been nominated as semifinalist in ScreenCraft’s Comedy Screenplay Competition while his screenplay TRANSFAT has been nominated as finalist or semifinalist in the Cannes Screenplay Contest, the Richmond International Film & Music Festival, the WeScreenplay Diverse Voices Competition, ScreenCraft’s Comedy Screenplay Competition, the Los Angeles International Screenplay Competition, the Creative World Awards, the Emerging Screenwriter Awards, and the ISA Fast Track Fellowship. 

Matthew studied playwriting at Brown University under the tutelage of Paula Vogel before earning a PhD in Sociomedical Sciences and History from Columbia University. He is a member of the Dramatist Guild and the BMI Lehman Engel Advanced Librettist Workshop.

2019 Fall Residency Finalists

Abducted by Michele Aldin Kushner
Allies by Michael John McGoldrick
Come Find Me by Erin Mallon
Incident at Willow Creek by B. V. Marshall

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