About the CrossRoads Initiative

Thanks to a generous renewal of a grant from the Time Warner Foundation, South Coast Repertory is expanding its CrossRoads ​commissioning ​project— a community-based initiative within the theatre’s renowned new work program to develop plays that explore the cultural diversity of Orange County through artist residencies. The new funding will support continued work on the plays by the six playwrights tapped in 2013 for the first CrossRoads commissions​, and it will enable SCR to commission a second cohort of four new playwrights.

Read more about all of our CrossRoads writers below.

SCR’s CrossRoads Commissioning Project is generously supported by the Time Warner Foundation. Read more about the Foundation’s program.

Introducing the Round Two CrossRoads Playwrights

During the summer of 2015, four playwrights—Dipika Guha, Adam Gwon, Octavio Solis and Lauren Yee—spent ten days in Orange County, exploring the artistic and cultural diversity and connecting with organizations and individuals. They’ll now create a piece inspired by their experiences, which SCR hopes to develop during the summer of 2016.

Updates on the Round One CrossRoads Playwrights and Plays

  • Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone and Aditi Brennan Kapil’s Orange: an illustrated play received public readings during SCR’s 2015 Pacific Playwrights Festival. Vietgone received its world premiere on SCR’s Julianne Argyros Stage in October 2015 and will receive a subsequent production at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2016. The SCR production will then be restaged at Manhattan Theatre Club in their 2016-17 season.
  • Carla Ching’s Nomad Motel was developed as a part of the prestigious National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in July 2015. In October 2015, SCR presented a public reading of the play as a part of its NewSCRipts series.
  • Mona Mansour developed unseen at New York Stage and Film in April 2015 and during a Studio Retreat at the Lark Play Development Center in June 2015. unseen was also featured on The Kilroys’ The List 2015, a list of the top un- and under-produced plays by female and trans playwrights.

Meet the Playwrights

Alfaro,-LuisLuis Alfaro is a Los Angeles-based writer whose play, Mojada, received its world premiere at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater. SCR has developed several of Alfaro’s plays as part of its Pacific Playwrights Festival and the Hispanic Playwrights Project. Alfaro's solo piece, St. Jude, was seen at the Kirk Douglas Theatre (as part of the 2013 Radar L.A. Festival) and in the Studio SCR series in 2014. Read more about Luis.

Bamuthi-Joseph,-Marc Marc Bamuthi Joseph is an acclaimed poet/playwright and performer who lives in Oakland, CA. He also is the artistic director of San Francisco’s Living Word Project, the director of performing arts at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and a frequent collaborator with director Michael John Garcés. Read more about Marc.

Ching,-Carla Carla Ching is a Los Angeles native whose play, Fast Company, was featured during 2013’s Pacific Playwrights Festival and received its world premiere during SCR’s 2013-14 season. Ching is the former artistic director of the New York-based theatre company, Second Generation (2g), and was recently inducted into New Dramatists’ class of 2020, a seven-year residency program. Read more about Carla.

Dipika Guha

Dipika Guha was born in Calcutta and raised in tea drinking countries. Her work has been developed at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Playwrights Horizons, Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival, Naked Angels, Fault Line Theatre, Judson Church, One Coast Collaboration and the Tobacco Factory (UK), amongst others. Read more about Dipika.

Adam Gwon

Adam Gwon is a composer/lyricist whose musicals Ordinary Days and Cloudlands (co-written with Octavio Solis) were produced at South Coast Repertory. His honors include the Kleban Award, the Ebb Award, the Rodgers Award and the Loewe Award. His songs have been performed by such luminaries as Audra McDonald, Kelli O'Hara and Brian d'Arcy James. Read more about Adam.

Kapil-AditiAditi Brennan Kapil is a writer, actress and director living and working in Minneapolis, where she’s a Core Writer at The Playwrights’ Center. Her collection of plays, the Displaced Hindu Gods—a trilogy of plays loosely based on the trinity of Hindu deities (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) displaced into contemporary immigrants in the Westpremiered at Minneapolis’ Mixed Blood Theatre in fall 2013. Read more about Aditi.

Nguyen-QuiQui Nguyen is a Brooklyn-based playwright, fight choreographer and co-artistic director of New York’s comic book-inspired Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company. His CrossRoads commission, Vietgone, will receive its world premiere at SCR in the fall of 2015. Read more about Qui.

Mansour-MonaMona Mansour’s play about the 1960s Middle East, The Hour of Feeling, premiered at the 2012 Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Her latest work, The Way West, received its world premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in the spring of 2014. Mansour was recently inducted into the New Dramatists’ class of 2020, a seven-year residency program. She lives in New York. Read more about Mona.

Saracho-TanyaTanya Saracho is a playwright, director and actor who hails from Chicago, where she first gained national attention with her plays El Nogalar (Goodman Theatre/Teatro Vista) and Our Lady of the Underpass (Greenhouse Theatre Center). Her newest play, Fade, will receive its world premiere at the Denver Center Theatre Company in early 2016. Read more about Tanya.

Octavio Solis

Octavio Solis is a playwright and director living in Oregon. Author of over 20 plays, he is considered by many to be one of the most prominent Latino playwrights in America. His works have been mounted at theatres across the country, and many have been published, including his anthology, The River Plays. For South Coast Repertory, he wrote the long running La Posada Magica and Cloudlands, a musical co-written with Adam Gwon. Read more about Octavio.

Lauren Yee

Lauren Yee is a playwright born and raised in San Francisco. Her work has been produced and developed around the country, including Victory Gardens Theater (Samsara), San Francisco Playhouse (in a word), Pan Asian Repertory Theatre (Ching Chong Chinaman) and Playwrights Realm (The Hatmaker’s Wife). Yee is a former Dramatists Guild fellow, MacDowell Colony fellow and Public Theater Emerging Writers Group member and is currently a member of the Ma-Yi Writers' Lab and a Playwrights' Center Core Writer. She is the 2015 resident playwright at Anaheim's Chance Theatre, which recently produced the west coast premiere of Samsara. Read more about Lauren.

CrossRoads - Dengue Fever

CrossRoads playwright Lauren Yee (far right) with members of Dengue Fever, a Los Angeles-based band that combines Cambodian pop music and psychedelic rock.

Octavio Solis Flamenco

CrossRoads playwright Octavio Solis (second from right) practices flamenco dance at Tapas Flavors of Spain in Newport Beach.

Dipika Guha Bolsa Chica

CrossRoads playwright Dipika Guha (left) explores the Bolsa Chica Wetlands in Huntington Beach with Literary Intern Sanaz Toossi (center) and tour guide Greg Griffin (right).

Adam Gwon Santa Ana

CrossRoads playwright Adam Gwon in Downtown Santa Ana.

CrossRoads Playwrights UCI

CrossRoads playwright Lauren Yee at the Orange County & Southeast Asian Archive Center at the University of California, Irvine. Pictured (left to right): professor Linda Vo, professor Julia Lee, playwright Lauren Yee, Literary Director Kimberly Colburn and Associate Literary Director Andy Knight.

Community Connections

SCR extends thanks to the following organizations for contributing their time, expertise and resources to the CrossRoads Commissioning Project: