INK’D Festival this week

291447Playwrights Realm’s Ink’d Fesival is this week, May 17-20th.

We started rehearsals last week for THE OTHER INSTINCT with director Sarah Krohn and a remarkable cast: Nilanjana Bose, Mahira Kakkar, Marjan Neshat, Farah Bala, Donetta Lavinia Grays, Rita Wolf, Bhavesh Patel, Tiffany Villarin, and Kelley O’Donnell; we’ll have the full crew today, and then the reading is Thursday.

This process included working with set designer Jason Simms, who came up with some illuminating concepts & sketches; I’ll be sharing those later.

The other plays in the festival are outstanding, and all very different, by playwrights & fellow Playwrights Realm fellows Lauren Feldman, Jonathan Payne, and David Zax — check them all out if you can.

Link for the festival is here:

R&D Findings Series

13151702_10154111459563389_4438243231124284413_nThe Finding Series kicks off this afternoon with a reading/presentation of what you are now, an EST/Sloan Commission that I’ve been developing during my time with the Civilians R&D Group. Director Colette Robert and I teamed up for this presentation, and had an insanely awesome crew for a day of working on very rough & raw material — Sophia Skiles, Ron Domingo, Eugene Young, Sasha Diamond, Alex Herrald, and Tiffany Villarin.

Thanks to the folks who came out to join us, as well.


Lobsters Live Forever workshop 3/28 & 3/29

LLF-overturesBob Kelly & I are continuing to develop our one-act musical, Lobsters Live Forever, at a workshop through Gallery Players’ Overtures program, in partnership with Leviathan Lab.

Originally commissioned by Leviathan Lab for their Ghost Stories Project, LLF is an adaptation of an Inuit folktale, and also incorporates elements of the hungry ghost of Tibetan Buddhist traditions.

The workshop runs March 23-29, with two public readings on March 28 & 29th:

Lobsters Live Forever
Book and Lyrics by Sam Chanse
Music by Bob Kelly
Presented by Gallery Players in partnership with the Leviathan Lab

Monday & Tuesday, March 28 & 29th, 2016
The Gallery Players, 199 14th St, Brooklyn, New York 11215
$10 (Free with AEA card)

Director – Robert Lee
Music Director – Daniel Sefik
Musical Theatre Advisor – Robert Lee
Dramaturg – Donatella Galella
Producers – Flordelino Lagundino, Alyssa Simmons

Angel Desai* – Thelma
Danyel Fulton* – Skeleton Woman
*Members of Actors Equity

Monday, March 28th at 7pm
Tuesday, March 29th at 7pm
note: piece is approximately 50 minutes long

Once upon a contemporary time, a lobster-chasing excursion on a haunted bay brings about a collision: two women confront the ambivalence and necessity of contact, and the pains and pleasures of being alive. Inspired by an Inuit folk tale and Chinese hungry ghost stories, Lobsters Live Forever delves into the impossibilities of perfection and the vulnerabilities of human connection.

Lobsters Live Forever is presented by OVERTURES, A New Musical Reading Series
Produced by Barrie Gelles and The Gallery Players

For more information about the OVERTURES series, please visit:


back at ksw with kaya, claire, the cities, and other beloved peoples.

clockwise from top: the Invisible Cities; Claire Light; [yours truly]; Neela Banerjee. i believe Ellen Oh took these pictures! thanks, Ellen.
had a beautiful evening back at kearny street workshop on Monday, Feb 1st, for Kaya Press’ SF launch of lydia’s funeral video. it was amazing to catch up with beloved friends i hadn’t seen in years–all incredible, brilliant, talented people.

claire light read a chapter of her amazing new novel, sadie contini & han wang of the  invisible cities performed a beautiful set–with special guest drummer (and singer!) melissa hung!–, and neela banerjee was a tremendous and inspiring emcee.

i did excerpts of the play–and also stumbled my way through a q&a led by claire (not my most impressive moments on the planet, but i appreciate claire’s & other folks’ questions, which i somehow managed to totally not answer, in spite of my best intentions).

much gratitude to everyone who made it happen and everyone who was there–it was such a joy to be in the space with everyone.

(original event description: )

12592326_10206299300185931_1850962534342642586_n12669635_10206299298025877_3513479326615151167_n 12647235_10153624523691749_5985116266020202957_n

1/25: LA Launch Event for Lydia’s Funeral Video with Jesse Bliss, Lilly Flor del Valle, Carry Hatchet, and Kaya


Monday, January 25, 2016

Los Angeles Launch for Lydia’s Funeral Video with Sam Chanse, Jesse Bliss, Lilly Flor del Valle, Carry Hatchet, and Kaya Press

Date/Time: Monday, January 25th, 7.30-9.30pm

Location: Avenue 50 Studio, 131 N Avenue 50, Los Angeles, California 90042

Come out to Avenue 50 Studio in Highland Park for the Los Angeles launch event of Lydia’s Funeral Video from Kaya Press. A special night of performance featuring Sam Chanse (Lydia’s Funeral Video) and Jesse Bliss (Tree of Fire), and musical guests Lilly Flor del Valle and Carry Hatchet. Sam and Jesse will perform, and then engage in conversation about playwriting, the art of performance, and more. Kaya Press will be on hand with books and drinks for sale. Reception to follow. Free!

More info:

1/17/2016: Fruiting Bodies at Ma-Yi’s Winter 2016 Labfest

Winter-LabFest-photo-long-banner_3-580x303As part of Ma-Yi’s Winter Labfest:

by Sam Chanse
Directed by Shelley Butler

Jason Liebman*, Teresa Avia Lim*, Diana Oh*, Matthew Park, and James Saito*
*Actors are appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association

Stage Manager:
Samantha Cotton

Sunday, January 17th @ 7pm 
A.R.T./N.Y., Bruce Mitchell Room, 520 8th Avenue, 3rd Floor


link to FB event:

link to Ma-Yi Winter Labfest full schedule:

2/1/2016: Lydia’s Funeral Video Bay Area Launch with Claire Light & The Invisible Cities


Co-presented by Kaya Press and Kearny Street Workshop

February 1st, 2016
Arc Gallery & Studios
1246 Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA 94106
Doors: 7:30pm Start: 8pm

Pre-sale ticket price of $20 (including a discounted copy of Lydia’s Funeral Video) or $7 without / Door price of $23 including book or $10 without.

In SAM CHANSE’S satirical one-woman play, LYDIA’S FUNERAL VIDEO, set in a near distant future, devout bank clerk Lydia Clark-Lin has 28 days to terminate an unplanned pregnancy, shoot her own funeral video, and do some stand-up comedy. Come celebrate the recent publication of Lydia’s Funeral Video by Kaya Press, which along with the full-script, features a full counterpoint narrative, stream-of-consciousness illustrations (a flip book!), essays, notes and more. Sam Chanse will read from the book, and then discuss it with Claire Light — plus music by The Invisible Cities.

click here for more info

Ma-Yi LabFest – 5/11 (DELIVERY, directed by Cat Miller)

coming up this week, along with |the Claque|’s QuaDs presentation of FRUITING BODIES, directed by Kareem Fahmy:

Monday, May 11th, @ 7pm
by Sam Chanse
directed by Cat Miller

a reading presented as part of Ma-Yi’s Spring Labfest

with Farah Bala*, Vandit Bhatt*, Kimberly Chatterjee, Meethu Chilana*, Layla Khoshnoudi, Sunita Mukhi, Kelley Rae O’Donnell*, Lori Parquet*, and Tiffany Villarin*

Ma-Yi Studio, 260 W. 35th Street, Suite 203 (2nd Fl), between 7th and 8th aves, NYC

Reservations: Free; please rsvp:

gilgamesh & the mosquito selected for 2015 Yale Institute for Music Theatre

Composer/collaborator-friend Bob Kelly and I found out recently that our musical, gilgamesh & the mosquito, was selected for this year’s Yale Institute for Music Theatre.

(Bob and I are excited about this.)

From the YIMT website:

Established in 2009, the YALE INSTITUTE FOR MUSIC THEATRE is a program of Yale’s Binger Center for New Theatre that bridges the gap between training and the professional world for emerging composers, book writers, and lyricists. The Institute seeks distinctive and original music theatre works to be developed in an intensive two-week summer lab at Yale School of Drama. The Institute matches the authors of the selected works with collaborators, including professional directors and music directors, as well as a company of actors and singers that includes professionals and current Yale students.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mark Brokaw, two original music theatre works have been selected for the 2015 Institute, which will take place June 13–28 in New Haven: gilgamesh & the mosquito, music by Bob Kelly and book and lyrics by Sam Chanse; and Horizons, music by Ben Wexler and book and lyrics by Mark Sonnenblick.

The lab culminates with open rehearsal readings of each project, presented as a part of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, on June 26 and 27.

Some information about YIMT:

Some information about YIMT:

Four Plays at the Claque’s QuaDs

The Claque just shared the new images for the upcoming Quick and Dirties (the QuaDs), for Anna Moench’s WILDROSE, Tommy Smith’s BOYFRIEND, Seth Moore’s GHOSTS IN THE TAPESTRY.

The QuaDs runs May 6-16th, 2015, at the Sheen Center, NYC.







Kaya Press & Lydia’s Funeral Video[updated 5/8/2015Lydia’s Funeral Video is now available on Kaya’s website, here: ]

It’s been (many) years in the making, but Kaya Press has received the galleys and digital proof from the printer, and Lydia’s Funeral Video, the book, is on its way toward physical being.

The books should be ready by April 1st, but the official publication/release date is May 2015.

So for now, I just wanted to share this image of the cover, designed by the Very Amazing graphic design studio that is Spoon + Fork.


the 2015 Quick and Dirties [the claque]

I’m honored to be joining playwrights Anna Moench, Seth Moore, and Tommy Smith in this year’s QuaDs, courtesy of [the claque].

here’s how they [the claque] put it in their announcement:

——here begins quoted announcement—–

claque2015-imageFRIDAY NEWS Y’ALL:

We are overjoyed to announce the plays of the 2015 Quick and Dirties coming this May to the Sheen Center. Hold on to your seats, ’cause it’s all happening. The plays are:

Fruiting Bodies by Sam Chanse
Wildrose by Anna Moench
Ghost in the Tapestry by Seth Moore
Boyfriend by Tommy Smith

Be sure to follow along with how the plays are developing right here. We’ll see you in May.


——here ends quoted announcement—–

very cool, [claque]; looking forward.

gilgamesh & the mosquito at TNNY’s Sound Bites

Rehearsals have begun for a presentation of a segment of gilgamesh & the mosquito at TNNY’s Sound Bites Festival on Monday, 12/8/2014.

Bob Kelly and I have the privilege & pleasure of working with director Kel Haney, and performers Cindy Cheung, Jonathan Raviv, Brandon Nase, Sarah Smithton, Kimberley Chatterjee, Tara Halpern, Molly Fried, Cheeyoung Kim, Ryan Korell, Benny Gammerman, and Hali Alspach.

More privilege & pleasure: the choreographer Joya Powell joined the team, as well as percussionist Allen Branch.

So much privilege & pleasure; much looking forward:

ghost stories rehearsal

First week of rehearsals for Leviathan Lab’s GHOST STORIES project; Bob and I are grateful and thrilled to be working with actors Cindy Cheung and Brooke Ishibashi, music director Andrew Wheeler, and director BD Wong. Looking forward to more on Monday.

rehearsal 11.14.2014

(Brooke Ishibashi, Cindy Cheung, and Andrew Wheeler.)



11/21 & 11/22: Leviathan Lab’s Ghost Stories at University Settlement

Composer-collaborator friend Bob Kelly and I are working on a new short piece, LOBSTERS LIVE FOREVER, loosely adapted from an Inuit folk tale, to be presented as a staged reading at Leviathan Lab’s GHOST STORIES on November 21st and 22nd. The piece was commissioned and developed as part of Leviathan Lab’s New Musicals Initiative.

November 21-22, 2014 

Leviathan Lab & the Performance Project at University Settlement presents 

Ghost Stories

Award-winning lyricist/librettist Robert Lee (Heading East, Takeaway) curates an evening of staged readings of new musicals inspired by traditional Asian ghost stories and created by Asian American composers and lyricists. Each performance will be followed by a talk-back and reception. 

  • Friday, November 21st @ 7.30pm
  • Saturday, November 22nd @ 5pm

tickets $10, general admission:

More info:

December 8, 2014

And the next month, an excerpt of GILGAMESH & THE MOSQUITO, directed by Kel Haney, will be presented at Theatre Now New York‘s Sound Bites Festival (December 8th), along with nine other 10-minute musicals and/or excerpts of musicals. Tickets and more information:

fruiting bodies at labyrinth theater summer intensive

We’re entering the second and last day of a workshop, directed by Shelley Butler, as part of Labyrinth Theater‘s annual summer intensive; there will be a reading tonight, following another rehearsal (and, supposedly, a pretty fantastic meal…I eagerly anticipate).

We’ve had a few re-casting/scheduling scrambles due to the in-high-demand nature of the super talented folks in the rom, but glad to have had the chance to work with all of them, in various configurations: Alfredo Narciso, James Saito, Kate Marley, Kelley O’Donnell, Sue Jean Kim, and Carlo Alban.

Grateful to the Labyrinth for welcoming us into the process.

yay, cast.

Black and White Photograph of Coastal Redwoods, Mount Tamalpais, Muir Woods National Monument, Californiamuch looking forward to working with director Shelley Butler and the cast for this Lark studio retreat workshop of FRUITING BODIES, featuring:

Workshop: David Charles, Cindy Cheung, Brooke Ishibashi, Kimber Lee,Jason Liebman, and Alfredo Narciso.

Public readings: David Charles, Cindy CheungBrooke IshibashiFrancis JueJason Liebman and Alfredo Narciso.

about the play:
A mushroom hunt goes awry, and two sisters set off into the Marin headlands to retrieve their quasi-estranged dad; fog, thought experiments, social media apps, strange encounters, absent children, and more fog ensue. A play about relevance and belonging in a clamorous and alienating world.

More information:

Also, brilliant playwright & fellow ma-yi labbie Susan Stanton led an email Q&A about the play, here:

lark studio retreat for FRUITING BODIES

Lark_web_banner_wTagLinethis week i’ll be going into my june studio retreat at the Lark for FRUITING BODIES, a new play i’ve been working on.



studio-retreat-logosmallthe amazing Shelley Butler will be directing, and there will be two readings open to the public on tuesday, 6/17, and wednesday, 6/18, where we’ll be sharing some of what we’ve been developing over the week.

brilliant playwright and fellow ma-yi labbie Susan Soon He Stanton did me the honor of interviewing me about the play; a link to the interview is here.

and more information about the studio retreat and public readings can be found here.

gilgamesh & the mosquito workshop: 5/1-5/6

Bob Kelly and i just wrapped up our NYU thesis workshop of GILGAMESH & THE MOSQUITO. thanks to all the incredibles involved: director Mike Donahue, music director Ben Cohn, faculty advisor Robert Lee, and cast Cindy Cheung, Jonathan Raviv, Lee Harrington, Caesar Samayoa, Q Smith, Ryan Bauer-Walsh, and Brandon Cordeiro. and of course SMs & fellow writers Robert Grashaw, Ariel Dovas, and Mehmet Salih Yildirim.

sadly, a cast&crew photo op was missed, but there will be Digtial Documentation of Paper Program to last for All Eternity:


correctional workshop: 4/3-4/8

Tuesday, 4/8:

just finished a workshop for CORRECTIONAL, an original musical composer Sean Havrilla and i are developing.

we had the privilege of working with faculty advisor Randall Eng,  director Ben Klein, music director Milton Granger,  and the incredible cast Ali Ewoldt, Diana Huey, Devin Ilaw, Fay Ann Lee, Aloysius Gigl, Q Smith, and Drew Abner. also, wonderful SMs and fellow writers-at-nyu Eunggyu Lee, Orian Israelsohn, and Ross Baum.


2/17: benefit for fundraising efforts in the Philippines

proverbsi’m participating in a benefit presented by Ma-Yi Theater Company & Playwrights Horizons, to raise funds for people affected by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda;

as the New York Times reported earlier this week, the Philippines still struggles to rebuild three months after Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.
the benefit features short plays inspired by Filipino proverbs, written by members of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab.
Ma-Yi Theater Company & Playwrights Horizons present
MGA KASABIHAN / WORDS OF WISDOM: a benefit for the PhilippinesMonday, February 17th @ 7pm
Playwrights Horizons, 416 West 42nd Street, NYC

$15 ARTIST RATE TIX (limited availability – first come/first serve) with code BOATS




facebook event link:
featuring Rajesh Bose, Joel de la Fuente, Ron Domingo, Ali Ewoldt, Margaret Ivey, Mia Katigbak, Anjili Pal, Eileen Rivera, Jon Norman Schneider, Krystal Seli, Dax Valdes, and Daniel Velasco

directed by Nelson Eusebio, Andy Pang, Colette Robert, and RJ Tolan

written by Sam Chanse, Dustin Chinn, Naveen Bahar Choudhury, Clarence Coo, Mrinalini Kamath, Mike Lew, Edgar Mendoza, Rehana Lew Mirza, Jiehae Park, Sung Rno, Nandita Shenoy, Susan Soon He Stanton, and Lauren Yee

ma-yi workshop/reading sunday 11/1

This weekend, Nov 10-11, I’m doing a workshop and closed reading of a new play, fruiting bodies, as a private segment of Ma-Yi Theater’s otherwise public fall Labfest. Kel Haney is directing.

It’s a play I started this summer at Vassar, as part of the Lark’s week-long residency with New York Stage & Film.

It’s a closed reading to focus on developing a first rough draft, but if you’re interested in attending, just let me know.