12 x ’20 Play Project (December 2021)
Virtual Readings of all 12 plays are ended.

12 x ’20 Play Project (December 2021)


Martha's Vineyard Playhouse (Artistic Director MJ Bruder Munafo and Literary Manager Jenny Allen) commissioned 12 new plays from 12 diverse playwrights to chronicle the year 2020. Each playwright was assigned a month in 2020 and their 20 minute play was set in that month.

The working title of our ambitious and exciting project is the 12 x '20 PLAY PROJECT. All of the plays have been recorded as Zoom readings and were streamed from December 15 -19, 2021 and from January 10 - 16, 2022.

Click here for a program

Click here for actors' bios and headshots

Click here to provide your thoughts/feedback on the plays

12 x ’20 Play Project (December 2021)

12 Playwrights / 12 New 20-Minutes Plays / All set in 2020

2020 VISION by Laura Jahn (Is there life after Chilmark Chocolates? Two friends face an uncertain future)
LAURA JAHN's family washed ashore in 1991 and she's been a year-round Vineyard Haven resident ever since, graduating from the MV Public Charter School in 2008. She works in the Playhouse office and appeared in 2019's Our Town and 2021's Five Minute Plays. She's done some writing for the Vineyard Independence Partnership's monthly newsletter, but most of her work is short creative pieces for fun and self-expression. 2020 Vision is her first original play and she is very thankful for the opportunity to contribute to 12x20. Laura spent her own 2020 catching up on sleep, paperwork, and video games.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: The characters in this play are written with what is known as “invisible disabilities” – disabilities not immediately obvious just from looking at someone. One of my main goals in writing this play is to express some of the feelings and experiences involved in living with an invisible disability.

LOVE IT OR...by Mwalim (A Black man takes stock of life in America. Maybe it's time to leave.)
MWALIM (Morgan James Peters) is a multi-award-winning interdisciplinary performing artist, writer, and educator. His plays, performance pieces and films have been presented throughout the USA, Canada, the UK and the Caribbean. He is a tenured professor of English and Black Studies at UMass Dartmouth. He has been the distinguished playwright in residence at New African Company since 2003 and is a member of the Arts Commission of the American Academy of Arts & Letters. He is a singer, keyboardist and songwriter with the Grammy nominated band, The GroovaLottos.
MARCH 13, 2020 by Cassandra Medley (A mother imagines a connection between Breonna Taylor and her own daughter.)
CASSANDRA MEDLEY'S plays have been produced all over the U.S., including radio and podcast productions. She has written for film and television. Her play, “Relativity” won the 2006 Audelco “August Wilson Playwriting” Award and was featured on Science Friday, National Public Radio. Ms. Medley has also the received the 2004 “Going to the River Writers” Life Achievement Award, 2002 Ensemble Studio Theatre 25th Anniversary Award for Theatre Excellence, the 2001- Theatrefest Regional Playwriting Award for Best Play, the 1995 New Professional Theatre Award, and the 1995 Marilyn Simpson Award. She was a 1989 finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award in Playwriting, and won the 1990 National Endowment for the Arts Playwright Award.
EASTER SUNDAY by Miranda Rose Hall (Not everyone in this family is thrilled about playing a part in an Easter celebration.)
MIRANDA ROSE HALL is a playwright from Baltimore, MD. Her plays include A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction (finalist for the 2021 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize), Plot Points in Our Sexual Development (finalist for the 2019 Lambda Literary Award in Drama), The Hour of Great Mercy (winner of the 2019 San Diego Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Play), and The Kind Ones (upcoming Magic Theatre). She is currently under commission from LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater, Yale Repertory Theater, and Playwrights Horizons Soundstage, and A Play for the Living... is touring Europe as part of a Sustainable Theater project designed by British director Katie Mitchell and Théâtre Vidy in Lausanne, Switzerland. She was honored with a 2020 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. Miranda is a co-founder and artistic leader of LubDub Theatre Co. BA: Georgetown University, MFA: Yale School of Drama.
RETICENT by Kathleen McGhee-Anderson (An Oak Bluffs elder teaches her grandchildren about pride of place.)
KATHLEEN MCGHEE-ANDERSON is a television, stage and screenwriter from Detroit Michigan with a BA from Spelman College and MFA from Columbia University. Her television credits include Executive Producing/showrunning the Showtime series, “Soul Food,” and four seasons of the ABC/Family series, “Lincoln Heights.” McGhee-Anderson produced and supervised the writing of “Madiba, The Nelson Mandela Story”mini-series starring Lawrence Fishburne. Her movie, “The Color of Courage,” (Studios USA,) celebrates her grandparent’s landmark Supreme Court civil rights case won by Thurgood Marshall, striking down restrictive housing covenents throughout the country. McGhee-Anderson’s plays have appeared at Arena Stage, Mark Taper Forum, Crossroads Theater Company, Vineyard Playhouse, and The Juilliard School in repertory, among others. Her plays, “Jump at the Sun” and “Mothers,” were produced by LA Theater Works, broadcast on National Public Radio and taught in secondary schools throughout the country. She has twice been selected as a playwright by the Eugene O’Neill Theater Conference. Her most recent work includes both the memoir and musical book for the upcoming production of “I’ll Be There” based on the life of Motown legend, Duke Fakir of the Four Tops.
GOOD BAD TIMES by Diana Burbano (Two Latinx teens struggle with a world turned upside down.)
DIANA BURBANO is a Colombian immigrant, a playwright, an Equity actor, and a teaching artist at Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble and South Coast Repertory. Diana’s play Ghosts of Bogota, won the Nu Voices festival at Actors Theatre of Charlotte in 2019 where it will be produced in 2022. Ghosts was commissioned and debuted at Alter Theater in the Bay Area in Feb 2020. Sapience, a Playground-SF 2020, Winner will premiere at The Moxie Theatre in January 2022. Fabulous Monsters, a Kilroys selection was to premiere at Playwrights Arena in 2020 (postponed). She is in the Geffen’s Writers Lab in 20-21 and was in Center Theatre Group’s 2018-19 Writers Workshop cohort. She is under or has completed commissions for Artists Repertory Theatre, Latino Theatre Company, Center Theatre Group, Lower Depths Ensemble and Livermore Shakespeare Festival. Diana recently played Leona in Brian Quijada's Somewhere Over The Border online at Arizona Theatre Company. You can also see her as Viv the Punk in the cult musical Isle of Lesbos. She is the current Dramatists Guild Rep for Southern California. www.dianaburbano.com
JULY 2020 by Ronán Noone (When a married couple from different sides of the political spectrum clash during lockdown, even the laundry isn't safe.)
RONÁN NOONE'S plays have been performed in theaters across the United States including, The Blowin of Baile Gall (Martha's Vineyard Playhouse, 2006) and The Second Girl (Martha's Vineyard Playhouse, 2016). Other recent productions have taken place in the UK (London and Edinburgh), Spain, Canada, the Philippines, and Ireland. His full-length and one-act plays are published by Samuel French, Smith and Kraus, Baker Plays, and Dramatists Play Service. He has received three Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Awards for Best New Play; an Elliot Norton Outstanding Script Award; Kennedy Center National Playwriting Award; a 2014 Edgerton New American Play Award, and the 2015 Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Award for Excellence in Playwriting. His essay on theatre, "Being Afraid to Breathe,” is published by the Princeton University Library Chronicle LXVIII. And his play The Smuggler won the Best Playwright Award at the 1st Irish Festival, NY 2019. He teaches playwriting at Boston University. He is originally from Ireland. ronannoone.com
MIDNIGHT COWBOYS by K. Lorrel Manning (Kyle and Dominick flee the scene) This play includes strong language and subject matter and is not recommended for younger viewers.
K. LORREL MANNING is an award-winning writer, director, actor and musician who works in both theatre and film. His critically acclaimed play Awake, which he also directed, recently had its world premiere at the Barrow Group. He is currently shooting Lost & Found, a feature-length documentary on young Cameroonian painter Ludovic Nkoth and prepping his second narrative feature film, Sheila & The Punk Rock. Manning has an MFA in Film from Columbia University and a BFA in Drama from the University of Georgia. He currently teaches screenwriting and advanced acting at Sarah Lawrence College, and he is a resident director and instructor at the Barrow Group Theatre Company and School.
SEPTEMBER by Ryan Spahn (When nursing a sick parent is a curse and a blessing)
RYAN SPAHN is an actor, writer, and director originally from Troy, Michigan. His independently produced features and shorts - Nora Highland, Woven, Grantham & Rose, He’s Way More Famous Than You, Router, Who We Were, and The Hyperglot - have played over 25 film festivals, including Slamdance, LA Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival, and NewFest. As a playwright, his plays include Inspired By True Events, Nora Highland, Conversations With the Other Side, Patient(ce), Adrienne and The White Bird, and Blessed and Highly Favored. As an actor, Ryan appeared off-Broadway in Mr. Toole, How to Load a Musket, Moscowx6, Summer and Smoke, Daniel's Husband, Exit Strategy, and Gloria. He can be seen in the current seasons of Chicago P.D. (NBC), Modern Love (Amazon) and The Bite (CBS Spectrum Originals), and has been published by Rotten Tomatoes, IntoMore, American Theatre Magazine, and USA Today. He is a graduate of Juilliard.
THE PRIZE by Joyce Van Dyke (Two women scientists win the Nobel Prize and grapple with the consequences of their discovery)
JOYCE VAN DYKE is delighted that her play, The Prize, is included in Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse’s 12 x ‘20. Her newest full-length play, American Othello, had a staged reading at Gloucester Stage Company in September 2021. Her new solo show about Julia Ward Howe, Representation And How To Get It, had its first production in November in Hardwick, MA. Recent plays include The Women Who Mapped the Stars, about five women astronomers who worked at the Harvard Observatory a century ago. Commissioned by Central Square Theater, it had a 2018 world premiere by The Nora / Central Square Theater. An adaptation commissioned for schools in Maine will begin touring in spring 2022. Daybreak premiered Off-Broadway at the Beckett Theatre (Theatre Row) in 2018, produced by Pan Asian Repertory Theatre and supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Joyce’s Ensemble Studio Theatre / Sloan Commission play about a petroleum geologist, The Oil Thief, won Boston’s Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding New Script and was produced by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. A Girl’s War was produced by Golden Thread Productions, New Repertory Theatre, and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, and won the Gassner Award and the Boston Globe’s “Top Ten” plays of 2001. Joyce is a MacDowell Fellow and Huntington Playwriting Fellow, and teaches playwriting at Harvard Extension School. www.joycevandyke.com
NEIGHBORS by Cusi Cram (A shared apartment terrace makes for an unlikely friendship)
CUSI CRAM'S plays have been produced by MV Playhouse, LAByrinth, Primary Stages, The Denver Center, SCR, Williamstown, The Atlantic Theater Company, Cornerstone, New Georges, and on stages all over the country. Her play, Novenas for A Lost Hospital, about St. Vincent’s Hospital, premiered at Rattlestick, directed by Daniella Topol, starring Kathleen Chalfant. She’s written on numerous television programs for both kids and adults and has been nominated for three Emmy Awards for her work on the animated program, Arthur. Her short film, Wild & Precious, which she wrote and directed through AFI’s Directing Workshop for Woman was awarded the Adrienne Shelley and Nancy Mallone Awards. She is a member of LAByrinth Theater Company and sits on the Board of Leah Ryan’s Fund for Emerging Women Playwrights and Rattlestick Playwright’s Theater. Cusi is the Associate Chair of the Dramatic Writing at NYU, Tisch, where she teaches playwriting and television writing.
DECEMBER, GREEN-WOOD CEMETERY by Naveen Bahar Choudhury (Three friends bond while birdwatching)
NAVEEN BAHAR CHOUDHURY is a playwright, librettist, and lyricist whose work has been produced, commissioned, and/or developed by Ma-Yi Theater, Prospect Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Second Stage Theatre, New Federal Theatre, Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, The Lark Play Development Center, New Dramatists, and more. She has been a Dramatists Guild Fellow, a LaGuardia Performing Arts Center Playwriting Resident, and a Mellon Creative Research Fellow/Playwriting Resident at the University of Washington. Her play SKIN is published in Plays For Two, an anthology by Vintage Books/Random House, and was broadcast on Northeast Public Radio as part of the Playing On Air series. Her short musical on film, Lady Apsara, commissioned by Prospect Theater, and written with composer Kamala Sankaram, was presented at the 44th Asian American International Film Festival this summer. She teaches playwriting at Sarah Lawrence College. MFA: New School.