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Finalists’ Prize


Eric Marlin for How to Mourn the Dead

Eric Marlin has been produced and developed by the Public Theater, Ars Nova ANT Fest, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, The Tank, Dixon Place, Samuel French, HOT! Festival, Exquisite Corpse Company, PTP/NYC, Tennessee Williams Festival, Play Date @ Pete’s, and Wildclaw Theatre. Winner of the Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival and shortlisted for the Berliner Festspiele Stückemarkt. Finalist for SPACE at Ryder Farm, the Jewish Plays Project, and two-time finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Current member of the Civilians’ R&D Group. Former Resident Artist at Montclair’s New Works Initiative. Co-founder of the Healthy Oyster Collective, with whom he has created three original works. He has worked as a producer and stage manager for the Bushwick Starr, New Georges, Women’s Project, Red Bull Theatre, CTown, PTP/NYC, Public Theater, New Ohio Ice Factory Festival, and PRELUDE. MFA: Iowa Playwrights Workshop. BA: Bennington College.

Websites: and newplayexchange

Email available upon request, contact

Representation: Katie Gamelli, Paladin Artists

About How to Mourn the Dead

Two bros watch the dissident Antigone buried alive on national television. The spectacle inspires a misguided attempt to capture her martyrdom in art, as they glibly repurpose her story in search of some truth about the nature of suffering.

Formerly titled The Antigones: A Tragedy in Flux.

Nikki Massoud for CUT – A Blasphemy

Nikki Massoud (she/her/hers) is a writer and actor based in Brooklyn. She is a first generation Iranian-American immigrant, raised in Montreal, Canada and Washington, DC. She is a 2021/2022 Launch Commission writer for Atlantic Theater Company and was awarded a 2021 City Artist Corps Grant. Her writing has been read and developed at The Lark, The Coop, Brown University, and CUNY. Her television work as a performer includes Love Life  (HBO), Emergence (ABC), Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon), and Madam Secretary (CBS). Her stage credits include Sam Gold’s production of Othello at New York Theatre Workshop, alongside Daniel Craig and David Oyelowo, and regional work at The Old Globe, Berkeley Rep, The Huntington Theatre Company and Portland Center Stage. Nikki has narrated over 20 audiobooks, currently available on Audible. She is a graduate of the Brown University/Trinity Rep MFA Program, Georgetown University, and BADA (British-American Drama Academy.) 

Website: Instagram: @nikkima1776

About CUT – A Blasphemy

A fever-dream retelling of the Old Testament story of Samson and Delilah through the frame of colonialism in the Middle East. It is an exploration of interracial relationships, sex work, colorism, Hollywood, religion, and genetics.

kanishk pandey for The Fate of the Online Cow

kanishk pandey (he/him/his) is a writer originally from Davis, CA. At 16, he won first place in the Princeton Ten Minute Play Contest. At 19, he was a finalist for the 2018 O’Neill National Playwright’s Conference for COLONY, his first full-length play.  In the fall of 2019, he graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, with a BFA in Dramatic Writing, and minors in Creative Writing and English Literature. Since then, his play Lanka in the Clouds was a featured part of The Tank’s 2020 Trashfest. He was a featured playwright at The Lark and was part of The Workshop Theater’s 2021 Spring Intensive, and his script, The Fate of the Online Cow, has received Semi-Finalist position at both the O’Neill’s NPC and the Austin Film Festival. He is a founding member of the Submerged Writers Group. You can subscribe to his newsletter at and check out his podcast “Sadder Days”.

Website: Twitter: @kanishk__pandey Instagram @kanishk__pandey

About The Fate of the Online Cow

The Cow spends her life in front of a camera, playing video games for an active chat, earning money for her owners, Mud and Hue. But, when a game of Minecraft leads her to consider her own predicament, she comes to face the oppressive conditions she exists under.

Phanésia Pharel for Black Girl Joy

Phanésia Pharel is a playwright from the great state of Florida and even greater city of Miami. Grounded in poetry and afrofuturism, she writes about the divine metaphysical dilemma of colored girlhood spanning generations, revolutions, and islands. Her plays explore futures built on love by centering women’s pleasure, safety and joy. Full lengths: LUCKY (New York Stage and Film). BLACK GIRL JOY (Jane Chambers Finalist, O’Neill Semi-Finalist, Bay Area Playwrights Festival Semi-Finalist). Other Honors include City Theatre National Short Playwriting Finalist and Blank Stage “Future of Playwriting” Semi-Finalist. Member of the Obie award winning EST/ Youngblood group. Commissions include City Theatre Miami, the Latinx Playwrights Circle & Pregones/PRTT Greater Good Commission and Thrown Stone Theatre. Residencies include New York Stage and Film, Echo Theater Company of Los Angeles, the Playwrights Center Core Apprenticeship and the Inaugural 068 Magazine Thrown Stone Theatre Fellowship. Publishing: Concord Theatricals, Smith and Kraus Best Plays of 2020, Reset Coalition 2020 Anthology and the City Theatre Anthology.

BA: Urban Studies, Barnard College of Columbia University.

Management: Brandy Rivers @ Industry Entertainment

About Black Girl Joy

At the Black Girl Joy Center for Vulnerable Youth in Miami, four girls- Trina, JT, Squeaks and Donna come together to share their story. Black Girl Joy shifts between memory, choreo poems and a juicy plot. It is a ritual play for black girls/women to heal from intimate partner violence, a loss of girlhood, and the death of our friends