The 2014 City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting:

The City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting furthers the company’s mission to identify, acknowledge and award excellence in dramatic writing. This season’s Finalist Playwrights were selected from among nearly one thousand writers for special recognition.  The winning play is guaranteed a production in the Annual Summer Shorts Festival, for which the playwright will earn $1,000 cash prize, royalties, and an invitation to Miami for the festival and to take part in the CityWrights Professional Weekend for Playwrights. Not all the playwrights with work in Summer Shorts are Finalists, and not all the Finalists’ plays become current or future Festival productions, however, all Finalists are invited to CityWrights to see the Festival, take part in the conference and have readings of their works performed by City Theatre actors.


2014 Winner: Arlitia Jones for TORNADO

2014 National Award Winner and National Award Finalists

Leslie Ayvazian THE CLICK


Richard Dresser HALFTIME


Jessica Farr NADIE

Edith Freni FLARE

Ira Gamerman DID THIS MATTER?  (A Game Show)

Vanessa Garcia LASSO

Gary Garrison GAME ON

Mira Gibson OLD FLAME

Holli Harms COUGAR




R. David Robinson INK

Jake Rosenberg NO ONE GIVES A CLAP

Andrew Rosendorf SISYPHUS

Mark Routhier LEAVING

Becca Schlossberg HANDS




Michael Weems ONE THREE TWO

Sheri Wilner THE ONE



Summer Shorts 2014 World Premiere

Leslie Ayvazian’s Nine Armenians won the John Gassner/Outer Critics Award for best new play, The Roger L. Stevens Award, and second place for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Rosemary and I received an honorable mention from the Susan Smith Blackburn jury. Make Me, directed by Christian Parker, was produced in New York by the Atlantic Theatre Company. High Dive was produced at the Long Wharf Theatre and the Manhattan Class Company, directed by David Warren, and went on to be produced in Poland and Slovakia. Her short film, “Every Three Minutes” starring Olympia Dukakis was produced by Showtime and won a Telly Award. Her play Deaf Day was produced as a short film in Syria last year by Rana Kaz Kaz. Her current play Out of the City will premiere this summer at the Dorset Playhouse in Vermont, with another production at Merrimack Rep Theatre next season. Her newest play, 15/15 recently received a workshop at the Atlantic Theatre in NYC. City Theatre has produced many of her short plays, and her full-length one woman show, High Dive. Leslie is an adjunct professor of playwriting at the Columbia University Graduate School of the Arts. Her credits as an actress include a recurring role on “Law & Order – SVU” and roles on Broadway in Lost in Yonkers and Naked Girl on the Appian Way.

CAREY CRIM (Glamping)

Carey’s play Conviction opens May 31st at Bay Street Theatre (Directed by Scott Schwartz and starring Sarah Paulson, Garret Dillahunt and Elizabeth Reaser). Her plays Growing PrettyWake and Some Couples May…  all received world premieres at The Purple Rose Theatre Company founded by Jeff Daniels. Wake received a West Coast Premiere in April at the SeaGlass Theatre in Los Angeles.  Her ten-minute play, Green Dot Day was named as a finalist for the 2011 Heideman Award and was produced by and won Miami City Theatre’s inaugural national short play competition.  Her work has received productions and/or workshops at Pasadena Playhouse, Primary Stages, Luna Stage,  Asolo Rep Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Rubicon Theatre and The Purple Rose Theatre Company.


Summer Shorts 2014 World Premiere

Richard Dresser’s seventeen published plays have been produced in New York, regional theater, and Europe. They include the widely produced Rounding Third, alsoBelow The Belt and Gun-Shy, both of which started at the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville before moving off-Broadway. Other plays: The Last Days of Mickey & JeanSomething In The AirThe DownsideAlone At The BeachWonderful World, and Better Days. His trilogy of plays about happiness in America includes AugustaThe Pursuit of Happiness, and A View of the Harbor. Other projects are the book for the musical, Johnny Baseball, which played at A.R.T. in Cambridge and the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2013. Recent plays are Trouble Cometh which premieres at the San Francisco Playhouse next season, and Closure, which opens this summer at Berkshire Playwrights Lab. A new musical, The Holler, will be workshopped at Williamstown this summer. He teaches at Rutgers and is on the board of the Writers Guild Initiative, which does writing workshops with veterans and caregivers among other groups.

FIELDING EDLOW (Bump Between Friends)

Fielding Edlow, a native New Yorker, has had her plays developed/produced with Naked Angels, NY Stage & Film, PSNBC, Circle X Theatre Co, NY & LA Fringe Festival and Comedy Central

Stage. Her solo show, Coke-Free J.A.P., was performed in the NYC Fringe Festival (Backstage’s “Best of Fringe award”) and then had a four-month, sold-out run in LA at the McCadden Theatre. Her full lengthplay,The Something-Nothing was produced at the Lounge Theatre with the Mineral Theatre Co. Her play,Admissions was workshopped at NY Stage & Film, Naked Angels, Circle X Theatre Co and was a semi-finalist in the 2011 O’Neill Conference. Her one-act

Rum Pah Pah Pah was a finalist in the National Ten-Minute Play Contest at Actors Theatre of Louisville. She has performed her short stories with ‘Sit N Spin’, ‘Show n Tell’ and ‘Afterbirth’ and frequently does stand-up. She’s currently developing a comedy series for Showtime and is a member of the Circle X and EST/LA playwriting groups.


Jessica Farr is a playwright, actress and stand-up comedian originally from Miami. She is an alumni of New World School of the Arts, Moscow Art Theatre (MXAT) and Fordham University. She is a proud member of Mat Cat Theatre Company and the author of various plays, most recently, Blow Me, Drawn and Quartered and Nadie. She is currently working on an online variety show yet to air called “JADED”


Edith Freni’s work has been produced and developed at institutions including Steppenwolf Theatre Company, New York Theatre Workshop, LAByrinth Theatre Company, The Public Theatre, Williamstown Theater Festival, and Ensemble Studio Theater. She is a former member of Youngblood and a proud member of Partial Comfort Productions. She is nominee for the 2014 L. Arnold Weissberger Award, the 2014 Francesca Primus Award and the Humanitas Prize. Edith is the 2014-16 Emory University Playwriting Fellow. BFA and MFA NYU Tisch.

IRA GAMERMAN (Did This Matter?)

Ira Gamerman is a playwright, podcaster, professor, and songwriter living in Brooklyn.  He writes for acclaimed audio-play podcast The Truth (Where his play Biological Clock won a 2014 Mark Time Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Theater) and is a co-founder of Australian/American Theater Conglomerate EVERYTHING IS EVERYWHERE. In 2006 City Paper voted Ira “Best Playwright of Baltimore”. Ira holds a Playwriting MFA from Ohio University and is working on a new play about Napster. 


Founding Artistic Director of The Krane, Vanessa Garcia’s plays, together with The Krane’s, have been produced in New York, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, and Los Angeles. She just completed a round of the Playwright Development Program in Miami Dade-County. She was also named one of Miami’s 20 under 40 in 2012, and one of Miami’s 100 Creatives that same year. In 2008, she was a finalist, worldwide, for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. A more detailed bio can be found at:


Produced in Shorts Gone Wild 2014

Gary Garrison is the Co-Executive Director of the Dramatists Guild. Prior to his work at the Guild, Garrison filled the posts of full time faculty member, Artistic Director and Producer in the Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he produced over forty-five festivals of new work, collaborating with hundreds of playwrights, directors and actors. Garrison’s plays include Game On, The Sweep, Verticals and Horizontals, Storm on Storm, It Belongs on Stage (and Not in My Bed), Crater, Old Soles, Rug Store Cowboy, Cherry Reds, Gawk, Oh Messiah Me, We Make A Wall, The Big Fat Naked Truth, Scream With Laughter, Smoothness With Cool, Does Anybody Want A Miss Cow Bayou? and When A Diva Dreams. This work has been featured at the City Theatre of Miami, Boston Theatre Marathon, Primary Stages, The Directors Company, Manhattan Theatre Source, StageWorks, Open Door Theatre, Pulse Ensemble Theatre, Expanded Arts and New York Rep. His recent work as guest artist or master teacher of playwriting involve such institutions as Sewanee Writer’s Conference, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, CityWrights, The Inkwell and Source Theatre in D.C., Baltimore Playwrights Festival, New Hampshire Playwrights Festival, Goddard College, The University of Texas at Austin, Last Frontier Theatre Conference, Southeast Theatre Conference, Northwest Theatre Conference and Boston Playwrights. He is the author of the critically acclaimed, The Playwright’s Survival Guide: Keeping the Drama in Your Work and Out of Your Life, Perfect Ten: Writing and Producing the Ten Minute Play, A More Perfect Ten and two volumes of  Monologues for Men by Men. He is on the Tony Administration Committee for the Tony Awards, the program director for the Summer Playwriting Intensive for the Kennedy Center, the former National Chair of Playwriting for the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival and the Founder of The Loop, an on-line community of playwrights

MIRA GIBSON (Old Flame) 

Summer Shorts 2014 World Premiere

Mira Gibson is a playwright, screenwriter, and director, Mira is a recent alum of Youngblood, the writers group at Ensemble Studio Theatre. Mira’s plays have been produced at Rattlestick’s Theaterjam (Old Flame, 2013), Williamstown Theater Festival (Nico, 2009), Ensemble Studio Theater (Master of None and The Red White and Blue Process, 2009), Eclectic Company Theater of Los Angeles (Master of None, 2009), The 52nd Street Project (Midnight in the Alley of One Dream), and the Midtown International Theater Festival (Childhood Montana, 2008); further plays have received developmental readings at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Southampton Playwriting Conference, Long Beach Playhouse, and the Youngblood Bloodworks Reading Series. Her one-act play The Red White and Blue Process received a commission from The Sloan Foundation. In 2012 Mira’s first screenplay, Warfield was produced by Summer Smoke Productions, starred her twin sister, and screened at modest film festivals around NYC.

HOLLI HARMS (Make John Patrick Shanley Go Home)

Holli is a Dramatists Guild Fellow recipient, as well as, SLOAN Grant recipient. NAPLES, FL was a finalist with the Great Plains Theatre Festival as well as New York’s Summer Play Festival. Holli was co-founder of The Lexington Group – an ensemble of writers/performers who co-wrote STEP IN AND STAND CLEAR (winner Backstage Critics Award). Holli’s play ZIPLOC was part of the Edgmar Center’s One Act Festival in Santa Monica, CA. Holli’s Short film ICARUS STOPS FOR BREAKFAST is being developed and produced by WEIRD SISTERS Productions. Holli is a writer and performer with Monologues and Madness series at NYC’s Cornelia Street Café, a member of Ensemble Studio Theater NYC and a panelist for the Bronx Council for the Arts for Playwrighting. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter, Beatrice. Her play, MAKE JOHN PATRICK SHANLEY GO HOME, a 2013 City Theatre National Award Finalist, is being produced this season in Summer Shorts 2014.


Summer Shorts 2014 World Premiere

Arlitia Jones is a poet, playwright, and director, as well as co-founder of TossPot Productions in Anchorage, Alaska. Her short play Tornado was chosen as a winner in the 38th Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival. Come to me, Leopards received a workshop production in October 2013 at Cyrano’s Theatre.   Rush at Everlasting premiered at Perseverance Theatre in January 2014. Jones received a 2014 Individual Artists Fellowship from the Rasmuson Foundation. She is a member of the Seattle Repertory Theatre’s Playwrights’ Group. Her latest play Summerland will be read in the Seattle Rep’s Showcase this June. She is a resident alum at Hedgebrook and will be a future resident at Djerassi this fall. She participated as an emerging playwright in the 2013 Director’s Lab at Lincoln Center. Jones is currently adapting A Christmas Carol for Perseverance’s 2014/2015 season. In addition to her theatre work, Jones is also a haphazard blogger and author of one volume of poems, The Bandsaw Riots which won the 2001 Dorothy Brunsman Prize from Bear Star Press. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and publications and were featured on The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor. Member of the Dramatists’ Guild of America.

WILLIAM PENDERGAST III (The Last of the McLaughlins)

Bill Pendergast was born in Canton, Massachusetts only a few miles outside of Boston. He is an Emerson College graduate and recent graduate of Lesley University’s MFA program for Creative Writing. Bill mainly writes plays, screenplays, and flash fiction. He can often be found playing music or acting in the Boston area.

CRAIG POSPISIL (There’s No Here Here)

Craig Pospisil is the Director of Nonprofessional Rights at Dramatists Play Service, Inc., overseeing the licensing of their more than 3,500 plays to theaters around the country and the world. He is the editor of the Play Service’s Outstanding Men’s and Outstanding Women’s Monologues, Volumes I & 2 and the collections Outstanding Short Plays, Vol 1 & 2.  Pospisil is also an award-winning playwright, whose plays include Months On EndThe Dunes and Somewhere in Between. His short plays FreeGuns Don’t Kill andOn The Edge have been produced by City Theatre.

THEO REYNA (The Scottish Play)

Theo Reyna trained at NWSA and SMU where he received a B.F.A in Theatre. His writing credits include Couch Play (SandBox @ Miami Theater Center/Bread and Roses Pub, UK), Party in the Pit (co-writer for Man Research Theatre), Gerald Ford Superfreak (co-writer for South Beach Comedy Festival @ The Fillmore) and Knowledge and Noise (SandBox @ Miami Theater Center) which was selected as part of the Knights Arts supported SandBox Series.


David Robinson (Playwright, Ink) is a NY-based actor and playwright. Short works include Inkand Universal Utility Fund, developed as part of Julie McKee’s playwriting workshop at HB Studio, and subsequently presented in staged-reading as part of the Jack Hofsiss & Julie McKee Collaboration Project. Cocooningwas presented by The Open Gate Theatre as part of “Unresolved,” short works on the theme of loss, grief and recovery after 9/11. In addition to writing for himself as an actor, R. David has written special material for magician David Copperfield. This Fall, R. David will play Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof directed by Austin Pendleton for Mississippi Mud Productions. R. David Robinson was a 2013 Samuel French OOB Finalist.

JAKE ROSENBERG (No One Gives A Clap)

From The 2014 Best of Playgrounds Festival in San Francisco to the Producers Club Short Play Award in New York City, to the Belarus Dream Theater Project in Chicago, LA, Vancouver and Frankfurt to the City Theatre Summer Shorts Festival to attending New York University next fall, Jake Rosenberg is excited to start his career! Jake can be reached at


Plays include CANE (Florida Stage), BRILLIANT CORNERS (NNPN National Showcase of New Plays), GOOD NIGHT & GOD BLESS, OR THE LONE RANGER RIDES AGAIN, and THE KID. His play, TRANQUIL, was part of the Lark’s 19th Annual Playwrights’ Week. His other work has been produced or developed at MCC, City Theatre, Geva Theatre, Actor’s Express, UglyRhino, Tofte Lake Center, and FringeNYC. Andrew is an alum of terraNOVA Collective’s Groundbreakers Playwrights Group and has been a VCCA and MacDowell Colony Fellow. He holds a BA in Theatre from the College of William and Mary and an MFA in Playwriting from The New School for Drama.


Mark Routhier is the Director of New Play Development at Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF, where he is an Assistant Professor in Directing and Acting. Mark’s Orlando credits includePluto, The Cortez Method, Sense and Sensibility, God of Carnage, Opus, and Charlotte’s Web for Orlando Shakespeare Theater. And Leveling Up at UCF. He runs OST’s PlayFest!


Hailing from New Jersey, Becca’s plays have been performed throughout the U.S. and abroad: Guidance, Cal & Grey, All We Are, Hands, Punches, 3boys, Just Like I Wanted, The Secrets of Aiden Brooks, Merrily³, The Marvels and Wonders of 1001 Nights, and Where Did the Bees Go. She is a three time recipient of the Robert Fischer Oxnam Award in Playwriting in conjunction with Ensemble Studio Theatre. She is also the co-founder and associate artistic director of Sunglasses After Dark Productions. She happily resides in Brooklyn, NY. BA: Drew University; MFA: The New School for Drama.

LOJO SIMON (Batshit Crazy)

Lojo Simon is a playwright, dramaturg and winner of the David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award for ADORATION OF DORA, part of Idiom Theatre’s 2014-15 season. MOSCOW was a finalist for City Theatre’s National Playwriting Award and produced at Summer Shorts (2012) and the Sam French OOB Festival in NYC. Also in NYC, GINGER AMERICA at T Schreiber Theatre. Publications include Dayton FutureFest winner HEARTLAND and MI CORAZON, excerpted in Scenes from a Diverse World. More

GWYDION SUILEBHAN (Vertical Constellation With Bomb)

Gwydion Suilebhan is the Director of the New Play Exchange for NNPN. An NNPN alumni playwright, a founding member of The Welders, and DC’s representative to The Dramatists Guild, Gwydion is the author of THE BUTCHER, REALS, ABSTRACT NUDE, LET X, THE FAITHKILLER, HOT & COLD, CRACKED, and THE GREAT DISMAL. His work has been commissioned, produced, and developed by theaters in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, DC, Baltimore, and St. Louis, including Active Cultures, Centerstage, dog & pony DC, the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Forum Theatre, Gulfshore Playhouse, HotCity Theatre, Rorschach Theatre, Source Theater Festival, the Taffety Punk Theatre Company, Theater Alliance, and Theater J. He writes for stage, screen, print, and throughout the blogosphere, including HowlRound and 2amTheatre.

R. ERIC THOMAS (When You Put It Like That It’s Ridiculous)

R. Eric Thomas is a Philadelphia-based playwright and stand-up dramedian. He has been called “one of the most talented storytellers in Philly” by the Philadelphia Weekly. Produced plays include The Affair (LateNite Theatre, New York City), Will You Accept This Friend Request? (First Person Festival, Philadelphia), Always the Bridesmaid(Quince Productions, Philadelphia). With Daniel Student and Jennifer Macmillan, Thomas also co-created the three-person narrative storytelling shows Overexposed: A Slightly Awkward Peep Show (2012) and (in)voluntary commitment (2013)Thomas has been heard or seen on RISK! with Kevin Allison and Janeane Garafalo, NPR, the First Person Arts podcast, Soundtrack Series and others. In 2011, he gave a presentation at the TEDx conference in Philadelphia. His non-fiction writing has appeared in Philadelphia Magazine, Columbia University’s The Collection, and The Q Review. More information at


Michael Weems is a Houston based playwright.  Recent productions:  132 (Sam French Off Off Broadway Festival); Hanukkah Presents from My Hockey Player Boyfriend (New American Theatre – Los Angeles) Spoons (Viaduct Theatre – Chicago); and Meant to Say (Pandora Theatre – Houston).  Recent publications:  How Shall I Be Loved (Plays, the Drama Magazine for Young Audiences; Five Fears of Fatherhood (Original Works Publishing); and She’s Bound to Know (Smith and Krauss Best New American Plays 2013).


Sheri Wilner is delighted to have her work once again presented by City Theatre.  Her plays Bake Off andRelative Strangers were part of Summer Shorts 2002, and A Tall Order was produced in last year’s Summer Shorts.  Her play Kingdom City will receive its world premier at La Jolla Playhouse this September.  Her plays have been performed at such theatres as the Guthrie, Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival and the O’Neill Playwrights’ Conference. Also a playwriting teacher, she has taught at Florida State and Vanderbilt University, is currently the Master Playwright for the Miami-Dade County’s Playwright Development Program.