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ECC's Writer’s Lab 2023

Welcome to Exquisite Corpse Company’s Spring Writer’s Lab 2023 Cohort!


All previous ECC playwrights-in-residence got their start with us by applying to our Writer’s Lab.  There is no better way to get involved with ECC if you are a playwright.


The ECC Writer’s Lab will meet at the Culture Lab LIC gallery this year and create work in collaboration with the Gallery's artists. The Lab's goal is for each participant to generate a new one-act play using ECC's unique literary devising process. 


This process is led by Literary Directors Phillip Christian Smith and Blake Bishton and incorporates Culture Lab LIC’s current fine arts exhibitions.


Tickets are now on sale to hear these new works as a part of ECC's Drinks & Drama reading series! Don't miss ouot! 

Phillip Gregory Burke (He/Him) is a New York City artivist, actor and playwright from Auburn, NY where he will be inducted into the Auburn Alumni Hall of Distinction in May 2023. As an actor, he works across all mediums most recently in commercials such as NFL/CBS Sports’ Thursday Night Football’s “A Girl Named Raven,” directed by 36-time Emmy winner Pete Radovich, multiple ads with Crest & Oral B Pro (also print ads), Citi Bike, Tyson Foods, Nike/Air Jordan, multiple ads and voice over with Now This/Visible. For the past 4 years, his print ad with Veteran’s Home Commitment Campaign, has been displayed in Walmarts across America. As a playwright, his writing chronicles the sociology of the African Diaspora and illuminates the intricate intersections of Blackness and queerness throughout history. A proud descendant of that Diaspora with Creole, Gullah, Haitian and West African heritages, he is curating cycles of plays all connected to a singular universe centering their narratives. He’s The First, his ten-minute play, was filmed for All Arts & PBS, where it will be available to stream this summer. The one act version is a 2023 Semi-finalist for The Obsidian Theater Festival. The saga, The Suncatchers of Sahel: An Ancestral Tale Told to Today’s Griot, Part I: The Crumble Under the Crescent, a 2022 Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow Finalist and 2022 Princess Grace Award in Playwriting Fellowship Semi-finalist, is the genesis of an epic ten cycle play chronicling spiritual and sociological warfare. The Simaraboo Two, the second play, had a Fresh Draft Series Reading with The Latinx Playwrights Circle. The third play, The Suncatchers of Sahel: An Ancestral Tale Told To Today’s Griot, Part II: The Two Twilights, was initially developed during his residency with The Civilians R&D Group and is a 2023 Semi-finalist for The Bay Area Playwrights Festival. A Holy Her, the fourth play, was recorded with The Parsnip Ship and was a Semi-finalist for the Playwrights Realm Writing Fellowship Award. A developmental proposal of the 5th play, Paradise Estate, was a 2022 Finalist for The Fire This Time New Works Lab Cycle 5. He is currently working on developing Suncatchers and He’s The First into television series. He is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA, The New York SAG-AFTRA Film Society and The Latinx Playwrights Circle. Residencies include: Exquisite Corpse Company’s Writer’s Lab, The Civilians R&D Group, No Gate Theatre Lab, Space Jam Roundabout Theatre Company, The Playwrights Realm Script Share. He holds a BFA in Drama from The College of Visual and Performing Arts, Department of Drama & BS in Sociology from The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs both at Syracuse University, where he was recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Community Service & Civic Engagement for rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and a MA in Classical and Contemporary Text: Acting from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, holding the distinction of being the first Black person ever awarded this degree. Additional training includes Shakespeare’s Globe Education and The Alexander Gibson School of Opera. His entire body of work is dedicated to the memory of the legendary Miss Dame Sally Ann Walker Jones, a brilliant magnetic orator from Georgia who made his entire existence possible.

Nelson Diaz-Marcano is a Puerto Rican NYC-based theater maker, advocate, and community leader. His plays have been developed by Pipeline Theatre Company, Clubbed Thumb, The Lark, Vision Latino Theater Company, The Orchard Project, Step1 Theatre Project, Classical Theatre of Harlem, and The Parsnip Ship among others. He currently serves as the Literary Director for the Latinx Playwright Circle where he has aided in the development of over a 100 plays.

Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin (they/she) is a writer, performer, educator, and new work advocate. Kaela's plays include Call Out Culture (2022 O'Neill NPC Finalist, 2021 NADIA Festival, 2019 Ars Nova’s ANTFest), High School Coven (2023 Strand Theatre Baltimore Production, 2017 Corkscrew Festival), Harpers Ferry 2019 (2022 Know Theatre of Cincinnati production, 2021 Kendeda finalist), Tiger Beat (2021 Bay Area Playwrights Festival, 2021 Seven Devils Conference finalist), and The Well-Tempered Clavier (2020 BAPF finalist, 2019 Paul Stephen Lim Award.) Kaela has received six Kennedy Center awards and has developed work with the Alliance Theater, The Road’s Under Construction Lab, the Coop’s Clusterf*ck, Playground-NY, and Pipeline Theater Company’s Playlab. Commissions include work with EST/Sloan, Montana Repertory Theater, Luna Stage, and College of the Holy Cross. Garvin is the BAPF Season 45 Play Selection Advisor, the Tank’s 2022 Pridefest curator, and a founding member of Undiscovered Countries, a Brooklyn-based incubator of new interdisciplinary art. Kaela has taught playwriting at Cornish College of the Arts and Indiana University and is on staff at the Sewanee Writers Conference. They currently work as the Programming Associate for the Tank NYC, a playwriting instructor at Freehold Theatre in Seattle, and the Literary Manager for Luna Stage in New Jersey.

Eugene O’Neill Theatre National Playwrights Conference Semifinalist 2021, Literary Director for Step1 Theatre Project, Oddity received an honorable mention on The Kilroys “The List,” 2020, Trans Theatre Lab fellow 2019, artist in residence at Middlesex County Vocational-Technical School 2018-2019. Works performed at Dixon Place, MITF, the Brick, Joe’s Pub. “Becky’s Xmas Wish,” Finalist for the City Theatre National Short Play Award, Miami, work produced in Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Maine, Iowa, New Jersey, Detroit, and Minneapolis. Creator Is It Transphobic and The Right to Play Podcasts.



Madison Wetzell is a recent Bay Area transplant currently pursuing her MFA in playwriting at Brooklyn College. Her work has been developed with or presented by Shotgun Players, Z-Space, 3Girls Theatre, Town Hall Theatre, FaultLine Theatre, Buffalo United Artists, Playground SF, Soundwave, Risk Theatre, The Bechdel Group, PianoFight, and The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep. She has been a finalist for the Bay Area Playwright’s Festival and a Semi-Finalist for the O'Neill Theatre Center National Playwrights Conference.

Aliyah Curry is a queer Southern bred writer, focusing on Black female sexuality and mental health. After studying dramatic writing, she was accepted into Horizon Theatre Company's New South Young Playwrights Contest and Festival, which contributed to her being a Third Annual Dramatist Guild of America Young Playwright Award semi-finalist. Since then, she's become a member of Working Title Playwrights, where she received the 2020-2022 Rosalind Ayres-Williams Scholarship and served on the Monday Night Development Workshop committee. Her first commission came with Pillow Talk, an auditory experience developed by and premiered on Alliance Theatre Anywhere, Spotlight Studio in 2021. She has also participated in several Zoom fests throughout the pandemic. When not creating theatre, she makes films, photographs, poetry, and has dance parties with her niece. Her short films have received honors at several festivals, and her words published in distinct literary magazines. Keep up with her at

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