The Playwriting Initiative

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Interrobang Theatre Project, in association with The Theatre School at DePaul University, is proud to announce The Playwriting Initiative. It is our belief that it falls on every theater in our community to nurture new work. Our commitment to playwrights will include providing a supportive environment with necessary resources such as actors, directors, and space. 

Each season we will invite playwrights for an immersive and supportive partnership, including one graduate selected from DePaul's prestigious BFA Playwriting program. All collaborations will be tailored to meet the needs of the individual playwright as they develop their vocabulary and theatrical voice.  

The Playwriting Initiative is an invite-only program and does not accept unsolicited proposals. 


Season Ten recipient of The Playwriting Initiative Award: Grace Grindell

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Grace Grindell, is a Chicago-based playwright and dramaturg and a recent graduate from The Theatre School at DePaul University where she received her BFA in Theatre Arts. At The Theatre School, Grace’s play, Honey Girls, had its world premiere production directed by Carlos Murillo, and she was the dramaturg of Oresteia (in a new adaptation by Robert Icke). Grace has worked professionally with Victory Gardens Theater, Raven Theater, and The Alliance Theater in literary management and education programs.

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Wrights of Spring Awards

Ensemble member Laura Berner Taylor, Playwright Grace Grindell, Supporter Larry Bundschu and Artistic Director Georgette Verdin

Season Nine

The Playwriting Initiative presents: a live reading of Lily Rushing’s Cowboy Play directed by Angela Forshee

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Playwright Lily Rushing is from the hot, inland metropolis known as Sacramento, CA. She recently graduated from The Theatre School at DePaul University with a BFA in Playwriting. She is the current recipient of The Playwriting Initiative award at Interrobang Theatre Project. Three of her plays, Office Romance, Desert Stories for Lost Girls, and a one-act called Lights Out were developed into staged readings as a part of the Wrights of Spring festival at The Theatre School. Desert Stories received a full production in April 2018, directed by Ann Filmer. Her ten-minute play, The Dog, was recently commissioned by Victory Gardens and presented at their College Night. She has also worked with Sacramento Theatre Company and the School Partnership Program, putting on plays at urban schools with kids from her neighborhood, in her beloved hometown.

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Director, Angela Forshee is a Chicago-based director and is excited to be working with Interrobang for the first time. She was last seen directing She Kills Monsters with The Cuckoo's Theater Project and has worked with a variety of other companies in Chicago, including Broken Nose Theatre, Raven Theatre, and Walkabout.

Testimonial from Playwright Lily Rushing:

“I was so grateful to be chosen for the Playwriting Initiative at Interrobang. Not only did I feel supported by Interrobang to write whatever I wanted, I knew that my work was in great hands. I trusted them to put together an amazing ensemble for the readings, which they did, and I always got the feedback I needed. I would look forward to the readings, because I knew everyone in the room would be a vital part of shaping what the next draft would look like. Those readings were such a gift. Georgette was great about meeting my needs, and pushing a deadline if need be. It was such a positive, great learning experience! What a wonderful way to take my first steps into the world of professional theatre.”

Season Eight

Testimonial from playwright/director Maeli Goren

“Interrobang Theatre Project's support for the workshop of Curves and Edges was vital to the play's development. There are very few opportunities in Chicago to fully explore the physical life of a new play before it is in first production. When creating Curves and Edges, a play in which movement and visual storytelling is as important as the text itself, I discovered as a playwright and director that I was not benefitting from holding reading after reading. I knew I had to get the play up on its feet to know what I had. The Playwriting Initiative at Interrobang allowed a courageous team of theater makers to experiment with choreography, puppetry, and visual metaphor, all while strengthening the spine and story of Curves and Edges to get it ready for an eventual first production. We shared our work-in-progress with theater professionals and community members who became part of our collaboration through curated post-show discussions. Artists so rarely get to muck around in the necessary mess of a new play without the pressure of an impending opening night. It was a true gift to give this play the space it needed to breathe and grow. Many thanks to Interrobang for nurturing new plays and emerging playwrights!”