Participants by Genre

Participants: Playwright

ZHANG Xian
2004 Resident
playwright

ZHANG Xian / 张献 (playwright, director; b. 1955, China) is one of the best-known playwrights in Shanghai. Over the last several years, much of Mr. Zhang's work has been produced for the screen and the stage, nationally as well as internationally. Those Left Behind won "Best Film of Golden Pyramid Award" at the 16 th Cairo International Film Festival, and Xian was awarded a fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) to further his studies of film and drama in New York City. A prominent figure in the arts community, Zhang has worked as the designer, curator, director, and organizer for a number of major art events in Shanghai. He is participating courtesy of the Freeman Foundation.

2005 Resident
playwright, screenwriter

KIM Jee-woon is one of the most prominent directors of the so-called Post New Korean New Wave. He began his career as a stage actor and director, with Hot Sea (1994) and Movie Movie (1995). His move to screenwriting brought quick success: in 1997 his screenplays Wonderful Seasons and The Quiet Family both won first prizes at festivals. Kim's directorial debut was The Quiet Family, which won top honors at the Portugal Fantasporto Film Festival, and was an official selection at the Berlin International Film Festival. His next movie, The Foul King, which he wrote and directed, rose to become the number-one movie in Korea for six months—sealing his reputation as one of his country's leading directors.

Yvonne Owour ADHIAMBO
2005 Resident
fiction writer, playwright

Yvonne Owour ADHIAMBO won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2003 for “Weight of Whispers,” a story told from the perspective of a Rwandan fleeing after the 1994 massacres. She has written several screenplays, such as Kit Luanda, Shadows of Silence, and Bokor’s Drum; her short stories include “My Mother, My Muse” and “The State of Tides.” She serves as the Executive Director of the Zanzibar International Film Festival, a non-profit organization that showcases Indian Ocean arts and culture through the ZIFF Festival of the Dhow countries. She is participating courtesy of the US Department of State.

Nihad SIREES
2005 Resident
fiction writer, playwright, screenwriter

Nihad SIREES (fiction writer, screenwriter, playwright; Syria) is a civil engineer who lives in Aleppo. His novels include Cancer, The North Winds, A Case of Passion, and Noise and Silence. Of his many television dramas the most widely acclaimed, Silk Market, set in Aleppo during the political turmoil of the 1950s, was shown throughout the Middle East, in Germany and in Australia. His latest series, Al Khait Al Abiadh (‘The First Gleam of Dawn’), provides a frank depiction of the country’s government-controlled media. Many Arab-speaking stations aired the series in 2004, generating praise for its boldness and controversy. He is at work on a 30-episode series about the early life of the Lebanese-born artist and poet Kahlil Gibran. He participates courtesy of the US Department of State.

Mazen A.I. SA'ADEH
2006 Resident
fiction writer, filmmaker, playwright, screenwriter

Mazen A.I. SA’ADEH has published two novels, written five plays, and worked on several films as writer and director. His most recent project, My Friend, My Enemy (2004), is a documentary about friendships between Palestinian and Israeli women. In 2004, he co-founded the Open Workshop for Culture and the Arts in Palestine, an organization that encourages cultural exchange between Palestine and the global community through art. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

Mike Finn
2007 40th Anniversary Guest
playwright

Mike FINN is an actor and playwright and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Iowa. He is noted for producing locally popular plays on Limerick history. His best known play, Pigtown (1999), covers the forgotten moments in 20th-century Limerick history from the point of view of a dying man. Mike Finn's other plays include The Crunch (1992), Charlie Chaplin's Mother Was An Irish Man (1995) (both co-written with Terry Devlin), The Quiet Moment (2002) (read in London, March 06), Shock and Awe (2003), Ellis Island (2003) and ONE (2006). He also writes the Irish television sitcom Killinaskully for Pat Shortt Productions.

2007 Resident
critic, fiction writer, playwright, screenwriter

Kiran NAGARKAR is a widely-read bilingual author in contemporary Indian literature, working in both English and Marathi. His novels and screenplays have been well received in India, England, Germany, and the U.S., leading to a Rockefeller Fellowship, the 2000 Sahitya Akademi Award for Best Novel (Cuckold, 1997), and a City of Munich Fellowship. Nagarkar’s latest novel in English, God’s Little Soldier (2006), has been translated into German, with French, Italian and Spanish translations forthcoming. He participates courtesy of the U.R. Ananthamurthy Foundation.

Vijay NAIR
2007 Resident
fiction writer, playwright

Vijay NAIR is the author of the novel Master of Life Skills (2006) and several plays. Recent stage productions include Scars in My Memory; Shadows on the Wall; Weeds; The Window; and The Gloomy Rabbit, all of which he wrote, directed and/or staged. In 2005, Nair received the Charles Wallace Award from the British Council, and was Writer-in-Residence at the University of Kent, Canterbury. Current projects include a second novel, a new play, and a film script. His website is www.vijaynair.net; he participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.

Hamdy EL GAZZAR
2007 Resident
fiction writer, playwright

Hamdy EL GAZZAR is widely-published prose writer and playwright in the Arab world. He has written and directed several plays and written documentary films for Egyptian TV. His debut novel, Black Magic (2005), was awarded the Sawiris Foundation Prize in Egyptian Literature in 2006. An English translation of the novel is forthcoming in 2007 from AUC Press. Currently, he directs the Research Department of Egypt’s Culture TV Channel. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Verena TAY
2007 Resident
playwright

Verena TAY has spent the last two decades working in Singapore’s English-language theatre. Since 1997, she has concentrated on solo performances. Some of her recent projects include Cotton & Jade (2000), Medea: One on One (2002), 3 Women (2005) and Between Woman and Man: The Erasure of Verena Tay (2007). Another of her plays, The Car, won Action Theatre’s Theatre Idols in 2005; The Car was fully staged at The Esplanade Theatre Studio in 2006). Tay teaches voice, speech, and presentation skills in Singapore. She participates courtesy of the National Arts Council (Singapore), the Singapore International Foundation, The Substation arts center, and other sources.

Kristof MAGNUSSON
2008 Resident
fiction writer, playwright, translator

Kristof MAGNUSSON writes for theatre, including the comedies Männerhort [‘Male Creche’] (2001) and Der totale Kick (2000). Männerhort has been widely staged in Germany and translated into Swedish, Turkish, French, Bulgarian and Estonian. He has also coordinated theatre projects with homeless people in Berlin and with Holocaust survivors in New York City. Magnusson’s novel, Zuhause [‘At Home’] (2005), won the 2006 Rauriser Literaturpreis in Austria, and is available in French and Marati translations. He has translated Stormur (‘Storm’), a novel by Icelandic author Einar Kárason, into German, and has held writing residencies in Germany, Switzerland, and India. He participates courtesy of the Max Kade Foundation.

Veronica RAIMO
2008 Resident
fiction writer, playwright, poet, screenwriter, translator

Veronica RAIMO debuted with her novel, Il dolore secondo Matteo [‘Pain According to Matteo’], released by Minimum Fax in 2007; her short stories have meanwhile appeared in journals and anthologies throughout Italy.  A second novel is in preparation, under contract with Rizzoli Publishers.  In addition, Raimo contributes regularly to Italian magazines such as Rolling Stones and Liberazione.  She attends courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.

Tarek ELTAYEB
2008 Resident
fiction writer, playwright, poet

Tarek ELTAYEB was born in Cairo to Sudanese parents and educated in Austria. He has published five collections of poems, most recently Bacd Az-Zann [‘Certain Suspicions’] (2007), two novels Bayt An-Nakhil [‘The Palm House’] (2006), and Mudun Bila Nakhil [‘Cities Without Palms’] (1992), two short story collections, and a play El-Asanser [‘The Elevator’], (1992). His writings have been translated into several languages, including English. His awards include the Elias Cannetti Fellowship from the City of Vienna and three Major Project Fellowships for Literature. He attends courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.

Alina NELEGA
2008 Resident
fiction writer, journalist, playwright

Alina NELEGA has authored over 15 plays, most recently TAXI/ VINYL; she runs playwriting workshops, translates and directs new writing. A participant in cultural exchanges in Ireland, Switzerland, Holland, Germany, and at the New York Fringe Festival, she has been a beneficiary of international residencies at the Royal Court Theatre and The Bush Theatre (London). Her awards include “Play of the Year 2000,” and “The European Author Award” at the New Plays Festival in Heidelberg, Germany, in 2007, and a shortlist as “best playwright” by the Romanian Writers’ Union, for Kamikaze. She lives in Tirgu Mures, and attends courtesy of the Romanian Cultural Institute and independent sources.

John Nkemngong NKENGASONG
2008 Resident
fiction writer, playwright, poet

John Nkemngong NKENGASONG is a prolific writer and literary critic whose work ranges across genres and disciplines. He has published two novels (most recently The Widow's Might (2006), and Across the Mongolo, 2004), one play (Black Caps and Red Feathers, 2001), and his poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies throughout Africa and the United States. He has staged four of his unpublished plays (most recently A Madding Generation, 2005) in the cities of Kumba and Yaoundé. Nkengasong has held weekly columns in the Cameroon Post and The Post newspapers and has penned dozens of scholarly articles on topics in African, American, and British literature. His critical volume, W.B. Yeats and T.S. Eliot: Myths and the Poetics of Modernism, was published by Presses Universitaires Yaounde in 2005. He is currently Associate Professor at the University of Yaounde 1, Cameroon. He attends courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.

HAN Bo
2009 Resident
playwright, poet

HAN Bo (韩博) is the author of several poetry collections including [‘BorrowDeepHeart’] and[‘A Banquet of Knots’]. In 1998 he won the Li-An Liu poetry prize for the volume [‘Transmission for Ten Years’]. His short stories have been published in a number of literary journals, including Jin Tian. A playwright as well as stage director, in 1999 he founded the Ewood Drama Studio; he directed the 2008 Mecooon Film Festival in Shanghai. Currently, Han is the editor-in-chief of MG Magazine, a travel culture magazine. He participates courtesy of the US Embassy in Beijing.

Alice PUNG
2009 Resident
fiction writer, non-fiction writer, playwright

Alice PUNG was born in Melbourne to Cambodian parents. She has published the memoir Unpolished Gem (2006), which won the Australian Book Industry Association award for Newcomer of the Year and was short-listed for numerous other awards, ;and the short story collection Growing Up Asian in Australia (2008). Her work was also included in Best Australian Short Stories 2007. A lawyer by trade, she contributes regularly to The Age. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.

Dragica RAJCIC
2009 Resident
journalist, playwright, poet

Dragica RAJCIC was born in Croatia and emigrated to Switzerland in 1978; returning in 1988, she fled back to Switzerland in 1991. A founder of Glas Kastela, a newspaper in Croatia, Rajcic has also published five books of poems, including Post Bellum (2000) and Buch von Glück (2004), and two plays: [‘A Bit of Cleanliness’] has been performed in Germany and Switzerland. Her literary awards include the Chamisso Scholarship and the Meran Poetry Prize. Her participation is co-sponsored by Pro Helvetia.

Marius IVAŠKEVIČIUS
2009 Resident
fiction writer, playwright, screenwriter

Marius IVAŠKEVIČIUS is the author of a collection of short stories, two novels, and five plays, and is widely translated. His dramatic work has been staged in Latvia, Poland, Serbia, Finland, Italy, and Russia, with two plays receiving the Best Lithuanian Play award (2002 and 2004). Ivaskevicius has also written and directed three documentary films, among them Two on the Bridge (2004) and the short My Father (2007). His screenplay for Purple Smoke won the 2001 TransEuroScript prize. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.

2009 Resident
fiction writer, playwright

Andreas WEBER is the author of two short story collections, including So nicht! (2007), and the novel Lanz (2004), and the editor of the collections Ritalin Baby - Bohemian and Austrian Stories (2003), Experienced History (2004), and Stifter Reloaded (2005). Weber has also written and directed The Perfect Moment - a Film about Mario Kempes (2006), Der Speckjaeger - a Portrait of Hermann Gail (1999), and Dear Fritz - a Film about Fritz Habeck (1995). His play Rebellen was first staged in 2003. He participates courtesy of the Max Kade Foundation.

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