the transformative power of live theater

NEXT Commissions

An artist-driven theater company, Antaeus believes in the power and importance of storytellers as architects of culture and stewards of history. The NEXT Commissions, a new play development initiative for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) playwrights, was created to amplify historically underrepresented voices and to broaden the scope of the classical theater canon.

The purpose of our NEXT Commissions is to nurture an inclusive generation of writers and support the creation of extraordinary new plays that will stand the test of time. NEXT offers financial, dramaturgical and logistical support for the development of original, full-length works. The goal is to produce these plays as part of future Antaeus Seasons.

Current NEXT Commissioned Playwrights:

Alex Alpharaoh

Alex Alpharaoh is a formerly undocumented, Guatemalan born actor, dramatic writer, spoken word poet, solo performer and teaching artist from Los Angeles, CA. He is the recipient of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle award for solo performance as well as the recipient of a Stage Raw award for writing and performance for WET: A DACAmented Journey, a story about what it means to be an American in every sense of the word except on paper. Alpharaoh’s plays have been produced and workshopped throughout the country. Some of his plays include Don’t Talk About It, SP!T About ItWhy Won’t You Remember?Vile-LetFreddy Fender’s Last Concert; and O-Dogg: An Angeleno Take on Othello. As a formerly undocumented citizen, Alpharaoh believes in the transformative power of sharing one’s truth and vulnerability, especially in the face of danger. His writing reflects the struggles of the common person, and is often inspired by the works of Anton Chekhov, William Shakespeare, August Wilson, Octavio Solis, Luis Alfaro, Anna Deavere Smith, John Leguizamo, Roger Guenveur Smith and Stephen Adly Guirgis, to name a few. Alex’s stories, poems and spoken word narratives address issues pertaining to race, class, immigration, assimilation, family, love and Los Angeles. Alpharaoh is the founder of SP!T: Spoken Word Theatre, which focuses on telling stories about Los Angeles by fusing street culture with acting as the basis of storytelling. Alpharaoh has been acting professionally for over a decade and has been a lyricist and poet for over 30 years.

Lisa Sanaye Dring

Lisa Sanaye Dring recently appeared in the Antaeus production of Everybody, and she directed Alex Goldberg's The Six Pianos of Miradero for “The Zip Code Plays.” Her play Hungry Ghost will be produced by Skylight Theatre this summer, followed by a production of SUMO at La Jolla Playhouse with Ma-Yi Theater Company. Lisa has recently worked on multiple projects with Meow Wolf and was a member of The Geffen Writers' Room. She was a recipient of the 2020/21 PLAY LA Stage Raw/Humanitas PrizeShe’s been a finalist for the Relentless Award, the O’Neill Playwrights’ Conference, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference. Lisa's work has been developed/produced by the Geffen, The New Group, Actors Theatre of Louisville, East West Players, Circle X, CalArts and Rogue Artists Ensemble. Lisa has been awarded fellowships at MacDowell, Blue Mountain Center and Yaddo. She has worked in the VR Space with Double Eye Studios on multiple projects which have gone to the Venice International Film Festival (winner: Best VR Immersive Experience) and Raindance. She co-wrote and co-directed Welcome to the Blumhouse Live, which won a Silver Clio Award and was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Interactive Program.





PREVIOUSLY Commissioned Playwrights:

Zola Dee

Zola Dee is an L.A.-based emerging theater artist, poet and vocalist from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She believes her work has a strong responsibility to investigate trauma and how it is passed down generationally; the black psyche; mysticism; and ancient spirituality. Her most notable work, Gunshot Medley: Part 1, was Ovation award-recommended and published in Routledges Contemporary Plays by Women of Color. Dee was named by Los Angeles Times theater critic Charles McNulty as a front-runner in “a vibrant new era in African-American playwriting.” Other notable works include her one-woman show Rain, River, OceanAfrican Hyphen American; and Smile, Goddamnit, Smile. Dee has been a member of Center Theatre Group’s Writer’s Workshop and the Skylight Theatre’s PlayLab. Other accomplishments include: 2017-2018 Core Apprentice at the Playwright's Center in Minneapolis, where she was recently awarded the Many Voices Fellowship, and 2018 Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights Diversity Fellow. Currently, Zola serves as the artistic associate at the Pasadena Playhouse. zoladee.com

Marlow Wyatt

Actor and playwright Marlow Wyatt is a magna cum laude graduate of Howard University’s College of Fine Arts. Her plays include SHE, Robbin, from the Hood, a 2021 Eugene O’Neill semi-finalist developed in MADLab with Moving Arts; and Listen, A Black Woman Is Speaking, chosen for the Playwrights Union “Sneak Peek” live reading series. She is a featured playwright in “50IN50: Shattering The Glass Ceiling,” curated by Dominique Morriseau, and in Letters To Our Daughters at the Kumble and Billie Holliday Theaters in NYC and WACO Theater in L.A. Other produced plays include: Mourning of The Sons: Spirit LivesSweeties Confession; and Say SomethingMarlow has received numerous honors as a playwright, arts activist and founder of the Girl Blue Project. She was recently lauded as a 2021 As We Grow We Sow artist by Support Black Theater. She is a 2018 Many Voices Fellowship finalist, a 2018 Howard Players honored alumna, 2016 CTG/Humanitas Playwrights Prize finalist, Long Beach Playhouse New Works winner, a  two-time Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Discretionary Grant recipient, Women In Theatre Red Carpet Award-winner, Pine-Sol/Ebony Magazine Powerful Difference Award-winner and Spirited Woman Grant recipient. As an actor, she appeared during the pandemic in the Zoom series Isolation Inn as Millie Baker, and as Bird Ivy in the Antaeus Zip Code series play 90011: South Central Los Angeles–Speakeasy. Pre-pandemic, Marlow performed the role of Arlene in the critically acclaimed Antaeus production of Eight Nights. Marlow is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild, Playwrights Union, Alliance for  Los Angeles Playwrights, Antaeus Playwrights Lab, AEA, SAG/AFTRA, D.I.V.A. Society  for Women in the Arts and most recently Moving Arts.





This project is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Department of Arts and Culture.

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

NEXT Commissions are Generously
Sponsored in part by:

Donate Now

Invest in the transformative power of live theater! Antaeus Theater Company is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and we rely on contributions for the majority of our income. Everything we do, including the NEXT Commissions, is made possible by the extraordinary generosity of this community! Donations support our productions, signature reading series, subsidized ticket program, arts education (both in our Academy and in the community), and much, much more.

let's talk!

Sign up for the Antaeus Newsletter