New Works Initiative

Department of Theatre and Dance

‌‌New Works Initiative main image

The New Works Initiative at Montclair State University in collaboration with Bisno Productions

THE NEW WORKS INITIATIVE (NWI) is an Artist-in-Residence program and development platform in Montclair State University’s College of the Arts.  NWI is designed as a near-New York City incubator for new plays and musicals and re-explored theatrical works.  
NWI’s mission is to bring together established and emerging playwrights, composers, choreographers, theatre-makers, and directors with MSU theatre students to explore adventurous theatrical works. 
A professional creative team, creator and selected work are chosen annually as the official “NWI Artist, or Artists, in Residence” project. The piece is given a 2-semester residency. Collaboration with faculty and a design team support the project through a workshop phase, a 4-week rehearsal process, tech, and a fully produced production on one of Montclair’s theatrical stages during the Spring semester. 
Through NWI, students have the stimulating opportunity to collaborate with theatre professionals. Professional artists have the freedom to take new risks in developing and launching work. Montclair State is committed to expanding its network of artistic relationships in the professional arena, further establishing the College of the Arts as a vibrant theatrical training destination, exposing students to bold new voices, courageous material, and esteemed talent. 

2015-2016 Artists in Residence

NW1 Kim Rosenstock 2015-16


Kim Rosenstock (Playwright) has written numerous plays including Tigers be Still which premiered at Roundabout Underground. Commissions include Dallas Theater Center, Roundabout, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Ars Nova, where she was 2011 Playwright-in-Residence. She holds an MFA in playwriting from Yale School of Drama. Kim resides in LA where she writes for the television show, New Girl.


New Works Initiative Artist in Residence Jesse Joo


Jesse Jou (Director) directed the first workshop of 99 Ways by Kim Rosenstock at the Yale School of Drama. His work has been seen at HERE; Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, Ars Nova, FSU/Asolo Conservatory, Lark Play Development Center; NY International Fringe Festival; The Kitchen; and Yale Cabaret. Alumnus of the Cherry Lane Mentor Project, Drama League’s Directors Project, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, the Civilians R&D Group. MFA, Yale School of Drama.


The 2015-2016 Artists in Residence Project:

NWI New Works 2015-2016

99 Ways to F*%k a Swan

a play by Kim Rosenstock
directed by Jesse Jou 

Featuring MSU students:

Dino Curia, Rebecca DeMarco, Chris Dubrow, Niall Ng, Joey Palazzo, Kira Player, Angelica Santiago, Michael Sultana and Emma Wagner  

Imani Champion: Stage Manager

April Gormley - Scenic Designer

Eden Tayar - Costume Designer

Michael Arroyo - Lighting Designer

Scott O'Brien - Sound Designer

Assistant Director: Matthew Lopes 

Workshop Reading at The Loft at Ars Nova in New York City in November for Industry Professionals

Production Dates:

March 17, 2016 - 7:30pm

March 18, 2016 - 7:30pm

March 19, 2016 - 2 & 8pm

March 20, 2016 - 2pm

About the Play:  A long, long time ago, Leda makes love to a swan. 3,000 years later, Michelangelo paints a picture.  350 years later, Rudolph impulsively buys it. 128 years later, Dave and Fiona stand in a museum, gazing at what is left. Set in a world of bizarre romantic obsessions, “99 Ways” explores the dark corners of desire, and the eternal mysteries of love.

New Works Initiative student training

The  NWI  residency includes:

  • Two-four week Fall Development Workshop (inclusive of readings on Montclair State's campus and in NYC)
  • Artist Fee (determined by scope of project)
  • Full Spring Production at one of Montclair State's 3 venues:
    • The Alexander Kasser Theatre - a 500-seat state-of-the-art auditorium
    • Memorial Auditorium - a 988-seat proscenium theatre
    • L. Howard Fox Theatre - a flexible blackbox space
  • Production Budget (determined by scope of project and how project aligns with Montclair State's season)

Contact or Heather Benton at at MSU for more information on the NWI Program.

The New Works Initiative is made possible through the generous support of Bob and Holly Gregory.