NEXT Commissions

The NEXT Commissions, a new play development initiative for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) playwrights, were created to amplify historically underrepresented voices and to broaden the scope of the classical theater canon. Through this program, writers will develop original, full-length works inspired by, or in response to, classic plays, historical events and figures of their choosing. Commissioned writers will receive financial, dramaturgical, and logistical support.

Together with the Antaeus Playwrights Lab, which was established in 2014, NEXT is part of our dual-pronged New Classics Initiative. The goal is to produce plays through these NEXT Commissions as part of an upcoming Antaeus season.

Current NEXT 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, Ocean; African 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, scheduled for a 2022 world premiere by L.A.’s Latino Theater Company; 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 Lives; Sweeties Confession; and Say Something. Marlow 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. marlowwyatt.com

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, Ocean; African 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, scheduled for a 2022 world premiere by L.A.’s Latino Theater Company; 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 Lives; Sweeties Confession; and Say Something. Marlow 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. marlowwyatt.com

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