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2019 Lab

The fourth annual MITTEN Lab residency took place September 8-15, 2019 in Bear Lake, MI. The 2019 MITTEN Lab artists, selected through an extensive submissions process, were Philadelphia-based playwright Nikki Brake-Sillá, Detroit-based playwright Rachel Keown Burke, Kalamazoo-based playwright Amber Palmer, and the New York-based playwright Andrew Rincón.

Work by the 2019 MITTEN Lab artists was shared in a free presentation of works-in-progress on Saturday, September 14th at Interlochen's Harvey Theater at 7:30 PM. Presented in partnership with Parallel 45 Theatre and Interlochen Center for the Arts, this public event featured Parallel 45 company actors alongside Interlochen Arts Academy students. For more information, click HERE.

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Nikki Brake-Sillá is Southern to her core with a Northern patina, and proudly calls Southwest Philadelphia home. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her MFA from the City College of New York. Nikki’s first screenplay, Silently Screaming, was a 2017 Semi-Finalist for the Middlebury Script Lab and was a 2017 second round Sundance Narrative Lab selection. Nikki has received funding from PlayPenn, PIFVA, The Princess Grace Foundation, The National Board of Review, The Bert Saperstein Foundation, The Institute for Human Studies, the Danielle & Larry Nyman Family, and Public Media Foundation.


Rachel Keown Burke is a playwright and director. After graduating from UNCSA, studying cinematography and screenwriting, she moved to L.A., where she worked in camera departments on many projects, briefly worked as a writer’s assistant for a pilot development, while moonlighting at a renowned motorcycle shop.  After a brief stint in motorcycle racing at Bonneville, and earning a Land Speed Record, Rachel now resides in southeast MI, with her husband and daughter.  Her work has been seen at Stagecrafters, Outvisible Theatre’s New Works Festival, and Planet Ant Theatre.  Her original work, Unobtainable Calm, received its premiere at BoxFest Detroit at Planet Ant.


Amber Palmer is a playwright currently based out of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her work has been read at Activate Midwest: New Play Festival (Kalamazoo, MI), Flint Repertory Theatre New Works Festival, Pegasus Playlab (Orlando, FL), Bristol Valley Theater’s New Play Initiative (Naples, NY) and Theatre Kalamazoo New Play Festival. A monologue from her play It’s a Small World (or The Robot Play) is published in Best Men’s Monologues of 2019 (Smith and Kraus). Her play The Speedy Gonzales Memorial Turtle Sanctuary is a finalist for City Theatre's National Award for Short Playwriting (2019) and a regional finalist for the Gary Garrison 10 Minute Play Award (Region 3, 2018). She will graduate with her M.F.A. in Playwriting from Western Michigan University in Spring 2020.


Andrew Rincón plays have been developed with the Amoralists Theatre Company, Amios, Austin Latino New Play Festival, Out Front Productions. He was a member of INKtank for Playwrights of Color (2017) and the 2017 Fornés Playwriting Workshop. He is the winner of the 2018 Chesley/Bumbalo Grant for writers of Gay and Lesbian Theatre. Dramatist Guild Fellow 2019-2020. Company member of Unit 52 at INTAR. His play I Wanna Fuck like Romeo and Juliet is the winner of New Light Theatre Project's "New Light New Voices Award" (2019) and will receive its New York stage premiere in Spring of 2020.

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