Matt Barbot ’17 Receives Miami New Drama x Black List Playwriting Commission

Anastasia Ellis
May 15, 2023

Playwriting alumnus Matt Barbot ’17 has been awarded a $10,000 commission by Miami New Drama and the Black List to develop a new play alongside the artistic team at Miami New Drama. 

The Miami New Drama x Black List Playwriting Commission marks the Black List’s first foray into theatre. The screenwriting platform announced earlier this year that it would partner with four theatre companies around the country to award the commissions; in addition to Miami New Drama, Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater, Washington D.C.’s Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and New York City’s Movement Theater Company are involved in the partner program. 

Barbot will work with Miami New Drama on a new work that reflects their mission to champion work as diverse, multilingual, and multicultural as the South Florida community. Miami New Drama is the largest bilingual theatre company in the United States, and its mission is to support writers who understand and are interested in exploring the unique value of diverse communities like Miami. Michel Hausmann ’14, the artistic director of Miami New Drama, said in a statement: “It is such an invaluable part of our mission to continue to help open doors for writers, and Matt is the perfect collaborator for the field we seek to help create.” 

Barbot was selected for the new commission based upon his play El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom, which won the Kennedy Center’s Darrell Ayers Playwriting and Latinidad Awards in 2017. El Coquí Espectacular follows the story of Alex, a comic artist who worries that he is not Puerto Rican enough; to answer those worries, he creates a superhero that embodies everything Alex thinks it means to be Puerto Rican.

Matt Barbot is a Nuyorican writer from Brooklyn. He recently workshopped two new plays, the beautiful land i seek (la linda tierra que busco yo) (Fault Line Theatre) and Trilogy (Two River Theater commission), with director José Zayas. His plays Princess Clara of Loisaida (a finalist for: Latinx Theatre Commons' 2018 Carnaval of New Latinx Work, 2018 Columbia@Roundabout New Play Series, 2021 Miranda Family Voces Latinx National Playwriting Competition) and Saints Go Marching (a semifinalist for: 2018 Eugene O’Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference) were featured in Steppenwolf’s The Mix list. The Venetians was a winner of the 2019 Columbia@Roundabout New Play Series. In 2021, Barbot created The Watering Hole in partnership with Associate Professor Lynn Nottage. Barbot was recently a New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellow and a member of The Civilians' R&D Group.