Theatre Alumnae to Unveil New Work at Soho Rep's Writer-Director Lab

Carlos Barragán
August 16, 2023

From September 15 to 30, 2023, Theatre alumnae Annie Jin Wang ’20 and Nana Dakin ’18 will share in-process productions of their most recent work developed in the SoHo Rep Writer/Director Lab, part of Soho Rep, a civic theater that produces innovative plays.

Wang is pairing with Nkenna Akunna, while Dakin is teaming up with Carolina Đỗ. All of the artists participating in the SoHo Rep Writer/Director Lab have been developing their work over the past year alongside Lab Co-Chairs William Burke and Jackie Sibblies Drury.

Dakin and Akunna will present Woo Woo Child, a play that follows a community of New York City artists at the precipice of new beginnings. Its present is the night of main character Valeria’s final performance. The group scenes take place in an upscale restaurant’s basement. With characters taking on tarot archetype qualities, the play explores fate, messy power and narrative-by-accumulation.

With Chekhov’s The Seagull in mind, Wang and Đỗ generate a theatrical investigation/love letter to their families, ancestors, selves, and fellow Asian American community members who have had to sublimate their identities in the pursuit of being understood

Started in 1998, the Writer/Director Lab at Soho Rep helps create new theater shows in New York City. Every year, they help four teams make their plays, and then show them for free at Soho Rep for everyone to see. 

Dakin is a queer Thai-American director of devised performance, new work, and classics. Her international upbringing means her work is informed by diverse social and political experiences, and she pursues social equity through the examination of cultural constructs and biases. Dakin was the first Thai director at the Royal Court Theatre in London. In New York, her work has been shown by Ars Nova, Atlantic Theater Company, Clubbed Thumb, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Civilians, The Playwright’s Realm, Ma-Yi Theater Company, New York Theatre Workshop, and more. Dakin has taught workshops on directing, devising, and creative movement in the UK, the US, and Thailand. She is a member of Thailand’s highly acclaimed theatre company, B-Floor Theatre, and NYC-based Superhero Clubhouse, a theatre company focused on climate and environmental justice. Dakin is the Board President of the Thai Theatre Foundation (TTF). 

Wang is a first-generation Chinese-American dramaturg, visual artist, and writer who produces work focused on decolonizing the artistic process. Her work primarily investigates constructs of race, gender, and citizenship through a critical and compassionate lens. Wang’s recent dramaturgical work involves contributing to projects in development at Beth Morrison Projects, Theater Mu, and Ars Nova. She is an Artistic Associate at Theater Mu and a co-facilitator for the Mu Emerging Playwright’s Circle. In addition to her place in the Soho Rep Writer Director Lab, Wang has also been awarded a Target Margin Space residency this fall. As a writer, she has had work developed with Fresh Ground Pepper and she was a member of the inaugural PlayGround-NY Writers’ Pool.