Theater News

Melis Aker Announced as Signature Theatre's First LaunchPad Resident

The three-year residency supports the work of early-career playwrights.

Melis Aker will be Signature Theatre's first LaunchPad Resident.
Melis Aker will be Signature Theatre's first LaunchPad Resident.
(Courtesy of Signature Theatre)

Playwright, actor, and musician Melis Aker has been announced as Signature Theatre's inaugural LaunchPad Resident. The new program supports diverse early-career playwrights and seeks to advance their voice, body of work, and professional development.

Over a three-year period, LaunchPad offers a resident playwright holistic artistic support, including two $15,000 commissions, a full production in the 99-seat Ford Studio, a workshop production, healthcare benefits, developmental readings (toward production), an annual theatergoing stipend, a writing retreat outside of NYC, private workspace at Signature, and guided mentorship by a Spotlight or Premiere Signature resident playwright.

Aker is a writer, actor, and musician based between London and New York. Her plays have been commissioned by and developed at Atlantic Theatre (Middle East Mixfest), Ars Nova (Play Group member), NYTW (2050 fellow), O'Neill, NAMT, New Group, Dramatists Guild (DGF fellow), Roundabout Space Jam, LaMaMa, The Lark, Noor, Golden Thread Productions, 24 Hour Plays, Magic Theatre, Corkscrew Festival, BRIC, Golden Thread, and Silk Road Rising in the U.S., as well as the Finborough and Park Theatres in London. She is currently developing a musical play with Benjamin Scheuer and Jemima Williams based on their illustrated book Hundred Feet Tall.