A roundtable with Lynn Ahrens, Michael R. Jackson, Mfoniso Udofia, and moderated by Michele Lowe.

Lynn Ahrens, Mfoniso Udofia, Michael R Jackson headshots

Michele Lowe: I was trying to remember what made me ask, how do I do this? How do I cope with being a writer? I was probably having a day where something really great happened and then something really bad happened, because they kind of go together.

Then I started thinking: I know how I cope, but how do other people do it? How do you stay with a project you’ve been working on for years? Or remember to eat before you pass out? How do you deal with the isolation? Or sudden success? Or crappy reviews?

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Photo of playwright Michele Lowe
Michele Lowe

wrote The Smell of the KillString of Pearls, plus a few more. She won the Francesca Primus Prize for Inana. Current projects include: The Greatest (Sundance Theatre Lab), Split (Transport Group commission), and The Proxy Marriage. She coaches writers and rabbis around the country.

Lynn Ahrens 
Lynn Ahrens 

wrote lyrics for Ragtime, Once On This Island, A Christmas Carol, Anastasia, Seussical, Lucky Stiff, A Man of No Importance, Dessa Rose, The Glorious Ones, Rocky, and the upcoming Marie and Knoxville. She’s won Tony, Drama Desk, Emmy, and Olivier Awards, plus multiple Oscar and Grammy nominations, and is a member of the Theater Hall of Fame. She co-founded the DGF Fellows program and is a member of Council at the Guild.

Michael R. Jackson
Michael R. Jackson

is an American playwright, composer, and lyricist. He is originally from Detroit, MI, and holds a BFA in Playwriting and an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Among many awards, his musical A Strange Loop won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and 2022 Tony for Best Musical.

Mfoniso Udofia

is a first-generation Nigerian-American storyteller and educator. Productions of her plays Sojourners, runboyrun, and Her Portmanteau have been seen at New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Realm, Magic Theater, National Black Theatre, and Boston Court. She’s the recipient of the 2017 Helen Merrill Playwright Award, the 2017-18 McKnight National Residency and Commission at The Playwrights’ Center and is a member of New Dramatists.