Nayna Agrawal of North Hollywood, Calif., was among two recipients of a “Sesame Street” Writers’ Room Fellowship Award, winning over a field of 450 applicants, according to a Daily News report.
“The ‘Sesame Writers’ Room’ fellowship is an unparalleled honor and my writing has improved immensely due to its mentors, workshops and disciplined process of creating a pilot,” Agrawal, a former international aid management, financial analysis and legislative writing professional, said in the Daily News report.
“In addition, ‘Sesame Street’ develops a writer’s business acumen by identifying trends in domestic and international children’s programming, sharing the various stages and aspects of development, and creating access through key networking opportunities,” the Indian American added.
Agarwal now has a development deal for the short animated comedy script she created, with the help of industry professionals, during the eight-week program, the publication said.
The program, in its second year, was developed by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization responsible for the groundbreaking and beloved children’s TV show “Sesame Street.” It’s designed to help advance underrepresented talent in children’s media, according to the report.
“We’re proud to continue the ‘Sesame Street Writers’ Room’ fellowship series as we head into ‘Sesame Street’s’ landmark 50th season,” Brown Johnson, the executive vice-president and creative director of Sesame Workshop, said in a press release. “From the very beginning, ‘Sesame Street’ has been committed to reflecting our diverse world; with programs like this one, we recognize how important it is for kids [to] see themselves represented in the media, both on- and off-screen.”
Agrawal’s resume includes playwrighting experience at such Los Angeles venues as the Moving Arts Development Lab, Playground-LA and David Henry Hwang’s Writers Institute at the East West Players. She’s interned at the Sundance Episodic Lab and worked assisting writers of TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” the report noted.
Agrawal describes her “Sesame Street Writers Room” project as “An 11-minute animated comedy following the adventures of a first-generation, Indian American 10-year-old girl as she navigates her American school, her Indian home and her multi-cultural, multi-lingual identity,” the publication said.
“And, of course, it’s a nod to my affinity for L.A. as my script’s plot takes place in the Valley!” she told the publication.