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Download the 2015-16 McKnight National Residency and Commission application (PDF)

Application due: November 13, 2014

McKnight National Residency and Commission
Supported by a grant from The McKnight Foundation, this program aids in the commissioning and development of new works from nationally recognized playwrights. The recipient playwright receives a $12,500 commission, paid to the playwright according to an agreed upon schedule, at least two U.S. round-trip airline tickets, housing during the residency period, up to $5,750 in workshop funds to support the development of the play, a public reading of the commissioned play, and participation in the fall Fellowship Retreat.

Past recipients include: Kia Corthron, Kate Fodor, Daniel Alexander Jones, Sibyl Kempson, Craig Lucas, Taylor Mac, Ruth Margraff, Dan O'Brien, Betty Shamieh, Kathleen Tolan, and Mac Wellman.

Selection Process
Applications are screened for eligibility by the Playwrights' Center and evaluated by an initial select panel of professional theater artists; finalists are then evaluated by a second panel of Minnesota theater artists. Selection is based on artistic excellence, professional achievement, and proposed residency plans, and is guided by the Playwrights' Center's mission statement. Playwrights' Center staff do not participate in selection decisions.

Questions may be addressed to Artistic Administrator Amanda Robbins-Butcher.

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Karen Hartman

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Karen Hartman is the award-winning author of over twenty plays and musical works. Goldie, Max, and Milk premiered at Florida Stage and was nominated for the Steinberg/American Critics Award (Best New American Regional Play) and the Carbonell Award (Best New Play in Florida). Gum, which had its world premiere at Baltimore’s Center Stage, has been seen in dozens of productions at theaters and universities across the country. Wild Kate opened at ACT in San Francisco (Conservatory), and was published by Playscripts in 2012. Other works include Goliath (Dorothy Silver New Play Prize); Leah’s Train (Weissberger Award Finalist); Going Gone (N.E.A. New Play Grant); Girl Under Grain (Best Drama in NY Fringe); and her Euripides adaptation Troy Women, which has become a staple of college theaters. Her short play, Hang Ten, was part of the Antigone Project in New York. Her essays have been published in the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Current projects include a New Play Frontiers Residency and Commission at People’s Light and Theater Company, where Ms. Hartman spent 2013/14 observing Project Dawn Court, an alternative justice system for Philadelphia women convicted of prostitution. Also this season, her newest play Forty had readings at New Dramatists and Salvage Vanguard in Austin, and was part of the Little Festival of the Unexpected at Portland Stage in Maine. Ms. Hartman was awarded a Promise Grant this year from the Sustainable Arts Foundation. She is embarking on a commission for Yale Repertory Theater based on Ricci vs DeStefano, the landmark New Haven affirmative action case, in collaboration with Long Wharf Theater artistic director Gordon Edelstein. The Book of Joseph, a semi-documentary theater piece based on the most important collection of letters to survive the Krakow Ghetto, will premiere at Chicago Shakespeare Theater in 2016.

Ms. Hartman’s plays have also been performed in New York at the Womens Project, National Asian American Theatre Company, P73, and Summer Play Festival, and at regional theaters including Cincinnati Playhouse, Dallas Theater Center, the Magic, Phoenix Theater (Indianapolis), and elsewhere. They are published by Theater Communications Group, Dramatists Play Service, Playscripts, Autumn House Press, Backstage Books, and NoPassport Press. She has been commissioned by McCarter Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, ACT in San Francisco, South Coast Repertory, California Shakespeare Festival, Dreamworks/ Franco Dragone, and others.

As a librettist, Ms. Hartman and composer Graham Reynolds won the Frederick Loewe Award for Music Theater for their pop opera MotherBone. ALICE: Tales of a Curious Girl (Music by Gina Leishman, adapted from Lewis Carroll’s books), was produced by Dallas Theater Center and many other companies, and won the AT&T Onstage Award. Sea Change, a musical with score by AnnMarie Milazzo, was a recent finalist for the O’Neill Musical Theater Conference.

A New Dramatists alumna and past Core Member of the Playwright’s Center, Ms. Hartman has been supported by a Jerome Fellowship, the Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio, the National Endowment for the Arts, Princeton’s Hodder Fellowship, the Helen Merrill Foundation, MacDowell Colony, the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, a Daryl Roth "Creative Spirit" Award, a Joseph A. Callaway Award from New Dramatists, the Voice & Vision Retreat, and a Fulbright Scholarship. She has been a guest artist at the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain.

Ms. Hartman graduated from Yale University and the Yale School of Drama. She has taught writing extensively, including at Yale, New York University, and in ongoing workshops for professional writers in New York. She grew up in San Diego and lives in Brooklyn with her family. In the fall of 2014 she will join the faculty of University of Washington, Seattle as Senior Artist in Residence.

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