Playwrights' Center announces playwriting fellows and Core Writers for 40th Anniversary Season05/18/2011
Marion McClinton honored with Lifetime Core Writer status
The Playwrights' Center is pleased to announce its 2011-12 roster of playwriting fellows and new Core Writers, who together will receive over $150,000 in awards and additional development funds and will have the chance to be included in the Center's 40th Anniversary Season. This marks the first year that Producing Artistic Director Jeremy B. Cohen, who has helmed the Center since August 2010, has curated the selection process.
"The choice of this incredible array of playwrights marks the beginning of my second season at the Playwrights' Center, but the first I've had the pleasure to program," said Producing Artistic Director Jeremy B. Cohen. "This slate of writers was selected by some of today's most impactful national theater artists and me, not only because these playwrights are working at such a high level of craft and with such a diversity of storytelling, but also because we believe they are poised to create the next body of major American work. In its 40th year of consistent support to the lives of theater creators, the Playwrights' Center continues to lead the way as one of only a few organizations providing such robust support to such a multiplicity of artists."
For emerging national playwrights ($16,000 award)
Sarah Gubbins, Rachel Jendrzejewski, Enrique Urueta, Joe Waechter
Last year the Playwrights' Center increased the Jerome Fellowship's award amount from $10,000 to $16,000; this year it builds on the success of that change by expanding the program from three fellows to four, each receiving the full $16,000. The Playwrights' Center's 2011-12 Jerome Fellows are Sarah Gubbins (Chicago, IL), who will see world premieres of her plays The Kid Thing (About Face Theatre/Chicago Dramatists, fall 2011) and fml: how Carson McCullers saved my life (Steppenwolf for Young Adults, February 2012); Rachel Jendrzejewski (Los Angeles, CA), graduating this month from Brown's M.F.A. playwriting program, an interdisciplinary artist and longtime member of Cornerstone Theater Company who recently spent a year in Poland collaborating on several experimental performance installations; Enrique Urueta (San Francisco, CA), named SF Weekly's "Best Up-and-Coming Playwright of 2010" whose play Learn To Be Latina has been produced from coast to coast; and Joe Waechter (Providence, RI), an award-winning playwright and founder of the new interdisciplinary theater company The Awesome Collective; Waechter's The Hoot Owl (an opera for headphones) has been presented in New York and Rhode Island, and he recently received a travel grant to visit Iceland for research on an upcoming play.
Jerome Many Voices Fellowships
For Minnesota-based beginning and emerging writers of color
Beginning Track ($1,000 award): Terry Bellamy, Andrea Jenkins
Emerging Track ($3,600 award): Jessica Huang, Janaki Ranpura, Jerrie Steele
This year's Many Voices Beginning Track Fellows are Terry Bellamy, a founding member of Penumbra Theatre who has acted and directed on Twin Cities stages for over 30 years, and Andrea Jenkins, a poet whose work has appeared in several publications, and who recently received a fellowship at the Cultural Community Leadership Institute at Intermedia Arts, sponsored by the Bush Foundation. This year's Many Voices Emerging Track Fellows include Jessica Huang, a writer, co-founder of the Unit Collective, and Director of New Plays at Chaska Valley Family Theater; Janaki Ranpura, a nationally recognized puppet-maker, performer, and designer who trained at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq in France; and Jerrie Steele, a playwright, poet, songwriter and storyteller whose work has been commissioned and supported by a Playwright's Center Waring Jones Commission, the Loft Literary Center's Inroads program, and two Minnesota State Arts Board Cultural Collaborations Grants.
McKnight Advancement Grants
To further the careers of Minnesota-based playwrights ($25,000)
Keli Garrett, Gregory Moss
This year's McKnight Advancement Grants go to Keli Garrett, whose plays have been performed at Dixon Place in New York, Zoo District in L.A., Penumbra Theatre in Minneapolis, and many others around the country; and Gregory Moss, a current Jerome fellow whose work includes punkplay (Steppenwolf Garage, February 2010), Orange, Hat & Grace (world premiere off-Broadway at Soho Rep, September 2010), and House of Gold (world premiere at Woolly Mammoth, November 2010).
McKnight National Residency & Commission
For the creation and development of new works by nationally recognized playwrights ($12,500 commission)
This year's recipient of the McKnight National Residency and Commission is Kate Fodor, a Pennsylvania-based playwright who was recently named "one of eight to watch" by the New York Times. Fodor's play 100 Saints You Should Know received its world premiere Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons and was named one of the best plays of the year by Time Out New York, Entertainment Weekly and Theater Yearbook. Her newest play, Rx, will be produced Off-Broadway as part of Primary Stages' upcoming 2011-2012 season. Kate is a recipient of the Kennedy Center's Roger L. Stevens Award, the National Theater Conference's Barrie Stavis Award and a Joseph Jefferson Citation.
25 to 30 playwrights from across the country whose work is supported by the Playwrights' Center over a three-year term
Christina Anderson, Trista Baldwin, Dan Dietz, Marcus Gardley, Samuel Hunter, Marion McClinton, Winter Miller, Qui Nguyen
This year's new Core Writers hail from a variety of artistic disciplines and backgrounds. They include Christina Anderson, a recent M.F.A. graduate from the Yale School of Drama whose work has played at A.C.T., Penumbra Theatre, and other theaters across the country; Trista Baldwin, a returning Core Writer who recently collaborated with Japanese theater artist Shirotama Hitsujiya on a bilingual adaptation of her play DOE; Dan Dietz, whose play Clementine in the Lower Nine, developed at the Center during his current Jerome fellowship year, will have its world premiere at Palo Alto's TheatreWorks this fall; Marcus Gardley, a playwright whose world premiere of Every Tongue Confess inaugurated Arena Stage's new Kogod Cradle Theater, and whose On the Levee recently closed at Lincoln Center; Samuel Hunter, a graduate of NYU, the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, and Juilliard who is a current Drama Desk nominee for A Bright New Boise and the winner of the 2011 Sky Cooper New American Play Prize for The Whale; Winter Miller, a playwright and journalist whose play In Darfur was developed at the Playwrights' Center's 24th PlayLabs and subsequently produced across the country; and Qui Nguyen, a playwright/fight director and artistic director of the Obie-award winning Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company in New York, whose world premiere of The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G recently closed off-Broadway.
Also joining the Playwrights' Center in the special role of Lifetime Core Writer is renowned Twin Cities-based playwright and director Marion McClinton. Writer of the Kesselring-winning Police Boys and a fixture of the Twin Cities theater community for over three decades, McClinton is also one of the most prominent directors of the works of August Wilson. He has directed on major stages across the country, including the world premieres of Wilson's King Hedley II on Broadway and Gem of the Ocean at Goodman Theatre; Wilson said of McClinton in a 2001 interview, "I honestly don't know anyone more passionate than he is about the theater." McClinton is currently helming the Pillsbury House Theatre production of Tarell Alvin McCraney's In the Red and Brown Water at the Guthrie Theater. His world premiere adaptation of Toni Morrison's Jazz opens this winter at Centerstage (Baltimore).
"It is gratifying to be formally welcomed into the Playwrights' Center community as a Lifetime Core Writer," said McClinton. "The Playwrights' Center has long been a great asset to my career and to the American theater, and it's exciting to see that their doors are more open than ever. I look forward to continuing my work with them."
2011-12 Jerome Fellows
Sarah Gubbins is a Chicago playwright. Her plays include Fair Use, In Loco Parentis, The Water Play, and The Kid Thing. Her plays have been produced at Steppenwolf Theatre, Actor’s Express, and Next Theater. Her plays have been developed at the Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, the Goodman Theatre, American Theater Company, About Face Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Next Theatre Company, among others. She was a finalist for the Heideman Award, the Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award, and a semi-finalist for the 2011 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Sarah is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, an Artistic Associate at About Face Theatre and the 2010-11 Carl J. Djerassi Playwriting Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds a M.F.A. in Writing for the Screen + Stage from Northwestern University.
Rachel Jendrzejewski's plays include Meronymy; Encyclopedia; Grace Note; Bluebird; Bacteria; and Harpsichord Capable of Playing at the Normal Level, and More Strongly. Her work has been developed or produced at Padua Playwrights/ArtShare L.A., Conflux, A.R.T.’s New Voices Series, Rhode Island School of Design’s Fleet Library, Pell Chafee Performance Center, Granoff Center for Creative Arts, Theater Masters, and The Listening LabOratory. Honors include a Lucille Lortel Playwriting Fellowship, a residency with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute (Act:i've Cities, Poland), and travel/project grants from the Brown University Graduate School and Creative Arts Council. She is currently completing her M.F.A. in Playwriting at Brown.
|Enrique Urueta is the author of the plays The Johnson Administration, The Danger of Bleeding Brown (selected by David Hare as a runner-up for the 2009 Yale Drama Series Award), Learn To Be Latina, and Forever Never Comes. His plays have been/will be produced by Impact Theatre, Crowded Fire Theater Company, Golden Thread Productions, Stray Cat Theatre, Company One, and Monkey Wrench Collective with development support from The National Queer Arts Festival, Playwrights Foundation, and The Lark Play Development Center. He holds a B.A. in theatre from The College of William & Mary and an M.F.A. from Brown University.|
|Joe Waechter’s plays include Lake Untersee, The Strangler, The Hoot Owl (an opera for headphones), and The Memory Library. His work has been developed or produced at Playwrights Horizons, Ars Nova, American Repertory Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, Perishable Theatre, The 25¢ Opera of San Francisco, 24Seven Lab, and Electric Pear. His awards include a 2008-09 Lucille Lortel Playwriting Fellowship, the Weston Award in Playwriting, and a research travel grant to Iceland for an upcoming project. His play Dragonflies is available from Dramatics Publishing, and his articles have appeared in The Dramatist magazine. He received his M.F.A. in Playwriting from Brown University.|
2011-12 Jerome Many Voices Fellows
|Terry Bellamy is a founding member of Penumbra Theater. He has performed in over 250 plays, as well as 40 world premieres. He is an awarded, accomplished actor, director, dramaturg, and burgeoning playwright. He has worked at the Goodman, the Guthrie, the Hudson Guild, the August Wilson Center, Center Stage, the Swine Palace, Park Square, Mixed Blood, Ten Thousand Things, and a host of others. Later this year, Mr. Bellamy will make his first appearance at the Indiana Repertory Theater and then to the Cincinnati Playhouse, to reprise his role as “Sterling” in August Wilson’s Radio Golf.|
|Jessica Renee Huang writes plays cross-legged on the kitchen floor, often wearing one sock and chewing her cuticles. She and her laptop have survived higher education at the University of Missouri, a melodramatic stint in Phoenix and now write together in assorted Minneapolis diners and bars. Jessica used 10 of her 15 minutes on her short play Mermaids, which won the regional KCACTF ten-minute play award and was performed at the Kennedy Center at the national festival. Mermaids manifested most recently at 2G’s Free Range festival in New York City, now a creature of its own free will. Jessica co-founded the Unit Collective to contend with her multi-cultural confusion; she is a Many Voices Fellow and punch-pleased to call the Playwrights’ Center home.|
|Andrea Jenkins, author of two chapbooks, tributaries: poems celebrating black history and Pieces of A Scream, is a poet, spoken word and performance artist. Winner of the 2010 Naked Stages and Verve Grant(s), she co-curates the Queer Voices, one of the longest running LGBT reading series in the country. Most recently she was published in the anthology Gender Outlaws II: The Next Generation.|
|Janaki Ranpura builds nomadic structures for public interactions. As a designer, she values intimacy and mobility. She unites technology with the traditional stagecraft of puppet theater. Projects evolve from her experience as a performer, a community artist, and a designer for parades and stage. Her sense of space is informed by her training at the Lecoq School in France. She is careful with light because she developed her vision at Larry Reed’s groundbreaking company, Shadowlight Productions. Her desire to include the public has been fanned while working as a parade artist with Heart of the Beast Theatre. Her penchant for movement and tricksterishness comes from her restless roots as the arty daughter of Indian doctors. She studied at Yale University.|
|Jerrie Steele is a Minneapolis playwright, poet, songwriter and storyteller who creates literary and musical work from magical lucid dreams. She has been a supporting member of the Playwrights’ Center for over a decade. Her awards include the Playwright’s Center’s Waring Jones Commission, the Loft Literary Center’s Inroads for Emerging African American Writers, and two Minnesota State Arts Board Cultural Collaborations Grants to create new works for staged performance. Jerrie’s work has been supported by and showcased at Penumbra Theatre, SteppingStone Theatre, the Minnesota Fringe Festival, Red Eye Theatre, Nautilus Music Theatre and the Science Museum of Minnesota.|
2011-12 McKnight Advancement Grants
|Keli Garrett’s plays and adaptations have been produced and developed at Dixon Place in NYC, Zoo District in L.A., Penumbra Theatre, the LAByrinth, New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, Rites and Reason Theatre, Victory Gardens, City Lit Theater, Chicago Theater Company, Organic Theater, and the California College of Arts and Crafts. The Rhode Island Arts Council, The Joyce Foundation, City Lit Theater and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum have commissioned her work. She holds an M.F.A. 1999 in Creative Writing from Brown University, was a Beinecke Foundation fellow, and has a B.A. in Theatre from Columbia College.|
|Gregory Moss is a writer and performer from Newburyport, Massachusetts. His plays include The Destroyed Room, Good and Services, Billy Witch and punkplay. His work has been developed with and produced nationally and internationally by the A.R.T., Atlantic Center for the Arts, The Empty Space, Playwrights Horizons, PlayPenn, New York Theatre Workshop and others. Gregory is the recipient of a 2006-07 Lucille Lortel Playwriting Fellowship, a 2009 Eugene O’Neill Center National Playwrights Conference residency and a 2010-11 Jerome Fellowship. His play punkplay was produced in February 2010 at the Steppenwolf Garage, where it was named one of Time Out’s “Top Ten Plays of 2010.” Recent productions include Orange, Hat & Grace (Soho Rep, Sarah Benson, dir.), House of Gold (Woolly Mammoth), and The Argument (Attic Theatre Company, NYC). Upcoming productions include House of Gold (Circle X/EST West) and The Argument (Interrobang, Chicago). Writing, video and audio are archived at www.gregorysmoss.com.|
2011-12 McKnight National Residency and Commission
|Kate Fodor’s newest play, Rx, will be produced Off-Broadway as part of Primary Stages’ upcoming 2011-12 season. 100 Saints You Should Know was produced Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons and was named one of the best plays of the year by Time Out New York, Entertainment Weekly and Theater Yearbook. 100 Saints is published by Dramatists Play Service and anthologized in Smith & Kraus' New Playwrights: The Best Plays of 2008. Kate's play Hannah and Martin was produced Off-Broadway by Epic Theatre Ensemble and has had productions in cities around the U.S. and abroad, including at San Jose Repertory Theatre, Chicago’s TimeLine Theatre, and London’s Courtyard Theatre. Hannah and Martin is included in The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize: Six Important New Plays by Women from the 25th Anniversary Year. Kate is a recipient of the Kennedy Center's Roger L. Stevens Award, the National Theater Conference's Barrie Stavis Award, a Joseph Jefferson Citation, and an After Dark Award.|
2011-12 Core Writers
|Christina Anderson's plays include: Hollow Roots, Good Goods, Inked Baby and Man in Love. Her work has appeared at A.C.T., Penumbra Theater, About Face Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Crowded Fire and other theaters across the country. Awards and honors include Susan Smith Blackburn nomination, Lorraine Hansberry Award, Van Lier Playwriting Fellowship, Wasserstein Prize nomination and Lucille Lortel Fellowship. She has a B.A. from Brown University and will soon have an M.F.A from the Yale School of Drama. American Theatre Magazine selected Anderson as one of fifteen up-and-coming artists "whose work will be transforming America's stages for decades to come."|
|Trista Baldwin Recent productions include American Sexy (The Flea), Sand (Women's Project), DOE (Santiago a Mil Festival, Chile), Patty Red Pants (Live Girls!) and Chicks with Dicks (Bricolage). A recipient of two Jerome Fellowships and a McKnight Advancement Grant, Trista Baldwin is a co-founder of Workhaus Collective, a Core Writer of the Playwrights’ Center and a professor at St. Cloud State University, where she teaches playwriting and screenwriting. Locally, Trista’s work has been produced and developed by the Guthrie, the Red Eye, New Theatre Group, Thirst and Workhaus. Her work is published by Heinemann and Playscripts.|
|Dan Dietz’s plays include tempOdyssey, Americamisfit, and The Sandreckoner. His work has been commissioned, developed and presented at such venues as Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Guthrie Theater, the Public Theater, the Kennedy Center, and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. Dietz has been an NEA/TCG Theatre Residency recipient, a NNPN Rolling World Premiere recipient and a James A. Michener Fellow. Dietz has twice been a recipient of the Heideman Award. He is currently a Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis. His latest play, Clementine in the Lower Nine, will have its world premiere at TheatreWorks (Palo Alto, CA) in October.|
|Marcus Gardley is a poet-playwright who has won the Helen Merrill Award, Kesselring honor, Gerbode Emerging Playwright and the ASCAP Cole Porter Prize. His most recent play Every Tongue Confess (2011) had a critically acclaimed run at Arena Stage starring Phylicia Rashad and directed by Kenny Leon. It was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award. Another play, … and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi, was produced at Cutting Ball Theater (2010) and was nominated for the Bay Area Theater Critics Outstanding Playwright Award. He’s had six productions including This World in a Woman’s Hands (2009), and dance of the holy ghost (2005). M.F.A., playwriting, Yale School of Drama. Member: New Dramatists. In the Fall, he will be teaching at Brown.|
|Samuel D. Hunter’s recent productions include A Bright New Boise (Partial Comfort Productions, named one of New York Magazine’s Top 10 Plays of 2010; upcoming production at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company), The Whale (upcoming production at Denver Center Theater Company), Jack’s Precious Moment (Page 73 Productions, 59E59), and Five Genocides (Clubbed Thumb, Ohio Theater). He has had plays developed at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the Ojai Playwrights Conference, PlayPenn, Juilliard, and elsewhere. Awards: 2011 Sky Cooper Prize, 2008-2009 PONY Fellowship, two Lincoln Center Le Compte du Nuoy Awards, others. He holds degrees in playwriting from NYU, the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, and Juilliard.|
|Marion McClinton (Lifetime Core Writer) Known for his award-winning Broadway and Off-Broadway productions of August Wilson’s work, with whom he had a long friendship and professional relationship, Marion directed Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Broadway revival), King Hedley II (Broadway premiere, regional theatres), Jitney (Off-Broadway, regional and international theatres), Gem of the Ocean (Goodman Theatre, Mark Taper Forum), Seven Guitars and Two Trains Running (CenterStage), Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Missouri Repertory), Fences (Indiana Repertory Theatre, Paramount Pictures). Other directing credits include Breath Boom (Playwrights Horizons), Jar the Floor (Off-Broadway), Roar (New Group), Thunder Knocking on the Door (regional theatres), Drowning Crow (premiere, Broadway MTC), Elmina’s Kitchen (CenterStage), Yellowman (Mixed Blood/Guthrie Theater), Bulrusher (Pillsbury House) and Pure Confidence (Mixed Blood). Mr. McClinton is an Associate Artist of CenterStage. His plays include Police Boys and Stones and Bones (1994 Humana Festival). Awards include three Audelco Awards, Kesselring Prize, OBIE, NEA/TCG Pew Charitable Trust Grant, Drama Desk and Evening Standard nominations. He is an alumnus of both New Dramatists and the Playwrights’ Center.|
|Winter Miller’s plays include: In Darfur (The Public, TimeLine, Theater J, Horizon, Mosaic), Paternity (Cherry Lane), The Penetration Play (13P), Conspicuous (Keen Teens), Home/Away (Askew). She is developing The Arrival and the musical Amandine. In Darfur premiered at the Public and was later presented as a one-night only SRO performance at the 1,800-seat Delacorte, a first for a play by a woman. The play won the Playwrights’ Center and the Guthrie’s Two-Headed Challenge. Fellowships include Sundance Institute, Cherry Lane Mentor Project (Craig Lucas), Hedgebrook and Voice & Vision. She holds an M.F.A. from Columbia and a B.A. from Smith. Member of 13P and a New Georges affiliate.|
|Qui Nguyen is a co-founder and Co-Artistic Director of the OBIE Award-winning Vampire Cowboys of New York City. Some of his recent scripts include the children’s play Aliens versus Cheerleaders (Keen Teens); Trial by Water (Ma-Yi Theater); and the Vampire Cowboys productions of The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G; Alice in Slasherland; and Fight Girl Battle World. His plays Bike Wreck, Soul Samurai, and Krunk Fu Battle Battle are all currently in production at Ensemble Studio Theatre in NY, InFusion Theatre in Chicago, and East West Players in Los Angeles, respectively. Along with his Core membership at the Playwrights’ Center, Qui is also a proud member of New Dramatists, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and The Ma-Yi Writers Lab.|