Branden Jacobs-Jenkins Receives Sundance's Tennessee Williams Award
Sundance Institute has announced that playwright and Sundance Institute Theatre Lab alum Branden Jacobs-Jenkins will receive the first-ever Tennessee Williams Award from the Institute's Theatre Program, which supports the development of new work for the stage. Sundance Institute Emeritus Trustee Sally Field will present the honor and accompanying $10,000 grant at the Celebrate Sundance Institute benefit for its Theatre Program on April 8, 2013 at Stephan Weiss Studio in Greenwich Village.
The event will also include musical selections from The Sundance Institute-supported, much-anticipated new musical Fun Home by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori, featuring performances by Maggie Gyllenhaal, Judy Kuhn, David Hyde Pierce and others. Fun Home was supported at two Institute Labs and will open at The Public Theatre later this year. Also at the benefit, Cherry Jones and others will perform scenes from Appropriate by Williams Award winner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.
Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, "The Sundance Institute Theatre Program has discovered and supported many of the leading theatre artists and projects of the past three decades. We are pleased that our Tennessee Williams Award will further shine a spotlight on emerging playwrights from whom we can expect powerful and innovative work."
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is a Brooklyn-based playwright and dramaturg. His newest play, Appropriate, premieres at the Humana Festival in March 2013. His other work has been seen at The Public Theatre, PS122, Soho Rep, The Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles, Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis, CompanyOne in Boston, Theater Bielefeld in Bielefeld, Germany and The National Theatre in London. He is Usual Suspect and a former New York Theatre Workshop Playwriting fellow, an alum of the Soho Rep Writers/Directors Lab, Public Theater Emerging Writers Group, and Ars Nova Playgroup. His honors include a Princess Grace Award, the Dorothy Strelsin Playwriting Fellowship, the Paula Vogel Award, and a fellowship in playwriting from the New York Foundation for the Arts. He holds an M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU and is working on commissions from Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 and Yale Repertory Theater.
Branden is an alum of the 2012 Sundance Institute Playwrights Retreat at Ucross Foundation and the 2012 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab at the Sundance Resort.
"Branden's burgeoning body of work already heralds a dynamic career; his audacity and poetic language are reminiscent of many of the qualities that define Mr. Williams' writing," remarked Philip Himberg, Artistic Director of The Sundance Institute Theatre Program. "Following his wildly entertaining and dangerous Neighbors, his most recent play, Appropriate, reveals him to be an author willing to take substantial risk, and to fearlessly explore familial rage and personal emancipation. We look forward to his future output which will undoubtedly continue to reflect a singular sensibility, with humor and passion."