Hartford Stage Welcomes Playwright Kimber Lee as 2014-15 Aetna New Voices Fellow
Kimber Lee's brownsville song (b-side for tray), which premiered at the 2014 Humana Festival, will receive productions this year at Lincoln Center, Long Wharf Theatre, and Philadelphia Theatre Company.
Elizabeth Williamson, Director of New Play Development at Hartford Stage, said, "Kimber Lee's brownsville song (b-side for tray) blew me away. Kimber has an uncanny ability to insinuate herself into the language and speech patterns of wildly divergent characters, and to bring them together in plays which, collage-like, let us see a larger picture of society through the carefully structured accretion of every-day moments and interactions."
A season-long engagement, the Aetna New Voices Fellowship provides an artistic home for important playwrights of color to develop work and become involved in the ongoing life of Greater Hartford. The residency includes working with Hartford Stage's Education Department, advancing community development, and the commissioning of a new play, as well as readings and workshops.
"Arts organizations are part of the fabric of a healthy community. Aetna is pleased to once again support the Hartford Stage and its award winning New Voices Fellows. Through our long time partnership with Hartford Stage, we are showcasing emerging talents and weaving arts into the fabric of the community, enriching the quality of life for everyone," states Floyd W. Green, III, Vice President of Community Relations and Urban Marketing. "Organizations like Hartford Stage and playwrights such as Kimber Lee are helping to promote innovative thinking and creativity in the communities where we all live, work and play."
Marking its tenth year as the sole funder of this essential program, Aetna Inc. builds healthy communities by promoting volunteerism, forming partnerships, and funding initiatives to improve the quality of life for its employees and customers.
Janine Nabers (Annie Bosh is Missing) served as the 2013-14 Aetna New Voices Fellow. Hartford Stage produced the east coast premiere of Somewhere by 2012-13 Fellow Matthew Lopez in April, and will be premiering his Reverberation in 2014-15. Hartford Stage premiered Breath and Imagination by 2007-08 Fellow Daniel Beaty in 2013-14. Quiara Alegr Hudes, the 2008-09 Aetna New Voices Fellow, won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Water by the Spoonful, which also premiered at Hartford Stage.
This May Center Theatre Group presented the world premiere of Lee's latest play, different words for the same thing. Her works, including fight and tokyo fish story, also have been presented by Lark Play Development Center, Page 73, Hedgebrook, Seven Devils, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and Dramatists Guild Fellows Program. She is a Lark Playwrights Workshop Fellow (2013-2014); member of Ma-Yi Writers Lab; and recipient of both the 2014 Ruby Prize and the 2013-14 PoNY Fellowship. Lee, who holds a MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, is currently under commission at Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3, South Coast Rep, Denver Center Theatre Company, and is presently developing work with the Lark at Vassar and the Magic Theatre in San Francisco.
Celebrating its 51st anniversary season, Hartford Stage is one of the nation's leading resident theatres, known for producing innovative revivals of classics and provocative new plays and musicals, including 68 world and American premieres.
Hartford Stage has earned many of the nation's most prestigious awards, including four 2014 Tony Awards for A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway, including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical by Darko Tresnjak, and the 1988 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Other national honors include Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, OBIE, and New York Critics Circle awards. Hartford Stage has produced nationally renowned titles, including the New York transfers of Enchanted April; The Orphans' Home Cycle; Resurrection (later retitled Through the Night); and Quiara Alegría Hudes' Water by the Spoonful, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.