Clubbed Thumb and Playwrights Horizons Launch Development Program
Clubbed Thumb (Maria Striar, Producing Artistic Director; Diana Maxine Konopka, Associate Director) and Playwrights Horizons (Tim Sanford, Artistic Director; Leslie Marcus, Managing Director) today announced the launch of SuperLab, an innovative new play development program. A series of collaboratively curated play laboratories, SuperLab will support the creation of bold, risk-taking new works by living American Playwrights. Supported by funds granted to Clubbed Thumb by Metlife/Theatre Communications Group's A-ha! Program, created to foster creative thinking and action among its member theaters, these two like-minded companies will join forces to produce a six-play development lab. Clubbed Thumb and Playwrights Horizons, who share a commitment to advancing distinctive new voices, will bridge a gap between downtown and uptown theater sensibilities, methodologies and artist rosters, expanding the range of experience and opportunity for all.
Clubbed Thumb's Producing Artistic Director Maria Striar says: "I proposed this program to TCG out of a desire to do more to get our artists and their work to broader audiences, and to weave some collaborative tissue between Clubbed Thumb and larger organizations for our mutual benefit. I like to think that Clubbed Thumb has been an incubator for some of the most interesting theater careers out there, and Playwrights Horizons has given many of them their next home. Adam Greenfield (Playwrights Horizons' Director of New Play Development) and I have been talking about plays for years, so this is an organic partnership."
Over the course of the 2010-2011 theater season, Striar and Greenfield will work together to identify six promising new in-progress works to be fully supported by a malleable, artist-driven week-long lab to take place monthly from November, through April.
"There is a perceived disconnect between the tastes and practices of larger and smaller theater companies," Greenfield says. "But a look into the programming of Clubbed Thumb and Playwrights Horizons reveals again and again that we have a great deal in common. " Among the expansive roster of artists who have found a home at both theaters are playwrights Sarah Ruhl, JorDan Harrison, Adam Bock, Rinne Groff, Ann Marie Healy, Anne Washburn and Gregory Moss; directors Pam MacKinnon, Trip Cullman and Anne Kauffman; actors Christina Kirk, Heidi Schreck and Tracee Chimo; and designers Louisa Thompson, Mark Barton, Leah Gelpe, David Zinn and David Korins.
Clubbed Thumb commissions, develops, and produces funny, strange, and provocative new plays by living American writers. Since its founding in 1996, the company has earned four Obie Awards and presented plays in every form of development, including over 75 full productions. Clubbed Thumb is a groundbreaker, with a remarkable track record for finding emerging artists and producing innovative new plays; a matchmaker, cultivating new relationships through our development programs and productions; and an incubator, nurturing artists and their work, from first read-through to fully mounted production. Clubbed Thumb is committed to providing opportunities for women, and to improving the quantity and quality of women's roles in dramatic literature. In May 2010, Artistic Director Maria Striar was honored with a first-ever Lilly Award for Artistic Directorship, citing her work as a "fierce champion of new works and new writers... who has "helped launch and/or develop the careers" of scores of playwrights including Adam Bock, Ann Marie Healy, Bridget Carpenter, Anne Washburn, Erin Courtney, Gina Gionfriddo, JorDan Harrison, Gregory Moss, Lisa D'Amour, Rinne Groff, Sarah Ruhl and Sheila Callaghan. Writers premiered by Clubbed Thumb have received the following accolades: a MacArthur Award; a Tony Award; several Susan Smith Blackburn Prizes, Whiting and Obie Awards; the Pulitzer short-list; the Rosenthal New Play Prize; the Kesselring Award, the National Theatre Critic's Steinberg Citation; and grants, commissions and fellowships including those from the MAP Fund, Princess Grace, Jerome, McKnight, NYSCA and NEA/TCG.
Clubbed Thumb is supported in part by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and receives significant support from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation, the Jerome Foundation, the Greenwall Foundation, The Maurice C.Amado Foundation, The Shubert Foundation and the New York Community Trust. Clubbed Thumb is a participant in the MetLife/TCG A-ha! Program: Think it, Do it, funded by MetLife and administered by Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the not-for-profit professional American theatre.
Playwrights Horizons, celebrating its 40th Anniversary Season, is a writer's theater dedicated to the support and development of contemporary American Playwrights, composers and lyricists and to the production of their new work. Under the leadership of artistic director Tim Sanford and managing director Leslie Marcus, Playwrights Horizons continues to encourage the new work of veteran writers while nurturing an emerging generation of theater artists. Writers are supported through every stage of their growth with a series of development programs: script and score evaluations, commissions, readings, musical theater workshops, Sharp and Mainstage productions. In its 40 years, Playwrights Horizons has presented the work of over 375 writers and is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. Notable productions include four Pulitzer Prize winners -Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife (2004 Tony Award, Best Play), Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles, Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy and Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George - as well as Annie Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation (three Obies); Doug Wright, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie's Grey Gardens (three Tonys); Bruce Norris's Clybourne Park; Melissa James Gibson's This; Craig Lucas' Small Tragedy (Obie); Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins; Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone; Lynn Nottage's Fabulation... (Obie); Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero; David Greenspan's She Stoops to Comedy (Obie); Kirsten Childs' The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Obie); William Finn's Falsettos; Christopher Durang's Sister Mary Ignatius... and Betty's Summer Vacation; and Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's Once on This Island.
Playwrights Horizons is supported in part by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate. In addition, Playwrights Horizons receives major support from Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charina Endowment Fund, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Shubert Foundation and Time Warner Inc.
Madeleine George's plays, which include Precious Little, The Zero Hour and Milk-n-Honey, have been produced or developed by Clubbed Thumb, Soho Rep, New York Theatre Workshop, About Face, O'Neill, The Playwrights' Center/Guthrie, 13P and Playwrights Horizons, among other places. Support includes MacDowell, Princess Grace, a Manhattan Theatre Club Playwriting Fellowship, and the Jane Chambers Award. Madeleine is a 2009-2010 Lark Playwrights' Workshop Fellow, an alumna of Soho Rep's Writer/Director Lab and a founding member of the Obie-winning playwrights' collective 13P. Madeleine has taught writing at NYU, Bard, Barnard, SUNY Purchase, University of Rochester, a half-dozen NYC public schools and a variety of correctional and alternative-to-incarceration facilities, including Queensboro Correctional Facility, the Office of the Brooklyn DA, the Women's Prison Association, and Island Academy on Riker's Island. She is currently site director of a college program at a prison for women in Manhattan.
Janine Nabers: recent honors include a Sundance @ UCross Residency, a MacDowell Colony Residency, The Sam French New School for Drama Emerging Writer Award, and the 2009-2010 Dramatists Guild Playwriting Fellowship. Janine is currently a member of Ars Nova Play Group and the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer's Group, and is an alumna of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. Her play West of the Willow Tree was a finalist for the Princess Grace Award, The Victory Gardens Theater Ignition Playwriting Award, The Theodore Ward Playwriting Prize, and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and was the winner of the 2009 New Professional Theater Playwriting Award. Other plays include Welcome to Jesus, When the Levee Broke, Juniper; Jubilee and Generation Graffiti, and Annie Bosh is Missing. MFA: The New School for Drama.
Andrew Dolan is an actor who, aside from his many television and film roles, has performed On and Off-Broadway, at the National Theatre in London and in many regional theatres (including 5 seasons as an ACT company member). His first play, That Good Night, was read at New York Stage & Film. His play 04: A Muse of Fire premiered at Mile Square Theatre's 7th Inning Stretch Festival. He has sold two screenplays and is presently developing several television projects. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College and The American Conservatory Theatre.
David Adjmi is the author of Stunning (Lincoln Center Theater, Woolly Mammoth), The Evildoers (Sundance, Yale Rep), Elective Affinities (Royal Shakespeare Company), Marie Antoinette (Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, Sundance), Caligula (Soho Rep Studio Series) and Strange Attractors (Empty Space). His many honors include the 2009 Steinberg Playwright Award, 2009 Bush Fellowship, 2009 Kesselring Fellowship, Helen Merrill Award, Marian Seldes-Garson Kanin Award, Cherry Lane Mentor Project Fellowship, multiple MacDowell Colony fellowships, and others. David has been awarded commissions from Lincoln Center, Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep and the Royal Court. A collection of David's work, Stunning and Other Plays (TCG) is forthcoming in 2010. David is currently writing a novel for Harper Collins.
For further information, please contact Ann Thayer, SuperLab's Project Manager at SuperLab@playwrightshorizons.org, or at (212) 564-1235, extension 3148.