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Hwang Play Launches Public Theater-Stanford Partnership

Stanford University and The Public Theater today announced a long-term, three-tiered partnership that will create new theatrical works, support emerging and established artists, cultivate new audiences, and foster innovation and diversity in the arts at Stanford and in the American theater industry.

"This visionary collaboration between one of the world's most prominent non-profit cultural institutions and one of the world's great universities will institute a Public Theater at Stanford residency. The residency program will provide support to groundbreaking playwrights by bringing them to Stanford's campus to workshop plays currently under development at The Public. The partnership also includes a co-commissioning program to invigorate the American theater by creating a steady and vibrant stream of new plays and a fellowship program aimed to increase diversity in the arts by offering career development in the theater industry for undergraduates and post-graduates affiliated with Stanford's Institute for Diversity in the Arts (IDA)," press notes state.

"The arts are central to life-long learning," says Stanford President John Hennessy. "And Stanford's exciting alliance with The Public Theater offers students, faculty, and the surrounding community an extraordinary opportunity to explore art and its creation.  This promises to be a great partnership!"

"The rich intellectual culture at Stanford is an ideal environment for The Public to develop new theatrical works," says The Public Theater's Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. "The residency program will provide an invaluable opportunity to incubate artistically ambitious projects currently under development for production, in a supportive and intellectually dynamic environment."

The Public Theater Residency at Stanford-presented in partnership with Stanford Lively Arts, Stanford Institute for Creativity in the Arts (SICA), and the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford (IDA) -- will begin in February 2007 with Tony Award-winning playwright and Stanford Alumnus David Henry Hwang, '79.  Hwang will develop his new play Yellow Face, a satirical exploration of race and identity in America, directed by Leigh Silverman, over six days of rehearsals that will culminate in three public readings on campus.  A co-production between Center Theatre Group's Mark Taper Forum and The Public Theater in association with East West Players, Yellow Face will have its co-world premiere in Los Angeles at The Taper this May and at The Public in the 2007/08 season. Hwang is a major force in contemporary theater, having written numerous acclaimed works for the stage and film, including his award-winning Broadway debut, M. Butterfly.

In fall 2007, The Public Theater Residency will continue the development of a new version of Euripides' The Bacchae.  The play is directed by JoAnne Akalaitis with music by celebrated composer Philip Glass.

Through the co-commissioning program, The Public Theater will join forces with Stanford Lively Arts and SICA to generate new plays for the American theater and audiences worldwide.  Each year, one playwright, selected by a committee comprised of both Stanford and Public Theater staff and faculty, will receive a commission to develop a new work.  Additionally, the playwright will participate in an Individual Artist Residency at Stanford, which will provide institutional support and opportunities to engage with students and faculty.

The fellowship program is designed to increase diversity in the American theater, particularly in positions of leadership. Beginning in 2007 and awarded annually, two undergraduate fellows will be given paid summer employment from June through August.  In addition, one post-graduate fellow will be given a year-long, full-time salaried position from September through August.  Selected by a committee that comprises both Stanford and Public Theater staff and faculty, the first recipients of these fellowships will be announced in May 2007.

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