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Jenny Schwartz is Inaugural Strelsin Playwriting Fellow

Jenny Schwartz -- an emerging young playwright whose numerous works include the recently-acclaimed God's Ear, along with Cause for Alarm and Escaping the Modern World-- has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Soho Rep Dorothy Strelsin Playwriting Fellow, it was announced last evening by Soho Rep Artistic Director Sarah Benson at the Soho Rep Spring Gala '07 in Manhattan.

A scene from Schwartz's new work, Somewhere Fun, was given a staged reading at the Gala by a cast featuring 2 time Oscar-winner Meryl Streep, recent Tony Nominee Jennifer Ehle (The Coast of Utopia), and Gala host and Soho Rep Board Member Tim Blake Nelson.

Each year, one early to mid-career playwright will be named the Soho Rep Dorothy Strelsin Playwriting Fellow. As a Strelsin Fellow, the chosen playwright will receive support in the form of an artist fee, an office space at the Soho Rep Administrative Offices, casting assistance, and access to the Soho Rep theatre for readings and workshops. The Strelsin Fellow's term of support will culminate in an open reading/workshop.

The Dorothy Strelsin Foundation -- well-known for endowing performing arts groups -- is the sole funder of the annual Soho Rep Dorothy Strelsin Playwriting Fellow.

According to Ms. Benson, the Soho Rep Dorothy Strelsin Playwriting Fellowship will be an important step forward in Soho Rep's mission of cultivating long-term relationships with the writers.

Under the leadership of new Artistic Director Sarah Benson and Executive Director Alexandra Conley, Soho Rep is dedicated to cultivating and producing new and unconventional plays. They perform to one of the youngest adult audiences in New York City, with over three-quarters of its audience aged 18-35. Ms. Benson is committed to expanding programming, and is launching a three-show Mainstage this coming season, in addition to opening up the majority of the theatres celebrated Lab and development programs to the public: continuing to raise the national and international profile of Soho Rep.

Over the last eight seasons, Soho Rep productions have garnered six OBIE Awards, most recently the Ross Wetzsteon Award, four Drama Desk Nominations for their critically acclaimed production of Frankenstein, the Oppenheimer Award for Everything Will Be Different, and two Kesselring Awards for Melissa James Gibson and Mark Schultz. This season, Soho Rep presented Adam Bock's critically acclaimed, sold-out extended production of The Thugs.

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