Terrence McNally New Works Incubator Now Accepting Applications for Cycle 2

The initiative is designed as a continuation of Terrence McNally’s singular legacy of mentorship, and his commitment to fostering new voices in the American theater.

By: Nov. 16, 2023
Terrence McNally New Works Incubator Now Accepting Applications for Cycle 2

Rattlestick Theatre, the Terrence McNally Foundation, and Tom Kirdahy Productions (TKP) announced today applications for Cycle 2 of the Terrence McNally New Works Incubator. 

As a continuation of Terrence McNally’s singular legacy of mentorship, and his commitment to fostering bold new voices in the American theater, the initiative is designed to support ambitious early-career playwrights by giving them time and space to develop their work, professional mentorship with veteran playwrights, and access to the community of artists  and work being developed at Rattlestick and Tom Kirdahy Productions. Inaugural fellowships were awarded in 2023 to Molly Herron Bicks, HyoJeong Choi, and Haygen-Brice Walker. 

“The Rattlestick's Terrence McNally Incubator is a peerless program, fostering unique voices by pairing them with like minded mentors and benefiting them both in the process. The opportunity to then further develop the work in a workshop  with top-tier creatives is a dream-come-true for any writer. The Rattlestick has always been a haven for daring new voices  and this initiative only furthers that singular aim by cementing the future of ambitious playwriting in a strong and salient  way,” notes playwright Halley Feiffer, who serves on the Playwrights Advisory Council for the Incubator. 

Applications for Cycle 2 are open now at rattlestick.org and Will Close January 15, 2024 at 11:59pm (ET), or when 500  applications have been received. Each application is thoughtfully reviewed by a broad reader pool of industry  professionals. Semi-finalists and finalists are selected through two rounds of consideration. Finalists are granted an  interview with a selection panel, including representatives from Rattlestick and Tom Kirdahy Productions. In consultation  with the Playwrights Advisory Council, three playwrights will be awarded the Fellowship in April of 2024. Playwrights  Advisory Council members include: Sheila Callaghan, Halley Feiffer, Madeleine George, Mike Lew, Donja R. Love, Rehana  Mirza, and Lynn Nottage



Each McNally Fellow will receive a one-time stipend of $7,500 to be used as the playwright sees fit to best further their  goals.


In consultation with Rattlestick Theater and Tom Kirdahy Productions, each McNally Fellow will be paired with a veteran  playwright mentor who will read a minimum of two drafts and offer one-on-one feedback, in addition to attending a  workshop rehearsal and/or final presentation subject to their availability. 


After the initial mentor meeting, the playwright will revise and develop their play for three weeks. This is time for rigorous  thinking, dreaming, and writing outside the constraints of a product-oriented rehearsal space. 

In addition to mentor feedback, the playwright will meet with the literary teams at both TKP and Rattlestick to discuss  their work and process. 

McNally fellows will be invited to participate in a series of Rattlestick events where they will have the opportunity to get  to know the teams at TKP and Rattlestick as well as the other McNally Fellows and other industry professionals. 


The second part of the incubator will take the form of a developmental workshop culminating in a public presentation. 

Core collaborators (director, dramaturg, actors) will be chosen in consultation with the selected playwright, TKP, and  Rattlestick and will be compensated for their time. 

Founded in 1994 by David Van Asselt and Gary Bonasorte, Rattlestick Theater has been steadfast in producing diverse,  challenging, and provocative plays while fostering the future voices of the American theater. Now in our 29th year, the  company is focused on energetic theater that responds to the complexities of our culture in conversation with community  partners. Our mission is to produce ambitious plays to inspire empathy and provoke conversation that will lead to positive  social change. 

From our historic West Village theater, Rattlestick has produced the first plays and early works of some of today’s leading  voices, including Martyna Majok (Ironbound), Diana Oh (mylingerieplay), and Heidi Schreck (There Are No More Big  Secrets), and Arturo Luis Soria’s Obie award winning Ni Mi Madre. We are proud to make Rattlestick a place where some  of our nation’s most celebrated playwrights feel safe to test their boldest ideas, including Dael Orlandersmith (Until the  Flood), José Rivera (Massacre, Sing to Your Children), and Sam Hunter (Lewiston/Clarkston, nominated for the Drama Desk  Award for Outstanding Play and the Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play). Rattlestick  provides fellowships to writers through the Van Lier Playwrights Program, the Terrence McNally Incubator Program, the  Mellon Foundation’s Playwright-in-Residence Program, and has commissioned new work from numerous writers including  Cusi Cram, Mahira Kakkar, Basil Kreimendahl, Dael Orlandersmith, Stacey Rose, Arturo Luis Soria, Cori Thomas, Liba  Vaynberg, and Rhiana Yazzie. Rattlestick is also dedicated to supporting immigrant artists through the Global Gab and  Global Forms Programs. rattlestick.org 

The Terrence McNally Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to supporting bold new voices in the  American theatre by providing financial and institutional support to early-career playwrights. Created by Terrence McNally  and supported through the royalties of his work, the Foundation is also committed to supporting LGBTQ+ causes, as  McNally did throughout his life. terrencemcnallyfoundation.org 

Tom Kirdahy Productions (TKP) is a Tony and Olivier Award-winning commercial theatrical production company whose  projects have spanned Broadway, off-Broadway, the West End, national and international tours. TKP is motivated by a belief in the transformative power of live theatre, and committed to bringing soulful, ambitious, unforgettable work to  audiences across the world. With a values-driven approach to commercial producing that centers and empowers artists,  TKP has fostered the work of visionary theatre-makers, and continues to develop and produce game-changing projects by  some of the most exciting artists in the industry. 

TKP is currently producing the Broadway smash-hit Hadestown (eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical) and its national  tour; the off-Broadway revival of Little Shop of Horrors (Drama Desk Award, Best Revival); and Here We Are, Stephen  Sondheim’s final musical with a book by David Ives and directed by Joe Mantello. Recent productions include the first  Broadway revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson (Drama Desk, Best Revival) starring Samuel L. Jackson and directed  by LaTanya Richardson Jackson; the new musical New York, New York from legendary songwriting team John Kander and  Fred Ebb, featuring additional lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, an original story by David Thompson with Sharon Washington,  and direction and choreography by Susan Stroman; and the new play Grey House by Levi Holloway, starring Laurie MetcalfTatiana Maslany and Paul Sparks, with direction by Joe Mantello

Select Broadway credits: The Inheritance (four Tony Awards, including Best Play); Terrence McNally’s Frankie & Johnny in  the Clair De Lune starring Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon (two Tony nominations, including Best Revival); the  global smash hit Anastasia; the box office record-breaking It’s Only A Play starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick;  The Visit starring Chita Rivera (five Tony nominations). Select West End credits: The Inheritance (four Olivier Awards,  including Best New Play), The Jungle, Edward Albee’s The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia? Select off-Broadway credits: the world  premiere of The White Chip, The Jungle, White Rabbit Red Rabbit (all of which were NYTimes Critic's Picks). Additional  Tony nominations: Mothers and Sons, After Midnight, Ragtime, Master Class. 

Tom Kirdahy, President of TKP, is a recipient of the Robert Whitehead Award for Outstanding Achievement in Commercial  Theater Producing; the Miss Lilly Award, a prize in recognition of his advocacy for women in a male-dominated industry;  the 2023 Medal of Honor from the Entertainment Community Fund; and an NYU Distinguished Alumni Award. Kirdahy  serves on the Broadway League Board of Governors, the Executive Board of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and is a  member of the Harry Ransom Center Advisory Council at the University of Texas. As an attorney he spent nearly two  decades providing free legal services to people living with HIV/AIDS and served for many years on the Executive Committee  of the NYC LGBT Center. Graduate, New York University School of Law, NYU CAS


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