McKnight Foundation and Playwrights' Center Announce The 2020-2021 National Residency & Commission and Fellowships

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McKnight Foundation and Playwrights' Center Announce The 2020-2021 National Residency & Commission and Fellowships

The McKnight Foundation and Playwrights' Center are continuing to invest in the future of theater by supporting some of today's most promising playwrights through the McKnight National Residency and Commission and McKnight Fellowships in Playwriting. The awards are all the more pertinent as many theater-makers face unprecedented challenges during this moment of crisis.

The 2020-2021 McKnight National Residency and Commission has been awarded to Gracie Gardner and the 2020-2021 McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting recipients are Marvin González De León and Savannah Reich.

"I am delighted to continue our longtime partnership with the McKnight Foundation as we work together to support a more just and creative theater ecosystem where artists can thrive," said the Playwrights' Center's producing artistic director Jeremy B. Cohen. "Being able to further uplift the careers of Marvin and Savannah, two amazing Minnesota-based playwrights is thrilling, and we are so looking forward to welcoming Gracie Gardner to the Twin Cities community."

"I'm beyond grateful for this fellowship. Theater artists often exist in a world without the traditional signposts of career success, and to feel like my work is being seen and validated by my community means so much to me," explained McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting recipient Savannah Reich. "I plan to use this year for growth and exploration, to break the cycle of hustling to write a lot in small windows of time," she continued, "To have the opportunity to do that is a huge gift."

"I've been privileged to be a part of theater communities across the U.S. So, getting the McKnight Fellowship is personally meaningful, because it feels like I have another home here in the Twin Cities and the Playwrights' Center," said McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting recipient Marvin González De León.

Each year, the Playwrights' Center serves as an artistic home for over 40 playwriting fellows and Core Writers, in addition to supporting 2,200+ member playwrights across the globe and partnering with producing theaters to move work from page to stage. The fellowship programs have anchored the Center's support of playwrights and theater-makers for over 45 years. The McKnight National Residency and Commission funds a play commission to create and develop new work. The McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting awards two Minnesota-based playwrights funding for play development and other professional expenses.

The 2020-2021 McKnight National Residency and Commission Recipient:
Gracie Gardner

The McKnight National Residency and Commission funds the creation and development of new works and comes with a $15,000 commission and $12,250 in workshop funds including travel and housing.

"I'm so grateful that the Playwrights' Center believes in this story, the idea for my new play The Blind, and this fellowship will give me the support and resources to continue my work," said recipient Gracie Gardner.

Gardner won the incredibly competitive Relentless Award for her play Pussy Sludge which was called, "unique and fearless" by David Bar Katz of the American Playwriting Foundation. Her other works include I'm Revolting (Atlantic Theater Company Claire Tow Fellowship), Athena (New York Times Critics' Pick), Hate Baby (James Stevenson Prize), The Student From New Jersey (Manhattan Theatre Club Sloan Foundation Commission), and Panopticon (Clubbed Thumb). Her work has been developed by New Dramatists, Ars Nova Play Group, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Ensemble Studio Theater's Youngblood, The Old Vic, The New Group, Two River Theater, and Williamstown Theater Festival. She has been published by Samuel French, S. Fischer, and Cincinnati Review.

Past McKnight National Residency and Commission recipients include Heather Raffo, Kia Corthron, Erik Ehn, Kate Fodor, Karen Hartman, Daniel Alexander Jones, Sibyl Kempson, Craig Lucas, Taylor Mac, Ruth Margraff, Dan O'Brien, Betty Shamieh, Kathleen Tolan, Mfoniso Udofia, Francine Volpe, and Mac Wellman.

2020-2021 McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting Recipients:
Marvin González De León and Savannah Reich

The McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting awards two Minnesota-based playwrights a $25,000 stipend, $2,500 to support play development and other professional expenses and $1,400 in travel funds.

Marvin González De León is a Chicano playwright and educator whose work has been produced and developed at Teatro Bravo, Arizona State University, Teatro del Pueblo, Page 73, and the Playwrights' Center. He is a Playwrights' Center Core Writer and was a 2018-19 Many Voices Fellow at the Playwrights' Center. He is a member of the 2020 Interstate 73 Writers Group at Page 73 Productions. González De León received an MFA in Dramatic Writing in 2017 from Arizona State University, where he is a part-time instructor in the School of Film, Dance & Theatre.

Savannah Reich is a playwright and screenwriter based in Minneapolis. Her screenplay Beebe and Barton was the winner of the Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize in 2015. Her plays have been commissioned by Walking Shadow Theater Company, SuperGroup, and the University of Minnesota and produced at Available Light Theater (Columbus), Baltimore Annex Theater (Baltimore), FaultLine Theater (San Francisco), RhinoFest (Chicago), Theater Vertigo (Portland), The Exponential Festival (NY), and many more. She was a Core Apprentice at the Playwrights' Center for 2016-2017. She holds an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University, where she studied with Rob Handel.

Past recipients include Carlyle Brown, Ping Chong, Migdalia Cruz, Lisa D'Amour, Steven Dietz, Barbara Field, Jeffrey Hatcher, Christina Ham, W. David Hancock, Carson Kreitzer, Melanie Marnich, Marion McClinton, Kira Obolensky, Harrison David Rivers, Stacey Rose, Paula Vogel, Mac Wellman, and August Wilson.


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