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Playwrights' Center Announces 2017-18 Jerome & Many Voices Fellows

The Playwrights' Center today announced the 2017-18 Jerome Fellows, Many Voices Fellows and Many Voices Mentee. The Many Voices program, which was created in 1994 and significantly expanded in 2013, will see another increase in funding from the Jerome Foundation for the incoming fellows, from $12,500 to $18,000. The Jerome Fellowship, which saw an increase last year to $18,000, is the Jerome Foundation's longest-awarded program.

"These are seven brilliant playwrights and storytellers," says Jeremy B. Cohen, Producing Artistic Director of the Playwrights' Center. "I feel so moved to share the American theater field with them, particularly in this moment of national turbulence. These are the artists who will lead our country forward, and whose voices you will continue to hear echo across stages around the country. And we'll all surely be better for it."


Mia Chung, Jessica Huang, Tim J. Lord, Tori Skyler Sampson

Jerome Fellows receive an $18,000 award and $2,000 in play development funds. They spend a year-long residency in Minnesota. Past recipients of the Jerome Fellowship include Lee Blessing, Lisa D'Amour, Kristoffer Diaz, Dan Dietz, Sarah Gubbins, Naomi Iizuka, Melanie Marnich, Anna Moench, Joe Waechter, Rhiana Yazzie, Martín Zimmerman and August Wilson. The Playwrights' Center's 2017-18 Jerome Fellows are:

Mia Chung, a Brown University M.F.A. graduate whose play "You For Me For You" has had productions with Mu Performing Arts/Guthrie Theater, Royal Court Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Company One, Portland Playhouse, Crowded Fire Theatre and InterAct Theatre Company.

Jessica Huang, a Twin Cities-based playwright, 2016-17 Jerome Fellow, and 2011-12 Many Voices Fellow whose play "The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin" recently premiered with History Theatre.

Tim J. Lord, a New York-based playwright and graduate of UC San Diego's M.F.A. playwriting program and whose plays include "We declare you a terrorist..." and "11 Hills of San Francisco."

Tori Sampson, a Boston native who graduates this spring from the Yale School of Drama, is under commission from Berkeley Repertory Theater, and is the Kennedy Center's 2017 Paula Vogel Playwright.


Stacey Rose, Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay

The Many Voices Fellowship for early-career writers of color comes with a $18,000 award and $2,000 in play development funds. The fellows receive dedicated support from Many Voices Coordinator Christina Ham and introductions to theater leaders in the Twin Cities and Chicago. One fellow each year must be Minnesota-based, and both writers spend a year-long residency in Minnesota. Previous recipients include Sharif Abu-Hamdeh, Benjamin Benne, Marisa Carr, Cristina Castro, Janaki Ranpura, Harrison David Rivers, James Anthony Tyler and Josh Wilder. The Playwrights' Center's 2017-18 Many Voices Fellows are:

Stacey Rose, a theater artist from Elizabeth, New Jersey, who has presented work at The Fire This Time Festival, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and others. Rose earned an MFA in Dramatic Writing at NYU where she was honored with The Goldberg Prize for her play "The Danger."

Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay, a Minnesota-based writer whose work is focused on creating tools and spaces for the amplification of refugee voices, and whose award-winning play "Kung Fu Zombies Vs. Cannibals" premiered with Mu Performing Arts in 2013.


Julia Gay

The Many Voices Mentorship awards a Minnesota-based beginning playwright of color with individually-curated writing and play development services and a $2,000 stipend. The Playwrights' Center's 2017-18 Many Voices Mentee is Julia Gay, a writer, performer and dancer who was part of the Transatlantic Love Affair ensemble who devised "Promise Land" (Guthrie Theater, January 2017) and whose one-woman show "motherlanded" premiered in 2016 in Pangea World Theater's Emerging Artist Series.

Fellowships at the Playwrights' Center, made possible by the McKnight and Jerome foundations, provide more than $325,000 each year to support 13 to 14 fellows and mentees. In addition, the Center serves as an artistic home for 25 to 30 Core Writers on three-year terms. Fellows and Core Writers are selected by independent panels. The 2017-18 McKnight Fellows in Playwriting, McKnight National Residency and Commission recipient, McKnight Theater Artist Fellows and new Core Writers will be announced at a later date.

The Playwrights' Center also supports close to 2,000 member playwrights around the world and runs a robust series of partnership programs building relationships between playwrights and producing theaters.

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