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Playwrights' Center Announces 2018-19 Jerome And Many Voices Fellows

Playwrights' Center Announces 2018-19 Jerome And Many Voices Fellows

Each year, the Playwrights' Center serves as an artistic home for nearly 40 fellows and Core Writers, in addition to supporting 2,000+ member playwrights across the globe and partnering with producing theaters to move work from page to stage. The Center today announced the 2018-19 Jerome Fellows Sofya Levitsky-Weitz, Casey Llewellyn and Philana Imade Omorotionmwan; Many Voices Fellows Marvin González De León and Haygen-Brice Walker; and Many Voices Mentee Antonio Duke.

Jerome and Many Voices Fellows spend a year in residency in the Twin Cities, working in an individualized and hands-on way with the Playwrights' Center artistic staff-some of the most experienced and connected theater professionals in the country. In addition to an $18,000 stipend, fellows receive $2,000 in play development funds to workshop new plays with professional directors, dramaturgs and actors. The Center also builds connections between the playwrights and producers of new work. This holistic and customized combination of financial support, workshops with collaborators and professional connections is career-changing for most playwrights.

"The Playwrights' Center is like Hogwarts for playwrights," says incoming Many Voices Fellow Haygen-Brice Walker. "I'm honored to be immersed in a community of writers that I've been admiring from afar for so long."

"Our world needs brave and powerful new voices like these brilliant storytellers to help us see our way forward right now," says Jeremy B. Cohen, the Playwrights' Center's producing artistic director. "These fellowships provide playwrights with sustainability, development of their craft and long-term relationships that will hopefully ensure their voices are heard across stages for many years to come."

Sofya Levitsky-Weitz, Casey Llewellyn, Philana Imade Omorotionmwan

Jerome Fellowships are awarded annually to emerging playwrights. The Playwrights' Center's 2018-19 Jerome Fellows are:

  • Sofya Levitsky-Weitz, a theater and film artist originally from Los Angeles whose plays include "this party sucks" and "Intuitive Men," and who is part of Ensemble Studio Theatre's Youngblood playwrights collective
  • Casey Llewellyn, whose works include "O, Earth;" "I Am Bleeding All Over the Place: A Living History Tour" (co-written with Brooke O'Harra); "Existing Conditions" (co-written with Claudia Rankine) and "I Love Dick," an adaptation for theater of the book by Chris Kraus
  • Philana Imade Omorotionmwan, originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, whose plays include "Before Evening Comes," "Strong Face," "Fireflies" and "The Defiance of Dandelions"

Previous recipients of the Jerome Fellowship include Lee Blessing, Lisa D'Amour, Kristoffer Diaz, Dan Dietz, Sarah Gubbins, Naomi Iizuka, Melanie Marnich, Anna Moench, Tori Sampson, Joe Waechter, Rhiana Yazzie, Martín Zimmerman and August Wilson.

Marvin González De León, Haygen-Brice Walker

Many Voices Fellowships are awarded annually to early-career writers of color. The Playwrights' Center's 2018-19 Many Voices Fellows are:

  • Marvin González De León, a Reno- and Phoenix-based playwright who has worked with Good Luck Macbeth Theatre Company, Reno Little Theater and Teatro Bravo, and who received an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Arizona State University in 2017
  • Haygen-Brice Walker, a queer Puerto Rican-American playwright-producer born and raised in the American South who co-founded ON THE ROCKS Production Company in Philadelphia with Elaina Di Monaco

Previous recipients of the Many Voices Fellowship include Sharif Abu-Hamdeh, Benjamin Benne, Marisa Carr, Cristina Florencia Castro, Janaki Ranpura, Harrison David Rivers, Stacey Rose, James Anthony Tyler, Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay and Josh Wilder.

Antonio Duke

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 2018-19 Many Voices Mentee is Antonio Duke, a Twin Cities actor and playwright who will use his mentorship to explore his ancestral odyssey, using mythology to create stories that embody the black diaspora. He has performed his solo pieces at Pillsbury House Theatre as part of the Naked Stages Fellowship and at the Guthrie Theater's Solo Emerging Artist Celebration.

Previous recipients of the Many Voices Mentorship include Ansa Akyea, ShaVunda Brown, Oya Mae Duchess-Davis, Max Delgado, Julia Gay, brianne a. hill, Jamil Jude and Junauda Petrus.

Fellowships at the Playwrights' Center, made possible in part by the McKnight and Jerome foundations, provide more than $300,000 each year to artists. The 2018-19 McKnight National Residency and Commission recipient (Idris Goodwin) and 2018-19 McKnight Fellows in Playwriting (May Lee-Yang and Tori Sampson) were announced previously. New Core Writers and McKnight Theater Artist Fellows will be announced soon. Learn more about these writers at

All Playwrights' Center fellows and Core Writers are selected by diverse national panels of artists and theater leaders.

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