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Clubbed Thumb Announces Winners of the 2017 Biennial Commission

Clubbed Thumb Announces Winners of the 2017 Biennial Commission

Five time Obie Award-winning theater company Clubbed Thumb (Maria Striar, Producing Artistic Director; Sarah McLellan, Managing Director; Michael Bulger, Associate Artistic Director) has announced the winners of the seventh Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission. Playwrights Angela Hanks and Gabrielle Reisman will split the $15,000 award, each also receiving two years of development support. Three finalists were also named: Gracie Gardner, Daniel Glenn and Paul Cameron Hardy, each of whom will receive a $1,000 award and an opportunity to workshop their plays.

In addition to Clubbed Thumb's artistic staff, this year's panel included theater artists Clare Barron, Phillip Howze, Mia Katigbak and the winner of the 2015 Biennial Commission AlexBorinsky. Clubbed Thumb received 245 proposals, which were read blind by the panel. The prompt for this year's commission was to consider the work of Caryl Churchill.

Since its founding in 2005, the Biennial Commission has been awarded to seven playwrights, most recently Alex Borinsky for his play Of Government, which Clubbed Thumb produced at Summerworks 2017 to great acclaim, including a New York Times Critic's Pick. Clare Barron's Dance Nation was a finalist for the 2013 commission, which will premiere at Playwrights Horizonsthis April.

Angela Hanks is a playwright from Dallas, Texas. Her selected plays include: Good Latimer, Devil Music (Ensemble Studio Theatre's 35th Marathon of One Act Plays), breathe into this bag, Myrna in Transit, Big Tex, and Heloise Sails the Boat. Her plays have been produced and/or developed at Clubbed Thumb, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New Georges, the Flea Theater, New York International Fringe Festival, Stockyards Theater Project in Chicago and the Big Funk Company in Paris, France. She is an alumna of Obie Award- winning Youngblood, a MacDowell Colony Fellow, an alumna of Clubbed Thumb's Early Career Writer's Group, a Lincoln Center Director's Lab member, and a New Georges Affiliated Artist. A recipient of a NYSCA grant, she is currently at work on Wilder, a Clubbed Thumb commission. M.F.A., Playwriting: The New School for Drama.

Gabrielle Reisman is a playwright and director based in New York and New Orleans. She is a founding member of Underbelly and director of Brooklyn Yard. Gab has developed and presented plays with Clubbed Thumb/Playwrights Horizons SuperLab, Page 73, Sundance Theatre Lab, Ingram New Works Lab, Vortex Rep, the MacDowell Colony, the Orchard Project, the NOLA Project, and various other projects. Gab is a Core Writer at the Playwrights Center, an affiliated artist with New Georges, and a former NNPN Playwright in Residence. MFA: UT Austin. Upcoming productions include Jeune Terre, an EST/Sloan and New Plays at Barnard commission premiering in March and Flood City with Theatre Alliance DC in May.

January marks a busy time of year for Clubbed Thumb. Later this month, Clubbed Thumb will present Winterworks, an evening of newly commissioned short plays directed by the 2017-2018 Directing Fellows January 17 - 21 at Playwrights Downtown (440 Lafayette Street). Sarah Hughes will direct A Walrus in the Body of a Crocodile by MJ Kaufman, featuring Zoë Geltman, Fernando Gonzalez, Birgit Huppuch, Mary Neufeld and Courtney Williams. Lily Riopelle will direct Twenty-Five T. White by Xavier Galva, featuring Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Erick Betancourt, Jason Bowen, Christin Eve Cato, Amelia Fowler and Robbie Tann. Taylor Reynolds will direct Plano by Will Arbery, featuring Crystal Finn, Arielle Goldman, JJ Perez, Ryan King and Miriam Silverman. Performances are Wednesday, January 17 at 7pm; Thursday, January 18 at 7pm; Friday, January 19 at 3pm and 7pm; Saturday, January 20 at 3pm and 7pm; and Sunday, January 21 at 3pm. To reserve tickets to these industry presentations, please email

Finally, Clubbed Thumb is currently associate producing the world premiere of Cute Activist with the Bushwick Starr and New Saloon. Written by Milo Cramer and directed by Morgan Green, performances begin on Wednesday, January 10 and run through January 24 at the Bushwick Starr.

Highly anticipated after New Saloon's popular production of Minor Character, Cute Activist is a playfully fabulist, wildly satirical, anti-romantic comedy, that asks questions about the way activism fits - or doesn't fit - into our daily lives. In a spoOoOoky town in mythical Connecticut where inequality reigns, a shadowy ring of part-time activists battle a baroque, tyrannical Landlorde. Only True Love's Kiss can save the local economy. Cute Activist is a pastel fable full of earnest questions about how to engage politically, at an everyday level, as a normal-feeling civilian. The cast of CuteActivist includes David Greenspan, Deepali Gupta, Annie Henk, Elizabeth Kenny, Ronald Peet and Madeline Wise.

Clubbed Thumb commissions, develops and produces funny, strange and provocative new plays by living American writers. Since its founding in 1996, the company has earned five Obies including the Ross Wetzsteon Award for sustained artistic excellence. Clubbed Thumb has presented plays in every form of development, including nearly 100 full productions. For more information about Clubbed Thumb visit

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