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Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party

The Playwrights Realm, led by Katherine Kovner, Founding Artistic Director, and Roberta Pereira, Producing Director, celebrated its tenth anniversary with the annual Writers Block Party honoring Realm Board Member and award-winning playwright and actor, Anna Deavere Smith. The Writers Block Party took place on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at The Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse in the Samuel B. & David Rose Building, and was hosted by Lauren Patten (Fun Home, The Wolves). Scroll down for photos from the event!

Anna Deavere Smith is an actress, playwright and teacher, best known for creating a new form of documentary style theatre. She received the National Humanities Medal, presented to her by President Obama in 2013, and was the 2015 Jefferson Lecturer for the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow for Theatre Arts (for the development of Notes From the Field). A MacArthur Fellow, she is also the recipient of The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, two Tony nominations and two Obie Awards, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for her play Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Other Identities.

Anna Deveare Smith has created over 18 one-person shows based on hundreds of interviews, most of which address social issues. Fires in the Mirror chronicling the 1991 Crown Heights riot premiered at The Public Theater in 1992, and Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, dealing with the Los Angeles race riots was performed nationally and on Broadway. House Arrest (2000) and Let Me Down Easy (2008) continued in this verbatim theater style. Her latest endeavor is The Anna Deavere Smith Pipeline Project, which seeks to use theater and film to raise awareness about the forces that cause some impoverished children to leave school and head towards cycles of incarceration. Her current play, Notes From the Field, is a part of that project. TV and film credits include Nurse Jackie, Black-ish, The West Wing, The American President, Rachel Getting Married and Philadelphia. Books include Letters to a Young Artist and Talk to Me: Listening Between the Lines.

Over the past eleven years, The Realm has continually produced work by brave new voices and worked to introduce new initiatives to expand its commitment to providing holistic support to playwrights as they strive to make a life in the arts. The cornerstone of the company's work is its Page One Residency, which, over the course of that year, provides playwrights with services including $10,000, health insurance, internal readings, travel and professional development funds, theater tickets, and a desk in the Playwrights Realm offices, and of course, an Off-Broadway production. The approach is holistic and designed to offer playwrights time, space and resources to take a meaningful step forward in their career. 2017-18 is the first season in which the Realm will be supporting two Page One residents, both Crowley and Nguyen.

The expansion of the Page One Residency program is motivated by the immense success of the 2016-17 Page One Resident, Sarah DeLappe and her play The Wolves, which just received a Drama Desk Special Award for Outstanding Ensembleand was a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. DeLappe's first New York production, incubated by the Realm, The Wolves garnered widespread critical acclaim. Ben Brantley of The New York Times designated the production a Critic's Pick, describing it as "incandescent," and writing, "The scary exhilarating brightness of raw adolescence emanates from every scene of this uncannily assured first play." Due to popular demand, the Realm remounted Lila Neugebauer's world premiere production of the play, November 29 - December 24, 2016, following an initial run earlier in the year.

"Our 2017-18 season continues our mission by staging world premiere productions of not just one but two early-career playwrights," said The PlaywrightsRealm Founding Artistic Director Katherine Kovner. "We first worked with both Michael and Don as part of our Writing Fellowship, and I'm thrilled to get the chance to continue to nurture their careers. Their plays are relevant and revelatory, comic and dramatic, moving and thought-provoking, and, most of all, they engage meaningfully with the pressing issues of today."

Building upon its Page One Residency and its Writing Fellowship-which each year gives four playwrights a $3,000 award and nine months of resources, readings and feedback-the Realm just launched a new Scratchpad Series, which reaches beyond New York City's borders and seeks playwrights from across the U.S. for the Realm to support. The initiative represents the Realm acknowledging that many young artists have been forced to leave New York City, or are unable to move here in the first place, and adapting in order to facilitate their careers in spite of geographical limitations. Open submissions for The Scratchpad Series and The Writing Fellowship are now open. For more information, visit playwrightsrealm.org.

Photo Credit: Daniel J. Vasquez

high res photos Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
Jen Silverman, Katherine Kovner (Founding Artistic Director), Tyne Rafaeli, Dan Kluger Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
Mfoniso Udofia, Jonathan Payne Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
Jen Silverman, Dan Kluger, Diep Tran Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
Mfoniso Udofia, Ethan Lipton Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
Anna Deveare Smith (Honoree), Michael Margitich (Board Chair), Katherine Kovner Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
Donja R. Love, Katherine Kovner, Lauren Patten Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
Mike Braun, Kate Abbruzzese, Midori Francis, Cherene Snow, and Lauren Patten Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
Anna Deveare Smith Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
Anna Deveare Smith Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
Anna Deveare Smith Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
Anna Deveare Smith, Katherine Kovner Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
Audience (Paddle Race) Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
The Wolves (Lizzy Jutlia, Susannah Perkins, Midori Francis, Jenna Dioguardia, Lauren Patten) Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
Mike Braun, Midori Francis, Cherene Snow, Kate Abbruzzese Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
Liza Birkenmeier, Jonathan Payne, Donja R. Love Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
Andrew Garman, Lauren Patten Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
Esther Rosenberg, Michael Margitich, Katherine Kovner Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
Michael Margitich, Katherine Kovner, Sarah Peter Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
Katherine Kovner, Michael Margitich, Roberta Pereira (Producing Director) Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
Michael Yates Crowley, Katherine Kovner Photo Flash: Anna Deveare Smith, Cast of THE WOLVES and More at Playwrights Realm's 10th Anniversary Writers Block Party
Michael Thurber, Roberta Periera, Saheem Ali



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