Seattle Rep Fully Funded For New Playwright Program

Seattle Rep Fully Funded For New Playwright Program

With excitement and gratitude, Seattle Repertory Theatre today announced that it was granted full funding from the prestigious Elizabeth George Foundation for support of commissions for the work of three writers - Joanna Garner, Lily Houghton, and C.A. Johnson. This grant funds developmental work that will begin this fall 2018 through Seattle Rep's The Other Season. The Foundation's incredible support enables artists at the very beginning stage of their careers to have their work recognized and cultivated by institutions across the nation like Seattle Rep in the hope that these theatres become the artistic homes for the work being created.

Seattle Rep has a long history of developing new theatrical works, contributing dozens of new plays and musicals to the contemporary canon over the last 30-odd years through productions, commissions, workshops, readings, and residencies. The fostering of new work is primarily accomplished through two Seattle Rep programs: The Other Season and the Writers Group. The goals of these programs are to engender relationships with artists locally, nationally, and internationally, as well as to help them advance their work by providing a menu of development support suited to the individual artist.

Some of the artists Seattle Rep has worked with through The Other Season include Lauren Yee, Jeff Augustin, Christina Anderson, Jiréh Breon Holder, Claire Kiechel, Cheryl L. West, Justin Huertas, Kate Hamill, Qui Nguyen, Clare Barron, Hannah Moscovitch, Sarah Gancher, Nathan Alan Davis, Mfoniso Udofia, Sarah Burgess, Erica Schmidt, Matt Schatz, David Grimm, Benjamin Benne,Mona Mansour, Yussef El Guindi, and Hansol Jung, among others.

Seattle Rep's active commissioning program has led to dozens of productions, most recently including Karen Hartman's Roz and Ray (2016), David Grimm's Ibsen in Chicago (2018), and Justin Huertas' upcoming Lydia and the Troll (2019). "Through The Other Season, we aspire to support playwrights at every stage of their careers. Thanks to the generosity of the Elizabeth George Foundation, we are able to bolster that support even more for the next generation of great playwrights," Braden Abraham, Seattle Rep Artistic Director comments. "We look forward to collaborating with Joanna Garner, Lily Houghton, and C.A. Johnson on their dynamic projects, while showcasing their extraordinary voices through our programs."

ABOUT THE EMERGING PLAYWRIGHTS

Joanna Garner is a playwright based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she is the Director of Exhibition Narrative for Meow Wolf. Her work has been developed nationally and internationally, including at the Banff Playwrights Colony, Tofte Lake Center, Seattle Repertory Theatre, On the Boards, ZACH Theatre, Kitchen Dog Theater, Great Plains Theatre Conference, groundswell playwrights conference, National Winter Playwrights Retreat, Annex Theatre, Live Girls! Theater, 14/48: The World's Quickest Theater Festival, the NEWvember New Plays Festival, Theatricum Botanicum, with Austin's acclaimed Rude Mechs, and at the New York and Hollywood fringe festivals. Her political drama about Iran, The Orange Garden, was a winner of the 2016 Keene Prize for Literature and included on the 2016 Kilroys List. An accomplished songwriter and musician, Joanna's original country musical, 100 Heartbreaks, was workshopped in Seattle Rep's 2011 New Play Program, with the Northwest Playwrights Alliance, and was presented at Bumbershoot. It premiered at the Sahara Lounge in Austin where it was nominated for an Austin Critics' Table Award for Outstanding Musical. This past summer, her immersive exploration of food and sex, Please Open Your Mouth, premiered at Café Nordo in Seattle. During the summer of 2018, she will premiere a dance-theatre piece about masculinity and the film noir detective called The Glass Pistolat Austin's Long Center. Joanna is the 2018 Resident Playwright at Chance Theater in Southern California, developing two new plays with the support of the company. She has an M.F.A. in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin.

Lily Houghton is a 23-year-old playwright born and raised in Manhattan. She wrote her first play at age 17 before completing her B.A. at Bennington College last May. Her plays have been developed at MCC Theater Company, The Flea, EST/Youngblood, Contemporary American Theater Festival/Shepherd University, NYU, 20% Theater Company Chicago, Yale University's Writers' Conference, Bennington College, University of Michigan Theater Conservatory, and the Jermyn Street Theatre in London. Shorts include NEXT (Serials, The Flea) Be Gentle with my Heart (Asking for Trouble, EST/Youngblood), The Interesting Girl (EST/Youngblood), andsomeone/something/someone/something (EST/ Youngblood), which just won a Sloan Foundation Grant. She is a proud member of Ensemble Studio Theatre's Youngblood. Lily's play, Dear, received a PlayLab with MCC Theater in the fall of 2017 and a production at Shepherd University/CATF this April.

C.A. Johnson hails from Metairie, Louisiana, but currently lives and writes in Queens, New York. Her plays include Thirst (2017 Kilroys List, upcoming at The Contemporary American Theater Festival), An American Feast (NYU Playwrights Horizons Theater School), The Climb (2018 O'Neill Conference Finalist), All the Natalie Portmans, Mother Tongue and Elroy Learns Her Name. She is a Core Writer at the Playwrights Center and the 2018 P73 Playwriting Fellow. She was previously The Lark's 2016-17 Van Lier Fellow, a Dramatists Guild Fellow, a member of The Civilians R&D Group, and a member of The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm. Her work has been developed with The Lark, Luna Stage, Open Bar Theatricals, The Dennis and Victoria Ross Foundation, and The Fire This Time Festival. Most recently, C.A. was chosen for a Sundance/Ucross Fellowship and the 2018 Sundance Theatre Lab in Marrakesh, Morocco. B.A.: Smith College; M.F.A: NYU.

For more about Seattle Rep's New Play programs, visit SeattleRep.org, or connect and follow their programs through the Rep's social media channels listed below.

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