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PLAYWRIGHTS’ CENTER

’20 ’21

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Cover: Playwright Harrison David Rivers during a rehearsal of the bandaged place. Photo by Paula Keller 2

This Page: Jerome Fellow Candrice Jones addresses the audience during the 2019 PlayLabs Playwriting Fellows Showcase. Photo by Paula Keller


THEATER BEGINS HERE “Stories give us chances to see ourselves and what we could hope to be.” —2020–21 Jerome Fellow, Candrice Jones

We start with the storytellers. The playwrights. The artists. As we continue to meet the challenges of these times, the Playwrights’ Center seeks to reimagine what is possible in theater; both in this moment and beyond. Throughout our 2020–21 Season we are intensifying our efforts, investing even more deeply in creative process, arts education, and access to opportunity. We are working to amplify unheard voices and promote equitable spaces, allowing for the greatest diversity of artists to make plays around the world. Through additional fellowships and increased public programming, we are creating new channels of support for thousands of writers—from paid opportunities that will sustain playwrights and theatermakers, to expanded educational resources that will enhance online learning tools and connect university students from around the world. We are inspiring a whole new generation of theater artists. It all begins here. Join us!

2020–21 FELLOWS AND CORE WRITERS Kelly Renee Armstrong

Barbara Field

Sofya Levitsky-Weitz

Charly Evon Simpson

Lee Blessing

Gracie Gardner

Nora Montañez

Crystal Skillman

Sharon Bridgforth

Jeffrey Hatcher

Daaimah Mubashshir

Jonathan Spector

Carlyle Brown

Rachel Jendrzejewski

Kira Obolensky

Ariel Stess

Darren Canady

Jake Jeppson

John Olive

James Anthony Tyler

Cristina Florencia Castro

JuCoby Johnson

Marisela Treviño Orta

Katie Ka Vang

Erin Courtney

Candrice Jones

Savannah Reich

Abbee Warmboe

Marvin González De León

Nicholas Kaidoo

Stacey Rose

Talvin Wilks

Mashuq Mushtaq Deen

Shannon TL Kearns

Andrew Rosendorf

Ray Yamanouchi

Emily Feldman

Keyanna Khatiblou

Riti Sachdeva

Stefanie Zadravec

Gina Femia

Kurt Kwan

Tylie Shider

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TABLE OF CONTENTS 7

SEASON OVERVIEW

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PLAYLABS FESTIVAL

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RUTH EASTON NEW PLAY SERIES

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IN THE LAB

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ARTISTS IN CONVERSATION

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FELLOWS & CORE WRITERS

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THE REGULARS

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MEMBERSHIP

58 UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS & PARTNERSHIPS 60 OUR SUPPORTERS

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“Kindness eases change. Love quiets fear. And a sweet and powerful Positive obsession Blunts pain, Diverts rage, And engages each of us In the greatest, The most intense Of our chosen struggles.” — Octavia E. Butler, "Parable of the Talents"

We find ourselves in a critical moment of reckoning. We believe deeply that participating in the evolution of new stories and narratives will transform our world into a place of greater freedom, equity, and harmony. We have never been more committed to supporting the changing voice of playwrights and new theater-making in this country. As the world continues to evolve, so must the work of the Playwrights’ Center. This season’s curation of playwriting offers an expanded PlayLabs Festival and Ruth Easton New Play Series, as well as all-new programming, including: the In the Lab series, a trio of new works created specifically for an online environment, and Artists in Conversation, a discussion series featuring some of the most brilliant playwrights and theatermakers working today. These artists’ breathtaking work challenges us to ask the biggest possible questions about how we show up for our own humanity. Here at the Playwrights’ Center, we are creating an artistic home for these storytellers and supporting their daring voices. In our 49th year, the impact of that support continues to thrive. We are currently providing resources to over 2,250 playwrights worldwide, including over $400,000 in direct financial and development support to our Fellows and Core Writers. Additionally, we are engaging in more advocacy and co-development partnerships than ever before, in order to ensure a healthier theatrical ecosystem for years to come. Thank you for being part of the Playwrights’ Center family—we look forward to connecting with you throughout this season. May we all continue to stay resilient in the days ahead.

Jeremy B. Cohen Robert Chelimsky Producing Artistic Director Managing Director

pwcenter.org/about

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OUr Season

2020-21

Kory LaQuess Pullam performing in W. David Hancock's Master in PlayLabs 2019 Playwriting Fellows Showcase. Photo by Paula Keller 6


PLAYLABS Mother of Exiles

Room Enough (For Us All) Daaimah Mubashshir

we are continuous Harrison David Rivers

Jessica Huang

October 19th & 23rd

October 20th & 24th

October 21st & 24th

Begin, Begin, Begin Again Erin Courtney

Playwriting Fellows Showcase

October 22nd & 25th

October 23rd

RUTH EASTON NEW PLAY SERIES No Cure

Getting There

This Much I Know

Jake Jeppson

Dipika Guha

Jonathan Spector

December 9th

January 13th

February 3rd

Pulp Vérité

Nancy

Crystal Skillman

Rhiana Yazzie

March 3rd

April 7th

IN THE LAB

Dates to be announced

Tomorrow Will Be Sunday

Cell Surface

Vapor Trail

Dominic Taylor

Ken Urban

Heather Raffo

ARTISTS IN CONVERSATION Artists and dates to be announced

These conversations offer audiences a chance to connect directly with writers, hearing artists’ thoughts on craft, the field, and the world.

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October 19-25, 2020

PlayLabs FESTIVAL

Audrey Park (back) as Zaira, Nora Montañez (front) as Otti, and Alex Barreto Hathaway (kneeling) as Chico performing in Marvin González De León's Pan Genesis in PlayLabs 2019. Photo by Paula Keller 8 pwcenter.org/playlabs


A CELEBRATION OF NEW THEATRICAL WORK This season, the Playwrights’ Center is adapting PlayLabs Festival—a premier new play incubation program—to meet the changing needs of the moment. Instead of the typical roster of three, the Center is inviting four brilliant playwrights to develop their new work. Each writer partners with the creative collaborators of their choosing and receives two full weeks of writing and rehearsal time, as well as a generous stipend for their time. In addition, the Center is moving the entire process online, enabling audiences from around the world to share in the experience of seeing these riveting new plays for the very first time.

“The workshop was pivotal to getting my play to its production-ready point. Support from the Playwrights’ Center, from staff to artistic leaders, to the entire community, is unrivaled in its true nurturing of the play and the playwright. It was incredibly special to have a sound designer involved in the project since sound is so important in this play. This, with everything else, allowed me to delve even further to the truth of the piece.“ —Sofya Levitsky-Weitz on her 2019 PlayLabs workshop of Cannabis Passover

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ROOM ENOUGH (FOR US ALL) by Daaimah Mubashshir Core Writer

Monday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. Fatimah, a recently widowed matriarch, is determined to have it all. She wants the opportunity to set right a 10-year mistake by inviting Jamillah, her queer daughter, to return home after a long forced absence. Can she have it all when Abdullah, her son, is driven to fight against this decision even though he loves his mother deeply? Room Enough (For Us All) is centered on a contemporary African-American Muslim Family coming to terms with how to treat queerness up against long-standing ideals and faith. From Daaimah: Room Enough is a semi-autobiographical ode to my progressive mother. I was interested in exploring how queerness and Islam could function amicably in the same space. Also, I am interested in ways that grief, a powerful equalizer, can either make space for reinvention, as with Fatimah or crystallize one’s beliefs almost into a weapon, in Abdullah.

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WE ARE CONTINUOUS by Harrison David Rivers Affiliated Writer

Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24 at 1 p.m. When a son reveals that he is HIV positive, his mother must decide how far her unconditional love extends. In this tender autobiographical play, Harrison David Rivers explores how people can change and how love can evolve. From Harrison: So many plays in the HIV/AIDS theatrical canon are about white gay men and death and dying. I wanted to add something Black and gay and full of hope. we are continuous is my contribution.

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C Michael Menge performs during the Afro-Atlantic Festival. Photo by Paula Keller

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MOTHER OF EXILES by Jessica Huang Affiliated Writer

Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. In 1898 California, a pregnant Eddie Loi faces deportation. In 1998 Miami, her grandson Braulio accidentally summons her spirit while patrolling the border. In 2063 somewhere on the ocean, their descendants try to survive the climate crisis. An epic multigenerational tale of sacrifice, love and survival that spans 150 years in 90 minutes. From Jessica: My ancestors were Russian, Chinese, and Jewish immigrants who migrated to the US and built businesses, suffered prejudices, overcame struggles, fell in love, and created new cultures. Their legacies live on in my mixed-race body and in my fourth-generation interracial marriage. Inspired by their stories of sacrifice, courage, great risks and radical empathy, Mother of Exiles was created in honor of them—and in honor of us, their descendants, who continue their legacy.

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BEGIN, BEGIN, BEGIN AGAIN by Erin Courtney Core Writer

Thursday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25 at 1 p.m. In a re-imagining of The Oresteia set in an art museum in the near future, an audio tour guide voice artist is haunted by the desire to kill her husband. Is it possible to seek justice instead of revenge? In this formally inventive work, Erin Courtney invites us to see the horror behind the brutality of our current justice system and to invite change through collective imagination. From Erin: I began this play with rage, and the question: "When a system is broken and injustice is rampant, how can rage be channeled into creating systemic change?"

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PLAYWRIGHTS' CENTER PLAYWRITING FELLOWS SHOWCASE Friday, October 23 at 5 p.m.

Join us for an evening of scenes from plays in progress by the 2020–21 Playwrights' Center Fellows and Mentees. The Showcase will feature works by: Cristina Florencia Castro Many Voices Fellow

Shannon TL Kearns Jerome Fellow

Marvin González De León McKnight Fellow in Playwriting

Nora Montañez Many Voices Mentee

Gracie Gardner McKnight National Residency and Commission

Savannah Reich McKnight Fellow in Playwriting

JuCoby Johnson Many Voices Mentee Candrice Jones Jerome Fellow

Tylie Shider Jerome Fellow Katie Ka Vang Many Voices Fellow

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RUTH EASTON New Play sERIES

Marisela TreviĂąo Orta observes actors reading her play December during the 2019 Ruth Easton New Play Series. Photo by Becca Dilley 16 pwcenter.org/ruth-easton-series


Now entering its 16th year, the Ruth Easton New Play Series is evolving, offering deeper development opportunities than ever before. The five featured Core and Affiliated Writers will work with teams of renowned artists, hand-selected by the playwright, to workshop their new plays over a 30-hour development process: a 25% percent increase from years past. Made possible by the support of the Ruth Easton Fund of the Edelstein Family Foundation, this season’s expanded program gives playwrights the greatest of gifts: more time, more space, and more support to radically experiment. These fearless new plays will be showcased online, completely for free. Over half of the plays developed through the Ruth Easton New Play Series have gone on to full productions around the globe. Reserve your ticket now at pwcenter.org; see the future of theater.

The staffing of the workshop, the mechanics of rehearsal, the processing of rewrites, and the emotional/ psychological care and feeding was a wonder to experience. The care AUTHOR AUTHOR received has allowed us to make it much more the play it wants to be, and a huge amount of credit is due to the Playwrights’ Center. —Core Writer Jeffrey Hatcher on his 2020 Ruth Easton New Play reading of AUTHOR AUTHOR, co-written with Sandra Struthers

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NO CURE by Jake Jeppson Core Writer

Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m.

Two lonely souls meet. They fall in love. They dance to Leonard Cohen's "Ain't No Cure for Love." Turns out, there ain't no cure for terminal cancer, either. In this tender, unflinching play, Jake Jeppson offers a deeply personal portrait of one family's experience with the two big things that can't be cured. From Jake: In America, when people get diagnosed with cancer, their community often says, "They're a fighter—they're going to beat this thing." But that fighter mentality can deprive us of seeing one another and being present as we face the end. I hope that my work sends audiences home not quite able to articulate what they think, but feeling stuff in their body. If I can interrupt all those subconscious programs running in our brains all the time, then I'm happy.

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GETTING THERE by Dipika Guha Affiliated Writer

Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m.

College best friends Kai and Julie are due to head back to New York after a miserable vacation in Paris when things come to a head pulling them apart. Kai meets Radha and Anissa—a sophisticated French couple in a life changing moment, while Julie meets Ira—a woman deep in a war against herself. Twenty-four hours later no one’s life is the same. Getting There is a lyrical, funny, and philosophical play about love, and what it means to come home." From Dipika: Getting There was inspired by the work of Maggie Nelson. I wanted to write a play that was also a kind of meditation on love, aging and solitude. What emerged was this queer love story—five interconnected lives and three imperfectly perfect days in Paris.

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Meghan Kreidler as Volina in Betty Shamieh's Malvolio, during the February 2020 Ruth Easton New Play Series. Photo by Paula Keller 20


THIS MUCH I KNOW by Jonathan Spector Core Writer

Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m.

A psychology professor's search for his missing wife launches us on a time-hopping fugue, weaving together the stories of Stalin's daughter defecting to America, the son of a white supremacist growing to doubt the beliefs he was raised with, and the secret despair of becoming an accidental killer. In This Much I Know, Jonathan Spector takes us on an explosively theatrical interrogation of how we make decisions, how we change our minds, and how much responsibility we bear for the things we do not control. From Jonathan: I’ve been obsessed for years with Daniel Kahneman's book Thinking, Fast and Slow, and the idea that part of our brain is basically a machine for making associative connections. From the first time I read it, I had an instinct that it held some kind of dramatic potential, and that was the initial spark of this play.

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PULP VÉRITÉ by Crystal Skillman Core Writer

Wednesday, Mar. 3 at 7 p.m.

Joy, an active member of the filmmaking collective Pulp Vérité, is captured and held overseas for four years. After being released from captivity, she returns to the United States to reunite with her friends and restart her life. But when the group realizes Joy has gathered them together for the impossible— to bring her sister who is still a captive with ISIS home—their strength as a collective, youthful ideology, and commitment to the cause are shaken to the core. From Crystal: Five years ago, I began writing a series of pieces that examined activism in the U.S. Pulp Vérité came to me as a parable that uses my training as a photographer to tell this story. With all we are politically facing in this country—the earned criticism of our place in the world internationally— Pulp Vérité is a race against time. This play unfolds and unravels in startling ways. I hope it is a call to action.

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NANCY by Rhiana Yazzie Affiliated Writer

Wednesday, Apr. 7 at 7 p.m.

Nancy is a loosely based bio on first lady Nancy Reagan who is a descendant of Pocahontas, and the story of a Navajo mother and daughter, Esmeralda and Jacqueline. While Nancy tries to control the future through astrology and New Age-ism, Esmeralda fights nuclear waste storage on her homelands and while her daughter develops a debilitating anxiety disorder. The story details how internalized racism, skin color, misogyny, and economic mobility create classism and racism inside tribal communities, revealing how some become gladly complicit with white supremacy when it benefits their own desires. From Rhiana: While I was doing research for my American Revolutions Cycle play, I found out that Nancy Reagan is a descendant of Pocahontas. I couldn't resist jumping into this strange history to create a story that shows how lucrative Native ancestry can sometimes be in the proximity of whiteness. 23


NEW THIS SEASON

IN THE LAB

New worlds require new ways. And the Playwrights’ Center is stepping up our support to meet this moment, launching a brand new online development and performance project called In the Lab. Lab Through this innovative program, three writers will develop wildly experimental new works, pushing the boundaries of form and content, and revolutionizing the way we experience stories.

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pwcenter.org/lab


TOMORROW WILL BE SUNDAY by Heather Raffo Affiliated Writer Tomorrow Will Be Sunday is a theatrical experiment into the future of migration and the global economy. Understanding our connection to economic forces and people across the globe has only become increasingly heightened. We cannot begin to create a new relationship to human value without first unpacking what we value—understanding how every economic decision we make impacts others locally and across the world. From Heather: In the face of what is likely a new global order and years of economic restructuring, I now wonder how this play can best serve the times we live in? How might an immersive virtual platform engage a cast living in locales across the world? How might "live" theater be reimagined virtually, by allowing an audience agency in how they migrate through a web-based play? And how might an episodic production model built across multiple theaters create a new theatrical platform for audience conversations nationally and internationally? In short, the potential to develop this play virtually upends even theatrical borders both economic and personal.

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CELL SURFACE by Dominic Taylor Affiliated Writer On its surface, Cell Surface is a play about two significant AfricanAmerican biologists: one was the first African-American graduate of Dartmouth College, the other was the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. How did these Cells interact? From Dominic: When COVID happened, I was really interested if I placed these people in these boxes, like digital Petri dishes or something. In this examination, I want to lean into this technology to see what it can illuminate about this collision of Black people using digital tools I never considered.

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VAPOR TRAIL by Ken Urban Affiliated Writer Bennett and Leslie experience unspeakable tragedy. Bennett is a music journalist who, in the face of great loss, can no longer listen to music. Leslie runs away from her old life when she realizes her relationship cannot recover. In the Hudson Valley, at a chance meeting at a farmer’s market, these two strangers develop an impossibly strong connection. It’s an encounter they can’t forget. From Ken: I was inspired to think about how grief might bring strangers together; how it’s something you can share with a stranger, not with someone who knows you. The play had a workshop right before life shutdown. Audience members commented the play might work as a “radio play.” Since the shutdown, I’ve been thinking about ways to bring this play to life during our current state of quarantine. I plan to use my workshop as an opportunity to imagine what a 21st-century audio play might sound like, and to get deeper into the story of Bennett and Leslie. 27


ARTISTS IN CONVERSATION

NEW THIS SEASON

Building on our sold-out Public Discussion series from past seasons, Artists in Conversation offers a uniquely intimate look at playwrights and their process. Unlike the Center’s many scripted events throughout the year, these conversations offer audiences a chance to connect directly with writers, hearing artists’ thoughts on craft, the field, and the world through their own unfiltered words. Past conversations have featured acclaimed theater artists, including Migdalia Cruz, Lisa D'Amour, Daniel Alexander Jones, José Rivera, and Paula Vogel, among others. Specific participants, topics, and dates will be announced throughout the year. Stay tuned!

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Meiyin Wang, Producing Director at The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center joins Philip Bither, McGuire Director and Senior Curator, Performing Arts at Walker Art Center for a sold-out Public Discussion. Photo by Josh Olson 29


Fellows & Core Writers Sofya Levitsky-Weitz in a rehearsal of her 2019 PlayLabs workshop of Cannabis Passover. Photo by Paula Keller 30 pwcenter.org/playwrights


FELLOWS The Playwrights’ Center’s fellowship programs offer holistic support to some of the most talented early-to-mid-career playwrights in the country. Thanks to partnerships with the McKnight and Jerome Foundations, the Center gives over $315,000 each season in financial support, championing over 13 playwrights a year through stipends, residencies, commissions, and development funds. The Center also works tirelessly to promote and connect these playwrights to the wider industry, helping to forge the collaborative relationships that will advance their professional careers.

CORE WRITERS The Center’s Core Writers are the changemakers of theater in this country. During their three-year tenure with the Playwrights’ Center, Core Writers are given unrivalled artistic and professional support, including highly individualized and project-centric workshops, as well as opportunities for public readings and feedback. The Center also strives to create meaningful, working connections between writers and producing organizations, helping Core Writers to reshape the cultural landscape with their vibrant new plays.

AFFILIATED WRITERS The Playwrights’ Center’s legacy of support stretches from coast to coast (and from stage to screen) through our Affiliated Writers: a cohort of 300+ dynamic and award-winning playwrights, comprised of previous Core Writers and Fellows. We remain forever connected to these writers, supporting their craft and career through development workshops, new play readings, and an always welcoming artistic home.

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Kelly Renee Armstrong Core Apprentice • • •

Testify Sins of the Father The Ties That Bind

How can the theater industry better support playwrights? Most of the artists I know are more than one thing. Institutions should support artists they partner with in the fullness of all their hyphenated glory. Your institution may be interested in one aspect of these artists, but what are they interested in and how can you support that as well? Level the playing field so everyone can be nourished. Create pathways for individual and organizational mentorship. Understand that mentorship works both ways. There is plenty to be learned on both sides of the table.

Lee Blessing Core Writer • • •

Tea with the Boss A Body of Water Minneapolis/St. Paul

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How can a writer make the best of an online workshop or reading process? To me, the strangest thing about an online workshop/ reading is not working with the director and cast, it’s the absence of an audience (even when there is in fact an online audience that one cannot see or hear). The audience’s response is always the most important part of the workshop/reading experience, since it’s only there that I can “hear” how the play is hitting those that are experiencing it for the first time.

pwcenter.org/playwrights


Sharon Bridgforth Core Writer • • •

dat Man Black Mermaid Man Lady/The Show River See delta dandi

What is something you’re good at that few people know about? My coffee making skills are legendary.

Carlyle Brown Core Writer • • •

A Play by Barb & Carl Down in Mississippi Are you now or have you ever been

What will you be working on this year? I heard somewhere that during the Black Plague Shakespeare wrote King Lear. I’m struggling along to see what I can come up with during the present pandemic.

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Darren Canady Core Writer • • •

Reparations Black Butterflies Ontario Was Here

What themes do you find yourself returning to in your writing? I am forever returning to questions of American Black belonging—how do we express kinship and love? How do we make community? What happens when we feel out of place, cutoff, or disenfranchised? What stories emerge when we fight for and demand our human dignity?

Cristina Florencia Castro

You’re a teaching artist with Upstream Arts. How does your work there influence you as an artist?

Many Voices Fellow • How the Colds Were Razed (As Told by Gorilla Girl) • The Very Last Wishes of Grandpa Joe or Mia & Hector Go Sightseeing • Cicadas Are Not Swans

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As a teaching artist with Upstream Arts, I go all over the Twin Cities working with kids and adults with disabilities. We practice social and communication skills with the arts. Working for Upstream Arts has fostered within my work a more tangible sense of equity and a celebration/exploration of the abundant possibilities of communication. One of Upstream Arts’ foundational thoughts is “Assume Ability.” I say those two words to myself every day to make sure I give myself and others that attitude of access. It’s really opened up my work in a way that feels safe, playful, and constantly changing. I feel like in our general society we associate individuals with disabilities as limited or not able to do certain things—Upstream Arts has encouraged my mind to simply assume everyone is capable of anything when we use creativity and an attitude of access, and that has translated into my work as a writer.

pwcenter.org/playwrights


Erin Courtney Core Writer • • •

Begin, Begin, Begin Again Ann, Fran, and Mary Ann A Map of Virtue

What do you do when you’re stuck on something you’re writing? I’m a visual thinker, so I look at paintings, I draw, and I diagram. Sometimes I construct very specific writing assignments for myself that are designed for the particular strand that needs development. Assignments with constraints work the best for me, as the constraints trick my subconscious brain into doing the work.

Mashuq Mushtaq Deen Core Writer • • •

Flood Draw the Circle The Shaking Earth

What is something from outside of the theater world that inspires your theatrical writing? Injustice. Inhumanity. The dehumanizing of our “enemies.” Seeing people as enemies. The way we are with each other. Socio-political struggle. Everything.

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Emily Feldman Core Writer • • •

This year you worked on a new musical with composer Zack Zadek. What makes a successful playwright/composer collaboration?

The Best We Could Go. Please. Go. The Oracle

We genuinely enjoy talking to each other for hours and hours. We laugh a lot, especially at the end of long days. We have a shared sense of purpose and vision for our project. We can enjoy disagreeing sometimes in service of that vision and feel totally elated when we arrive somewhere new together.

Gina Femia Core Writer

What is the best playwriting advice you’ve been given?

• The Violet Sisters • THIS HAPPENED ONCE AT THE ROMANCE DEPOT OFF THE I-87 IN WESTCHESTER • ALLOND(R)A

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I’ve been given mostly bad advice, but the best advice I’ve given myself has been to write the play I want and to not worry about how it’ll be received by the industry/institutional theater. My most produced plays have been my largest, queerest, most “impossible” stories. If it’s a story you need to tell, that’s bursting from you and contains your truth, don’t censor it; tell it as loudly as you are able.

pwcenter.org/playwrights


Barbara Field Core Writer • • •

Boundary Waters The Dwindles Playing With Fire

What inspired your play The Book of Vashti? Vashti Having never read the Old Testament, I discovered Esther and Vashti in the ‘70s and stuck them in the play Matrix. It was directed by Emily Mann, and was quite a success. So I forgot about those ladies for 40 years. I wanted to resurrect them because I think the tale has two heroines, and I wanted to put Vashti on display a bit.

Gracie Gardner McKnight National Residency and Commission • • •

Panopticon Athena I’m Revolting

Why do you write plays? I’ve seen theater that has moved and spiritually nourished me, and I hope to create moving and nourishing experiences for others. Theater is my writing mode because the tools fit me best; writing dialogue and imagining stage picture feels natural to me. And the most surprising thing about getting work in front of an audience is the way people in a group soak up time. It’s never obvious and I don’t think the delight of that could ever get boring.

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Marvin González De León McKnight Fellow in Playwriting • • •

Pan Genesis Pa’ Fuera Pa’ Fuera Pa’ Fuera Madre de Dios

How do you use humor to talk about larger or more complicated issues? I’m most comfortable with humor when it’s a Venn diagram between the logical and emotional relationships of what we genuinely consider humorous and what we find horrifying. For a joke to truly land, it’s working on many different levels in the audience’s mind. So, humor is a tool for me to alienate the audience; to have them laugh and question why they’re laughing at the horrifying all at once. For me, humor is the best instrument to have human beings confront hard truths without preaching to them or being didactic.

Jeffrey Hatcher Core Writer • • •

Three Viewings Compleat Female Stage Beauty Riddle Puzzle Plot

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What artists are inspiring you these days? The playwrights, actors, directors, designers, technicians, marketing and P.R. staff who are keeping theater’s flag flying during the pandemic by staging socially distanced plays outdoors on street corners, backyards, and driveways; by performing plays in which the actors wore masks and plastic face coverings; by making archive performances available; by presenting readings and performances on Zoom; and by commissioning artists for future productions.

pwcenter.org/playwrights


Rachel Jendrzejewski Core Writer • • •

PASSION Early Morning Song encyclopedia

You’ve collaborated with a number of different musicians and composers. How do different musical styles influence the way you tell stories? I think I'm influenced less by specific styles of music, and more by the musicality of language. And by how language and music interact, sonically and emotionally and structurally. I also tend to think of my work less in terms of telling stories, more in terms of asking questions, and music can create such an open, expansive, receptive environment. I guess to that point, I'm pretty influenced by ambient and electroacoustic music. There's also something that I love about the grandiosity and absurdity of opera.

Jake Jeppson Core Writer • • •

No Cure Another Fucking Dad Play #bros

When did you know you wanted to be a playwright? I started as an actor. I was in the middle of an intense rehearsal with a burly Russian director who asked me why I never followed my first impulse on the stage. He said, "It's like you're in a train station and you let the first train, then the second train, then the third train depart before you finally get on a train." In my head, I was like, "Yeah, because it's interesting to consider all those different trains and where they might take you." As an actor, I had to get on the first train every time. As a writer, sometimes I leap aboard and other times I sit in the station all day long watching trains come and go. 39


JuCoby Johnson Many Voices Mentee • • •

...but you could’ve held my hand How It’s Gon’ Be Revelations

What is one thing you wish playwrights knew from an actor’s perspective? No matter what condition the script is in, actors need a copy to look over before the first day of a workshop or rehearsal process. Everyone's cold-reading ability/ comfortability is different. Give actors the chance to prepare and put their best foot forward. It benefits everyone in the end.

Candrice Jones Jerome Fellow • • •

FLEX A Medusa Thread “Play on Jody”

Your new play, A Medusa Thread, Thread is partially inspired by Ovid. What draws you to mythology as an inspiration for new stories? I'm drawn to mythology in the sense that it attempts to procure answers to the most universal human questions. Through creating/meddling with mythology, writers beg questions regarding how individuals see the worlds they exist in as well as the archetypes that live and breathe in those worlds. So, whether I'm looking at Ovid's renderings or Barthes, there is an attempt to demystify questions of phenomena and human existence.

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pwcenter.org/playwrights


Nicholas Kaidoo Core Apprentice • • •

PLANTATIONLAND Fall the House Black Boy Reading Gatsby: an adaptation

How can the theater industry better support playwrights? I would love to see an industry trend toward investing in the playwright instead of investing in the play. When I speak of investing, I mean in terms of dramaturgical support, for instance: or time and space and other intangible resources. So that the maintenance of a career doesn't hinge on the success or failure of a single project, but instead the writer has the room to experiment and, in experimenting, has the room to grow. Not quite giving or teaching a man to fish per se, but affording him the space necessary to know that he knows how to fish again and again and again indefinitely into his future whether the markets are buying or not. (Here you'll see I'm experimenting with how far you can run with a metaphor. The answer? Too far.)

Shannon TL Kearns Jerome Fellow • • •

Twisted Deaths in the stand of dying trees The Resistance Of My Skin

What kind of stories have you been interested in writing recently? What draws you to them? I’ve been adding more magic into my writing lately. A sense of liminal spaces and unseen forces. I think I’m drawn to this because it’s so different from how I’m used to writing that it’s providing an interesting challenge, but it also provides a space to think about what could be. That sense of “what could be” is something that is reverberating through my life at the moment. What could the world look like if we made different decisions? What kind of world could we create and build? If we can dream something we can create it, so these liminal spaces provide us with a space to dream.

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Keyanna Khatiblou

How do you write political plays, or plays with a message, without becoming didactic?

Core Apprentice • • •

2020: a going away party play The Tower Stitches

I have a theory that there is no such thing as a nonpolitical play or a play without a message. There are plays that uphold social norms and there are plays that challenge social norms. Like am I supposed to believe one TV ad with a gay couple is political and sending a message, but the 10 million ads with only heterosexual couples aren't very political acts of enforcing heteronormativity? But to actually answer the question, I try to make all my plays fun to watch. We're all already suffering so I don't want to make people suffer any more. I like comedy, games, and challenging the form. I think if the audience is laughing and having fun, they will fall in love with your characters and then they will be much more likely to listen to what they are really trying to say. I also don't ever assume my audience is less informed than I am. I assume my audience is very, very, very smart—smarter than me—and all I can do is express how these individual characters feel about their life circumstances; I don't have the authority to teach anyone anything.

Kurt Kwan McKnight Theater Artist Fellow • we, the invisibles (Actors Theatre Louisville) • The Great Leap (Guthrie Theater) • The Children (Pillsbury House Theatre)

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How did your involvement in theater begin? I grew up in a town of 213 people. I also grew up going to theater. One of my earliest theater memories, and subsequently the seed of many recurring nightmares, was going to see a touring puppet show in a neighboring town. But theater has always been a space to be in congress with big ideas and find ways to put them into simple actions filled with human behavior. My first acting experience was in a church Christmas pageant. I think I was one of the Three Wise Men. Or maybe I was just an onlooking shepherd, and they told me I was a "Wise Man"—directors.

pwcenter.org/playwrights


Sofya Levitsky-Weitz

What will you be working on this year?

Core Writer • • •

this party sucks Cannabis Passover be mean to me

I am freeing myself in regard to form. I have been working on a pilot I'm really excited about, that feels both extremely personal and speaks to the hope I want to inject into the world, and it's been fun to play in that form. As far as theater goes, it's challenging for me to think about traditional playwriting right now. So the "plays" I've been working on feel much more open in their storytelling—there's more prose, poetry, music, audio, video incorporated. I've become less obsessed with the product because we don't know what product looks like right now. I've been thinking about combining forms, leaning into the ways that come out naturally. The experimentation is exciting.

Nora Montañez Many Voices Mentee • •

Mari’s Wait Sabor A Mi

You’ve been a leader in the Twin Cities through ALMA, among other organizations. Can you tell us how ALMA started and what you’re excited about going forward? In Chicago, I was a member of The Alliance of Latinx Theater Artists (ALTA), which worked to further the Chicago Latinx Theater movement. My work with ALTA was so uplifting that I wanted to take what I had learned and created a space where The Alliance of Latinx Minnesota Artists (ALMA) facilitates alliances among the large spectrum of Minnesotan Latinx experiences in order to make visible our diverse artistic voices and practices. ALMA was born out of a need.

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Daaimah Mubashshir Core Writer • • •

Room Enough (For Us All) The Immeasurable Want of Light Rum for Sale

Finish this sentence: If I weren’t a playwright I would be… Actually, if I weren’t a playwright I’d be a chef. In my wildest fantasies, my small boutique restaurant would serve Southern delicacies with a bougie twist. Then my guests would watch a thrilling hilarious show that’d almost bring them to choke on their fork.

Kira Obolensky Core Writer • • •

Wolves and Sheep breakfast lunch dinner Four Measures

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Why is storytelling still important? Stories are tryouts for new worlds. We need more stories that model new utopias. We need stories that help us imagine what’s next. We need hope in our stories. Without hope in stories, hope just flies around untethered.

pwcenter.org/playwrights


John Olive Core Writer • • •

Minnesota Moon GOD FIRE Standing On My Knees

What will you be working on this year? I’m sort of semi-retired (whatever that means), but I have one play I’m compelled to write, about the upcoming end of the human species. I won’t live to see it (the end of the species), but it’s coming.

Marisela Treviño Orta Core Writer • • •

The River Bride December Shoe

Why do you write plays? I’ve been a writer from a young age. I wrote short stories as a child—even worked on a novel. Then I was a poet for many years. When I found my way to playwriting, I was thrilled to finally find the genre I have been looking for my entire life. Plays are so exciting to me, because they are stories taking place in front of our eyes. We can almost reach out and touch the actors. Everything about it is alive and can potentially engage our senses. I write plays because I have stories pouring out of me. I want those stories and those imagined worlds to be fully alive, and to do that I need theatrical collaborators. I love seeing a world on stage, seeing it inhabited by actors, seeing an audience lose themselves in the worlds I create.

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Savannah Reich McKnight Fellow in Playwriting • • •

Hatchet Lady Pestilence:WOW! Toby Johnson Was My Best Friend in Junior High

What will you be working on this year? I’m interested in taking some time to think about the calls from artists of color for long overdue change in the American theater. What is the role of individual white artists in this movement? How can artists most effectively pressure institutions? How will my work reckon with these revolutionary times? I don’t know the answers to these questions yet, but I want to keep looking and trying. I also am trying to get through my pile of projects that I’ve put aside for “when I have the time,” which include a television pilot about superheroes who can’t fight crime because they can’t get their shifts covered at their restaurant jobs, a play that takes place in residential backyards, and an allfemale folk musical about cows.

Stacey Rose Core Writer • Legacy Land • America v. 2.1: The Sad Demise & Eventual Extinction Of The American Negro • As Is: Conversations With Big Black Women In Confined Spaces

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Tell us about the Queen City New Play Initiative! Sure! Martin Damien Wilkins and I began QCNPI out of a desire to support the work of Charlotte based playwrights and theater artists. We both have deep Charlotte roots. Martin is a thirdgeneration Charlottean and I have been visiting Charlotte since I was a child, finally moving here in 1996. We both began our theatrical careers here, so it felt right to return home to serve the artistic community we were "raised" in. We seek to amplify the voices of Charlotte-based and Southern playwrights.

pwcenter.org/playwrights


Andrew Rosendorf Core Writer • • •

One-Shot Refuge Paper Cut

What will you be working on this year? One of the things I’ll work on is my play OneShot, which is set in a video rental store in the 1990s and is very much about white privilege and fragility, The Celluloid Closet (everpresent), Jewish fragility, and who gets the space to tell what stories. It asks: Where are our safe spaces anymore? And what happens when the people we love are the ones making our spaces not safe? It’s very influenced by the safe haven and escape I found in these video rental stores—as a customer and an employee. I’m also going to work on a play focused on the end of the Pansy Craze. I’m still in early stages, but I know it’s intimate and filled with song and dance.

Riti Sachdeva Core Writer • • •

Welcome to the Taj Palace (motel) The Rug Dealer Suicide Seed

You work across multiple disciplines and genres. How does that influence your playwriting? I’ve studied flamenco for a couple of decades, and I took a flamenco history class in which the instructor described flamenco as polycentric, meaning, having multiple central parts or multiple centers of control. I think that’s true of my work because of the multiple genres and disciplines. For example, the multiple strands of plot reflect the polyrhythmic core of flamenco and much non-western music.

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Tylie Shider Jerome Fellow • • •

Bastard Parable of the Backyard Roots Certain Aspects of Conflict in the Negro Family

What is an organization you support that you wish more people knew about? The Black church, because of its unmatched legacy as the cultural womb of the black community. Not only has it given birth to new institutions such as colleges and banks, but it continues to provide space and opportunity for young artists, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, orators, and political aspirants to exercise and develop their gifts. Much of black culture is indebted to its traditions. It is where I got my start as a poet.

Charly Evon Simpson Core Writer • • •

Behind the Sheet Jump it’s not a trip it’s a journey

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What advice do you have for beginning playwrights? Keep writing. Keep unearthing your voice and your point of view. Keep experimenting. Keep trying to discover what being a playwright means to YOU.

pwcenter.org/playwrights


Crystal Skillman Core Writer • • •

Rain And Zoe Save The World Pulp Vérité Open

What was the hardest thing about writing your last play? I think playwriting is so challenging all the time. But that’s what I LOVE about it. That’s part of the fun and what playwriting is… living in another world and problem-solving. The largest challenge for me is always to make sure what is in my head is really on the page. This is why I rewrite so much. Open debuted a year ago in NYC and was done in Minneapolis at Walking Shadow Theater. It just came out from Dramatist Play Service. For that delicate play, the challenge was trusting building an experience of a “magic show without magic” to tell the story of the love between two women in a oneperson play. Early in development, some feedback suggested that we should see the magic. I felt it might undermine the point of the piece, but I wasn’t sure. When I shared this idea with my good friend, who is a magician, he said immediately, “Don’t you dare show me the magic!” Trust yourself. Trust your team. Trust the audience.

Jonathan Spector Core Writer • • •

Eureka Day This Much I Know What Comes Next

What do you wish someone would have told you about playwriting that you had to learn the hard way? In every play, I reach a point somewhere after the first draft where I can see the thing the play wants to be, but don't think I have the skill and talent to pull it off. It's simply too hard. And I am filled with despair. So I put it down for a while. Later I will pick it up, and some answer will reveal itself, and I am able to get just a little closer to the idealized version. I repeat this cycle of despair, pause, pick up many, many times. And I think the despair plays an essential function in this process. It pushes us to go further, and not accept what we know is not good enough. It's an optimistic despair.

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Ariel Stess Core Writer • • •

The World My Mama Raised Heartbreak I’m Pretty Fucked Up

How can the theater industry better support playwrights? I think that playwrights really need artistic homes; homes they can count on for a long time. I’d like to see more theaters put playwrights on staff. Given time and access, I believe playwrights can also help cultivate invested audiences and innovate educational programming.

James Anthony Tyler Core Writer • • •

Dolphins and Sharks Some Old Black Man Artney Jackson

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What will you be working on this year? I hope to have the chance to continue work on my plays titled PRANAYAMA and INTO THE SIDE OF A HILL, and I'll also be working on two new commissions. I'll also be continuing to develop work for TV because theater gets on my nerves.

pwcenter.org/playwrights


Katie Ka Vang Many Voices Fellow • • •

WTF Hmong Bollywood Final Round

Abbee Warmboe McKnight Theater Artist Fellow • The White Card (Penumbra Theater) • Chicago (Theater Latte Da) • A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Old Log Theater)

Why is storytelling important? It’s important because it's the springboard to understanding and change. Also stories live on, even if it's not recognized or lapped up right away. If the story is told and people don't give a shit, it's because they're not ready or scared that they are actually reflected in a way they don't want to admit. But keep writing anyway, because when they are ready, it'll hit like a ton of bricks and they won't be able to breathe until they realize what the f**k has been going on for centuries.

How can the theater industry better support designers? I will speak from my personal experience as a props designer/manager/master, which brings me to a big issue of what am I and what is my role? It changes per company, production, scenic designer, director, etc. This can be really difficult, especially for new props people trying to find their footing. I now know what questions to ask but until you know what to ask, it can be really daunting and frustrating to prop a show. So much can change from the first production meeting to the opening of the show. Listening to and trusting the designers’ new questions and concerns are important. As rehearsals go on, a show’s scope can drastically change. It would be helpful if producers can acknowledge that and be flexible to what new support may be needed as the process moves forward.

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Talvin Wilks McKnight Theater Artist Fellow • • •

This Bitter Earth (Penumbra) The White Card (Penumbra) The Peculiar Patriot (National Black Theatre/Woolly Mammoth)

How does being an educator inform or influence your work outside of the University of Minnesota? The value and benefit of being an educator and a professional artist is that I’m able to combine my scholarly interests with project development. For example, my dramaturgy class is taught as a practicum in which students provide direct “deliverables” to plays that I’m working on in real time. This course allows me to expand and share my process as well as connect students with professionals in the field. One of the most rewarding examples of this experience was walking into a rehearsal room at the Sundance Theatre Lab where we were developing the adaptation of "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates for the Apollo Stage, and my students’ dramaturgical work was spread out on the table in front of the actors. They had become the main research team for the process. I couldn’t have been prouder of how well that process went. In this way, my teaching and my professional practice are fluid and support and fulfill each other.

Ray Yamanouchi Core Writer • • •

The American Tradition Impact Tha Chink-Mart

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What was the hardest thing about writing your last play? The last play I wrote, Pure//Love; White//Girls, which has a very fluid and tableau-like structure, was particularly challenging for me. I'm more familiar with the typical three-act structure, so figuring out the beats and how the play moves was difficult but fun.

pwcenter.org/playwrights


Stefanie Zadravec Core Writer • • •

Tiny Houses Colony Collapse The Electric Baby

What themes do you find yourself returning to in your writing? Hope in a time of chaos is a theme that runs across all my work. Real hope, not the Pollyanna kind (which is really just wishful thinking.) Real hope is the small sign or gesture that demands something of us, asks us to reach across chasms and be in relationship with others, not to imagine a different future but to relate to the world as it is in a way that looks like sacrifice and giving. It’s a gift that allows us to endure rather than inure us to the pain in our lives.

Playwrights James Anthony Tyler and Cristina Florencia Castro in a seminar for Members. Photo by Jeff Achen

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THE

Regulars

Director Chuck Mike gives notes to actor Kiara Jackson during the Afro-Atlantic Festival reading of Not All Canoes Sail Back Home by Femi Osofisan. Photo by Paula Keller 54 pwcenter.org/regulars


Over the last five years, the Center has enlisted over 100 new play producing organizations from across the country to join us in a bold commitment: advancing the work that will shape the future of playwriting. The Regulars collaborate with the Center to create invaluable opportunities for writers, including professional productions, commissions, residencies, and more. These efforts radically reduce the time it takes for a new play to move from page to stage. While the average new work sees production in about seven years, Center-supported plays regularly see production in under two. Together, the Playwrights’ Center and The Regulars work to bring the brightest and boldest new voices to every city, every state, and every stage.

“The hospitality of the entire Playwrights' Center is exceptional. I like the casual vibe of PlayLabs weekend— there’s the perfect amount of structured get-to-know-you time, and free time to build on connections. It allows us more time to get to know playwrights. By inviting the greater Playwrights' Center community of writers, I got a real sense of the work of the organization and met a wider variety of artists. I requested several playwrights’ work from the Center, thanks to this event." —Lauren Halvorsen, former Associate Literary Director on PlayLabs 2019 Industry Weekend

RECENT CO-DEVELOPMENTS WITH PARTNERS AT THE PLAYWRIGHTS’ CENTER Afro-Atlantic Playwrights’ Festival Carlyle Brown & Company and the Camargo Foundation

Legacy Land by Stacey Rose Kansas City Repertory Theatre

FLEX by Candrice Jones Actors Theater of Louisville

A Play By Barb And Carl by Carlyle Brown Illusion Theater

Isaac Asimov Grand Master Funk by Herbert Siguenza San Diego Repertory Theatre

Untitled Lou Sullivan Project by Basil Kreimendahl Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Contact associate artistic director Hayley Finn at hayleyf@pwcenter.org to learn more about the program.

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Membership

Playwrights’ Center staff member Alayna Barnes teaches a writing seminar for Members. Photo: Playwrights’ Center 56 pwcenter.org/join 56


Playwrights at all experience levels, from first-time storytellers to full-time dramatists, are brought together as a single supportive community through the Playwrights’ Center’s Membership program. We serve this worldwide network of over 2,250 members through a collection of robust and ever-expanding resources, including: • Seminars and multi-week classes on craft and the industry • Access to experienced actors for private new play development readings • One-on-one dramaturgical support • Member-centered play readings and feedback sessions • Connection to the world’s largest and most curated database of play submission opportunities. These tools are like no other in the field, and they help Playwrights’ Center’s Members to hone their skills, cultivate confidence, build their careers, and share their stories with the wider world.

Thank you for a truly special year of mentorship and connection that culminated in such a beautiful and constructive way, with my workshop last week. It truly did feel like home to me to walk into the Playwrights' Center—a home where I could be embraced and challenged in equal parts, and be inspired by the waves of talent surging within. —Member and Affiliated Writer Drew Paryzer

Become a member playwright at pwcenter.org/join 57


UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS & PARTNERSHIPS

Jerome Fellow Tylie Shider teaches Playwriting II at Augsburg University. Photo by Paula Keller 58 pwcenter.org/university-programs 58


This season, the Playwrights’ Center unveils a first-of-its-kind education program that generates unprecedented access and opportunity for students around the country. Through the three-pronged approach of University Programs and Partnerships, the Center inspires the vibrant voices of tomorrow by connecting students and educators to on-the-ground artists— some of the most thrilling and innovative writers working today.

UNIVERSITY COURSES Through a ground-breaking partnership with Augsburg University, the Center’s newly-launched University Courses are creating unparalleled arts education access for aspiring writers. These courses deeply enrich the educational environment, supplementing existing university and college programs by connecting them with the Center’s cohort of top-tier, working playwrights. This creates a dual benefit for students: arts training from diverse, dynamic, and experienced instructors, as well as access to a nationwide network of artistic peers. In addition, all courses are online and accredited, helping undergraduate students from around the world pursue their passions while still working toward their educational goals.

NEW PLAYS ON CAMPUS This institutional membership program serves nearly 40 colleges and universities nationwide with an array of artistic resources, including: script-matching services, arranged residencies, online and in-person masterclasses with rising stars in the new play field, and other collaborative work with students. New Plays on Campus schools also have the opportunity to nominate their students for the Center’s renowned Core Apprentice program.

CORE APPRENTICE PROGRAM In partnership with the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, the Core Apprentice program offers exceptional artistic support for students and recent graduates. This unmatched development opportunity pairs three student playwrights from NPOC schools with an established professional for a one-on-one, nine-month mentorship. Mentors are thoughtfully selected to support the individual voice and goals of the student. Recent mentors have included David Henry Hwang, Taylor Mac, and Dominique Morisseau. Students also receive a play development workshop at the Center, featuring top-notch collaborators, as well as many other professional development and network-building opportunities throughout the year. Contact Sarah Myers, director of University Programs and Partnerships at sarahm@pwcenter.org to bring any of these programs to your campus. 59


AMPLIFY STORYTELLERS THROUGH GIVING Social justice is at the heart of the Playwrights' Center’s work. We strive for it by actively supporting equitable theater-making practices that shift the paradigm, uplifting unheard stories and sharing them with the world. With your support, the Center can provide the greatest diversity of artists with the time, tools, and space to tell their truths and reshape audiences' perspectives. Make a gift and amplify vital storytellers today! pwcenter.org/donate GOVERNMENT, ORGANIZATIONS, & FOUNDATIONS $2,500–$24,999 ArtSpace Projects, Inc. Boss Foundation Bush Foundation Patrick & Aimee Butler Family Foundation Dual Citizen Brewing Co. The Head Family Foundation KNOCK, Inc. Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Piper Sandler & Co City of St. Paul (Cultural STAR) Tides Foundation

$100,000+

$50,000–$99,999

$1,000–$2,499 Faegre Baker Daniels Foundation Securian Financial Foundation Whole Lotta Future Foundation

$25,000–$49,999

The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust

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Up to $999 Actors’ Equity Foundation, Inc. AmazonSmile France 44 Wines & Spirits GiveMN.org Network for Good Seagate Technology LLC US Bank Foundation In-Kind Alma Trader Joe’s


THANK YOU DONORS The Playwrights’ Center gratefully acknowledges the following individuals and organizations who have financially supported our work. The following names represent gifts given between August 1, 2019 and July 31, 2020. *Playwrights’ Center Board Member

INDIVIDUALS $10,000+ Anonymous Mary Beidler Gearen* Barry Berg and Walter Tambor Jeffrey Bores* and Michael Hawkins Christina Ham MaryAnn Lippay Kanee and Stephen Kanee Family Fund Wayne Zink and Christopher Schout* Dana and Stephen* Strand $5,000–$9,999 Anonymous Harrison David Rivers* and Christopher R. Bineham Geoffrey M. Curley and Associates* Barbara J. Davis Barbara Field John Geelan and Megan Feeney Elizabeth Grant Jeff Hedlund* and Amy Apperson Jennifer Melin Miller and David Miller David and Leni Moore Family Foundation Peter and Carla* Paulson Family Fund Diane and Mark* Perlberg The Racciatti Family Fund Marcia and John Stout John Sullivan Margaret VB Wurtele $2,500–$4,999 James and Julie Chosy Mary Anne Ebert and Paul Stembler* Robert P. Englund Polly Brown Grose Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation Tessa Gunther and Scott Hagg The Head Family Foundation Bruce and Jean Johnson Rebecca Krull Kraling* and James Kraling Mr. and Mrs. Chad M. Larsen/Larsen Fund Randall and Gail Ross

Mary and Adam Sellke Ginger Wilhelmi* $1,000–$2,499 Anonymous dik Bolger and Carmen Gutierrez-Bolger Peter & Maura* Brew Jeremy Cohen and Michael Elyanow Jeanne Corwin Dan Dietz Nancy Engh Chelle and Mike Gonzo Jodi Grundyson* Lili Hall and Andrea Scarpa Dan Hedlund and Robin Preble Charlyne Hovi* Miriam and Erwin Kelen Patrick Kennedy Anita Kunin Annie Lebedoff* Wendy Nelson Kira Obolensky and Irve Dell Janet Jones and Rob Reul Adam Rao* and Elizabeth Emery George Steitz Harry Waters Jr.* and Thomas Borrup Weiser Family Foundation Jamie Wilson and David Ericson $500–$999 Elissa Adams and Michael Margulies Toni Nebel Bjorklund and Lee Bjorklund Jane Blanch Susan Conley De Castro Charlie Quimby and Susan Cushman Erika and Nathan Eklund Beth Gaede Greg Giles and Teresa West Karen Grabow and Keith Halperin Katie Hey Suzanne Joyce 61


Dr. Art Kaemmer JoAnne Pastel James A. Payne Shannon Robinson Donald and Linda Silpe Merrie and Aaron Sjogren Joan and Scott Wilensky $250–$499 Patricia Barrier Lee Blessing and Melanie Marnich George Brant and Laura Kepley Sarah and Matt Chaplin Mary Dolan Lesley Ferris Jeffrey Grover Kathleen Hansen Ross Johnson Willard Kitchen Sally and Jonathan Lebedoff Robert and Lucy Mitchell Firouzeh Mostashari Tonja Orr Timothy J. Pabst and Dana Lindsay Audray Rees Carl Atiya Swanson and Stacy Schwartz Jane Zilch Lee Zukor and Laura Zimmermann $100–$249 Monika Albrecht Howard J. Ansel Karen Bachman and Robert Fisch James Ball Jeannette and Jeffrey Bineham Peter Brosius and Rosanna Staffa Carlyle Brown* and Barbara Rose-Brown Robert P. and Debbie A. Brown Mary and Mike Burke Bob and Carolyn Bye Todd Clasen Allene Cohen Deborah Zanish and Daniel Danielson Fran Davis Robert Dorfman Marilyn J. Doyle Robert C Droddy Bonnie S. Dudovitz and Jean K. Quam David Koehser and Nancy Dunnigan Paul Eiding Scott Elyanow Liz Engelman William Underwood and Christopher Everett

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Denise Prosek and Milton Ferris Nancy Finn Tiffa Foster Seth Freeman Robin Gillette Carol Grady Scott Halle Craig Harris and Candy Kuehn W. Blake and Erin Herron Thang Holt Harriet Horwitz Robert Hybben J. Lynn Jackson Margaret Johnson Elizabeth Thimmesh and Matthew Johnson Bobbi and Louis Kaplan Daisuke Kawachi Mary Louise Klas Aaron and Eric Komo Neal and Abigail Kreitzer Joseph Kuznik Sigrun Leonhard Beth MacDonald David Manderson Jeff Masco Timothy Mason David McNeil Kelly Miller Patricia Mitchell Sarah Myers Rebecca Noon, in honor of Daisuke Kawachi Mary Ann Nord and Christopher Reeves Seth Levin and Mia Nosanow Anne Paape James and Susan Peterson Beth and Wes Pfeifer Eric Polizer Lawrence Redmond and Eddie Ellington Charlene K. Roise Erika Schwichtenberg Rossi and Penelope Snipper Jerrie Steele Carol Stoddart Seema Sueko Virginia Sundberg Adrian Walker Eryn Warne Wendy Weckwerth Laura Zabel and Levi Weinhagen Barbara Weissberger Joan Heule Wright and Jeffrey Wright


$99 and below Jaclyn Johnson Janet Allen and Joel Grynheim Valetta Anderson Jeffrey Hatcher and Lisa Stevens Mark Armstrong Carol Barnett Vince Barton, In memory of Susan Barton Angela and George Bernhardt Ann M. Biggar Kate Brennan David Chelimsky and Flor Pinho Harriet Chessman Bruce Manning and Tricia Cornell Jay and Page Cowles Philip Dawkins John DeLaire Sheila DeSellier Steven Dietz and Allison Gregory Andrew Dominus Denise Dreher Adeeb Khalid and Cheryl Duncan Mary Easter Jill Engeswick Diane Faissler Noël Raymond and Amy Finch Leigh Flayton Peter Fleck and Mary Weber Rosenbaum-Gilbert Family Foundation Marvin González De León Rachel Jendrzejewski and Theo Goodell Ain Gordon Donna Gordon Judy Goss Matt Haar Leah Harvey and Steve Rosholt Peter Heeringa John Humphrey Walt Jacobs Laura Jacqmin Andrew and Amy Jendrzejewski Julie Jensen Jake Johansen Lauren Johnson Sara Johnson Pat Johnston Jeremy Jones Shirley and Arnold Kaplan Mervyn Kaufman Anne-Lynn Kettles David Kim Mary T. Kokernot Jonna Kosalko and Dan Rabin

Jennifer Kranz Carson Kreitzer Jessica Kubzansky Alexandra Kulijewicz Heather and John Leiviska Carol Lichterman Susan Marrash-Minnerly Walt McCarthy and Clara Ueland Judy McConnell Linda McDonald Matthew McIver Stephanie Melissande Chaz Mena Lynne Menturweck Ellen Merlin Winter Miller Meg Miroshnik Lacey Morgan Miriam Must Douglas Nopar Jennifer and Joe Novak William Parry Rachel Greene and Victor Perazzoli Barb and Rick Person Daniel Pinkerton Shelli Place Daniel Rech and Nicole DeBace-Rech Sara Richardson Julie Robbins Cliff Robinette Susie Rowland Whitney Rowland Candyce Rusk Christina Saunders Jill Schafer Bill Schoppert Kate Schwartz Maureen Siliman Nancy Simon Christopher G. Smith Philip Spensley Joseph H Stanley Sandra Struthers Melissa Ann Thone Andrew Troth Stephen Troutman Ken Urban Ryan Volna Linda Anderson Willette Dawn Williams Mark Lutwak and Y York Jared Zeigler Susan Zwickey

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STAFF Jeremy B. Cohen, Producing Artistic Director Robert Chelimsky, Managing Director May Adrales, Artistic Associate Alayna Barnes, Membership Programs Associate Julia Brown, Artistic Programs Manager Hayley Finn, Associate Artistic Director Martine Kei Green-Rogers, Fellowship Associate H. Adam Harris, Engagement Associate Katie Hey, Director of Development Jasmine Johnson, General Manager Hannah Joyce, Director of Membership Programs Emily Mathees, Executive Staff Administrator Sarah Myers, Director of University Programs and Partnerships Daniel Rech, Director of Marketing and Communications Whitney Rowland, Institutional Development Manager Sonitha Tep, Marketing Communications Graphic and Media Designer Kaitlyn Boyer, Artistic and Administrative Apprentice Roshni Desai, Artistic and Administrative Apprentice Ashe Jaafaru, Artistic and Administrative Apprentice Isabella Star LaBlanc, Artistic and Administrative Apprentice

Nora Montañez and the cast Pan Genesis by Marvin González De León, presented in PlayLabs 2019. Photo by Paula Keller


BOARD Carla Paulson, President Harrison David Rivers, Vice President Maura Brew, Secretary Adam Rao, Treasurer Jeffrey Bores Carlyle Brown Geoffrey Curley Karl Gajdusek

Mary Beidler Gearen Jodi Grundyson Jeff Hedlund Jessie Houlihan Charlyne Hovi Jonathan Jensen David Kim Rebecca Krull Kraling Annie Lebedoff

Mark Perlberg Christopher Schout Leah Spinosa de Vega Cecilia Stanton Adams Paul Stembler Harry Waters Jr. Ginger Wilhelmi Michael Winn Jeremy B. Cohen, ex officio Robert Chelimsky, ex officio

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Profile for Playwrights' Center

Playwrights' Center 2020-21 Season Booklet  

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