New Canaan, CT (February 23, 2016) – Six New York City theater companies have each been awarded a $75,000 grant to support a selected playwright as the 2016-2017 Tow Playwright-in-Residence. The residency program includes a full-time salary and playwrights will be integrated into the theater’s day-to-day operations. The goal is for each playwright to gain experience and insight into all aspects of the nonprofit theater world. Each playwright’s residency will culminate with a full production of their play by their sponsoring theater company.
This season’s program will build on the success of the inaugural 2014 – 2015 Tow Playwright-in-Residence cohort. Emily Tow Jackson, Executive Director and President of The Tow Foundation says “Our primary goal is to provide a transformational opportunity to spend a year focused on their writing. Promising playwrights need time and space to create their work, the support and mentorship of a professional theater company, and ultimately to see their work produced. We hope this residency will enhance their ability to navigate with confidence the multi-faceted, highly competitive world of professional theater.”
The theater organizations and selected 2016-2017 Tow Playwright-in-Residence cohort are:
- Ars Nova, Rachel Bonds
- Atlantic Theater Company, Paola Lazaro-Muñoz
- Clubbed Thumb, Jaclyn Backhaus
- Roundabout Theatre Company, Jenny Rachel Weiner
- Page 73 Productions, Caroline V. McGraw
- 2econd Stage Theatre, Chisa Hutchinson
The six theaters, and their playwrights, were selected after two competitive application rounds. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach for The Tow Playwright Residency program. We were looking for authentic, timely, and mutually beneficial partnerships between theater organizations and writers.” says Jackson.
When asked about his experience as the 2014-2015 Playwright-in-Residence at Roundabout Theater Company, Jeff Augustin states that “the most important thing this residency provided me with is a theatrical home. As an emerging writer, it is difficult to find an institution that will take a risk on your new play, let alone commit to your development as a writer and invite you into their home.” Augustin also says “after producing my play Little Children Dream of God, I had the time and financial security to travel to retreats and regional theatres to develop new work. I have my next production lined up, which wouldn’t have happened without the support of Roundabout Theater or The Tow Foundation.”
“We are interested in actively supporting the next generation of talented playwrights and excited that these theaters are committed to nurturing them as individual artists and as fully participating members of a larger cultural enterprise” says Leonard Tow, Chairman and Founder of The Tow Foundation.
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