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TBA Online: News & Features: April 2016

Mellon and HowlRound Announce New Playwright Residencies

Tuesday, April 5, 2016   (0 Comments)
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By Laura Brueckner

Following the successful pilot round of the National Playwright Residency Program (NPRP), which placed writers—with salaries and health care—at regional theatres all around the country, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and HowlRound recently announced the next round of residency partnerships. Among the writers continuing in their residencies are Peter Sinn Nachtrieb at Z Space in San Francisco and Oakland native Marcus Gardley at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theatre. New to the Mellon program is Lauren Gunderson, who will be in residence at Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley. 

Marcus Gardley. Lauren Gunderson. Peter Sinn Nachtrieb.


As in the first round, the NPRP playwrights will receive three years of full-time salary and benefits, as well as artistic development funds to be utilized at their discretion. New this year was the open application process, which resulted in 70 applications; new also is the requirement that each host theatre will mount at least one production by its resident writer. The resulting list of participants intentionally reflects a great deal of diversity—in terms of geography, theatre size, playwright career stage, demographics and aesthetics.

Below is the full list of NPRP partnerships:

Cohort 1 Renewals
Luis Alfaro & Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland, OR
Pearl Cleage & Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, GA
Marcus Gardley & Victory Gardens Theatre, Chicago, IL
Nathan Louis Jackson & Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Kansas City, MO
Aditi Brennan Kapil & Mixed Blood Theatre, Minneapolis, MN
Melinda Lopez & Huntington Theatre Company, Boston, MA
Peter Sinn Nachtrieb & Z Space Studio, San Francisco, CA
Kira Obolensky & Ten Thousand Things Theatre, Minneapolis, MN
Will Power & Dallas Theater Center, Dallas, TX

Cohort 2 New Grantees
Madeleine George & Two River Theatre Company, Red Bank, NJ
Kirsten Greenidge & Company One, Boston, MA
Lauren Gunderson & Marin Theatre Company, Marin, CA
Christina Ham & Pillsbury House Theatre, Minneapolis, MN
Taylor Mac & HERE Art Center, New York, NY
Rehana Lew Mirza and Mike Lew & Ma-Yi Filipino Theatre Ensemble, New York, NY
Carlos Murillo & Adventure Stage Chicago, Chicago, IL
Vera Starbard & Perseverance Theatre, Douglas, AK
Herbert Siguenza & San Diego Repertory Company, San Diego, CA

HowlRound director Polly Carl said, “Playwriting has been consistently identified as a profession that is both hopelessly itinerant and nearly impossible to make a living at. The Mellon Foundation is changing this narrative for playwrights through their unprecedented support in creating the National Playwright Residency Program—ultimately creating stronger artistic communities around the country by placing some of our most important theatrical storytellers inside of established institutional theaters. This program has already changed the lives of 23 playwrights and theater companies, and more importantly, it’s expanding how we think about a profession that is so essential to the fabric of our cultural vibrancy.”