Thursday, July 03, 2008

MTC Gives American Playwrights Commissions

Received this press release today:



New York, NY (July 2, 2008) -- Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director; Barry Grove, Executive Producer; Daniel Sullivan, Acting Artistic Director 2007-2008) has announced the recipients of its first Bank of America Playwright Commissioning Program. The three recipients are David Lindsay-Abaire, Noah Haidle and Liz Flahive.

Bank of America has provided a grant to Manhattan Theatre Club to support this three-year program. Commissions will be issued each June. This program is being overseen by Lynne Meadow and MTC’s new Director of Artistic Development Jerry Patch. The commissions will directly support contemporary playwrights by providing the resources needed to create new work -- work that will be nurtured and developed with the goal of being presented on one of MTC’s three stages.

“We are thrilled to be able to commission these deserving American writers and so grateful to Bank of America for making this possible,” stated Jerry Patch. “We look forward to working with our commissioned playwrights and are hopeful we’ll see the Bank of America commissions on our stages.”

“Bank of America is dedicated to helping the arts flourish, particularly American arts and artists,” said Rena DeSisto, global arts & culture executive for Bank of America. “We are pleased to present this opportunity for new American plays to be developed and to contribute to the canon of American theater.”

DAVID LINDSAY-ABAIRE was most recently awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Rabbit Hole, which premiered on Broadway last season at MTC’s Biltmore Theater. The play also received five Tony Award nominations, including Best Play and the Spirit of America Award. His other plays include Fuddy Meers, Kimberly Akimbo, Wonder of the World and A Devil Inside, among others. David is also currently writing the book and lyrics for the Broadway-bound musical Shrek. In addition to his work in theater, David wrote the screenplay for the Newline feature Inkheart, and is currently at work on screen adaptations of his plays Rabbit Hole for 20th Century Fox, starring Nicole Kidman, and Kimberly Akimbo for Dreamworks.

NOAH HAIDLE’s play Persephone opened at the Huntington Theater in April of 2007. His play Vigils premiered at Chicago’s Goodman Theater and later at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. Mr. Marmalade had its New York premiere at the Roundabout Theatre Company. His play Princess Marjorie received its world premiere at South Coast Repertory. Haidle’s Rag and Bone played at the Long Wharf Theatre as part of the New American Voices Festival under the direction of Tina Landau. His latest play Saturn Returns will premiere this fall at the Mitzi Newhouse Theater. He is the recipient of three Lincoln Center Le Compte Du Nuoy Awards, the 2005 Helen Merrill Award for emerging Playwrights, the 2007 Claire Tow Award, and an NEA/TCG theatre residency grant.

LIZ FLAHIVE’s play From Up Here recently premiered at Manhattan Theatre Club and received the John Gassner Playwrighting Award from the Outer Critics Circle. It was also nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play. Her plays have been produced, workshopped and read at NYU, Williamstown Theater Festival, Naked Angels and Ars Nova. Liz also volunteers with The 52nd Street Project, an organization that pairs inner city kids with professional theater artists to create original theater.

First drafts of all commissioned plays will be given an in-house reading at MTC’s Creative Center, to be followed by feedback sessions between Artistic Development staff and the playwright. All final scripts will be evaluated for potential production at one of MTC’s three performance spaces.

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