Manhattan Theater Club Announces Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Initiative Commission Recipients

Lynne Meadow (Artistic Director) and Barry Grove (Executive Producer) announced this year’s six recipients of Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Initiative commissions. The commissioned authors are Kate Attwell, Mia Chung, Noah Diaz, Julia Izumi, Ife Olujobi and Stacey Rose.

“In these trying times, we’re excited to look ahead with this exceptional lineup of newly commissioned writers,” said Scott Kaplan, Director of Game Development at MTC. “We chose these writers based on their ability to marry their singular artistic perspectives with pressing and timely scientific themes. We are grateful to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for their support over the past 19 years in creating “an invaluable opportunity for playwrights to bring subjects to an exhilarating theatrical life.”

“We are proud to partner with MTC to support six new play commissions by these talented and diverse playwrights,” said Doron Weber, vice president and program director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “This pioneering nearly two-decade partnership has resulted in exceptional plays with science-based themes and characters that have been produced in major theaters around the world and have transformed our ideas about science and theatre.”

KATE ATTWELL is a playwright, television scriptwriter and theater maker. She is a commissioned writer for Ensemble Studio Theatre, WRAPT Films, and Playwrights Horizons, and has been a member of the Ars Nova PlayGroup, Page 73 Writers Group, Mabou Mines Artist-in-Residence, and a member of the Theater Working Group. designed by The Public Theatre. Recently, his plays have been developed at Playwrights Horizons, ACT, Portland Center Stage, New York Theater Workshop and The Bushwick Starr. Previous work has been seen at: REDCAT / Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (LA), The Public Theater (Under the Radar, 2016), JACK Arts, La MaMa ETC, Movement Research at Judson Church, BRIC, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Segal Center (Festival of Performance & Film) and The Wassaic Project (all in New York). His play Testmatch premiered last season directed by Pam McKinnon at ACT in San Francisco and was scheduled to play at the Yale Repertory Theater directed by Margot Bordelon this spring before performances were canceled in response to ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19. She holds a BA in Performance from the University of Bristol in the UK and an MFA from Yale.

MIA CHUNG’s Catch As Catch Can will premiere in the 2021-2022 season of Steppenwolf; Page 73 produced the world premiere (NYC, Fall 2018). You For Me For You premiered at the Royal Court (London), the National Theater Company of Korea (Seoul) and the Woolly Mammoth Theater (DC); and is published by Bloomsbury Methuen. Awards, Commissions, Fellowships and Residencies include: Clubbed Thumb, EST/Sloan, Frederick Loewe Award in Music-Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Ma-Yi Writers Lab, MTC/Sloan, NEA, NYTW, Playwrights’ Center, Playwrights Realm, South Coast Rep, SPACE at Ryder Farm, Stavis Award, TCG and New Dramatists. She received a 2019 Helen Merrill Playwriting Award.

Noah Diaz is a playwright from the Iowa/Nebraska border. His plays have been developed with La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, The Playwrights Realm, The Sol Project, Two River Theatre, Howlround Latinx Theater Commons, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference and WildWind Performance Lab. It has received Kennedy Center Playwriting Awards five times and is currently commissioned by La Jolla Playhouse, Great Plains Theater Conference, Baltimore Center Stage, and Audible/Amazon Studios. MFA: Yale School of Drama.

JULIA IZUMI is a writer and performer who creates plays, musicals and several dance party occasions. She has developed works on the ground floor of Berkeley Rep, SPACE on Ryder Farm, BLACK SWAN Lab at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, WP Theatre, Hamilton Project Residency at Barn Arts Collective, NNPN/Kennedy Center MFA Playwrights’ Workshop , BMI’s Librettists Workshop, the Great Plains Theater Conference PlayLab and the Williamstown Theater Festival. Her work has been featured at the San Francisco Playhouse, Trinity Repertory Company, National Asian-American Theater ConFest, Dixon Place, FringeNYC, and Corkscrew Theater Festival. Honors for her work include O’Neill Theater Center NPC Finalist, Kilroys List Honorable Mention, KCACTF Darrell Ayers Playwriting Award, Theater Masters’ Take Ten, NY Society Library Emerging Women’s Artist Grant and the Puffin Artists’ Grant. She is currently a member of the Clubbed Thumb Early-Career Writers’ Group and will be featured in this season’s Bushwick Starr Reading series. MFA: Brown University. www.juliaizumi.com

IFE OLUJOBI is a playwright and screenwriter from Columbia, Maryland. She is a 2019-2020 New Voices Fellow at The Lark, 2020-21 Artist-in-Residence at Ars Nova, Youngblood Fellow at Ensemble Studio Theater and 2018-19 Emerging Writers Group Alumna at The Public Theatre. His work has been seen at Le Public, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Charity Randall Theater (Pittsburgh, PA), Bishop Arts Theater Center (Dallas, TX), City Pier A (New York, NY) and Abe Burrows NYU Theater. She is also the founder and editor of Townies, a zine exploring the experiences of POCs and queer people who relate to suburban and rural areas in the United States and abroad. She earned her BFA in Playwriting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2016.

Stacey Rose is originally from Elizabeth, NJ and Charlotte, NC. She is a proud mother, daughter and brother. She received a BA in theater from UNC Charlotte and graduated from the MFA program in playwriting at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. While at Tisch, she received an AAUW Career Development Fellowship, was a future screenwriter, and received the Goldberg Prize for her play The Danger: A Homage to Strange Fruit. Her work has been featured at: UNC Charlotte, On Q Productions, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, The Fire This Time Festival (Slavesperience, America v. 2.1), The Brooklyn Generator (As Is: Conversations with Big Black Women in Confined Spaces ), The Bushwick Starr Reading Series (Igniting The Alabaster You!), Mosaic Theater (The Black Jew Thing co-written with Alexis Spiegel), The Amoralists Theater Company (Bones, Bonez, Bone$), Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (Muva Death) , National Black Theater (The Ballad O’ Nigg-O-Lee) and Pillsbury House Theater (Sven, Ole & The Armageddon Myth). She is a two-time semi-finalist for The Princess Grace Fellowship (The Danger), semi-finalist at the Premiere Stages Play Festival (As Is) and finalist at the Fusion Film Festival (Up-And-Coming). Stacey was a 2015-2016 Dramatist Guild Fellow, 2017-2018 Playwrights’ Center Many Voices Fellow, 2018 Sundance Theater Lab Fellow, and is a 2018-2021 Playwrights’ Center Core Writer Lead Author. She is a 2018-2019 member of the Goodman Theatre’s Playwrights Unit and Civilian R&D Group. She served as a writing assistant and script coordinator for the first season of “She’s Gotta Have It”, The Series. Stacey’s work celebrates and explores blackness, black identity, black history, body politics, and the dilemma of living as ‘other’.

Since 2001, MTC has awarded a total of 94 commissions through the Sloan Foundation program. MTC first collaborated with the Sloan Foundation in 2000 on David Auburn’s Tony Award-winning production and Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Proof. MTC’s partnership with the Sloan Foundation has expanded to include several annual commissions for writers as well as production grants to stage Sloan-related works. In addition to Proof, Sloan has supported MTC productions of Charlotte Jones’ Humble Boy, Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s adaptation of An Enemy of the People, Sharr White’s The Other Place, Nell Benjamin’s The Explorers Club, Constellations and Incognito by Nick Payne and Continuity by Bess Wohl.

Since partnering with the Sloan Foundation, MTC has commissioned the following writers: Brittany K. Allen, Kevin Armento, Jeff Augustin, Courtney Baron and Juliana Nash, Jaclyn Backhaus, Clare Barron, Stephen Belber, Nell Benjamin, Glen Berger, Eboni Booth, Nina Braddock, Sarah Burgess, Christopher Chen, Steve Cosson, EV Crowe, Lisa D’Amour, April De Angelis, Jessica Dickey, Charles Evered, Kendall Feaver, Stella Feehily, Halley Feiffer and Joshua Schmidt, Selina Fillinger, Nick Gandiello, Gracie Gardner , Madeleine George, Melissa James Gibson, Daniel Goldfarb, Rinne Groff, Dipika Guha, Alan Harris, Jiréh Breon Holder, Tom Holloway, Phillip Howze, Jessica Huang, Sam Hunter, Ron Hutchinson, Nathan Jackson, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Nick Jones, Deirdre Kinahan, Lucy Kirkwood, Bryony Lavery, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Kenneth Lin, Ethan Lipton, Craig Lucas, Martyna Majok, Caroline V. McGraw, Michael Mitnick, Peter Morris, Hannah Moscovitch, Itamar Moses, Rona Munro, Brett Neveu, Barney Norris, Jieha e Park, Nick Payne, Greg Pierce, Max Posner, Hannie Rayson, Melissa Ross, Heidi Schreck, Mark Schultz, Jen Silverman, Eric Simonson, Charly Evon Simpson, Al Smith, Dava Sobel, Celine Song, Deborah Stein, Simon Stephens, Shelagh Stephenson, Andrew Thompson, Sarah Treem, Catherine Trieschmann, James Anthony Tyler, John Walch, Anne Washburn, Jason Wells, Michael West, Beau Willimon, Bess Wohl, Alexandra Wood, Alexis Zegerman, and Anna Ziegler.