Get ready for a whole host of new US coins. The Manhattan Theater Club has announced a new slate of playwright commissions through a new partnership with the Edgerton Foundation, as well as ongoing partnerships with Bobbie Olsen and other donors. In addition to several new commissions, the theater company has created a new work development laboratory to support works in progress throughout the year.
The Edgerton Foundation’s New Play Commissions will support original plays and musicals by established American artists that embody the full potential of great live theater. The first recipients: are Heather Christian (animal wisdom), Joshua Harmon (bad jews), Aleshea Harris (What to send when it breaks down), James Ijames (White) and Whitney White (Macbeth in stride), as well as Pulitzer winner Martyna Majok (Cost of life) in co-commission with the Almeida Theater and Qui Nguyen (vietgon) in co-order with the Geffen Playhouse.
MTC has awarded commissions to five additional writers through the Bobbie Olsen Play Commission program, which is funded by an endowment from MTC’s eponymous former board member. Recipients include Will Arbery (Heroes of the Fourth Turn), Khyon Hursey (Eastbound), Tony winner Simon Stephens (The curious incident of the dog in the night), Sanaz Toossi (wish you were Here) and Alexis Zegerman (fever syndrome). Playwrights Eboni Booth (Paris) and Dave Harris (Tambo and Bones) also received commissions through additional backers.
This season will also mark the start of Groundworks Lab, a year-round initiative that supports work in progress through artist-led workshops. Inaugural artists include Cristina Angeles and ak payne, York Walker and, in association with Ma-Yi Theater Company, Daniel K. Isaac and Ralph B. Peña.
MTC previously announced a new slate of commissions as part of its partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, awarded to J. Nicole Brooks, Diane Exavier, Franky D. Gonzalez, Charlie Oh, Kristin Slaney and Else Went.