Theatre Residency Program Supports 11 Playwrights

Article excerpt

ELEVEN PLAYWRIGHTS AND theatres have been selected for the 2004 NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights, developed and administered by Theatre Communications Group in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, and supported in part by the Ford Foundation. The program was created to afford playwrights the opportunity to create new work while in residence at a host theatre and to become an integral part of the theatre's artistic life and community activities. Each of the 11 playwrights will receive $25,000, and host theatres will receive $4,500 to help support the residencies.

In a new feature of the program, the playwrights will receive up to an additional $1,000 to provide for individual ongoing life needs, such as health insurance, child care or aging parental care. In addition, Ford will fund the first-ever convening of playwright recipients and support their attendance at the TCG National Conference in June.

Ben Cameron, executive director of TCG, said, "The Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights continues to identify exceptional writers who have brought their talent and dedication to the American theatre. The residencies will nurture the relationships between the artists and their host theatre companies, which will reach far into the theatre's community. We are grateful to the NEA for its support and for recognizing the important contributions, beyond their plays, that play-wrights bring to theatres."

Gigi Bolt, director of theatre and musical theatre at the NEA, said, "Playwrights need time to write, a sustaining theatrical home, and a vital relationship with community. The program was created to respond to these needs and to honor America's gifted playwrights. With gratitude to our valued partners, TCG and the Ford Foundation, the Endowment congratulates the 2005 program participants and looks forward with anticipation to their future work."

Roberta Uno, program officer for arts and culture at the Ford Foundation said, "TCG has been a leader in the arts field in valuing and supporting individual artists. NEA support continually reaches across the country to aid artists and their communities. The Theatre Residency Program links exemplary artists to distinguished theatre companies--the ideas and work that results goes beyond a single project."

The recipients are:

* Lisa D'Amour will be in residence at Infernal Bridegroom Productions in Houston. Her new play, Hide Town, will examine society's desire for security and its urge to normalize the unfamiliar. D'Amour and the company will also take part in the Houston Writers in the Schools program, which helps students develop their creative and analytic skills.

* Joann Farias will be in residence at Miracle Theatre Group in Portland, Ore. She will work on her play Oscar Goes to Mexico, based in part on the Mayan sacred text the Popol Vuh, with a contemporary setting. Farias will also teach playwriting and performance workshops and serve as an artist-educator and mentor for young Latino participants in the company's community programs.

* Kirsten Greenidge will be in residence at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. Her new work is The Curious Walk of the Salamander, a contemporary story about the struggles between a 15-year-old girl and her divorced parents. As part of her outreach work on the program, Greenidge will serve as the lead instructor for YOUTH INK: the Power of Playmaking, Woolly Mammoth's in-school playwriting program.

* Noah Haidle will be in residence at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, Calif., and will write Local Time, a 12-play cycle. He will also participate in the theatre's Neighborhood Conservatory program, an after-school activity that brings the art of theatre to underserved and culturally diverse youth.

* Jordan Harrison will write a "time-jumping pop fairy tale" in which the music of 1960s girl groups collides with Richard Wagner's "Liebestod" at the palace of Mad King Ludwig. …