New Dramatists, the Tony-winning nonprofit devoted to developing new works by playwrights, has announced the names of five individuals who will receive seven-year residencies with the organization.
The five playwrights were selected from a pool of 269 applicants following an eight-month evaluation process. They are Marcus Gardley, Quiara Alegria Hudes, Melanie Marnich, Daniel Reitz, and Lucy Thurber. Space in the residency program has been created for these five dramatists because five other scribes are coming to the end of their seven-year terms—Luis Alfaro, Catherine Filloux, Arlene Hutton, Octavio Solis, and Paul Zimet.
Gardley, a poet-playwright, teaches creative writing at Columbia University. His lowercase-styled play, "dance of the holy ghosts," is slated for production at Yale Repertory Theatre in March 2006. Previous works (similarly styled in lowercase) include "(L)imitations of Life," produced at the Empty Space Theatre in Seattle; "like sun fallin in the mouth," mounted at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C.; and "livin tired," presented at the Yale Summer Cabaret.
Hudes' plays have been produced widely across the country. "Yemaya's Belly," for example, has been seen from Maine's Portland Stage Company to Portland, Ore.'s Miracle Theatre. Her play, "The Adventures of Barrio Grrrl!" is currently being produced in the Summer Play Festival next month in New York City. Her honors include the Clauder Prize (best play by a New England playwright), the Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting, and the Kennedy Center ACTF Latina Playwriting Award.
Marnich's play "Cradle of Man" is being developed this summer at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference; the work was previously a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and is slated for a full production at Florida Stage in January 2006. Her previous plays include "Quake," "Blur," "Tallgrass Gothic," "Beautiful Again," and "The Sparrow Project." Among her honors: two Jerome Fellowships, two McKnight Advancement Grants from The Playwrights' Center, and the Francesca Primus Prize.
Playwright and screenwriter Reitz makes his home in New York City, where such theatre groups as MCC Theater, Naked Angels, Playwrights Horizons, The Public Theater, and Ensemble Studio Theatre have helped to develop his works for the stage. In addition to receiving a Drama-Logue Award and fellowships from New York Foundation for the Arts, the Edward Albee Foundation, and the MacDowell Colony, among others, his adaptation of his play "Urban Folk Tales" into the feature film "Urbania" captured a variety of prizes in festivals nationwide.
Thurber, a former recipient of a Manhattan Theatre Club playwriting fellowship, has written seven plays: "Where We're Born," "Ashville," "Innocence Is A Sin," "Killers and Other Family," "Stay," "Monstrosity" and "Bottom of the World." The latter play was seen as part of the Tribeca Theatre Festival last fall and, before that, was given a workshop at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in the summer of 2004. She is a member of the MCC Playwrights' Coalition, Primary Stages' writing group, and 13P.