According to the companies, "SuperLab will support the creation of bold, risk-taking new works by living American playwrights."
SuperLab is supported by funds granted to Clubbed Thumb by Metlife/Theatre Communications Group's A-ha! Program, "created to foster creative thinking and action among its member theatres."
The two "like-minded companies will join forces to produce a six-play development lab. Clubbed Thumb and Playwrights Horizons, who share a commitment to advancing distinctive new voices, will bridge a gap between downtown and uptown theatre sensibilities, methodologies and artist rosters, expanding the range of experience and opportunity for all."
Clubbed Thumb's producing artistic director Maria Striar says, "I proposed this program to TCG out of a desire to do more to get our artists and their work to broader audiences, and to weave some collaborative tissue between Clubbed Thumb and larger organizations for our mutual benefit. I like to think that Clubbed Thumb has been an incubator for some of the most interesting theater careers out there, and Playwrights Horizons has given many of them their next home. Adam Greenfield [Playwrights Horizons' director of new play development] and I have been talking about plays for years, so this is an organic partnership."
Over the course of the 2010-2011 theatre season, Striar and Greenfield will work together "to identify six promising new in-progress works to be fully supported by a malleable, artist-driven week-long lab to take place monthly from November through April." The following SuperLabs have already been scheduled:
Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England by Madeleine George
Annie Bosh Is Missing by Janine Nabers
The Many Mistresses of Martin Luther King by Andrew Dolan
3C by David Adjmi
"There is a perceived disconnect between the tastes and practices of larger and smaller theatre companies," Greenfield said in a statement. "But a look into the programming of Clubbed Thumb and Playwrights Horizons reveals again and again that we have a great deal in common."
Among the of artists who have found a home at both theatres are playwrights Sarah Ruhl, Jordan Harrison, Adam Bock, Rinne Groff, Ann Marie Healy, Anne Washburn and Gregory Moss; directors Pam MacKinnon, Trip Cullman and Anne Kauffman; actors Christina Kirk, Heidi Schreck and Tracee Chimo; and designers Louisa Thompson, Mark Barton, Leah Gelpe, David Zinn and David Korins.
Clubbed Thumb, according to its mission, "commissions, develops, and produces funny, strange, and provocative new plays by living American writers. Since its founding in 1996, the company has earned four Obie Awards and presented plays in every form of development, including over 75 full productions. Clubbed Thumb is a groundbreaker, with a remarkable track record for finding emerging artists and producing innovative new plays; a matchmaker, cultivating new relationships through development programs and productions; and an incubator, nurturing artists and their work, from first read-through to fully mounted production. Clubbed Thumb is committed to providing opportunities for women, and to improving the quantity and quality of women's roles in dramatic literature."
Playwrights Horizons, celebrating its 40th anniversary season, "is a writer's theatre dedicated to the support and development of contemporary American playwrights, composers and lyricists and to the production of their new work. Under the leadership of artistic director Tim Sanford and managing director Leslie Marcus, Playwrights Horizons continues to encourage the new work of veteran writers while nurturing an emerging generation of theater artists. Writers are supported through every stage of their growth with a series of development programs: script and score evaluations, commissions, readings, musical theatre workshops, Sharp and Mainstage productions. In its 40 years, Playwrights Horizons has presented the work of over 375 writers and is the recipient of numerous awards and honors."
For more information, contact Ann Thayer, SuperLab's project manager at SuperLab@playwrightshorizons.org, or at (212) 564-1235, extension 3148.