Obie Award winner Lisa Kron ( Well, 2.5 Minute Ride) and Pulitzer Prize finalist Amy Freed ( Freedomland) will begin three-year residencies under the program in July. Olivier Award winner Katori Hall ( The Mountaintop) and Charles Randolph Wright ( Blue) will begin in January 2011. Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage ( Ruined, Intimate Apparel) and Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang ( M. Butterfly, Golden Child) have been announced as Project Residents. The highly accomplished playwrights will each be commissioned through the Institute to write a play, which will then be produced by Arena Stage.
The Institute, "designed as a center for research and development of effective practices, programs and processes for new play development in the American Theater" according to Arena press notes, was started in August 2009 with the announcement of a residency granted to D.C. playwright Karen Zacharias ( Legacy of Light), who began her work in January 2010.
The Institute is led by Arena Stage's artistic director, Molly Smith, and its associate artistic director, David Dower, in collaboration with Georgetown University's Theater Department and Dr. Derek Goldman.