MTC Engages Eight Playwrights to Address Science and Math Themes
By Kenneth Jones
Manhattan Theatre Club announced the 2011 recipients of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Initiative commissions, given to playwrights whose work will address topics of math, science and technology.
This year's eight commissioned writers are Daniel Goldfarb (Cradle & All), Anne Washburn (The Internationalist), Lisa D'Amour (Detroit), Samuel D. Hunter (Bright New Boise), Anna Ziegler (Photograph 51), Nick Payne (Wanderlust), Michael West (Freefall) and Hannie Rayson (Life After George). The above titles represent the writers' previous plays; the titles and content of their new Sloan-inspired work are yet to be revealed.
According to MTC, "The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has provided a grant to Manhattan Theatre Club to support the development of plays that address themes of math, science and technology or plays that depict scientists, mathematicians and engineers as major characters in order to bridge the divide between the arts and sciences."
MTC's director of artistic development Jerry Patch said in a statement, "No entity has done more to bridge the cultural gap between science and the dramatic arts than the Sloan Foundation. Their ongoing support for playwrights and play development is essential to the American theatre."
MTC first collaborated with the Sloan Foundation in 2000 with the production of David Auburn's Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Proof. MTC's partnership with the Sloan Foundation "has expanded to include multiple annual commissions for emerging, mid-level and established writers as well as a production grant to stage Sloan-related works." In addition to Proof, Sloan supported MTC's production of Charlotte Jones' Humble Boy in 2003.
Since partnering with the Sloan Foundation, MTC has commissioned a total of 37 writers including Craig Lucas, Shelagh Stephenson, Richard Bean, Simon Stephens, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Bryony Lavery, Rona Munro, Lucy Kirkwood, Beau Willimon, Itamar Moses, Melissa James Gibson, Liz Meriwether, Stephen Belber, Eric Simonson, Ron Hutchinson, Dava Sobel, Peter Morris, Brett Neveu, Rinne Groff, Mark Schultz and Catherine Trieschmann.
For more information, visit www.sloan.org.
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