Signature's Resident Playwrights Group Welcomes Dramatists Martha Clarke and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
By Kenneth Jones
Multidisciplinary theatre-maker Martha Clarke and Brooklyn playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins have joined Signature Theatre Company's Residency Five program, which provides five-year residencies for multiple playwrights.
The program of the not-for-profit New York City company guarantees three full productions of new work over the course of each playwright's residency.
The previously announced artists currently in the Residency Five program are Annie Baker, Will Eno, Katori Hall, Kenneth Lonergan and Regina Taylor.
According to Signature, "Residency Five is the first program of its kind in the American theatre; going far beyond the traditional commissioning or workshop models, the program enables a diverse community of playwrights to build bodies of work. Residency Five playwrights receive a significant cash award, full health benefits, a stipend to attend theatre, access to Signature's resources and staff, and like all of our playwrights, a place at the center of the artistic process."
Clarke, a founding member of Pilobolus Dance Theatre and Crowsnest, has choreographed for Nederlans Dans Theater, American Ballet Theatre, Rambert Dance Company, and The Martha Graham Company, among others. As a director Clarke's many original productions include Vienna: Lusthaus, Miracolo d'amore, Endangered Species, An Uncertain Hour, The Hunger Artist, Vers La Flame and Garden of Earthly Delights. She directed the premiere of Christopher Hampton's Alice's Adventures Underground at the Royal National Theatre in London. She directed A Midsummer Night's Dream for the American Repertory Theatre and a new music/theatre work, Belle Epoque, based on the life of Toulouse Loutrec at Lincoln Center Theatre. Kaos, an evening of Pirandello's short stories presented at New York Theatre Workshop was awarded the first Tony Randall Foundation award in 2006. Clarke is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Award and grants from the NEA and Guggenheim Foundation. She has received the Drama Desk Award, two Obie Awards and the L.A. Critics Award. Angel Reapers, a collaboration with Pulitzer Prize winner Alfred Uhry (based on the Shakers) toured New England with performances at the Joyce Theater in New York City in 2011.
Jacobs-Jenkins is a Brooklyn-based playwright and dramaturg. His newest play, Appropriate, premieres at the Humana Festival in March 2013, and his play Neighbors will receive its U.K. premiere at the Hightide Festival in May 2013. His work has been seen at The Public Theater, PS122, Soho Rep, The Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles, Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis, CompanyOne in Boston, Theater Bielefeld in Bielefeld, Germany and the National Theatre in London. He is a Usual Suspect and a former New York Theatre Workshop Playwriting fellow, an alum of the Soho Rep Writers/Directors Lab, the Public Theater Emerging Writers Group, and Ars Nova Playgroup. His honors include a Princess Grace Award, the Dorothy Strelsin Playwriting Fellowship, the Paula Vogel Award, two residencies with the Sundance Theatre Lab, and a fellowship in playwriting from the New York Foundation for the Arts. He holds an M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU and is working on commissions from Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 and Yale Repertory Theater.
The planning and launch of Residency Five is supported, in part, by funds from the City of New York Theater Subdistrict Council, LDC and the City of New York.
Tickets for David Henry Hwang's The Dance and The Railroad and Bill Irwin and David Shiner's Old Hats are currently on sale.
Tickets to Lanford Wilson's The Mound Builders go on sale Jan. 29.
Signature's three-venue home is in the Pershing Square Signature Center on West 42nd Street. To purchase tickets or for more information on all Signature productions, call the Signature Theatre Box Office (212) 244-7529) or visit signaturetheatre.org.
Signature Theatre is under the leadership of James Houghton (founding artistic director) and Erika Mallin (executive director).
Tickets to the initial runs of all Signature productions at The Pershing Square Signature Center are $25, part of the groundbreaking Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access, a program that guarantees affordable and accessible tickets to every Signature production for the next 20 years.
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