Cruz, Giering, Tolan, Guirgis Among Sundance/Ucross Artists in February 2006

News   Cruz, Giering, Tolan, Guirgis Among Sundance/Ucross Artists in February 2006
The Sundance Institute Theatre Program and the Ucross Foundation of Wyoming announced participants in the seventh season of their collaborative project, The Sundance Playwrights Retreat at the Ucross Foundation.
Nilo Cruz
Nilo Cruz Photo by Aubrey Reuben

This residency program offers five playwrights and one composer three weeks of focused time and the freedom to explore their creativity at an idyllic working ranch in Wyoming. The 2006 artists, in residence Feb. 6–24, will be playwrights David Adjmi (Strange Attractors), Nilo Cruz (winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Anna in the Tropics), Stephen Adly Guirgis (Jesus Hopped the A Train, Our Lady of 121st Street), Hilly Hicks (a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and the Columbia University Graduate School of the Arts who penned The Home Life of Polar Bears), Kathleen Tolan (The Wax, Memory House) and composer Jenny Giering (The Mistress Cycle).

The artists receive lodging and meals at the ranch in addition to all transportation for the duration of the three-week retreat. The participating artists are selected and invited by Philip Himberg, Sundance Theatre Program producing artistic director. Mame Hunt, a staff dramaturg for the Sundance Theatre Program, will be in residence as a creative advisor at Ucross.

"The artists in this seventh annual Ucross/Sundance Theatre collaboration reflect Sundance's commitment to supporting playwrights and theatre composers at different stages in their careers," remarked Himberg, in a statement. "Our ongoing relationship with the esteemed Ucross Foundation is a vital partnership for Sundance Institute. While our July Theatre Lab in Utah and December Lab at White Oak in Florida focus on rehearsal time with actors, the Ucross residency offers writers a quiet environment in which to begin or refine new work. This fits in perfectly with Sundance's vision for play development, which looks to support artists at various steps in their writing process."

Projects that began their life at the Sundance Playwrights Retreat at the Ucross Foundation include Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife (a Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award winner) and Adam Guettel and Craig Lucas' musical The Light in the Piazza (a Tony Award winner).

* Located on a 22,000-acre working cattle ranch at the westernmost edge of the Great Plains, the Ucross Foundation was founded in 1981 and has awarded Fellowships to over 1,000 writers and artist in all disciplines from around the United States and the world.

The Residency Program "recognizes excellence in the arts, literature and natural sciences by supporting the work of individuals who have demonstrated exceptional achievement or potential for making a significant contribution to their field of inquiry and to society."

Through the Foundation's creative retreat and private studio space, public art gallery, cattle ranch, nature preserve and abundant wildlife, Ucross "is a true living laboratory in which the diverse interests of conservation, the arts and the natural environment work together on mutually compatible goals."

The Sundance Theatre Program is a program of the Sundance Institute. Through its developmental activities, the Program "identifies and assists emerging theatre artists, contributes to the creative growth of established artists, and encourages and supports the development of new work for the stage." More than 45 Sundance Theatre projects have gone on to productions at theatres across the United States, Mexico and Europe, in the last seven years.

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