Kirsten Greenidge Is Playwright-in-Residence at D.C.'s Woolly Mammoth

News   Kirsten Greenidge Is Playwright-in-Residence at D.C.'s Woolly Mammoth
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., announced it is one of 11 theatres chosen as a grant recipient in the latest NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights, allowing Kirsten Greenidge to be Playwright-in-Residence there to April 2006.

The program was created "to afford playwrights the opportunity to create new work in residence at a host theatre and to become an integral part of the theatre's artistic life and community activities."

The NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights was developed, and is administered by, Theatre Communications Group (TCG) in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and supported in part by The Ford Foundation.

Each of the 11 playwrights receives $25,000, while the host theatres receive $4,500 to enhance their ability to support the residencies.

"Playwrights need time to write, a sustaining theatrical home and a vital relationship with community," stated Gigi Bolt, director of theatre and musical theatre at the NEA. "The NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Program was created to respond to those needs and to honor America's gifted playwrights."

"An amazing career as a playwright has just started for Kirsten," said Woolly's director of new play development, Mary Resing. "Although she is young in age, her work has a maturity that has made it increasingly in demand at major theatres across the country. I find her unique voice as a writer and quirky view of the world outrageously fun." Kirsten Greenidge's residency at Woolly Mammoth (May 2005 to April 2006) "gives the theatre a unique opportunity to work with a playwright on a day-to-day basis for a sustained length of time."

As Playwright-in-Residence, Greenidge will develop The Curious Walk of the Salamander, a new work to be premiered by Woolly Mammoth, and will act as a lead teacher for The Art of Playmaking, Woolly's in-school playwriting program. Additionally, she will be an active member of the new play development department—participating in season planning, working with Woolly playwrights, serving as new play development liaison to the Woolly board of directors, and representing Woolly nationally.

"I really enjoy working with a theatre where plays such as mine are not an anomaly," stated Ms. Greenidge, "and Woolly Mammoth is a place that has already developed a vocabulary to discuss and successfully work on challenging new plays. I am also extremely excited to work with a theatre that has a strong history of developing unconventional plays by black writers, something I’ve found to be far less prevalent in this country than suits my needs as a developing black writer. Rather than being considered the black play, or the unconventional play, or the female play, it is refreshing to work in a community where my play is considered one of many."

Kirsten Greenidge's most recent play, Sans-Culottes in the Promised Land, was produced at the 2004 Humana Festival, along with a commissioned piece entitled Fast and Loose: An Ethical Collaboration. Upcoming productions of her plays include Rust (Magic Theatre) and Bossa Nova (commission, South Coast Rep).

Last year, she was Playwright-in-Residence with P. 73 Productions and served on the National Selection Team for the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival. She's been commissioned by numerous theatres including Mixed Blood Theatre Company, The Huntington Theatre Company and South Coast Repertory, and her work has been presented at the Boston Theatre Marathon, Madison Repertory, Playwrights Horizons, New Dramatists, Sundance Theatre Retreat at UCross, The Mark Taper Forum, ASK Theatre Projects, Boston's Women On Top and the O'Neill. Greenidge attended Wesleyan University where she studied playwriting with Darrah Cloud, and earned her MFA at the Playwrights Workshop at the University of Iowa where she was a Barry Kemp Fellow.

Under the leadership of artistic director Howard Shalwitz and managing director Kevin Moore, Woolly Mammoth is recognized as a daring theatre company devoted to contemporary voices.

Its mission is "to ignite an explosive engagement between theatre artists and the community by developing, producing and promoting new plays that explore the edges of theatrical style and human experience, and by implementing new ways to use the artistry of theatre to serve the people of Greater Washington, D.C."

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