The Playwrights Realm will focus on writer support and development for its 2021–2022 season, forgoing any staged productions. The Off-Broadway theatre’s primary goal is to offer visible pathways toward improving all forms of access within the industry.
“It’s deeply embedded in our practice to take care of artists—particularly playwrights—first,” said Founding Artistic Director Katherine Kovner. “As the possibility of reopening circulated in the media, my first instinct was to reach out to our family of playwrights; a lot of them are not ready to jump back into writing, let alone presenting work, and we’re excited to provide ways in which they can get inspired and find time and resources to not only restart their practice, but also envision a whole new theatre industry.”
For the 2021–2022 season, The Realm Playwrights Program will open up to all playwrights who have participated since its founding in 2007. Resources include a writers group, a retreat, the provision of roundtable readings of their scripts with actors, as well as special events, classes, and industry opportunities.
The Realm will also offer financial help to inspire Recommitment, Replenishment, and Reimaging. Recommitment funds help playwrights carve out time to write, without owing The Realm a commission or any other kind of writing; Replenishment funds encourage playwrights to go to museums or galleries, buy books, take a trip—or do anything that may help them get inspired; Reimagining funds cover work on initiatives that seek to reshape the theatrical landscape, be it activism, community engagement, seed funding, or any other ways they want to be leaders in their communities.
For development, The Writing Fellowship will return this season, culminating in the INK’d Festival of New Plays as a live, in-person presentation. After launching in 2020 during the pandemic, Script Share will continue this fall, bringing aspiring playwrights into dialogue with dramaturgs, literary managers, directors, and many other professionals working in new play development.
The group’s Radical Parent-Inclusion Project, which began in 2019 in conjunction with the Realm’s production of Anna Moench’s Mothers, will expand to offer caretaking refunds for all artistic collaborators and, for audience members of their online Community Programming as well.
The International Theatermakers Award, designed to recognize and provide assistance to international theatremakers making contributions to the American theatre, will also return. The ITA is a partnership between The Playwrights Realm and Dyer Harris LLP, a New York law firm whose focus is immigration for creative artists and professionals. Applications for the award, which will again be given to five artists, are open now through August 15 at 11:59 PM ET.
Throughout the year, the Realm will also develop a new production model that takes into account its anti-racism and anti-oppression learnings, as well as best practices offered by BIPOC activists and leaders.
Finally, The Playwrights Realm will continue to offer online programming, free of charge and available to all, within three tracks: Aspiring Playwrights, with classes and workshops that will cover the basics of getting started with playwriting; Theatre Lovers, with panels and interviews providing glimpses into the business of making theatre and spotlighting artists and administrators shaping the field; and Changemakers, with panels and plenaries around projects that envision a new way of doing theatre.
The winners of last year’s ITA—designer Alexandra Vásquez Dheming, director Danilo Gambini, designer Omar Madkour, playwright Jeton Neziraj, and designer Cha See—will virtually convene June 24 at 4 PM ET for a panel to answer any questions about their experiences of the application process. The panel will also explore the upcoming season as a whole. Click here to sign up.
For more information about the season, visit PlaywrightsRealm.org.