Building upon such notable playwrights as John Guare, Suzan-Lori Parks, David Rabe, Chris Durang, Wallace Shawn, Ntozake Shange, Sam Shepard, Tony Kushner and Nilo Cruz — who have a history of developing their work at The Public — the Off-Broadway playhouse will launch the first phase of the Initiative this fall with the creation of The Emerging Writers Group.
"The Public Theater was founded to give a stage for the full diversity of American voices," stated artistic director Oskar Eustis. "The Public Writers Initiative will allow us to provide a home to the writers we believe in, and encourage them to address the great issues of the time."
With Time Warner as its founding sponsor, The Public Writers Initiative's first program, The Emerging Writers Group, "will provide key resources and access to underrepresented talent selected through an open application process." This program will work alongside the expansion of The Public's existing development and commissioning programs through The Public Writers Initiative.
"We are honored to partner with The Public Theater to launch this ground breaking program," said Time Warner senior vice president of corporate responsibility Lisa Quiroz. "Through the Writers Initiative, The Public is not just supporting individual writers at different stages in their careers, they are helping to build a community of diverse voices and creativity that will strengthen theater and storytelling and enrich our culture for generations to come."
Application guidelines for The Emerging Writers Group will be announced shortly with writers to be selected for placement beginning this September. "The Public will identify and cultivate relationships with promising writers who, at the beginning of their careers, do not have access to The Public through traditional industry channels." Through the open-application process, The Public will annually select 12-15 writers to participate awarding them a three thousand-dollar stipend, biweekly writers group administered by The Public Literary Department, in-house readings, master classes led by established playwrights, career development opportunities and artistic and professional support from The Public's artistic staff. Beyond the Emerging Writers program, The Public Writers Initiative "will also significantly increase the number of readings, workshops and commissions for writers at all stages of their careers."