What's Happening!

  • We are pleased to announce the 2020/21 Clubbed Thumb Directing Fellows

    We struggled mightily to recalibrate this program in light of the many forces the last 7 months have brought to bear. This year’s iteration will take a very different shape than in years past, and we’re delighted to go on this journey of discovery with an expanded group of eight fellows: Leonie Bell, Nana Dakin, Michaela Escarcega, Estefanía Fadul, Rachel Gita Karp, Arpita Mukherjee, Keenan Oliphant and Joan Sergay and four mentors: Anne Kauffman, Daniel Aukin, Niegel Smith and Laurie Woolery. Read more about them HERE

  • Congratulations to the 2020 Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission winners, finalists and semifinalists

    We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Biennial Commission: Francesca Pazniokas and Jacob Perkins and to the 10 finalists and semifinalists also awarded this year. Read more HERE

  • What the Constitution Means to Me streaming on Amazon Prime, starting October 16th

    Though the national tour is on hold, you can still catch Heidi Schreck’s beloved play (which originated in Summerworks 2017) before the election.

    Filmed during their last week on Broadway, and directed for the screen by Marielle Heller, What the Constitution Means to Me will stream on Amazon Prime beginning October 16th.

  • Meet the next Early-Career Writers' Group

    We’re excited to get to know these eight writers over the course of the coming year, and to welcome them into the Clubbed Thumb fold: Nelson Diaz-Marcano, Allyson Dwyer, Nazareth Hassan, Johnny Lloyd, Cristina Luzárraga, Kathy Ng, Hanna Novak & Ruth Tang.

    They’ll be sharing their work (by Zoom for now) over the next eight months (and we hope to share it with you after that). Learn more about them HERE.


    Like everyone else right now, we’re in a holding pattern. In the meantime, click HERE to follow along with a fond look back at the last 24 years on our Instagram story, and read a recent Playbill article on the history of Summerworks HERE


    Every other year Clubbed Thumb invites playwrights to propose plays inspired by a particular prompt. The application is open to all, and read blind. The winning proposal(s) receive (or split) a $15,000 award and two years of development support. Read the prompt HERE


    Dear friends & supporters:

    It is with sadness that we announce we will be ending our run of Tumacho ahead of schedule. We believe it is just the responsible thing to do.


    We have reached out to ticket holders for cancelled performances – if  you have not heard from us, please reach out to michael@clubbedthumb.org


    We are so deeply proud of the work everyone has done on this production, and glad that we were able to share it with so many over the last few weeks. Thank you to everyone who made it possible.


    Maria, Michael & Quinn
    Clubbed Thumb


    We are very excited to share our upcoming Summerworks, featuring new plays by Gab Reisman, Angela Hanks and Rinne Groff – we’re on hold for the moment, but in the meantime you and read more about them HERE


    Our hit production from Summerworks 2016 returns for four weeks at the Connelly Theater – February 17 – March 21, 2020.


    When we first produced this play, in the summer of 2016, the question of whether a hopeless citizenry could overcome their despair and band together to fight their oppressor felt like a metaphor, a general moral query about, you know, being a better person. After three long years, we have a very different understanding of the need for communities to come together to resist.


    We have always loved Tumacho for its invitation to virtuosic comic performance, and for the slyness of its critique. Now it feels like a joyful way to gird our loins for the coming fight. We’ve wanted to revisit the show since our first short run, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be doing that right now.




    THANK YOU to everyone who attended Winterworks 2020!! We were delighted to introduce you to the work of our 19/20 Directing Fellows: ANDRÉS LÓPEZ-ALICEA, EMMA MILLER and CAITLIN SULLIVAN, directing new plays by MILO CRAMER, T. ADAMSON, and GRACIE GARDNER.

    Read more about the directors and the program HERE – and apply to be a part of the 20/21 cohort HERE

  • Hear Vivian Barnes's new play HEAP on Fri, Nov 22nd at 2pm

    Vivian won our 2018 open-application commission with the proposal for this play – and we are excited to be working on and sharing it with you this week. RSVP to natalie@clubbedthumb.org to save a seat.


    HEAP by Vivian J.O. Barnes
    Directed by Colette Robert
    with April Matthis, Will Dagger, Danielle Davenport, Marielle Young, Polly Lee, Mikumari Caiyhe, Layla Khoshnoudi and Brian Quijada

    A kaleidoscopic imagining of the book of Job seen through the eyes of his nameless wife and the denizens of their suburban cul-de-sac.

  • This summer's hit LUNCH BUNCH returns in 2020!

    We are very excited to let you know that our production from Summerworks 2019 will return in 2020, as a co-production with our friends at The Play Company.

    Lunch Bunch was born of a long, rich collaboration with Sarah, Tara and its other artists. It is very close to our hearts–and one of the most popular shows ever featured in Summerworks. How excellent to partner with PlayCo, whose work we love: two small companies sharing their resources to continue a beloved show’s growth and reach. MORE INFO HERE

  • Join us for a workshop presentation of Paul Cameron Hardy's new play!

    This play was a finalist for our 2017 Biennial Commission and we’re excited to be working on it this week with Paul and Tara. Join us!

    Untitled Dentist Play by Paul Cameron Hardy
    directed by Tara Ahmadinejad
    featuring: Susanna Guzman, Ellen Maddow, Purva Bedi, Kristin Villanueva, Drita Kabashi, Ned Einsenberg and Agnes Borinsky.

    Forced to attend the retirement party of the town’s most-celebrated orthodontist, Dr. Idalia Navas and her staff spin into a mild existential crisis.

    Fri, Oct 25th, 3pm at 440 Lafayette St
    RSVP to natalie @ clubbedthumb.org


    We have a new team of playwrights and we are delighted to introduce you to them: Crystal Finn, Deneen Reynolds, Justice Hehir, Aaron Ricciardi, Julia Izumi, Kori Alston, May Treuhaft-Ali, and Ryan Szelong. 

    Nominated and mentored by members of our mid-career alumni community, these eight writers will meet over the course of the year to develop their work, culminating in presentations during Summerworks.

    Read more about the playwrights and the program HERE.

    And say hello to this year’s Producing Fellows: Kathy Ng and Natalie Risk.

    Each year, two early-career creative producers assist on all programming, as well as casting, script evaluation, management and marketing under the guidance/mentorship of Clubbed Thumb staff, culminating in hands-on roles in Summerworks.


The year we launched this program, we flew by the seats of our pants, inventing as we went along. Each year we made substantive changes in response to the last year’s lessons.

We struggled mightily to recalibrate in light of the many forces the last 7 months have brought to bear. We will, once again, be inventing as we go. This year’s iteration will take a very different shape than in years past, and we’re delighted to go on this journey of discovery with an expanded group of both fellows (below) and mentors: Anne Kauffman, Daniel Aukin, Niegel Smith and Laurie Woolery. We don’t quite know where we will end up, but we are sure to learn a lot along the way.

Obviously, Winterworks must be recalibrated too. We’re working on that, so stay tuned! Until then, we are delighted to get to know these eight directors.

Joan SergayJoan Sergay is a Brooklyn-based director of new work, originally from Washington, D.C. She has worked at Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, Vineyard Theatre, The Play Company, Primary Stages, The Flea, The Tank, Two Headed Rep, and Dixon Place. She has also worked regionally at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C, and Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Rivendell Theatre, Citadel Theatre, and Piven Theatre in Chicago. Most recently, Joan was a 2019-2020 Playwrights Horizons Directing Fellow where she assisted Danya Taymor, Les Waters, and Tyne Rafaeli. She is a former Directing Apprentice at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Directing Fellow at Manhattan Theatre Club, and Producing Fellow at Clubbed Thumb. BA: Northwestern University. www.joansergay.com

Keenan Tyler OliphantKeenan Tyler Oliphant is a Theatre-maker and Director from Cape Town, South Africa. Keenan’s work is in the lineage of the South African communal theatre-making and storytelling rituals and traditions. It is deeply interested in the merging of disciplines, art mediums and forms in an attempt to expand the global understanding of theatre and to dismantle and destabilize western forms that seem to hold ideological hostage of the medium. Keenan is a founding member of Mixing Bowl Productions, an underground music theatre company which focuses on the promotion of alternate and contemporary music theatre works. Keenan is a MFA in Directing for Theatre candidate at Columbia University and has directed collaborative pieces at festivals around New York including Dixon Place’s Hot Fest, Samuel French Off- Off Broadway Festival and The International Human Rights Arts Festival. He has served as second assistant director to Rachel Chavkin and Raja Feather Kelly.

Estefanía FadulEstefanía Fadul is a NYC-based Colombian-American director and producer of new work. Recent work includes Carla’s Quince created with The Voting Project, Zoom Intervention by Noelle Viñas (Weston Playhouse, NYTimes Critics’ Pick), Christina Quintana’s Azul (Southern Rep) and Scissoring (INTAR), Stefan Ivanov’s The Same Day (Sfumato Theatre, Bulgaria), Preston Max Allen and Jessica Kahkoska’s Agent 355 (Chautauqua), and James Anthony Tyler’s Pranayama (Juilliard). Estefanía has developed new work at the Public Theater, Playwrights’ Realm, Long Wharf, Artists Rep, and MTF, among others. She is the inaugural recipient of New York Stage and Film’s Pfaelzer Award, and an alumna of the O’Neill/NNPN’s National Directors Fellowship, Foeller Fellowship at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Drama League Fall Fellowship and TV Directing Fellowship, Van Lier Fellowship at Repertorio Español, and NALAC Leadership Institute. She is a co-leader of the New Georges Jam, and a member of the Latinx Theatre Commons steering committee, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and SDC. B.A. Vassar College. www.estefaniafadul.com

Rachel Gita KarpRachel Gita Karp makes rigorously-researched performances about politics and public policy. Her current research focuses on reproductive health and rights, gender representation in politics, and voting. Rachel has developed and directed new performances about these topics and more through The Drama League, the Center for Artistic Activism, Irondale, Mabou Mines, Ars Nova, Actors Theatre of Louisville, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, The Wild Project, The Brick, The Flea, IRT, Dixon Place, Incubator Arts Project, Women Center Stage, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Orchard Project, and Barn Arts. Rachel is the 2020 Beatrice Terry Resident Director at The Drama League and is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and an affiliated artist with New Georges. BA, Columbia; MFA, Carnegie Mellon. At Carnegie Mellon Rachel was a John Wells Directing Fellow, which supported her academics, and a Milton and Cynthia Friedman Fellow, which supported her work in women’s policy research in Washington, D.C. www.rachelgitakarp.com

Arpita MukherjeeArpita Mukherjee (she/her/hers) is the Artistic Director and co-founder of Hypokrit Theatre Company. Upcoming: American Hunger by Nikhil Mahapatra (Dramatists Guild Foundation), Sometimes the Rain, Sometimes the Sea by Julia Izumi (Iowa State University). Her recent directing credits include Jump by Charly Evon Simpson (APAC), House of Joy by Madhuri Shekar (San Diego Rep), Quik Mart by Charles Gershman (The New Group – reading), One Way by Ben Bonnema and Christopher Staskel (NAMT), Citizen Scientist by CQ (Barrington Stage Company Playworks Weekend), Eh Dah? Questions For My Father by Aya Aziz (Next Door @NYTW), and Elements of Change by Divya Mangwani (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, UNICEF)..She is a 2019 SDC Denham Fellow, a 2018 – 2020 Womens Project Lab Member and a 2018 Eugene O’ Neill National Directing Fellow. Arpita is currently the book writer for Monsoon Wedding musical and is developing several film and TV projects in India and USA.

Nana DakinNana Dakin is a Thai American director of new work, classics and devised performance based in New York City. Her work pursues social equity by examining the way culture is constructed and unsettling dormant biases. Recent productions: WHITE PEARL (The Royal Court Theatre), an all-female production of Shakespeare’s RICHARD III (Lenfest Center for the Arts), DAMAGE JOY (B-Floor Theatre). Assistant Director: MARY JANE (NYTW), THE BACCHAE (Getty Villa, BAM Next Wave 2018), WILD GOOSE DREAMS (The Public Theater), CAMELOT (Lincoln Center Theater). New work development includes GOLDEN SHIELD by Anchuli Felicia King, a finalist for the 2020 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and HALF THE SKY by composer Tidtaya Sinutoke and bookwriter/lyricist Isabella Dawis, recipients of the 2020 Weston-Ghostlight New Musical Award. Nana was a 2050 NYTW Directing Fellow in 2018/19. MFA Theatre Directing: Columbia University. www.nanadakin.com

Leonie BellLeonie Bell is a German-American theater-maker based in New York. She creates fake family parties, mass lullabies, pseudo-historical excursions, and other theatrical maps that endow the audience with more creative powers and foster a momentary feeling of belonging amongst strangers. Leonie’s artistic practice involves an irreverent reverence for the irrational and a relentless desire for community. Her pieces are bilingual, highly-physical, interdisciplinary care-taking rituals intended to cause a ruckus (where snacks are always served). In NYC, she has presented work at Target Margin Theater, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Performance Space NY, The Brick, Center for Performance Research, and other venues. She is a recent participant of the Mabou Mines RAP 2019 & BAX Upstart 2018-2019. Leonie also facilitates the theater project LOCAL GRANDMA and designs sound. (BA from Bard College; MFA in Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College.) www.leoniebell.org

Michaela EscarcegaMichaela Escarcega is a multidisciplinary director, producer, sometimes actor that strives to create work that is decolonized, inclusive, experimental, and much much more brown. Tank Directorial credits include: Birthday in the Bronx by Paul Hufker (Tank 19/20 Season), By Jacqueline Wright (LadyFest 2018), Heredamos Nada (Darkfest 2018), Anne by Adi Eshman, and various works by Former Tank Co-Artistic Director, Rosalind Grush. Other directorial and dramaturgy credits include: When We Went Electronic (Caitlin Saylor Stephens), Chained (The Wild Project) and Angels in America, Part 1 (CSU, Northridge). Michaela was a 2018 Powerhouse resident at New York Stage and Film with The Sisyphus Project (Larry Biederman), and a member of the 2019 Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. Michaela holds a B.A. in Theater Arts with honors from CSU, Northridge. For her occasionally funny content, visit @mickadoodle on IG. For proof of serious artist work, visit michaelaescarcega.com.