What's Happening!

  • MEET THE CASTS AND DESIGN TEAMS FOR SUMMERWORKS 2022

    Tickets are on sale now for The 25th Summerworks – running May 20th through July 2nd at the Wild Project. We’re thrilled to announce initial casting and design teams for these three plays – READ MORE AND GET YOUR TICKETS HERE

  • APPLY FOR CLUBBED THUMB'S NEW PLAY DIRECTING FELLOWSHIP

    Applications are now open for the 2022-2023 cohort of Clubbed Thumb’s New Play Directing Fellowship. Directors who have at least 3 years of experience outside of an academic environment, will not be in grad school in the coming year and plan to be in NYC September 2022 through January 2023 are welcome to apply now through May 1st. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

  • THE 25th SUMMERWORKS

    Oh Summerworks, how we’ve missed you! With your idiosyncratic, fast, funny plays. On a warm summer evening with the garage door rolled up and a cold drink in hand – what could be better? We’re thrilled to be back at the Wild Project, May 20 – July 2, with three new plays we love. Please join us – we miss you too! CLICK FOR INFO & TICKETS

  • A SONG OF SONGS

    We are delighted to support this new work from Agnes Borinsky (playwright of Summerworks 2017’s Of Government), and directed by Machel Ross (who interned for us many years ago)! A Song of Songs is produced by The Bushwick Starr and Jeremy O. Harris, in partnership with El Puente. Performances May 10 – 27: CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS AND INFO

  • WINTERWORKS 2022: MEET THE DIRECTORS

    Clubbed Thumb’s Directing Fellowship just concluded, with our seventh-annual Winterworks! Through planning, a great deal of testing, enormous goodwill from the company of artists – and perhaps a shake of luck – we managed to do the whole program in person, and are so glad we did.

    Since attendance capacity (and our ability to see each others’ faces) was very limited this year, we put together a short video chat with the directors and mentor / program co-founder Anne Kauffman. CLICK HERE TO WATCH

  • ANNOUNCING OUR NEXT BIENNIAL COMMISSION

    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. Today (December 22, 2021) we are pleased to announce our next Biennial Commission: Your Community Theater. CLICK HERE to read the prompt

  • MEET THE ARTISTS IN OUR 21/22 EARLY-CAREER INCUBATOR PROGRAMS

    We’re excited to be back in-person with two new cohorts of writers and directors – read about those groups HERE and HERE, and stay tuned for information about how to get to know their work. And we’re also thrilled to have a new Producing Fellow—Gabby Farrah—on our team. Welcome Gabby!

  • EARLY-CAREER WRITERS' GROUP READING SERIES

    We’re pleased to introduce you to the work of the 16 playwrights who made up the last two cohorts of our Early-Career Writers’ Group – all of whom chose to postpone their readings until we could safely gather in person.

    It’s a tightly-packed schedule of two plays per day, Tuesday through Friday, October 5th through 15th at the Wild Project. We are excited to finally get to celebrate these writers and hope you can join us – CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO!

  • OUR NEW ANTHOLOGY - ON SALE NOW

    We’ve been eager to put out a second anthology since Funny, Strange, Provocative was published in 2007, and the last year finally provided us with the time to take on this long-awaited project. We are thrilled to announce that Unusual Stories, Unusually Told, published by Bloomsbury/Methuen, is now available!

    In it you’ll find seven Clubbed Thumb plays that span 18 years of our history, as well as essays and interviews about the work, and the often atypical processes that led to their productions.

    Read more about the book and get your discounted copy (and our first anthology) HERE

  • EAT YOUR FEELINGS - three short videos about taking care of ourselves and each other

    Over the past few months we’ve been commissioning Clubbed Thumb artists to make short videos while we wait for theaters to re-open. We’re pleased to bring you the first installment of this initiative, a series created by Directing Fellowship alumnae Kate HopkinsKate Eminger and Caitlin Sullivan.

    It began as a chance to check-in with various CT artists during the pandemic – but quickly became a much deeper investigation of our community, of how we rely on one another, and how we might rebuild and reimagine a better future. This first episode features actress, playwright and good friend Crystal Finn cooking with her daughter Delphina (follow along from home with the recipe on the left).


    The series also features an organization which started in March to address food insecurity in New York – EV Loves NYC. Their work is crucial and ongoing, and we hope the videos inspire you to spread the word about what they do, volunteer and donate. They need our help.

    Click here to learn more & donate to EV Loves NYC

    And stay tuned for two more episodes, featuring Chinaza Uche & Caitlin Zoz and Mel Ng – as well as more commissioned work from a variety of Clubbed Thumb artists, coming soon to CT/TV!

THE CLUBBED THUMB BIENNIAL COMMISSION

SUBMISSIONS FOR THE 2022 BIENNIAL COMMISSION ARE NOW CLOSED.
Proposals will be read throughout the spring and a winner or winners announced this summer.

*****

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. We are pleased to announce our next Biennial Commission.

In high school, we put on Noel Coward plays with our friend Mellie Anderson in Strauss Hall—an old library room in Milton, Massachusetts. Mellie eventually moved to Maine where she has been a longtime participant in her local theater scene. She is also an avid Clubbed Thumb fan, and helped us concoct the 2022 Biennial Commission: Your Community Theater.

For this commission, we invite you to write using the constraints common for community theaters – smaller, non-professional theaters operating under specific constraints, in which many or most of the “makers” are not full-time theater artists. But think: Community theater with a Clubbed Thumb aesthetic. Our hope is that these commissions inspire unusual stories, unusually told for small theaters outside of big cities, all across the United States.

THE FORM:

  • It should have short scenes – no one lasting longer than 15 minutes. (It could be a collection of very short plays, so long as they are cumulative.)
  • No one ever speaks more than three sentences in a row.
  • There should only be three stage directions.
  • Only employ language and situations that you would be comfortable asking a five-year-old or an eighty-year-old to hear, speak and/or enact.

THE CAST:

  • It’s helpful for much of the casting to be flexible, so the roles can be filled with whomever is in a given community.
  • That said, the majority of these parts should be for or be able to be played by Women+.
  • There should be parts for many people of many ages – with roles fairly evenly dispersed (think ensemble instead of star vehicles).

THE PRODUCTION:

  • It should take place in a slightly heightened, non-naturalistic world.
  • The design should not require a lot of money to accomplish, nor should it assume that the play will be performed in a neutral space. It should invite a creative, crafty display of virtuosity.

THE CONTENTS:

  • Your proposed play should involve the solving of a mystery – but not a murder or violent crime.
  • It should reckon with idealism in an honest or unexpected way.
  • It should feature a moment of mockery gone wrong.
  • It must also contain at least four of the following ingredients:
    • – A loud, delightful, robust cackle of laughter
    • – A thank-you note or a weekly call
    • – Unusual female (physical) strength
    • – Throwing heirlooms into the sea
    • – An island or a garden or both
    • – A squandered gift
    • – A brief reenactment of part of an episode of Columbo
    • – The phrase “good red herring” or “get the cake” or both

And please consider the general parameters of a Clubbed Thumb play.


DEADLINE: SUNDAY, MARCH 20th, 11:59PM EDT — SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW CLOSED.

Many thanks to Mellie Anderson, Agnes Borinsky, Amy Rose Marsh, Erin Courtney and Lisa D’Amour for their help with this prompt.

CLICK HERE to read commission prompts from past years.