GRIEF HOTEL RETURNS FOR FOUR WEEKS AT THE PUBLIC THEATER
We are thrilled to announce that Grief Hotel – which ran to sold-out houses at Summerworks, and was recently recognized with three Obie Awards – will return for four weeks this spring, in residency at The Public Theater. And we’re excited to add that we’ll be bringing it back in partnership with our friends at New Georges. We hope you’ll join us (or join us again!) for this special production – CLICK FOR TICKETS
APPLY FOR THE CLUBBED THUMB NEW PLAY DIRECTING FELLOWSHIP
In this five-month new play directing intensive, three fellows work on 30-minute commissioned pieces with writers from the Clubbed Thumb community. These plays are developed over the course of a semester with Playwrights Horizons Theater School student and alumni actors, in rehearsal rooms at Playwrights Downtown. In January, the same plays are rehearsed in the same rooms in quick processes with professional actors, and performed as part of Winterworks: a five-day industry showcase.
CONGRATULATIONS - AND A SAVE THE DATE
This weekend, we were delighted by the news that Maryann Plunkett, dots, Liza Birkenmeier and Tara Ahmadinejad had all received Obie Awards for their work on Summerworks. Richly Deserved!
Maybe you are one of the many many people who heard how amazing Liza, Tara and dots’ work on Grief Hotel was, and were sorry to have missed it??
WELL GUESS WHAT! It’s coming baaaack…. this spring! Location to be announced when ticket sales open — but SAVE THE DATE!
WINTERWORKS 2024 HAS COME TO A CLOSE
Thank you to the hundreds of people who joined as at Houghton Hall for the 9th annual Winterworks. We were so proud of the work these amazing artists made — and we managed to cram everyone in to share it.
Happy new year! We’re back with our 9th Annual Winterworks – a progressive performance of three short-ish plays, which culminates our New Play Directing Fellowship – featuring:
Lauren Zeftel directing MY SIX THERAPISTS by Julia Izumi
Carsen Joenk directing WATCH ME by Justice Hehir
Miranda Cornell directing CHAIRS by Hayley Stahl
with an incredible ensemble of actors. There are only 7 showings, and capacity is extremely limited! Tickets are free, but an RSVP is required.
MEET THE INCOMING COHORTS OF OUR EARLY-CAREER WRITERS' GROUP AND NEW PLAY DIRECTING FELLOWSHIP
We’re back in action with two new groups to introduce you to! Meet the Early-Career Writers – with whom we’ll convene for play reading and dinner eating, often joined by one of their estimable mentor writers – by CLICKING HERE. During Summerworks we’ll present readings of their plays-in-progress, so join us then to get to know their work.
And get to know the directors and writers in this season’s New Play Directing Fellowship by CLICKING HERE. Program mentors Anne Kauffman and Daniel Aukin, along with Clubbed Thumb staff, will support these new play processes in two phases: first with Playwrights Horizons Theater School students this fall, then in quick and scrappy workshop productions at Winterworks in January. Stay tuned for more info on that and more!
THANK YOU FOR MAKING OUR GALA A BIG SUCCESS!
This fall’s Gala, celebrating our dear friend and collaborator Anne Kauffman, was beautiful, moving and very fun. Thank you to everyone who attended, contributed a song or a bit of writing, volunteered, donated and otherwise supported this very special night.
See more photos from the event on our Instagram (and tag @clubbedthumb if you’re posting your own) — we’ll have more in the coming days!
At the event, we raised funds in honor of Anne to help us better support the directors in our community – and we happily exceeded our goal. But there’s no such thing as a late donation! If you’d like to contribute to the fund, CLICK HERE
SUMMERWORKS #26 HAS COME TO AN END
Thank you to the artists, craftspeople, technicians, production staff, interns and everyone else who made this year’s Summerworks possible. We are immensely proud of the work we put out into the world, and delighted by how it was received.
And thank you to thousands of audience members who came out to see a show – our largest attendance ever! It is moving to see so many old friends and so many new faces gathered together in the Wild Project. With each iteration, our community expands. Thanks for being a part of it.
We’ll be spending the next two months wrapping things up and making plans for the future. You’ll hear from us in a few weeks, as we announce the cohorts of next year’s programs, and a few other projects we have cooking.
Until then: have a great summer!
Maria, Michael & Rachel
LUNCH BUNCH RETURNS!
“DRAGON FRUIT! BLACK BELUGA LENTILS! PERFECTLY SOFT-BOILED EGGS!” Seven public defenders seek meaning, belonging, and some semblance of order via their frenzied quest for the perfect lunch – while battling ACS, inequality, burnout, and a big ole serving of existential dread.
It is with great delight that we share the news that, at long last, a big hit of both Winterworks AND Summerworks 2019, NYT’s Critic’s Pick Lunch Bunch is returning for a limited run, with The Play Company. CLICK FOR TICKETS
Meet the soon-to-be graduates of Brown University's MFA Playwriting Program
We’re excited to join forces once again with Brown University’s MFA Playwriting Program in the Department of Theatre Arts & Performance Studies
to present readings of plays by two new graduates: Alexa Derman and Jesús I. Valles, on Mon April 2nd and Tue April 3rd at Playwrights Horizons.
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
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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.