What's Happening!

  • OUR 2024 SEASON HAS COME TO AN END

    The last six months were the busiest in our history. We started with Winterworks at Houghton Hall in January, followed by six weeks of Grief Hotel at the Public in the spring, and we rounded it all out with Summerworks at the Wild Project, where we managed to cram in 47 performances over seven weeks.

    Some of you saw it all, some just a piece, and some met our work for the first time. We were thrilled to share it with all of you.

    Here are some photos and essays from the season, to tide you over until we have work to share again in the fall (or when we see you at our gala honoring dots!)

    Lastly: We had our most successful season at the box office ever. If you were there, you know it was full to overflowing. And you might remember that your ticket was pretty affordable—maybe even free. That’s important to us.

    But what that means is, even when we sell out all the time, tickets only cover a fraction (about 1/7th) of what it all costs, especially considering we pay people better every year (That’s important to us too!)

    Throughout the year, we support hundreds of artists, mostly early in their careers, whether in our writers or directors groups, readings, workshops, commissions, retreats, or in production. So, if you can, make a donation today and be a part of our effort to pay artists, to make beautiful, affordable work, and to do it even better next year!

  • SAVE THE DATE FOR OUR ANNUAL GALA

    As we prepare to tech our 10th collaboration with the design collective dots – and as they prepare for the Tony Awards this week – we are thrilled to announce we’ll be celebrating them at our gala on October 7th! The annual gala is a fundraising cornerstone, as well as a stylish, fun and deeply-felt event, which will be held once again at the industrial chic Etsy headquarters. Tickets at info HERE

  • ANNOUNCING SUMMERWORKS 2024

    We’ll be back at the Wild Project May 16th through June 29th with the 27th iteration of SUMMERWORKS, featuring: Usus by T. Adamson, directed by Emma Miller; Coach Coach by Bailey Williams, directed by Sarah Blush; and Find Me Here by Crystal Finn, directed by Caitlin Sullivan. Tickets on sale now! Learn more & get yours here

  • MEET THESE WRITERS DURING SUMMERWORKS

    Join us during Summerworks for free afternoon readings of plays by 10 exceptional playwrights. First, we’re teaming back up with Brown University’s MFA Playwriting Program in the Department of Theatre Arts & Performance Studies to present readings of plays by two graduating playwrights. CLICK FOR MORE

     

    Then we’ll present eight readings of work-in-progress by the 23/24 Early-Career Writers’ Group. CLICK HERE TO RSVP

  • GRIEF HOTEL'S MAGNIFICENT ENCORE RUN AT THE PUBLIC THEATER

    We were thrilled to bring Summerworks 2023’s Obie-winning hit production Grief Hotel back for a six-week run at The Public Theater, in partnership with our friends New Georges. It was very special to dig back into the play and production with the exceptional group of artists who made it, and such a joy to share it with so many more people. We had a tremendous run – sold out, extended and beloved by critics and audiences – thank you to all who attended and to all who made it possible. CLICK HERE TO READ ESSAYS AND MORE ABOUT THE SHOW

  • NEW PLAY DIRECTING FELLOWSHIP APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED

    We received a record number of applications for the 24/25 New Play Directing Fellowship – thank you to everyone who submitted. We’ll be back in touch by July and applications will open for the next cohort in Feburary 2025. CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT THIS PROGRAM

  • 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.

  • WINTERWORKS 2024

    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!

     

  • 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

CLUBBED THUMB’S 23/24 NEW PLAY DIRECTING FELLOWSHIP

We’re excited to introduce you to the incoming cohort of artists for the New Play Directing Fellowship. These directors and playwrights will soon begin developing their new plays with Playwrights Horizons Theater School student and alumni actors. In January, they’ll present these pieces during Winterworks.

This year’s fellowship features: Miranda Cornell directing CHAIRS by Hayley Stahl; Lauren Zeftel directing My Six Therapists by Julia Izumi; and Carsen Joenk directing Watch Me by Justice Hehir.

Directors Anne Kauffman and Daniel Aukin will once again oversee the program, with other mentor directors, to be announced.

Miranda Cornell is a Jew-panese theater director and creator with a passion for stories that engage the dialectic, the sincere, and the strange. She has directed and developed work with Roundabout, Ma-Yi, Playwrights Realm, Yale Summer Cabaret, Mercury Store, EST/Youngblood, 24 Hour Plays, The Brick, Leviathan Lab, YES Theatre, New Ohio/Ice Factory, NYMF, and universities around the country. Select associate/resident director credits: ‘The Outsiders’ (La Jolla Playhouse & upcoming Broadway), ‘Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord’ (NYTW/LJP/PCS), ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ (Broadway/Tour), ‘The Doctor’ and ‘Enemy of the People’ (Park Avenue Armory), and The TEAM. She was the 2020 Van Lier Fellow in Theater with the Asian American Arts Alliance, a member of the Roundabout Directors Group, and a 2050 Artistic Fellow at NYTW. BA: Vassar College. mirandacornell.com

Hayley Stahl is a writer from Michigan. Her work has been supported by MacDowell, Yaddo, and Clubbed Thumb. She holds a BA in film from the University of Michigan and an MFA in playwriting from Hunter College.

Lauren Zeftel (she/her) is a Brooklyn based storyteller who creates with and for those whose experiences defy simple expression. Recently, Lauren directed the world premieres of AMBITION by Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin, CIRCUS TRICK by Addie Ulrey, and …COLLECTIVE NOUN… by Haleh Roshan. For three years, she was a founder, co-producer, and resident director for PLAYxPLAY which presented the work of 15 playwrights, 23 directors, and over 200 actors. Lauren served as the Associate Director to Rachel Chavkin on the commercial run and national tour of Bess Wohl’s SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS and on James + Jerome’s INK: A PIECE FOR MUSEUMS (co-dir. Annie Tippe, Under the Radar/The Met Museum). She is a two time Drama League Resident Artist, a former Playwrights Horizons Directing Fellow, and an alumna of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, the Mercury Store Directors Lab, and the Williamstown Directing Corps. BFA: NYU/Tisch, MFA: Brooklyn College. www.laurenza.me

Julia Izumi (she/her) Plays include Regretfully, So the Birds Are (Playwrights Horizons/WP Theater), miku, and the gods. (ArtsWest), Sometimes the Rain, Sometimes the Sea (Rorschach Theatre), and others. Her work has been developed and presented at Manhattan Theatre Club, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Bushwick Starr, The COOP, Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Seattle Rep, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Williamstown Theatre Festival, NNPN/Kennedy Center MFA Playwrights’ Workshop and CAATA’s National Asian-American Theatre ConFest. She received the inaugural OPC Dr. Kerry English Award, KCACTF’s Darrell Ayers Playwriting Award, Theater Masters’ Visionary Playwright Award, NY Society Library’s Artist Grant and a Puffin Artists’ Grant. Former LMCC Workspace Resident, Civilians R&D Group Member, and Clubbed Thumb’s Early-Career Writers’ Group Member. Current New Dramatists Resident. Current commissions: True Love Productions, MTC/Sloan, Playwrights Horizons, Seattle Rep 20×30. MFA: Brown University. www.juliaizumi.com

Carsen Joenk is a multidisciplinary artist who embraces the weird, wild, and unfamiliar within ensemble-driven processes. As a director, she is a cardboard, glitter, and dance-pop enthusiast interested in work that uses stylized theatricality as a means of entertainment, conversation, and dissidence. Much of her work lives at the intersection of sound and story; as a sound designer, her work has been heard across theatre, film, podcasts, and new media. Carsen is the co-artistic director of Rat Queen Theatre Company, a member of the 2020-2022 Roundabout Directors Group, and a resident artist with New Light Theater Project. Carsen has been a Wingspace Directing Mentee, FAIR recipient at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, National Alliance of Musical Theatre directing observer, and member of the Mercury Store’s Directing Lab. She has developed and presented work with Colt Coeur, Rattlestick, Fresh Ground Pepper, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Seattle University, Ice Factory // New Ohio, La MaMa ETC, Art House Productions, and more.

Justice Hehir is a doula and playwright whose work explores sexuality and the mechanics of vulnerability. She is a member of Youngblood at EST, a 2023/2024 New Georges Audrey Resident, and a 2023 New York Theater Workshop Adelphi Resident. She is developing her play “the deodand” this fall with The Alcove New Play Program at the Lucille Lortel Foundation. She received a Clubbed Thumb Constitution Commission and with the support of New Georges co-authored “the wish: a manual for a last-ditch effort to save abortion in the united states through theater,” a free, downloadable play about abortion rights released May 2022. She is currently under commission by Lin Manuel Miranda’s Family Foundation, along with her co-authors, creating a companion piece for “the wish.” MFA, Playwriting, 2018, Hunter College (under the tutelage of Annie Baker and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins); BA, 2016, Women’s and Gender Studies and English, Rutgers University.


PREVIOUS FELLOWS:

2022/23: KEDIAN KEOHAN, NEMUNA CEESAY and DARA MALINA
2021/22:
BLAYZE TEICHER, TARA ELLIOTT and JOSIAH DAVIS
2020/21:
 MICHAELA ESCARCEGA, LEONIE BELL, NANA DAKIN, ARPITA MUKHERJEE, RACHEL GITA KARP, ESTEFANÍA FADUL, KEENAN TYLER OLIPHANT and JOAN SERGAY 
2019/20: CAITLIN SULLIVAN, ANDRÉS LÓPEZ-ALICEA and EMMA MILLER
2018/19: KATE EMINGER, TARA AHMADINEJAD and SARAH BLUSH
2017/18: SARAH HUGHES, TAYLOR REYNOLDS and LILY RIOPELLE
2016/17: CAITLIN RYAN O’CONNELL, CHRISTINA ROUSSOS and LA WILLIAMS
2015/16: SANAZ GHAJARRAHIMI, LILLIAN MEREDITH, JAY STULL and KATE HOPKINS