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

What would we do without Clubbed Thumb’s Summerworks? For almost 30 years Maria Striar’s badass downtown company and its annual festival has been a springboard for some of the most exciting new plays and playwrights in the country.
-Sara Holdren, New York Magazine


A head-spinning production from Clubbed Thumb’s invaluable Summerworks series of new plays…As is usually true of Clubbed Thumb, the production has been expertly and attractively mounted…one of this season’s tastier diversions. Critic’s Pick!

-Ben Brantley, New York Times, Review of King Philip’s Head Is Still On That Pike Just Down The Road, 2019

 
To your cherished list of warm-weather city pleasures, you should think about adding Summerworks. Now 23 years old, this staple of the East Village culturescape…allows you to say you knew certain rising playwrights before your friends did.

-Ben Brantley, New York Times, Review of Tin Cat Shoes, 2018

 

A perfect summer show, a trick Clubbed Thumb seems to have mastered. The Summerworks home at the Wild Project in the East Village, with its garage-door entry open to the street, makes seeing the plays seem like a friendly invitation instead of a cultural duty.
-Jesse Green, New York Times, Review of Wilder Gone, 2018

 

If you know Clubbed Thumb — and you should, because the company has more than 20 years of gutsy new play development under its belt — you’ll recognize this as a very Clubbed Thumb show: idiosyncratic, nonrealistic, gently experimental with a Downtown’s greatest hits compilation of a cast.
-Alexis Soloski, NYT, Review of Lunch Bunch, 2019

 

A smart, funny, poignant meditation on gender and historical memory, speaking as convincingly to our own time as any drama set in the present.
-Miriam Felton-Dansky, Village Voice, Review of Men on Boats, 2016

 

A rollicking history pageant…brought to infectiously vidid life…CRITICS’ PICK!
-Ben Brantley, Review of Men on Boats, 2015

 

As has become customary at Clubbed Thumb’s Summerworks Festival, the cast, direction and design are top-notch, though it only costs a pittance to get in. In terms of dollars per laugh, the value here is extremely high.
-Helen Shaw, Time Out New York, Review of Tin Cat Shoes, 2018

 

Reviews by year

Gentleman Caller by Ann Marie Healy; directed by Brooke O’Harra. Pictured: Meg MacCary, Hubert Pont-Du Jour, Hannah Cabell. Photo by Carl Skutsch