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

MISSION

Clubbed Thumb commissions, develops and produces funny, strange and provocative new plays by living American writers. Clubbed Thumb is a groundbreaker, with a precise curatorial vision and a remarkable track record for launching artists’ careers; and an incubator, nurturing plays, collaborations, and above all artists, through thoughtfully deployed resources, opportunities, mentorship and hospitality.

Clubbed Thumb’s plays vary in style and content, but are always 90 minutes or under. They feature substantial and challenging roles for all genders, are questioning, formally inventive, theatrical, and exhibit a sense of humor. Since its founding in 1996, the company has presented over 100 productions, and has been awarded 5 Obies, including the Ross Wetzsteon award for sustained excellence.

In 2019, Clubbed Thumb made their Broadway debut with the Tony-nominated and multi award-winning What the Constitution Means to Me, which originated in Summerworks 2017.

PRODUCING

In SUMMERWORKS we produce an aesthetically diverse season of three new plays, each of which has two weeks of performances. It often provides a writers’ first professional opportunity — Will Arbery, Jaclyn Backhaus, Clare Barron and Gina Gionfriddo had their first shows in Summerworks; Sarah Ruhl, Jordan Harrison, Tanya Saracho and Lisa D’Amour made their NYC debuts.

Outside of Summerworks we have also produced plays by Deborah Eisenberg, Mac Wellman, Jeffrey Jones, Erin Courtney, Rinne Groff, Adam Bock, Jordan Harrison, Sheila Callaghan, Jaclyn Backhaus, Will Arbery and Ethan Lipton.

COMMISSIONS

Through The Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission, the New York State Council on the Arts, The Toulmin Foundation, the Gilman Foundation and more, Clubbed Thumb commissions 5+ plays a year, both directly and through open applications, awarding $20,000 – $30,000 annually.

DEVELOPMENT

Clubbed Thumb offers several development programs:

Superlab: a development series co-curated with Playwrights Horizons.

The Clubbed Thumb Writers’ Group: eight mid-career alumni playwrights develop their work over 12 three-hour sessions. Culminates in an annual retreat at Two River Theatre in July.

Other activity includes: Script-revision workshops of plays by new, alumni, and commissioned playwrights; staging & design workshops; occasional co-productions with Playwrights Horizons Theater School and an open play submission policy.

 

EARLY-CAREER INCUBATION

Early-Career Writers’ Group: Eight playwrights and mentors are nominated by our mid-career alumni playwrights. In addition to regular meetings, the writers create a collaborative piece to open Summerworks, and each writer has a reading during Summerworks.

The Clubbed Thumb Directing Fellowship: Anne Kauffman and various other established directors from the CT community mentor three early-career directors in a five-month new play directing intensive. Each director is paired with an early/mid-career playwright to develop a new piece with students at Playwrights Horizons Theater School over the course of three months. This is followed by a three-week process with professional actors, stage managers and designers, culminating in Winterworks – a five-day industry showcase of their work.

Producing Fellowship: One to 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 role(s) in Summerworks.

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Photo by Heather Phelps-LiptonLuther

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