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 Hopkins, Kate 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.
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!
Clubbed Thumb aims to be a charismatic beacon for adventurous art and artists; to forge a strategy that equitably and thoughtfully supports artists and their collaborators; to help level the playing field for women, BIPOC artists, and others who fall outside of the corridors of power – both in traditional narratives and in lived experience.
The company emerged as a deliberate alternative to traditional institutional theater structures and is imbued with human values at its core. We have grown the company through a process of constant review, aiming to identify and most effectively leverage our resources, whether they are of space, time, imagination or, more rarely, capital.
We are also a product of the oppressive systems from which this country and industry were born and have benefited from — racism, white supremacy, and colonialism. We must contend with how these systems are manifest in our company, and work to uproot them.
Clubbed Thumb is committed to being an anti-racist organization, which demands an active process and continuous learning, for both individuals and as a staff. As we deepen our work around antiracism, we will continue to interrogate and reevaluate our programs and practices so that we may identify, undo, and eliminate any oppressive policies, which we hope will make way for more equitable, diverse, and inclusive programming.
In the spirit of accountability, we’ve added this page to our website to be transparent about our process of self-examination, and our progress toward meeting our overall goals.
February 16, 2022 update:
Budget / Compensation
For our 2022 budget, we:
- Made a larger-than-usual increase to artist and production/technical staff salaries and fees across the board.
- Made small cost-of-living increases to administrative staff salaries and began covering 100% of fulltime staff health insurance costs.
- Reinstated hospitality budgets, with the return of in-person programming.
- Added small honoraria and MetroCards for Summerworks interns, as well as a budget for bi-weekly intern lunches. We have also increased our intern outreach with a particular focus on school programs which offer students funding for internships.
CLICK HERE to review our 2022 organizational budget.
- We have completed two successful and informative rounds of a new bi-annual staff review process.
- We created an employee handbook which outlines expectations of staff and company policies.
- We created a “Statement of Guiding Community Principles” which can be found HERE. It was and will continue to be revisited and distributed before the beginning of new processes or programs, and, for longer processes, has been / will be read aloud at the first rehearsal or meeting.
- We are in the pre-production planning process for Summerworks, and are crafting a schedule that honors our working values outlined in our last update, and is made to fit the lives of the artists we will be working with this summer.
- We are scheduling post-mortem conversations with directors and writers from Winterworks, to evaluate the program’s successes and areas for improvement. After Summerworks, we will plan an internal post-mortem, as well as conversations with various production heads, festival staff and core artists.
- Various staff members have taken part in land acknowledgement seminars offered by Art/NY and The Lenape Center. Various staff members will engage in bystander intervention & de-escalation training before we begin Summerworks performances in May.
- After a few early conversations with various consultants, we are still contemplating how we might best engage with an outside EDI specialist. Two current proposals are: to hire someone to review our recently-created employee handbook and Guiding Community Principles document; and/or hire someone to carry out a survey of various artists and staff after the completion of Summerworks 2022.
As we head toward Summerworks – our densest programming of the year – we are considering how best to offer an EDI presence and BIPOC affinity spaces for artists and staff working on the festival.
April 21, 2021 Update:
BUDGET TRANSPARENCY & COMPENSATION VALUES
Having a core staff of three or four means that we are all involved in a very granular annual budgeting process, and we will begin sharing that work outside of our organization. Clubbed Thumb aims for a fair distribution of its resources; we aspire to just compensation, but with a small budget we must maintain both short and long-term goals. We are in constant review of how to more equitably remunerate.
— We will apply consistent rates of pay, as possible. It is not always easy or even possible to measure all work equally. We look at numerous factors–time, skill, experience and expertise, rates and conditions set by the market or unions–as we try to extend our resources broadly and fairly, and consider what will be the most impactful way to support our community.
— We will continue a practice expanded within the last year to revisit project-based pay after a production to ensure contractors are properly compensated for their time.
— We will try to cover more areas in which we—and our field—have not traditionally offered proper compensation, if any at all.
— We will continue to set aside funds for professional development opportunities for our full-time staff.
At Clubbed Thumb, we strive to be flexible and humane in how we structure and run our work.
— We are formalizing a biannual check-in process with full-time staff.
— We are improving our employee handbook, and will communicate clear expectations, including around event attendance for full-time staff, producing fellows, interns, collaborators, and artists.
— We will advocate with our union in the hope that we can continue making flexible rehearsal schedules that fit the lives of the artists in the rooms–including 5 day work weeks, sporadic processes, longer breaks or adjusted days for artists with children, etc.
— We are thoughtful about lengths of breaks between rehearsals and performances, and in Summerworks specifically, we keep tech and preview periods extremely minimal, so it is a commitment easy to accommodate and as rewarding as possible for all involved.
— We will continue to conduct evaluations of our work after each production and season to assess what adjustments can be made to make people’s jobs more sustainable.
We are committed to, and budgeting for, ongoing anti-racism training for everyone on our staff – as new employees join our staff, and/or as we realize new areas for enrichment. Understanding that staff members are and will be at different stages of this learning, we will strive to meet and support them wherever they are in this work.
— All four of our current full time employees have completed a two-day training with ArtEquity entitled Everyday Justice: Antiracism as Daily Practice. Various staff members have taken part in other training and seminars outside of our auspices.
— We will engage in bystander intervention & de-escalation training.
— We will work in partnership with an EDI consultant to further develop office and rehearsal room anti-oppression HR policies and tools, including a formal grievance process.
— Finally, when our newly-reconfigured staff began full-time in February of 2021, we instituted a weekly 90-minute all-staff meeting to discuss these issues, doing a full audit of the “We See You” document, as well as the other anti-racism work outlined here.
Our board has transformed as our company has grown over the past decade. While we now have more members from the corporate sector, artists have always been on the board.
Our last strategic plan set a goal to increase BIPOC representation on the board. In 2020, we added three new BIPOC members, all with rich histories with our organization. Currently, BIPOC make up 25% of our board, and women 50%. Over the next two years, we will increase the number of BIPOC board members. Our Board Directors and their affiliations are listed on our website HERE.
Hospitality and attentive support are a crucial part of our mission, and we consider this caretaking the very essence of our jobs. How we specifically care for the emotional, spiritual and physical needs of the BIPOC artists in our programming and in our community has been a focus of our questioning over these last many months.
In addition to what we’ve outlined on this page, we will schedule open office hours with our staff and a few board members, for those in our community to come to us with questions, feedback, or just a chance to get to know us a little better. We will offer BIPOC affinity spaces during season programming, and we will ensure a dedicated EDI presence for our programming — and are formulating how that will manifest.
We know that this work will be ongoing for our organization and our field. We will regularly update on our progress.
Clubbed Thumb’s primary place of work is on the unceded homeland of the Lenape peoples. We are deepening our understanding of our relationship to this history and will update this statement when further in our learning.