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

OUR VALUES

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.

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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. 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, across programs and across discipline. 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 few years to revisit project-based pay after a production has concluded, to ensure contractors are properly compensated for the actual time they put into a job.

— We will try to cover more areas in which we—and our field—have not traditionally offered proper compensation, if any at all, including offering stipends to Summerworks interns, visiting guests and script readers.

WORKING PRACTICES

At Clubbed Thumb, we strive to be flexible and humane in how we structure and run our work.

— We created and regularly revisit our employee handbook, which we believe communicates clear expectations and workplace policies for full-time staff, producing fellows, office 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 rehearsals, tech days and breaks between rehearsals and performances. In Summerworks specifically, we keep tech and preview periods extremely minimal, so it is a commitment that is easy to accommodate.

— 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.

ONGOING TRAINING

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. 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. 

BOARD DEVELOPMENT

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 22% of our board, and women 50%. In the coming years, we aim to increase the number of BIPOC board members. Our Board Directors and their affiliations are listed on our website HERE

COMMUNITY CARE 

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 in recent years.

We created a “Statement of Guiding Community Principles” which can be found HERE. It will be revisited and distributed before the beginning of new processes or programs, and, for longer processes is often read aloud at the first rehearsal or meeting.

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Clubbed Thumb’s primary places of work–our donated office and rehearsal spaces, as well as rented theater spaces–are on the unceded homeland of the Lenape. We are deepening our understanding of our relationship to this history, but believe it implies a responsibility of ethical stewardship of the land and environment. We are committed to waste reduction, to the reuse and recycling of scenic materials and other production design elements, and to an ongoing investigation of how to reduce our overall environmental impact.