What's Happening!


    We are thrilled to announce that Grief Hotel – which ran to sold-out houses at Summerworks, and was recently recognized with three Obie Awards – will return for four weeks this spring, in residency at The Public Theater. And we’re excited to add that we’ll be bringing it back in partnership with our friends at New Georges. We hope you’ll join us (or join us again!) for this special production – CLICK FOR TICKETS


    In this five-month new play directing intensive, three fellows work on 30-minute commissioned pieces with writers from the Clubbed Thumb community. These plays are developed over the course of a semester with Playwrights Horizons Theater School student and alumni actors, in rehearsal rooms at Playwrights Downtown. In January, the same plays are rehearsed in the same rooms in quick processes with professional actors, and performed as part of Winterworks: a five-day industry showcase.




    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!


    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.


    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.


    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!



    This fall’s Gala, celebrating our dear friend and collaborator Anne Kauffman, was beautiful, moving and very fun. Thank you to everyone who attended, contributed a song or a bit of writing, volunteered, donated and otherwise supported this very special night.


    See more photos from the event on our Instagram (and tag @clubbedthumb if you’re posting your own) — we’ll have more in the coming days!


    At the event, we raised funds in honor of Anne to help us better support the directors in our community – and we happily exceeded our goal. But there’s no such thing as a late donation! If you’d like to contribute to the fund, CLICK HERE


    Thank you to the artists, craftspeople, technicians, production staff, interns and everyone else who made this year’s Summerworks possible. We are immensely proud of the work we put out into the world, and delighted by how it was received.

    And thank you to thousands of audience members who came out to see a show – our largest attendance ever! It is moving to see so many old friends and so many new faces gathered together in the Wild Project. With each iteration, our community expands. Thanks for being a part of it.

    We’ll be spending the next two months wrapping things up and making plans for the future. You’ll hear from us in a few weeks, as we announce the cohorts of next year’s programs, and a few other projects we have cooking.

    Until then: have a great summer!

    Maria, Michael & Rachel


    “DRAGON FRUIT! BLACK BELUGA LENTILS! PERFECTLY SOFT-BOILED EGGS!” Seven public defenders seek meaning, belonging, and some semblance of order via their frenzied quest for the perfect lunch – while battling ACS, inequality, burnout, and a big ole serving of existential dread.

    It is with great delight that we share the news that, at long last, a big hit of both Winterworks AND Summerworks 2019, NYT’s Critic’s Pick Lunch Bunch is returning for a limited run, with The Play Company. CLICK FOR TICKETS

  • Meet the soon-to-be graduates of Brown University's MFA Playwriting Program

    We’re excited to join forces once again with Brown University’s MFA Playwriting Program in the Department of Theatre Arts & Performance Studies
    to present readings of plays by two new graduates: Alexa Derman and Jesús I. Valles, on Mon April 2nd and Tue April 3rd at Playwrights Horizons.


    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 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.



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.


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.


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. 


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%. 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


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.


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.