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!
THE WOMAN'S PARTY IS NOW CLOSED
Our three-part digital adaptation of Rinne B. Groff’s THE WOMAN’S PARTY, directed by Tara Ahmadinejad is now closed. Thank you to the many many artists who took part in making it, and to everyone who tuned in! It was a wild experiment, and we are very proud of the outcome.
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
THE WOMAN'S PARTY IS A NY TIMES CRITIC'S PICK!
Jesse Green writes: “With wit, a light hand, and even occasional raggedness…The Woman’s Party is bracing political theater.” CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL REVIEW
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!
What the Constitution Means to Me streaming on Amazon Prime, starting October 16th
Though the national tour is on hold, you can still catch Heidi Schreck’s beloved play (which originated in Summerworks 2017) before the election.
Filmed during their last week on Broadway, and directed for the screen by Marielle Heller, What the Constitution Means to Me will stream on Amazon Prime beginning October 16th.
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.
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. In the coming weeks we will post a full organization budget on this page.
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.
Updated as of: April 21, 2021
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.