Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director; Barry Grove, Executive Producer; Mandy Greenfield, Artistic Producer) announced today the 2011 recipients of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Initiative commissions. This year's eight commissioned writers are Daniel Goldfarb (Cradle & All), Anne Washburn (The Internationalist), Lisa D'Amour (Detroit), Samuel D. Hunter (Bright New Boise), Anna Ziegler (Photograph 51), Nick Payne (Wanderlust), Michael West (Freefall) and HAnnie Rayson (Life After George).
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has provided a grant to Manhattan Theatre Club to support the development of plays that address themes of math, science and technology or plays that depict scientists, mathematicians and engineers as major characters in order to bridge the divide between the arts and sciences.
"No entity has done more to bridge the cultural gap between science and the dramatic arts than the Sloan Foundation," said MTC's Director of Artistic Development Jerry Patch. "Their ongoing support for playwrights and play development is essential to the American theatre."
"We are thrilled to continue our long and innovative partnership with MTC, one of this country's most successful theater companies," said Doron Weber, Sloan's Vice President of Programs. "The quality, volume and diversity of submissions this year sets a new standard and we are delighted to work with such bold, talented playwrights as they dramatize scientific and technological themes in order to get closer to the heart of who we are, how we understand the world and try to improve upon it - with results that are neither always anticipated nor what they at first appear."
"We are delighted to have commissioned a record number of Sloan playwrights this year and to be working with three international playwrights," said Annie MacRae, MTC's Sloan Project Manager and Literary Manager. "We remain grateful for the Sloan Foundation's continued support."
MTC first collaborated with the Sloan Foundation in 2000 with the production of David Auburn's Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Proof. MTC's partnership with the Sloan Foundation has expanded to include multiple annual commissions for emerging, mid-level and established writers as well as a production grant to stage Sloan-related works. In addition to Proof, Sloan supported MTC's production of Charlotte Jones' Humble Boy in 2003.
Since partnering with the Sloan Foundation, MTC has commissioned a total of 37 writers including Craig Lucas, Shelagh Stephenson, Richard Bean, Simon Stephens, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Bryony Lavery, Rona Munro, Lucy Kirkwood, Beau Willimon, Itamar Moses, Melissa James Gibson, Liz Meriwether, Stephen Belber, Eric Simonson, Ron Hutchinson, Dava Sobel, Peter Morris, Brett Neveu, Rinne Groff, Mark Schultz, and Catherine Trieschmann.