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National Playwright Residency Program Information

Welcome to the online resource hub for the National Playwright Residency Program! Can't find what you're looking for here? Contact Creative Producer Julia Schachnik at [email protected].

Basic Program Information

National Playwright Residency Program homepage:

  • This page talks about program goals, and who you are as a cohort.
  • Send updates/edits to your individual residency pages information to Jamie at [email protected].

Program Documentation:

Cohort Communication:

Playwright Microfund Materials:

Playwright/Artistic Director Travel Fund Materials:

Playwright Title and Crediting:

  • The playwright's title should be "the Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence."
  • Please remember to use the following language when discussing the residency: [xyz activity] has taken place with the support of the Mellon Foundation’s National Playwright Residency Program administered in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons.

Playwright Emerson Residency Information:

  • Emerson Residency Info Sheet
  • We will begin scheduling residencies for August 2023-June 2024 in August 2023. Alison and Julia will contact you all directly with this information.

May 2022 Convening

July 2020 Convening:


March 2018 Mid-Point Convening:


Summer 2016 Full Cohort convening:

(You can watch the seven videos here, or click over to the playlist in YouTube.)








For 2022-2023 ONLY: Travel Funding to see NPRP work!

This fall, we will be piloting a BRAND NEW opportunity for NPRP playwrights and artistic directors to travel to fellow NPRP theatres to see the work of other playwrights in the cohort (and to meet with the AD and playwrights in that city). This is in direct response to feedback we have received from you all, and the goal of this fund is two-fold:

  • To increase opportunities for NPRP playwrights to be produced at other NPRP theatres, aside from their host theatre, and
  • To strengthen relationships between NPRP playwrights and ADs across the cohort.

Playwrights and ADs do not need to travel together, but you can; we’re open to trying it all this year. We have set aside a small pot of money to cover flights, hotel, and ground transportation (up to $1,500 per person) of current NPRP playwrights and ADs to travel to an NPRP theatre to see the work of a current NPRP playwright (see list below of current cohort members). While seeing the work the hope is that you would also be able to meet with the AD and playwright in residence. For this pilot period, we ask that this trip should take place between now and June 30, 2022. If you are interested in taking advantage of this, please fill out this google form. It is our hope that this fund will be something we can carry forward as part of the next round of the program after this pilot period. If you haven’t sent me your productions to add to the 2022-2023 Production Calendar, please email Abigail ASAP. We will keep this page updated with eligible productions. Productions that would be eligible for this fund in this time period include:

Production: Live From the Edge

Playwright: UNIVERSES (Mildred Ruiz-Sapp + Steven Sapp)

Theatre, City, State: Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, CT

Dates: Spring 2023

Website: https://longwharf.org/2022-23-season/

Description: A production by Long Wharf Theatre’s Mellon Foundation playwrights-in-residence, UNIVERSES, Live From the Edge will showcase the ensemble’s special brand of fusion theatre in a “best of” evening that tracks the evolution of their poetic language from childhood rhymes and community rituals, to poetry and theatre, hip-hop and gospel. Redefining what theatre is and who it speaks to, Live From the Edge is a unique performance event that turns the poem into a communal act. Steven and Mildred will have the opportunity to explore different neighborhoods in New Haven to find the right artistic container to present this work, demonstrating this new model’s ability to give power back to creators in determining how and where their works will be presented.

Production: In This Moment 2023

Playwright: Carlyle Brown (co-curator)

Theatre, City, State: Illusion Theater, Minneapolis, MN

Dates: April 6-22, 2023

Website: https://www.illusiontheater.org/202223-season-overview

Description: In 2020 as a response to the trauma of George Floyd’s murder and the disruption and uncertainty the COVID epidemic created, Illusion commissioned African American Artists associated with Illusion to create work that responded to the moment we were all living. The works were curated by Illusion Mellon Playwright-in-Residence Carlyle Brown, artist and healer T. Mychael Rambo, Founder of Black Table Arts Keno Evol, Producing Directors Michael Robins and Bonnie Morris. Now, Illusion is again commissioning artists to speak to this moment in 2023. As T. Mychael Rambo said, “We are summoned to be forces of action creating, calculating, and cultivating spaces where we can find peace… A peace where our voices in song and poetry, in photograph and painting, in narrative and nuance illuminate with authenticity, agency and abundance that only art can excavate.

Production: True Story

Playwright: E.M. Lewis

Theatre, City, State: Artists Repertory Theatre, Portland, OR

Dates: May 6-June 4, 2023

Website: https://artistsrep.org/performance/true-story/

Description: A troubled writer, raw with grief from the death of his wife, is hired to ghostwrite the biography of a wealthy man accused of murdering his wife but acquitted on technical grounds. Drawing from the classic noir detective stories about the slipperiness of truth and blurring the lines of good and bad, True Story propulsively examines how facts, biases, and perceptions are manipulated – and asks if discovering the truth is worth the ultimate price?