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National Playwright Residency Program

black, white, and yellow map of the United States indicating residency locations

Cohort Four residency locations


In collaboration with The Mellon Foundation, HowlRound Theatre Commons established the National Playwright Residency Program (NPRP) in 2013. The program provides three years of salary, benefits, and a flexible research and development fund for a diverse group of American playwrights at selected theatres around the country. More than a standard residency, we conceived this initiative as an intervention into the traditional relationships between artists and institutions, as a way of reimagining what institutions might look like when an artist’s voice is at their cores.


The National Playwright Residency Program has four goals:

  • To advance the state of playwrights in the American theater by providing them with space, time, and resources, and greater access to the institutions in which they work;
  • To influence the working environment of theaters by embedding playwrights in them;
  • To generate public value through the interaction of playwrights with local artistic and civic communities;
  • To document and disseminate the findings to help benefit the field.

The playwrights and theatres have been documenting their experiences throughout the program

Cohort 4: 2023-2026

Everyone in this cohort was renewed from Cohort 3

Cohort 3: 2019-2022

*indicates renewal from Cohort 2

Cohort 2: 2016-2019

*indicates renewal from Cohort 1

In 2019, Holly Sidford and Alexis Frasz of Helicon Collaborative conducted an assessment of round two of the National Playwright Residency Program.

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