Playwrights In Dialogue 

Conversations from the National Playwright Residency Program

This series pairs current and past participants in the National Playwright Residency Program (NPRP) for in-depth conversations about the impact of their residencies on their work, the theatre, and their community. In collaboration with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, HowlRound Theatre Commons established 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.

two actors onstage
Writing Comedy and Wielding Power
Essay

Writing Comedy and Wielding Power

27 January 2020

Madeleine George and Mike Lew talk about writing comedy for theatre, vulnerability as playwrights, working with different aesthetics, and more.

two actors onstage
Playwrights Nurturing Cultural Community
Essay

Playwrights Nurturing Cultural Community

Pearl Cleage and Vera Starbard in Conversation, Part II

15 January 2020

In part two of their conversation, Vera Starbard and Pearl Cleage—playwrights-in-residence at Juneau, Alaska’s Perseverance Theatre and Atlanta, Georgia’s Alliance Theatre, respectively—talk about different cultural practices, the white gaze, moving away from anger, and more.

three actors onstage
Vocalizing Difficult Issues as Playwrights in Residence
Essay

Vocalizing Difficult Issues as Playwrights in Residence

Pearl Cleage and Vera Starbard in Conversation, Part I

14 January 2020

In part one of their conversation, playwrights Vera Starbard and Pearl Cleage talk about their respective residencies—at Juneau, Alaska’s Perseverance Theatre and Atlanta, Georgia’s Alliance Theatre, respectively—race and representation at their institutions, not writing for a white audience, and more.

two actors embracing onstage
Connection, Influence, and Impact as a Playwright-In-Residence
Essay

Connection, Influence, and Impact as a Playwright-In-Residence

11 December 2019

Carlos Murillo and Kira Obolensky talk about their National Playwright Residency Program residencies, creating work for a specific theatre’s audience, playwrights not being part of the sea change of artistic director turnover, and more.

three actors onstage
"Dream Bigger"
Essay

"Dream Bigger"

Developing Artistic Ambition as Playwrights in Residence

27 November 2019

Rehana Lew Mirza and Melinda Lopez talk being playwrights as well as actors and teachers, critiquing their own work, their individual work processes, and more.

four actors onstage
"We’ve Got to Protect Our Art"
Essay

"We’ve Got to Protect Our Art"

Celebrating the Artistic Journeys of Two Latino Playwrights

18 September 2019

Luis Alfaro and Herbert Sigüenza talk about their experience in the National Playwright Residency Program, learning about the inner workings of theatre companies, portraying Latinx people in a positive light, the importance of comedy, and more.

four actors onstage
Bringing the Playwright's Perspective to the Table
Essay

Bringing the Playwright's Perspective to the Table

3 September 2019

Playwrights Kirsten Greenidge and Peter Nachtrieb talk about what it means to be an artist in residence, how theatres constantly work on their mission, connecting with the community, and more.   

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Series are collections of content curated around a specific theme. HowlRound works with curators to develop topical pieces meant to spotlight current events and happenings within the commons.