Signature Theatre (James Houghton, Founding Artistic Director; Erika Mallin, Executive Director) has announced that Martha Clarke and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins have joined the Residency Five program, which provides five-year residencies for multiple playwrights, guaranteeing three full productions of new work over the course of each playwright's residency. The other artists currently in the Residency Five program are Annie Baker, Will Eno, Katori Hall, Kenneth Lonergan, and ReGina Taylor.
Residency Five is the first program of its kind in the American theatre; going far beyond the traditional commissioning or workshop models, the program enables a diverse community of playwrights to build bodies of work. Residency Five playwrights receive a significant cash award, full health benefits, a stipend to attend theatre, access to Signature's resources and staff, and like all of our playwrights, a place at the center of the artistic process.
"We are thrilled to welcome Martha and Branden to Residency Five," said Founding Artistic Director James Houghton. "Martha is an artist whose striking, multidisciplinary work has distinguished her as one of this generation's most visionary theater-makers. Branden is an exciting talent with a vibrant and provocative voice. Together these two artists will challenge and inspire us, and we look forward to having them join our growing community of writers at The Pershing Square Signature Center."
"What an amazing opportunity to call the wonderful Signature Theatre my home for the next five years," said Martha Clarke. "I am deeply grateful for the artistic freedom and support of Jim Houghton and his excellent staff."
"Signature was the first theatre I ever purchased a subscription to," said Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. "It was the August Wilson season and I was fresh out of school and that experience actually changed my life. Great theatre was suddenly something very true and affordable and welcoming to me. That season I also grasped for the first time what a "career" for a playwright could be - or that a playwright could even have a "career" in the first place. This kind of promise is what a lot of playwrights dream of, and three plays over five years is not just a gift but a challenge - an encouragement to think bigger. The possibilities now seem greater and stranger and maybe a little more dangerous and that's exciting to me - and to imagine those possibilities playing out in the context of the Signature's Ticket Initiative is just inspiring. I couldn't be more thrilled."