Lynne Meadow (Artistic Director), Barry Grove (Executive Producer), and Mandy Greenfield (Artistic Producer) just announced the 2012 recipients of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Initiative commissions for Manhattan Theatre Club. This year's six commissioned writers are April De Angelis (Jumpy), Nick Jones (The Coward), Heidi Schreck (Creature), Melissa Ross (Thinner Than Water), Sarah Treem (A Feminine Ending), and Bess Wohl (Barcelona).
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 and that depict scientists, mathematicians, and engineers as major characters. The aim is to bridge the divide between the "two cultures," science and the arts.
In addition to providing a grant for commissioning engaging plays with science and technology themes and characters, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has provided production support for MTC's production of Sloan commissioned writer Rebecca Lenkiewicz's adaptation of An Enemy of the People directed by Tony Award winner Doug Hughes. The production opened Thursday, September 27 to critical acclaim at MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street). The production stars four-time Tony Award winner Boyd Gaines as 'Dr. Thomas Stockmann' and Emmy Award winner Richard Thomas as 'Mayor Peter Stockmann.'
"This round of Sloan commissions has gone to an outstanding group of playwrights who are taking on topics that are full of promise. We look forward with great anticipation to what the yield will be," said MTC's Director of Artistic Development Jerry Patch. "And we're especially grateful to the Sloan Foundation for its support of those commissions and our production of An Enemy of the People."
"We are delighted to join with the Manhattan Theatre Club in commissioning original work from these six gifted playwrights as they tackle science and technology themes and characters," said Doron Weber, Sloan's Vice President of Programs. "Not only are an increasing number of the best and brightest contemporary playwrights willing to explore this rich, underexplored terrain, but this year we are especially proud to support MTC's Broadway production of Henrik Ibsen's classic play about a man of science in conflict with a willfully blind and hypocritical society, An Enemy of the People."
"This is a banner year for MTC's partnership with the Sloan Foundation. We are thrilled to have Sloan production support for An Enemy of the People," said Annie MacRae, MTC's Sloan Project Manager and Literary Manager. "adapted by Rebecca Lenkiewicz who has also written an MTC/ Sloan commission play."
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 40 writers: Stephen Belber, Glen Berger, Lisa D'Amour, Charles Evered, Melissa James Gibson, Daniel Goldfarb, Rinne Groff, Sam Hunter, Ron Hutchinson, Lucy Kirkwood, Bryony Lavery, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Kenneth Lin, Craig Lucas, Michael Mitnick, Peter Morris, Hannah Moscovitch, Itamar Moses, Rona Munro, Brett Neveu, Nick Payne, HAnnie Rayson, Mark Schultz, Eric Simonson, Dava Sobel, Simon Stephens, Shelagh Stephenson, Catherine Trieschmann, John Walch, Anne Washburn, Jason Wells, Michael West, Beau Willimon, and Anna Ziegler.