Manhattan Theatre Club Announces Judith Champion Playwriting Fellowship and Inaugural Recipient Zora Howard

Zora Howard Announced as First Manhattan Theatre Club’s Judith Champion Playwriting Fellowship Recipient

Zora Howard Announced as First Manhattan Theatre Club’s Judith Champion Playwriting Fellowship Recipient

Manhattan Theatre Club Announces Judith Champion Playwriting Fellowship and Inaugural Recipient Zora Howard

 

Lynne Meadow (Artistic Director) and Barry Grove (Executive Producer) are pleased to announce the creation of the Judith Champion Playwriting Fellowship, which will be awarded by MTC annually. Fully supported by MTC Patron Judith Champion, the Fellowship will provide artistic and financial resources to one playwright each season to write and develop a new commissioned play while in residence at MTC. Fellowship recipients will also participate in the life of the institution in a manner tailored to their strengths and interests. In addition to a commission, the recipient will be provided with a living allowance, access to office and rehearsal space, a ticket stipend, and a developmental workshop of at least one play during their fellowship year. MTC is thrilled that its inaugural recipient, who will be in residence at MTC during the 2022-23 season, is Pulitzer Prize finalist Zora Howard.

 

MTC Artistic Director Lynne Meadow said, “I am so grateful to Judith Champion, who shares MTC’s deep belief in the importance of new plays and is making an important contribution to support playwrights. The creation of the Judith Champion Fellowship—which will make it possible for one playwright a year to be in affiliation with, and in residence at, MTC with a living allowance—is a measure of her generosity and commitment and will surely make an impact on the American theatre. The Champion Fellowship is not only a generous gift, but also an exemplary model for sustained support for artists.”

 

“We are thrilled to welcome Zora Howard to the MTC community through the Judith Champion Playwriting Fellowship,” said Scott Kaplan, MTC’s Director of Play Development. “We are so grateful to be in partnership with Judith Champion. We knew immediately that Zora, with her powerful theatrical storytelling and thrilling artistry, would be the perfect fit for the inaugural year of this program.”

 

“Support what is most important to you,” Fellowship underwriter Judith Champion states, “and one thing that is important to me is to nurture playwriting talent so that theater flourishes for future generations.”

 

Zora Howard is a Harlem-bred writer and performer. Her plays include Stew (2021 Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, 2020 Drama League nominee for Outstanding Play; Page 73 Productions), Bust (2022 Finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize), AtGN, Hang Time, Good Faith and The Master’s Tools. Her work has been developed at SPACE at Ryder Farm, Page 73, Pipeline PlayLab, Ojai Playwrights Conference, and Seattle Repertory Theatre. She is currently a Staff Writer on Adam McKay’s new Netflix Series Kings of America. She is the 2020-2021 Van Lier New Voices Fellow at the Lark and an alum of P73’s Interstate 73 Writers Group. BA: Yale University; MFA: UCSD. Zora co-wrote and starred in Rashaad Ernesto Green’s film Premature based on her HBO Grand Jury Prize-winning short film of the same name. The film had its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. For her work on Premature she was nominated for Film Independent’s John Cassavetes Award. Zora has performed in theatre productions including the world premiere of Junk by Ayad Akhtar, Taming of the Shrew, Native Son, The Cherry Orchard. Zora won an Emmy for her short film: Biracial Hair that she co-wrote with director Lisa Russell.

 

ABOUT MANHATTAN THEATRE CLUB

Manhattan Theatre Club, under the leadership of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove, has become one of the country’s most prominent and prestigious theatre companies. Over more than four decades, MTC productions have earned numerous awards including 7 Pulitzer Prizes, 27 Tony Awards, 40 Drama Desk Awards and 49 Obie Awards. MTC has a Broadway home at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) and two Off-Broadway theatres at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street). For more information on MTC, please visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

 

Manhattan Theatre Club is committed to being an anti-racist organization that respects and honors all voices while upholding the values of community, equity, access, and belonging. We understand that the United States is a country founded on white supremacy and anti-Blackness, and that these belief systems are tightly woven throughout American arts and culture. We recognize MTC’s place within that history, and understand that uprooting biases requires ongoing work. To this end, we have been reviewing, and are continuing to review, our policies and practices in order to create an inclusive, anti-racist environment for our artists, staff members, and audiences. We wish to express solidarity with and gratitude towards those from historically oppressed communities whose voices have raised consciousness and encouraged action. We will continue to post regular progress reports on our website at manhattantheatreclub.com/edi.

 

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Zora Howard Announced as First Manhattan Theatre Club’s Judith Champion Playwriting Fellowship Recipient

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