New Dramatists seeks to connect writers with one another and the field, so that they may better navigate the difficult journey of a career in the theater. Our dedicated artistic programs staff provides visibility for our writers and their work through several channels. We offer career consultation, administer grants and awards, and perform direct outreach on behalf of our writers.
At New Dramatists, we believe that a playwright’s greatest resource is other playwrights. We actively work to link writers through community events and online communication. This year we launched our new website, with features that give each writer a personalized secure login with the ability to update profile pages and view the events calendar online. Playwrights join a listserv and receive a monthly online newsletter, In the Works, which keeps the community aware of productions and news from staff and other residents.
All Writers Meetings
Twice a year, the playwright company of New Dramatists comes together at the building for a half-day meeting. The format and content of these meetings are designed by the writers executive committee, a volunteer group of writers that actively participates in artistic and managerial decisions that guide the organization. Meetings might focus on issues of craft or career, resource sharing, getting to know the other writers and their work, and/or discussing major programmatic and institutional initiatives. This is one of our primary mechanisms for actively facilitating community within the resident company of playwrights.
New Playwright Welcome
We celebrate each writer's admission into residency here at New Dramatists with the New Playwright Welcome. This rite of passage is an evening of excerpts from each of their plays and a tribute to each new writer (usually given by a fellow New Dramatists playwright). The writers are also given a welcome grant that is underwritten by the Laura Pels Foundation in honor of New Dramatists board member George C. Wolfe.
After Seven Festival
The Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, in memory of Barbara Barondess MacLean, underwrites New Dramatists’ annual festival of readings by those playwrights completing their seven-year residencies. Each day of the festival, we mark several of the playwrights passages into alumni status with public tributes, readings, and receptions. This celebration is attended by a supportive community of fellow New Dramatists writers, collaborating artists, and the public.
Grants, Awards & Exchanges
Through the generosity of several legacy gifts and partnerships with donors and theatre organizations outside of New York City, New Dramatists is able to offer a variety of grants, awards and exchanges to our resident company of playwrights. These initiatives allow a playwright to spend time honing their craft through a gift of money, time or both.
The Whitfield Cook Award
The Whitfield Cook Award goes to one New Dramatists playwright each year for an unproduced, unpublished play deemed worthiest by an outside panel of judges. Established by the writer, Whitfield Cook (Film: Stage Fright, Strangers on a Train, High Barbaree; Broadway: Violet), the purpose of the award is to provide financial assistance to New Dramatists resident playwrights to encourage and reward their talents in the art of playwriting. The prize is funded by interest earned each year from the founding gift of the late Mr. Cook, a great friend of New Dramatists and a loving supporter of the playwrights here.
The Lippmann Family “New Frontier” Award
Created as a memorial to the late John Lippmann, a much-loved and respected New Dramatists board member, The Lippmann Family “New Frontier” Award seeks to assist playwrights in opening up new frontiers of the imagination, through travel and adventure. The award was renamed as a way to reflect generations of support and service to New Dramatists from the entire Lippmann family; including John’s mother Zilla Lippmann, sister Jill Allgauer, daughter Sarah K. Lippmann and nephew Jorg Allgauer, President of The John Golden Fund. The $5,000 cash award is presented each year to a member playwright selected by the board of the John Golden Fund.
The Barbara Barondess MacLean “In the Spirit of America” Award
This generous sponsorship is designed to help fulfill the philanthropic legacy of the remarkable Barbara Barondess MacLean through the support of the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation. In honor of Ms. MacLean’s love of her country—she was born here on the Fourth of July, brought to Russia as a child during the Revolution and then repatriated through Ellis Island (the only American citizen known to have passed through there)—The Barbara Barondess MacLean “In the Spirit of America” Award is an annual $2,000 award to a graduating playwright for a play that captures something of the rich, complex, dynamic soul of American culture.