Dearest community of Playwrights:
New Dramatists has decided to suspend admissions for the 2021-2022 cycle and extend the residencies of all 59 current residents for another year. With a complex and multi-pronged reopening plan ahead of us, and without a firm reopening date, we decided that this was the best way to maximize our resources in support of our current resident company of playwrights.
That is the news.
Read on for more of the story.
One year ago, due to the impact and fall-out of COVID-19, we made the critical decisions to:
1. Suspend admissions for a full season.
2. Extend the residencies of all 52 resident playwrights, and the fellowship year for our Princess Grace Fellow.
3. Postpone the arrival of the 7-playwrights selected for residency in June 2020 until the fall of 2021.
That decision enabled us to maintain a robust level of responsive virtual support for our resident playwrights, through Zoom hangouts, one/two readings, extended workshops, and through the launch of two new, writer-led audio programs, while also providing childcare and travel reimbursements as needed.
Now, a year later, with the cautious optimism that is accompanying the gradual reopening of New York City and places all over the country, New Dramatists is working on its own reopening plan and the challenges of a budget that is 100% fund raised annually.
The commitment we make to every playwright granted a New Dramatists residency is seven full years of support. Currently, we have 52 current resident playwrights, with an additional seven and a new Princess Grace Fellow arriving in September. Our mission and priority are to sustain these writers through their individual artistic endeavors, while maintaining channels to respond to the collective interests of a full, diverse, and eclectic company of playwrights. It’s also important that we do not over-burden our modest resources and overextend our intrepid, hardworking staff of nine employees.
Due to the extended time our facility has been closed, and without a clear reopening date, we feel that to make good on our commitment and preserve our staff, New Dramatists, in conjunction with the Writers Executive Committee, is putting the following next-step measures in place:
1. Suspending the elaborate 10-month long admissions process for another full season. Our goal is to reopen the admissions window in the summer of 2022.
2. The residencies of all 52 current resident playwrights, plus the new group of seven who will join the company in September 2021, will be extended for another full year to compensate for lost time and access to our resources during quarantine and our reopening delay.
As stated in our communications regarding last year’s measures, New Dramatists strives to eradicate the feeling of scarcity from within our company of playwrights. This means equitable practices around selection processes, never choosing one writer over another, and providing full access to our resources, including space, time, work and writing rooms, writer-led development of plays, projects and methods for making, engaging in peer-to-peer dialogue, governance opportunities, a dedicated staff and board of directors, and an extended artistic community of the most talented and generous artists in the world.
Please continue to check our website for announcements and latest updates about our operations. We encourage you to visit our CONTACT US page to send an electronic message, or our BOARD, STAFF, & INTERNS page to obtain individual staff members’ email contact information. Email has proven to be the best way to reach us.
We are profoundly and eternally grateful for the enduring dedication of so many, primarily our playwrights and our board of directors who make our work possible and meaningful. We thank you for your patience, support, and understanding as we all tread carefully into a process of recovery from a devastating year under a global pandemic and an ongoing national social racial justice reckoning.
We wish you all the best with your endeavors and look forward to seeing and hearing from you. In the meantime, stay healthy.
Emily Morse, Artistic Director, on behalf of the staff, board and playwrights of New Dramatists