NEW YORK CITY: Martyna Majok, the author of Ironbound, has been awarded the 2015–16 Playwrights of New York (PoNY) Fellowship, which is worth more than $100,000 in comprehensive support. Majok will receive a year-long residency in a New York apartment, three years of health insurance, a living stipend and ongoing artistic support at the Lark Play Development Center, and she will participate in the playwrights’ workshop led by Arthur Kopit.
“The PoNY playwrights have made a significant impact on the theatrical landscape in New York City as well as on the national stage, and we are very proud to welcome Martyna to their ranks,” said Sandi Goff Farkas, the founder of the PoNY, and John Clinton Eisner, the Lark’s artistic director, in a joint statement. “Martyna’s rare gift for tackling intense stories about unsung lives in her plays has already resulted in a robust and distinctive body of work and we’re thrilled to see what else she has in store. We are honored to help Martyna have the freedom to focus on her art by providing the support she deserves.”
The PoNY was established in 2007, and was part of a fieldwide move to encourage major donor and theatre organizations to deepen their support of the next generation of playwrights. Since then, PoNY Fellows have written a total of 33 new plays resulting in 53 productions in 32 cities.
Fellows receive artistic support through PoNY 2.0, which provides deep and ongoing support to its playwrights through partnerships with American Repertory Theater, Labyrinth Theater Company and London’s Bush Theatre. Access to travel funds and financial training are also included, as is a $10,000 “Rooted in NYC” grant if the playwright elects to continue residency in New York City.
Majok was chosen after an intensive nationwide review of writers who were nominated by artistic leaders and graduate playwriting programs. She was born in Bytom, Poland and raised in New Jersey and Chicago. Her past works include Mouse in a Jar, the friendship of her thighs, Petty Harbour, reWilding, Women at the Well and Ironbound, which was a Top Ten play for the 2014 Kilroys list. Her work has also been featured and developed with Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Marin Theatre Company, Round House Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kennedy Center, Satori Group, New York Stage & Film, the claque, Yale Cabaret, The Playwright and Director Center of Moscow, HERE Arts Center, Red Tape Theatre and the LIDA Project, among others.
“The PoNY Fellowship is life-changing for me, as it is with many of us who are working hard in the theatre these days,” Marjok said in a statement. “The choice to pursue a life telling stories can feel dangerous and impossible at times, especially for a person who does not come from wealth. In the last year and half, I lived in 13 different sublets in NYC while I hustled to make rent and time and space to write. This incredible opportunity is truly the greatest gift a playwright could receive. I’m beyond grateful, humbled, and excited for the future ahead.”