BOSTON: Huntington Theatre Company has named the 2017-19 cohort of Huntington Playwriting Fellows. The fellowship is awarded to both emerging and established Boston-based playwrights. MJ Halberstadt and Brenda Withers have been selected from a pool of 50 applicants for the two-year residency program. Each will receive a modest honorarium from the theatre, and have access to the company’s artists and resources.
“Brenda and MJ are both natural fits for the fellows program,” said Charles Haugland, director of new work, in a statement. “Brenda’s tremendous gift for creating surprising and emotional arcs for actors and MJ’s sharp eye for mixing humor and cultural critique make each of their plays so compelling. I am excited to welcome them both into this community of artists.”
Halberstadt’s play Losers, or The Launch Prize received the 2016 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding New Script. His work has been supported by Assets 4 Artists, BCA/Company One PlayLab, Boston University Creative Writing Global Fellowship, KCACTF Region 1, and Last Frontier Theatre Conference. He is a founding member of Bridge Repertory Theater, a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, and a member of the affiliated faculty at Boston’s Emerson College. Halberstadt received his BA from Emerson College and a MFA from Boston University.
Withers’s plays include The Kritik, Northside Hollow, The Ding Dongs, and Matt & Ben (co-written with Mindy Kaling). Her work has been developed and presented at Amphibian Stage Productions, PS122, Portland Stage, HERE, and Dreamcatcher Rep. She is a founding member of the Harbor Stage Company in Cape Cod, Mass. She was an Audrey Resident at New Georges, a playwriting fellow at the Camargo Foundation, and the winner of the 2015 Portland Stage Clauder Prize for her play String Around My Finger. She studied drama and religion at Dartmouth College.
The Huntington Playwriting Fellows program, founded in 2003, is supported by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Harry Kondoleon Playwriting Fund, and the Stanford Calderwood Fund for New American Plays.