NEW YORK CITY: Signature Theatre has added four playwrights and one ensemble to its residency program, which guarantees them productions. The artists are Sarah Ruhl, Anna Deavere Smith, Samuel D. Hunter, Lauren Yee, and the ensemble is the Mad Ones.
“Over the past 28 years, Signature has celebrated many distinguished writers and given them an artistic home through its residency programs,” said Signature artistic director Paige Evans in a statement. “I’m thrilled to bring these four extraordinary writers, and one incredible devised theatre collective, to Signature. Sarah, Anna, Sam, Lauren, and the Mad Ones all have striking voices and unique perspectives on the human condition. I cannot wait to share their work with Signature’s vibrant and diverse community.”
Sarah Ruhl (In the Next Room, or the vibrator play) and Anna Deavere Smith (Notes From the Field) will join Signature’s Residency 1 program, in which each playwright will receive multiple productions during a single season.
Samuel D. Hunter (The Whale), the Mad Ones (Miles for Mary), Lauren Yee (The Great Leap) will join Signature’s Residency 5 program, which guarantees writers three premieres over five years.
“I am beyond honored to be included in the Signature revolution—a revolution that honors a playwright’s body of work over time,” said Ruhl in a statement. “I humbly follow my heroes and teachers—including Paula Vogel, Maria Irene Fornés, Lynn Nottage, and Chuck Mee—with immense gratitude and a healthy dose of terror. I always love seeing plays at Signature because I know that theatrical language will come first, and everything else will follow.”
Signature was founded in 1991 by James Houghton to present entire seasons of work by a single playwright, including Edward Albee, Lee Blessing, Horton Foote, Maria Irene Fornés, Athol Fugard, Stephen Adly Guirgis, John Guare, A.R. Gurney, David Henry Hwang, Bill Irwin, Adrienne Kennedy, Tony Kushner, Romulus Linney, Charles Mee, Arthur Miller, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sam Shepard, Paula Vogel, Naomi Wallace, August Wilson, Lanford Wilson, and a season celebrating the historic Negro Ensemble Company. Every seat for every performance for every production’s initial run is currently $35.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post’s headline misspelled Anna Deavere Smith’s middle name. It is Deavere, not Deveare.