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Williamstown Theatre Festival Names Artists-in-Residence, Fellows

The artists-in-residence will make their way to Massachusetts, while the fellows will work from New York City.

NEW YORK CITY: Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF) has announced its 2020 artists-in-residence, community works engagement artists, and recipients of three fellowships.

The 2020 artists-in-residence are Obie Award winner Trip Cullman, Drama Desk Award winner Joshua Harmon, Pulitzer Prize winner Michael R. Jackson, L. Arnold Weissberger Award winner Sylvia Khoury, Pulitzer Prize winner Martyna Majok, and Drama Desk nominee Tyne Rafaeli. The six artists will use the mental and physical space allowed by WTF’s Massachusetts location to write, collaborate, and create, while maintaining proper health protocols and social distancing.

WTF’s community works program, which will virtually continue its efforts to engage an widening group of Berkshire residents this summer, will welcome James Anthony Tyler and Maya Davis into the fold. Additionally, Davis has been named the Boris Sagal Directing Fellow. Tyler Thomas (Bill Foeller Directing Fellow) and Charlie Barnett IV (J. Michael Friedman Fellow) round out the fellowship class.

The fellowship recipients will be given space and time in a New York City rehearsal studios (following any restrictions laid down by local and state guidelines) to work on a project of their choosing. This artistic track aimed at deepening WTF’s relationship with the artists while highlighting their work will also see the fellows given the opportunity to join onto a WTF Season on Audible production as an assistant director.

“The enduring spirit of innovation that has been an inexorable quality of Williamstown Theatre Festival for 66 years guides us through the current moment,” said artistic director Mandy Greenfield in a statement. “We feel fortunate to reach a global audience through our collaboration with Audible while also nurturing our local community through our continued Community Works initiative and now, with our summer 2020 Artists-in-Residence program. We are excited to work with and provide resources to support all of these talented artists and fellows, including our 2020 fellowship recipients, as they develop work for Williamstown Theatre Festival and beyond.”

Charlie Barnett is a Brooklyn-based theatre artist. As a costume designer and technician, Barnett has worked with the Williamstown Theatre Festival (wardrobe supervisor and costume designer), Troy Foundry Theatre (resident costume designer), and the Theatre Institute at Sage (costume designer). Most recent credits include: The Headlands (LCT3); (A)loft Modulation (the american vicarious); A Walrus in the Body of a Crocodile (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Saturday Morning Cartoons with Cereal (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Yellow, 100 Years, Prohibition Project: Illium Was, and Catastrophe Carnivale: An Evening of Beckett Shorts (all at Troy Foundry Theatre), the latter of which won the BroadwayWorld Award for Best Costume Design for his work.

Trip Cullman. Broadway credits include: Rose Tattoo (Roundabout), Choir Boy (MTC), Lobby Hero (Second Stage), Six Degrees of Separation (Barrymore), Significant Other (Booth). Select Off-Broadway: Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow, YEN, Punk Rock (Obie Award), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Gynecologic Oncology Unit At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Of New York City (MCC); Days Of Rage, The Layover, The Substance of Fire, Lonely I’m Not, Bachelorette, Some Men, Swimming In The Shallows (Second Stage); Unknown Soldier, The Pain Of My Belligerence, Assistance, A Small Fire (Drama Desk nomination), The Drunken City (Playwrights Horizons); Choir Boy (MTC); Murder Ballad (MTC and Union Square Theatre); The Mother, I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard (Atlantic); Roulette (EST); The Hallway Trilogy: Nursing (Rattlestick); The Last Sunday in June (Rattlestick and Century Center ); Dog Sees God (Century Center); US Drag (stageFARM); and several productions with the Play Company. London: The Colby Sisters of Pittsburgh, PA (Tricycle). Select regional: Geffen, Alliance, Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Rep, Bay Street, Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Maya Davis is a mixed-race New York City-based director and producer originally from the Washington, D.C., area. She is focused on creating works that are inclusive and accessible, with a specific interest in community-engaged theatre. She recently directed MJ Kaufman’s Walrus in the Body of a Crocodile, Chris Herbie Holland’s Saturday Morning Cartoons with Cereal, and Mona Pirnot’s Private as the inaugural J. Michael Friedman Fellow at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Davis has directed, assisted, and produced in New York at institutions including the Flea, the Public Theater, National Black Theater, the Tank, the Drawing Center, and Fordham Theatre Program, and regionally at Williamstown Theatre Festival and the Big Sky Theatre Company. She is the artistic associate of Two Headed Rep, a NYC company that produces new plays in repertory with the classic plays that inspire them. She is currently a community engagement artist at Williamstown Theater Festival. Playwrights Horizons 2018-2019 Directing Fellow. Alumna of Fordham University.

Joshua Harmon’s plays include Bad Jews, Significant Other, Admissions, and Skintight. They have been produced on Broadway, Off-Broadway at Roundabout Theatre Company, and Lincoln Center Theater, across the country at Geffen Playhouse, Speakeasy, Studio Theatre, Theater Wit, About Face, Actor’s Express, and the Magic, among others, and internationally on the West End and in Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, and throughout the U.K. Harmon has received fellowships from MacDowell, NNPN, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and the Eudora Welty Foundation. He is an associate artist at Roundabout and a graduate of Juilliard.

Michael R. Jackson wrote the 2020 Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle-winning A Strange Loop (which had its 2019 world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in association with Page 73 Productions). As a songwriter, he has seen his work performed everywhere from Joe’s Pub to NAMT. In addition to A Strange Loop, he also wrote book, music, and lyrics for the upcoming White Girl in Danger; and lyrics and book for the musical adaptation of the 2007 horror film Teeth with composer and co-bookwriter Anna K. Jacobs. Awards and associations include a New Professional Theatre Festival Award, a Jonathan Larson Grant, a Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, an ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Award, a Whiting Award, the Helen Merrill Award for Playwriting, a Dramatist Guild Fellowship and he is an alum of Page 73’s Interstate 73 Writers Group. Jackson has commissions from Grove Entertainment & Barbara Whitman
Productions and LCT3 and is a newly elected member of the Dramatists Guild Council.

Sylvia Khoury is a New York-born writer of French and Lebanese descent. Her plays include Selling Kabul (Playwrights Horizons, Williamstown Theatre Festival), Power Strip (LCT3), Against the Hillside (Ensemble Studio Theater), and The Place Women Go. She is currently under commission from Lincoln Center, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Noor Theatre/Pop Culture Collab. Awards include the L. Arnold Weissberger Award and Jay Harris Commission and a Citation of Excellence from the Laurents/Hatcher Awards. She is a member of EST/Youngblood and a previous member of the 2018-2019 Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop at The Lark and the 2016-2018 WP Lab. Her plays have been developed at Playwrights Horizons, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Eugene O’Neill Playwrights’ Conference, Roundabout Theatre Underground, Lark Playwrights’ Week, EST/Youngblood, and WP Theater. She holds a B.A. from Columbia University and an MFA from the New School for Drama. She is a fourth-year student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Martyna Majok was born in Bytom, Poland, and aged in Jersey and Chicago. She was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Cost of Living (Williamstown Theatre Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club). Other plays include Sanctuary City (New York Theatre Workshop, Berkeley Rep), Queens (LCT3/Lincoln Center, La Jolla Playhouse), and Ironbound (Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Round House, WP Theatre/Rattlestick, Geffen Playhouse, National Theatre of Warsaw, amongst other theaters in America and abroad). Awards include the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding New Play, ATCA Francesca Primus Prize, the Dramatists Guild’s Lanford Wilson Award, the Lilly Awards’ Stacey Mindich Prize, the Greenfield Prize (first female recipient in drama), Champions of Change Award from the NYC Mayor’s Office, Helen Merrill Emerging Playwright Award, Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play or Musical at the Helen Hayes Awards, the Ashland New Plays Festival Women’s Invitational Prize, the Kennedy Center’s Jean Kennedy Smith Award, Marin Theatre’s David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize, New York Theatre Workshop’s 2050 Fellowship, Aurora Theatre’s Global Age Project Prize, National New Play Network’s Smith Prize for Political Playwriting, two Jane Chambers Feminist Playwriting Prizes, and the Merage Foundation Fellowship for the American Dream. She is currently writing two musical librettos, a feature film, and is developing an original series for HBO based on her play, Queens.

Tyne Rafaeli is a New York-based director of new plays, classics, and musicals. Recent productions include Sylvia Khoury’s Power Strip at LCT3 and Selling Kabul at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Ming Peiffer‘s Usual Girls at Roundabout Theatre Company (New York Times Critics’ Pick, Drama Desk nomination), Craig Lucas‘s I Was Most Alive With You at Playwrights Horizons (New York Times Critics’ Pick), Keith Bunin’s The Coast Starlight at La Jolla Playhouse, Martyna Majok’s Ironbound, and the world premieres of Anna Ziegler’s Actually and Amanda Peet’s Our Very Own Carlin McCullough at the Geffen Playhouse, and Lauren Yee‘s In a Word (New Times Critics’ Pick). Her work has also been seen at Classic Stage Company, Atlantic Theater Company, the Public Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Cal Shakes, and New York Stage & Film, among others. Rafaeli is a 2016-18 Time Warner Directing Fellow at the WP Theater and received the 2014 SDC Sir John Gielgud Fellowship for Classic Direction. Upcoming projects include Selling Kabul at Playwrights Horizons.

Tyler Thomas is a director and choreographer. Her work has been shown at the New Ohio, the Flea Theater, NYMF, HERE Arts Center, Paradise Factory, Signature Theater with Columbia University, and at various theaters across New York University Tisch. Through the reconstitution of formal elements of dance, theatre, and film, Thomas seeks to create imaginative, communal events that explode the pedestrian and elevate what is deeply human, and thus deeply shared, among us. As an associate and assistant, she has worked with directors such as Lear deBessonet, Taibi Magar, Whitney White, Young Jean Lee, Lee Sunday Evans, and Niegel Smith. She is a former SDCF Observer, member of the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab, Visiting Artist at the Athens Conservatoire in Greece, Resident Director at the Flea, and current 2050 NYTW Fellow. She holds a BFA in Drama and MA in Arts Politics from NYU Tisch. Thomas is from a small town in Louisiana that she, in many ways, has never left.

James Anthony Tyler is the recipient of the 3rd Annual Horton Foote Playwriting Award and an inaugural playwright to receive a commission from Audible. His plays include Artney Jackson (world premiere at Williamstown Theatre Festival, 2018 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award), Some Old Black Man (Berkshire Playwrights Lab at St. James Place and 59E59 Theaters), Dolphins and Sharks (LAByrinth Theater Company and Finborough Theatre in London). He has a MFA in Film from Howard University and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University. He is also a graduate of the Juilliard School’s Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program, and he recently was the staff writer for the new OWN Network show “Cherish the Day” created by Ava DuVernay.

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