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Lincoln Center Awards First Beaumont New Play Commissions

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Lynn Nottage, and Marco Ramirez will create work specifically for LCT’s Broadway stage.

NEW YORK CITY: Lincoln Center Theater (LCT) has announced the creation of the Beaumont New Play Commission Program, a new artistic initiative that will engage playwrights in creating works specifically for LCT’s Broadway house, the Vivian Beaumont Theater. The inaugural class of playwrights include Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Lynn Nottage, and Marco Ramirez, with additional writers to be announced.

“I believe that we are in a golden age of American playwriting, and Branden, Lynn, and Marco are three of the finest writers at work today,” said André Bishop, LCT’s producing artistic director, in a statement. “We can think of no better way to inaugurate this program than to engage these three artists to use their imagination, creativity, and passion to create new works for the Beaumont stage.”

LCT has previously produced Jacobs-Jenkins’s War, directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz, and Ramirez’s The Royale, directed by Rachel Chavkin. LCT was in previews for Intimate Apparel, the opera based on Nottage’s play, with libretto by Nottage, music by Ricky Ian Gordon, and direction by Bartlett Sher, before COVID-19 forced the production to shut down. Performances of Intimate Apparel are scheduled to resume at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater next spring.

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. (Photo courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s plays include Girls, Everybody, War (LCT3), Gloria, Appropriate, An Octoroon, and Neighbors. A Residency Five playwright at Signature Theatre and a 2020 Guggenheim fellow, his honors include a USA Artists fellowship, the Charles Wintour Award, the MacArthur fellowship, the Windham-Campbell Prize for Drama, the Steinberg Playwriting Award, and the inaugural Tennessee Williams Award. A proud member of the Dramatists Guild council, he serves on the boards of Soho Rep and the Dramatists Guild Foundation and is an Associate Professor of Practice at the University of Texas at Austin.

Lynn Nottage. (Photo by Lynn Savarese)

Lynn Nottage is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her plays Sweat (also Evening Standard Award, Obie Award, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and Tony and Drama Desk award nominations for Best Play) and Ruined (also New York Drama Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel, Obie, and Audelco awards for Best Play). At Lincoln Center Theater she wrote the libretto for Intimate Apparel, an opera based on her award-winning play of the same title, with music by Ricky Ian Gordon. Her other plays include Floyd’s; Mlima’s Tale; By the Way, Meet Vera Stark; Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine (Obie Award); Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Las Meninas; Mud, River, Stone; Por’knockers; and POOF!.  Her musical credits include the book for the upcoming musical, MJ and the book for The Secret Life of Bees with lyrics by Susan Birkenhead and music by Duncan Sheik, which premiered at Atlantic Theater Company. She produced and conceived of This Is Reading, a performance installation based on two years of interviews at the Franklin Street Reading Railroad Station in Reading, Pa.  Recipient of a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, Steinberg “Mimi” Distinguished Playwright Award, PEN/Laura Pels Master Playwright Award and the Merit Award from The Academy of Arts and Letters.  She is the co-founder of the production company Market Road Films, whose most recent projects include Unfinished/Deep South (Podcast) and is developing the documentary Takeover, about the Young Lords takeover of Lincoln Hospital, and A Girl Stands at the Door, a multiple part series on the history of school desegregation. She was a writer/producer on the Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It, directed by Spike Lee.

Marco Ramirez.

Marco Ramirez’s play The Royale was produced at Lincoln Center Theater in 2016 under the direction of Rachel Chavkin; the production was honored with a Drama Desk Award nomination for Best Play and Mr. Ramirez received the Outer Critics Circle’s John Gassner Award for playwriting.  He is a recipient of Juilliard’s Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellowship. A Writers Guild of America and Emmy-nominated TV writer, his credits include Sons of Anarchy (FX), Orange is the New Black, and Daredevil (Netflix).

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