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The MacDowell grounds in New Hampshire.

15 Theatre Artists Among 129 MacDowell Resident Fellows

This year’s cohort, its first at full capacity since COVID, includes such familiar theatre names as Dave Malloy, Anne Washburn, and Sanaz Toossi.

PETERBOROUGH, N.H.: MacDowell Grant Residencies recently announced fellowships for 129 artists who will join the residency program as it returns to full capacity, and among them are 15 theatre artists: Calley Anderson, Jeesun Choi, Cusi Cram, Robin Frohardt, Deepak Kumar, Shayan Lotfi, Dave Malloy, Brendan Pelsue, Justin Sayre, Amy Stebbins, Mat Sweeney, Branislav Tomich, Sanaz Toossi, Mara Vélez Meléndez, and Anne Washburn.

The MacDowell Fellowship program aims to nurture the arts by offering talented individuals an inspiring residential environment in which to produce enduring works of the creative imagination. This year, MacDowell received 2,948 applicants, the largest in MacDowell’s history. The selected 129 fellows stem from nine countries and 21 U.S. states. Their residency has begun September and runs through February 2023.

“This incoming artist cohort brings us a sense of optimism and exhilaration at a time when our world needs it,” said executive director Philip Himberg in a statement. “MacDowell panelists selected these remarkable innovators from the largest pool of applicants we have ever seen, a reflection of our creative community’s deep need for chosen isolation and camaraderie at this time. Across seven disciplines of artmaking, and including international artists from Europe, Africa, and South America, MacDowell aims to foster connection and creative cross-pollination—space and time in which to experiment, take risks, and tell stories that will illuminate the human heart.”

Of this year’s artists, 63 percent identify as artists of color and 80 percent are first-time MacDowell Fellows. Fellows were selected by a panel of professionals based on each discipline. This year’s disciplines include architects, composers, interdisciplinary artists, theatre artists, visual artists, writers, and poets.

Calley Anderson is a is a Brooklyn-based playwright from Memphis; Jeesun Choi is a transnational Korean playwright, librettist, and physical theatre artist; Cusi Cram is a New York-based playwright, screenwriter, and director; Robin Frohardt is a Brooklyn-based puppet artist, director, and filmmaker; Deepak Kumar is a playwright, composer, lyricist, and researcher based in California’s Bay Area; Shayan Lofti is an Iranian-born, Canadian-raised, New York-based writer; Dave Malloy is the composer/dramatist behind Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 and Octet; Brendan Pelsue is a playwright, librettist, and translator who teaches at Rutgers University; Justin Sayre is a writer and performer who appears regularly in New York City and Los Angeles; Amy Stebbins is a writer-director who works in opera, virtual reality experiences, musical comedy, and film; Mat Sweeney is a composer-director-writer-designer-choreographer who makes theatre and performance pieces; Branislav Tomich is a New York-based actor-playwright-educator; Sanaz Toossi an Iranian American playwright from Orange County, Calif.; Mara Vélez Meléndez is a playwright born and raised in Puerto Rico; and Anne Washburn is the playwright of Mr. Burns, a post-electric play and 10 Out of 12.

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