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Sanaz Toossi. (Photo by Haruka Sakaguchi)

Sanaz Toossi Named Judith Champion Playwriting Fellow

The fellowship includes a new-play commission, a living allowance, access to office and rehearsal space, a ticket stipend, and a developmental workshop.

NEW YORK CITY: Manhattan Theatre Club has named Sanaz Toossi the recipient of the 2023-24 Judith Champion Playwriting Fellowship. The annual award is funded by the late philanthropist and former MTC patron Judith Champion, and provides artistic and financial resources to one playwright each season to write and develop a new commissioned play while in residence at MTC.

“Judith Champion was a passionate believer in the power of the arts who wanted to make it possible for the most talented writers in the theatre to continue to practice their craft and to have their voices heard,” said artistic director Lynne Meadow in a statement. “Her generosity will have a lasting impact on the American theatre, and all of us at MTC are grateful to be able to play a part in that.”

Fellows’ involvement with the institution is tailored to their individual strengths and interests. In addition to a commission, the award comes with a living allowance, access to office and rehearsal space, a ticket stipend, and a developmental workshop of at least one play during their fellowship year.

“We are thrilled to be deepening our relationship with the exceptionally gifted Sanaz Toossi through the Judith Champion Playwriting Fellowship,” said MTC’s director of play development, Scott Kaplan, in a statement. “We have the deepest admiration for Sanaz’s artistry and are over the moon to be collaborating with her during the second year of this vital program.”

Sanaz Toossi is an Iranian American playwright from Orange County, Calif. Her plays include the critically acclaimed, Pulitzer-winning English (co-production Atlantic Theater Company/Roundabout Theatre Company) and Wish You Were Here (Playwrights Horizons; Williamstown/Audible, released 2020). She is currently under commission at Atlantic Theater Company, Roundabout Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, South Coast Repertory, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In television, Sanaz recently staffed on Invitation to a Bonfire (AMC); A League of Their Own (Amazon); Five Women (Marielle Heller/ Big Beach); and sold an original idea, The Persians, to FX with Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields attached as executive producers.

Manhattan Theatre Club is a theatre company based in New York City. MTC seeks to develop and present new work in a dynamic, supportive environment; to identify and collaborate with new and accomplished artists; and to produce a diverse repertoire of innovative, entertaining, and thought-provoking plays and musicals by American and international playwrights. As of 2022, MTC had an approximate budget of $27,639,000.

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