Lauren Gunderson's Playwriting Residency Extended

Lauren Gunderson Ny Times

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 29th, 2019

MARIN THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES 
A THREE-YEAR EXTENDED RESIDENCY WITH 
AWARD-WINNING PLAYWRIGHT
LAUREN GUNDERSON

MILL VALLEY, CAMarin Theatre Company (MTC) is pleased to announce that Lauren Gunderson will be continuing her tenure as playwright-in-residence at MTC for an additional three years as part of the National Playwright Residency Program, made possible by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons

Lauren Gunderson’s long collaboration with MTC began with the rolling world premiere of her award-winning play I And You in 2013. In 2016, as MTC’s newly named playwright-in-residence, Gunderson and co-writer Margot Melcon (MTC’s former Director of New Play Development) premiered their joyful Jane Austen continuation—Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley—to captivated audiences, hungry for a new holiday classic.

In the spring of 2018, Gunderson performed in a staged reading of her one-act play, Natural Shocks, at MTC; written in response to ongoing mass shootings and performed across the country in an effort to raise awareness about gun violence prevention. Finally, this past season, Gunderson and Melcon supplied a riveting Miss Bennet sequel—The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley

I And You, Miss Bennet and The Wickhams continue to be widely produced at regional theatres across the country, catapulting Gunderson into the top spot as the most-produced playwright in America for the 2017/18 season, and the second most-produced playwright in the 2018/19 season. Alongside these mainstage titles, Gunderson has spent the previous three years of her residency workshopping several new plays and musicals, hosting playwriting masterclasses, participating in MTC’s season planning process, and contributing her perspective and expertise to the company’s artistic decision-making.

More on Playwright, Lauren Gunderson

“Renewing The Mellon Foundation’s support of my residency at Marin Theatre Company is a profound excitement because it prioritizes an artistic home in this community of artists, creators, supporters, and audiences. That’s the dream of a theatre creative like me: an artistic family.”—Lauren Gunderson

Lauren Gunderson is one of the most produced playwrights in America, and the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award, Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, and a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She studied Southern Literature and Drama at Emory University, and Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School where she was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship. Her work has been commissioned, produced and developed at companies across the US including South Coast Rep (Emilie, Silent Sky), The Kennedy Center (The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful And Her Dog!), The O’Neill, Denver Center, Berkeley Rep, Shotgun Players, TheatreWorks, Crowded Fire, San Francisco Playhouse, Marin Theatre Company, Synchronicity, Olney Theatre, Geva and more.  Her work is published at Playscripts (I and You, Exit, Pursued By A Bear, and Toil And Trouble) and Samuel French (Emilie). She is a Playwright in Residence at The Playwrights Foundation, and a proud Dramatists Guild member. She is from Atlanta, GA and lives in San Francisco.

More on the National Playwright Residency Program

The National Playwright Residency Program began in 2012, and is funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons. The program aims to advance the state of playwrights in the American theatre by providing them with space, time, and resources; to influence the working environment of theatres by embedding playwrights in them; to help the field understand the value of embedding playwrights in theatres; and to work toward an ideal of having writers become salaried employees of all theatres.

“We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Mellon Foundation on this incredibly important program that supports playwrights so deeply, and seeks to create a more equitable partnership between the artist and the institution. We dream and work toward the day when these kinds of relationships are the norm in the American Theater,”—HowlRound Director Jamie Gahlon

About HowlRound Theatre Commons
HowlRound is a free and open platform for theatremakers worldwide that amplifies progressive, disruptive ideas about the art form and facilitates connection between diverse practitioners. HowlRound envisions a more equitable, just, and progressive theatre. HowlRound is a “commons”—a social structure that invites open participation around shared values. HowlRound’s tools and programs include an online journal, HowlRound TV, the World Theatre Map, the Latinx Theatre Commons, documenting the impact of playwright residencies through the National Playwright Residency Program, and in-person convenings. All HowlRound content is peer produced by the community it serves. Founded in 2011, HowlRound operates inside the Office of the Arts at Emerson College. For more information, visit howlround.com.

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies. To this end, it supports exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. The Foundation makes grants in four core program areas:  Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities; Arts and Cultural Heritage; Scholarly Communications; and International Higher Education and Strategic Projects. For more information, visit mellon.org.

ABOUT MTC
Marin Theatre Company is the Bay Area’s premier mid-sized theatre and the leading professional theatre in the North Bay. We produce a six-show season focused on new American plays. We are committed to the development and production of new plays, with a comprehensive New Play Program that includes productions of world premieres, two nationally recognized annual playwriting awards and readings and workshops by the nation’s best emerging and established playwrights. Our numerous education programs serve more than 4,500 students from over 40 Bay Area schools each year. MTC strives to create intimate, powerful and emotional experiences that engage audiences to discuss new ideas and adopt a broader point of view. We believe in taking risks and inspiring people to participate in live theatre, regardless of personal means. MTC celebrates the intellectual curiosity of our community, and we believe that theatre is an important tool to help build empathy. MTC was founded in 1966 and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

PRESS CONTACT
Kate Robinson | Director of Ticketing and Communications Associate
(415) 322-6029 | kater@marintheatre.org

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