Announcing the 2020-2021 Ensemble/Collaboration Grant Recipients

Headshots of playwrights Lonnie Carter and Marcie Rendon


HartBeat Ensemble with playwright Lonnie Carter and Out of Hand Theater with playwright Marcie Rendon Receive Grants

The Playwrights’ Center and Network of Ensemble Theaters Celebrate 10 Years of Partnership By Doubling “Collaboration Grant” Recipients

Minneapolis, MN (August 6, 2020) —The Playwrights’ Center and the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET) have awarded two Ensemble/Playwright Collaboration Grant awards for the 2020-2021 season. Hartbeat Ensemble (Hartford, CT) with playwright Lonnie Carter and Out of Hand Theater (Atlanta, GA) with playwright Marcie Rendon will both receive $4,000 grants to support commissions, travel, artist fees, and other related expenses. 

“In celebration of the 10th year of this joint collaboration between NET and the Playwrights’ Center to support playwrights and ensembles—and in recognition of the exceptional caliber of this year's submitted proposals and the urgency of the awarded collaborations—we were able to make two Collaboration Grant awards for the first time in the program's history,” said Alisha Tonsic, executive director of Network of Ensemble Theaters.

Playwrights’ Center associate artistic director Hayley Finn added, “As the theater field grapples with the many challenges of this moment, it feels critical, now more than ever, that we double our investment in these vital writers and companies.”

“The Collaboration Grant was formed to support playwrights and ensembles who desired to work together and could learn from one another while building a specific project together,” commented Jeremy B. Cohen, producing artistic director of the Playwrights’ Center.“We are thrilled to be able to support two long-time PWC Affiliated writers. I love that Lonnie and Marcie are launching these collaborations with Hartbeat Ensemble and Out of Hand Theater, respectively. Having lived and worked in Hartford for a decade, and under the leadership of the incredible Godfrey L. Simmons Jr., Hartbeat is a company whose work is near and dear to my heart. And with the extraordinary Rhodessa Jones at the center of the project, I can’t wait to see the resultant play.

Out of Hand has been doing just extraordinary work in the past few years in particular, and this new partnership with longtime PWC writer, Marcie Rendon, is sure to be powerful as it centers the stories of murdered and missing Indigenous women. With a joint focus on new theater for the communities both of these companies serve, I’m beyond excited to see the outcome of their labor.” 

The Collaboration Grants were awarded through a competitive application process, where writers and theater organizations discuss mutual benefits and interests, what the playwright and ensemble hope to learn from one another, and other project details. The grants are open to NET members in the Ensemble category, and current or alumni members of the Playwrights' Center's Fellows and Core Writers programs.