The intent of the Core Writer Program is to support playwrights who demonstrate a sustained level of accomplishment, commitment, and artistic excellence. Created in recognition of the particular needs of emerging and established writers, the program offers significant resources intended to further a playwright's career and is available to writers nationally.
Playwrights who have benefited from the Core Writer program include Christina Anderson, Trista Baldwin, Lee Blessing, George Brant, Carlyle Brown, Connie Congdon, Marcus Gardley, Jeffrey Hatcher, Sherry Kramer, Carson Kreitzer, Martyna Majok, Melanie Marnich, Winter Miller, Greg Moss, Qui Nguyen, Kira Obolensky, Jen Silverman, and Alice Tuan.
The Core Writer program gives 25-30 of the most exciting playwrights from across the country the time and tools to develop new work for the stage. All Core Writers receive play development workshops at the Center in collaboration with prominent directors, actors, dramaturgs, and designers. Core Writers are eligible to be included in our formal season of public readings: the PlayLabs Festival and the Ruth Easton New Play Series. Core Writers are also promoted by the Center and provided opportunities through an extensive network of colleges and universities, cultural institutions, and producing theaters.
Each term is three years; Core Writers may reapply for additional terms.
Applicants must reside in and have the legal right to work in the United States during the Core Writer term. It is not required for an applicant to have had professional productions in order to apply. However, please note that this program is highly competitive and is designed for committed professional playwrights who are pursuing playwriting as their primary career. Students enrolled in a full-time educational program are not eligible.
“Every time I walk through the doors of the Playwrights’ Center, I feel like I’m coming home. I left my workshop with pages and pages of insight into my work, which was exactly what I needed. The PWC is doing everything they can to support me both professionally and personally.”
— Jenny Connell Davis
Core Writer, 2013-16
Each application will contain the following pieces:
-Application Form (including contact details and eligibility information)
-1-2 paragraph Artists Statement.
Use this statement to contextualize your work sample and help the panel get to know you as an artist. Describe your artistic goals and vision as a theater maker. You're only submitting one play, but this statement is your opportunity to describe the larger landscape of your work and to discuss your reasons for writing plays.
-1 page statement of Core Writer Goals
This is a statement, around one page in length, explaining how the Core Writer Program would benefit your career as a playwright. You may want to discuss projects you hope to develop as a Core Writer, specific resources you hope to take advantage of, and/or goals you have for your career. This statement should reflect a clear understanding of the program and the Playwrights' Center and explain to the evaluators why becoming a Core Writer is the right next step for you.
-Full-length play script
A full-length play generally runs at least one hour. If you are submitting a script for a musical or a play that was written in collaboration with another artist (i.e. lyricist), please clearly indicate your role in the writing of the play. Co-written work that does not have a clear division of who created which part will not be accepted—the evaluators need to be able to evaluate your work specifically.
-One letter of recommendation
Please request one letter of recommendation from an individual who is familiar with your work as a playwright. Letters must be received by the application deadline: January 23, 2020. You will be sending a request through the application portal below.
Questions may be addressed to Artistic Programs Manager Julia Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: You will need to make a SlideRoom account in order to apply. If you are a Playwrights' Center member, your PWC login will not automatically log you in to SlideRoom—they are two different systems. If you already have a SlideRoom account, you should be able to access the application using your existing login.
For a video tutorial on using SlideRoom, please click here.