McKnight Fellowships in Playwriting

McKnight Artist Fellowships

The McKnight Foundation, a family foundation based in Minnesota, advances a more just, creative, and abundant future where people and planet thrive. The McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting recognizes and supports mid-career playwrights living and working in Minnesota who demonstrate a sustained body of work, commitment, and attributes of artistic merit. The fellowship, which runs July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023, includes: a $25,000 stipend, an additional $2,500 to support a play development workshop and other professional expenses, and $1,400 in travel funds. Past recipients include: Carlyle Brown, Lisa D'Amour, Barbara Field, Keli Garrett, Marvin González De León, Jeffrey Hatcher, Christina Ham, Tori Sampson, Carson Kreitzer, May Lee-Yang, Kira Obolensky, Harrison David Rivers, Stacey Rose, and Rhiana Yazzie.

Applicants must reside in and have the legal right to work in the U.S. during the fellowship term. Applicants must have been continuous residents of Minnesota since at least December 9, 2020, and must maintain residency in Minnesota during the fellowship year. Applicants must have a minimum of one work fully produced by a professional theater at the time of application. (Note for 2020, 2021, and 2022: any programmed/announced professional productions cancelled due to COVID-19 can be counted as long as they would have met the criteria above. Please be sure to mark cancellations or postponements clearly on your resume).) Recipients of, 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22 McKnight Artist Fellowships in any discipline are not eligible. Full-time students are not eligible. Staff and board members of the McKnight Foundation and the Playwrights' Center and their immediate family members are not eligible. Fellowship recipients may not receive any other Playwrights' Center fellowships, grants, or Core Writer program benefits during the grant year. If a recipient is a Core Writer, the Core term will be extended by one year. Applicants may only apply for one McKnight Artist Fellowship each year in any discipline.

"It's not an exaggeration to say that this has been my most successful year as a playwright to date. And that is largely a result of the fellowship that the McKnight Foundation so generously awarded me and the relationship with the Playwrights' Center that I have been able to continue to cultivate."
– Marvin González De León
McKnight Fellow in Playwriting 2020-21, Many Voices Fellow 2018-19, Jerome Fellow 2021-22

McKnight Foundation Community Values

The McKnight Foundation and the administering partners for the McKnight Artist Fellowships are committed to creating and supporting an artistic community in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. The community of the McKnight Artist Fellowships includes people who engage with the fellowships program whether as applicants, fellows, panelists, contractors, collaborators, fellowships administrators, and staff of the McKnight Foundation and partnering organizations. As a community, we commit to creating and maintaining relationships that are free from harm, prejudice, and harassment. Community members agree to communicate directly and transparently regarding issues of conduct that could negatively impact the well-being of participating members and organizations. In the case of an accusation, legal action, or conviction, the McKnight Foundation and its fellowship program partners may gather and assess relevant information. If deemed necessary, the McKnight Foundation and its fellowship program partners may take administrative action up to and including the recommendation of participation in reconciliation or restorative justice processes; disqualification of an application; the termination of a contract; and the recall and/or termination of a fellowship. This community will be what we make it and our aim is to collectively create an experience in which all artists and members of the McKnight Artist Fellowships community thrive.  

The Application

Each application will contain the following pieces:

-Application Form
(including contact details, eligibility, and demographic information)

-Playwriting Resume
Please note clearly which productions listed on your resume (if any) meet the criteria for being "fully produced by a professional theater." Professional productions are defined as productions for which the author and primary artists (actors, directors, and creative collaborators) were reasonably compensated and that received at least three public performances each. Ten-minute or one-act plays and university, college, secondary school, amateur, and Equity showcase/waiver productions are not considered full professional productions. Productions that open after December 9, 2021 do not count. (Note for 2020, 2021, and 2022: any programmed/announced professional productions cancelled due to COVID-19 can be counted as long as they would have met the criteria above. Please be sure to mark cancellations or postponements clearly on your resume).

-Artistic Statement
Use this statement to describe your artistic goals and vision as a theater maker. This is also an opportunity to provide context for the play you submitted and discuss how it fits into your larger body of work and how you envision your work developing.

-Full-length play script
A full-length play generally runs at least 45 minutes. If you are hoping to submit a script that is shorter than 45 minutes in length, please contact Julia at to discuss. All script submissions must be written only by the applicant—no co-written submissions will be accepted. Scripts for musicals may submitted by the book writer only. If you have previously received a McKnight Artist Fellowship, this script must have been completed after that fellowship year.

Please list two individuals who are familiar with your work as a playwright and who we may contact during the evaluation process.

Questions may be addressed to Artistic Programs Manager Julia Brown at

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.

Applications for the 2021-22 McKnight Fellowship in Playwriting is due Thursday, December 9, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. CST

click here to access the application in slideroom »

An information session about the application and fellowship will be held on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. CST on Zoom at this link. A recording of last year’s information session  is available below.

December 9, 2021
McKnight Fellow in Playwriting, Core Writer
McKnight Fellow in Playwriting, Affiliated Writer