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 level of accomplishment, commitment, and artistic excellence. The fellowship term is July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021. The fellowship includes:

  • $25,000 stipend
  • $2,500 to support a play development workshop and other professional expenses
  • $1,400 in travel funds

Past recipients include: Carlyle Brown, Lisa D’Amour, Barbara Field, Keli Garrett, Jeffrey Hatcher, Christina Ham, Cory Hinkle, Carson Kreitzer, May Lee-Yang, Kira Obolensky, Harrison David Rivers, Stacey Rose, and Rhiana Yazzie.

Applicants must have been continuous residents of Minnesota since January 16, 2019, and must maintain residency in Minnesota during the fellowship year. Applicants must have the legal right to work in the United States. Applicants must have a minimum of one full-length work fully produced by a professional theater at the time of application. Recipients of 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20 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.

The McKnight Fellowship has been a tremendous blessing. 
It has served to encourage. 
It has served as validation on one hand
And as hope for continued success on the other...
For a year the Fellowship has allowed me to focus on the work.
To focus on what is good
Which is no small thing.
– Harrison David Rivers
McKnight Fellow in Playwriting, 2015-16

The Application

Each application will contain the following pieces:

-Application Form (including contact details and eligibility 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 January 16, 2020 do not count.

-Artistic 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.

-Full-length play script
Please be sure your name and the play's title are on the cover page. A full-length play generally runs at least one hour. All script submissions must be written only by the applicant—no cowritten 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.

click here to access the application in slideroom »

January 16, 2020
McKnight Fellow in Playwriting, Core Writer
McKnight Fellow in Playwriting, Affiliated Writer