McKnight National Residency and Commission

McKnight Foundation

Supported by a grant from the McKnight Foundation, this program aids in the commissioning and development of new works from nationally recognized playwrights. Benefits include:

  • A $15,000 commission
  • At least two U.S. round-trip airline tickets
  • Housing during the residency period
  • Up to $5,750 in workshop funds to support the development of the play
  • A public reading of the commissioned play

Past recipients include: Kia Corthron, Erik Ehn, Kate Fodor, Karen Hartman, Daniel Alexander Jones, Sibyl Kempson, Craig Lucas, Taylor Mac, Ruth Margraff, Dan O’Brien, Betty Shamieh, and Mac Wellman.

Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Applicants must be nationally recognized playwrights who have had at least two different plays fully produced by professional theaters. Minnesota-based playwrights are not eligible for this award. Recipients of 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18 McKnight Artist Fellowships in any discipline are not eligible. Recipients may not receive any other Playwrights' Center fellowships, grants, or Core Writer benefits during the grant year. If a recipient is a Core Writer, their Core term will be extended by one year. Applicants may only apply for one McKnight Foundation-sponsored fellowship each year in all disciplines. Recipients commit to spending up to four weeks in residency in the Twin Cities (not necessarily consecutively). Recipients must create a new play according to the terms set forth in the contract.

The McKnight National Residency and Commission has been an extraordinary experience. This piece might have languished on my "to-do" list for years had I not had this opportunity to write it and work on it. I am forever grateful.
– Sibyl Kempson
McKnight National Residency and Commission recipient, 2013-14

Questions may be addressed to artistic programs administrator Julia Brown at

The McKnight National Residency and Commission application will open in September 2018 at the link below.

Click here to access the McKnight National Residency and Commission application »

December 7, 2017
McKnight National Residency and Commission, Affiliated Writer