SLAVE PLAY’s Jeremy O. Harris and New York Theatre Workshop Announce Inaugural Golden & Ruth Harris Commission For New Theatrical Works; Harris to appear on “Late Night With Seth Meyers”

Tony nominated playwright Jeremy O. Harris appeared on “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (NBC) last night. Watch the interview below.

SLAVE PLAY and Tony Nominee Jeremy O. Harris Launch The Golden Collection Featuring 15 Plays By Black Playwrights 

Jeremy O. Harris. Photo by Lia Chang

Harris and New York Theatre Workshop most recently collaborated on the off-Broadway, World Premiere of Harris’s play, Slave Play. Slave Play is currently nominated for 12 Tony Awards, including Best Play, the most nods for any play in the awards’ history. The other nominations include Best Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role in a Play for Joaquina Kalukango, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play for Ato Blankson-Wood and James Cusati-Moyer, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play for Chalia La Tour and Annie McNamara, Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) written for the Theatre for Lindsay Jones, Best Direction of a Play for Robert O’Hara, Best Scenic Design of a Play for Clint Ramos, Best Costume Design of a Play for Dede Ayite, Best Lighting Design of a Play for Jiyoun Chang, and Best Sound Design of a Play for Lindsay Jones.

Ato Blankson-Wood, Sullivan Jones, Paul Alexander Nolan, Robert O’Hara, Joaquina Kalukango, Playwright Jeremy O. Harris, James Cusati-Moyer, Irene Sofia Lucio, Annie McNamara, Chalia La Tour at the opening night curtain call of SLAVE PLAY. Photo by Lia Chang

Harris and New York Theatre Workshop recently announced the inaugural Golden & Ruth Harris Commission. A collaboration between Harris and New York Theatre Workshop, the Golden & Ruth Harris Commission offers two $50,000 commissions for a new theatrical work, allowing the recipients to dream expansively and extensively about a theatrical creation while working to relieve them in part from the need to seek other income over the course of the commissioning year.

Jeremy O. Harris. Photo by Lia Chang

“At the core of my practice is the belief that the work of being a playwright is in community building,” Jeremy O. Harris said. “My grandparents, Golden and Ruth, always modeled charity and generosity within their community. Moreover, their generosity to me is the only reason I was able to write my first plays. Hopefully this commission can do the same for other artists at the theatre that gave me my first significant opportunities in the American theatre. In this moment of global unrest and unprecedented stasis for world theatre, my hope is that this can model for our community and our government a method to radically invest in the future of our medium.”

“Jeremy is an artist, a spirit, unlike any other,” said New York Theatre Workshop Artistic Director James C. Nicola. “Not only is he ablaze with imagination and inspiration in the convention-shattering work he makes himself, but he is also equally compelled to reinvent the art form. In this new world that he is commanding to materialize, the fight for the common good of the artists that dwell there is at the very core of his efforts. With this initiative he has created, he enlists NYTW to become his partner in not just generously supporting theater-makers, but also in building a new paradigm of theater itself.”

In this inaugural year, the commissions will be awarded to two generative artists who are Black womxn: one of whom is an artist who has yet to have an Off-Broadway New York production as a generative artist, and one of whom is an artist who made a significant impact early in their artistic lives but has not had adequate support of late.

Over the next several months, a wide array of nominators will recommend nominees from every area and medium of the field, who will submit proposals to an independent panel of artists. The panel will review the nominees and submit finalists to Harris and New York Theatre Workshop, who will select the recipients.

Harris is a writer and performer living in New York City. His full-length plays include: Slave Play, Daddy (Vineyard Theatre/The New Group); Xander Xyst, Dragon: 1; and WATER SPORTS; or insignificant white boys (published by 53rd State Press). His work has been presented or developed by Pieter Performance Space, JACK, Ars Nova, The New Group, New York Theatre Workshop, Performance Space New York, and Playwrights Horizons.

Harris co-wrote A24’s film Zola with director Janicza Bravo, is developing a pilot at HBO, and worked on their hit new series “Euphoria.” He is the 11th recipient of The Vineyard Theatre’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, a 2016 MacDowell Colony Fellow, an Orchard Project Greenhouse artist, a resident playwright with Colt Coeur, and is under commission from Lincoln Center Theater and Playwrights Horizons. He is a graduate of the Yale M.F.A. Playwriting Program.

For more information, visit www.NYTW.org.

Inside the Opening Night of SLAVE PLAY with André De Shields 

Variety: Jeremy O. Harris Talks Tony Awards, New Plays and the Movie He Might Direct

Inside New York Theatre Workshop’s Opening Night Party of THE HOUSE THAT WILL NOT STAND with Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Juliana Canfield, Harriett D. Foy, Lynda Gravátt, Nedra McClyde, Marie Thomas and Michelle Wilson 

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness andWhen the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The CactusThe Language LessonThe Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

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