“As we endeavor to move forward from the challenges of the past year, both as an organization and as an essential part of the industry, we aim to refresh the ways in which we communicate member to member, within the Council, with staff and with the industry at large, so that we can best understand the work that lies ahead and tackle it in proactive and productive ways,” wrote the new officers in a shared statement. “History is remembered by the stories we tell. The Guild exists to protect the rights and livelihoods of playwrights, composers, lyricists and librettists, so that we can tell our stories, no matter who we are, where we live, or what stories we are compelled to write. Theatre writers give up much for the right to retain ownership of our work. The past 100 years have taught us to never take our rights for granted.”
The Dramatists Guild of America is the national, professional membership trade association of theatre writers including playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists. Established for the purpose of aiding dramatists in protecting both the artistic and economic integrity of their work, the Guild is an artist run organization, formed by writers for writers. It is governed by a Board of Directors elected from its membership. These writers, in various stages of their theatrical careers, meet monthly to decide upon policy for the Guild, and head committees dedicated to specific issues faced by dramatists.
All four newly elected Board Officers have been active leads on Council committees for the past few years. Green currently serves as Chair of The Dramatist Committee and Board member of The Lillys. Jacobs-Jenkins serves as Co-Chair of the Publishing Committee and Board member of the Dramatists Guild Foundation, Diaz as Chair of the New Media Committee, and Johnson as Chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.
“I am beyond thrilled that Amanda Green will be succeeding me as President,” said outgoing president Doug Wright. “If you know her already, then you’ll agree with me when I cite her boundless good humor, keen wit, affability and innate leadership skills. She is well-schooled in Guild service, with the necessary bona fides to run the organization. She’s well-known to our membership, and as luck would have it, along with her stellar qualifications, she happens to be our first woman president in our 100-year history.”
Wright is pleased to welcome all four newly elected Board Officers. “It is also important to note that all four of our new officers are leading writers in our discipline, and have won the respect of audiences, critics, producers and our membership. They represent some of our most talented scribes in the country. And, in addition to these kudos, because it is an essential topic right now in our creative community, I’m thrilled to add that the cabinet is our most inclusive one in Dramatists Guild history.”
The four newly elected DG Council officers are resolved to help to expose and eliminate the systemic biases that exist in all aspects of our field. They will commit to doing this both within the Dramatists Guild and with advocacy throughout our field. They take on this commitment on behalf of the plurality of membership, whose career paths are made demonstrably steeper by an unequal distribution of resources, mentorships, recognition, and productions. All members of the theatre community are encouraged to join the Guild Council in taking concrete steps to challenge stereotypes of otherness and to address conscious and unconscious bias in decision-making processes.
Amanda Green (President) is a Tony-nominated lyricist, composer, writer and performer. She wrote the lyrics and co-composed Hands On A Hardbody (Tony, OCC and two Drama Desk nominations for Music & Lyrics, first woman composer to receive the Frederick Loewe Award); in the same season she co-wrote lyrics for Bring It On (Tony nominated for Best Musical, Drama Desk nomination for Lyrics); also Broadway: High Fidelity (Lyrics); Additional book and lyrics for revival of Kiss Me Kate; Additional lyrics for revival On The Twentieth Century. Off Broadway: Additional lyrics, Bob Carol Ted & Alice (The New Group); For The Love Of Tiffany (Lyrics; NY Fringe Festival). TV: Peter Pan Live, The Kennedy Center Honors, The Wonder Pets. Upcoming: Mister Saturday Night (with Billy Crystal) and original musical comedy Female Troubles, a Regency romp about women’s reproductive justice. Board Member The Lillys and A Is For; Alumna BMI Musical Theater Workshop, Circle In The Square, Brown University.
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Vice President)’s plays include Girls, Everybody, War, Gloria, Appropriate, An Octoroon, and Neighbors. A Residency Five playwright at Signature Theatre and a 2020 Guggenheim fellow, his honors include a USA Artists fellowship, the Charles Wintour Award, the MacArthur fellowship, the Windham-Campbell Prize for Drama and the inaugural Tennessee Williams Award. A proud member of the Dramatists Guild, he serves on the boards of Soho Rep, the Park Avenue Armory, UCross, and the Dramatists Guild Foundation. He is also an Associate Professor of Practice at the University of Texas at Austin.
Kristoffer Diaz (Secretary) is a playwright, librettist, screenwriter, and educator. His play The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Other full-length titles include Hercules, Football Football Football Football (or I Love Lave Dash), Welcome to Arroyo’s, Reggie Hoops, and The Unfortunates.Screenwriting credits include GLOW (Netflix) and the screen adaptation of the musical Rent (Fox). Kristoffer teaches playwriting at New York University. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists and a member of its Board of Directors, a member of the Dramatists Guild Council (and the chair of its New Media committee), and a member of the Writers Guild of America, East.
Christine Toy Johnson (Treasurer) is an award-winning writer, actor, director and advocate for inclusion. Her written works have been produced and/or developed by the Roundabout, Village Theatre, Barrow Group, Prospect Theatre, Weston Playhouse, O’Neill, The Abingdon, Greater Boston Stage Company and more and are included in the Library of Congress’s Asian Pacific American Performing Arts Collection (Playwrights Division). Host of the Guild’s podcast The Dramatist Presents: Talkback on Broadway Podcast Network. Co-founder of AAPAC (Asian American Performers Action Coalition), founder of The Asian American Musical Theater Writers Project. Rosetta LeNoire, JACL, Asian American Arts Alliance, Obie awards for advocacy in diversity and inclusion. Details: www.christinetoyjohnson.com. Twitter/Insta: @CToyJ
The Dramatists Guild of America is the national, professional membership trade association of theatre writers including playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists. The Guild was established for the purpose of aiding dramatists in protecting both the artistic and economic integrity of their work. We believe that a vibrant, vital, and provocative theatre is an essential element of the ongoing cultural debate which informs the citizens of a free society; and that if such a theatre is to survive, the unique, idiosyncratic voices of the men, women, trans and non-binary artists who write for it must be cultivated and protected.