New Playwright Residency Program Established

New Playwright Residency Program Established

December 8, 2015

Names award-winning playwright Kristoffer Diaz first recipient 

Temple University’s Department of Theater is excited to announce the Playwright Residency Program, which is generously supported by David G. Steele (FOX ‘91). The first recipient of this award is playwright, activist and educator Kristoffer Diaz, author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. Diaz has been commissioned to write a full-length play, which will receive a full production during the 2016-2017 season.

Embodying the mission and vision of the Department of Theater, Kristoffer Diaz is a citizen artist, whose work speaks to the diverse student body at Temple University. Beginning this winter, he will meet with faculty and students of the department, conducting master classes for students in the MFA playwriting program and observing the work of the MFA acting students, as well as getting to know the community of graduate and undergraduate students.

With guidance from Edward Sobel, Associate Professor of Directing and Playwright, award-winning playwright Diaz will write a play for the department’s population of young artists. The Department of Theater’s production program will produce the work during the coming mainstage season.

Kristoffer Diaz is an artist, speaker and educator. His play The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (2011) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama and has gone on to more than twenty-five productions nationwide. Other full-length titles include Welcome to Arroyo’s, #therevolution, The Upstairs Concierge and The Unfortunates. His work has been produced, commissioned and developed at The Public Theater, ACT, Center Theatre Group, The Goodman, Second Stage, Victory Gardens, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, American Theater Company and South Coast Repertory, among many others. Awards include the Guggenheim, Jerome, Van Lier, NYFA, and Gail Merrifield Papp Fellowships, among others.

He holds a BA from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, an MFA from NYU’s Department of Dramatic Writing and an MFA from Brooklyn College’s Performing Arts Management program. He teaches playwriting at New York University.

The Department of Theater’s Playwright Residency was developed by Edward Sobel, professor and former Director of New Play Development at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and is uniquely structured to support the playwrights and their work. Playwrights are guaranteed a full production of the play following a short development process, allowing them to remain in close contact with the original generative impulse. Playwrights are encouraged to create work of size and scale often not easily accommodated in professional regional theater production. They also have the opportunity to write for a known ensemble of actors to create pieces suited to the strengths of the company.


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