Playwrights Horizons Announces Commissions of New Work by Dave Harris, Mia Chung & More

Playwrights Horizons has announced its most recent slate of commissioned artists, providing crucial support to today’s most imaginative writers, and to the realization of works that will shape the future of the American theater. The organization identifies and engages several artists through this program each year, partnering with visionary foundations and individuals to champion these bold and exciting voices.

This roster includes the first-ever playwrights commissioned by Playwrights Horizons through the Sir Peter Shaffer Charitable Foundation. The inaugural Peter Schaffer Commissions are awarded to Phillip Howze, writer of Self Portraits and Frontieres Sans Frontieres, and Mara Nelson-Greenberg, writer of Do You Feel Anger?). Alan U. Schwartz, Trustee of the foundation, said, “The Sir Peter Shaffer Charitable Foundation is very proud to launch this partnership and very pleased to commission these two works chosen under the leadership and direction of Playwrights Horizons.”

Other writers commissioned by Playwrights Horizons in 2021-22 include:

  • Dave Harris (Playwrights: Tambo & Bones; Exception to the Rule) and Deborah Stein (Marginal Loss, The Wholehearted), through the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation/Mellon Foundation Commission;
  • Sarah Mantell (Everything That Never Happened, The Good Guys), through the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation Commission;
  • Dylan Guerra (The Other Two, The Yaelmihkeinsploke) and Ianne Fields Stewart (A Dying Breed), through the Kate and Seymour Weingarten Commission;
  • Madhuri Shekar (House of Joy, Queen), through the Broadway Licensing/Playwrights Horizons Co-Commission;
  • Julia Izumi (upcoming at Playwrights: Regretfully, So the Birds Are; miku, and the gods), through the Jody Falco and Jeffrey Steinman Commissions for Emerging Playwrights;
  • and Mia Chung (upcoming at Playwrights: Catch as Catch Can; Ball in the Air), with the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust Commission.

Playwrights Horizons Artistic Director Adam Greenfield says, “Our commissioning program speaks directly to our identity as an institution committed to playwrights-an organization that believes in providing them resources and support to hone their ability to show us our world in new ways. It is through commissions that we build enduring relationships with playwrights, on many occasions leading to, or happening in tandem with, productions of their work: as with Julia Izumi and Mia Chung, both of whose groundbreaking work feature in our 2022-23 season, or Dave Harris, whose brilliantly destabilizing Tambo & Bones was staged here earlier this year. We are thrilled to team with so many generous foundations to help playwrights bring eye-opening new work into existence.”

About the Commissioned Playwrights

Dave Harris

Dave Harris is a poet and playwright from West Philly. Selected plays include Tambo & Bones (Playwrights Horizons, Center Theatre Group, 2022), Exception to the Rule (Roundabout Theatre Company, 2022), and Everybody Black (Humana Festival 2019). His first feature film, Summertime premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was released in 2021. Selected honors include: the 2019 Ollie Award, The Lorraine Hansberry Award and Mark Twain Award from The Kennedy Center, The International Commendation for The Bruntwood Prize, the 2018 Venturous Fellowship from The Lark, and a Cave Canem poetry fellowship amongst others. Dave is currently writing the feature adaptation of The Fortress of Solitude amongst several other feature and television projects. His first full-length collection of poetry, Patricide, was published by Button Poetry. Upcoming: Incendiary (Woolly Mammoth, 2023), Tambo & Bones (Royal Stratford East, UK, 2023).