The Manhattan Theater Club grows has received a grant from the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust to inaugurate a series at Studio II theater at New York City Center that will produce new work, as well as a joint venture with Ars Nova to workshop plays and develop scripts.The first two plays will be “Murder Ballad,” a musical by Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash, and “Choir Boy,” a play with music by Tarell Alvin McCraney. “Murder Ballad” will begin previews on Oct. 30, with Trip Cullman directing a cast that will be announced later. “Choir Boy” begins previews next June. Four playwrights will be selected soon to participate in the Writers’ Room, as the collaboration with Ars Nova will be known. Manhattan Theater Club and Ars Nova first worked together on “From Up Here” by Liz Flahive in 2008, and the multi-year partnership should cement the ties between the two companies.