The Lark Play Development Center and Playwrights of New York have named scribe Eric Dufault as the 2014-15 recipient of the PONY Fellowship, the hefty annual grant program that has a track record of identifying rising talent early, including Katori Hall (“The Mountaintop”) and Samuel D. Hunter (“The Whale”).
Dufault attracted attention earlier this year for his play “Year of the Rooster,” a comic thriller about cockfighting in which the lead actor plays a fierce rooster named Odysseus Rex. A member of the Ensemble Studio Theater’s Youngblood group of under-30 scribes, he also has penned plays “The Tomb of King Tot,” “American Girls” and “The Last Great Telemarketer.”
Since its inauguration in 2007, the PONY Fellowship’s noteworthy haul has encompassed $100,000 in support including a year of housing in an apartment in Manhattan’s theater district.
In addition to Hall and Hunter, past recipients of PONY support have included Dominique Morisseau (“Detroit ’67” at the Public Theater), A. Rey Pamatmat (“Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them”) and last year’s Kimber Lee, whose “Different Words for the Same Thing” will premiere at L.A.’s Center Theater Group next month.
The PONY fellowship also includes a spot in the Lark Playwrights’ Workshop led by scribes such as Arthur Kopit, Terrence McNally and Theresa Rebeck, as well as access to support from Off Broadway’s Labyrinth Theater Company and from American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass.
Dufault begins his year of residence in PONY’s midtown apartment in October.