Writer Jen Silverman is the recipient of the 2016-17 PoNY Fellowship, the annual playwrighting grant endowed with notably robust support (including a rent-free year in a Manhattan apartment) and a significant track record in identifying rising talent at the earliest stages of their careers.
Presented by the Lark, the New York-based nonprofit dedicated to the development of new stage work, and Playwrights of New York (PoNY), the PoNY fellowship’s previous recipients have included Samuel D. Hunter, who went on to win a MacArthur genius grant; Katori Hall, whose play “The Mountaintop” landed on Broadway with Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett; and Dominique Morisseau, whose play “Skeleton Crew” will move to the Atlantic Theater’s mainstage later this spring after a much-lauded run in the company’s smaller venue.
Silverman took the coming season’s fellowship for work that has included “The Moors,” which earned good reviews in its premiere at Yale Rep earlier this year, as well as “Phoebe in Winter” and “Crane Story.” Upcoming productions include “Collective Rage: A Play in Five Boops” at D.C.’s Woolly Mammoth and “All the Roads Home” at Cincinnati Playhouse, with developmental sessions for other plays on the docket at South Coast Rep and Berkeley Rep.
For the fellowship, Silverman will receive a year of housing in the PoNY apartment in midtown Manhattan, three years of health insurance, a stipend for living expenses and creative support from the Lark, including an ongoing workshop with playwrights such as Arthur Kopit, David Henry Hwang, Tina Howe, Lynn Nottage, Jose Rivera and Doug Wright.
Silverman follows in the footsteps of the current fellow, Martyna Majok, whose play “Ironbound” had a well-received run at Off Broadway’s Rattlestick earlier this spring.