"Signature was the first theater I ever purchased a subscription to. I was fresh out of school and that experience actually changed my life - partly because it was the August Wilson season, but also because (at $15 a ticket) I could afford it. Great theater was suddenly something very true and accessible and welcoming to me. That season I also grasped for the first time what a “career” for a playwright could actually be - or that a playwright could even have a “career” in the first place.
Our work can often feel isolated and one-off – it’s here and it’s gone and what’s next? – but, spending time with a writer’s body of work, you suddenly get the sense that there are other shapes, other echoes that can be made – longer, slower stories that can get told – and I think that opened something up for me, in terms of how I started to think about writing.
This kind of promise is what a lot of playwrights dream of, and three plays over five years is not just a gift but a challenge – an encouragement to think bigger. The possibilities now seem greater and stranger and maybe a little more dangerous and that’s exciting to me -- and to imagine those possibilities playing out in the context of the Signature’s ticketing initiative is just inspiring. I couldn’t be more thrilled."
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is a Brooklyn-based playwright and dramaturg. His newest play, Appropriate, premieres at the Humana Festival in March 2013, and his play Neighbors will receive its UK Premiere at the Hightide Festival in May 2013. His work has been seen at The Public Theater, PS122, Soho Rep, The Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles, Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis, CompanyOne in Boston, Theater Bielefeld in Bielefeld, Germany and the National Theatre in London. He is a Usual Suspect and a former New York Theatre Workshop Playwriting fellow, an alum of the Soho Rep Writers/Directors Lab, the Public Theater Emerging Writers Group, and Ars Nova Playgroup. His honors include a Princess Grace Award, the Dorothy Strelsin Playwriting Fellowship, the Paula Vogel Award, two residencies with the Sundance Theatre Lab, and a fellowship in playwriting from the New York Foundation for the Arts. He holds an M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU and is working on commissions from Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 and Yale Repertory Theater.
IMAGE: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Photo by Gregory Costanzo.