Building on 40 years of producing powerful contemporary theatre, Studio supports new writing from inception to first production: commissioning new work from both writers and directors; giving artists time and resources to develop their work; and hosting them in residence during the rehearsal process. Our intimate spaces are uniquely suited to the immediacy of new work—they’re small, and they provide a direct relationship between the actor and audience.
Studio R&D is our incubator for new plays, new relationships, and new modes of collaboration. Encompassing the full range of Studio’s commissioning and new work development activities, Studio R&D supports artists through both the writing and development of their work, offering commissions, residencies, and artistic retreats. Studio R&D provides artists the resources and tools they need to create, and allows Studio to introduce aesthetically diverse new work into the international repertoire.
Beginning with Lungs in the 2011-2012 Season, Studio has published all of its world premiere plays, broadening the reach of these new works, and launching them onto the international stage. The work Studio has premiered has gone on to productions across the US, Canada, and Europe, playing Off Broadway, touring the UK, and entering the permanent repertoire of the Schaubüehne in Berlin.
In 2012, Artistic Director David Muse began a commissioning program, inviting new and established writers from the US and beyond to develop work specifically for Studio’s intimate spaces. Past commissions include established and emerging writers from the US and abroad: Stew and Heidi Rodewald, Vivienne Franzmann, Rachel Bonds, Clare Lizzimore, Mary Elizabeth Hamilton, Ike Holter, Aaron Posner, Sarah DeLappe, Abe Koogler, Qui Nguyen, Steph Del Rosso, Emily Schwend, James Ijames, and James Fritz. Beginning in 2016, Studio began to extend commissions to directors as well, offerings artist whose work we admire the time to reflect, read, and develop projects for Studio. These directors are Lileana Blain-Cruz, Carl Cofield, Mike Donahue, Jackson Gay, Eric Ruffin, and Lila Neugebauer.
Studio produced its first play from this program in 2014, The Wolfe Twins by Rachel Bonds. Since then, Studio has commissioned eight artists, and produced commissioned work, Animal by Clare Lizzimore in 2015 and Aaron Posner's No Sisters in 2017.
Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm Hilary Bettis
Daniel Kitson Ken Urban
Aaron Posner Morgan Gould
Clare Lizzimore Beth Henley
Rachel Bonds Lucas Hnath
Bryony Lavery Duncan Macmillan