"I watched our most talented artists get squeezed out of New York City or put their plays on back burners..."
Sandi Goff Farkas
I founded PoNY with the mission to ensure the future of theatre.
As a graduate of Columbia University's MFA Playwriting program, I saw firsthand, the overwhelming challenges that young playwrights face when starting their careers - covering rent, paying back school loans, and finding theatres to take risks and support their work. I watched our most talented artists get squeezed out of New York City or put their plays on back burners in exchange for commercial endeavors - causing a major talent drain in our city's critical culture of theatre.
I was mostly concerned an entire generation of new plays were not going to be written, simply because young writers couldn't afford to write them.
I had an idea. What if we gave an promising playwright a deep amount of support - an apartment, a living stipend, an artistic community - and allowed them the time and space they needed to write new plays? How would that affect the writer's career path? How would that affect the American theatre as a whole?
And so with the LARK Play Development Center, we launched the PoNY Fellowship which provided all of those deeply impactful means. And now with the launch of PoNY 2.0, we are expanding our assistance to playwrights to include long-term support - producing partners, artistic homes, career-development grants and financial counsel.
In 8 short years, we have learned that this idea was producing results. The impact on our Fellows and the theater at large has really been astounding. As of today:
28 new plays... 31 productions... in 18 cities... all from 1 apartment!
Our PoNY community has expanded immensely with Mara Manus, our strategic advisor, now at the helm of our growth. Our family of Patrons, Partners and Playwrights is growing broader and deeper each and every day.
PoNY is a revolution in how we, as a community, support our playwrights - our modern-day myth-makers - and nothing has made me more proud than to see that revolution grow...
- Sandi Goff Farkas
Now in its eighth year, the Playwrights of New York (PoNY) Fellowship was founded by playwright Sandi Goff Farkas and LARK Play Development Center, and was created to provide promising playwrights with the financial freedom to create new plays.
The first of its kind, the PoNY fellowship addresses the many challenges of living as a playwright in New York City, providing practical support (housing, living expenses and health insurance) as well as more profound considerations such as artistic development and connection to a supportive community.
Furthermore, the PoNY Fellowship ensures the continued vibrancy of New York City by keeping some of our most promising artists here, while promoting the type of creative new work that will ultimately enrich the American theatrical canon.
For more information on the fellowship, CLICK HERE.
After the Fellowship year, PONY 2.0 provides ongoing professional support with the mission to provide artistic homes for PoNY Playwrights and opportunities for their work to be seen in front of audiences.
For more information on PoNY 2.0, CLICK HERE.
"The [apartment] location allowed me to be a really active member in the NY theatre community."
- A. Rey Pamatmat, 2011 Fellow
Located in the heart of the theater district, the PoNY apartment is located in a beautifully renovated 1905 former carriage house.
Leadership and staff support for PoNY is provided by Mara Manus and Alex Mallory (Manus+Co). More information about Manus+Co is available at manusandco.com.
Carson's commission for the Guthrie, BE HERE NOW opens in Minneapolis