Jeremy O. Harris and New York Theatre Workshop launched the Golden & Ruth Harris Commission December 4, named after the Tony-nominated playwright’s grandparents, offering two $50,000 commissions for a new theatrical work.
In its inaugural year, the commissions will be awarded to two generative artists who are Black womxn: one who has yet to have an Off-Broadway New York production, and one who made a significant impact early in their artistic lives but has not had adequate support of late.
Over the next several months, nominators will recommend artists from every area and medium of the field, who will submit proposals to an independent panel. The panel will review and submit finalists to Harris and NYTW, who will select the recipients.
“At the core of my practice is the belief that the work of being a playwright is in community building,” Jeremy O. Harris said. “My grandparents always modeled charity and generosity within their community. Moreover, their generosity to me is the only reason I was able to write my first plays.”
“Jeremy is an artist, a spirit, unlike any other,” said NYTW Artistic Director James C. Nicola. “In this new world that he is commanding to materialize, the fight for the common good of the artists that dwell there is at the very core of his efforts.”
Harris and New York Theatre Workshop most recently collaborated on the Off-Broadway world premiere of Slave Play. The Broadway production is currently nominated for 12 Tony Awards, including Best Play for Harris, the most nods for any play in the awards’ history.