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Marcus Gardley Named Aetna Voices Fellow at Hartford Stage

Playwright-poet Marcus Gardley will be the Aetna New Voices Fellow at Hartford Stage during the 2011-2012 season. 

Gardley was awarded the 2011 PEN Laura Pels award for Mid-Career Playwright.  He was recently chosen as one of “50 writers to watch” by Dramatists, and The New Yorker describes Gardley as “the heir to Garcia Lorca, Pirandello and Tennessee Williams.”

 His other awards and honors include the Hellen Merrill Award, a Kellsering Honor, the Gerbode Emerging Playwright Award, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Award, a Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Grant, a NEA/TCG Playwriting Participant Residency, the Eugene O’Neill Memorial Scholarship, and the ASCAP Cole Porter Prize.

 This season marks the seventh year of Aetna’s sponsorship of the New Voices Fellowship.

 “After I read 'every tongue confess,' Marcus Gardley’s wildly original, harrowing, and hilarious new play  I knew that we had found this season’s Aetna New Voices fellow," says Darko Tresnjak, the new artistic director at Hartford Stage. "I am honored that he will be a part of our Hartford Stage family and can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.”

 'every tongue confess,' starring Phylicia Rashad and directed by Kenny Leon, recently premiered at Arena Stage, in Washington D.C. where it was nominated for the Steinberg New Play Award, the Charles MacArthur Award for Best Play, and was the recipient of the Edgerton New Play Award.

 His musical, "On the Levee," premiered last summer at Lincoln Center and was nominated for 11 Audelco Awards including outstanding playwright.

 Last Spring, his critically acclaimed epic "And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi" was produced at the Cutting Ball Theater and received the SF Bay Area Theater Critics circle Award nomination for outstanding new play and had two sold-out extensions.

 His Bay Area plays "This World in a Woman’s Hands" (October 2009) and "Love is a Dream House in Lorin" (March 2007) have been hailed as the best in Bay Area theater; the latter was nominated for the National Critics Steinberg New Play Award.

 Other production of his work include "dance of the holy ghosts" at Yale Repertory Theatre (now under a Broadway option), "(L)imitations of Life" at the Empty Space in Seattle and "like sun fallin’ in the mouth" at the National Black Theatre Festival.

 Gardley holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale Drama School and is a member of New Dramatists, The Dramatists Guild, and the Lark Play Development Center.  He is currently a professor of Playwriting at Brown University.

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