Announcing the 2016 Ensemble/Playwright Collaboration Grant

Network of Ensemble Theaters and Playwrights’ Center
Award 2016 Ensemble/Playwright Collaboration Grant
to SITI Company and playwright Kate 

PORTLAND, OR & MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET) and Playwrights’ Center (PWC) are pleased to award the 2016 Ensemble/Playwright Collaboration Grant to SITI Company (New York, NY) and playwright Kate Tarker (Brooklyn, NY). Together, the artists of SITI’s Conservatory and Tarker will begin to develop compositional material for a revisionist telling of the Salem Witch Trials. The annual award is designed to support creative exchange and dialogue between ensembles and playwrights.

For the past five years, NET and the Playwrights’ Center have partnered to support projects between NET ensemble members and members of the Playwrights' Center's Core Writer Program through the Ensemble/Playwright Collaboration Grant. One grant of $4,000 is awarded each year to support collaborative activities resulting in a final presentation. Past recipients include: Theater Grottesco and Andy Bragen (2011); Theatre Novi Most and Cory Hinkle (2012); Live Action Set and John Olive (2013); Team Sunshine Performance Corporation and Jenny Connell Davis (2014); and The Satori Group and Susan Stanton (2015).


The collaboration will begin in early December 2016, within the framework of the SITI Conservatory, SITI’s biennial 26-week training program for 20 independent theater artists from around the world. Playwright Kate Taker will work alongside SITI Company members and Conservatory artists for a week to explore her interest in an irreverent revisionist telling of the Salem Witch Trials.

“The Salem Witch Trials represent an important moment in female history, and yet the only widely performed play on the subject is Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. While Mr. Miller’s play is considered one of the 20th Century’s great classics, its point of view has defined our understanding of this complex period in history,”writes SITI Company. “Ms. Tarker is interested in tipping the canon by diving into deeper themes of gender politics and ignoring traditional gender typecasting.”

The collaborative work period will include the development of compositional material based on SITI’s rigorous Suzuki and Viewpoints training methodologies.The subject matter and context of working within the Conservatory offers the unique opportunity to meet this goal, in addition to exploring the language of incantation and the creation of a bold, visual world. Kate Tarker elaborates on the opportunity:

“It’s a thrill to get a chance to share ideas, strategies, and creative gurglings with the SITI Company. I've always admired their rigor and integrity. I expect that time with their Conservatory will embed surprises, combustions, and unforeseen side roads into my investigation of witchcraft and oppression. I love opening ideas up to a group mind, to suss out the lurking undercurrents of resonance for all of us.”

Following this first work period in December 2016, SITI Company and Tarker will meet again in the winter of 2017 to work on the writing generated from the initial exploration and to develop new material. The piece will be presented publicly in SITI’s Peter Zeisler Studio in New York City in the winter of 2017.


SITI Company

SITI Company’s repertoire has included classic and ancient plays, new writing, and devised theater. The different skills, interests and sensibilities that are present in SITI’s work also form an important part of the SITI Conservatory, a biennial program of SITI Company that invites 20 artists from around the world to train intensively with SITI Company artists, as well as with Conservatory artists. The Conservatory is currently entering its third year, but is informed by SITI’s 25 years of training artists in their studio and studios around the world. The 26-week program offers physical, vocal and intellectual training to cultivate artists able to work with classical and contemporary material with equal expertise and ferocity.

the theater is a blank page, Wexner Center (April 2015) 
Photo by Brooke LaValley

Kate Tarker 

Kate Tarker’s plays include THUNDERBODIES (2017 L. Arnold Weissberger Award nominee), An Almanac for Farmers and Lovers in Mexico (2015 Kilroys List), and Laura and the Sea (2016 Kilroys List; 2016 L. Arnold Weissberger Award finalist).

Tarker’s work has been presented by The Lark, Ars Nova, NYTW@Adelphi, The Playwrights’ Center, The O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, The Southern Theater in Minneapolis, LOCAL lab in Boulder, Theater Masters in Aspen/NYC, Salt Lake Acting Company, Nautilus Music-Theater, and the National New Play Network at the Kennedy Center. She is the recipient of a Jerome Fellowship, MacDowell Colony Fellowship, Tofte Lake Center residency, SPACE at Ryder Farm retreat, the Kennedy Center’s National Science Playwriting Award, and the Theater Masters Visionary Playwright Award & Commission, and is currently under commission from The Wilma Theater. She is an Ars Nova Play Group member, New Georges affiliated artist, and Playwrights’ Center Core Writer. Tarker received a B.A. from Reed College and  M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama; she lives in Brooklyn.




A national coalition of ensembles created by and for artists, the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET) exists to propel ensemble theater practice to the forefront of American culture and society.  NET links a diverse array of ensembles and practitioners to one another and the performing arts field, encouraging collaborations and knowledge building/dissemination. NET is committed to the advancement of the ensemble form and strives to bring about change in the world beyond ourselves through the transformative power of collaborative theater.  We support bold artistic and civic experiments and aim to heighten the impact and excellence of ensemble theater. For more information:


The Playwrights’ Center champions playwrights and new plays to build upon a living theater that demands new and innovative works. In addition to awarding some of the most generous fellowships for playwrights and theater artists in the United States, the Center is an industry leader in playwright-led development of new work, theater partnerships with substance, and online and onsite resources serving 1,500 member playwrights around the world. For more information:


Park Cofield
Field Resources Manager
Network of Ensemble Theaters
323-638-4870 /

Julia Brown
Artistic Programs Administrator
Playwrights’ Center
612-332-7481 x115 /

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Posted by: 
Monday, August 29, 2016

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