Chance Theater Blog

2018 Resident Playwright

Joanna Garner

For the 8th year in a row, Chance Theater will have a resident playwright whose work will be featured throughout the year in the On The Radar Series. Previous resident playwrights include Marshall Pailet (whose musical Triassic Parq at the Chance won the Ovation Award for Best Musical), Lauren Yee (whose play, King of the Yees was be produced at Kirk Douglas Theatre in 2018), Ted Malawer (Anatomy of Love and Times Square Psychic), and Nick Jones (who had two of his shows that were featured in our OTR Series receive major world premieres at Lincoln Center and Manhattan Theatre Club). Over the years, the resident playwrights have returned time and again to have their work featured in both the OTR Series (Jenny Connell Davis’ recent The Candidate) and the Main Season (Lauren Yee’s in a word and Marshall Pailet’s Claudio Quest).

We are very excited to introduce you to our 2018 Resident Playwright… Joanna Garner. Her work has been developed nationally and internationally, including at the Banff Playwrights Colony, Tofte Lake Center, the New York and Hollywood Fringe Festivals, and many others. Her political drama about Iran, The Orange Garden, was a winner of the 2016 Keene Prize for Literature and included on the 2016 Kilroys List. An accomplished songwriter and musician, Joanna’s original country musical, 100 Heartbreaks, was work-shopped in Seattle Rep’s New Play Program, with the Northwest Playwrights Alliance, and was presented at the country’s largest arts and
culture festival, Bumbershoot. It was later nominated for an Austin Critics’ Table Award for Outstanding Musical. Her short play, Cat Cafe, was a finalist for this year’s Humana Festival of New Plays Heideman Award.

Joanna’s daring spirit and skilled language makes her an emerging voice in the American theater landscape, and we are truly excited to support the development of her work during our 20th Anniversary Season.

This year, Joanna will have two of her shows featured in the OTR Series — a LAB Workshop of a brand new play that she’s still writing, and a staged reading of The Orange Garden, an intense story about a young Peace Corps volunteer in Iran who finds himself caught up in a cultural whirlwind of danger and forbidden passion.



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