Clubbed Thumb commissions, develops and produces funny, strange and provocative new plays by living American writers. Since its founding in 1996, the company has earned four Obies and presented plays in every form of development, including over 75 full productions. Clubbed Thumb is an incubator for artists and their work, staging plays to critical acclaim while supporting an ever-growing creative community.
Plays vary in style and content, but are always without intermission and 90 minutes or under, and unproduced in New York City. They feature substantial and challenging roles for both men and women, are questioning, formally inventive, decidedly theatrical and, somewhere in the text, they contain a sense of humor.
Clubbed Thumb commissions new work from emerging writers, offering a range of development programs and resources to fully realize the particular world of the play in a full production. Its values the community of artists it has cultivated over the years, and actively seeks collaborations with new directors and designers, holds regular open auditions and maintains an open submission policy for plays.
Summerworks is an annual four-week festival of new plays and a cornerstone of Clubbed Thumb programming. It consists of an opening night of short pieces and three new plays. Every other winter it presents a Long Run of a play that has gone through various development programs, including Summerworks. Throughout the year Clubbed Thumb cultivates plays through readings, workshops specifically tailored to the unique needs of the play, and New Play Boot Camp, an intensive script revision program.
Over the course of the two weeks of New Play Boot Camp, three playwrights produce three drafts of a script, culminating in a reading of the work in progress. In addition to commissioning through organizations, in 2005, the Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission was created to encourage the writing of plays that consider the relationships between truth, power, history, and personal responsibility. It is a $15,000 prize to write and develop a play for Clubbed Thumb.
In the spring of 2007, Playscripts published Funny, Strange, Provocative: Seven Plays from Clubbed Thumb. Half of Clubbed Thumb's plays are now in print.
The careers of writers nurtured by Clubbed Thumb (and whose New York premieres it has produced) are flourishing. Recent accolades include a MacArthur Award; a Tony Award; several Susan Smith Blackburn, Kesselring, Whiting and Obie Awards; the Pulitzer short-list; the Rosenthal New Play Prize; the National Theatre Critic's Steinberg Citation; grants and fellowships from the MAP Fund, Princess Grace, Jerome, McKnight, NYSCA and NEA/TCG; and numerous other residencies and commissions. Plays by Clubbed Thumb alumni are being produced, across country, from Los Angeles' Actors Gang to Actors Theatre of Louisville to New York's Playwrights Horizons and Broadway.