(BOSTON) – Huntington Theatre Company announces its 2015-2017 cohort of Huntington Playwriting Fellows: Thom Dunn and Deborah Salem Smith. 

The Huntington fosters local playwrights at all stages of their careers, from emerging talents to established professionals through the Huntington Playwriting Fellows program. Fellows receive two-year residencies during which they are provided a modest honorarium from the theatre, participate in a bi-weekly writers’ collective, attend Huntington productions and events, and benefit from access to the Huntington’s artistic staff and resources. Select Fellows are invited to participate in the Huntington’s Summer Workshop, a two-week new work retreat, and the Breaking Ground Festival of New Work in the spring.

Past Huntington Playwriting Fellows include Ronan Noone (The Atheist, Brendan, The Second Girl), Lydia R. Diamond (Smart People, Stick Fly), Melinda Lopez (Becoming Cuba, Sonia Flew), Kirsten Greenidge (Luck of the Irish and the upcoming Milk Like Sugar), Ryan Landry (Ryan Landry’s “M”), and Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro (Before I Leave You) to name a few.

The two 2015-2017 Fellows were selected from 59 applicants. The Huntington Playwriting Fellows program is supported by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. 

Thom Dunn is a writer, musician, and new media artist, as well as a staff writer at Upworthy. His plays have been performed in New York, Boston, Hollywood, and Alaska, and his other writing — including comics, poems, essays, and fiction — has been published by Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Quirk BooksTor.comGrayHaven ComicsNinth Art Press, and more. A graduate of the Clarion Writer’s Workshop at UCSD and Emerson College, Mr. Dunn enjoys Oxford commas, metaphysics, and romantic clichés (especially when they involve whiskey), and firmly believes that Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” is the single greatest atrocity ever committed against mankind. He lives in Boston with his wife and way too many weird stringed instruments. You can follow his adventures on Facebook and Twitter. @thomdunn.

Deborah Salem Smith’s plays include Faithful Cheaters, Love Alone, Some Things Are Private, and Boots on the Ground. In 2013 she received a novel commission from Lifespan Hospitals to write and present the one-act Defeat is an Orphan at Grand Rounds. Her play Love Alone received an Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, an Honorable Mention by the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, was an Indy Week Best Play of 2014 selection, and was nominated for the IRNE Award for Best New Play of 2013. Ms. Smith's previous honors include an Emerging American Artist Fulbright for playwriting in Dublin, Ireland, where she worked with the Abbey Theatre, Ireland's national theatre, and served as a Visiting Academic at the Trinity College School of Drama. Her work has been recognized by a National Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, a Bray Visiting Scholar/Creative Artists Fellowship at Alpert Medical School at Brown University, a MacDowell Fellowship, a Colby Fellowship, and a Major Hopwood Award, as well as writing and visual arts prizes from the University of Michigan and Princeton University. Ms. Smith is also the playwright-in-residence at Trinity Repertory Company, where in 2014, she was awarded a new play commission.  

Past Huntington Playwriting Fellows are leaders of the local community whose plays have been produced on the Huntington’s stages and throughout the country. They are:

2014-2016 Cohort: Mia Chung (You for Me for You, The Exquisite Corpse), John J King (From Denmark with Love, Der Vampyr), Sam Marks (The Delling Shore, The Old Masters), and Nina Louise Morrison (Forever Home, Google Doll)
2012-2014 Cohort: Lila Rose Kaplan (Home of the Brave, The Light Princess), Walt McGough (Pricilla Dreams the Answer, The Farm), and Lenelle Moïse (Merit, The Many Faces of Nia)
2011-2013 Cohort: John Oluwole ADEkoje ([Shoe] Shine Safari), Eleanor Burgess (Start Down, Mocha), and David Valdes Greenwood (Mambo Beans)
2010-2013 Cohort: Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro (Before I Leave You, Mammal Heat), Miranda Craigwell (Shelter), Lawrence Goodman (The Disappearance of the Jews), and Masha Obolensky (The Bluebeard Project, Marvelous Fruit)
2009–2011 Cohort: Patrick Gabridge (Flight), Ryan Landry (Ryan Landry’s “M”), and MJ Kaufman (Murmur Rock, Untitled Play about Dead Bodies)
2007–2009 Cohort: Kirsten Greenidge (Luck of the Irish, Milk Like Sugar), Jacqui Parker (Jeanie Don’t Sing No Mo’), Ken Urban (A Future Perfect, The Happy Sad), and Joyce Van Dyke (Deported / a dream play)
2005–2007 Cohort: Lydia R. Diamond (Smart People, Stick Fly), Rebekah Maggor (Shakespeare’s Actresses in America), John Shea (The Hill), and Kate Snodgrass (The Glider)
2003–2005 Cohort: John Kuntz (Necessary Monsters, Jasper Lake), Melinda Lopez (Becoming Cuba, Sonia Flew), Ronan Noone (The Second Girl, The Atheist, Brendan), and Sinan Ünel (Chatal, The Cry of the Reed)


Recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award and named Best of Boston 2013 and 2014 by Boston magazine, the Huntington Theatre Company is Boston’s leading professional theatre and one of the region’s premier cultural assets since its founding in 1982. Bringing together superb local and national talent, the Huntington produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current to create award-winning productions, runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development, and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Under the direction of Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso and in residence at Boston University, the Huntington cultivates, celebrates, and champions theatre as an art form. For more information, visit

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