The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $174,000 three-year playwright residenCy Grant to Kansas City Repertory Theatre for Nathan Louis Jackson to join the Rep's artistic staff. The award is one of 14 Mellon residenCy Grants made in December 2012. Jackson, an award-winning playwright and a native of Kansas City, Kansas, will begin his residency in July 2013.
"Three years ago, Kansas City Rep produced Nathan's extraordinary play Broke-ology," said Eric Rosen, artistic director of the theatre. "The play was a natural fit, telling the incredibly powerful story of two brothers in Kansas City, Kansas wrestling with the problem of how to care for their ailing father. To my delight, audiences from across the region embraced the play with tremendous enthusiasm. No other production in my four seasons here has so successfully united our diverse communities."
A graduate of Kansas State University, Jackson did his graduate work at The Juilliard School. In addition to Broke-ology, which was also produced at Lincoln Center Theatre in 2009 and Williamstown Theatre Festival, his works include When I Come to Die (Lincoln Center, 2011), The Mancherios and The Last Black Play. He has received commissions from both Lincoln Center and Roundabout Theater Company, participated in the Kennedy Center Summer Playwriting Intensive and attended The Sundance Institute Playwright's Retreat. He has also written for television's "Southland" (NBC), "Lights Out" (FX) and "Shameless" (Showtime). Jackson is a two-time winner of the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, a recipient of the Mark Twain Comedy Playwriting Award and has been awarded the Kennedy Center's Gold Medallion.
During his residency at the Rep, Jackson will write and develop two plays under the guidance of Rosen and associate artistic director Kyle Hatley, who will direct Jackson's new works at the Rep. Jackson will also play an active role in the theatre's season planning, lead workshop presentations of his work and participate in the theatre's outreach activities, including working with area schools.
Documentation of the Mellon residenCy Grant will be conducted by The Center for the Theater Commons at Emerson College in Boston and will include regular site visits to Kansas City Rep and attendance at up to four convenings at Emerson College.
Now in its 48th season, Kansas City Repertory Theatre is its region's only member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) and serves as the professional theatre in residence at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). Lauded by The Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, Variety and the Toronto Sun, the Rep produces mainstage plays and special events at Spencer Theatre on the UMKC campus and Copaken Stage located in downtown Kansas City. Kansas City Rep employs more than 250 professional artists, technicians and administrators, and serves more than 100,000 patrons and 12,000 school children annually. Kansas City Repertory Theatre is led by Artistic Director Eric Rosen and Producing Director Jerry Genochio.