Friday, September 7, 2012

Matthew Lopez is Hartford Stage's Aetna Fellow

Playwright Matthew Lopez, author of this past season's The Whipping Man, at Hartford Stage will be the 2012-13 Aetna New Voices Fellow at the theater. The announcement comes on the heels of former Aetna Fellow Quiara Alegria Hudes winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in April for Water By The Spoonful which received its premiere at the theater last November.

A longtime resident of Brooklyn, 35-year-old Lopez hails from Florida, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Dramatic Performance at the University of Southern Florida. Proud of his mixed Puerto Rican and Polish/Russian heritage, his most recent projects include the world premiere of Somewhere at The Old Globe in San Diego and his adaptation of the film Mad Hot Ballroom, which will be directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell.

In recent years, The Whipping Man has become one of the more regularly-produced new American plays. Its New York production garnered Lopez the John Gassner Playwriting Award by the Outer Critics Circle. His other plays include Reverberation, Zoey's Perfect Wedding, and The Legend of Georgia McBride.

Beginning in January, Hartford Stage will premiere Breath and Imagination: The Story of Roland Hayes by 2007-08 Fellow Daniel Beaty. 

A season-long engagement, the Aetna New Voices Fellowship Now in its eighth year) provides an artistic home for important playwrights of color to develop work and become involved in the ongoing life of Greater Hartford. The residency includes working with Hartford Stage's education department, advancing community development, and the commissioning of a new work, as well as a series of readings and workshops throughout the year. 

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

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