Hammaad Chaudry ’14 is one of three playwrights to be awarded the New Dramatist Edward and Sally Van Lier Playwriting fellowship. Chaudry is originally from Edinburgh, Scotland. In the US his work has been produced at The New York Theatre Workshop, Pershing Square Signature Center and The Flea Theatre. Chaudry is also currently a member of The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group with fellow School of the Arts Alumna Celine Song ‘14. In the U.K. his work has been produced at The Royal Court Theatre in London, from where he is a graduate of theatre’s Young Writers Programme. His plays include Salaam, Mr. Bush, Tokens, Kismat, God Willing and An Ordinary Muslim, which was mentored by Tony Kushner.
The Van Lier fellowship is awarded every two years to “young, economically disadvantaged playwrights of color living in New York City develop their talent and become involved in the professional theatre community.” The fellowship is supported by a grant from the Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund of the New York Community Trust. The fellowship includes a $10,000 a year cash grant, a two year residency at New Dramatists with access to the Playwrights’ Lab program and a mentor from the resident company at New Dramatists. Past recipients include current School of the Arts professors Lynn Nottage, Zakiyyah Alexander, Kristoffer Diaz and Qui Nguyen.
New Dramatists was founded in 1949 by Michaela O’Harra. The organization is dedicated to giving resources and creating opportunities for playwrights. Their mission states that New Dramatists aims to “give playwrights time and space in the company of gifted peers to create work, realize their artistic potential, and make lasting contributions to the theatre.” New Dramatists offers seven-year residencies to member playwrights and offers them unique individual support to develop their work during that time. They also offer multiple awards throughout the year open to members and non-members.