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Award-winning Playwrights Phillip Howze, Hansol Jung, Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas and Christina Anderson Release New Books

Official Launch and Signing at Drama Book Shop on September 25th.

The Sledgehammer Series, a book project hosted by Sheila Callaghan’s Tripwire Harlot Press , and co-created with Sarah Ruhl and Jacqueline Goldfinger, launches its first four Sledgehammer Series titles, Rarities & Wonders: Plays by Phillip Howze, Doodles from the Margins: Three Plays by Hansol Jung, Recent Alien Abductions by Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas and Three Plays by Christina Anderson.

Aspiring to be an entirely artist-centered model of publication (as 13P was for theater production), Sledgehammer places all creative decisions in the hands of its authors. To celebrate the first playwrights in this on-going series, Sledgehammer will host a book launch and signing at the Drama Book Shop (266 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018) on Sunday, September 25 from 2-4pm. All books will be available online at Amazon and at the Drama Book Shop.

“This Sledgehammer initiative is a great opportunity for playwrights to publish their work on their terms,” says Christina Anderson. “The book itself is the playwright’s canvas. And to share these works with students, teachers, theatergoers, and the curious reader is a delightful endeavor.”

“Due to the limitations of our current producing and publishing models, much of this material has not been given the recognition it fully deserves,” says Sheila Callaghan. “How are we as a field meant to engage in a meaningful dialogue about important contemporary artists if only a tiny percentage of people have access to their work? And in what ways can we serve the field by breaking down the barriers to entry? These are the questions that the Sledgehammer Series seeks to address.”

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The four Sledgehammer Series books being released this year are:

Rarities & Wonders: Plays by Phillip Howze. “Rarities & Wonders, represent an array of actions, disclosures, marvels, and meanderings. In a word: plays. I'm delighted to share them here, for the first-time, published together in a singular assembly,” says Howze.

Through his teaching position at Harvard University, Howze continues the tradition of great playwrights who are also important mentors to the next generation of writers. The advice he gave to emerging writers at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival is inspiring: “It’s important to read as much as you can. Read everything you can get your hands on. Never stop reading.

"Playwrights who have been meaningful to me over the years have been many, but especially the Classical writers. The Greeks. I love a lot of Shakespeare’s plays. But go to witness a lot of theatre too, because it will motivate the work that you’re making and it’s always been an important thing to me to be part of the community in that way. Get involved. Bear witness to things that are happening around you. And read the newspaper. Trying to stay informed about the world is a very important part of being a writer.”

Doodles from the Margins: Three Plays by Hansol Jung comprises the plays Wolf Play, No More Sad Things, and Wild Goose Dreams. Most recently, Wolf Play completed a sold out and extended run at Soho Rep in New York City. In January 2023, off-Broadway’s MCC will collaborate with Soho Rep and Ma-Yi Theater Company to bring Wolf Play, a story of a family and an off-the-record adoption, back to the stage.

Three Plays by Christina Anderson comprises the plays How to Catch Creation, Good Goods, and Hollow Roots. “I designed the book cover, using my photography to create a collage that symbolizes my approach when crafting my play worlds,” says Anderson.

A former Van Lier fellow, three-time Blackburn nominee, Tony Award nominee and inaugural Harper Lee Award winner, Anderson selected three plays for her Sledgehammer anthology which she feels capture the arc of her writing from emerging to established playwright.

The first three books will be available at the Drama Book Shop during the September launch. The fourth book by Cortiñas will be available for pre-order.

Recent Alien Abductions. by Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas Cortiñas's play uses the metaphor of alien abduction to explore two kinds of asymmetrical relationships: the experience of growing up queer in a straight family and the geopolitical relationship Puerto Rico has with the United States. “Cortiñas’s heartbroken thriller Recent Alien Abductions weaves a delicate spider’s web,” said Time Out NY.

“The limited publication of plays, especially work by BIPOC artists, leads to a butterfly effect of access issues for producers, academics, historians, and others,” says Jacqueline Goldfinger. “In addition, the formatting demands of traditional publisher’s force text into a monolithic mold which may not serve the artist’s intention. Sledgehammer supports playwrights so that they can create an experience for the reader on the page, just as they create one for the audience on the stage; making the experience of the text singularly performative for each reader.”

Hansol Jung is a playwright and director from South Korea. Productions include Wolf Play (Artist Rep, Company One, Soho Rep), Wild Goose Dreams (Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse), Cardboard Piano (Humana Festival), Among the Dead (Ma-Yi), and No More Sad Things (Sideshow, Boise Contemporary). Commissions from Public Theater (NY), Kennedy Center, Playwrights Horizons, La Jolla Playhouse. She has received residencies and fellowships from Hodder Fellowship from Princeton, Royal Court, New York Theater Workshop's 2050 Fellowship, Berkeley Repertory, MacDowell, Hedgebrook, Sundance Theatre Lab, and Page 73. Awards include the Steinberg Award, Whiting Award, DGF Award and the Helen Merrill Award. She has written for TV series Tales of the City (Netflix), Pachinko (Apple +) and is currently developing various onscreen projects with Bad Robot, Amazon Studios, and the team at Kindred Spirit/Ink Factory/Endeavor Content. Hansol is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, NYTW’s Usual Suspects, and The Kilroys. MFA: Yale School of Drama.

Christina Anderson is a Tony Award Nominee for Outstanding Book of a Musical for Paradise Square. She is a playwright, screenwriter, educator, and creative. Her plays have appeared at The Goodman Theatre, OSF, The Public Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Kansas City Rep, and other theaters in the United States and Canada. Awards and honors include: 2021 Prince Prize, 2020 United States Artists Fellow, MacDowell Fellowship, Lily Awards Harper Lee Prize, Herb Alpert Award nomination, Barrymore Nomination, and New Dramatists Residency. She taught playwriting at Wesleyan University, Rutgers University, SUNY Purchase College, and served as the interim Head of Playwriting at Brown University.

Phillip Howze is a writer and theater maker whose works include Self Portraits (BRIC-Arts Media) and Frontieres Sans Frontieres (Bushwick Starr). His plays have been developed or produced at Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Clubbed Thumb, Cutting Ball, New York Theater Workshop, PRELUDE Festival, Public Theater/NYSF, San Francisco Playhouse, Signature Theatre, Theater Masters, and Yale Cabaret. He is a Fellow of the Sundance Theater Lab, a Lucas Artist Fellow at Montalvo Arts Center, a 2021 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, a MAP Fund grantee, and a Resident Writer at Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3. His commissions include the American Repertory Theater, the Manhattan Theatre Club/Sloan Initiative, and Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3. He was recently appointed the inaugural Associate Senior Lecturer in Playwriting at Harvard University’s new Theater, Dance & Media program.

Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas's most recent plays include Bird in the Hand (Fulcrum, New York Times Critics Pick) and Blind Mouth Singing (NAATCO, New York Times Critics Pick). His many awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts (three years), and the Helen Merrill Award, among others. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists and a NYTW Usual Suspect.

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Tripwire Harlot is a small artist-driven press that began in late 2019 as an imprint of Savage Candy Productions. It was initially founded by playwright Sheila Callaghan as a thought experiment, and soon grew into a platform for amplifying under-represented voices in the American Theater and beyond. Tripwire H. is dedicated to spotlighting adventurous work that might otherwise be overlooked by risk-averse institutions. It seeks to give voice to unique, insightful perspectives through interrogation and creative inquiry. It strives to serve the field by playfully poking at the boundaries of the impossible. And finally, it challenges our presumed limitations around dramatic works in print.

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