The Sledgehammer Series was conceived by playwrights Sheila Callaghan, Jacqueline Goldfinger, and Sarah Ruhl to address limited opportunities in dramatic publishing for writers they admire. It aims to make some of the most exciting work in the American theater available across the country to those who want to read, teach, and perform these incredible titles. Within the anthology format, each individual piece exists in thoughtful dialogue with the others, creating a dynamic rising circle of dramatic work around a single author.
The Sledgehammer authors are a collective of playwrights publishing their work through a nimble consensus model. Every book in The Sledgehammer Series is completely artist-driven, from cover design though all printed matter. These volumes feature introductions and afterwords that frame the plays within a larger conversation, particularly a critical conversation around a playwright's body of work that until now has not been sufficiently canonized.
In an effort to allow artist driven conversations fuel how these works may be regarded as literary documents in the world, each of the Sledgehammer volumes utilizes the printed format in specific and unusual ways. The plays are wild, language driven, form-breaking works of art that demand to explode across the page.
“This special group of four playwrights—invited here to inaugurate Tripwire Harlot’s brand-new ‘Sledgehammer Series’—are a rare and awesome assembly. Though each individual collection is beautifully unique, we all possess a common purpose: to dismantle some dogma, revitalize the landscape, and nourish the collective garden of American plays.” -Phillip Howze
“A good measure of the strength and resiliency of any art form is how many opportunities exist for artists that are run by artists, designed by them, and accountable to them. This matters because when artists are in charge theatre gets bolder, more idiosyncratic- it dreams further. Sledgehammer is a much needed experiment in putting play publishing in the hands of playwrights.” -Jorge Igancio Cortiñas
“This Sledgehammer initiative is a great opportunity for playwrights to publish their work on their terms. 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." -Christina Anderson.
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