Iowa Playwright Workshop

I could go on about Sam Hunter’s play The Whale in previews at Victory Gardens here in Chicago but I won’t. Instead read this.

Sam Hunter is the latest Iowa Playwrights Workshop grad to emerge onto the national scene. His success is inspiring. Yes I’m biased but the Workshop has been turning out quite a crop of playwrights recently, including Idris Goodwin (see HOW WE GOT ON), Basil Kreimendahl (see ORANGE JULIUS), Andrew Saito (see KRISY KRITTERS…) and the multi-talented and tentacled Jen Silverman (see PHOEBE IN WINTER).

Why? What I respect about Iowa is the lack of commercial pressure and careerism that goes into building the program. The grads are an eclectic bunch and remain that way. We have the freedom to stretch out and experiment or turn career-ward and chase our off-Broadway dreams. Basically, you do what the hell you want. Some writers get lost, but other writers thrive. Of course, that doesn’t always equal commercial success, which makes Sam’s journey (which I hope is long) so remarkable.

Iowa is calm and spacious. It allows you to remain who you are. Or grow into something you never imagined you could be. Go Sam.

***UPDATE (May 15th)

Jen Silverman wins Yale Prize.

Basil Kreimendahl gets a Jerome Fellowship  (along with Iowa grad Deborah Yarchun).