Karen Hartman

Karen Hartman

Fellow: Awarded 2019
Field of Study: Drama and Performance Art

Competition: US & Canada

Karen Hartman’s plays have been celebrated as passionate, relevant storytelling that “resonate in the current moment with overpowering force” (Variety). Good Faith: Four Chats about Race and the New Haven Fire Department premiered at Yale Repertory Theater in 2019. Three recent works – Roz and Ray (Edgerton New Play Prize), The Book of Joseph, and Project Dawn (NEA Art Works Grant, NNPN Rolling World Premiere) – had ten productions across the country in the previous two seasons, premiering at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, People’s Light, Seattle Repertory Theater, and Victory Gardens. The Book of Joseph set records as the highest grossing play in the history of Everyman Theatre in Baltimore.

Other works include Goldie, Max, and Milk (Steinberg and Carbonell Nominations), SuperTrue (Kilroys List), Goliath (Dorothy Silver New Play Prize), Gum, Leah’s Train (Weissberger Finalist), Going Gone (NEA Grant), Girl Under Grain (Best Drama, NY Fringe), ALICE: Tales of a Curious Girl (Music by Gina Leishman, AT&T Onstage Award), and Troy Women. They are published by Theater Communications Group, Dramatists Play Service, Playscripts, and others.

Hartman is currently writing two musical books, Alice Bliss (with Jenny Giering and Adam Gwon, based on Laura Harrington’s novel), commissioned by Playwright’s Horizons, which won the 2019 Weston-Ghostlight New Musical Award, and Rattlesnake Kate, with singer/songwriter Neyla Pekarek, commissioned by Denver Center, based on Pekarek’s album Rattlesnake.

Hartman’s prose has appeared in the New York Times and the Washington Post. A New Dramatists alumna and former Playwrights Center McKnight Fellow, Hodder Fellow, and Fulbright Scholar, Hartman holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama and a BA from Yale University. She has served as Senior Artist-in-Residence at University of Washington School of Drama for the past five years, and lives in Brooklyn with her family.

The Guggenheim Fellowship will support New Golden Age, part three in an American caste cycle (with Project Dawn and Good Faith) about social mobility and the law.

Forthcoming from Samuel French in 2019:
The Book of Joseph
Project Dawn
Roz and Ray

Profile photograph by Lou Daprile

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