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Sister City Playwrights Exchange

Sister City Playwrights Exchange, founded by playwright/director Vincent Murphy at Emory University in 2003 in cooperation with several Atlanta theaters and nine of the more adventurous Play Labs in the U.S., Canada and England, is relocating to its San Francisco affiliate, the Playwrights Foundation, under the guidance of Artistic Director Amy Mueller. Vincent Murphy will continue as Chief Project Consultant.

The mission of Sister City is to swap talented, under-recognized playwrights in several regions of the USA and in Canada and England. In the past six years, fourteen swaps involving significant Play Labs in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, London, Minneapolis, New York, and San Francisco helped emerging playwrights find connections, develop material and discover how their unique voices resonate in a new region.

One of the most successful projects involved Austin playwright Abi Basch and her challenging Voices Underwater, a play set in the deep south with complex technical demands. Abi received a residency at the Minneapolis Playwrights’ Center and was brought to Atlanta to develop the play. In Atlanta she connected to the Synchronicity Performance group, a Sister City affiliate. Sister City underwrote a Barebones staging the next year in San Francisco at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival under the guidance of Amy Mueller that eventually led the play to be selected for the National New Play Networks underwriting of a three city concurrent world premiere. This included the Synchronicity Performance group.

Other good news involves ongoing fundraising to do more Barebones scaled collaborations. Funds have been raised by Vincent Murphy and Alice Benston to honor her late husband, George Benston, a patron of the arts in Atlanta and New York. Sister City currently has funds to do at least one Barebones staged reading for the next four years. And in honor of the late Frank Manley of Emory University, who inspired so many young writers, a special Frank Manley Exchange series will be included in the Sister City Playwrights Exchange project.

Current Sister City Playwrights Exchange Affiliate Organizations


Learn about the programs and funding offered for Sister City Affiliate Organizations.

To learn more about becoming a Sister City Affiliate, or for general questions about the program, contact Erin Merritt at erin@playwrightsfoundation.org.

To donate to the Sister City Playwrights Exchange, click on the DONATE NOW button and enter details under Gift Information.