Signature Theatre celebrates playwrights and gives them an artistic home. Signature makes an extended commitment to a playwright’s body of work, producing several plays by each resident writer and delivering an intimate and immersive journey into the playwright’s singular vision.
What We Do
Led by Artistic Director Paige Evans
and Executive Director Harold Wolpert
, Signature serves its mission at The Pershing Square Signature Center. This three-theatre facility located on West 42nd Street was designed by Frank Gehry Architects to host Signature’s playwrights’ residencies and foster a cultural community.
At the Center, Signature continues its original Playwright-in-Residence model as Residency 1
, a year-long intensive exploration of a single writer’s body of work. Residency 5
, the only program of its kind, was launched at the Center to support multiple playwrights as they build bodies of work by guaranteeing each writer three productions over a five-year period. The Legacy Program
, launched during Signature’s 10th Anniversary, invites writers from both residencies back for productions of premiere or earlier plays. In 2014 Signature became the first New York City company to receive the Regional Theater Tony Award®.
Through the Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access, Signature has also made an unprecedented commitment to making its productions accessible by underwriting the cost of the initial run tickets through 2031.
At Signature we are continually building toward a more just, open and democratic theatre to celebrate playwrights and welcome all to our artistic home. We believe our strength lies in the diversity of voices and vision of our playwrights, and that diversity enriches theatrical experiences.
We aim to put people first and strive for fairness and respect for all. As we grow our artistic home upon the values of community, access and belonging, we pledge to continually work to become a place of cultural equity, and of orchestrated collisions between playwrights, artists, staff and audiences so everyone feels connected and welcome. We want our home to be a home for all.
We exist within a framework where power is not evenly or fairly distributed, and access is unequal. We are committed to the consistent work needed to create more equitable and inclusive environment across our entire organization for artists, staff and audiences who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color. Signature is not exempt from upholding the pervasive systemic oppression in our industry and country, and we are continually striving and learning how to be a more anti-racist, anti-oppressive theatre.
We are developing an ongoing EDIA Action Plan to hold ourselves accountable to taking actionable, measurable steps, which we are aiming to share by the end of February 2021.
Signature Theatre was founded in 1991 by James Houghton and its resident playwrights include: Edward Albee, Annie Baker, Lee Blessing, Martha Clarke, Will Eno, Horton Foote, María Irene Fornés, Athol Fugard, John Guare, Stephen Adly Guirgis, A.R. Gurney, Katori Hall, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Samuel D. Hunter, David Henry Hwang, Bill Irwin, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Adrienne Kennedy, Tony Kushner, Romulus Linney, Kenneth Lonergan, Dave Malloy, Charles Mee, Arthur Miller, Dominique Morisseau, Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sarah Ruhl, Sam Shepard, Anna Deavere Smith, Regina Taylor, Paula Vogel, Naomi Wallace, August Wilson, Lanford Wilson, Lauren Yee, The Mad Ones, and members of the historic Negro Ensemble Company: Charles Fuller, Leslie Lee, and Samm-Art Williams.
Pictured above: Paige Evans and Lynn Nottage, photo by Gregory Costanzo.