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20x30: Reimagining the Anthropocene

An ambitious Seattle Rep commissioning initiative engaging 20 playwrights between now and 2030 to each write a play inspired by life in our moment.

Anthropocene is a term that suggests we have entered a new geological age where human activity is the dominant force shaping our environment. This commissioning project’s goal is to engage a diverse group of theater artists around the idea of the Anthropocene during what promises to be a pivotal and transformational decade for our nation and our world. What does this moment in time mean for each of us, and how is our experience differentiated by—or united across—race, culture, country, class, or generation?


Meet the Playwrights

Nathan Alan Davis

Larissa FastHorse

Zora Howard

Sylvia Khoury

Mary Kathryn Nagle

Amy Freed

Julia Izumi

Benjamin Benne

20x30 In the News

  • Artwork for Zora Howard, Helen Merrill Award Winner

    Zora Howard, Helen Merrill Award Winner

    "This year’s awardees—Gethsemane Herron, Zora Howard, C.A. Johnson, Michelle J. Rodriguez, and Cori Thomas—each received an unrestricted $30,000 cash award. Together, these writers show the increasingly diverse voices that are bringing powerful stories to America’s stages." 

     Read more about the 2022's Helen Merrill Award Winners in Harlem World

  • Artwork for Nathan Alan Davis Leads M.F.A. Playwriting Program

    Nathan Alan Davis Leads M.F.A. Playwriting Program

    “He is a gifted writer himself with a lyrical yet muscular command of language,” Snodgrass says. “In this, he reminds me very much of Derek [Walcott], our founder. Plus, Nathan is a consummate teacher of playwriting, and he finds great joy in working with passionate writers ready to try new things.” 

    Read more Nathan and Boston University's M.F.A. Playwrighting Program in BU's newsletter

    Photo by Jackie Ricciardi for Boston University

  • Artwork for Zora Howard, Pulitzer Prize for Drama Finalist

    Zora Howard, Pulitzer Prize for Drama Finalist

    "Recognizing work for the 2020 calendar year, this year's rules allowed full-length dramatic works that had scheduled premieres postponed or canceled—as well as shows that premiered virtually or outside—to be considered eligible... Zora Howard's Stew (presented in early 2020 by Page 73) and Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley's Circle Jerk (which premiered virtually in October) were announced as finalists."

    Read more in Playbill.

  • Artwork for Changing the Story, in Court and Onstage

    Changing the Story, in Court and Onstage

    "Nagle believes that restoring tribal sovereignty depends on beating back degrading stereotypes that prop up discriminatory legal frameworks­, and that the theatre is one place where that fight needs to happen."

    Read more about 20x30 playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle's current work as both an attorney and playwright in The New Yorker.

    Photo by Gabriella Demczuk for The New Yorker

  • Artwork for Sylvia Khoury Wins 2021 Whiting Award in Drama

    Sylvia Khoury Wins 2021 Whiting Award in Drama

    "In commenting on Sylvia Khoury’s work, including Selling Kabul, The Place Women Go, and Against the Hillside, the judges noted the plays' 'focus on the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan; evoking grand geopolitical drama through simple human gesture,' and praised the way the plays 'break down barriers between human beings, revealing the powerful lines of connection that exist and persist.'"

    Read more about the 2021 Whiting Award winners in American Theatre Magazine.

    Photo by Yael Nov

  • Artwork for Nathan Alan Davis wins 2021 Windham-Campbell Prize

    Nathan Alan Davis wins 2021 Windham-Campbell Prize

    "I tend to write plays that deal with things that I can't reconcile, and I can't reconcile the injustices of history."

    20x30 playwright Nathan Alan Davis has been named recipient of a 2021 Windham-Campbell Prize for Fiction, one of the world’s most significant and generous literary prizes. Hear from Nathan in a video interview with Windham-Campbell, and read more below in a release from Princeton University.

    Photo by Benjamin Kanes / Windham-Campbell

  • Artwork for Seattle Rep’s Ambitious Plan

    Seattle Rep’s Ambitious Plan

    "Despite a year in which theaters have gone dark and whole seasons have been canceled due to the pandemic, Seattle Rep is embarking on an ambitious undertaking: three commission projects that will support the development of over 20 new plays over the next decade — more than the Rep has ever commissioned all at once."

    Read The Seattle Times' feature on our new commissioning initiatives: 20x30, New Directions, and Public Works commission.

    Playwright Zora Howard; Photo by Rashaad Ernesto Green

Image for New Directions
More Commissions

New Directions

Learn about our New Directions director commissions.