The New York Times hails playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins as “one of the most exciting young dramatists working today,” and counts him among “this country’s most original and illuminating writers.”
For someone who just turned 32, and whose first major production was staged only in 2010, Jacobs-Jenkins has earned an impressive number of accolades. Three of his plays made their world premieres over the course of just one year, in 2013 and 2014—Appropriate at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater, followed by An Octoroon at New York’s Soho Repertory Theatre and War at Yale Repertory Theatre. He was awarded the Obie Award for Best New American Play for Appropriate and An Octoroon, and the plays have since been staged at many of the country’s leading regional theaters.
When Gloria premiered at New York’s Vineyard Theatre in 2015, the play was met with nearly universal acclaim, eventually becoming a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize, whose selection committee described it as a “play of wit and irony that deftly transports the audience from satire to thriller and back again.” Last year, Jacobs-Jenkins was also awarded Yale University’s 2016 Windham-Campbell Prize for drama and the 2016 PEN/Laura Pels Emerging American Playwright Award. In September, the MacArthur Foundation announced Jacobs-Jenkins as one if its “Genius” grant recipients, noting his plays “use a historical lens to satirize and comment on modern culture, particularly the ways in which race and class are negotiated in both private and public settings. Although the provocation of his audience is purposeful, Jacobs-Jenkins’s creation of unsettling, shocking, often confrontational moments is not gratuitous; these elements are of a piece with the world he has established on stage and in the service of the story he is telling.”
His newest play, Everybody, a subversive adaptation of The Somonyng of Everyman (a 15th century passion play and the oldest known play in the English language), premieres January 31 at Signature Theatre in New York.
Buy tickets and learn more about Gloria here. Tickets start at just $25!