Whit MacLaughlin

2002 Pew Fellow

Obie and Barrymore Award-winning theater artist Whit MacLaughlin is the Artistic Director of New Paradise Laboratories, and has worked with NPL since 1998, exploring ensemble theater techniques. Prior to his founding of NPL, he was a charter member of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble. MacLaughlin’s work has been presented at the Ontological Theatre and PS 122 in NYC, at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, as well as at residencies in a variety of colleges and universities all over the country. He has been commissioned by FringeArts, the Humana Festival of New American Plays, and the Tony Award-winning Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis. He recently directed and collaborated on the writing of The Adults, a Center-funded theater piece in the 2014 Fringe Festival that drew rave reviews. He is the recipient of a 2002 Pew Fellowship in theater, as well as other national and local fellowships.


Grants & Grantees

This large-scale performance piece revealed unique insights into Fryderyk Chopin as both a historical figure and a masterful composer, as the piano parts for two concerti were replaced with powerful spoken monologues constructed from fragments of Chopin’s letters and biographies, performed in Polish by actress Barbara Wysocka and accompanied by the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.

Grants & Grantees

1812 Productions is the country’s only regional theater devoted entirely to comedy, with a history of over 50 shows.

The new FringeArts space on Columbus Boulevard opened last week with Elephant Room, the premiere of which was funded by the Center in 2011.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Lumi Tan is curator at The Kitchen in New York, where she organizes exhibitions and produces performances with artists across disciplines and generations.

The William Way LGBT Community Center presents OutBeat: America’s First Queer Jazz Festival. The four-day festival will highlight intersections between sexual orientation, gender identity, and jazz history and culture.

Grants & Grantees

This immersive, multi-sensory play captured Edgar Allan Poe’s peculiar genius.

This event features saxophonists/composers Liebman and Osby, and WNYC’s John Schaefer, as they address the unique challenges of collaborating across genres.

Grants & Grantees

Nava EtShalom is a poet and a 2006 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

Judith Schaechter is a sculptor and stained-glass artist, and a 1992 Pew Fellow.

South African theater artist Brett Bailey will visit Philadelphia for a three-week residency and a presentation of his adaptation of Verdi’s opera Macbeth, set in the Democratic Republic of Congo, presented in collaboration with Opera Philadelphia.

Two Center-funded performance projects—Supper, People on the Move and Facing Front: Lectures and Performance by Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion—culminated at the end of June, gaining media attention from several regional news outlets.

Grants & Grantees

Thaddeus Phillips produced his largest show to date: an original musical about the delirious final days of Edgar Allen Poe’s life, which he spent traveling between New York and Richmond.