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Sources: Marci Maullar, 785-532-6878, and Kate Anderson, 785-532-6769

Monday, Feb. 16, 2009


MANHATTAN -- Nathan Jackson, a professional playwright and a Kansas State University theater alum, will serve a one-week residency with K-State's Ebony Theater beginning Sunday, Feb. 22.

Since graduating from K-State in 2003, Jackson has had a series of successes as a playwright on the national theater scene. His play "Broke-ology" premiered at the prestigious Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts in summer 2008. It was directed by Thomas Kail, a well-known Broadway director, and featured Wendall Pierce of HBO's "The Wire" in the leading role. In a review by the Boston Globe, the play and Jackson were both praised.

"Broke-ology" also is to be produced in October at New York's Lincoln Center, which commissioned another play from Jackson in fall 2008. "When I Come to Die" will be produced in spring 2010. The award-winning Roundabout Theatre Company in New York also has commissioned Jackson to write a play. And, in January, the Juilliard School presented another reading of one Jackson's works, "The Last Black Play."

Jackson first gained national attention as a student playwright at K-State. Two of his plays, "Mancherios" and "The Last Black Play" were produced by Ebony Theater and entered into regional competition with the Kennedy Center's American College Theater Festival. Jackson earned national awards for his work, including two Lorraine Hansberry Awards and a Mark Twain Comedy Award. He also received internships to the Eugene O'Neill Festival and the Kennedy Center's Playwriting Summer Intensive in Washington, D.C. While at K-State, Jackson, a 1997 graduate of Washington High School in Kansas City, Kan., competed on the forensic team and won three national titles in prose and poetry.

Jackson entered the Juilliard School of Theater in New York after graduating from K-State. He is currently finishing his final semester in the school's Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting program under the direction of such acclaimed playwrights as Marsha Norman and Christopher Durang.

During his residency at K-State, Jackson will teach a number of classes in theater and English. Two evening events, both free and open to the public, will feature his work. Scenes from several of his plays will be presented in the Nichols Hall Theater at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25, with a reception to follow. Jackson also will serve as honorary host of an Ebony Theater "poetry slam" at 10 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, in East Stadium's Purple Masque Theater. Poets and performance artists can sign up at the door to participate in the poetry slam. Seating for the audience is on a first-come basis, with doors to the theater opening at 10 p.m.

More information is available by contacting the K-State Theater marketing office at 785-532-6878 or Kate Anderson at 785-532-6769. The residency is supported in part by funding provided to Ebony Theater through the K-State student fine arts fee.