The Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission

The Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission was created to encourage the writing of plays that in addition to our other guidelines consider the relationships between truth, power, history, and personal responsibility. For each commission, Clubbed Thumb will ask a question or pose a theme to serve as a jumping-off point for this examination. Thus far commissions have been awarded to Karl Gajdusek, Andy Bragen, Libby Emmons, Aimee Gonzalez and Gregory Moss. The 5th commission will be open for application in July 2013.

Clubbed Thumb received over 200 submissions from all across the country. The applications were read “blind” by a panel consisting of: Clubbed Thumb staff Maria Striar and Diana Konopka, Director PamMacKinnon, Artistic Line Producer (Manhattan Theatre Club) Lisa McNulty, and Playwright Anne Washburn.

Disquietude is the story of an 83-year-old spitfire named Mimi. Abandoned by her family at a nursing home, Mimi waits 174 days to receive a visitor. On the 175th day, she walks out. Taking her life’s final direction into her own hands, she befriends a young quirky runaway and becomes a squatter in her old home, now up for sale. During her attempt to retrieve her former life, Mimi becomes faced with the opportunity to erase her past and begin again- but this decision comes at a steep price. Disquietude asks the question- what if you don’t go quietly?


Sui Generis Susan “Taffy” Smulowitz is a painfully shy 39 year old spinster living with her overbearing mother in a rundown seaside bed and breakfast in New England. When Taffy inherits a library of classic histories from her grandfather, she becomes obsessed with the lives of male conquerors – Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Napoleon and especially Julius Caesar. Moved by these examples of epic male ambition, and unable to find in history their female counterparts, Taffy determines to become their equal – transforming herself from wallflower to emperor.

This year’s finalists included: Clare Barron, Meghan Deans, Drew Dir, Annah Feinberg, Julia Jonas, Callie Kimball, Ryan King, Max Posner, David Robinson, and Sarah Sander.


Aimée Gonzalez is a working playwright currently living in Austin, Texas. She received her MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University, where her thesis play received the John Golden Award for Playwriting and was a semi-finalist for the Princess Grace Award. Her work has been produced locally by ScriptWorks, Capital T, Hyde Park Theatre, Loaded Gun Theory, Dysfunction Theatre, and the Vestige Group. Her work has also been published in the Texas Theatre Journal. She completed the Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive this past summer in D.C.

Gregory Moss is a writer and performer from Newburyport, Massachusetts. His plays include The Destroyed Room, Good and Services, The Uses of Enchantment and punkplay. His work has been developed with and produced nationally and internationally by La Comédie Française, The A.R.T., The Atlantic Center for the Arts, The Empty Space, Playwrights Horizons, PlayPenn, New York Theatre Workshop and others. Gregory is currently a 2011-2012 McKnight Fellow at The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis. He is the recipient of a 2006-07 Lucille Lortel Playwriting Fellowship and a 2010-11 Jerome Fellowship. He is a graduate of Brown University’s MFA program in Dramatic Writing, and a former member of Soho Rep’s Writer/Director’s Lab and Ars Nova’s Playgroup. His play, punkplay, premiered at Clubbed Thumb, and was recently produced at the Steppenwolf Garage, where it was named one of Time Out’s “Top Ten Plays of 2010.”  Current and upcoming presentations of his work include House of Gold (EST LA and La Comédie Français), The Argument (Interrobang Theatre Project, Chicago), Billy Witch (Studio 42, NY) and punkplay (Just Theatre, San Francisco (West Coast Premiere)). Writing and updates are housed at