For playwright Martín Zimmerman ’07, all the world’s a stage—or at least all of the U.S. Based in Chicago for the past two years, Zimmerman was recently named a Jerome Fellow, the longest-running program of the Playwrights’ Center of Minneapolis, where he will spend a year developing a new full-length work. Zimmerman is no stranger to local theater; he has had readings and performances of his work in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Washington, New York, and Tucson, Arizona, to name a few. “It’s wonderful to see all the different areas of the country where people are excited about theater. There’s all that talk about theater waning as an art form, but in the past thirty years, theater is clearly proliferating,” he says.
One benefit of such an approach is being able to see how different writers, artists, and companies experiment with new trends and ideas—even if they may be contradictory at times. “There’s a lot of discussion about how theater can work with technology, and a lot of people doing wonderful work about social media with theater. But I’m interested in pulling away from technology and forcing myself to do plays in barebones ways that require ingenuity, not technology, to enact,” he says. “Personally, the experience of going to theater should feel like going to church or temple.”