Philadelphia, PA

MK Tuomanen

they, them, theirs
MK Tuomanen (they/them) is the 2017 recipient of the Haas Emerging Artist Award, named “Best Theater Artist” by Philadelphia Magazine in 2014. A graduate of the Lecoq School of Movement Theatre in Paris, they helped found two devising ensembles: Applied Mechanics, an immersive performance collective, and The Bearded Ladies, a queer experimental cabaret. In 2015, they cofounded Philadelphia’s first producing playwright’s collective, Orbiter 3, along with Maura Krause and playwrights James Ijames, Emma Goidel, Doug Williams, and Emily Acker. Their play Peaceable Kingdom, an allegorical retelling of William Penn’s arrival in Lenape lands, won the 2017 Virginia Brown Martin Philadelphia Award, and was hailed by the Philadelphia Inquirer as “deeply moving and utterly melancholy… with a sharp satirical edge.” In the same year, their play Marcus/Emma premiered at InterAct Theater and was nominated for the Independence Award for Best New Play. Says Tuomanen: “It was written from a place of urgency — a need for political and sexual liberation, a need to be released from cynicism into empowering joy.” Their solo show Hello! Sadness! was developed at the 2014 Dael Orlandersmith Solo Residency at the Kimmel Center, a performance described by critic Julius Ferraro as: “witty, wise, heroic, cruel.” An alum of The Foundry and InterAct Core Writers, Tuomanen’s work has been supported by Venturous Theatre Fund, the Philadelphia Foundation, and the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. As a director, they have recently toured John Jarboe’s Rose: You Are Who You Eat to the Guggenheim Works and Process and Cultural DC. They are a practicing Quaker and were the 2018 Friend-In-Residence at Haverford College. Their current project, Night Science, is supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation and has been developed at the Wilma Theatre.

Instagram @m.tuomanen
TikTock @mktuomanen