Jeremy O. Harris made a splash this year with one of the most exciting plays to make its way to Broadway in years. “Slave Play,” written by Harris, made such an impression it caught the attention of premium cable network HBO. Harris is now signed to a two-year overall deal with the platform that includes the development of a new pilot series, a co-producing role of hit show “Euphoria,” and most of all a discretionary fund exclusive to theatrical projects according to Playbill.
This deal positions Harris to make a name for himself as a writer, and also allows him to continue to support the theater community. Deadline reports that this fund will allow Harris to commission, enhance, and produce theatrical work for himself and other artists.
Harris announced the big news to Twitter, noting that although he initially passed on the deal, HBO delivered on what he wanted most out of it.
To say this is exciting is an understatement.
But what fills me with the pride and exhilaration is the fact that @HBO wouldn’t take my initial “No, thank you” and asked what I wanted most then delivered: A way to share tv $$ with theatre artists. https://t.co/UwsyD3f1GT
— THEE ACADEMY Playwright Jeremy O Harris (@jeremyoharris) March 2, 2020
“To know that HBO also believed in that vision gives me immense hope for the future of both industries. This unique partnership means that the relationship between the worlds of theatre and television can become more symbiotic in years to come. This also gives me an opportunity to spread the wealth among a community that has shared so much with me,” Harris shared in a statement.
Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming, also broke the news stating: “Jeremy is a singular talent whose groundbreaking work in the theatrical space has already revolutionized Broadway and we couldn’t be more honored to expand the reach of his voice in television.”
Harris’ noble efforts have made him a pillar in the theater community and his devotion to both theater and television will make it that much easier to bridge the gap.
“Since first embarking on a theatre career I’ve known that tv/film would most likely be the only space where I could build a livelihood for myself, like many other playwrights before me. Yet, I wanted to make sure that any company I worked with in that space recognized the importance of maintaining the delicate ecology of theatre in these times,” he stated.
His critically acclaimed Broadway debut “Slave Play” wrapped up its final show last month at the John Golden Theatre. He’s set to present his new play “Daddy,” a Los Angeles melodrama, later this month at London’s Almeida Theatre.