Rinne Groff
Rinne Groff
Playwright Rinne Groff and puppeteer/director Basil Twist are among the winners of the 2006 John Simon Memorial Foundation Fellowships. In total, 187 artists from the United States and Canada will share $7.5 million in grants.

Groff is the author of the plays What Then, Jimmy Carter Was a Democrat, and 40 Thieves. Her play The Ruby Sunrise was produced last fall at The Public Theater and last week received a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Best Play.

Twist is best known as the creator of the award-winning Symphonie Fantastique. He staged the opera La Bella Dormemte Nel Bosco for last year's Lincoln Center Festival, and he will direct the upcoming production of Paula Vogel's The Long Christmas Ride Home at San Francisco's Magic Theater. (Twist created the puppetry for the show's previous productions at such venues as Trinity Rep in Providence, Rhode Island and the Vineyard Theatre in New York City.)