Martyna Majok


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Full-length Drama

In post-9/11 Newark, NJ, two teenagers who were brought to America as children become one another’s sanctuaries from harsh circumstances. When G becomes naturalized, she and B hatch a plan to marry so that he may legally remain in the country and pursue the future he imagines for his life. But as time hurtles on and complications mount, the young friends find that this act challenges and fractures the closest relationship either has ever had.

Production Notes:


G ages 17-21, female 

B ages 17-21, male 

Henry older, male

G and B were born in other countries and brought to America young. Henry is first generation. Born in America of immigrant parents. All have American mouths. All raised working class.

Setting: Newark and thereabouts. 2001-2006.

SANCTUARY CITY was produced by New York Theatre Workshop had an Off-Broadway engagement in 2020 and again in 2021.  

Sanctuary City was the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award and a Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Theater Development Grant. This project was supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Sanctuary City was made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts.


Martyna Majok

Martyna Majok was born in Bytom, Poland and raised in Jersey and Chicago. She was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play, Cost of Living. Other plays include Sanctuary City, Queens, and Ironbound, which have been produced across American and international stages. Awards include The Academy of Arts and Letters’ Benjamin Hadley Danks Award for Exceptional Playwriting, The Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding New Play, The Greenfield Prize, as the first female recipient in drama, The Champions of Change Award from the NYC Mayor’s Office, The Francesca Primus Prize, two Jane Chambers Playwriting Awards, The Lanford Wilson Prize, The Lilly Award's Stacey Mindich Prize, Helen Merrill Emerging Playwright Award, Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play from The Helen Hayes Awards, ....[FULL BIO]

Sanctuary City Review

NYTimes Review


"...I have rarely seen a play that so effectively embodies the way external forces — in this case, immigration policies in the United States — distort the inner lives of actual humans. What love is, and can ever mean, is lost in the muddle between the heart and the law."

“In plays like “Ironbound,” “queens” and now “Sanctuary City,” ...Majok writes about the plight of undocumented immigrants, with a glowering side-eye cast on the rest of us. Her unsparing, unsentimental vision of America... is like Albee’s of the country club set in “A Delicate Balance”: friendly to guests in theory, fiercely rejecting in fact.” 

— Jesse Green, NY Times 

....[Read Jess Green's full REVIEW]