Katy Sullivan and Wendell Pierce in Martyna Majok's "Cost of Living" at Williamstown Theatre Festival. (Photo by Daniel Rader)

2016 Edgerton New Play Awards Back 15 Productions

Awardees receive money to support extra development and rehearsal at TCG member theatres.

NEW YORK CITY: Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, is pleased to announce the recipients of the first round of the 2016 Edgerton Foundation New Play Awards. The awards, totaling $580,000, allow 15 productions (listed in full below) extra time in the development and rehearsal of new plays with the entire creative team, helping to extend the life of the play after its first run. Two more rounds of recipients will be announced later this year.

Over the last 10 years, the Edgerton Foundation has awarded $8,644,900 to 297 TCG member theatre productions, enabling many plays to schedule subsequent productions following their world premieres. Eighteen have made it to Broadway, including Curtains, 13, Next to Normal, 33 Variations, In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), Time Stands Still, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, A Free Man of Color, Good People, Chinglish, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Bronx Bombers, Casa Valentina, Outside Mullingar, All the Way, Eclipsed, Bright Star, and Hamilton. Eleven plays were nominated for Tony Awards, with All the Way, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, and Hamilton winning the best play or musical awards. Nine plays were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, with wins for Hamilton (2016), The Flick (2014), Water by the Spoonful (2012) and Next to Normal (2010).

“Over their 10-year history, the Edgerton Foundation New Play Awards have helped expand the theatrical canon in powerful ways,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG. “Through their support of an extended rehearsal process for contemporary classics like Hamilton, Eclipsed, The Flick, Next to Normal, and Water by the Spoonful, the Edgertons have left an indelible mark on our field and culture.”

“The Edgerton Grant has been critical to the realization of this project,” said Tony Taccone, artistic director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre and co-adaptor of It Can’t Happen Here. “The funds allowed us to do two things: to conduct a one-week workshop with the entire creative team focused on the text, and to add a week of rehearsal before opening the play in September. The grant propelled us forward, giving us the resources and the time to shape our ideas, and the confidence to create a play that has the potential to make a difference.”

The first round of the 2016 Edgerton Foundation New Play Awards were presented to:

The Prom, a musical with book Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin, music by Matthew Sklar, and lyrics by Beguelin, at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre.

A Thousand Splendid Suns, adapted by Ursula Rani Sarma from the book by Khaled Hosseini, at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.

It Can’t Happen Here, adapted by Tony Tacconne & Bennett Cohen from Sinclair Lewis’s novel, at Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Way of the World by Theresa Rebeck at Dorset Theatre Festival in Vermont.

JUNK: The Golden Age of Debt by Ayad Akhtar at La Jolla Playhouse.

Bathing in Moonlight by Nilo Cruz at McCarter Theatre Center.

Sunset at the Villa Thalia by Alexi Kaye Campbell at London’s National Theater.

Faceless by Selina Fillinger at Northlight Theatre in Chicago.

Value Over Replacement by Ruben Grijalva at PlayGround in San Francisco.

The Fundamentals by Erika Sheffer at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago.

Queen by Madhuri Shekar at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago.

Cost of Living by Martyna Majok at Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts.

Romance Novels for Dummies by Boo Killebrew, also at Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Poster Boy by Craig Carnelia & Joe Tracz, also at Williamstown Theatre Festival.

And Scenes from Court Life (or The Whipping Boy and his Prince) by Sarah Ruhl at Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, Conn.

 

The Edgerton Foundation New Plays Program, directed by Brad and Louise Edgerton, was piloted in 2006 with the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles by offering two musicals in development an extended rehearsal period for the entire creative team, including the playwrights. The Edgertons launched the program nationally in 2007 and have supported 297 plays to date at over 50 different Art Theatres across the country.  The Edgerton Foundation received the 2011 TCG National Funder Award in June in Los Angeles.

TCG member theatres with a strong and consistent track record of producing new work are invited by the foundation to submit letters of inquiry to plays@edgertonfoundation.org. A panel of readers reviews the plays and one-time grants ranging from $5,000 to $75,000 are awarded.

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