INDIANAPOLIS, IND.: After serving as the playwright-in-residence at Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT) for 20 seasons, James Still will stay at the theatre a bit longer. To honor his 20th season, a $2.5-million donation was made to continue the residency program in perpetuity. This James Still Playwright-in-Resident fund will support future generations of playwrights in the James Still Playwright-in-Residence program.
“This surprise announcement is wildly humbling and exciting as it celebrates both the past and the future,” said Still in a statement. “I am deeply grateful to the [donors John and Sarah Lechleiter] for recognizing the profound relationship between an artist, a theatre, and its community.”
Additional gifts to celebrate Still’s 20th season were made by The Lacy Foundation and the Margot L. and Robert S. Eccles Arts and Culture Fund. It will fund a series of free readings and events, and will allow Still to mentor two playwrights and to work on a brand new play.
“James has a unique curiosity and knowledge of current events,” said Sarah Lechleiter in a statement. “He is a consummate listener, a collector of other people’s stories, and with keen analytical skills and imagination, he seamlessly weaves a road-map that creates a successful and complete theatrical production.”
“I look forward to continuing the collaborations that have stirred, provoked and inspired conversations with audiences,” said Still in a statement.
Two of Still’s plays will be produced at the IRT this season: Looking Over the President’s Shoulder and Appoggiatura. He will also direct The Originalist by John Strand.
The IRT was founded in 1971 and is the largest professional not-for-profit theatre in the state.