NEW YORK CITY: Fresh off of the announcement about its new artistic director, Niegel Smith, the Flea Theater has another big piece of news. The establishment of the Gurney Playwrights Fund, a $100,000 annual gift to the Flea, will support playwrights and productions throughout the season. Playwright Cory Finley is the first recipient of the fund.
The fund is named after playwright A.R. Gurney, who is making the annual gift to the theatre. Of his generous offer, Gurney said in a statement: “I want the playwright to use the money as he or she sees fit, to go to Europe on a lark or stay home and write a new work. It’s my way of saying: You’ve worked hard and you’ve earned the right to enjoy being a writer for the theatre.”
Gurney has had a long-standing relationship with the Flea, where eight of his plays have had their world premiere, including O Jerusalem, Mrs. Farnsworth, Screenplay, Post Mortem, A Light Lunch, Office Hours, Heresy and Family Furniture.
“This incredible gift from an incredible playwright will enable the Flea to provide a significant fee to writers whose work we produce, and will furnish productions an added oomph and vigor, too,” said producing director Carol Ostrow in a statement.
Finley’s world premiere play The Feast is currently running at the Flea through April 5.