DeWanda Wise and Khris Davis in Donja R. Love's "Fireflies" at the Atlantic Theater, which was received support from an Edgerton Foundation New Play Grant. (Photo: Ahron R. Foster)

Edgerton New Play Awards Gift More Than $1 Million to 27 Productions

The foundation’s awards make possible extra rehearsal and development time for new plays and musicals.

NEW YORK CITY: Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, is pleased to announce the recipients of the second and third round of the 2018 Edgerton Foundation New Play Awards. The awards, totaling $1,114,000, allow 27 productions extra time for the development and rehearsal of new plays and musicals with the entire creative team, with the hope of extending the life of the world premiere play after its first run.

The second and third rounds of the 2018 Edgerton Foundation New Play Awards were presented to:

Goodnight, Tyler by B.J. Tindal at Alliance Theatre
The Thin Place by Lucas Hnath at Actors Theatre of Louisville
JQA by Aaron Posner at Arena Stage
Fireflies by Donja R. Love at Atlantic Theater Company
We Are Among Us by Stephen Belber at City Theatre of Pittsburgh
Paradise Square, music by Jason Howland and Larry Kirwan, lyrics by Nathan Tysen, book by Marcus Gardley, Craig Lucas, and Larry Kirwan, based on the songs of Stephen Foster, at Berkeley Repertory Theatre
The Whistleblower by Itamar Moses at Denver Center Theatre Company
The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona by José Rivera at Geffen Theatre
Mysterious Circumstances by Michael Mitnick at Geffen Theatre
Floyd’s by Lynn Nottage at Guthrie Theater
Diana, book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro music and lyrics by David Bryan, at La Jolla Playhouse
In Old Age by Mfoniso Udofia at Magic Theatre
Continuity by Bess Wohl at Manhattan Theatre Club
Storie by Nina Raines at National Theatre
The Source by Jack Canorfa at New Jersey Repertory Company
The Heart of Rock & Roll, book by Jonathan Abrams, story by Tyler Mitchell and Jonathan Abrams, inspired by the music of Huey Lewis and the News, at the Old Globe
Mother Road by Octavio Solis at Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Mud Row by Dominique Morisseau at People’s Light
White Noise by Suzan-Lori Parks at the Public Theater
Ain’t No Mo’ by Jordan E. Cooper at the Public Theater
Socrates by Tim Blake Nelson at the Public Theater
Nonsense and Beauty by Scott C. Sickles at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Toni Stone by Lydia R. Diamond at Roundabout Theatre Company
Days of Rage by Steven Levenson at Second Stage
Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by Heather McDonald at Signature Theatre
Sheepdog by Kevin Artigue at South Coast Repertory
Poor Yella Rednecks by Qui Nguyen at South Coast Repertory

“The rehearsal time supported by an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award is invaluable to the script refinement, character development, staging, and cultural framework of Mother Road,” said Bill Rauch, artistic director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, in a statement. “The extra weeks assemble the full creative team for the first time and give the playwright, director, design team, and full cast critical additional days to dive into the complex material together. Mother Road’s mix of cultural history and highly theatrical imagery requires a depth of exploration and innovation that only expanded rehearsal time can provide.”

“The Edgerton Foundation’s support of our rehearsal process is an incredible asset,” said Neil Pepe, artistic director of the Atlantic Theatre, in a statement. “So much comes to light as you rehearse a new play. Now with this support, we have the time and added resources to really bring it to life in its first full production.”

The Edgerton Foundation New Plays Program, directed by Brad and Louise Edgerton, was piloted in 2006 with 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 421 plays to date at over 50 different Art Theatres across the country.

Over the last 12 years, the Edgerton Foundation has awarded $13,010,900 to 421 productions, enabling many plays to schedule subsequent productions following their world premieres. Thirty 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, Hamilton, The Columnist, In Transit, A Doll’s House Part 2, Indecent, Dear Evan Hansen, Oslo, Escape to Margaritaville, The Prom, JUNK: The Golden Age of Debt,  SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical, and Head Over Heels. Fifteen plays were nominated for Tony Awards, with All the Way, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, and Oslo winning the best play or musical awards. Ten plays were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, with wins for Cost of Living (2018), Hamilton (2016), The Flick (2014), Water by the Spoonful (2012), and Next to Normal (2010).

“With these rounds of awards, the Edgerton Foundation has supported over 400 world premiere productions, including a host of Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning plays,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director, TCG, in a statement. “The risk and experimentation empowered by the Foundation’s support of the initial rehearsal process has been essential to these groundbreaking new plays receiving many subsequent productions.”