NEW YORK CITY: Theatre Communications Group (TCG) has announced six TCG member theatres as recipients of the Audience (R)Evolution Exploration Grants. Funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Fund (DDCF), the grants will focus on peer and fieldwide learning in relation to theatre for youth and multigenerational audiences.
This year’s selection panel included Roundabout Theatre’s director of community partnerships, Katie Christie; associate artistic director of Indiana Repertory Theatre, Benjamin Hanna; and Center Theatre Group’s community partnerships director, Jesus Reyes.
“This latest round of Exploration Grants shows the potential power of engaging intergenerational audiences to bridge and build communities,” TCG’s executive director, Teresa Eyring, said in a statement. “Thanks to our partnership with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, these grants will empower peer-driven exchange of knowledge and innovative models that work.”
The second cycle of Audience (R)Evolution Exploration Grants, totaling $28,600, will go to the following theatres:
- Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company in Colorado will use the grant money to create a pilot program pairing high school students with seniors ages 55-plus to write and perform original plays inspired by each other’s life experiences.
- Hartford Stage will travel to Alliance Theatre and Children’s Theatre Company to generate programming aimed at increasing young and intergenerational audience engagement.
- Oregon Children’s Theatre of Portland will collaborate with PassinArt Theatre Company, Vanport Mosaic, and MediaRites’ Theatre Diaspora to develop strategies to bring underrepresented voices into the play development process, form relationships with community organizations serving youth and elders, and pilot a professional development program for teaching artists working with youth. The company will also travel to Seattle Children’s Theatre to generate ideas.
- Playmakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill will send producing artistic director Vivienne Benesch, producing associate Alejandro Rodriguez, and company artistic associate Kathryn Hunter-Williams to consult the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Adventure Theatre, and Synchronicity Theatre about youth programming.
- Shakespeare Dallas’ (SD) education team will meet with Colorado Shakespeare Festival (CSF) staff to learn about their Shakespeare and violence prevention public school program.
- Massachusetts’ Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF) will send associate artistic director Laura Savia and WTF Community Works (CW) associate Hayley Sherwood to shadow Pittsfield Public Schools Cultural Proficiency Coach, Shirley Edgerton, developing a cultural competency training program for CW staff.
“Peer learning helps deepen the field’s collective intelligence, exchange rich bodies of knowledge, and seed effective practices,” Maurine Knighton, program director for the arts at DDCF, said in a statement. “We look forward to hearing about how these awards help the recipients extend their impact.”