NEW YORK CITY: Vineyard Theatre, producer Daryl Roth, and playwright Paula Vogel have announced the Roth-Vogel New Play Commission on what would have been the company’s annual gala celebration, which was canceled because of the coronavirus.
The annual commission will be awarded to a mid- to late-career playwright to create and develop a new play with the Vineyard. It will be dedicated to Roth’s mother, Sylvia Connie Atkins. The award seeks to recognize artists whose voices are important to hear in our changing world, and who will be able to attempt something with the award that they may not have otherwise. The first recipient will be announced this summer.
“We both have a deep loving relationship with the Vineyard that began with How I Learned To Drive and was book-ended 20 years later with Indecent, and continues to this day,” said Roth and Vogel in a joint statement. “We are grateful that our friends at the Vineyard chose to honor us at the 2020 Gala, and for the generous contributions made thus far to the event. Since the Gala is unable to happen, in its place we wanted to create something lasting and meaningful in appreciation of that recognition. We are proud to initiate the Roth-Vogel New Play Commission, to be given annually through Vineyard Theatre. We hope this will encourage and inspire work to emerge from these difficult times… Art matters.”
In addition to the commissioning program, the Vineyard has announced “The Campaign for Right Now,” a fundraising campaign that will support the company’s decision to pay staff and artists’ salaries and health benefits during the theatre’s closure. The Vineyard aims to raise $100,000 by May 15, a goal that will be matched dollar-for-dollar by its lead donors. As an incentive, if that goal is met, Hunter Bell, Susan Blackwell, Heidi Blickenstaff, and Jeff Bowen from [title of show] will perform an online concert on May 30 with a special roster of surprise guests for everybody who gives $25 or more.