WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Weissberg Foundation has provided a grant to Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company for the creation of the theatre’s first dedicated commissioning program. Named in honor of the late theatre lover and philanthropist Marvin Weissberg, the commissions will function as a three-year program to support writers, directors, designers, choreographers, or other generative artists, both local and non-local, in the creation of innovative theatrical works with themes of social justice and a connection to the D.C. area.
“I am thrilled to launch Woolly’s first formal commissioning program,” said Woolly Mammoth director of new work Sonia Fernandez in a statement, “to expand the ways in which Woolly develops new work to include not only writers, but other generative artists. That this program aligns with our values of creating work that centers racial justice and addresses themes that directly impact this community makes it that much more meaningful.”
The program will consist of full commissions, seed commissions, and finishing commissions, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 per project. They may fund completely new full-length plays, support workshops of an idea, or give artists the opportunity to finish incomplete works. The selection of commissioned artists will be curated by new-work director Fernandez and artistic director Maria Manuela Goyanes. At the conclusion of the three-year cycle, Woolly intends to continue with a commissioning program and develop the commissioning model over the next several years.
“It is an immense privilege to honor Marvin’s staggering legacy in the DMV [D.C.-Maryland-Virginia] arts community through a program that supports new works of theatre created in, and influenced by, our regional home,” said Goyanes in a statement. “Woolly Mammoth would not be the same without a champion like Marvin Weissberg, whose support has been transformative for so many organizations in our area and for so long.”
In addition to supporting the new commissioning program, the Weissberg Foundation recently provided a Fund for Diversity in Theater, which helped Woolly Mammoth conduct an equitable and inclusive search for a new artistic director in 2018 and a new managing director in 2019.
Founded in 1988, the Weissberg Foundation is a Virginia-based family foundation committed to advancing social justice. The foundation aims to recognize inequities and actively seeks to dismantle structural racism by continuously building access, opportunity, and power so that all can thrive. As of 2019, the Weissberg Foundation had a budget of approximately $1.7 million.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company is a nonprofit theatre company located in Washington, D.C. For more than 40 years, Woolly has been committed to producing new works that redefine theatre as a catalyst for an equitable, creative, and engaged society. As of 2019, Woolly Mammoth had a budget of approximately $4.7 million.
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