DTF New Play Development Program Receives National Grants
As part of their New Play Development Program, Dorset Theatre Festival (DTF) has hosted over 70 playwrights over the past six years, developing over 90 new works, 18 of which have gone on to receive full productions or further development at some of the most prestigious venues in the country. The national theatre community has taken note.The National Foundation for the Arts, the Edgerton Foundation and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust have all awarded grants to DTF this season in support of their New Play Development Program. “We are so thrilled that our dedication to supporting the creation of new work has gotten the attention of these particular funders, known nationally for their stalwart commitment to new play development on the highest level. Especially wonderful news for us was having our premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s new play, ‘The Way of the World,’ awarded the prestigious Edgerton Foundation New Play Award”, said DTF managing director Molly Hennighausen.
All three awards are to support the theatre in its continuing mission to function as a new works incubator that will nurture new voices and engage the community in the artistic process. Over the last nine years, the Edgerton Foundation has supported an extended rehearsal process for 272 world premiere productions, resulting in numerous productions, with 18 making it to Broadway and two Tony Awards. Nine plays have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
The NEA celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and continues to fund and support opportunities for Americans to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations and develop their creative capacities. The funding awarded to DTF directly supports its new play development and the mentoring of emerging and established playwrights, including the Jean E. Miller Young Playwrights Competition and playwriting residencies at local middle and high schools
The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, known as one of the top funders of new play development nationally, is well known for its annual awards ceremony each year at Lincoln Center, during which representatives from every major theatre in the nation come together to celebrate new plays. “Being invited to attend these past two years as one of the recipients, in the company of the top theatre luminaries of our times, is something to be truly proud of and bring back to Vermont to celebrate. How amazing that our little corner of the universe in Dorset has begun to have this kind of reach,” stated DTF artistic director Dina Janis.
DTF continues its commitment to new plays this season with a regional premiere of award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl’s play ‘Dear Elizabeth,’ a world premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s ‘The Way of the World’ and their acclaimed New Play Reading Series featuring the work of Brian Dykstra, Royston Coppenger and Sherry Kramer.
Founded in 1976, the Dorset Theatre Festival creates bold and innovative theatre that engages a diverse, multi-generational community, enlightening, entertaining and inspiring its audience through the celebration of great plays produced with the highest degree of artistry. For more information, visit dorsettheatrefestival.org or call 802-867-2223.