Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mellon gives $10m for new American plays

In The New York Times, Patricia Cohen reports on the Mellon Foundation's plans to spend £10m supporting the production of new American plays, following a study of the difficulties faced by new writing for theatre.
It turns out that developing plays is not the problem. Producing them is. New playwrights often get stuck in “workshop hell,” as [Diane E. Ragsdale, the foundation’s program officer for theater and dance] put it. Supporting playwrights directly and creating long-term residencies at theaters were among the recommendations that emerged.

“We are more attuned now to some of the critical issues surrounding new plays,” she said, including the importance for theater groups to develop “strong, deep relationships with artists over time and involve them in the culture of the institution.”

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