NEW THEATRE WORKS
INITIATIVE GRANT RECIPIENTS
2019 – 2021
Arden Theatre Company ($150,000/3 years)
The Arden will develop new plays and musicals under the auspices of the Independence Foundation New Play Showcase (IFNPS) program. Their primary goals for this program over the next three years are as follows:
• Commission one new project by an exceptional writer each season;
• Commissions are a way to invest in playwrights.
• When commissioned, writers are promised that the development of the work will be support through readings and workshops, with the hope that the play will ultimately be produced.
• The Arden now has three theatre spaces and each provides unique artistic and producing opportunities, positioning them to develop a wider range of work than ever before.
• The Arden is committed to bringing new voices and perspectives to their stages, and diversifying the work they commission is a top priority.
They are specifically interested in commissioning works by artists of color, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
• Hold workshops and/or readings for at least three new works each season
• Every play has its own unique needs and over the next three years, The Arden will continue to tailor their new play development workshops and reading schedule to the specific needs of each project.
• Produce at least one world premiere play or musical each season
• In addition, The Arden is committed to adding an additional week of rehearsal for all world premiere productions to allow the writer and artistic team the time to more fully explore the work.
Pig Iron Theatre Company ($75,000/3 years)
Pig Iron will conduct, each year, one or two “Islands” – developmental, experimental workshops that explore difficult questions or formal challenges, without the pressure of committing to a finished piece. Pig Iron company members and invited artists hunker down in a rehearsal room and conduct deep-dive Research and Development (as if they were on a deserted “island,” not beholden to any “real world” expectations). Most of this material ends up on the cutting room floor, of course, but there is often a seed found that, over the course of a year or more, blooms into a Pig Iron production. Islands in recent years have included: encounters with classical musicians from Bowerbird and the Crossing (which led to 2017’s PERIOD OF ANIMATE EXISTENCE); an exploration of Jewish identity in America with both Jewish and non-Jewish artists; and an experiment in translating Pig Iron’s style onto film. Crucial to Pig Iron’s methodology are the twice annual “Islands” of open research. Pig Iron shows would not exist if not for Islands. However, in an era of ‘project-specific funding,’ they are difficult to finance. The Islands are driven by desire and imagination, and are freed by a lack of constraint. Their value hinges on the absence of a “product expectation” – artists are invited to play and create material, without concern for when and who will see it. It is through this process that Pig Iron has developed such a wildly eclectic repertory. In the first of the Islands, “Tenderness and Flipping the Roles” – Pig Iron’s 2019 core company: Jenn Kidwell, Mel Krodman, Tony winner and MacArthur Fellow Mimi Lien, Dan Rothenberg, and Dito van Reigersberg – will take a week to make theater in which they step outside their professional roles: Dan will act, not direct; Dito will direct, and not act; Mimi will perform and not design; etc. Pig Iron will make space for these artists in their 40s to wear some very unfamiliar hats as the company searches for what is fragile, and what is tender, when theater artists are out of their depth.
Theatre Exile ($75,000/3 years)
Theatre Exile will create and produce new plays that engage family audiences with free performances in neighborhood parks through their Out of Exile program. The plays will reflect the high quality and relevant content of the mainstage productions, and will be in direct reaction to the needs and issues of their South Philadelphia community. Theatre Exile will form partnerships with community organizations to engage with residents from various and diverse sectors of South Philadelphia, such as SEAMAAC, SPOAC, and schools with which they have established relationships (Andrew Jackson Elementary and Furness High School.) Exile’s Education Coordinator, Steve Gravelle, along with teaching artists including TS Hawkins, will hone their pedagogical structure and develop the artistic voices of participants, helping them to write monologues about their community. Through practical playwriting workshops, community participants will share salient ideas and identify important subjects in their own lives. Bringing the voices from varying organizations together, they will present these monologues in a festival to each other, promoting cross communication. Interested participants will present their monologues before their professional productions, and then these monologues will become the genesis for the development of their next new play. Each new play will receive its world premiere in free performances at public parks in South Philadelphia. A significant aim of the program is to reach residents of South Philadelphia who are unfamiliar with Theatre Exile’s work and who have been underexposed to theatre. This includes young and family audiences, who are not regularly part of their mainstage demographic. Because the performances of Out of Exile will be free within South Philadelphia’s public parks, they will be highly accessible to residents and visitors, and they will uniquely allow residents to participate in the creation of the work over the course of a year, alongside professional artists. Additionally, the work will reflect issues relevant to the community, and will work to expand perspectives and views on these issues, creating dialogue as well as access to artistic expression for members of our community. At the same time, they will develop deep relationships with community partners, which will help them to better understand the needs of their neighborhood, and provide artistic opportunities that can be adapted to fit the needs of each organization.
2018 – 2020
Azuka Theatre ($45,000/3 years)
Azuka will launch New Pages, an emerging professional playwright’s collective. New Pages would serve as a creative home for the next generation of Philadelphia playwrights, taking the commitment of a writers group a step further by offering the goal of a production. Azuka Theatre will provide artistic guidance, peer support, and regular feedback, which will allow member playwrights to hone their skills and explore their craft. This new play laboratory will culminate in a festival of new work presented at The Drake, and the promise that for the foreseeable future, at least one production in every Azuka Theatre season will originate from a New Pages playwright. New Pages will enlist 4-6 local playwrights to join in this initial collective. The playwrights will meet twice a month to present their work to one another. These meetings would be facilitated by former Artistic Director of Orbiter 3, Maura Krause, who will serve as a dramaturg and producer. After three months, workshops will be held for at least two of the works in progress, culminating in a festival of new work in December. Azuka will rent out the entirety of the Drake, and fill all of its spaces — the Proscenium, the Bluver, the lobby, possibly even InterAct’s conference room and the basement rehearsal room — with readings or staged excerpts from new plays by members of the group. This festival will be organized so that audience members could go from space to space and see multiple 20-30 minute excerpts from work-in-progress, and potentially one full-length reading or bare-bones workshop production. Audience members will be free to come and go as they please; they will be given a map of the building alongside a schedule of performances, allowing them to determine their own experience allowing for a sense of discovery throughout the weekend. The Drake as a multi-use space has not yet been used to its full potential, and by putting performance in every nook and cranny, the festival would highlight the venue as a center for new plays in the city.
EgoPo ($45,000/3 years)
EgoPo will develop a new adaptation of the Hindu epic The Ramayana in partnership with Javanese artists. This cross-cultural production will fuse Javanese puppet theater, classical dance, and music with EgoPo’s dynamic physical theater. EgoPo’s yearlong festival seasons have the goal of immersing audiences in a single subject for a holistic experience. By re-thinking what it means to attend theater, and by exploring deeper immersion through the lens of another culture, we are serving the core of our mission. This project takes community-based cultural experiences to a new level, and allows them to challenge American audience assumptions in this period of global tension. They hope to incorporate elements of this cultural exchange into future projects, developing similar immersions into other cultures. The Ramayana is an epic poem of Hinduism, presenting moral, spiritual, and emotional guidance. With many variations throughout Southeast Asia, it is the source for much of the artistic work in Indonesia. The story of Rama defeating Rahwana is also a story about defeating and overcoming colonialism. The colonizer Rahwana brutalizes the land of Rama, eventually kidnapping Rama’s wife and setting off an epic war. This piece will explore how to regain cultural and moral independence in a post-colonial world. The first step toward the development of Rama is an initial two-week trip to Java to reconnect with Javanese collaborators and introduce EgoPo collaborators to Javanese theater forms and culture. After the trip, EgoPo will work on development of the piece throughout the season, employing a dramaturg to help with cohesion and accuracy of the piece as writing begins. Readings and workshops will be scheduled throughout the season. The following year, EgoPo’s collaborators will spend a one-month residency in Java developing the piece with their Javanese partners. Finally, 2020-21 will feature a full production of Rama as part of an Asian Classics season representing a diversity of cultures and artistic influences within Asia. Funding during the third year will bring the Javanese collaborators to Philadelphia in order to spend one month in residency completing the piece before the final production.
Philadelphia Young Playwrights ($75,000/3 years)
PYP will launch Resident Playwrights Professional Development Project (RPPD), an expansion of its current Resident Playwright (RP) over 3 years, taking public presentations of student-developed work to the Arden Theatre Company’s Hamilton Family Arts Center. Selected Resident Playwrights’ plays—written in the first & second years of the program—will be developed for a full production in years two and three, respectively. The program will expand PYP’s growing partnership with the Arden, creating rich opportunities for collaboration between Resident Playwrights and Teen Arden programs. The cohort will include young writers who meet once-monthly with mentors to develop new plays. During the first half of the year, the focus is primarily on 1) identifying an ideal play length and structure for their idea, and 2) writing their first draft, as they explore playwriting concepts rooted in theatrical storytelling, with an emphasis on character, setting, and action. The latter half of the year focuses on the refinement of the work by delving into feedback strategies and revision methods, culminating in readings of each play-in-progress. Over the course of the year, each Resident Playwright has a Mentor who is accessible to them between meetings. Additional mentors visit the monthly meetings as guest speakers and facilitators. In addition to monthly meetings, Resident Playwrights attend readings and productions locally and participate in post-performance discussions. The proposed work will allow for ongoing, intentional collaboration between PYP and Teen Arden programs, with at least two Resident Playwright spots reserved for interested Teen Arden youth each year, and performance opportunities for interested Teen Arden youth in the culminating readings and performances. Involved youth from both programs will be afforded opportunities to work alongside theater professionals from around the region.
Wilma Theater ($150,000/3 years)
The Wilma plans to commission, develop, and produce new plays written specifically for the Wilma’s HotHouse Company of actors working with playwrights Jacqueline Goldfinger, James Ijames, and Christopher Chen. Support for the HotHouse Playwriting Incubator will cover commissioning fees and workshop expenses for the plays within the period of the grant. The HotHouse grew out of a desire by Artistic Director, Blanka Zizka, to break out of what she saw as a factory model for production that stifled artistic creation in the American regional theater. Since 2016, The HotHouse Company of actors trains together weekly along with Zizka, forming the core ensemble for the majority of the Wilma’s productions. Most of the work done in creating HotHouse focuses on actor training that develops ensemble work, trust, a state of physical readiness, and vocal/physical stamina. From the beginning, there has been a need to generate new work specifically created for HotHouse that utilizes the Company’s ensemble composition, its training, and its collaborative nature, allowing playwrights creative opportunities rarely found in the development process. The HotHouse Playwriting Incubator would give each playwright eight days of workshop with the HotHouse Company, divided as seems appropriate for the project, before a decision is made on producing the play. Each will attend HotHouse sessions and familiarize themselves with the ongoing company training. The commissions will also encourage them to consider writing for larger than usual cast size as the HotHouse is a growing company of 13 actors. The process of working with an established ensemble will provide the playwrights unusual flexibility in the writing process. Breaking the mold of the normal commissioning process where the playwright creates a first draft in isolation, the playwrights will “test drive” scenes at the Wilma, working with the actors on their feet, before finishing a first draft. This creates the potential for exploring themes through improvisation even before writing.
2017 – 2019
Bearded Ladies Cabaret ($45,000/3 years)
The Bearded Ladies Cabaret will create the FOLLICLES program, in which Company members and affiliated artists are given $500 stipends to fund initial individual artistic explorations through short workshops. The Bearded Ladies intend to use the FOLLICLES to identify new projects that fit the company’s mission and identity and to move them forward towards full production. This program encourages un-pressured risk taking and exploration of diverse ideas and approaches in a risk-averse arts climate while creating a pipeline for future Beard projects. In addition to the stipend, the Bearded Ladies offer administrative support and rehearsal, and performance space as needed for each project. Each Follicle will result in a work-in-progress showing after which the Bearded Ladies and the artist will determine whether the company is interested in further development of the project. This determination will be made by considering whether it fits the Bearded Ladies’ mission and artistic goals, how it fits with existing projects and season planning, its budgeting and resource needs, and the interest of the FOLLICLE artist in developing the project as a Bearded Ladies’ piece, which would mean significant artistic collaboration with the artists in the company. Following that determination, FOLLICLES that move forward will become STRANDS. STRANDS will be developed into full productions, which might range from a street performance to an intimate one-night-only cabaret to a large-scale immersive musical installation that runs for weeks.
InterAct Theatre Company ($75,000/3 years)
InterAct will produce one epic play in each of their next three seasons. For years, InterAct has been part of the “downsizing” trend in American theatre, passing up plays that perfectly match their mission, based on cast size or space feasibility. This trend has been artistically limiting, and has led to a dramaturgical aesthetic that is driven by efficiency, as opposed to impact. Maintaining sustainable production budgets has always been a major factor in this trend, and cast size is typically what most influences the size of a production budget. Over InterAct’s past twelve seasons = their productions have averaged 4.2 actors per play, with no plays having larger casts than seven. But, the other major factor is the performance venue. Now that InterAct has settled into their new, more spacious home at The Drake, the company seeks to buck this trend of downsizing by committing to productions of worthy new plays that require larger casts and/or extraordinary production elements. As Philadelphia’s new home for new plays, InterAct is determined to nurture playwrights’ ambitions, enabling remarkable stories to be told fully and without compromise.
FringeArts ($150,000/3 years)
Fringe Arts will roll out, in July 2017, a new annual residency program titled “Camp Fringe.” Camp Fringe will take place each summer, when FringeArts programming is on hiatus. Selected through an open submission process, FringeArts will host 3-4 artists/companies each week for three weeks. Participants will receive a stipend to allow use of their time; utilize FringeArts’ studio and theater spaces for development and rehearsal; and participate in group gatherings to promote exploration between artists and allow opportunity to connect in a social setting. The goal for this program is to establish a cohort of upcoming artists in the city whose work aligns with FringeArts’ mission, and provide them the resources they need. At the conclusion of each week, artists will be invited to share work at an open showing. Camp Fringe is the culmination of a long-term organizational goal of FringeArts to support the development of Philadelphia’s early-career theater artists by providing a flexible, productive residency that values the time of participants and gives them the resources they need to explore their craft, free from the pressures of delivering any specific final product. Camp Fringe offers a manageable period of time for participants to accommodate, further aided by stipends to allow artists to focus on their work. The program also suits the needs and demands of FringeArts, and takes advantage of a lull in their production schedule that occurs in the lead-up to the Fringe Festival.
2016 – 2018
11th Hour Theatre Company ($75,000/3 years)
11th Hour will commission an exciting new musical from Jake Blouch, Jesse Bernstein and Tony Lawton, titled Something Like a War. Jake is the creator of the story and will write music, Jesse will write the book and Tony will write the lyrics. Set at the end of the Civil War, a Confederate engineer searches for his family and his fellow soldiers challenge their Union counterparts to a baseball game with precious rations on the line. The musical’s score will be inspired by bluegrass, folk and military music of the time. Jake is very interested in utilizing actor/musicians for several roles and has emphasized the need for simplicity in the orchestration. The instrumentation should be true to the circumstances – the soldiers would play what they could carry, be it guitar, banjo, snare drum, etc. In numerous 11th Hour productions actors have played instruments on stage, but they have yet to produce a piece in which the score is completely driven by the cast. The movement for this piece will also open interesting possibilities, as it will be grounded in the physical world of baseball, rather than traditional theatre choreography.
People’s Light ($150,000/3 years)
People’s Light will provide a series of opportunities for theatre artists, songwriters, and musicians to collaborate and experiment with new forms of music theatre making through the People’s Light Harmony Labs. Over the first three years of this new program, People’s Light will support the conception, exploration, and development of innovative music theatre projects by a minimum of ten creative teams, as well as gather these participants together for a series of Jam Sessions to share their early work with each other and the public. Committed participants include a diverse collection of nationally acclaimed and locally lauded songwriter-musicians, performance artists, musician-actors, playwrights, and directors. As part of these Labs, People’s Light will facilitate initial retreat-style investigations into new project concepts. They will provide artist stipends, housing, food, space, travel, support staff, and other resources to nurture these new relationships and the ideas they inspire. Following their Labs, all the teams will propose a development plan for their projects. Based on these proposals, People’s Light will select at least three teams for five-day First Note Workshops where they can bring on additional collaborators and performers to explore elements of their emerging music theatre piece. All the Lab participants will convene at People’s Light for two three-day Jam Sessions to share their projects-in-process with each other, engage with innovators in the field, and give sneak-peek performances and concerts for the public.
2015 – 2017
Theatre Horizon($75,000/3 years)
Theatre Horizon will create a new theatre piece for children, co-conceived and directed by Barrymore Award-winners Matthew Decker and Emmanuelle Delpech. The finished piece will evolve from experiential children’s theatre: taking inspiration from the growing international movement to create play experiences for very young children (ages 1 to 7). In this form of theater, children are active participants and decision-makers. Meant for families to experience together, this devised theatre piece will have layers of meaning and options for how each audience member – younger or older – experiences it, so that all can enjoy in their own way. Through clowning, mime, and minimal text – a piece about a hero’s journey will be created. The production will be an adaptation of a well-known story, TOM THUMB. This 400-year-old British folktale features an adventurous boy who is only the size of his father’s thumb. Children readily identify with this tiny character because he experiences the great, wide world from a small person’s perspective. In this project, the word play signifies both the verb “to play” (as in the action undertaken by children) and the noun that signifies a live story unfolding before an audience.
Arden Theatre Company($150,000/3 years)
The Arden will create The New Musical Theatre Works Initiative (NMTWI) to develop three major musicals over the next three years. This initiative will allow them to provide exceptional writers the resources and support they need to create musicals that continue to advance the art form, engage and inspire audiences, and further Philadelphia’s reputation as an extraordinary community for the creation for new work. Throughout this process, the writing teams will have access to a director, dramaturg, and the artistic resources of the Arden. The needs of the respective writing teams will lead the process, and include opportunities for them to better understand their work through readings of new drafts, working through the score with singers, and consultations with designers, as desired. Most significantly, each of the three musicals will receive a two-week workshop. The success of musicals is in large part dependent on the seamless integration of book, music and lyrics into a cohesive whole, and an extended two-week process will enable the writers to more fully investigate their work.
2014 – 2016
1812 Productions($75,000/3 years)
1812, through the support of their first NTWI in 2011, 1812 put in place a structure that drew on their decade-long experience of creating new work and formalized their new play development process. They created a system they had hoped would give them the flexibility to respond to the unique needs of each specific piece by putting funding and time in place in three areas: Long Term Developmentof work they are committed to producing in future seasons; Short Term Developmentof work they are doing in the current season; New Work Incubator for experimentation. Their plan moving forward is to build on the strengths of those elements of the program that did serve them, like the New Work Incubator, and revise those that did not. They found that creating a delineation between short and long-term projects and designating specific funding for each was ultimately not as helpful as being able to be responsive to the needs of each particular season. With this NTWI grant, they will maintain a pool of $20K per year to serve play development by being allocated according to the needs of each season. They will also add a day-long workshop after the production of a new work is complete. They realized that often a first production of a new work is just another step in its development process, not always the final step. With a goal of supporting the full life of each play, including a life after its premiere at 1812, they want to have time with the ensemble and collaborators to discuss what worked and what did not, whether there are opportunities for the piece to have a future life and what the next best steps are.
New Paradise Laboratories($75,000/3 years)
New Paradise will undertake a three-year evolution designed to create and augment five original works, and to integrate four new members into its creative process. Additionally, NPL will further integrate new media explorations into its ongoing engagement activities. In these ways, NPL will retool itself, enhancing its theatre-making in general, to bring a 21st century perspective into the practice of this ancient art form.
Pig Iron Theatre Company($75,000/3 years)
Pig Iron wants to continue to expand the presentational possibilities of theatre. This next chapter will find Pig Iron in full-on collaboration with a rock band and a classical composer, and will feature new works performed along a city block, in a rock venue, and a concert hall. Moving beyond the company’s history as a frequent creator of “site-specific” theatre, this grant represents a three-year experiment in bringing new theatrical performances directly to non-theatre audiences. Over three years, Pig Iron Theatre Company will develop and present three original works of performance which will stretch the company into unknown artistic territories and introduce their work to new audiences. These projects represent collaborative works that exceed – in ambition, form, scale and audience reach – anything the company has done thus far. The projects are:
– a site-specific outdoor work that features 99 break-up scenes written by Kirk Lynn of Austin’s Rude Mechanicals
– a collaboration with Philly’s own indie-rock band Dr. Dog, bringing our raucous impulses into the realm of a rock concert,
– an oratorio project about global warming that brings together choral music, movement and text.
2013 – 2015
Enchantment Theatre Company($75,000/3 years)
ETC will create three new works for schoolchildren and families that are substantively different from their previous productions. These new works will be designed to be completely portable, so they can literally take “Enchantment Everywhere“, greatly increasing the number of opportunities the company has to share its work. The concept arose from their current strategic planning process for the next five years, in which a key objective is to become more deeply rooted in the Greater Philadelphia area. The design and scale of the new works will allow their productions to get to more places, more kinds of venues and more children and families than the work they have done since 2000, when Enchantment first became a resident theater in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Young Playwrights($75,000/3 years)
PYP is to launch and evolve the Paula Vogel Mentors Project, a living award honoring Paula and extending her mentorship legacy. Vogel first worked with Young Playwrights on a 2011 Playwriting Boot Camp that leveled the playing field for teaching artists, young playwrights and professionals, and began discussing this program with them in early 2012. The 3 year pilot Project, to be announced at Young Playwrights’ 25th Anniversary Celebration in June 2013, houses a mutually artistic and educationally enriching experience, pairing five acclaimed professional playwrights as mentors with five promising young playwright Fellows on year-long playwriting journeys.
To support enhanced LAB Testresidencies and create LAB Catalyst, an experimental theater artist partnership program. As FringeArts expands their programming to year-round presentations in addition to their annual Festival, they will build on past successes with the LAB Test program by including enhancements designed to align with the objective to leverage their new permanent facility on the Delaware River waterfront in the education and engagement of audiences in the process of creating experimental theater. LAB Catalyst will support collaborative theater works from conception to production. LAB Catalyst is an opportunity for FringeArts to capitalize on a long-held interest to create an artist matchmaking program, with the goal that this innovative residency format will allow them to be a producer that initiates new work in addition to supporting works-in-progress.
2012 – 2014
Bristol Riverside Theatre (BRT)($75,000/3 years)
For the expansion of their America Risingprogram, a staged reading series of new plays by emerging American playwrights.America Risingis more than a simple reading series. It connects audiences to contemporary plays, celebrates emerging playwrights, develops their suburban audience for more cutting edge contemporary work (either thematically or structurally challenging), and it creates a family style atmosphere in which plays are discussed and playwrights are able to watch an audience respond to their work. To create an informal and welcoming atmosphere, readings are preceded by a communal meal and followed by a discussion with the playwright. BRT has found that this environment gives audiences permission to engage with pieces they might otherwise shy away from, and many become fans of these emerging playwrights. Now, as part of a major programming and expansion project commemorating its 25th Anniversary Season, BRT has recently created its first rehearsal studio. With the Studio now available, America Rising has a permanent and comfortable home at BRT, which will help fundamentally change America Risingfrom a “reading series”, to a “workshop series”; allowing a full week of rehearsals, giving playwrights and actors an opportunity to delve into the new pieces, not just read them aloud.
The Wilma Theater($150,000/3 years)
To pilot and inaugurate The Wilma Instituteas a new project development model uniting creators and performers in a dedicated long-term process. The Wilma Institutewill establish the Wilma as a true artistic home in Philadelphia through investing in the training and development of individual artists, and by placing a company of theater artists, led by a renowned playwright, at the center of the approach to creating new work. The Wilma Instituteextends the Wilma’s emphasis on training and mentorship, and its desire to call forth a common artistic language, to artistic project development. It is a direct expression and a clear implementation of the Wilma’s emphasis on long-term artistic and organizational growth. The Institute undertakes a model of project development that involves assembling a company of actors, designers, and a dramaturg at the beginning of the process, then placing a major playwright at the center of this company to create a new theater work – revitalizing an older tradition of artistic production in a way that will produce vital new work, within a community, beginning at the point of inception. This process of development, taking place over a two-season period, will establish the conditions for innovative and courageous theater by encouraging experimentation and providing continuity and trust for the work’s creators and performers.
2011 – 2013
1812 Productions($75,000/3 years)
To formalize their new work development process while still maintaining the flexibility to respond to the unique needs of each specific piece by putting funding, and in turn, time in place in three key areas – Long Term Development, Short Term Development and a New Work Incubator.
Long Term Development – for shows that 1812 is committed to producing as a part of the following/future season, such as: travel for research; developmental workshops with playwrights, actors, directors, dramaturges, choreographers and designers; housing and travel for out of town playwrights to be in residence for the workshop period; or bringing in an outside artist to work with the creators of the piece.
Short Term Development– for new work being produced in the current season, including: new plays by outside playwrights that have been workshopped elsewhere and are ready for a premiere, 1812’s own work that is designed to have a short-term development process, and the perennial holiday show, This Is the Week That Is, which, while the title remains the same, is completely new each year. Activities may include workshops weeks or extra weeks of rehearsal, the hiring of a dramaturg, hiring another writer for This Is the Week That Is, or an extra week of space rental if the production needs of the new piece are extraordinary.
New Work Incubator – for the generation and development of ideas and new work, with the goal that those ideas that have promise will then be able to go into the pipeline for either long-term or short-term development. At least three weeks of incubator activities will be programmed over the course of the season, including: workshopping ideas that are 1812 generated to see if they have “legs”; bringing in outside artists and directors and having the opportunity to work with the energies and ideas that they bring in; reading and workshopping new plays with the ability to involve the playwright and a dramaturg.
Arden Theatre Company($150,000/3 years)
To expand their new play development efforts with the addition of a new program called The Writer’s Room, a playwright residency which will offer the creative space to develop a new play in a concentrated, focused, and supported process. This residency will be an opportunity to fund a holistic process for writers, and simultaneously allow Arden audiences to experience firsthand the creation of a play. Through this playwright residency, the Arden will introduce a new play development model that offers participating writers both monetary and institutional support for a period of time during which they travel to Philadelphia, are in residence at the Arden, develop the project on which they are working, and receive a modest production. The process will include three phases: a six week period during which the playwright will reside in Philadelphia and complete drafting the play; a four week period during which the play is workshopped and rehearsed, and a subsequent two week period in which the play is mounted as a small scale production, with rehearsal and revision time between performances. The guarantee of a small scale production is a key component of this residency, and will appeal to writers who dismiss writing for the theatre on grounds of a lack of immediacy. These staged performances will exist outside of the Arden’s subscription series and will not be considered the world premiere. Allowing writers to have the audience experience without the institutional pressures of presenting a world premiere will foster an environment in which they can refine their work while their original impulses are still fresh. The Arden may then choose to produce the play in its subscription season, or promote the further life of the play with other potential producers.
2010 – 2012
People’s Light and Theatre($150,000/3 years)
For the development of a series of new theatre works that will be performed in partnership with Longwood Gardens, one of the great horticultural centers of the world. Over a three-year time span they plan to develop as many as 6 site-specific theatre pieces, using art and science as they intersect with themes of sustainability, conservation, and botanical research as points of departure and as material.
Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe(now FringeArts) ($150,000/3 years)
To expand their resources and deepen their commitment to the artists they serve through their Fellowship Program in the Live Arts Brewery, a laboratory for research and development (the LAB), which offers artists rich, comprehensive assistance and structured guidance as they research, develop, create, and test original performance works. The Festival will strategically enhance the existing LAB Fellowship Program by outfitting an additional studio/work space in an adjacent, unoccupied warehouse in the Live Arts building. Incorporating two studios into the LAB Program allows them to offer artists access to both a rehearsal hall and a black box performance space, in which production residencies will be staged for LAB Fellows to mount their work in front of audiences with full technical support, including lights, sound, and sets.
New Paradise Laboratories($75,000/3 years)
To further investigate the possibilities of integrating new media-websites, social networking, and various geo-locational technologies-into its dramaturgy. Their 2009 FATEBOOK drew national and international attention with its blend of cyber-space and live-space theatre techniques. It has been hailed as a breakthrough in the combining of traditional theatre with a new kind of viral-based community outreach. New Paradise Laboratories is now on the verge of new developments in this area. They will develop a new piece in each of the next three years that will utilize new media in its narrative structure and in its outreach components. All three pieces will result from collaboration among cross-disciplinary artists: actors, director, playwrights, web-based designers and traditional theatre-based designers.
Pig Iron Theatre Company($75,000/3 years)
To support the next chapter of their work. Pig Iron’s recent explorations have focused on stripping away, on “doing less,” and on keeping a lid on the ensemble’s natural tendency toward anarchic, free-spirited invention. Going forward, they want to take the lid off. Playing and playfulness are hallmarks of their work, and they have decided that it’s time to revel in their natural instincts instead of finding projects that aim to cut against them. The coming years’ projects will push the anything-can-happen concept to open up new avenues in their work. They will keep building upon the inventive impulses they began to un-cork with their whimsical production of WELCOME TO YUBA CITY, while also introducing the company to new and exciting collaborators, like Toshiki Okada, acclaimed choreographer, playwright, and director of the Japanese company chlefitsch, who will help to expand the possibilities of their work.