Mellon Foundation Awards Playwriting Grant to South Coast Repertory
The three-year, $195,000 grant has enabled SCR to create a resident playwright staff position for Los Angeles-based playwright Julie M. Myatt, whose plays My Wandering Boy and the world premiere of The Happy Ones were produced by SCR in the 2006-07 and 2009-10 seasons.
"This generous grant from the Mellon Foundation goes to the heart of South Coast Repertory's commitment to new play development," said Marc Masterson, SCR's artistic director. "It's a great opportunity for playwrights to be an integral part of a theatre company, beyond the writing and rehearsal process for a new play.
"As a full-time staff member, Julie will have a chance to learn more about new play development from inside the organization and what it takes to advance. At the same time, SCR can help develop her work over the three years. We hope that this experience will make a huge impact on her life and work."
Myatt will focus on developing audience and community relationships that will help inform her writing and help enhance the public's understanding of the playwright's process. She also will serve as an ambassador to other theatres and theatre artists.
"It has been my long-time dream to be a playwright-in-residence with a theatre," said Myatt. "The Mellon Foundation grant puts more responsibility on the playwright to represent a theatre, which I believe is very important. It asks the writer to commit to understanding the regional theatre process as a whole, rather than just asking her to fulfill the specific needs of one personal, individual project. I'm very excited by this opportunity."
The Playwright-in-Residence program is part of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's commitment to culture and education. The foundation primarily makes grants in five main program areas: higher education and scholarship, libraries and scholarly communications, conservation and the environment, museums and art conservation, and the performing arts.
Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson and now under the leadership of Artistic Director Marc Masterson and Managing Director Paula Tomei, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. SCR is committed to theatre that illuminates the compelling personal and social issues of our time, not only on its stages but through its wide array of education and outreach programs. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation's largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers and composers. Each year, it showcases some of country's best new plays in the Pacific Playwrights Festival, which attracts theatre professionals from across the country. Of SCR's more than 460 productions, one-quarter have been world premieres, whose subsequent stagings achieved enormous success throughout America and around the world. Two SCR-developed works have won Pulitzer Prizes, and another eight were named Pulitzer finalists. In addition, SCR works have won several OBIE Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, California, SCR's Folino Theater Center is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio. Today, SCR produces 13 shows and eight public readings each season. More information is available at www.scr.org.