National New Play Network Receives $600,000 Grant from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The NATIONAL NEW PLAY NETWORK (NNPN), the country's alliance of non-profit theatres that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays, proudly announces a grant of $600,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its programs over the next three years. The gift - the largest received by NNPN in its 15-year history - was approved by the Trustees of the Foundation.
"The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has long been a key supporter of NNPN," said Nan Barnett, NNPN's Executive Director. "This grant will enable NNPN to continue to increase its impact on the lives of artists and audiences alike through the production of new work in the American theatre." The gift supports the enhancement of NNPN's pioneering Continued Life of New Plays Fund, expansion of our growing Residency Programs, infrastructure support, and the development of the New Play Exchange, NNPN's newest program.
"Through their unparalleled investment in our mission and programming, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has bolstered our ability to become a real force in the field", says Tina Parker, Co-Artistic Director of Kitchen Dog Theater and President of NNPN. "It is because of their generosity that we have been able to dream big and take risks, growing not only the organization in size and caliber but also the number of projects such as playwright residencies and the now often imitated "Rolling World Premieres" happening at our member's theaters around the country, sparking a real dialogue centered around new work. Without their unwavering support, this would have never been possible."
CONTINUED LIFE OF NEW PLAYS FUND
NNPN's flagship program, the Continued Life of New Plays Fund (CLNPF), supports three or more theatres which choose to mount the same new play within a twelve-month period. The result is a "Rolling World Premiere" through which the playwright develops a new workwith at least three different creative teams, each for different communities of patrons, ensuring the resulting play is of the highest possible quality. To date, NNPN has championed the continued life of 40 new plays in nearly 100 productions, with one million dollars in grants.
Support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation over the next three years will increase the number of Rolling World Premieres NNPN is able to fund. Current and upcoming Rolling World Premieres include Steven Dietz's Rancho Mirage, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's The Totalitarians, Lauren Gunderson's I and You, Carson Kreitzer's Lasso of Truth, George Brant's Grounded, and Steve Yockey's Pluto.
NNPN's Playwright Residencies were established in 2007 to support playwrights graduating from qualified MFA programs for season-long residencies at NNPN member theatres. In 2011 NNPN piloted the Producer-in-Residence program, modeled on the Playwright-in-Residence initiative. This program supports eligible early-career new-play producers for a nine-month long residency at an NNPN member theatre, and is intended to supplement the training of those who want to dedicate the next phase of their careers to the exploration and production of new work. To date, NNPN has supported 21 Playwrights-in-Residence and five Producers-in-Residence.
THE NEW PLAY EXCHANGE
Drawing on NNPN's history of crowd-sourced literary management leading to multiple productions, the New Play Exchange (NPE) is NNPN's newest initiative. The NPE is a national database of plays and playwrights expected to serve a wide variety of theatre professionals, and will revolutionize the ways in which theatres and playwrights connect with one another. Initially supported by a cornerstone grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Trust, the NPE will enable playwrights to make their work "discoverable" by theatres, and it will also enable theatres to read and evaluate plays and recommend them for other theatres. The NPE is being developed by a core group of consortium partner constituents from NNPN, the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis, the Bay Area Playwrights Foundation in San Francisco, Chicago Dramatists, and the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.