Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

The Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation Makes Grants Available for Theatre Writers In Response to the Health Crisis

The Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation Makes Grants Available for Theatre Writers In Response to the Health Crisis

In response to the recent closure of theaters due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation has announced its decision to reinvent the means by which it will distribute the funds for their 2020 Idea Award for Theatre. This spring, the foundation will offer up to 40 emergency grants of $2,500 each to playwrights, composers, lyricists and librettists who have had a full professional production cancelled, closed, or indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 closures. A total of $100,000 will be distributed to theatre writers.

Eligible playwrights, composers, lyricists, or librettists can apply at this link. Writers who have had a professional production canceled should submit their name and proof of a professional show's closure. ("Professional," in this case, is defined as LORT, Off Broadway, or Broadway). Each artist can only submit once, to ensure the fairest outcome. If there are more than 40 applicants, the Foundation will award grants by lottery, allowing them to give out the greatest amount of money directly into the pockets of the artists who have been most affected. With a submission deadline of April 14, The Foundation aims to make funds available to artists as quickly as possible, as many artists are already in dire need.

The Bret Adams & Paul Reisch Foundation's mission as a charitable foundation is to give money to writers to write plays with 'big ideas.' This year, our 'big idea' is our declaration that we must help those who have had productions cancelled," says Bruce Ostler, V.P. and Board Member of The Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation. "The economic model of theatre in the 21st century works much like it did in the 16th century, in that a playwright receives a percentage of the box office sales; without an audience, the box office receipts and royalty to playwrights dry up. In no uncertain terms, the business of theatre today has ground to a shocking halt due to the pandemic. Playwrights are not salaried workers and therefore are NOT eligible for unemployment for a cancelled production. That is the harsh reality of theatre today."

Theatrical Agent Bret Adams and his partner Dr. Paul Reisch loved the theatre with great passion. As a theatrical agent, Bret shepherded the careers of many actors, writers and directors and designers, including Phylicia Rashad, Judy Kaye, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Sherman Helmsley, Anna Maria Alberghetti, Eve Arden, Christine Ebersole, Kathleen Marshall, Jayne Wyman, Andre DeShields, Kathy Bates, Susan H. Schulman, Jack Heifner, Philip McKinley and Robert Harling, among many others. After Bret and Paul's passing, in 2006 and 2015 respectively, their eponymous foundation was created at their bequest. The Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation champions visionary playwrights in their creation of expansive, illuminating, and idea-driven theatre. Embracing diversity in all its forms, The Foundation encourages artists with fresh perspectives - particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds - to create idea-driven new plays and musicals reflecting on multivalent themes including science, history, philosophy, gender, race, politics, sexual orientation, technology, religion, money, global warming, and medicine, among others. For more information, visit www.BretnPaulFoundation.org.


Featured at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More
Branded Broadway Merch

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You