Olney Theatre Receives NEA Funding

National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $27 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment's first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $10,000 to Olney Theatre Center for the American Premiere of Ella Hickson's Oil directed by Tracy Brigden. Art Works is the Arts Endowment's principal grantmaking program. The agency received 1,605 Art Works applications for this round of grantmaking, and will award 972 grants in this category.

"The arts enhance our communities and our lives, and we look forward to seeing these projects take place throughout the country, giving Americans opportunities to learn, to create, to heal, and to celebrate," said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Of the award, Managing Director Debbie Ellinghaus said,"We are honored and proud that the National Endowment for the Arts chose to support our production of the American Premiere of Ella Hickson's play Oil. This play is ambitious in every sense of the word and we couldn't do it without funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Their support is vital to our efforts to invest fully in great art and share it with the widest possible audience."

Oil follows mothers and daughters over two centuries, from the dawn of the age of oil in 1889 to its "peak oil" demise sometime in the not-too-distant future. In five separate but connected playlets, a single mother named May defies the odds to provide for her daughter Amy by any means necessary. From Cornwall to Tehran, London, Baghdad, and back, the mother-daughter power struggle evolves and shifts, even as the resources that fuel it (and the rest of the world) begin to dwindle. Bursting with theatricality and big ideas about feminism, imperialism, and environmentalism, Oil was named one of the "25 Best British plays since Jerusalem" by The Guardian theatre critic Michael Billington.

Performances of Oil begin on February 27 and run through March 31, 2019.

For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

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