Pegasus Theatre Receives NEA Grant For Young Playwrights Festival

Pegasus Theatre Receives NEA Grant For Young Playwrights FestivalNational Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $25 million in grants as part of the NEA's first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $15,000 to Pegasus Theatre Chicago for the Young Playwrights Festival year-round program. The Art Works category is the NEA's largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.

"It is energizing to see the impact that the arts are making throughout the United States. These NEA-supported projects, such as this one to [name of org], are good examples of how the arts build stronger and more vibrant communities, improve well-being, prepare our children to succeed, and increase the quality of our lives," said Chu. "At the National Endowment for the Arts, we believe that all people should have access to the joy, opportunities and connections the arts bring."

The Young Playwrights Festival inspires Chicago students to explore their histories, research their communities and mine their personal journeys to write dynamic one-act plays for the stage. YPF is the only event of its kind in Chicago and is the second largest in the country. Under the auspices of Pegasus Theatre Chicago, teens - primarily from Chicago Public Schools -- participate in workshops and playwriting residencies throughout the school year. The year-long program enhances language arts, encourages independent, high-level thinking, strong personal values and influences career development for Chicago's teens. From April through July, over 500 teens submit plays to be adjudicated in three rounds of the competition. About fifty students in the third round participate in a summer play revision workshop. From there, winning teen playwrights' productions are selected for a fully staged, professional production of three to four one-act plays as part of Pegasus' main stage season each January.


Pegasus Theatre Chicago has been a mainstay in the Chicago theater community for nearly 38 years. Its mission is to produce boldly imaginative theatre, champion new and authentic voices and illuminate the human journey. The theatre adheres to the core values of community engagement, social relevance, boldness, adventure and excellence.

Pegasus is also committed to initiating important conversations through the arts with strong community engagement and socially relevant programming, including the Young Playwrights Festival for high school-age scribes, which celebrated its 31st Anniversary this year. Pegasus Theatre Chicago has received seventy-seven Joseph Jefferson Citations since its inception.


The Green Book
A co-production with ShPIeL Performing Identity
Written by Calvin Ramsey
Directed by Pegasus Artistic Director Ilesa Duncan
March 1 - April 1
Chicago Dramatists, 773 N. Aberdeen Ave.
Previews: Friday, March 2 - Sunday, March 4 following the normal schedule
Press Opening: Sunday, March 4 at 3 p.m.
Schedule: Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. with added Sunday 6 p.m. performances Ticket Price: $30 (seniors $25 and students $20)

Written by the award-winning co-author of "Ruth and the Green Book," the play is an homage to the historical travel book and centers on the Davises, an African-American family who open their home to black travelers in the south during Jim Crow/segregation and activism. The play is also an investigation of the impact of civil rights on contemporary American issues. Inspired by Victor Hugo Green's historical "The Negro Motorist Green Book," the setting takes place during a weekend when the Davis' are celebrating the arrival of Dr. W.E.B. DuBois for a lecture. The appearance of a white visitor, who turns out to be a Jewish Holocaust survivor, sets off a chain of events that shows that racism and anti-Semitism cannot be ignored.

For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit

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