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Yale Rep Receives Million Dollar Gift from Mellon Foundation for New Plays


Yale Repertory Theatre (James Bundy, Artistic Director; Victoria Nolan, Managing Director) has received a $1 million gift from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of the activities of the Yale Center for New Theatre over the next five years.

The Yale Center for New Theatre is an integrated, artist-driven initiative to support the creation of new plays and musicals for the American stage through residencies, readings, workshops, and full productions. A key component of the Center's work is the support of productions of Yale-commissioned works at theatres other than Yale Rep-over the next four years, over $600,000 will be committed to this project. The Yale Center for New Theatre also facilitates playwrights' and composers' residencies as lecturers at the School of Drama. The Center is overseen by Artistic Director James Bundy and Associate Artistic Director Jennifer Kiger, director of Yale Repertory Theatre's new play program.

"Since its founding in 1966, Yale Repertory Theatre has developed and produced new work by some of the most vital and important voices in contemporary drama," says Yale University President Richard C. Levin. "This generous gift from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will help ensure Yale Rep's continued leadership in new play development through the strategic initiatives of the Yale Center for New Theatre."

James Bundy, Dean of Yale School of Drama and Artistic Director of Yale Repertory Theatre, continues, "The Yale Center for New Theatre identifies artists with enormous potential for field-wide impact, and promotes their artistry with significant investments in them personally, in the variety of their artistic needs, in the production of their work at our theatre and, in many cases, in production of their work at other theatres. The Mellon Foundation's investment in these endeavors is an inspirational gesture with national impact."

The goals of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's theatre program are to help artistic leaders who are ‘swimming upstream' to continue to take artistic risks; to support processes that will improve the quality of work being produced; and to support collaborations between organizations that develop, premiere, and mount second and third productions of a work. It also endeavors to support long-term commitments to artists by institutions.


Since the Yale Center for New Theatre was established in 2008, it has supported the work of more than two dozen commissioned artists, including David Adjmi, Todd Almond, Hilary Bell, Adam Bock, Bill Camp, Lear deBessonet, Will Eno, Marcus Gardley, Kirsten Greenidge, Danai Gurira, Ann Marie Healy, Amy Herzog, Naomi Iizuka, Dan LeFranc, Elizabeth Meriwether, Scott Murphy, Julie Marie Myatt, David Nugent, Lina Patel, Jay Reiss, Sarah Ruhl, Octavio Solis, Paula Vogel, Kathryn Walat, Anne Washburn, Marisa Wegrzyn, and RoBert Woodruff.


The Yale Center for New Theatre has supported or is currently supporting Yale Rep's world premiere productions of:

Fyodor Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground
Adapted by Bill Camp and RoBert Woodruff
Directed by RoBert Woodruff
World Premiere, 2009

Book and Lyrics by Maggie-Kate Coleman & Music by Anna K. Jacobs
Directed by Mark Brokaw
World Premiere, 2009

By Rinne Groff
Directed by Oskar Eustis
A co-production with The Public Theater and Berkeley Repertory Theatre
World Premiere, 2010

We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Book and Lyrics by Adam Bock & Music and Lyrics by Todd Almond
Directed by Anne Kauffman
World Premiere, upcoming, September 2010

Bossa Nova
By Kirsten Greenidge
Directed by Evan Yionoulis
World Premiere, upcoming, November 2010

Additionally, the Yale Center for New Theatre administers a production fund as support
provided to other not-for-profit theatres producing world premiere, second, or third productions of plays commissioned by Yale. Productions supported to date include:

On the Levee
Play by Marcus Gardley
Music and Lyrics by Todd Almond
Conceived and Directed by Lear deBessonet
World Premiere, Lincoln Center Theater's LCT3, 2010

Fyodor Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground
Adapted by Bill Camp and RoBert Woodruff
Directed by RoBert Woodruff
West Coast Premiere, La Jolla Playhouse, upcoming, September 2010

On Tour, Theatre for a New Audience in Association with Baryshnikov Arts Center, upcoming, November 2010

ABOUT Yale Repertory Theatre

A champion of new work, Yale Repertory Theatre has produced well over 100 world, American, and regional premieres-including two Pulitzer Prize winners and four other nominated finalists-by emerging and established playwrights. Eleven Yale Rep productions have advanced to Broadway, garnering more than 40 Tony Award® nominations and eight Tony Awards, and Yale Rep itself is the recipient of the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre.

In its 42-year history, Yale Repertory Theatre has produced world premieres of plays by David Adjmi, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Lee Blessing, Bill Camp and RoBert Woodruff, Maggie-Kate Coleman and Anna K. Jacobs, Christopher Durang, Jules Feiffer, Athol Fugard, Marcus Gardley, Kama Ginkas, Rinne Groff, John Guare, Albert Innuarato, Walton Jones, Adrienne Kennedy, Arthur Kopit, Sunil Thomas Kuruvilla, Wendy MacLeod, Julie McKee, Terrence McNally, Richard Nelson, Suzan-Lori Parks, David Rabe, Keith Reddin, José Rivera, Sarah Ruhl, Sam Shepard, William Styron, Derek Walcott, August Wilson, and Doug Wright, among many others.

Founded in 1966, Yale Repertory Theatre's resident artistic staff includes School of Drama faculty members David Budries (Sound Design Advisor), Liz Diamond (Resident Director), Ming Cho Lee (Set Design Advisor), Jane Greenwood (Costume Design Advisor), Jess Goldstein (Resident Costume Designer), Mary Hunter (Stage Management Advisor), Catherine Sheehy (Resident Dramaturg), Rick Sordelet (Fight Advisor), Stephen Strawbridge (Resident Lighting Designer), Jennifer Tipton (Lighting Design Advisor), Paula Vogel (Playwright-in-Residence), Walton Wilson (Voice and Speech Advisor), Michael Yeargan (Resident Set Designer), and Evan Yionoulis (Resident Director).

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