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Inaugural AGE Legacy Playwright Grant Recipients Announced

The inaugural annual ALP grants initiative was directed by senior AGE leadership, Yasmin Ruvalcaba.

Inaugural AGE Legacy Playwright Grant Recipients Announced

Advance Gender Equity in the Arts launches its latest program, the AGE Legacy Playwright (ALP) grants, created by founder Jane Vogel Mantiri to refocus the theatre canon away from storytelling that centers cis white men by amplifying and investing in the most vulnerable playwrights who have faced barriers because of gender, race, and age.

The inaugural annual ALP grants initiative was directed by senior AGE leadership, Yasmin Ruvalcaba, who ended her five-year tenure with AGE this month. It seeds the future of an equitable American theatre canon, and provides the three chosen recipients with unrestricted $10,000 grants, with seven finalists each receiving $500 honorarium.

In March, AGE invited playwrights from across the country who self-identify as emerging women or non-binary people of color over 40, to apply for the ALP grants by submitting a full-length play and a professional resume. They were also required to answer questions including describing their career triumphs and challenges, and how they hope to impact the equity landscape of the American theatre. Over 70 applications were adjudicated in two rounds and a deliberation by a committee of AGE staff, board, and local professional artists.

The ALP grants are being awarded to Diana Burbano of Los Angeles, Renee Flemming of New York City, and Marlow Wyatt of Washington, DC. All three are actor-writers who have received many accolades but for whom more than one professional production of their writing has been elusive, and they all describe the challenge of affording time to devote to their writing in an industry that too often expects uncompensated labor.

AGE will amplify the three grant recipients as well as the seven finalists all year via newsletters and social media platforms. "We are proud of the work that we have done, and strive to find ways to make our initiative even more impactful and empowering for playwrights," stated Mantiri, who is retiring from her leadership role with AGE in January 2023. The next cycle of ALP grant applications curated by a new generation of AGE leaders will open in the winter of 2023. AGE is actively seeking funders to support the initiative and plans to include professional development opportunities as part of the award in future years.

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