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Weissberg Foundation Will Fund Woolly Mammoth's First Dedicated Commissioning Program

Marvin Weissberg was a mainstay in Woolly's audiences from the company's beginnings at Church Street to their current home on D Street in Penn Quarter.

Weissberg Foundation Will Fund Woolly Mammoth's First Dedicated Commissioning Program

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company has been chosen by the Weissberg Foundation for a grant to honor the late Marvin Weissberg, tremendous philanthropist and theatre lover, through the creation of the theatre's first dedicated commissioning program, the Weissberg Commissions.

Marvin Weissberg was a mainstay in Woolly's audiences from the company's beginnings at Church Street to their current home on D Street in Penn Quarter. Most recently, the Foundation's Fund for Diversity in Theater helped Woolly Mammoth build a strong equity and inclusion lens to prepare for the search for a new artistic director in 2018, and then subsequently a new managing director in 2019.

The Weissberg Commissions will be a three-year program that will give generative artists the opportunity to innovate and take artistic risks in the creation of new theatrical works. These commissions are opportunities to support DC-based or born artists, and/or non-local artists writing about topics that directly relate to our lives in the DMV.

"I am thrilled to launch Woolly's first formal commissioning program," says Sonia Fernandez, Director of New Work, "to expand the ways in which Woolly develops new work to include not only writers, but other generative artists. That this program aligns with our values of creating work that centers racial justice and addresses themes that directly impact this community makes it that much more meaningful."

"It is an immense privilege to honor Marvin's staggering legacy in the DMV arts community through a program that supports new works of theatre created in, and influenced by, our regional home. Woolly Mammoth would not be the same without a champion like Marvin Weissberg, whose support has been transformative for so many organizations in our area and for so long, " says Maria Manuela Goyanes, Artistic Director.

The Weissberg Commissions will be given to writers, directors, designers, choreographers, or other generative artists who represent artistic innovation in our field and share Woolly's vision for a socially just world. The artists will be a mix of local, national, and potentially international creators whose commissions will feature a connection to the DC-area.

There will be three kinds of commissions: full commissions, seed commissions, and finishing commissions. Commissions under this new program would range from $5,000 to $25,000 per project and fund completely new full-length plays, test out an idea, or give artists the opportunity to finish incomplete works. The list of commissioned artists will be curated by the Artistic Director and Woolly's Director of New Work.

After the conclusion of this three-year cycle, Woolly intends to continue with a commissioning program and is excited to see this commissioning model develop over the next several years.



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