Playwrights Theatre was the recipient of several grants that will aid in the development of new plays as well as support the educational programs located at the theatre in the Creative Arts Academy and throughout New Jersey.
Playwrights Theatre received a grant of $10,000 from The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey which will support the Urban Young Writers Project. Playwrights Theatre's New Jersey Writers Project, a co-sponsored program with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, provides hands-on workshops led by professional writers-in-residence to students in schools and community centers throughout the state reaching over 15,000 students annually. The Urban Young Writers Project provides hands-on residencies in poetry, prose, and playwriting taught by professional artists in school and community-based settings in Newark and Camden. The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey promotes health, well-being, and quality of life in New Jersey’s communities. Priority areas include health and the arts.
The Dramatist Guild Fund awarded Playwrights Theatre a grant for $1,000 to help in the recovery from Hurricane Sandy. The organization also gave Playwrights Theatre a $750 grant to aid in the promotion of work and wellbeing of writers for theatre. The Board of Directors at the Dramatist Guild awards theatre grants annually to organizations that “are at the forefront of promoting new work by emerging as well as established dramatist.”
The Community Foundation provided Playwrights Theatre with a $1,000 grant from the New Jersey Recovery Fund. The grant was made at the behest of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, “a leading partner in the Fund which was created to help our state, its communities, and its nonprofits recover from the impact of Sandy.”
Actors Equity Foundation, Inc. gave $500 to Playwrights Theatre to be used in Playwrights Theatre’s efforts to in the words of AEA Foundation President Arne Gundersen to “aid actors and the theatrical community at large.”
“We are tremendously grateful to all of these organizations for the support of our many vibrant programs,” said Artistic Director John Pietrowski. These grants support our New Play Development projects, as well as our education work statewide, as well as Newark and Camden. The Sandy relief funds were also extremely useful in covering shortfalls that occurred in a number of areas when our business was interrupted and consumer purchasing was down in the weeks after the storm.”
The Charles E. and Edna T. Brundage Charitable, Scientific and Wild Life Conservation Foundation gave Playwrights Theatre $1,000 to be used in the development of the New Jersey Emerging Women Playwrights program. Last year, Playwrights Theatre began the New Jersey Emerging Women Playwrights Project (NJEWP) as part of its larger ongoing effort to provide meaningful support to playwrights through an authentic development process that focuses on the specific and individual needs of the writer. For more information on this projecthttp://www.ptnj.org/miscpage/nj-emerging-women-playwrights-project
New Jersey has an abundance of talented and committed women playwrights, but there are very few opportunities for these artists to form relationships with organizations that will make a long-term commitment to developing both their work and their presence in the community. The NJEWP will put into place a process that will identify writers, provide a long-term writer-driven development process, and provide connections for the writer to other writers, informed audiences, and the larger theatrical community, both in New Jersey and nationwide. This year’s participating playwrights include EM Lewis, Ellen Claire Porter and Yasmine Beverly Rana.
Additionally, Playwrights Theatre received a continued grant of $27,000 from the Victoria Foundation to carry on the writing program in Newark. Playwrights Theatre’s residencies provide academic afterschool and enrichment programming to reinforce the Newark Public School students understanding of their school curriculum and enhance their intellectual well-being.
And the Madison Alliance Addressing Substance Abuse provided Playwrights with $2,700 towards scholarships for needy students attending Playwright’s Summer Creative Arts Academy.
The New Jersey State Council on the Arts (NJSCA) provided $43,170 for General Operating costs as well as $106,600 to aid the New Jersey Writers Project which puts seasoned teaching artists in the classroom and community-based organizations all over the state of New Jersey to provide playwriting, prose and poetry residencies. Along with the Basic Residency that teaches poetry, prose, and playwriting in the classroom, the Writers Project offers after-school enrichment programs, residencies that target specific populations, specific geographic locations, and specific curricular objectives, as well as Professional Development Programs, all of which can be tailored to the needs of a school or community-based organization.
NJSCA will also provide $87,000 to Playwrights Theatre for Poetry Out Loud. Poetry Out Loud, initiated in 2006 by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation, is a nation-wide poetry recitation competition that encourages high school students (grades 9-12) to learn about great works of classic and contemporary poetry through memorization and recitation. Playwrights Theatre has partnered with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts to facilitate the program in New Jersey. As part of the partnership with NJSCA, Playwrights Theatre provides residencies in the schools, where professional poets and performers teach the basics of poetry and performance as part of the school's preparation for the contest.
Playwrights Theatre was awarded $24,500 from NJSCA to help with the Literary Artists Fellowship Showcase. The Literary Artist Fellowship Showcase began in 2001, with subsequent showcases in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008. NJSCA and Playwrights Theatre cosponsor the series of readings by the poets, playwrights and prose writers that received Council Fellowships. The Fellowships, which may be used to support the professional development of the artist, are highly competitive.
The awards are granted to New Jersey artists in 14 different arts disciplines (seven in each year) and are awarded solely on the basis of an anonymous independent peer panel review of artistic quality. The program is carried out in partnership with the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. Winners of the 2009 New Jersey State Council on the Arts’ (NJSCA) Literary Artist Fellowship Program will present their work in Madison, Hoboken, Long Beach Island and Somerville over the next few months.