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Theatre Communications Group Announces Tenth Round Recipients of the New Generations Program

Theatre Communications Group Announces

Tenth Round Recipients of the New Generations Program

NEW YORK, NY – Five theatres and seven individuals were selected in the tenth round of the New Generations Program, a grant initiative cooperatively designed by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Theatre Communications Group (TCG). Nearly $900,000 was awarded this round and more than $13 million in grants have been awarded to over 200 theatres in ten rounds of this program.

“We have enjoyed a long-standing partnership with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which has always been rooted in providing resources to make the national theatre community more sustainable for the future,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG. “These grants will not only help nurture young leaders and give them the tools to be successful in theatre, but also help theaters cultivate audiences by embracing new and ever-changing technologies.”

In Future Leaders, emerging leaders in all areas of theatre are mentored by accomplished theatre professionals at a host theatre. An award of $80,000 ($40,000 per 9-month period) will be paid to the theatre in support of the 18-month mentorship with up to an additional $10,000 available to the mentee for student loan repayment, or to meet unique travel and legal expenses incurred if an international mentee is selected. In Future Audiences, theatres with a successful track record of reaching young, culturally specific and/or underserved communities will receive a matching grant of up to $65,000 ($32,500 per year) to support the development or expansion of technology focused initiatives aimed at cultivating a diverse audience. Up to $7,500 in additional funding will be available to help recipients transition out of the program.

“We are pleased to partner with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the Theatre Communications Group’s tenth round of New Generations Program grantees,” said Ed Henry, president of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. “We look forward to the contributions that these emerging leaders will bring to the field, and to the expansion of creative approaches for using technology to engage diverse theatre audiences.”

The seven recipients in Round 10 of the Future Leaders objective are:

Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s (Berkeley, CA) managing director Susan Medak will mentor Meghan Pressman in the capacity of associate managing director. Ms Pressman’s responsibilities will include overseeing contracts, budgets and scheduling.

Center for Puppetry Arts’ (Atlanta, GA) artistic director Jon Ludwig will mentor Michael Haverty in all aspects of artistic leadership including season selection, program growth and the development and direction of new work.

McCarter Theatre Center’s (Princeton, NJ) producing director Mara Isaacs will mentor Erica Nagel in all aspects of creative producing, emphasizing a holistic approach to production, play development and community engagement.

South Coast Repertory’s (Costa Mesa, CA) artistic director Martin Benson will mentor Oanh Nguyen in the newly created position of producing associate in SCR’s artistic department. Mr. Nguyen’s mentorship will encompass a wide range of artistic responsibilities designed to give him in-depth exposure to the workings of a large non-profit theatre.

Sundance Institute Theatre Program’s (New York, NY) producing artistic director Philip Himberg will mentor Deborah Asiimwe in the Institute’s East Africa Initiative, a program of exchange between American and East African theatre artists. Ms. Asiimwe’s duties will span both artistic director and management tasks.

William Inge Center for the Arts’ (Independence, KS) artistic director Peter Ellenstein will mentor Amanda D. White in running a successful professional rural theatre organization through collaborations with volunteers, community and educational organizations.

The Wooster Group’s (New York, NY) director Elizabeth LeCompte and producer Cynthia Hedstrom will mentor Jamie Poskin in directing and producing experimental theater, preparing him to establish his own company.

The five recipients in Round 10 of the Future Audiences objective are:

Barrington Stage Company (Pittsfield, MA) will enhance and broaden new media strategies through Barrington Stage 2.0, a technology initiative that creates unique structures to cultivate and partner with young audiences.

Deaf West Theatre (North Hollywood, CA) will invest in state of the art captioning technology to enhance service to deaf audiences and improve interactivity with patrons through the Internet.

HERE (New York, NY) will further develop HERE: On Demand, an aggregated online and onsite program that deepens HERE’s engagement between artists and audiences by offering new and radical participatory experiences.  They will also produce MADE HERE, an online video series on performing artists making life and art in NYC.

Mixed Blood Theatre Company (Minneapolis, MN) will work with consultants/advisors and playwright Ken LaZebnik to expand Mixed Blood’s engagement of communities around autism, including a broader range of people on the autism spectrum, by gaining invited access to the online autism community.

Tectonic Theater Project (New York, NY) will add new features and expand the functionality of their ‘Laramie Project Online Community’ to deepen engagement with young LGBT audiences and their allies, as well as creating a support system for artists involved in current productions of The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later.

New Generations Program applications were reviewed by an independent national selection panel comprised of Claudia Alick, associate producer – community, Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR); Elisa Marina Alvarado, artistic director, Teatro Vision (San Jose, CA); Chad Bauman, director of communication, Arena Stage (Washington, DC); John Dillon,  former director – theatre program, Sarah Lawrence College (Bronxville, NY); Craig Harris, managing director, The Playwrights’ Center (Minneapolis, MN); Michelle Hensley, artistic director, Ten Thousand Things (Minneapolis, MN); Kemati J. Porter, producing director, eta Creative Arts Foundation (Chicago, IL); Paul A. Slee, executive director, The Ensemble Studio Theatre (New York, NY); Brad Stephenson, web media and marketing manager, Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA).

Theatres interested in applying for the Future Leaders or Future Audiences objective in the eleventh (11th) round must submit an online registration form and preliminary proposal by November 8, 2010.

The online registration form, program guidelines and preliminary proposal form will be available at www.tcg.org in late September 2010.

For more information about the New Generations program, please visit: http://www.tcg.org/grants/newgen/newgen_index.cfm.

The New Generations Program is funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and is administered by Theatre Communications Group.

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (www.ddcf.org) is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child abuse, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (www.mellon.org) is a private philanthropic institution that makes grants on a selective basis in five core program areas: higher education and scholarship; scholarly communications and information technology; museums and art conservation; conservation and the environment; and performing arts. The Foundation’s Performing Arts program focuses on achieving long-term results by providing multi-year grants to leading organizations in the disciplines of music, theater, and dance. Annual giving in the area of the performing arts has averaged approximately $30 million per year since 2005.  In 2004 The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation was awarded a National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government.

Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre, exists to strengthen, nurture and promote the professional not-for-profit American theatre.  Founded in 1961, TCG’s constituency has grown from a handful of groundbreaking theatres to nearly 700 member theatres and affiliate organizations and more than 12,000 individuals nationwide.  TCG offers its members networking and knowledge-building opportunities through conferences, events, research and communications; awards grants, approximately $2 million per year, to theatre companies and individual artists; advocates on the federal level; and serves as the US Center of the International Theatre Institute, connecting its constituents to the global theatre community.  TCG is the nation’s largest independent publisher of dramatic literature, with 11 Pulitzer Prizes for Best Play on the TCG booklist. It also publishes the award-winning AMERICAN THEATRE magazine and ARTSEARCH®, the essential source for a career in the arts.  In all of its endeavors, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of its member theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field and promote a larger public understanding of, and appreciation for, the theatre.

In 2005, TCG received the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre in recognition of its impact on the national field.  TCG and its member theatres are major contributors to the American theatre sector, which employs nearly 130,000 people, produces more than 187,000 performances each year and contributes $1.9 billion to the US economy annually.  A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, TCG is led by executive director Teresa Eyring and governed by a national board of directors representing the theatre field.  www.tcg.org.

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