Eleven Theater Works Receive National Theater Project Awards

Twelfth round of grantmaking brings support to date over $9.69M

PearlDamour | photo by PearlDamour

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Communications Director & Co-Accessibility Coordinator

(Boston, MA) The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) announces the eleven recipients of the National Theater Project Creation and Touring award as well as the recipients of Artist Development awards, totaling nearly $1.3 million in support to the field.

The National Theater Project promotes the development and touring of artist-led, ensemble, and devised theater works. Modeled on NEFA’s National Dance Project, National Theater Project functions as a full system of support for devised theater, which in addition to funding, animates an informed, interactive network of producing theaters, presenters, and ensembles.  

Since the first round of National Theater Project grants in 2010, NEFA has infused over $9.69 million into the field through the program. To date, 86 new theater works have been supported through Creation and Touring grants; touring of those works has reached 43 different states across the U.S. National Theater Project projects have toured in-person and virtually to large and small arts presenters, military bases, universities, regional theaters, and festivals. NEFA’s National Theater Project is made possible with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and with additional support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

“The National Theater Project Advisors worked rigorously to determine the recipients through hard conversations about equity, the needs of the field, and the uncertainty surrounding performance when the world is changing so rapidly. I’m so grateful to the advisors, the National Theater Project team, and of course the artists for this thoughtful work and process,” said Quita Sullivan, senior program director for theater at NEFA.

“These artists and their projects elevate much-needed voice and vision that reflects where we are – and where we want to go – as a culture,” said NEFA executive director Cathy Edwards. “We are grateful for the strong partnership with our funders who demonstrate trust in our process and staff to move the field ahead.”

“As the field continues to grapple with uncertainty, The Mellon Foundation remains committed to fostering a vibrant national network of support for the theater ecology,” said Susan Feder, program officer for Arts and Culture at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “This year’s National Theater Project cohort speaks to the complexity of our present day, while offering imaginative potential for a better and more hopeful future.  We are grateful to the National Theater Project advisors and NEFA staff who have worked intentionally to put forward a geographically representative list of ensembles.”

“The rebuilding of the performing arts sector from the impacts of the pandemic will require reimagining, collaboration and creativity, things artists who work in devised theater understand deeply,” said Maurine Knighton, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. “We are pleased to help support a diverse group of boundary-pushing, artist-led ensembles that will bring vibrancy to the arts at this crucial moment through new work, new voices and new ways of creating.”

Grants for this round ranged from $92,000-$100,000. A portion of this award supports the creation and development of the new work, with the remainder for artist-directed allocations to presenters to support artist fees via the National Theater Project Presentation Grant. In addition to the Creation and Touring grant, each recipient will also receive an additional $7,500 towards capacity building for touring the project. The eleven grant recipients and projects are:

Project descriptions, images, and more will be included on each grantee’s listing in the NEFA grantee directory in early fall; organizations interested in presenting any of these works – or works from previous grant rounds – may apply for an National Theater Project Presentation Grant after contacting a project’s tour coordinator, which may be found in the directory. National Theater Project also provides travel support for arts presenters interested in seeing projects.

All National Theater Project finalists receive $2,500 at the beginning of the finalist process. The artists who do not receive the Creation and Touring grant are awarded an additional $7,500 Artist Development Grants. Those recipients are:

  • All My Relations Collective, Brooklyn, NY, GIZHIBAA GIIZHIG | Revolving Sky
  • Amy Ruhl, Brooklyn, NY, The Deposition of Moss Rose
  • Critical Mass Performance Group, Los Angeles, CA, MARIOLOGY
  • Ebony Noelle Golden, New York, NY, In The Name Of...
  • José Torres-Tama & ArteFuturo Productions, New Orleans, LA, UNITED STATES OF AMNESIA: from Fugitive Slave Act to Zero Tolerance Policy
  • Minor Theater, Providence, RI, Marie It's Time
  • Pick Up Performance Co., New York, NY, “Relics And Their Humans” (working title)
  • Remember2019, New York, NY, Black Cypress: Listening Parties Tour
  • Roadside Theater/Appalshop, Whitesburg, KY, New work by Roadside Theater
  • The She Chronicles, Austin, TX, "She Came Home"
  • Sydnie L. Mosley Dances, New York, NY, PURPLE, a ritual in nine spells
  • Tall Order, Philadelphia, PA, Those With 2 Clocks
  • Wonderlust Productions, St. Paul, MN, Lost & Found
  • Written and performed by Whitney White and Peter Mark Kendall; Directed by Taibi Magar and Tyler Dobrowsky, Providence, RI, Capsule

About NEFA

The New England Foundation for the Arts invests in artists and communities and fosters equitable access to the arts, enriching the cultural landscape in New England and the nation. NEFA accomplishes this by granting funds to artists and cultural organizations; connecting them to each other and their audiences; and analyzing their economic contributions. NEFA serves as a regional partner for the National Endowment for the Arts, New England’s state arts agencies, and private foundations. Learn more at www.nefa.org.