(Boston, MA) The New England Foundation for the Arts has awarded $730,000 through the National Theater Project to support the development and touring of seven new theater projects.

The National Theater Project (NTP) promotes the development and touring of contemporary, artist-led collaborative, ensemble, and devised theater works. Modeled on NEFA’s National Dance Project, NTP is conceived as a full system of support for contemporary, devised theater, which not only provides funding but animates an informed, interactive network of producing theaters, presenters, and ensembles. Leadership support for NEFA’s National Theater Project is generously provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

"These seven projects fully launch the National Theater Project, building on the success of the two-year pilot.  We thank The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for leadership and support of this national catalyst for creation and touring of contemporary artist-led theater," said NEFA executive director Rebecca Blunk.

Grants for this round ranged from $80,000-$130,000. Organizations interested in presenting any of these works – or works from previous grant rounds – may apply on a rolling basis for support; NTP also provides travel support for arts presenters interested in seeing a project. Contact program manager Quita Sullivan at qsullivan@nefa.org or 617.951.0010 x531 or visit www.nefa.org for details. The seven new projects are:

  • Debate Society (NY) for Blood Play
    Blood Play is a darkly comic thriller of post-war verve and pre-adolescent disquiet set in the tranquil Chicago suburbs in the early 1950’s. While the kids are away camping, grown-ups party, exotic cocktails are sampled, games are played and new friends are made. BUT things are happening that no one is talking about. And something is stirring underground.
  • Double Edge Theatre (MA) for The Grand Parade (of the  20th Century)
    The Grand Parade (of the 20th Century) depicts major events of the 20th century in a theatrical style inspired by Chagall’s kaleidoscopic vision of humanity. Trapeze, circus, dance, puppetry, projections, and popular culture fill the height and breadth of the stage in a spectacle of history populated by people and animals in acts of grace and destruction.
  • Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) (CA) for Hospital
    Hospital is a collaborative creation of LAPD and Wunderbaum, (Netherlands) devised using clichés of hospital television series and interviews with patients, doctors, insurers to create a metaphor for the healthcare system. This cross-cultural examination challenges accepted contradictions, at a time when healthcare systems in the U.S. and in the Netherlands are changing significantly.
  • Mondo Bizarro (LA) for Cry You One
    Cry You One is a roving celebratory procession with performances at every stop.  Live music and visual spectacle lead you to pre-determined landmarks where you witness the stories that celebrate South Louisiana and its rapidly eroding land.  Like a New Orleans jazz funeral for the land itself, this theatrical event holds a funeral here, a celebration there.  It cooks, plays music, parades.
  • Sandglass Theater (VT) for D-Generation: An Exaltation of Larks
    D-Generation: An Exaltation of Larks explores story-telling by people living with dementia. The lives of a cast of puppet characters, all with late stage dementia, are juxtaposed with the stories they collectively create. The piece looks at the stigma and acceptance, the despair and joy, that are equally present and possible in the person with dementia, their caregivers, and family members.
  • Teo Castellanos D-Projects (FL) for Fat Boy
    Fat Boy is based on American consumerism and waste, juxtaposed against world hunger and poverty. It takes audiences on a journey through a rice cultivation ritual, Balinese dance and theater, Spoken Word, Zen ritual movement, and B-Girl/Boy choreography, driven by reggae dub beats composed by Grammy nominated DJ Le Spam and influenced by the visual art of Kara Walker.
  • Young Jean Lee's Theater Company (NY) for Straight White Men (SWM)
    Straight White Men (SWM) is about straight white male identity, examining a striking aspect of the current cultural moment in America: SWM can no longer enjoy their privilege without noticing both it and the system that reproduces it.  Are SWM losing their sense of identity or is it simply that they now experience identity with the ambivalence and unease that others do?

About NEFA
NEFA creatively supports the movement of people, ideas, and resources in the arts within New England and beyond, makes vital connections between artists and communities, and builds the strength, knowledge, and leadership of the creative sector. NEFA is a 501 (c) (3) that operates with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England state arts agencies, and from corporations, foundations and individuals.

NEFA currently administers grantmaking programs of regional, national, and international scope that support the performing arts, public art, and Native American artists. NEFA also leads projects and initiatives that range from the analysis of the impact of the creative economy to the creation of online tools which link and advance the cultural community. For more information on NEFA’s grant programs and services, please visit www.nefa.org or call 617.951.0010.