When was the last time a playwright’s words gave you goose bumps? For me, it was last week at the launch of our TCG Playwrights in Conversation: Discussions and Readings series, in partnership with the Jerome L. Green Performance Space. While reading from his trilogy, The Brother/Sister Plays, playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney leaped to his feet in a thundering performance that had our moderator, David Cote of Time Out New York, asking if Tarell had ever thought about acting in his own work. Our New Voices in the American Theatre event also featured TCG published playwrights David Adjmi and Young Jean Lee, all engaging together in warm and inspiring conversation. If you missed it, check out the video webcast.
Like these writers, who are all expanding the possibilities of theatres, the Edgerton Foundation is providing financial support to extend the life of plays after their first run. Twenty-two TCG member theatres received Edgerton Foundation New American Play Awards (totaling $762,000) to allow them extra time in the development and rehearsal of new plays.
TCG’s support of new plays and playwrights has taken many forms in our fifty year history. This week’s 50 Years, 50 Books features our new play anthology New Plays USA, first published in 1982. This anthology drew from TCG’s script circulation series, Plays in Process, which published and distributed 161 new playscripts to theatres and producers nationwide from 1979 until 1992. The first in the New Plays USA series features works by Lee Breuer, David Henry Hwang, Tom Cole, OyamO, Adele Edling Shank and Emily Mann.
Coming full circle, I’m happy to share that Emily Mann will round out our Fall Forum on Governance Sunday panel focused on how we can best support the work on our stages. More exciting Fall Forum updates: our plenary session bringing together a group of funders and philanthropy experts will feature Jonathan Katz (National Assembly of State Arts Agencies), Vicki Reiss, (the Shubert Foundation), Irv Weiser, (former chairman of RBC Dain Rauscher, life trustee of the Guthrie Theater Foundation and former trustee of the Signature Theatre Company in New York) and TCG board member Angel Ysaguirre (the Boeing Company). Moderated by Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the panel will provide insight on the ever-evolving national philanthropic landscape.
Finally, I leave you with our latest featured I AM THEATRE video from Curt Columbus, artistic director of Trinity Repertory Company. He shares a story from a production of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard when a goose bump moment made a student audience member leap to her feet. Also, big thanks to Mark Lamos, artistic director of Westport Country Playhouse, for submitting an I AM THEATRE video on our YouTube channel. He talks about an incredibly moving moment in his theatre career, when he co-directed a production of the nine play series, The Greeks. Don’t miss these inspiring videos, and please submit your own!