Time Warner Foundation Grant Supports Development of More Plays Inspired by Orange County’s (Calif.) Diverse Cultures
COSTA MESA, Calif. (April 23, 2015)—South Coast Repertory’s vibrant new play commissioning program will expand even more, thanks to a two-year, $150,000 grant from the Time Warner Foundation. The grant will enable SCR to develop plays from new playwrights through the theatre company’s CrossRoads Commissioning Project. SCR is a national leader in commissioning new plays for America’s stages, having given 293 commissions to nearly 200 playwrights.
The foundation’s grant is part of its New Works/New Voices Initiative. It is Time Warner Foundation’s second grant to SCR to support CrossRoads, which develops plays that explore the cultural diversity of Orange County, Calif. The new funding will support continued work by the six playwrights tapped in 2013 for the first CrossRoads commissions; and it will enable SCR to commission a second cohort of four new playwrights.
“South Coast Repertory is committed to developing works by new playwrights,” said SCR Artistic Director Marc Masterson. “We extend our thanks to the Time Warner Foundation for this grant, which recognizes our efforts to add works to the American theatre canon. CrossRoads had been a remarkable project to date and has seen deep engagement by our inaugural group of playwrights with Orange County’s communities. We’re looking forward to building on this success with this second round of funding.”
Managing Director Paula Tomei added, “We are excited and grateful that the Time Warner Foundation has chosen to extend our partnership with CrossRoads. This new funding will allow us to enhance our relationships with these vital sectors of our community, while continuing to support playwrights.”
Two play readings in SCR’s upcoming annual showcase of new works—the Pacific Playwrights Festival, April 24-26—emerged from the original CrossRoads grant:
- Orange: an illustrated play by Aditi Brennan Kapil
- The fantastic Orange County adventures of an exceptional girl named Leela—as illustrated by herself.
- Vietgone by Qui Nguyen
Qui Nguyen’s personal epic Vietnamese-American hip-hop road-trip buddy-movie rom-com.
In addition, Vietgone will have its world premiere production in SCR’s 2015-16 season.
“The depth of plays from these writers is impressive,” said Masterson. “We want to see them take the next steps toward the stage.”
Through the grant, SCR will deepen work with its current CrossRoads playwrights through residencies and four-day workshops; in the second year of the grant, the plays will be introduced to wider audiences in Orange County. In addition to Nguyen and Kapil, selected writers in the inaugural group include Carla Ching, Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Mona Mansour. The four new playwrights to be commissioned have not yet been selected.
ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers. One-quarter of SCR’s 525 productions have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio. www.scr.org