PRESS RELEASE: TIME WARNER FOUNDATION PROUDLY ANNOUNCES NEXT ROUND OF THEATER GRANTEES

TIME WARNER FOUNDATION PROUDLY ANNOUNCES NEXT ROUND OF THEATER GRANTEES,
NEW PARTNERS ARE AN EXCITING MIX FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY COMMITTED TO SUPPORTING ACCESS, INCLUSION, AND THE NEXT GENERATION OF DIVERSE STORYTELLERS

New York, NY – February 16, 2017 –Time Warner Foundation proudly announces its next round of theater grantees. A total of nine theater organizations from across the country join the Foundation’s growing portfolio of productions, programs, and artists The Foundation will support in the years ahead.

Lisa Garcia Quiroz, President, Time Warner Foundation shares, “These organizations represent our most geographically diverse cohort and we are so proud to support the important work they are doing for the theater field. These companies have been instrumental in shaping the artistic life of their communities and have contributed to the vibrant artistic ecology in the American theater.”

The new grantees for this round include: Berkeley Repertory Theatre (Berkeley, CA), Center Theatre Group (Los Angeles, CA), Eugene O’Neill Theater Center (Waterford, CT), Latino Theater Company (Los Angeles, CA), Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR), Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Chicago, IL), The Lark in partnership with The Apothetae (New York, NY), and Yale Repertory Theatre (New Haven, CT).

All of the companies have demonstrated a growing commitment to access, inclusion, and greater representation on and off stage. These values animate their work and align with the pillars of The Foundation. These partners are actively working to support a more inclusive landscape while cultivating the next generation of diverse storytellers.

“We are honored to partner with these theater companies. As we do our part to transform the artistic landscape, Time Warner Foundation is happy to provide meaningful support to these partners as they work to promote a more inclusive world through the power of theater,” says Executive Director, Cultural Investments at Time Warner, Diahann Billings-Burford.  

Berkeley Rep, Center Theatre Group, Latino Theater Company, and Yale Rep will commit resources to their continued dedication to new play development and creating a diverse body of work that reflects the world we live in. Oregon Shakespeare Festival will host a weekend celebrating Latinx theatre with their growing Latinx Play Project. Steppenwolf Theatre Company will administer a new play prize for a gifted playwright of color in addition to cultivating emerging writers in collaboration with their famed ensemble. The O’Neill will continue providing a laboratory for the development and showcase of new American plays and musicals. And The Lark, in unique partnership with the groundbreaking company, The Apothetae, will bring artistic opportunities to artists who are differently abled.

These nine companies join Time Warner Foundation’s sustained partnerships with Atlantic Theater Company (New York, NY), Goodman Theatre (Chicago, IL), Harlem Stage (New York, NY), Lincoln Center Theater (New York, NY), Ma-Yi Theater Company (New York, NY), New Dramatists (New York, NY), New York Theatre Workshop (New York, NY), Playwrights Horizons (New York, NY), Pregones/PRTT (New York, NY), Second Stage Theatre (New York, NY), Signature Theatre (New York, NY), South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa, CA), The Public Theater (New York, NY), True Colors Theatre Company (Atlanta, GA) and WP Theater (New York, NY).

About The Partners

Berkeley Repertory Theatre seeks to set a national standard for ambitious programming, engagement with its audiences, and leadership within the community in which it resides. We endeavor to create a diverse body of work that expresses a rigorous, embracing aesthetic and reflects the highest artistic standards, and seek to maintain an environment in which talented artists can do their best work. We strive to engage our audiences in an ongoing dialogue of ideas, and encourage lifelong learning as a core community value. Through productions, outreach, and education, Berkeley Rep aspires to use theatre as a means to challenge, thrill, and galvanize what is best in the human spirit. The Ground Floor: The Center for the Creation and Development of New Work seeks to enhance and expand the processes by which Berkeley Rep makes theatre. We strive to offer the most flexible environment possible for artists to come together and share ideas in person, to receive customized support on each individual project and to work together across disciplines. We will maintain an ongoing conversation with our audience and community about the work we are creating, and we will champion the spirit of innovation so inherent to Berkeley and the Bay Area. www.berkeleyrep.org

Center Theatre Group, comprising the 2,000-seat Ahmanson Theatre, the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre, is one of the nation’s largest theatres outside of New York, and one of the few regional theatres to successfully produce a broad variety of programming each season. In the nearly five decades since its inception, Center Theatre Group has won every major award in the field for drama and pioneered the development of some of the most important playwrights of our time. The organization remains committed to furthering its mission through programming that meets the challenge of producing and presenting work of the utmost quality, while engaging a broad and diverse audience, and expanding community access and arts learning opportunities. These efforts include a robust Artistic Development Program, offering commissions, readings and workshops, and an annual Writers’ Workshop, and an Education and Community Partnerships Department dedicated to nurturing the next generation of audiences and artists. www.centertheatregroup.org

 Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, founded in 1964 in honor of Eugene O’Neill, four-time Pulitzer Prize-winner and America’s only playwright to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, is the country’s preeminent organization dedicated to the development of new works and new voices for the American theater. The O’Neill has been home to more than 1,000 new works for the stage and thousands more emerging artists. Scores of projects developed at the O’Neill have gone on to full production at other theaters around the world, including Broadway, off-Broadway, and major regional theaters. O’Neill programs include the National Playwrights Conference, National Music Theater Conference, National Critics Institute, National Puppetry Conference, Cabaret & Performance Conference, and National Theater Institute – which offers six credit-earning undergraduate training programs. In addition, the O’Neill owns and operates Monte Cristo Cottage as a museum open to the public. The O’Neill is the recipient of two Tony Awards and National Medal of Arts. For more information, please visit www.theoneill.org

Latino Theater Company (LTC) celebrates over 29 years of commitment to the creation of exciting, thought-provoking theater in Los Angeles. Artistic Director José Luis Valenzuela also co-founded the Latino Theater Lab at the LATC in 1985. Together with the Latino Theater Company, he has made significant contributions to the advancement of U.S. Latino Theater. In 2006, LTC was awarded a 20-year lease to operate the LATC, from the City of Los Angeles. Their mission at the LATC is to provide a world-class arts center for those pursuing artistic excellence; a laboratory where both tradition and innovation are honored and honed; a place where the convergence of people, cultures, and ideas contribute to the future. In 2014 they hosted the historic Encuentro 2014 festival, the largest Latina/o Theater festival in over 25 years. The company also produces a free pageant play, La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels as a gift to the city each holiday season. The members of the company include José Luis Valenzuela, Evelina Fernandez, Sal Lopez, Geoffrey Rivas, Lucy Rodriguez and the late Lupe Ontiveros. http://thelatc.org

Oregon Shakespeare Festival, founded by Angus Bowmer in 1935, has grown from a three-day festival of two plays to a nationally renowned theatre arts organization that presents an eight-month season of up to 11 plays that include works by Shakespeare as well as a mix of classics, musicals, and world-premiere plays and musicals. OSF’s play commissioning programs, which include American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle, have generated works that have been produced on Broadway, throughout the American regional theatre, and in high schools and community theatres across the country. The Festival draws attendance of more than 400,000 to approximately 800 performances every year and employs approximately 575 theatre professionals. OSF believes the inclusion of diverse people, ideas, cultures and traditions enriches both our insights into the work we present on stage and our relationships with each other. OSF is committed to equity and diversity in all areas of our work and in our audiences. www.osfashland.org

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation’s premier ensemble theater. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble has grown to 47 members who represent a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling and powerful productions from Balm in Gilead to August: Osage County—and accolades that include the National Medal of Arts and 12 Tony Awards—have made the theater legendary. Steppenwolf produces hundreds of performances and events annually in its three spaces. Artistic programing includes a seven-play season; a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a multi-genre performances series. The nationally recognized Steppenwolf for Young Adults engages 15,000 participants annually from Chicago’s diverse communities and Professional Leadership Programs offer training for the next general of arts leaders. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally. Anna D. Shapiro is the Artistic Director and David Schmitz is the Executive Director. Eric Lefkofsky is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. For additional information, visit steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre, twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr and instagram.com/steppenwolfthtr.

The Lark is an international theater laboratory, based in New York City, dedicated to empowering playwrights by providing transformative support within a global community.  Founded in 1994, The Lark provides writers with funding, space, collaborators, audiences, professional connections, and the freedom to design their own processes of exploration. The guiding principal of The Lark’s work is the belief that playwrights are society’s truth tellers, and their work strengthens our collective capacity to understand our world and imagine its future. Last year, The Lark served 929 artists, including 106 playwrights, partnered with more than a dozen theaters and universities, and welcomed 2,618 audience members to 32 public presentations. In the past three years 121 Lark developed plays moved on to 281 productions in 111 cities around the world. For more information about the artists, initiatives and plays of The Lark, please visit: www.larktheatre.org

The Apothetae is a company dedicated to the production of works that explore and illuminate the "Disabled Experience." Since its founding in 2012, the company has focused on newly commissioned plays by both established and up-and-coming playwrights, and material that already exists in the theatrical canon featuring characters with disabilities or dealing with disabled themes: Oedipus, Richard III, The Elephant Man, etc. An integrated company, the Apothetae employs both actors with disabilities and non-disabled actors from the larger New York theater scene, from regional theaters around the country and the world. By making visible the human impact of disabled people throughout history, we believe empathy can be practiced, perceptions changed, and new communities forged through the collaborative and transformative power of the artistic process.  For more information please visit www.theapothetae.org

Yale Repertory Theatre, the internationally celebrated professional theatre in residence at Yale School of Drama, has championed new work since 1966, producing well over 100 premieres—including two Pulitzer Prize winners and four other nominated finalists—by emerging and established playwrights. Thirteen Yale Rep productions have advanced to Broadway, garnering more than 40 Tony Award nominations and eight Tony Awards. Yale Rep is also the recipient of the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Established in 2008, Yale’s Binger Center for New Theatre has distinguished itself as one of the nation’s most robust and innovative new play programs. To date, the Binger Center has supported the work of more than 50 commissioned artists and underwritten the world premieres and subsequent productions of 24 new American plays and musicals at Yale Rep and theatres across the country. www.yalerep.org