HowlRound Theatre Commons has announced it has been awarded a three-year, $1,336,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support HowlRound's core programs and the continuation of the National Playwright Residency Program (NPRP), funding thirteen new playwright residencies in nine states.
"We couldn't be more thrilled for this support that will help us continue to amplify progressive and disruptive ideas about the theatre, and to deepen the impact of our core programs," shared HowlRound Director and Co-Founder Jamie Gahlon. She continued, "In this period of acute devastation for individual artists, the questions posed by The National Playwright Residency Program remain urgent: How do we pay our artists equitably? Can we trouble the status quo and re-think the relationships between artists and institutions? In this moment of vast transformation and precarity, what does it mean to make a playwright essential and centered in a theatre institution?"
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and HowlRound launched NPRP in 2013 as an intervention into the traditional relationships between artists and institutions, and a way of reimagining what institutions might look like when an artist's voice is at their cores. Residencies are collaboratively imagined and designed by playwrights and host theaters, and the grant funds three years of full-time salary and benefits for awarded playwrights, as well as discretionary artistic development. Host theatres commit to mounting at least one full production by the award playwright in the time of the residency.
Shereen Macklin in The Classical Theatre of Harlem's Fit For A Queen, by Betty Shamieh