South Coast Repertory, known for its prolific commissioning of new works by both emerging and established writers, now has more firepower behind it.
The Time Warner Foundation has awarded the Tony-winning theater company with a two-year, $150,000 grant. The funds will go to SCR’s CrossRoads Commissioning Project, which develops plays from new playwrights with a focus on cultural diversity in the Orange County area.
This is the second grant that Time Warner has awarded SCR; the first, which was also part of the cable company’s New Works/New Voices Initiative, was given to the theater company in 2013.
That grant also went toward SCR’s CrossRoads program and it helped spawn two new works that will be included in SCR’s Pacific Playwrights Festival (now through Sunday), Aditi Brennan Kapil’s “Orange: an illustrated play” and Qui Nguyen’s “Vietgone,” which will see its world premiere in SCR’s 2015-16 season.
“CrossRoads had been a remarkable project to date,” SCR Artistic Director Marc Masterson said in a statement. “It’s 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.”
The new funding, added SCR Managing Director Paula Tomei, “will allow us to enhance our relationships with these vital sectors of our community, while continuing to support playwrights.”
The new grant will support residencies, workshops and staging of new plays for SCR’s six CrossRoads commissions from 2013 – which, in addition to Nguyen and Kapil, include Mona Mansour, Carla Ching and Marc Bamuthi Joseph -- as well as four new playwrights for the program.
To date, SCR has commissioned 293 works from about 200 playwrights. Two of them have won, and eight have been nominated for, Pulitzer Prizes.