Playwright Residency Application

National Playwright Residency Program  Application — 2016 Round

  • Application Deadline:  September 15, 2015
  • Three-year residences to commence in July 2016

    The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in collaboration with Howlround, A Center for the Theater Commons at Emerson College, established the National Playwright Residency Program (NPRP) in 2013.  The pilot round, which was on an invitation-only basis, has provided three years of salary, benefits, and a flexible research and development fund for American playwrights at 14 selected theaters.  The goals of the program are to:

    • Advance the state of playwrights in the American theater by providing them with space, time, and resources, and greater access to the institutions in which they work;
    • Influence the working environment of theaters by embedding playwrights in them;
    • Generate public value through the interaction of playwrights with local artistic and civic communities;
    • Document and disseminate the findings to help benefit the field.

    Residencies for the next round will be selected through an open application process.  To apply, theaters and artists must apply jointly and submit letters of intent from the playwright and artistic director, together with other specified materials to demonstrate eligibility and potential to achieve the goals of the program.  The basic structure of the program will remain the same, with artist compensation and benefits covered by grant funds based on the salary structure of the host institution.  Resident playwrights would also receive $30,000 in discretionary development funds and opportunities for developmental workshops at ArtsEmerson, and theaters would receive funds to support administrative expenses associated with hosting the residency, based on a percentage of the grant, not to exceed $30,000.

    The application must be received no later than September 15, 2015.  A peer review panel will recommend a group of potential theater and playwright partners for consideration, and the Foundation will then issue invitations for them to submit supplemental materials to complete the application.  If approved, residencies could commence as of July 1, 2016.

    As you consider whether you wish to apply, we have listed below the minimum requirements for eligibility.  If both playwright and theater meet these criteria and you wish to apply for a residency grant, please refer to the submission guidelines in the link below.

    Criteria for Theaters

    • US-based 501(c)(3) with a minimum of five years in operation
    • Full-time staff of at least two paid employees
    • Minimum operating budget of $300,000 (an average of the past three years)
    • Demonstrated capacity to manage payroll and benefits processes
    • Must have produced at least one play by the partner playwright
    • Commitment to produce at least one play by the playwright during the grant period

    Criteria for Playwrights

    • Residency in the same city or town of the theater and commitment to remain there for the full three years
    • At least two plays given professional productions — with one at the co-applicant theater

    Requirements for Both

    • Only one application per playwright and theater allowed; both parties must apply together
    • Agreement to attend two convenings during the residency
    • Commitment to establishing and carrying through a plan for documentation of the residency
    • May not have participated in the previous round of the NPRP

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