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Gerbode and Hewlett Foundations Invite Applications for 2012 Playwright Commissioning Awards

Deadline: August 30, 2012

The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation have announced the 2012 Playwright Commissioning Awards program, a $300,000 fund for the creation and production of new plays by California playwrights.

Grants of $50,000 will be awarded to Bay Area nonprofits which commission and premiere new works that encourage the creative endeavors and professional development of promising California playwrights. The resulting works must have their world premieres in Bay Area public performances between June 2013 and June 2015. Proposed commissions in any genre will be accepted. Organizations that are deeply rooted in underserved, culturally specific communities are encouraged to apply.

Individual artists may not apply directly but must be commissioned by an eligible applicant organization. Eligible organizations are theater companies or ensembles, theater presenters, interdisciplinary arts presenters, and community organizations with a history of theater productions. (Please note: Fiscal sponsors are eligible on a case-by-case basis.) The applicant organization must be a nonprofit, tax-exempt public charity that has been in existence in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano, or Sonoma county for at least three years prior to the application deadline. Applicants must have a strong proven track record of producing and/or presenting theater, demonstrate a history of working with theater artists, pay a fee between $12,500 and $25,000 to the commissioned playwright, and have a demonstrated commitment to supporting and paying its artists.

The proposed playwright must be a current California resident or a California resident during the last twenty-four months with a demonstrated recent history of producing or creating work in California before the time of the application. The playwright must have written at least two plays that have been given full productions (readings or workshops are not considered full productions). Past recipients of Hewlett and/or Gerbode foundation commissioning grants are not eligible.

The playwright awards are part of a three-year, $900,000 initiative by the Gerbode and Hewlett foundations to support the commissioning of individual artists and to invest in their relevant creations. In 2011, grants were made for choreographer commissions. The program for 2013 will be announced next year.

Complete program guidelines and the application form are available at the Gerbode Foundation Web site.

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