Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Michael Ritchie announced separate co-commissioning partnerships with four internationally renowned theatres. Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, London’s Royal Court Theatre and National Theatre, and New York’s Second Stage Theater have each individually joined with Center Theatre Group to commission multiple works over the next decade. In addition, choreographer/director Matthew Bourne, playwright Danai Gurira and director Anna D. Shapiro have expanded their relationships with Center Theatre Group as Associate Artists.
A $1 million grant from the Edgerton Foundation will support Center Theatre Group’s portion of co-commissions from playwrights such as Jon Robin Baitz (Pulitzer finalist and Tony nominee), Will Eno (Pulitzer finalist), Danai Gurira (Tony nominee), Lisa Kron (Tony winner), Young Jean Lee (Obie winner), Lynn Nottage (two-time Pulitzer winner), Qui Nguyen (Steinberg Award winner), Al Smith (Sunday Times Playwriting Award winner) and Paula Vogel (Pulitzer winner). Titled the Edgerton Foundation Playwrights Initiative, the grant is intended to allow Center Theatre Group to commission at least two shows annually with each of the four theatres.
“In recognition of Center Theatre Group’s long-standing mission to develop new art for the American stage, we are excited to offer commissioning funds for more than 50 new plays in the Edgerton Foundation Playwrights Initiative in partnership with four other theatres in Chicago, New York and London. By jointly developing each of these new plays with two talented theatre staffs, we hope to increase the number of productions that will journey to many regional theatres, Broadway and the West End,” said Brad Edgerton, MD, President, Edgerton Foundation.
“The Edgerton Foundation Playwrights Initiative is allowing us to make bigger, bolder investments in some of the world’s best playwrights,” said Michael Ritchie. “Co-commissioning with some of the top theatres in the U.S. and London allows us to put our resources together in support of the creation and production of new work around the world—with a clear path to Broadway thanks to our new connection to Second Stage and their Helen Hayes Theater.”