Tuesday, 14 July 2015
Genesis Foundation announces a new partnership –
with New York’s Signature Theatre
Genesis Foundation to fund the innovative Residency Five programme at Signature Theatre in New York, supporting nine playwrights over the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons
Residency Five is a unique programme at New York’s off-Broadway Signature Theatre which guarantees a group of playwrights three new productions each over the course of a five-year residency. The Genesis Foundation is delighted to fund the programme with a grant of $90,000 per annum over a two-year period.
Residency Five, launched in 2012, is the first programme of its kind in American theatre, going beyond the traditional commissioning or workshop models. Playwrights in the programme receive a cash award, full health benefits, access to Signature’s resources and staff, and funding to help them attend performances at other theatres. The current nine Residency Five playwrights are Annie Baker, Martha Clarke, Will Eno, Katori Hall, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Lisa Kron, Kenneth Lonergan and Regina Taylor. Full details on each of the writers can be found here.
Signature Theatre was founded in 1991 and has at its heart an extended commitment to the playwright’s body of work. In 1991 it became the first theatre company to devote an entire season to the work of a single playwright with its Residency One programme, creating an immersive journey into their vision as a dramatist. The company was the recipient of the first New York City Regional Theatre Tony Award in 2014.
Founder and Chairman of the Genesis Foundation, John Studzinski said:
“I’ve long been a fan of the Signature Theatre and its commitment to living playwrights. Without doubt it is one of the most dynamic organisations currently working in North America. Since joining its board earlier this year I’ve really been able to immerse myself in this powerhouse of creativity. I am therefore delighted that the Genesis Foundation is able to underwrite Signature Theatre’s programme for nurturing young playwrights.”
Founder of Signature Theatre, James Houghton said:
“The Genesis Foundation has been changing lives since 2001 by nurturing young creatives with their vital and affirming support. Just as these budding artists are arriving on the scene John Studzinski and the Genesis Foundation provide the fundamental encouragement for them to dive fearlessly into their craft. This is a vision we at Signature share–to provide a home and the resources that allow our brave playwrights to challenge us all with their vital stories. We are indebted to John and the Foundation for providing such generous and essential support for our singular Residency Five program.”
The Genesis Foundation’s partnership with Signature Theatre is a mirror of the kind of support it gives its other theatrical partners, such as the Royal Court’s International Playwrights programme, which nurtures and mentors young playwrights across the world.
Notes to Editors
The Genesis Foundation, established by John Studzinski in 2001, plays an active role in nurturing and developing the careers of outstanding young artists in the fields of music, theatre and the visual arts.
Based in London, the Foundation works in partnership with the leaders of prestigious, progressive arts organisations such as the Royal Court, The Sixteen, Welsh National Opera and the Young Vic, funding programmes that support young directors, playwrights and musicians in the early stages of their professional lives. In addition, the Foundation awards scholarships to outstanding students at LAMDA and commissions new works that have ranged from choral compositions to an online art game.
In July 2015 the Genesis Foundation announced its funding of a new programme at New York’s Signature Theatre: Residency Five will guarantee nine playwrights three new productions over the course of a five-year residency.
Signature Theatre exists to honor and celebrate the playwright. Founded in 1991 by James Houghton, Signature makes an extended commitment to a playwright’s body of work, and during this journey, the writer is engaged in every aspect of the creative process. By championing in-depth explorations of a playwright’s body of work, Signature delivers an intimate and immersive journey into the playwright’s singular vision. In 2014 Signature became the first New York City theatre to receive the Regional Theatre Tony Award®.
Signature serves its mission through its permanent home at The Pershing Square Signature Center, a three-theatre facility on West 42nd Street designed by Frank Gehry Architects to host Signature’s three distinct playwrights’ residencies and foster a cultural community. At the Center, opened in January 2012, Signature continues its founding Playwright-in-Residence model as Residency One, a first-of-its-kind, intensive exploration of a single writer’s body of work. Residency Five, the only program of its kind, was launched at the Center to support multiple playwrights as they build bodies of work by guaranteeing each writer three productions over a five-year period. The Legacy Program, launched during Signature’s 10th Anniversary, invites writers from both residencies back for productions of premiere or earlier plays.
The Pershing Square Signature Center is a major contribution to New York City’s cultural landscape and provides a venue for cultural organizations that supports and encourages collaboration among artists throughout the space. In addition to its three intimate theatres, the Center features a studio theatre, rehearsal studio, and a public café, bar and bookstore. Through the Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access, Signature has also made an unprecedented commitment to making its productions accessible by underwriting the cost of initial run tickets, currently priced at $25, through 2031.
Signature has presented entire seasons of the work of Edward Albee, Lee Blessing, Horton Foote, Maria Irene Fornes, Athol Fugard, John Guare, David Henry Hwang, Bill Irwin, Adrienne Kennedy, Tony Kushner, Romulus Linney, Charles Mee, Arthur Miller, Sam Shepard, Paula Vogel, August Wilson, Lanford Wilson, and a season celebrating the historic Negro Ensemble Company. In addition to the Regional Theatre Tony Award®, Signature’s productions and its resident writers have been recognized with the Pulitzer Prize, Lucille Lortel Awards, Obie Awards, Drama Desk Awards, and AUDELCO Awards, among many other distinctions.