What act yet mightier yet imagineth
Thy venturous spirit?

The Odyssey, Book IX
(tr. Chapman)

Venturous Theater Fund


Venturous Theater Fund (VTF) supports  innovative approaches to theatrical production by encouraging playwrights and other theater-makers to take risks in the creation of new plays.


Special Note for Summer 2020 Grants
For the JULY 2020 cycle only, we expanded our Venturous Capital Grant program to accept LOIs for two types of grants:

1. Plays for Now
Special grants for theatrical productions and other initiatives employing playwrights to create new work during the current pandemic. We are no longer accepting LOIs now that our August 1 deadline has passed.

2. Plays for Later
Our regular Venturous Capital Grants, which will support new plays produced when theatres begin reopening. Theaters may submit two LOIs per calendar year, but only one regular LOI in this cycle if you also submit a “Plays for Now” LOI. The July 1, 2020 deadline has passed. 


Our next Venturous Capital Grants deadline will be December 1, 2020. View our guidelines.


Our Mission


VTF supports ambitious new work for the stage and the artists who create it. We seek to fund ambitious and challenging work by creating room for experimentation and risk in new play production. Our goal is to help writers achieve the freedom to write the plays they fear would otherwise go unproduced; and to enable producing organizations to say “yes” instead of “no” to worthy but challenging author-driven projects.  We are particularly interested in seeding new play productions that involve controversial subject matter, large casts, or other perceived obstacles.


Because VTF is committed to offering direct support, financial and otherwise, to artists who create new work, we aim to create grant programs that put money into artists’ hands.  This may come about by funding projects that directly benefit playwrights, as well as those that promote the employment of directors, designers, and actors. 

Venturous Capital Grants

Twice a year we accept Letters of Inquiry for our Venturous Capital Grants program, which supports production of new plays that are challenging in form; controversial in subject matter; ambitious in scale or scope; audacious, irreverent; and/or experimental in concept—in short, “venturous”—at small and medium-sized theaters. These grants underwrite extraordinary production expenses, i.e., specific costs that a theater might otherwise be unable to incur.  


Other Programs


Other programs include the Lark Venturous Playwright Fellowship, in partnership with the Lark, which supports the advancement of ambitious, risk-taking, and innovative plays by providing concurrent residencies for their authors, and advocating for their production by partner theaters. We also support the Bucket List initiative at New Dramatists which expands capacity for New Dramatists’ extended play development opportunities through workshops of plays of scale and ambition, and connects writers with theatres that may produce those plays. 


Venturous also makes a limited number of grants to playwright collectives, writers who self-produce, playwright-driven initiatives, and playwright service organizations. Organizations receiving support must be tax-exempt, or must demonstrate fiscal sponsorship by a tax-exempt organization. Application is by invitation only.​


At this time, VTF cannot offer grants to individual artists.


Who We Are​

Venturous Theater Fund was established by a private foundation in 2012 as a donor-advised fund at the Tides Foundation. Grants are awarded by the Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation based on the recommendation of the VTF trustees, and are subject to the approval of the Tides Foundation.  View our grant history.

Staff

Program Director
Ben Pesner


Artistic Consultant
Peter Richards


​​How to Contact Us​

You may email us at info@venturoustheaterfund.org.​


Supporting Risk-Taking, Experimentation, and Ambition in the Theater