What act yet mightier yet imagineth
Thy venturous spirit?
—The Odyssey, Book IX
Venturous Theater Fund supports ambitious new work for the stage and the writers who create it. We make grants to fund the production of audacious, irreverent new plays that are “venturous”—ambitious in scale, epic in scope, challenging in form, controversial in subject matter, experimental in concept, and/or unabashed in their theatricality.
We also fund artist-driven initiatives that embrace agency for playwrights at all stages of their careers, and that champion creative growth and financial security for dramatists.
Venturous Capital Grants
Our best known grant program is our Venturous Capital Grants. This is the only program that accepts unsolicited inquiries. Visit our Venturous Capital Grants page for more info.
Venturous has began exploring how we can help create opportunities for U.S.-based playwrights and other theater artists to build relationships with peers from other countries. Initial grants include:
Legacy Playwrights Initiative
Congratulations to Carlyle Brown and Milcha Sanchez-Scott, the 2022 Legacy Playwrights Initiative (LPI) honorees. We are proud to serve as lead sponsors of this initiative to shine a spotlight on the achievements and influence of playwrights whose work has fallen out of the public eye. Spearheaded by the Dramatists Guild Foundation and a constellation of theater professionals, publishers, and educators, LPI champions these writers’ lifetime bodies of work and provides financial support for the exigencies of late life.
We piloted a new initiative in 2022 to fund theaters that offer writers finishing commissions for venturous plays, along with support for workshops and other production-oriented play development processes. This program specifically targets plays that have been commissioned but remain unproduced. Finishing commissions awarded this year include:
Killing Fidel by Hannah Benitez
Miami New Drama, Miami Beach, FL
Grief Hotel by Liza Birkenmeier
Clubbed Thumb, New York, NY
The Beastiary by Christopher Ford & Dakota Rose
Ars Nova, New York, NY
Mid-Sized Theater Grants
We continue to develop our initiative to fund venturous work at NYC theaters with $5–$10 million annual budgets—companies that are too big for, or have “graduated” from, our Venturous Capital Grants program pool. The program began with a grant to New York Theatre Workshop for Aleshea Harris’s On Sugarland. Future supported productions will be part of the 2023–2024 seasons at Atlantic Theater Company, MCC Theater, and Playwrights Horizons.
Health Insurance and Healthcare for Dramatists
In partnership with the Entertainment Community Fund, we presented Every Writer Insured!, a free webinar for dramatists spotlighting non-employee based health insurance options and available resources. Led by Renata Marinaro, the webinar demystified the Affordable Care Act, explained how to get affordable coverage and reduced premiums, and offered healthcare resources for the uninsured. Many thanks to the Dramatists Guild for helping to produce the event, to our partners at the Dramatists Guild Foundation, New Dramatists, and the Playwrights’ Center, and to all who helped us get the word out. >>Watch here.
Venturous Theater Fellowships
We have partnered with the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis to re-invent and re-home our Venturous Theater Fellowship, which began at the Lark Theatre. >>More info