What act yet mightier yet imagineth
Thy venturous spirit?

The Odyssey, Book IX
(tr. Chapman)

​​​​​Venturous Theater Fund

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.

Upcoming Deadlines

What We Do

VTF makes grants to not-for-profit theater companies and other organizations in the theater community. Our goals include helping writers achieve the freedom to write the plays they fear would otherwise go unproduced, and enabling 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 large casts and other perceived obstacles. In addition, we support programs and processes that put money into writers’ hands, employ artists, and create opportunities for relationship-building and global collaboration. 

VTF makes grants to 501 (c) 3 charitable organizations, as well as to organizations operating under fiscal sponsorship of a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit. We cannot offer direct grants to individual artists.

We do not accept unsolicited proposals, other than for our Venturous Capital Grants.

Venturous Capital Grants

Twice a year we accept Letters of Inquiry for our Venturous Capital Grants program, which supports production of venturous new plays 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.  

Playwright Fellowships

Our Venturous Playwright Fellowship at the Playwrights’ Center supports the advancement of ambitious, risk-taking, and innovative plays by providing concurrent residencies for their authors, and offers Production Subsidy Grants to theaters that stage their selected plays.

Other Programs

We are proud to support several initiatives at New Dramatists including the Bucket List, which expands the organization’s capacity for extended play development opportunities through workshops of plays of scale and ambition, and connects writers with theatres that may produce those plays. 

Our initiatives include: 

  • Legacy Playwrights Initiative
  • Health Insurance and Healthcare for Dramatists
  • Finishing Commissions
  • Mid-Sized Theater Grants
  • Global Exchange

>>More info on these programs

We also make grants to playwright collectives, writers who self-produce, playwright-driven initiatives, and playwright service organizations to support initiatives that foster creative growth and financial security for dramatists. Application is by invitation only.

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.


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