Grantmaking Initiatives


Legacy Playwrights Initiative

We are honored to be the lead funder of the Legacy Playwrights Initiative, which shines 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.

Congratulations to Frank Chin and Migdalia Cruz, the 2023 Legacy Playwrights Initiative honorees. 

International Collaboration

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:

Mid-Sized Theaters 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. Grants include:

  • Aleshea Harris’s On Sugarland at New York Theatre Workshop
  • Annie Baker’s Infinite Life at Atlantic Theater Company
  • Abe Koogler’s Staff Meal at Playwrights Horizons

New Dramatists

Venturous supports 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.

Artist Innovation Grants

We make a limited number of grants to support playwright collectives, writers who self-produce, and playwright-driven initiatives. Past recipients include The Pool, The Welders, The Kilroys, Trans Theater Lab, and many others.

We also offer support to playwright service organizations.

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

Application is by invitation only.

VTF grants are made through Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation, a donor-advised fund. All grants are prospective until approved by the staff/board of the Tides Foundation. These guidelines are for informational purposes only, and contain no commitment, implied or otherwise, to make any particular grants. VTF reserves the right to change its funding philosophy and/or granting practice at any time without prior notification.

On Sugarland

Plays for Now

In 2020 and 2021, Venturous supported theater companies in implementing their imaginative responses to the COVID-19 crisis and recent social upheaval. Our “Plays for Now” grants funded theatrical work that embraced the current moment, as companies reconceived theatrical forms during the suspension of in-person performances.

Supported projects included work that embraced interactive digital technology; plays produced outdoors and in site-specific venues with social distancing; radio plays; durational and hybrid pieces; work involving non-traditional platforms such as smartphone apps, video gaming, text messages, and postal service; and more.

We prioritized projects that were ambitious in their use of interactive media, and were “venturous” as described in our Venturous Capital Grants program. We gave special emphasis to projects that were artist-generated and work that was created for now, rather than plays written for the stage but adapted for presentation online or in other media.

(partial list)

  • Currents: 716 Digital Theatre Festival Alleyway Theatre, Buffalo, NY
  • P.S. by Teddy Bergman, Sam Chanse and Amina Henry Ars Nova, New York, NY
  • American Arcana by Cyndi Williams Astoria Performing Arts Center, Astoria, NY
  • Karen, I Said by Eliza Bent Bentertainment
  • Antigone at the Border by Marc David Pinate Borderlands Theater, Tucson, AZ
  • Caribbean in Queens: a Borough, a People, a Vibe, in a Time of COVID 19 Braata Productions, St. Albans, NY
  • Black Feminist Video Game by Darrel Alejandro Holnes
  • The Civilians, New York, NY
  • The Woman’s Party by Rinne B. Groff Clubbed Thumb, New York, NY
  • Pleasure Machine conceived by Tara Elliott and Emma Orme Colt Coeur, New York, NY
  • Audio plays by Theresa Rebeck and Chisa Hutchinson Dorset Theatre Festival, Dorset, VT
  • Kaidan Project: Alone by Lisa Dring and Chelsea Sutton East West Players, Los Angeles, CA Co-produced by Rogue Artists Ensemble
  • A Dozen Dreams En Garde Arts, New York, NY
  • Mike Pence Sex Dream by Dan Giles Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York, NY
  • […] in the time of COVID(second series) Fault Line Theatre, New York, NY
  • The Language of Wild Berries by Naghmeh Samini Golden Thread Productions, San Francisco, CA
  • The Story Box by Suzi Takahashi HERE, New York, NY
  • #RIFT by Gabriel Jason Dean Luna Stage, West Orange, NJ
  • vs. by Carl Hancock Rux Mabou Mines, New York, NY
  • The Catastrophist by Lauren Gunderson Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley, CA Co-production with Round House Theatre
  • The Dinner by Warren Adams The New Group, New York, NY
  • The Jackson C. Frank Listening Party w/ Special Guests by Michael Aguirre New Light Theater Project, New York, NY
  • Mud Season Mystery: The Lodger by Brenda Withers Northern Stage, White River Junction, VT
  • Is it Supposed to Last by William Burke PlayCo, New York, NY
  • The MTA Radio Plays curated by Ren Dara Santiago Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, New York, NY
  • A Song by Taylor Fagins Rubicon Theatre Company, Ventura, CA
  • Quince by Camilo Quiroz Vazquez & Ellpetha Tsivicos The TEAM, Brooklyn, NY
  • D-Pad by Jeremy Gable Theatre Exile, Philadelphia, PA
  • Readymade Cabaret 2.0 by Jessie Bear This Is Not a Theatre Company, New York, NY
  • A Breath for Us by Jarrett McCreary & Sara Outing Tiny Dynamite, Philadelphia, PA
  • Lessons in Survival Vineyard Theatre, New York, NY
  • June Rites co-created by Lee Sunday Evans, Ásta Bennie Hostetter, and Mariana Sanchez Waterwell, New York, NY
  • …and others still to be announced