The announcement was made by actress and playwright Anne Meara, who was a friend of Laurents, at a star-studded gala evening that featured performances by two-time Tony Award winner David Hyde Pierce, Annie Golden, David Josefsburg and Tony nominees Jonathan C. Kaplan, Howard McGillin and Nancy Opel.
“It’s my pleasure this evening to help George Street Playhouse inaugurate The Arthur Laurents Fund for New Work," Meara said. “The fund will provide resources to ensure the future production and development of new plays at George Street Playhouse."
Laurents, who had nine of his later plays premiered at George Street Playhouse, considered the New Brunswick theatre his artistic home, and served as mentor and close friend to its artistic director, David Saint (who serves as literary executor of his estate).
“The thing that Arthur was most passionate about was the stage – most especially the American stage,” said Saint. “He particularly wanted to ensure new and vibrant work for the theater to ensure its survival, and the establishment of this fund at George Street Playhouse is a fitting tribute to his memory, and a legacy of which he would be most proud.”
Laurents died May 5, 2011, at the age of 93. (Read Playbill.com's obituary about Mr. Laurents here. )
Those who wish to to support this initiative may contact Judith McDowell, George Street Playhouse Director of Development, by phone at (732) 846-2895, or by email at email@example.com.