The Kennedy Center Fund For New American Plays is handing out $282,500 in grants for world premiere productions in theatres across the U.S.. Among the recipients: David Henry Hwang's The Golden Child at the New York Shakespeare Festival and South Coast Repertory, and Kia Corthron's Seeking The Genesis at Chicago's Goodman Theatre.
Announcements were made at a gala Oct. 16 dinner at the Center, which honored all Fund recipients in the past decade.
"The Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays is an important part of the Center's efforts to support development of new works in every performing arts discipline," noted Kennedy Center President Lawrence J. Wilker. "It is gratifying to look back on the Fund's decade of extraordinary achievement in encouraging collaborations between playwrights and non profit theatres, and to look foward to new productions that will result from this year's grants."
The productions receiving awards are: *The Golden Child, which will begin previews at New York's Public Theatre Oct. 29, run there through Dec. 1, and then transfer to South Coast Rep, Jan. 3-Feb. 9, 1997. This world-premiere co-production between the Public and SCR received $50,000. "David [Henry Hwang] has written an important new work," noted South Coast Rep artistic director David Emmes, "and this co-production will now be able to realize the full scope of his vision."
* Seeking The Genesis, Kia Corthron's drama at the Goodman Studio Theatre. Under Walter Dallas' direction, the play, about a mother compelled to give her child the drug Ritalin, opened Oct. 28 and runs to Nov. 17. Genesis received $30,000, with another $10,000 going to its author. * Another Part Of The House, Migdalia Cruz's play, to be presented at New York's Classic Stage Company March 4-April 6, 1997. CSC Artistic Director David Esbjornson directs the piece, which was inspired by Lorca's House Of Bernarda Alba.
* The Joy Of Going Somewhere Definite by Quincy Long at Off Broadway's Atlantic Theatre, to be directed by Lisa Peterson. Dates for Definite aren't definite, but will probably be March 28-May 4, 1997.
* The Magic Fire, Lillian Garrett-Groag's play at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, directed by Libby Appel, July 30-Nov. 2, 1997. Fire received $40,000; Groag got $10,000.
* Still Life With Isis, by Steven Dietz, at Seattle Children's Theatre. The Street of The Sun, by Jose Rivera at the Mark Taper Forum. The show, an apocalyptic vision of L.A. And an indictment of the entertainment industry, will be part of the Taper's New Theatre For Now series on the mainstage, May 3-June 29, 1997.
* Another winner is Regina Porter, who received the $2,5000 Roger L. Stevens Award that recognizes the efforts of playwrights whose work shows extraordinary promise.
The Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays was established in 1985 to assist non-profit theatres across the country to develop substantial premiere productions by America's most promising playwrights. Grants enable these writers to rework their plays during a minimum four-week residency, and to choose strong directors, designers and actors. Previous winners Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles, Robert Schenkkan's The Kentucky Cycle, and Tony Kushner's Angels In America, all went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama.
-- By David Lefkowitz