New Jersey's McCarter Theatre Center has received a National Endowment for the Arts grant of $35,000 to support the McCarter LAB, a year-round creative incubator that provides support to writers at all stages of their careers, creating original works for McCarter’s main stages and future co-productions.
The LAB fosters the development of new plays, adaptations, musicals, and investigations into the classics; it consists of readings, workshops, the Sallie B. Goodman Artist Retreat, commissions, and the annual LAB Spotlight Production.
“The arts are for all of us, and by supporting organizations such as McCarter Theatre Center the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts,” said NEA chairman Jane Chu in a statement. “Whether in a theatre, a town square, a museum, or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer.”
Emily Mann, McCarter Theatre Center artistic director and resident playwright, added: “I am honored to see McCarter’s new play development work recognized with such a generous grant from the NEA. Over the past 25 years, the McCarter LAB has grown into a year-round program that provides writer-centric development supporting approximately 20-25 projects each year, reflecting the passion and commission of new works and the artists who create them.”
In 2017, McCarter will produce a McCarter LAB Spotlight production of Noura by Heather Raffo. Two previous LAB Spotlight productions, Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brothers Size and Danai Gurira’s Eclipsed, have gone on to numerous full-scale productions.
Since the inception of McCarter’s commissioning program in the late 1990s, McCarter has commissioned a total of 30 plays, including Edward Albee’s Me, Myself and I; Christopher Durang’s Miss Witherspoon and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike; Beth Henley’s Ridiculous Fraud; and Stephen Wadsworth’s translations and adaptations of Pierre Beaumarchais’ The Figaro Plays.
For more information about The McCarter LAB, visit mccarter.org/lab.