In a departure from previous years, in which one non-profit equity company received funding for the production of a classic or classic-inspired work, the Fund opted to spread the donations among ten New York theatre companies.
"With the economy in recession and many non-profit theatre companies struggling to cope with unexpected losses in funding, we felt that the Tony Randall Grant could do the greatest good by awarding General Operating Support Grants to a number of outstanding theatre companies facing budget shortfalls. While this is a new direction in our foundation's giving guidelines, we do plan to return to our traditional format ($100,000 for the production of a classic play) in the future," said Heather Randall, founder of the Randall Theatrical Fund, in a statement.
The largest of the 2009 Randall Grants were bestowed to the Civilians, Elevator Repair Service and LAByrinth Theater Company, for "consistently producing innovative, artist-driven work that is redefining the theatrical experience of the next generation of theater-goers."
Repertorio Español, which has presented Spanish-language theatre to Manhattan audiences for 41 years, was the only company to receive the Randall Fund's mid-sized grant.
Additional funding was also awarded to the Atlantic Theatre Company, Classic Stage Company, the Flea Theater, the New Group, Signature Theatre Company and the Vineyard Theatre for "sustained artistic excellence and organizational strength." Heather Randall, Tony Randall's widow, created the fund when Randall passed away in 2004. The National Actors Theatre, which Tony Randall founded in 1991, presented over 20 productions of classical works on Broadway and Off-Broadway.
For further information on the Tony Randall Theatrical Fund, visit TonyRandallTheatricalFund.