Made by the Robina Foundation, the grant combines $3 million in operating funds with a $15 million gift for endowment, renaming the Yale Center for New Theatre as the Binger Center for New Theatre, in honor of late Robina Foundation creator James H. Binger.
Founded in 2008, the Yale Center for New Theatre commissions and develops new plays and musicals for the stage at Yale Rep and across the country. A production enhancement fund ensures financial support for subsequent productions of works born at Yale. Writer residencies are also part of the initiative.
Works previously developed there include the Adam Bock-Todd Almond musical We Have Always Lived in the Castle; Rinne Groff's Compulsion; and Amy Herzog's Belleville; as well as upcoming productions of David Adjmi's Marie Antoinette; Sarah Ruhl's Dear Elizabeth; and the current premiere of Will Eno's The Realistic Joneses.
"We are profoundly grateful to the Robina Foundation. They have helped us to establish this program, assess its intrinsic ongoing value, envision its long-term impact on the American theatre, and now, to support the Center's aims in perpetuity," said Yale Rep artistic director James Bundy in a statement. "We believe that these significant investments in artists themselves, in combination with robust production opportunities and the fostering of an artistic community, can and will promote vibrant new American plays and musicals for generations to come. It is an honor, in this effort, to commemorate the joyful generosity of James Binger—a great man of the theatre."