The Robina Foundation – a Minnesota-based grantmaking organization – bestowed the gift.
In a statement Robina Foundation president Gordon M. Aamoth said, "The Robina Foundation is pleased to participate in Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre's commitment to providing playwrights with the means to actively pursue careers in the theatre at a time when more lucrative forms of media may lure them away. Supporting the creation of new work will help maintain this creative wellspring. Supporting them in a university environment, in particular, offers a unique and especially creative venue for developing plays and for nurturing their talents and imagination."
The creation of the Yale Center for New Theatre will allow increased commissions of new plays and musicals through residencies, readings, workshops and full productions. A portion of the grant will support the production of commissioned works from Yale Rep at other non-profit theatres.
The funding also provides for a new program in writing for the musical theatre with additional funds allocated to playwrights' residencies and lectures at Yale School of Drama. Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel – currently the Chair of Playwriting at the School of Drama – will serve as the Playwright-in-Residence at Yale Rep.
The Yale Center for New Theatre will be managed by Dean of Yale School of Drama and Yale Rep artistic director James Bundy and associate artistic director Jennifer Kiger. Yale Repertory Theatre is a leading professional American theatre dedicated to "the production of new plays and bold interpretations of classics that make immediate connections to contemporary audiences." For further information visit www.yale.edu/yalerep.