The New York Times has announced that Audiobook company Audible will launch a $5 million fund to commission new works from emerging playwrights. The one or two-person radio plays will be created specially for broadcast via the Audible app, to be listened to on headphones or speakers.
With the rising popularity of podcasts, it seems fitting that Audible would see the potential in commissioning new radio dramas. Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, John Osborne, Tom Stoppard, and Caryl Churchill are among the playwrights who have written plays for both radio and the stage.
Audible grant recipients will be chosen by an advisory board made up of Annette Bening (20th Century Women); playwrights Lynn Nottage (Sweat), Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead), and David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly); directors Trip Cullman (Significant Other) and Leigh Silverman (Sweet Charity); and artistic directors Oskar Eustis (The Public Theater) and Mimi O’Donnell (Labyrinth Theater Company).
The selected playwrights will be announced at a later date, with the newly commissioned works available beginning late this year.