National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman, together with TheatreSquared (T2) Artistic Director Robert Ford and Managing Director Martin Miller, announced today that T2 has been selected to receive a $20,000 NEA Art Works Grant to support the theatre's Arkansas New Play Festival. With performances scheduled for June 13-16, 2013 in both Fayetteville and at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre in Little Rock, the Festival will bring together more than 50 artists from across the nation to develop and perform new plays for the American stage.
"TheatreSquared does significant work," said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman following a recent visit to Fayetteville. "They are incredibly committed to what they're doing…and successful at it." In the grant announcement, Chairman Landesman cited the Arkansas New Play Festival as an "extraordinary example of creativity in our country."
NEA Art Works grants are highly competitive, with more than 1,500 applicants competing during each funding period. A panel of outside experts convened by NEA staff reviews applications, and each project is judged on its artistic excellence and artistic merit. TheatreSquared previously received NEA funding for its 2011 World Premiere of Sundown Town-both the theatre's first NEA grant and first application. A complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support is available at the NEA website at arts.gov.
"The Arkansas New Play Festival is our state's premiere outlet for professional playwrights to workshop and present new plays for an audience," said T2 Artistic Director Robert Ford. "This funding will allow us to bring in some of the best directors and actors in the country to work alongside Arkansas professionals to create these trailblazing new works. It's the part we play in ensuring that middle-America playwrights have a voice on the national stage-and I can't wait to invite Arkansas audiences in to see the result."
Passes for the Arkansas New Play Festival are on sale now at the Walton Arts Center Box Office, and can be reserved by calling (479) 443-5600 or visiting theatre2.org. All-Access New Play Passes are $30 and include tickets to four staged reading performances and all additional events. The full lineup and performance times for the Festival will be announced in February 2013.