Theatre is collaboration. Productions require the cooperation of enormous teams who spend months aligning themselves on everything from press to prop placement. Even so-called “one person shows” are not solitary. In those cases, creator, actor, and producer might be the same person, but there is also an audience there to absorb, respond, and react to the performance. By nature, theatre requires constant conversation, but writers are sometimes excluded from that conversation.
When writers don’t get the support they need, theatre suffers. For the actor, director, and producer, the process of their craft begins once a script has been made, but it is the writer who must first start from scratch. The entire process starts with their words, and there are too few resources to help.
The Dramatists Guild Foundation exists to fix that. Our programs are designed to help theatre thrive by giving playwrights, composers, lyricists, and bookwriters what they need to make their best work. We do that for writers of any age and any career level, everywhere in the country. Our programs meet writers where they are and help them reach their full potential:
If you are a writer in need, DGF can help. The Dramatists Guild Foundation awards financial assistance to writers in dire circumstances. Emergency Grants have helped pay for cancer treatments, helped writers escape domestic violence situations, and alleviated a number of other unforeseen circumstances. To apply for an Emergency Grant, please visit our website or email firstname.lastname@example.org. DGF has also set up an expedited Emergency Grant service for those impacted by recent hurricanes. Writers who have been impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, or Maria and are in need of assistance should email email@example.com, visit our website, or call the office at 212-391-8384.
Writers Alliance Grants
Writers Alliance Grants help ensure that writers receive the support they deserve, and honor theaters for superlative practices in regards to their treatment of writers. If your work is currently in production or slated to be produced, the producing theater can apply for a Writers Alliance Grant. This will provide funds that go directly toward both your production and you personally. Applications for Writers Alliance Grants open on October 1, 2017, and close on November 1, 2017, with awards being mailed in December. To learn more or to apply for a Writers Alliance Grants, please visit our website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fellows program is a nine-month intensive where ten playwrights and musical theatre writers meet together to develop full-length pieces under the guidance of Program Chairs Michael Korie (War Paint), Laurence O’Keefe (Heathers), and Diana Son (Stop Kiss). The program offers writers the time, space, and guidance to hone their crafts and develop their authentic voices. Several esteemed arts organizations, including SPACE on Ryder Farm and the MacDowell Colony, also offer Fellows-exclusive developmental partnerships for graduates of the program. Alumni of the program include Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Frozen), Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen), and Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo). To learn more about the program and learn about this year’s new class, please visit our website.
Traveling Masters is a nationwide education program that sends eminent writers to local communities that might otherwise have limited access to theatre-specific resources. While there, these writers lead master classes and events on the craft of writing. Participants interact directly with luminaries of the modern stage, allowing them to learn, ask questions, and develop their talents with input from true experts. Previous Masters have included writers such as Annie Baker, Pearl Cleage, Melissa James Gibson, Terrence McNally, Dael Orlandersmith, Anne Washburn, and many other award-winning writers. To learn more about the program, visit our website. If you are interested in having a Traveling Masters event at your theater, email email@example.com.
Writers need a space where they can feel inspired, supported, and free to explore. The DGF Music Hall provides that space completely free of charge. Located right in our Manhattan office, the Music Hall is an airy, salon-style room that is more like a living room than a typical rehearsal space. The space has all the resources that a writer might need, including a baby grand Steinway piano, writing materials, and a theatrical library. If you would like to reserve the Music Hall, please visit our website.
The most exciting and revered writers of the American theatre together in conversation – The Legacy Project is a film series where current writers interview established writers so that generations to come can learn from their struggles, triumphs, and advice. These are no-holds-barred discussions on the challenges of the craft and the triumphs of success. To enjoy the insights of these legendary writers, visit our website to view selections from Volumes I and II. Thanks to the generous support of the Roe Green Foundation, Volume III is available for free on our YouTube channel.
Writing is no solitary process. As theatre is an interrelated, collaborative effort, writers need a full community of support in order to create the pieces that we know and love. DGF’s programs are an important part of that community. A better future is first built from the stories of today. The Dramatists Guild Foundation is committed, qualified, and determined to provide writers with the resources they need to create those stories.