Arts, Culture, and Humanities
NEW DRAMATISTS INC
Dedicated to the Playwright
To provide playwrights with time, space, and resources in the company of gifted peers to create work, realize their artistic potential, and make lasting contributions to the theatre.
For more information please visit our online annual report at http://newdramatists.org/annual-report
Mr. Joel K. Ruark
Ms. Emily F. Morse
424 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036 USA
artist support, new play development, playwright residency
IRS Filing Requirement
This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.
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What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
The Playwrights Lab
The Playwrights' Lab comprises our writer-driven readings and workshops series. Each resident playwright has unlimited access to schedule one or two-day play readings. New Dramatists also provides the playwrights with numerous opportunities to participate in one or two-week workshops, longer sessions designed to flesh out existing plays or to begin brand new works for the stage. These readings and workshops are fully supported by New Dramatists through free work space and the provision of a director, stage manager, and professional actors. Initiatives include: Full Stage: pairs New Dramatists residents with producing organizations nationwide.The initiative addresses the field-critical issues of new works "stalling” in development with no resulting full production and the special challenge of securing subsequent productions after a world premiere. Full Stage has established five institutional collaborations between an eclectic mix of New Dramatists writers and an equally diverse group of producing organizations from across the country. Each partnership provides a $25,000 commission to a writer; supports two years of enhanced writer-driven development in New Dramatists’ Playwrights Lab; and culminates in the full production staged by the partner theatre.The Creativity Fund: offers playwrights the opportunity to workshop new plays or musicals for up to five days. Workshops are structured according to each writer’s needs at any stage of development enabling playwrights to experiment and explore in depth with collaborators of their choice. The writers’ multi-year tenure here ensures they have access to the Fund whenever they most need the resources.PlayTime provides five New Dramatists residents with a two-week writers’ retreat, right in the heart of New York, with their collaborators and a company of actors. PlayTime is designed to give playwrights the opportunity to explore, workshop, rethink, and revise ambitious new works of theatre by drawing from a supportive resident company of actors, directors, stage managers, staff, and fellow playwrights. The round-the-clock schedule offers intensive and flexible time for rehearsal, rewrites, feedback, and community engagementThe Composer-Librettist Studio: offered in partnership with Nautilus Music-Theater, gives writers a chance to face the joys and challenges of Music-Theatre. The Studio rotates collaborative teams between five New Dramatists residents, five composers, and five singer-performers. Ben Krywosz, Artistic Director of Nautilus Music-Theater and his long-term music director Roger Ames work with these writers, most of whom are new to the music-theatre form, leading them through a series of exercises exploring collaborative principals, the possibilities of this blended form, and artistic community. At the end of the Studio, each playwright has worked with each composer and 25 new music-theatre pieces have been created by the grouNew Dramatists, in partnership with The Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, America’s largest professional theatre for young people, provides playwrights with the opportunity to create new work, sophisticated in content and challenging in aesthetics, for a multi-generational audience.
Artists and performers
New Dramatists seeks to connect writers with one another and the field, so that they may better navigate the difficult journey of a career in the theater. Our dedicated artistic programs staff provides visibility for our writers and their work through several channels. We offer career consultation, administer grants and awards, and perform direct outreach on behalf of our writers. Playwrights' Network At New Dramatists, we believe that a playwright’s greatest resource is other playwrights. We actively work to link writers through community events and online communication. This year we launched our new website, with features that give each writer a personalized secure login with the ability to update profile pages and view the events calendar online. Playwrights join a listserv and receive a monthly online newsletter, In the Works, which keeps the community aware of productions and news from staff and other residents. Grants, Awards & Exchanges Through the generosity of several legacy gifts and partnerships with donors and theatre organizations outside of New York City, New Dramatists is able to offer a variety of grants, awards and exchanges to our resident company of playwrights. These initiatives allow a playwright to spend time honing their craft through a gift of money, time or both.
Artists and performers
Where we workNew!
How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Number of resident playwrights and playwriting fellows served each year
Each year, New Dramatists is home to a resident company of 50+ playwrights (who are each granted a seven-year residency), and up to 4 playwriting fellows (1-2 year mini-residencies).
Number of writer-driven artistic events and activities per season
Outside of a small handful of anchor programmatic events, artistic activity at New Dramatists is planned and driven by the resident writers themselves.
Number of artistic collaborators who annually work at New Dramatists in support of new play development
Artistic collaborators include: actors, directors, designers, composers, music directors, choreographers, musicians, and dramaturgs, among other artists.
Number of applications for residency received annually
We balance our transparent and rigorous review of applications with thoughtful outreach, to encourage a truly representative spectrum of new writers to apply for residency.
Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
How will they know if they are making progress?
What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
Since its founding in 1949, New Dramatists has pursued a simple, singular mission: to provide playwrights with time, space, and resources in the company of gifted peers to create work, realize their artistic potential, and make lasting contributions to the theatre.
One of our primary goals is to serve as an artistic home for our resident playwrights, a safe space where writers can develop works at their own pace, under their own direction, outside of production timetables and the pressure of ticket sales.
Our commitment to playwrights is significant: seven full years of artistic support. The depth of this commitment is unparalleled in New York and the field at large. Within these residencies, writers have full control over their work and career trajectory. New Dramatists does not edit or curate residents' work; we do not charge residents for any benefits, nor do we passively participate in any works developed by residents.
New Dramatists fulfills its mission by seeking out and supporting a dynamic and diverse resident company of 50-plus playwrights, each of whom receive a free seven-year residency. Each year, 5 to 8 new writers are selected to join the company from an average application pool of 460 applicants and 5 to 8 residents complete residencies and become “alumni." With this yearly cycle of review, addition and graduation, our cohort of writers continually evolves, to reflect the field's range of new voices and their novel approaches to new play development.
Our resident company remains relevant, artistically outstanding and extremely diverse, due to the strength of our admissions process. Founded by a largely unknown female playwright in 1949, New Dramatists has been built on the maxim that ALL artists of outstanding artistic merit deserved to be heard. We balance our transparent and rigorous review process with thoughtful outreach, to encourage a truly representative spectrum of new writers to apply for residency. An outside admissions panel that changes completely every year, a multi-layered review process, and a paperless application window help ensure that all applicants can easily apply, and get deep, thorough consideration. New Dramatists' staff facilitate this process but do not "vote" or have any say in the decisions of the admissions committee.
New Dramatists' seven-year investment in writers ensures deep, significant and lasting residency benefits for writers. With seven years of unconditional support, writers have time to fully explore new projects, meet new artistic collaborators or deepen existing relationships, and experiment with their new work processes. Our residency ensures lessons learned will deepen and enrich writers' voices over time.
Likewise, our commitment to charging no fees to participants, or charging admission fees for audiences, ensures that earned income streams will not factor into our writers' development of new works.
New Dramatists' is recognized as a field leader in the arena of artist support and new play development. Our veteran staff of 8 brings considerable expertise to bear in the areas of artist advocacy, new work development, nonprofit management and fundraising.
Building upon our decades-long history of quiet, consistent support of playwrights and their connections to the field, over the last several years New Dramatists developed significant partnerships with important project funders in the field, including the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Time Warner Foundation, the Theater Subdistrict Council and the Scherman Foundation. Thanks to their support, New Dramatists has ramped up its extended development opportunities to include The Creativity Fund, which supports three to five-day extended workshops for ideas and works-in progress, and FULL STAGE NYC and USA, which paired writers and producing theatres together to support new projects from commission, through development, towards full production.
Alongside the earlier cited statistics of resident writer and alumni productions around the country, New Dramatists tracks metrics tied to our artistic programming. For example:
Nearly 50% of Creativity Fund and PlayTime projects, and the majority of FULL STAGE projects, inspired outside producers to further develop and, most often, commit to full productions;
The Creativity Fund's significant success as a pilot initiative attracted significant new support to sustain the program, most recently from the Time Warner Foundation and the Scherman Foundation's Katharine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund. Through a generous legacy gift from Jerry A. Tishman, we have secured funding for the Creativity Fund for at least 15 years. In honor of Mr. Tishman's gift, we have renamed the program, The Jerry A. Tishman Playwrights Creativity Fund;
In recent years, four theatre companies have grown out of Creativity Fund workshops: Stein I Holum Productions; Eugenie Chan Plays, Sibyl Kempson's 7 Daughters of Eve Thtr & Perf Co, and most recently, Andy Bragen Productions;
FULL STAGE has inspired ongoing partnerships between New Dramatists and sister-producers (Yale Rep, Soho Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and others) who see the benefit of programming writer-driven development sessions outside their walls.
New Dramatists also tracks writer reports of project work sessions and ultimate outcomes. Writer response is uniformly, overwhelmingly, positive. According to a New Dramatists alumnus, "There is no other organization which helps playwrights so fundamentally become playwrights and remain playwrights."
For the last six-plus decades, New Dramatists has operated from a simple, fundamental, and guiding mission: to identify, invest in, and support the long-term artistic development of talented playwrights. Our primary focus has always been on artists, and the pursuit of reaching their fullest potential. Anchored in our commitment to steer clear of ticket sales and production schedule pressures, New Dramatists evolved into an organization more like a think tank or research institute, than a producing theater. In 2008 we broadened our artistic programming to include extended work sessions (the Creativity Fund) and ran an 8-year from page-to-stage development project (FULL STAGE USA). At this stage, we can confidently say that these two programs successfully expanded the potential of New Dramatists' Playwrights Lab.
Given the nature of our rolling residency program, our entire resident company of playwrights is ever changing and turns over completely every seven years. We have learned that a comprehensive program review process is necessary at about that same interval of time, corresponding to the period that reflects an entirely new cohort of resident playwrights. We are at the very beginning of this company-wide review process; we will learn more about our trajectory in the next 12-18 months, but it's clear that there's keen interest to build upon our successes placing the artist at the center of new work development.
With the Lab thriving, and through on-going conversations with playwrights about the field and their various placement within that eco-system, we're now inspired to ask the question: how can playwrights, as generative artists, advance the idea of artist empowerment? Can we expand the potential of individual playwrights in ways that have community-wide impact?
From the vantage point of working with an eclectic group of itinerant artists, we've come to know that there isn't one field; rather, there are many fields. As we work with our current company to identify their most immediate artistic needs, we will adjust, revise, and pilot new approaches, as needed, to ensure our programming stays in alignment with the artistic work, and required resources, for contemporary playwrights.
NEW DRAMATISTS INC
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.
as of 3/19/2018
Mr. David Rosenzweig
Susan Heller Anderson
Janet Cohn Slosberg
Jolyon Fox Stern
Abbie Van Nostrand
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?
Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?
Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?
Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?
Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?