TheatreSquared receives $20,000 NEA grant for Arkansas New Play Festival

TheatreSquared Managing Director Martin Miller (left), NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman, and T2 Artistic Director Robert Ford.

Courtesy photo

When it comes to theatre, there is no keeping score. It’s not really a competition at all, actually (it’s theatre), but if it was a competitive sport, local company TheatreSquared would be kicking some serious ass right now.

In addition to preparing to open their second show of the 2012-13 season next week (Tennessee Williams’ Period of Adjustment), the company announced today that they will receive a $20,000 National Endowment for the Arts Grant to support the 2013 Arkansas New Play Festival.


The festival, set for June 13-16 in Fayetteville and Little Rock, is set to 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.

“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. 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.