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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Theater

Mission: THE PLAYWRIGHTS' CENTER CHAMPIONS PLAYWRIGHTS AND PLAYS TO BUILD UPON A LIVING THEATER THAT DEMANDS NEW AND INNOVATIVE WORKS. THE PLAYWRIGHTS' CENTER EMBRACES THE FOLLOWING VALUES: SEEKING THE NEW, WRITING IN THE SPOTLIGHT, RISKING EXCELLENCE AND INSPIRED CONNECTIONS.

Programs: THE RUTH EASTON LAB brings the Playwrights’ Center Core Writers—20-30 of the most exciting playwrights from across the country—and their collaborators to Minneapolis for play development workshops and a formal season of public readings with prominent directors, actors, dramaturgs, and designers. Core Writers are promoted by the Center and provided opportunities through an extensive network of colleges and universities, cultural institutions, and producing theaters. LOCAL AND NATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS elevate the role of living playwrights. The Center works with several theaters each year to develop work for their stages. Recent partners have included Tectonic Theater Project, Mixed Blood Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Public Theater (NY), Goodman Theatre (Chicago, IL), Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Guthrie Theater, Ten Thousand Things Theater Company, and others. The Center also collaborates with local cultural institutions as the Walker Art Center and Minnesota History Center to develop theater that deepens their programming. FELLOWSHIPS, made possible by the McKnight and Jerome foundations, provide approximately $200,000 each year for residencies, commissions, and development funds. Through these fellowships, the Playwrights’ Center functions as a home for:

  • Jerome Fellows (three to five emerging American playwrights);
  • Many Voices Fellows (five Minnesota-based emerging playwrights of color);
  • McKnight Advancement Grants (two Minnesota-based playwrights whose work demonstrates exceptional artistic merit and potential);
  • McKnight National Residency and Commission (one playwright selected annually from an impressive national pool); and
  • McKnight Theater Artist Fellows (three Minnesota-based professional theater artists recognized for their outstanding skill and talent).
MEMBERSHIP is open to all for just $50 per year and provides access to an online hub of information about the field including articles by theater luminaries, a database of playwriting opportunities, and access to dramaturgical services, readings with professional actors, discounted classes, and free seminars. In addition, the Playwrights’ Center’s New Plays on Campus program serves dozens of colleges and universities nationwide, providing script-matching services, arranging playwright residencies, and offering immersive apprenticeships to student playwrights and dramaturgs.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Of all of the organizations serving playwrights in the United States, the Playwrights Center is (to my mind) the most generous, creative, and innovative in its support. So many of its Fellows and Core Writers have gone on to contribute outstanding new work to the American theater; every playwright benefits in some way from the esteem and visibility they bring to the profession, too.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I couldn't be more enthusiastic about The Playwrights' Center. Its support of playwrights and the composition of new plays is long-standing, wide-ranging, and truly robust. It's a home for playwrights in Minneapolis and playwrights around the country, in a time when an artistic home for playwrights is rare. The Center's professionalism and the staff's artistic and organizational talent have made it a magnet for theatre makers for many years. Please help The Playwrights' Center continue to grow.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a former employee of this organization, I gotta say: It's got game. These people are the real deal, constantly re-thinking for smarter, better service to the field. Their reputation nationally is for excellence, quality and influence.