Innovation Lab for the Performing Arts Rounds 4 and 5

Denver Center Theatre CompanyWoolly Mammoth Theatre Company and The Wooster Group have been selected to participate in Round 4 of the Innovation Lab for the Performing Arts, an intensive training and immersion program that supports prototyping of innovations at nonprofit theater, dance, jazz and presenting organizations.  Designed and managed by EmcArts, the Innovation Lab is funded by a generous $1.6 million grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF).  Since launching in 2008, 12 organizations from across the country have taken part in the program.  EmcArts will deliver three Rounds (4-6) of the program to 11 participating organizations from across the country in 2010 and 2011.

Round 4 Grantees – Project Descriptions:

Denver Center Theatre Company (DCTC) is a Tony-Award winning regional theater, housed in and operated by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. The Company presents classic and contemporary plays, revivals and premieres. Recognizing the shifting demographics of its audiences, DCTC is using the Lab to explore new strategies that emphasize reaching young people and making them participants in the artistic programming and design process. To lead this effort, DCTC will assemble a cross-generational team comprised of executive and artistic leaders, and also “Under-30” team members to design, test and prototype opportunities for presenting non-traditional programming in the Jones Theatre.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company is marking its 30th season of innovative and challenging new plays, presented in Washington, D.C. Recognized as a national leader in the development of new plays, Woolly Mammoth’s mission is also highly focused on building access for its local audiences. Recently, the Company moved into its first permanent home, a $9.5 million facility located just steps from the National Mall. With the move into the space came questions about how to maintain its commitment to audience outreach, alongside new and experimental theater work, while also sustaining itself financially and artistically. Through the Lab, Woolly Mammoth aims to establish a new internal “connectivity” that will bring together disparate activities across the organization and channel them to build new relationships to audiences and community members.

The Wooster Group, founded in 1976, is among the country’s most distinctive producers of experimental theater, dance, film and video. Based in New York City, the company is a small ensemble of performers, artists, technicians, and administrators, producing and presenting its work in New York and on tour internationally. After 35 years of theater making and numerous awards for its productions and artists, The Wooster Group faces a dilemma: how to get bigger while also staying small. The Group wants to preserve the highly unique, intimate character of its productions and the company, while also working to attract a bigger and more diverse audience. Through the Lab, the Group will explore how to thoughtfully employ online technology to bring its productions to larger audiences, incorporating platforms for co-creation of experimental performance and online distribution.

Eight more organizations will be selected for Rounds 5 and 6. Organizations are selected to participate in the Innovation Lab via a competitive national RFP process.  The application deadline for Round 5 of the Lab is Wednesday, September 1, 2010.  Professionally managed producing, presenting and service organizations in theater, modern/contemporary dance, and jazz are eligible to apply for the Lab.  Questions about eligibility and submitting a proposal should be directed to Beth Harrington, Innovation Projects Manager.

For more information on the Innovation Lab for the Performing Arts, click  here.

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