Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, is pleased to announce that The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will support the expansion of TCG Books through a two-year, $1,000,000 total grant. This investment will allow TCG Books to: recover from the staffing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; increase the total number of books published annually; partner with public and university libraries to diversify their collections; and reprint classic works by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) authors that have fallen out of print.
Additionally, this support will help launch Illuminations, a series of classic works by Black playwrights, curated by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. The series will launch with the publication of Alice Childress’s 1955 play, Trouble in Mind, and will feature an essay written by Jacobs-Jenkins. Over the next five years, Illuminations will publish two works annually, each with a new essay written by a noted playwright or theatre-maker.
“Research from the National Endowment for the Arts shows that the number of people reading plays is rising, driven by a younger and more racially diverse generation of readers,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director and CEO, TCG. “Robust sales from TCG Books during the pandemic have also shown that when audiences couldn’t go to the theatre, they were reading plays. With critical support from our longtime partner, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, TCG Books will meet this rising demand by publishing more plays and disseminating them more widely. We’re especially pleased to partner with TCG Books playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins on the Illuminations series, which will help restore classic works from Black playwrights to their rightful place in the canon.”
TCG Books is the largest independent trade publisher of dramatic literature in North America, with over 450 titles and 18 Pulitzer Prizes for Best Play on its book list. The book program commits to the life-long career of its playwrights, keeping all of their plays in print. TCG Books believes that plays are literature, and deserve the same care and attention as novels, short stories, essays, and other forms.Authors include: Annie Baker, Nilo Cruz, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Larissa FastHorse, Athol Fugard, Aleshea Harris, Quiara Alegría Hudes, David Henry Hwang, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Adrienne Kennedy, Tony Kushner, Young Jean Lee, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sarah Ruhl, Stephen Sondheim, Paula Vogel, and August Wilson.
Founded in 1969, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation seeks to strengthen, promote, and defend the centrality of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the wellbeing of diverse, fair, and democratic societies. To this end, its core programs support exemplary and inspiring institutions of higher education and culture. For more information, visit www.mellon.org.
Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, leads for a just and thriving theatre ecology. Since its founding in 1961, TCG’s constituency has grown from a handful of groundbreaking theatres to over 700 Member Theatres and affiliate organizations and over 7,000 Individual Members. Through its programs and services, TCG reaches over one million students, audience members, and theatre professionals each year. TCG offers networking and knowledge-building opportunities through research, communications, and events, including the annual TCG National Conference, one of the largest nationwide gatherings of theatre people; awards grants and scholarships to theatre companies and individual artists; advocates on the federal level; and through the Global Theater Initiative, TCG’s partnership with the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, serves as the U.S. Center of the International Theatre Institute. TCG is North America’s largest independent trade publisher of dramatic literature, with 18 Pulitzer Prizes for Drama on the TCG booklist. It also publishes the award-winning American Theatre magazine and ARTSEARCH®, the essential source for a career in the arts. TCG believes its vision of “a better world for theatre, and a better world because of theatre” can be achieved through individual and collective action, adaptive and responsive leadership, and equitable representation in all areas of practice. TCG is led by executive director and CEO Teresa Eyring and deputy director and COO Adrian Budhu. www.tcg.org.