SAN DIEGO – Dec. 10, 2015 – The National Endowment for the Arts announced awards totaling more than $27.6 million in its first funding round of fiscal year 2016, including an Art Works award of $10,000 to San Diego REPertory Theatre to support a new work by Herbert Siguenza.
In its first 50 years, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded more than $5 billion in grants to recipients in every state and U.S. jurisdiction, the only arts funder in the nation to do so. The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.
The award supports a collaboration with playwright Herbert Siguenza, REP Co-Founder and Artistic Director Sam Woodhouse, and several members from the dog & pony dc (d&pdc) ensemble to develop a new interactive theatrical work called “Beachtown.” The grant will support field interviews, research, artist fees, and two music stand in-house readings. The production, which will include actors from d&pdc, will invite audience members to become active citizens who vote on their town’s future in the second act. The resulting work will reflect the extensive social, political, and ethnic diversity hidden behind the “mask “of Southern California beach towns.
NEA Chairman Jane Chu says, “The arts are part of our everyday lives – no matter who you are or where you live – they have the power to transform individuals, spark economic vibrancy in communities, and transcend the boundaries across diverse sectors of society. Supporting projects like the one from San Diego REPertory Theatre offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”
“‘Beachtown’ is just the kind of project we look to the NEA for support – a complex, multi-year, culturally distinct community based project that will lead to the creation of a new play about the surprising diversity of the beach communities of San Diego,” says Woodhouse.
Siguenza was last seen on stage at The REP in the world premiere of “Steal Heaven,” a play conceived and written by Siguenza and directed by Todd Salovey, associate artistic director, San Diego REP. Siguenza played Abbie Hoffman, the political and social activist who co-founded the Youth International Party (“Yippies”) in 1968. In this comedy written by Siguenza, the icon of youthful rebellion now serves as the patron saint of radicals. In his little corner of heaven, Hoffman conducts a boot camp for activists who have the chutzpah required to go back to Earth to become new agents of change. San Diego REP’s production of “Steal Heaven” was also a previous recipient of a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works Grant.
To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEAFall15. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to arts.gov
About San Diego REPertory Theatre