To strengthen, nurture, and promote the professional not-for-profit American theatre
Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre, was founded in 1961 with a grant from the Ford Foundation to foster communication among professional, community, and university theatres. Today, TCG's constituency has grown from a handful of groundbreaking theatres to over 700 Member Theatres and Affiliate organizations and more than 12,000 individuals nationwide. TCG offers its members networking and knowledge-building opportunities through our conferences, events, research, and communications; grants approximately $2 million per year 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 the nation's largest independent publisher of dramatic literature, with 15 Pulitzer Prizes for Best Play on our booklist; it also publishes the award-winning American Theatre magazine and ARTSEARCH®, the essential source for a career in the arts. In all of its endeavors, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of its member theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field, and promote a larger public understanding of, and appreciation for, the theatre.
In 2005, TCG received the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre in recognition of its impact on the national field. TCG and its Member Theatres are major contributors to the American theatre sector, which employs more than 139,000 people, produces over 210,000 performances each year, and contributes over $2.1 billion to the U.S. economy annually. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, TCG is led by executive director Teresa Eyring and governed by a national board of directors representing the theatre field.
Networking and Knowledge-Building
By providing a range of training, communications, research, and networking opportunities, TCG harnesses the knowledge of the theatre field for the collective whole. Member theatres are crucial to this effort and participate through convenings such as the TCG National Conference held in a different host city each year; the annual Fall Forum on Governance; and teleconferences for theatre leaders, trustees, administrators, educators, and artists. TCG Member Theatres also share in research studies including the annual Fiscal Survey/Theatre Facts; salary, education, and governance surveys; and snapshot surveys such as "Taking Your Fiscal Pulse." TCG continues to provide reports and surveys to stakeholders, including funders, government officials, the press, and general public, that offer insight into the state of the field and promote greater understanding of our issues and awareness of the incredible variety, excellence, and depth of our art form. As a growing number of our Member Theatres seek to network and share artistry with colleagues around the globe, TCG is at the forefront with international initiatives and support services.
TCG also partners with foundations to strengthen our networking and knowledge-building efforts, including the Wallace Foundation, with whom TCG disseminates research and case-studies on successful audience-building models; and the Edgerton Foundation, with whom TCG disseminates information about their New Play Awards, which support the premiere productions of such canon-expanding as Hamilton, Water by the Spoonful, and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo,
Through a series of philanthropic partnerships, TCG distributes more than $2 million in grants each year to theatres and individuals. By making funds available to organizations, individual artists, and administrators, TCG is able to provide development opportunities for a growing body of professionals and help build and connect a new generation of practitioners for the field. Current programs include Audience (R)Evolution, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; the Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowships; the Rising Leaders of Color Program; and the Leadership U[niversity] Program and the international program Global Connections, both funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Please visit our Grants at a Glance page for more information.
TCG Books has published the work of more than 235 playwrights and other theatre professionals in single volumes and anthologies, and sold over 2.5 million books since emerging as a publisher in 1984. Its authors boast numerous Pulitzer Prizes and Tony Awards for Best Play or Book of a Musical and one Nobel Prize for Literature, in addition to countless OBIEs, Drama Desk awards, and other national and international prizes. TCG also serves as the exclusive U.S. distributor for Playwrights Canada Press of Toronto, Padua Playwrights Press of Los Angeles, New York publishers League of Professional Theatre Women, PAJ Publications, Martin E. Segal Theatre Center Publications and Playscripts, and London publishers Nick Hern Books, Aurora Metro Publications, and Oberon Books. TCG Books now represents over 1,600 titles.
As a publisher of new plays and emerging playwrights, TCG Books has a dual objective: to bring new literary voices to public attention and to cultivate individual relationships with our playwrights that nurture their careers. TCG is committed to keeping its playwrights in print.
American Theatre magazine is the must-read periodical about not-for-profit professional theatre. The country's leading arts journalists as well as top professionals from the field contribute to the pages of American Theatre, published ten times each year, with five of the issues containing an entire new playscript. Each fall, the magazine publishes a complete schedule of every production taking place that season at Member Theatres across the country.
Among TCG's other publications are ARTSEARCH®, the essential source for a career in the arts, and online resources such as special reports and the Membership Directory.
TCG takes its leadership responsibility seriously, initiating and participating in a number of programs to advance its membership and the field overall. As a founding member of the Performing Arts Alliance, TCG leads federal advocacy efforts that have helped guard and increase NEA funding, protect the full scope and value of the charitable tax deduction, and improve the timeliness of visa processing. TCG is currently working to ensure continued access to white spaces for wireless technologies and to include individual artists and administrators in Congressional health care proposals. Through the Performing Arts Alliance, TCG members (organizational and individual) receive regular updates and advocacy alerts on key issues affecting theatre. Every year, TCG sends a theatre delegation to Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, DC, organizing Hill visits with theatres' Congressional representatives.
Acknowledging that the theatre field replicates many of the inequities of our broader culture, TCG launched a six-point Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Initiative (EDII) to transform the national theatre field into a more equitable, inclusive, and diverse community. The Initiative's programs include: the EDI Institute, a peer-learning cohort of theatres going through a three-year curriculum to advance EDI at the personal, organizational, and fieldwide levels; the Legacy Leaders of Color Video Project, which chronicles the stories of founding leaders of theatres of color; and the Rising Leaders of Color Program, which nurtures and supports cohorts of emerging leaders, connecting them with an intergenerational network of leaders of color. TCG's EDI Initiative partners with organizations such as artEquity, MOPED Productions, and the Givens Collection of African American Literature/Performing Arts Archives/Umbra Search African American History to amplify our impact.
TCG and the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics (the Lab), based in Washington, DC at Georgetown University, developed the Global Theater Initiative (GTI) over the course of 2015, and launched it officially in February 2016. By combining the unique reach of TCG’s international programming with the Lab’s distinctive experience in humanizing global politics through the power of performance, GTI strengthens, nurtures, and promotes global citizenship and international collaboration in the U.S. professional and educational theatre field. It also honors and intersects with the work so many theatre colleagues have invested in cross-cultural exchange and understanding.
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