MetLife/TCG A-ha! Think It, Do It
We need a type of theatre which not only releases the feelings, insights and impulses possible within the particular historical field of human relations in which the action takes place, but employs and encourages those thoughts and feelings which help transform the field itself.
- Bertolt Brecht
Round 5 (2012) A-ha! Recipients:
California Shakespeare Theater’s (Berkeley, CA) Artist as Investigator project will invite 10 artists to lead experiments in new methodologies in how theatre is made, with whom it is made, and to what end it is made.
Atlantic Theater Company (New York, NY) and Park Slope Collegiate, a public high school in Brooklyn, will partner on Staging Success, providing four years of in-school theater classes to more than 300 students and an intensive afterschool mentorship for select seniors.
Cornerstone Theatre Company (Los Angeles, CA) will expand upon their existing community-engagement efforts by providing tools and resources to community participants for ongoing impact, thereby improving economic viability in the communities they serve.
Mixed Blood (Minneapolis, MN) will assemble a comprehensive national database of both artists with disabilities and English-language plays that explore worlds of disability in content, as central theme or via character.
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR) will develop an Artisan Exchange of production skills and resources with three to five other theatres. Three to five OSF craftspeople will work 8-12 weeks at those theatres, and will in turn host 3-5 artisans to assume parallel jobs at OSF.
The grant applications were reviewed by an independent national panel of theatre and technology professionals comprised of Stephen Albert, executive director, Court Theatre (Chicago, IL); Carol Bixler, producing director, CalArts Center for New Performance (Valencia, CA); Lana Lesley, co-founder and co-producing artistic airector, Rude Mechanicals (Austin, TX); Jacob G. Padrón, associate producer, Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Chicago, IL); Carlo Scandiuzzi, executive director, A Contemporary Theatre (Seattle, WA).
Read the A-ha! Program Round Five Recipients press release (PDF).
Round 4 (2011) A-ha! Recipients:
Perseverance Theatre (Douglas, AK) will explore the feasibility of using their new multi-city operations as a catalyst to build statewide programming for Alaskan theatre artists who would work and train with the company.
CalArts Center for New Performance (Valencia, CA), will convene a TEDx conference in Los Angeles, bringing together creative minds from disciplines across the contemporary performance landscape to expand understanding of the live arts.
Curious Theatre Company (Denver, CO), capitalizing on the momentum of their 2010 MetLife/TCG A-ha! Think It grant addressing the desire to re-center artists within organizations, will create an innovative post-specialist staffing structure by developing and integrating artists with staff in a new organizational paradigm.
Salvage Vanguard Theater (Austin, TX) will continue to cultivate the Scenic Co-op (shared 'set' resources cooperative) based on discoveries made during their 2010 MetLife/TCG A-ha! Think It grant project.
The Wooster Group (New York, NY) will create an ongoing online talk show series in which artists across disciplines have discussions with other artists and the public, to foster a more thorough discourse of vital topics that include current trends in the arts; as well as more expansive cultural and political issues.
The grant applications were reviewed by an independent national panel of theatre and technology professionals comprised of Kevin Cunningham, executive artistic director, 3-Legged Dog, Inc. (New York, NY); Kevin Gillese, artistic director, Dad's Garage Theatre Company (Atlanta, GA); Bonnie Metzgar, artistic director, About Face Theatre (Chicago, IL); Hetal Patel, managing director, Brava! For Women in the Arts (San Francisco, CA); James Royce, director, marketing, communications and sales, Center Theatre Group (Los Angeles, CA).
Read the A-ha! Program Round Four Recipients press release (PDF).
Round 3 (2010) A-ha! Recipients:
Pillsbury House Theatre (Minneapolis, MN) will develop its transformation into a Cultural Community Hub. The project will focus on assessment and metrics planning that will define and measure organizational success.
Curious Theatre Company (Denver, CO) will explore innovative opportunities for reinventing the resident artistic company model for the 21st century American theatre, by re-centering artists within producing organizations.
Center Theatre Group (Los Angeles, CA) plans to conduct focus groups and interviews with students, academic administrators and theatres to explore an internship model that pairs graduate students in arts administration with Los Angeles theatres.
Southern Rep (New Orleans, LA) will establish Youth Onstage New Orleans, LA (YO NOLA) as a pilot program to bring the arts to the underserved population at a New Orleans elementary school, via a student-run theatre company. This program includes mentoring, workshops and building life skills.
Northlight Theatre (Skokie, IL) is building Northlight On Campus, a two-year, comprehensive residency program in one underserved suburban middle school featuring after-school drama programs, artist visits, student matinees and a commissioned play for students.
Dad's Garage Theatre Company (Atlanta, GA) will create their first season of online content in tandem with their live work. This ongoing initiative will be self sustaining and will redefine them from a theatre company to a creative company.
The grant applications were reviewed by an independent national panel of theatre and technology professionals comprised of Polly Carl, director of artistic development, Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Chicago, IL); Brad Carlin, development director, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center & board member/consultant, Salvage Vanguard Theater (New Braunfels, TX); Ian Garrett, executive director, The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (Los Angeles, CA); Thomas O. Kriegsmann, president, ArKtype (New York, NY) and Marilyn Tokuda, arts education director, East West Players (Los Angeles, CA).
Read the A-ha! Program Round Three Recipients press release (PDF).
Round 2 (2009) A-ha! Recipients:
Book-It Repertory Theatre (Seattle, Wa.) investigated the feasibility of a long-term partnership between Book-It and other non-profits to create a literacy-based theatre arts complex.
Childsplay, Inc. (Tempe, Ariz.) convened experts from theatre design, manufacturing, recycling and sustainability to explore strategies for implementing green initiatives in stagecraft.
East West Players (Los Angeles, Calif.) researched the feasibility of developing an artist talent agency and diversity advocacy prototype.
Salvage Vanguard Theater (Austin, Tex.) developed and tested a business plan for a production element co-op for small to mid-size companies in the Austin theater community.
Clubbed Thumb (New York, N.Y.) planned to partner with a larger theatre for co-curation and co-production that will be presented at Clubbed Thumb’s annual festival in June, and then in a longer run at the larger theater. As the project progressed, it evolved into what they called Superlab, a six-play development laboratory, hosted by and co-curated with Playwrights Horizons.