Audience (R)Evolution is a multiyear program designed by TCG and funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to study, promote, and support successful audience-engagement and community-development strategies for the U.S. not-for-profit theatre field. At its core, the program supports risk-taking, reflection, experimentation, and collective action toward implementing new strategies that will help theatres cultivate and maintain attendance and demand.

As effective audience engagement and community development efforts increase around the country, many theatres have expressed the need to implement strategies that more closely align with their communities. To circumvent working in isolation, and to encourage knowledge sharing across the field, TCG believes that the way forward is through collaboration with audiences, community partners, and peer theatre organizations.

Round 3 Updates


Round 2 Cohort Grant production of Paper Dreams by Imagination Stage, Photo by Jeremy RusnockRound 2 Cohort Grant production of Paper Dreams by Imagination Stage, Photo by Jeremy Rusnock

To reflect and support art-making and community-building, Round 3 of Audience (R)Evolution will have the specific focus of audience engagement and community development as they relate to theatre for youth and multigenerational audiences. This round seeks to inspire and challenge theatres to develop meaningful partnerships and artistic work in an effort to better understand and fuel the apparent growth trend in attendance at events for youth and multigenerational audiences. This round also encourages applicants to consider the benefits of cross-cultural, cross-sector and/or cross-discipline ways of making theatre.

Round 3, Grantmaking will provide support in two categories:

  • Exploration Grants of up to $5,000 will allow teams of TCG Member Theatre staff and/or community stakeholders to observe effective audience engagement and/or community development programs or consult with professionals who can advise on strategies to deepen relationships with communities served by the theatre.

  • Cohort Grants of $75,000 or $150,000 will allow teams of three or more organizations, one of which must be a TCG Member Theatre (that must serve as the Project Leader) to implement and refine ways to increase audience engagement and community development in theatre for youth and multigenerational audiences.

Round 3, Convenings will continue to be an opportunity to share the assessment and research from Rounds 1 and 2, plus offer broader peer learnings and opportunities for an exchange of ideas and lessons learned via the 2018 Fall Forum, a TBA future "mini" learning convening, and Audience (R)Evolution programming during the annual 2019 TCG National Conference in Miami, FL. These convenings will help develop quality ideas and new opportunities in theatre for youth and multigenerational audiences throughout the nation, as well as those working with a cross-cultural, cross-sector and/or cross-discipline focus.

Round 3, Research & Dissemination will enable theatres to have fast access to the program's findings to implement effective audience engagement and communtiy development programs through various resources: the Case Study Follow-Up Report, American Theatre articles and podcasts relating to audience engagement, as well as an upcoming equitable measurement workbook. All of these are available inside the Research & Resources Hub, which also includes research from previous rounds of the program.

To learn more about Audience (R)Evolution, see our History page. For questions and other inquiries, please email

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