Following the cancellation of its spring production due to the COVID-19 crisis—Noah Diaz’s Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally—Off-Broadway theatre The Playwrights Realm has announced that it will continue to hold off on producing full-scale productions in the 2020–2021 season as the public health crisis ensues. Next season, the organization's efforts will be dedicated to expanding its founding mission: giving playwrights the time and resources to develop new work.
The shift towards being a full-time playwrights service organization will include the convening of a new cohort of playwrights who will take part in The Realm’s existing, robust, developmental programming, as well as exploring new ways to support early-career writers artistically, financially, and emotionally.
Funds that were reserved for productions will instead be used for playwright services. Since the pandemic, The Realm has provided financial aid to a number of playwrights in need, including $750 micro grants to alumni writers. There’s also discretionary additional disaster relief funding based on needs.
“The Realm is centered around helping early-career playwrights, not only through productions, but in every way we can imagine, and I have never experienced a moment when playwrights needed that help so much," shares founding Artistic Director Katherine Kovner. “This would usually be the time we announce our next season’s productions, but I’ve spent the last few months talking to our artists, and it’s become clear that’s not what they need from our organization right now.
”The Playwrights Realm name is not symbolic—this is a space where playwrights come first, so in this time of crisis we are going to devote ourselves to listening to them and helping them meet their needs more than ever!”
This work is made possible in part through COVID-19 relief grants from NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund in The New York Community Trust and the Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation.