Back-to-back: The Playhouse Receives National Theatre Company Grant Again


For the second consecutive year, Portland Playhouse is a recipient of the American Theatre Wing’s National Theatre Company Grant.

The Playhouse was gifted an inaugural $10,000 Second-Time Support award for general operating expenses, one of a limited number of grants distributed to companies who’d already been recognized between 2010 and 2015.

“I am honored to be returning for the second time to NYC to receive this award on behalf of Portland Playhouse,” says Brian Weaver, Playhouse co-founder and artistic director. “This is an acknowledgment of the talent and investment of so many artists: Victor Mack, Kevin Jones, Jennifer Rowe, Ashley Williams, Vin Shambry, Cristi Miles, Daniel Meeker... The list goes on for a LONG time. Co-founders Nikki (Weaver), Michael (Weaver) and I wish to thank the Portland creative community and our King Neighborhood for making this possible.”

The American Theatre Wing, best known for creating the prestigious, industry-defining Tony Awards, solicited applications from “companies or organizations that have been in continued existence for at least five years but not longer than fifteen years, during which time they have articulated a distinctive mission, cultivated an audience, and nurtured a community of artists in ways that strengthen the quality, diversity, and dynamism of American theatre.”

Designed to “provide institutional support for twelve cutting-edge theatre companies recognized for outstanding new play development, education and community engagement,” the first-time recipients include American Blues Theater (Chicago), Bedlam (New York City), Chance Theater (Anaheim, California), Classical Theatre Company (Houston), Cygnet Theatre Company (San Diego) and South of Broadway Theatre Company (Charleston, S.C.).

The five companies joining the Playhouse as repeat honorees are 16th Street Theater (Berwyn, Illinois), 1812 Productions (Philadelphia), Golden Thread Productions (San Francisco) and Synchronicity Theatre (Atlanta).

“The quality of work that these remarkable theater companies produce is nothing short of inspiring,” said Marva Smalls, chair of the National Theatre Company Grants committee. “They further the conversations of issues important to their local communities.”

Added Heather Hitchens, president of the American Theatre Wing: “I am delighted to be honoring this year’s selections for the National Theatre Company Grants, and for the first time ever awarding Second-Time Support grants to five companies that have previously been supported by this initiative. The Wing remains dedicated to promoting excellence in theatre across the country, which these young companies have more than demonstrated.”