OVERVIEW: The Edgerton Foundation supports artistic, educational and cultural institutions in Los Angeles, and funds the development of New American Plays nationwide. Its grantmaking also supports efforts to deal with creative environmental and energy solutions, and security and international policy.
IP TAKE: While the foundation lacks transparency and does not accept unsolicited proposals, those working in the theater arts should be aware of this funder’s New American Plays award program.
PROFILE: The Edgerton Foundation was established in 2000. It was founded by plastic surgeon Bradford W. Edgerton and his wife Louise. Brad Edgerton is a plastic surgeon in the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, and a Clinical Associate Professor of Plastic Surgery at the University of Southern California. The Edgerton Foundation supports artistic, educational and cultural institutions in Los Angeles, and funds the development of New American Plays nationwide. Its grantmaking also supports efforts to deal with creative environmental and energy solutions, and security and international policy.
The Edgerton Foundation funds a New American Plays national award program launched in 2007. The initiative has supported nearly 400 plays to date, at least 30 of which have transferred to Broadway. In 2017, the first round of Edgerton Foundation New Play Award totaled $359,000, allowing 13 productions extra time for the development and rehearsal of new plays with the entire creative team, helping to extend the life of the play after its first run. Recent award members include Quack, originally produced at Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles; and Rightlynd, originally produced at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago. The foundation has given away more than $10 million through this program. A gift of $400,000, meanwhile, enabled Occidental College to partner with The Theatre @ Boston Court and A Noise Within to create the Edgerton Foundation Theater Program.
Grants range from $1,000 to around $2.4 million. In a recent fiscal year, the foundation gave away around $5.1 million. Past grantees include the Geffen Playhouse (Brad is on the board); Theatre Communications Group; Yale Repertory Theatre; Signature Theatre; South Coast Repertory; Second Stage Theatre; National Theater; and Public Theater.
The Edgerton Foundation keeps a low profile and does not accept unsolicited proposals. For its New American Plays program, theaters with a strong and consistent track record of producing new work are invited to submit letters of inquiry. Only proposals that have been specifically invited by the Edgerton Foundation will be considered.
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