Sundance Institute: Grants for Theater

OVERVIEW:  While best known for supporting independent filmmaking, the prestigious Sundance Institute also offers a theater program, which supports labs and retreats.

IP TAKE: As with its film programs, participation in one of Sundance's labs can open the door to further funding opportunities not available to the general public.

PROFILE: Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, the Sundance Institute is “dedicated to the discovery and development of independent artists and audiences.” It “seeks to discover, support, and inspire independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce audiences to their new work.”

The Sundance Institute supports theater through its Theater Program. Sundance funds a handful of labs, retreats and residencies for theater, two of which are open to applications from the public:

  • Theatre Lab at the Sundance Resort - This lab is open to playwrights, directors, composers and librettists from the US, the Middle East, and North Africa with projects in any stage of development. Each Fellow receives a $1,200 honorarium and, if applicable, a company of actors for rehearsing the project under development, as well as support and mentoring.

  • MENA Playwrights Residency in Berlin - This residency is for playwrights from the Middle East, especially Syria, and North Africa who have been based in Europe for five years or less. Applicants must submit a script, written in Arabic (classical or dialect), a project summary, and an artistic statement.

Sundance's theater program also includes the Theatre Lab at MASS MoCA, the Sundance Institute | LUMA Foundation Theatre Directors Retreat in Arles, and the Playwrights & Composers Retreat at Ucross Foundation, all of which are by invitation only. Participation in Sundance's Theatre Lab may provide a way in, however.

Additionally, actors interested in performing in the acting company for the Theatre Lab at the Sundance Resort can submit a headshot and resume.


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