Portland Stage has been approved for a $20,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support the Clauder Competition for New England Playwrights. Portland Stage’s project is among 1,073 projects across America totaling nearly $25 million that were selected during this first round of fiscal year 2021 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects funding category.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support this project from Portland Stage,” said Arts Endowment Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Portland Stage is among the arts organizations across the country that have demonstrated creativity, excellence, and resilience during this very challenging year.”

Portland Stage Executive and Artistic Director Anita Stewart stated, “We are thrilled to receive support from the NEA for this year’s Clauder Competition, which will in turn support our region’s playwrights. We received and evaluated 120 submissions for this competition cycle, and each play was read by two different readers and received personalized feedback. We will be announcing the competition winner later this month, and we look forward to mounting a fully staged production of the winning play in our 2021-22 season. This support from the NEA comes at a time of great uncertainty, and we are very grateful for their vote of confidence in our mission to nurture and sustain future generations of theater-makers and theater-goers.”

For over three decades, the Clauder Competition has been New England’s most prestigious playwriting award. Created in 1981, the Clauder Competition celebrates the distinctive voices of our region’s playwrights and brings their work to the attention of the greater theatrical community. With over 100 submissions each cycle, each play receives at least two evaluations, and all writers are sent a letter including an individualized response from readers. Plays by the three Clauder winners are included in the Little Festival of the Unexpected (a week-long playwriting workshop culminating in public, staged readings), and the Grand Prize winner will go on to receive a production and cash prize.

The Clauder Competition provides exposure, encouragement, and critical feedback to promising New England playwrights. Past winners and finalists who have launched successful playwriting careers include Tom Coash, Monica Wood, John Cariani, and Pulitzer Prize-winners Quiara Alegría Hudes and Paula Vogel.

For more information on the Clauder Competition, visit portlandstage.org/clauder. For more information on projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news. For more information on Portland Stage, visit portlandstage.org.

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