Alliance Theatre Receives NEA Grant to Support Ninth Alliance National Graduate Playwriting Competition Production


Atlanta's Alliance TheatreCompetition Winner Bike American Opens On The Hertz Stage
February 1, 2013

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced last week that the Alliance Theatre is one of 832 non-profit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. The $40,000 grant was given to the Alliance National Graduate Playwriting Competition supporting the 2013 competition winner Bike America, as well as the staged reading series for the four competition finalists.

In March 2012, the NEA received 1,509 eligible applications for Art Works requesting more than $74 million in funding. The 832 recommended NEA grants total $22.3 million, span 13 artistic disciplines and fields, and focus primarily on the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing works for the benefit of American audiences. Applications were reviewed by panels of outside experts convened by NEA staff and each project was judged on its artistic excellence and artistic merit.

The Alliance National Graduate Playwriting Competition (ANGPC) solicits plays from the leading MFA/graduate programs in the United States, and then conducts a rigorous selection process to find four finalists and one winning play.  The winner receives a full production as part of the Alliance Theatre regular season.  The winner and four finalists also receive development opportunities for their works including staged readings with industry professionals in New York and Atlanta.  A one-of-a-kind opportunity for emerging playwrights, the Competition transitions student playwrights to the world of professional theatre.

The 2013 Alliance National Graduate Playwriting Competition Winner is Bike America, by Mike Lew from the Juilliard Drama Division.  The story of Penny, a damaged student who can’t seem to find her place in the world, Bike America captures the restlessness of a Millennial generation that will go to any length to find a place that always seems just out of reach.  Bike America will receive its world premiere at the Alliance Theatre on the Hertz Stage February 1 – 24, 2013.

The five plays selected each year during the Alliance National Graduate Playwriting Competition represent the truest manifestation of the Alliance’s mission of shared theatre for diverse people with their rigorous multigenerational, multicultural, and omni-political ambitions.  Emerging writers are offered the ultimate developmental tools and networking opportunities with industry professionals.

At the same time, Atlanta audiences are introduced to the country’s brightest emerging playwrights thereby cultivating an informed audience for new work.

The competition and production are also supported by a 2005 gift by the Kendeda Fund and a grant by the Steinberg Charitable Trust.