Westport Playhouse Receives Grant from NEA

Westport, CT - Westport Country Playhouse has been awarded a $15,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for the autumn production of Matthew Greene’s “Thousand Pines”, a world premiere from the Playhouse’s New Works Circle Initiative.  Directed by Austin Pendleton, the drama will run from Oct. 30 through Nov. 17.

“The support of the NEA is vital to all that we do at the Playhouse and it is especially crucial when it comes to producing new work which can be artistically and financially risky,” said Mark Lamos, Playhouse artistic director. “We are thrilled to have the NEA as partner for this powerful and compelling play from an important new voice in the American theater."

“Thousand Pines” is a new drama that brings the national dialogue about gun violence to the Playhouse stage.  The play is set six months after a student brought a gun to Thousand Pines Junior High School and killed his classmates.  The families of the children who died struggle with their need for answers and closure. 

The Playhouse will offer several community engagement events in conjunction with the production of “Thousand Pines” to facilitate dialogue around the topical issues the play addresses. 

The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.

“The variety and quality of these projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said Jane Chu, NEA chairman. “Through the work of organizations such as Westport Country Playhouse, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are.”  Chu approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. 

For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

For more Westport Country Playhouse information and to buy tickets, visit www.westportplayhouse.org or call the box office at (203) 227-4177, toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), and on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).


The mission of Westport Country Playhouse is to enrich, enlighten, and engage the community through the power of professionally produced theater worth talking about and the welcoming experience of the Playhouse campus. The not-for-profit Playhouse provides this experience in multiple ways by offering: Live theater experiences of the highest quality, under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos; educational and community engagement events to further explore the work on stage; the New Works Circle Initiative, a program dedicated to the discovery, development, and production of new live theatrical works; programs for students and teachers with extensive curriculum support material; Script in Hand play readings to deepen relationships with audiences and artists; the renowned Woodward Internship Program during the summer months for aspiring theater professionals; Family Festivities presentations to delight young and old alike and to promote reading through live theater; youth performance training and performance opportunities through Broadway Method Academy, WCP’s resident conservatory; and the beautiful and historic Playhouse campus open for enjoyment and community events year-round.



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