Piloted in 2006 with the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, the Edgerton Foundation New Play Awards give plays in development extended rehearsal period for the entire creative team, including the playwrights. The program launched nationally in 2007 and has awarded grants to non-profit theatres for 216 new plays to date. The Edgerton Foundation was awarded the 2011 TCG National Funder Award. The Foundation’s interest is the promotion of great new plays in the hope that other theatres will subsequently produce them.
Fostering and developing new writing is key to the mission of the National Theatre. Many plays commissioned or first performed at the National have gone on to international success, and are often performed in the US. Examples include Our Class (Wilma Theater, Philadelphia 2011), Blood & Gifts (Lincoln Center Theater, New York 2011), Happy Now? (Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven 2008), Alan Bennett’s The History Boys and The Habit of Art, and the Broadway transfer of One Man, Two Guvnors. After winning five Tony Awards, War Horse broke box office records at the Lincoln Center Theater, and went on a national US tour. The production has also toured internationally and the National Theatre of Great Britain co-produced a Mandarin-language version of War Horse with the National Theatre of China, for a tour of China which began in autumn 2015. The NT’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time transferred to the Barrymore Theatre in fall 2014. This show won a record-breaking seven Laurence Olivier Awards during its UK run and won five Tony Awards on Broadway, including Best New Play, and was followed by a tour of the United States.