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Edgerton Foundation

Edgerton Foundation

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. 

In 2013, the Edgerton Foundation generously supported the National Theatre production of The Light Princess, a new musical written by acclaimed singer-songwriter Tori Amos and playwright Samuel Adamson. It opened in the Lyttelton Theatre in October 2013, and was directed by Marianne Elliott whose credits include directing internationally acclaimed NT Productions War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The Light Princess was nominated for four Olivier Awards; won Best Musical Performance (Rosalie Craig) in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards; and, was nominated for six WhatsOnStage awards.

'Brilliantly staged by Marianne Elliott of War Horse and Curious Incident fame – a magical and ravishingly distinctive fusion of the theatrical arts.' Independent

The Foundation also supported Behind the Beautiful Forevers in 2014, a new play by David Hare based on the novel by Katherine Boo, and Sunset at the Villa Thalia in 2016, a new play by Alexi Kaye Campbell.

'I was swept away by the integrity of David Hare’s text and the pulsating vigour of the production by Rufus Norris.' Guardian on Behind the Beautiful Forevers

‘A fascinating new play. Keeps you constantly hooked.Guardian on Sunset at the Villa Thalia

Most recently, the Foundation has supported Mosquitoes, a new play by Lucy Kirkwood (Chimerica, Almeida Theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre). The production will be directed by Rufus Norris and opens in the Dorfman Theatre in July 2017.

For more information, or to discuss how you can help support the National Theatre, please contact Matt Armstrong, Head of Trusts and Foundations on 020 7452 3227 or at


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