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Mellon Foundation Wants to Stem Theater ‘Brain Drain,’ So Dallas Gets Playwright Resident

The Boston Globe reports this morning on a new $3.7 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that is intended to shore-up the flight of talented writers from the stage to screen. Turns out it is hard to make a living as a theater writer, and most talented writers head to Hollywood when they finally realize that, you know, food is nice.  So the Mellon idea: fund playwrights-in-residence for fourteen American theaters.

And yes, Dallas has one: Will Power, who was the recipient of last year’s Meadows Prize and was already awarded a National Endowment of the Arts grant (the largest in Texas) to complete Stagger Lee, a new musical, for the Dallas Theater Center. Now the playwright will spend the next three years in Dallas, and in addition to working on his own work, leading workshops, and doing the things writers who live at theaters tend to do, Power will work with DTC artistic director Kevin Moriarty on a neighborhood initiative:

Power will work with Moriarty on a new strategic initiative to reach out to two under-represented neighborhoods in Dallas, one affluent and one made up of low income households, and help DTC to forge relationships that will welcome audiences from both neighborhoods into the theater.