Don't anybody tell Max Bialystock and Nathan Bloom, those scamming producers from "The Producers," but the National Endowment for the Arts is kicking in $280,000 for developing and producing new plays during the next 2 1/2 years.
The NEA New Play Development Program has $90,000 each available for two scripts; they must be already written and attached to theater companies planning to stage their world premieres by the end of 2010.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday, June 11, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 33 words Type of Material: Correction
'The Producers': An article in Monday's Calendar section about National Endowment for the Arts funding for new plays identified a character from "The Producers" as Nathan Bloom; the correct name is Leo Bloom.
And there's $20,000 each for five shows that are at a more germinal stage, where a writer and theater company need money to work on an idea, without a full commitment yet to a production.
The playwrights must be American citizens or permanent U.S. residents; the theaters must be nonprofit (which probably rules out Bialystock and Bloom).
The NEA says that almost any theatrical style is eligible (although the federal agency's battle scars from the "culture wars" of the early 1990s could militate against shows involving whips and smeared chocolate).
"Ensemble plays, solo plays, plays with music, plays with puppets, plays with movement, plays with multimedia -- the theater in America is a 'big tent,' " the application guidelines say.
The Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., is coordinating the new project and wants to hear from interested writer-and-theater teams by June 20. Another NEA play-development program, which funds playwright residencies at theaters, expires next year.