Humanitas and Center Theatre Group Partner for Playwriting Program

The newly launched program will support Southern California playwrights and develop up to five new plays annually.

Humanitas and Center Theatre Group have partnered for the launch of PLAY LA, a new collaborative program that will foster the creative work of local playwrights. Humanitas president Ali LeRoi and CTG artistic director Michael Ritchie announced the partnership on Jan. 14.

“As the capital of the global entertainment industry, Southern California boasts what is probably the largest concentration of talented new and established writers in the world,” LeRoi said in a statement. “PLAY LA aims to recognize the many gifted playwrights among them and to support the production of their work in our hometown while also encouraging a new era of cross-pollination between the Hollywood community and the local theatre scene.

The program’s top honors will be an annual prize awarded to an undeveloped play written by an early-to-mid career playwright based in Southern California. The winning writer will receive $5,000 (two runner-ups will also be awarded $2,000 each), and an additional $5,000 will be given to a local theatre to finance the production of the play.

All of the awarded plays, chosen by both CTG and Humanitas’ esteemed staff and a panel of distinguished theatre artists, will be developed with the help of CTG’s literary department and shown at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in 2016.

PLAY LA will also stage five new plays penned by local writers during the year. All playwrights will be given a $1,500 stipend to build the theatre show from start to finish with the help of award-winning writer Shem Bitterman.