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Grants - Dramatists Guild FoundationDramatists Guild Foundation


Emergency Grants

If you are a writer in need, we can help. DGF provides emergency financial assistance to individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and bookwriters in dire need of funds due to severe hardship or unexpected illness.

To be considered for an Emergency Grant, you must have had a play or musical produced for a paying audience anywhere in the United States or Canada, and/or published by a legitimate publishing/licensing company. Active members of the Dramatists Guild also qualify. Emergency Grants can only be awarded once per individual.

After submitting the Grant application form, please complete your application by sending a recent bank statement, resume or biography, and any other pertinent information you wish to include. Without this additional information, your application will be considered incomplete and considered ineligible for review. This information can be emailed to or by mail to the Foundations offices: 

ATTN: Executive Director
Dramatists Guild Foundation
356 West 40th St., 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10018

Call 212.391.8384 for more information.
Fax: 212.202.4093

Hurricane Relief

For 55 years, DGF has provided financial assistance to individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and bookwriters in need. We want to extend a special expedited process to those writers affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

In conjunction with the application form, please email to submit as many of the following documents as you are able:

  • Proof of address: a utility bill with your name and address
  • A recent itemized bank statement
  • A resume or bio including your experience as a writer for the stage

If you have any questions about DGF Hurricane Relief, please contact us at 212-391-8384 or

George Bailey Fund

The George Bailey Fund has been established to benefit the participants of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. The fund is open to first and second-year workshop members and will provide financial assistance for unforeseen expenses that go beyond the normal day-to-day cost of living and can hinder the pursuit of the craft.

The name of the fund was inspired by a scene in It’s A Wonderful Life, which stems from an assignment given during the workshop. In the scene, George Bailey gives his friends and neighbors what they need to tide them over financially, which is exactly what the donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, hopes the fund will achieve. As someone who has participated in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, the donor has seen firsthand how unexpected expenses can interfere with the creative process needed to succeed in the program and wanted to offer financial support to those in need during the early stages of their careers.

Grants of up to $500 per person will be awarded during each workshop term, September through August and eligibility will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

All applications will be managed by The Dramatists Guild Foundation and workshop director Patrick Cook, BMI’s Director of Jazz & Musical Theatre, along with workshop administrator Frederick Freyer, will determine the eligibility for grants.

All applicants’ personal information will be kept strictly confidential.

"The Dramatists Guild Foundation is there to catch you when you fall. Jobless and unable to pay my rent, I thought I had nowhere to turn, but then I applied for an emergency grant from the DGF. With its financial support, the Dramatists Guild Foundation helped me get through one of the toughest times of my career."
Katori Hall

2010 Olivier Award winner for The Mountaintop

"I applied to the Foundation when I was in real and totally unromantic trouble. Help arrived speedily and quietly in the form of a grant, which allowed me to pay my rent. The Foundation does not dole out statues and plaques; it gives people help when people need help."
Will Eno

Pulitzer Prize finalist for Thom Pain (based on nothing)

"DGF helped me at a very crucial time—most every writer knows what I'm talking about: that knuckle-gnawing period between a commission and royalty check. Because of the Foundation, I was able to feed and shelter my piano (and myself) for a short, critical while."
Michael John LaChiusa

Drama Desk- and Tony Award nominee for Hello, Again; Marie Christine; The Wild Party



Writers Alliance Grants

For over 50 years, we have supported the production of new plays and musicals across the country through our Theater Grant Program. In addition to funding new work, DGF has partnered with the Dramatists Guild of America to change the national conversation about how writers are treated by the institutions that produce their work. DGF’s new Writers Alliance Grants will continue this tradition of supporting nonprofit theaters with fair and equitable practices, while demonstrating our enhanced efforts to get funds directly in the hands of writers.

Starting this fall, 10 theaters will be selected annually to receive a $5,000 grant to go toward producing a new work, and another $5,000 will be given directly to the writer(s) being produced. The award granted to the writer is not in lieu of any payment by the theater.

Writers Alliance Grants are awarded to both nonprofit theaters and writers in celebration of working relationships that align deeply with DGF core values. The writer is one whose work pushes boundaries and shows tremendous promise. The theater, which is either currently or slated to work with that writer, is one that holds itself to superlative ethical standards in supporting the livelihoods and careers of writers.

Applicants will be scored on their contracts with writers and the artistic merit of the project for which they are requesting funding.



Applicant Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Be a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization
    • Organizations operating under fiscal sponsors such as Fractured Atlas are no longer eligible
  • Have a minimum of three years demonstrated production history
  • Be a producing company
    • Development centers are no longer eligible
  • Be in good standing with DGF concerning submission of final reports for any grants previously given
  • Demonstrate a commitment to gender and ethnic diversity in the writers produced

Application Process

Applicants will be required to complete an application form and submit the following supplemental materials:

  • Board member list with affiliations
  • 3 years of production history
  • Executed contract for the production for which funding is being requested OR executed contract for a production of similar size and scope from the past year
    • May or may not include a DG Contract Amendment (see below)
  • Most recent Board-approved organizational budget
  • Productions budget for the project for which the theater is seeking funding

The DG Contract Amendment reflects best practices in the industry culled from hundreds of theater contracts seen each year. For all questions regarding contracts or the DG Contract Amendment, please contact Associate Executive of Business Affairs at the Dramatists Guild of America, David Faux, at 212-398-9366. For all other questions regarding the Writers Alliance Grant application, please email or call the Dramatists Guild Foundation at 212-391-8384.


All awardees will be required to submit the executed contract for the project for which they received funding once it has been signed by all parties. If this contract is not found to be in keeping with all DG contract guidelines, their awards will be revoked.

Recipients of the DGF Writers Alliance Grant will not be eligible to apply for five years following the year they are awarded. Not applicable to grants awarded before 2017.




The Dramatists Guild Foundation recognizes achievement in the theater by administering and/or presenting awards in several categories:



Named in honor of the famed theatrical agent, this award is presented to individuals in recognition and gratitude of their distinguished work in the world of theater and to encourage the continuation of that work.


Given in honor of author and playwright James Kirkwood to a theater whose mission includes the encouragement, nurturing, and mentoring of emerging playwrights.


Given respectively to a deserving stage actress and to a playwright who are mid-career.

Past Recipients





Cherry Jones
Frances Sternhagen
Kathleen Chalfant
Christopher Durang
Marian Seldes
Donald Margulies
Julie Harris
Romulus Linney
Uta Hagen
John Guare
Elizabeth Franz
August Wilson
Judith Ivey
Terrence McNally
Ruby Dee
Edward Albee
Lois Smith
Marsha Norman
Laura Linney
John Patrick Shanley
Estelle Parsons
David Ives
Linda Lavin
Lynn Nottage
Viola Davis
Lisa Kron
Audra McDonald
Craig Lucas


The new Lanford Wilson Award, established by a generous contribution from Wilson’s estate and matched by the Dramatists Guild, will bestow $35,000 on a dramatist based primarily on their work as an early career playwright. The award is named after Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony nominated playwright Lanford Wilson who passed away in 2011. A Pulitzer Prize winner for “Talley’s Folly,” Lanford was one of the trailblazers of the Off-Off and Off-Broadway movements. The 2013 recipient for the Lanford Wilson prized was awarded to Francine Volpe in recognition of her outstanding work as an American playwright.




Francine Volpe
Mike Lew
Lauren Gunderson

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