Audible’s New $5 Million Fund for Playwrights to Create Works to Be Heard

Audible has announced a new $5 million fund to commission works from playwrights around the globe to be heard, further elevating the company’s focus on supporting the professional creative class of actors and writers, serving its millions of listeners and applying the best of emergent digital technologies.

The New York Times reports:

Grant recipients will be recommended by an advisory board made up of theater industry insiders: the actress Annette Bening (“20th Century Women”); the award-winning playwrights Lynn Nottage (“Sweat”), Tom Stoppard (“The Coast of Utopia”) and David Henry Hwang (“M. Butterfly”); the directors Trip Cullman (“Six Degrees of Separation”) and Leigh Silverman (“Violet”); and two artistic directors of Off Broadway companies, Oskar Eustis of the Public Theater, and Mimi O’Donnell of Labyrinth Theater Company.

Mr. Katz said he hoped that Audible’s format would help widen the reach of emerging playwrights, who might otherwise be writing for Off (or even Off Off) Broadway theaters.

“To celebrate live performance in the theater is one thing, but think of professional sports,” Mr. Katz said. “There’s the game, but it’s also being projected to millions of other people in a really powerful way.”