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The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation Announces Social Impact Theatre Grant Awards

Oct 25, 2017

SEATTLE – “There are two types of fighters. The first kind, most kind, they fight for themselves…the second kind, they use their strength and power to fight for people who can’t.” - from “And in This Corner: Cassius Clay,” produced by Oregon Children’s Theatre

“And in This Corner: Cassius Clay” is one of five productions just awarded a grant from the Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation. Sheri Biller, Foundation President, explains how the production illuminates the values of the social impact theatre program, “The Foundation supports socially-relevant productions like ‘Cassius Clay’ because we believe theatre is perfectly positioned to wrestle with the critical issues of contemporary society. We know impactful theatre sparks conversations that audience members continue at home and in their communities, and this is how social change begins.”  

The program’s 2017, cycle 2 grantees will stage productions that address a wide spectrum of issues, including institutionalized racism, the civil rights movement, LGBTQ rights through both contemporary and historical lenses, sexism, and online harassment. The grantees are:

  • Harlequin Productions (Olympia, WA), “I Am My Own Wife”
  • La Jolla Playhouse (La Jolla, CA), “The Cake”
  • Oregon Children’s Theatre (Portland, OR), “And in This Corner: Cassius Clay”
  • San Francisco Playhouse (San Francisco, CA), “Non-Player Character”
  • Seattle Children’s Theatre (Seattle, WA), “The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13559”

As the social impact theatre program reaches deeper into communities throughout Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California, the Foundation will continue to seek out productions that address the turmoil of today’s cultural and social landscape. The Foundation is proud to award this round of grants to organizations doing just that.

The Foundation’s next social impact theatre program cycle will begin in January 0f 2018. The program supports organizations with 501(c)(3) status, at least two years of operating history, and annual revenue of at least $750,000. Funds can cover artistic, production, and overhead expenses. Grant opportunities are offered in two cycles each year.