Theatre Forward was founded by and represents historic, award-winning professional institutions, uniquely positioned for lasting local and national impact. Our theatres are taking active steps to be more inclusive community institutions as demographics in America shift.

Theatre Forward’s Advancing Strong Theatre initiative is a collective response to address this on-going challenge. Designed by theatres themselves, this competitive production grant of $50,000 aims to support productions advancing theatres’ Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) goals for a targeted underserved and under-represented community that complements the theatres’ ongoing strategies to institute EDI change across the dimensions of their board, leadership, staff, audience and artistic programming. Our goal is to focus on:

  • Equity – addressing inequities in the field
  • Diversity – bringing forth and championing a plurality of voices
  • Inclusion – recognizing and welcoming communities who were not always part of the institution.

STRONG theatre means key funding will be awarded to enable theatres to innovate and take risks. This grant’s flexibility empowers the theatres to be transformative, forge and sustain longer term efforts, create capacity and take the lead in changing the social and cultural dynamics within their institution and community. Theatre Forward aims to foster an equitable theatre community that reflects the plurality and diversity of American culture. This project is national in scale, local in impact, will bring thousands of new audience members to our theatres, tells important new stories, and supports the breakdown of barriers to access and opportunity onstage and off across the country.

As a network of regional theatres, Theatre Forward provides a much-needed forum for collaboration and secures a wide array of resources from partners and patrons for theatres and their communities.


See how we advance strong theatre through our impact stories