Amazon-owned audiobooks outfit Audible has launched a $5 million fund to supply grants to around a dozen playwrights to develop original stories. The commissioned tales won’t end up anywhere near a stage but be broadcast via subscribers’ headphones. The outfit says the initiative will likely boost each of writers selected for the programme.
Scribes will be recommended by a theatrical advisory board including the likes of playwrights David Henry Hwang, Lynn Nottage and Tom Stoppard, actor Annette Bening and directors Trip Cullman and Leigh Silverman, plus two artistic directors, Mimi O’Donnell of Labyrinth Theater Company and Oskar Eustis of the Public Theater.
Audible is looking for plays in the one- or two-person format and Donald Katz, the company’s chief executive, told the New York Times that the challenge would “spawn some really interesting material”.