Since 1988, The Tow Foundation has supported innovative thinkers at all stages of work and in all different fields. From their Justice Initiatives that focus on ending mass criminalization to their Strategic Initiatives in medicine, higher education, and culture, The Tow Foundation has made a significant impact with their generous support.
New York Theatre Workshop is overjoyed to once again be partnering with The Tow Foundation to help support our Tow Playwright-in-Residence, Victor I. Cazares. Victor started their residency in January 2020, but the pandemic shifted the course of their experience and postponed the production of their play. During this time, Victor remained on staff at the Workshop and continued to make significant contributions to the organization as we navigated making art in the pandemic, including showcasing their work as an 2020/21 Artistic Instigator with PINCHING PENNIES WITH PENNY MARSHALL. Due to an incredible second grant from The Tow Foundation, Victor is now entering year two of their residency, actively working on and preparing for their play, AMERICAN (TELE)VISIONS which will premiere in our 2022/23 season. Below is an excerpt from a conversation with The Tow Foundation about their commitment to the arts and their work with NYTW.
1: What is the mission of The Tow Foundation?
We envision a society where all people have a voice in their community and the opportunity to enjoy a high quality of life. We see theater, with its transformative and unifying power, as one way to achieve that vision.
2: Why does The Tow Foundation believe it is important to holistically support playwrights through its residency program?
The Tow Playwright Residency program is not just about funding a play, it is about creating opportunities for diverse, talented artists to forge connections, hone their craft and thrive. By providing holistic support for the residencies—including the playwright’s salary, integration into daily operations and production of their first full-scale play in NYC—we hope to encourage a spirit of partnership between playwrights and the theaters that host them.
3: What about Victor’s work inspired you?
Part of what makes the Tow Playwright Residency program so special is that we trust our grantee partner theaters to choose the artist who is right for them. When the team at New York Theatre Workshop first presented Victor to us, their enthusiasm for Victor’s work was contagious. As we have gotten to know Victor these last few years, we have been continually impressed by the way Victor shares aspects of their queer, undocumented immigrant experience through brave, surreal and boundlessly creative plays like AMERICAN (TELE)VISIONS. It is a privilege to support Victor at this moment in their career.