Foundry Theatre, Inc.


$50,000 for 1 year

Awarded: February 11, 2014

Past Program | Pivotal Place: New York City (ended 2015)

For the production of The Box, and concurrent community-engagement initiatives.

About the Grantee

  • A scene from Marcus Gardley's The Box: A Black Comedy, which made its premiere in 2014 at the Irondale Center in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo courtesy of The Foundry Theatre)
The Foundry Theatre often meets audiences in uncommon venues, including warehouses, tour buses, and people’s homes, and presents them with works that confront today’s social issues. Each year, its Audience Ambassadors program works with community organizers in New York City to bring groups from their own neighborhoods to attend performances at theaters across the city. For many, this is their first time engaging with theater. Audience members receive complimentary tickets, and after the performance, participate in a discussion while sharing a meal with the artists. There, they can also find out about the kind of works produced at the city's many off-Broadway theaters and learn ‘insider’ strategies to affordably attend theater events across the city.
During the 2014 season, Foundry’s production of The Box: A Black Comedy drew inspiration from Greek drama and pulled audiences into the labyrinth of America’s prison system and the dark absurdity of urban police policies.The pared-down production builds a window into to the modern experience of the justice system by employing layers of text drawn from myth, pop culture, and excerpts from interviews with prisoners. For the play, award-winning playwright Marcus Gardley and director Seth Bockley brought music and dance together with dialogue in verse, evoking the poetry of spoken word.