The Dramatists Guild Fund awards one-time emergency grants to individual playwrights, lyricists and composers in need of temporary financial assistance due to unexpected illness or extreme hardship.

To be considered for personal grant, you must have had a play or musical either presented for a paying audience anywhere in the United States or Canada, and/or published by a legitimate publishing/licensing company; or be an active member of The Dramatists Guild.

After submitting the Kesselring Grant application form, in order for your application to be complete, please submit a recent bank statement, along with a resume or biography, and any other pertinent information you wish to include to the Dramatists Guild Fund, via grants@dgfund.org or by mail to the Fund’s offices.

ATTN: Executive Director
Dramatists Guild Fund
356 West 40th St., 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10018
Call 212.391.8384 for more information.
Fax: 212.202.4093

"The Dramatists Guild Fund is there to catch you when you fall. Jobless and unable to pay my rent, I thought I had nowhere to turn, but then I applied for an emergency grant from the DGF. With its financial support, the Dramatists Guild Fund helped me get through one of the toughest times of my career."
Katori Hall

2010 Olivier Award winner for The Mountaintop

"I applied to the Fund when I was in real and totally unromantic trouble. Help arrived speedily and quietly in the form of a grant, which allowed me to pay my rent. The Fund does not dole out statues and plaques; it gives people help when people need help."
Will Eno

Pulitzer Prize finalist for Thom Pain (based on nothing)

"The Fund helped me at a very crucial time—most every writer knows what I'm talking about: that knuckle-gnawing period between a commission and royalty check. Because of the Fund, I was able to feed and shelter my piano (and myself) for a short, critical while."
Michael John LaChiusa

Hello, Again; Marie Christine; The Wild Party



Each year the Dramatists Guild Fund provides grants to nonprofit theaters and theatrical institutions across the country that develop and/or produce contemporary American plays and musicals in support of the American writer.

General Criteria

  • Applicants must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (or have a fiscal sponsor)
  • Applicants must be located within the United States or its territories
  • Applicants must have a minimum of three years of documented production experience
  • Applicants must demonstrate fair dealings with dramatists as determined by their contracts
  • Preference will be given to applicants whose annual operating budget is less than $1,000,000

Note: Change in Guidelines. While DGF has, in the past, provided general operating support, we have now amended our guidelines to increase the impact of our funds to support writers directly. Beginning with last year’s grant cycle, DGF now restricts our grants to support only:

  • Payments made directly to writers (commissions, stipends, etc.)
  • Productions, readings, and workshops of contemporary American work

DGF seeks to recognize applicants that pursue a clearly defined mission and support American writers for the theater and their work.

Contracts are evaluated based on the Dramatist’s Bill of Rights, as outlined by the Dramatists Guild of America. This is to ensure writers are dealt with in a fair and equitable manner. You can view the Dramatist’s Bill of Rights here. To access model contracts and to learn more about Business Subscriptions to the Dramatists Guild of America, email businessaffairs@dramatistsguild.com.

How to apply

To apply for a 2016-2017 DGF Theater Grant, complete the online application and upload requested materials through the following button. Applications for 2016-2017 DGF Theater Grants will close Friday, September 30 at 5:00 PM EDT. We are unable to consider late submissions. 


Additional Materials

  1.  One copy of an executed contract between your organization and presented playwrights
  2. One copy of your (or fiscal agent/conduit’s) 501(c)3 IRS Determination Letter
  3. A list of your company’s Board of Directors (with affiliations)
  4. Your most recently completed fiscal year financial statements
  5. Your current operating budget, with specific project budget
  6. A one-page production summary listing past 3 years and upcoming season, with playwright names

For questions about the application process, email grants@dgfund.org or call 212.391.8384.

“With the help of the DGF grant, Fierce was able to raise additional funding and mount all 4 projects as full productions rather than 2 workshops and 2 full productions. This gave each playwright the chance to experience more fully realized staging.”
Fierce Backbone Theater Company
“That kind of generous and immediate response is truly exceptional, even among funders like the Dramatists Guild Fund who already do so much good work for writers and theaters across the country.”
CYNTHIA FLOWERS Executive Director, Soho Rep.
“The Dramatists Guild Grant was used exactly as anticipated and yielded results that simply could not have been attained without the generous support.”
The Bloomington Playwrights Project