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Powers New Works Fund

The Old Globe Announces $2 Million Gift from
San Diego Philanthropists Paula and Brian Powers
to Create the Powers New Works Fund

Gift to Also Fund the Globe’s Newly Created
Department of New Plays and Dramaturgy,
to Be Led by Danielle Mages Amato

PHOTO EDITORS: Photos of Paula and Brian Powers and Danielle Mages Amato can be found here.

SAN DIEGO (February 1, 2022) The Old Globe announced today it has received a $2 million gift from longtime Globe supporters and philanthropists Paula and Brian Powers to create the Powers New Works Fund. The transformative gift was made to support new play development at The Old Globe and is in addition to the couple’s previous contributions supporting the organization’s general operating fund and annual Powers New Voices Festival. The Powers New Works Fund is intended to be spent over 10 years, enabling the Globe to build on its already significant new play development programs, cementing the Globe’s reputation as a national leader in the creation and presentation of new works by American playwrights.

The Old Globe will use the funds to advance the theatre’s new work programs and activities, including the continuation of the annual Powers New Voices Festival, commissions of playwrights, developmental readings and workshops of new works, production of digital works, residencies at the Globe for playwrights, and the staffing and administration of the newly created Department of New Plays and Dramaturgy.

“I’m humbled and excited to celebrate this major gift from San Diego philanthropists Paula and Brian Powers that will transform the Globe’s work on new writing for the American stage,” said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “The Powers have been stalwart supporters of the Globe for years, and we’re proud to have Paula on our Board of Directors. They’ve been demonstrating their commitment to the importance of new writing through their namesake Powers New Voices Festival, our annual week of public presentations of new plays. Now they have provided jet fuel to our efforts in the form of this extraordinary gift. The not-for-profit arts sector cannot do its work without the civic-minded generosity of leading philanthropists, and with their largesse, Paula and Brian Powers, already indispensable to the cultural life of San Diego, take pride of place as shining stars in the constellation of funders who make our city—and the Globe—as spectacular as they are. Their gift will ensure a bright future for this art form, and we are deeply grateful.”

“Through our involvement with the New Voices Festival, we saw how many steps a new play goes through on its way to full performance—from script sourcing and play commissions to script development, readings, and workshops. The Powers New Works Fund will provide the Globe with additional resources to support and expand this effort to bring the best new plays to the stage,” said longtime Globe supporters Paula and Brian Powers.

As part of the expansion made possible by the Powers New Works Fund, Danielle Mages Amato will serve as the newly created department’s Director of New Plays and Dramaturgy and will be instrumental in the development of new works and playwrights for the American theatre. She will also join the senior leadership team at the Globe. Amato holds an M.F.A. in Dramaturgy and a Ph.D. in Drama and Theatre from UC San Diego. She joined the staff of The Old Globe in 2011. Before that, the spent four years as the dramaturg and literary manager of Studio Theatre in Washington, DC. She is a past president of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas and has served on their board of directors. Amato has worked as a freelance dramaturg, theatre critic, and university professor. Since 2020, she has taught theatre history, modern drama, and solo performance at University of San Diego and UC San Diego. At the Globe, Amato has overseen eight years of the Powers New Voices Festival and has dramaturged world premieres of plays by Anna Ziegler, JC Lee, Matthew Lopez, Itamar Moses, and others. She is also a published novelist; her debut, The Hidden Memory of Objects,was released by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins.

The Old Globe will present the eighth annual Powers New Voices Festival, supported by Paula and Brian Powers. The festival features readings of new American plays by some of the most exciting playwrights writing for the American theatre today. The free festival returns live and in person April 6–10, 2022 (originally scheduled for January 14–16, 2022) in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. For more festival information visit www.TheOldGlobe.org.

Paula and Brian Powers are longtime significant donors to The Old Globe. Paula joined the Globe’s Board of Directors in 2011, and she is the Board Secretary, chairs the Philanthropy Steering Committee, and serves on the Executive, Nominating, and Board Governance Committees. She and Brian made Rancho Santa Fe their primary residence after living in New York, Hong Kong, Australia, and the Bay Area, where they still own a home. Paula earned her J.D. from the University of Michigan and specialized in trusts and estates, including work for private foundations and not-for-profits. Brian’s J.D. comes from the University of Virginia, and he is currently Chairman Emeritus of Hellman & Friedman LLC, a private equity firm in San Francisco. They have a strong commitment to new work, and the Powers New Voices Festival was named for them in 2017 to honor their generous multi-year commitment as Artistic Angels of The Old Globe.

The Tony Award–winning The Old Globe is one of the country’s leading professional not-for-profit regional theatres. Now in its 87th year, the Globe is San Diego’s flagship performing arts institution, and it serves a vibrant community with theatre as a public good. Under the leadership of Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and the Audrey S. Geisel Managing Director Timothy J. Shields, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 16 productions of classic, contemporary, and new works on its three Balboa Park stages, including its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people annually attend Globe productions and participate in the theatre’s artistic and arts engagement programs. Its nationally prominent Arts Engagement Department provides an array of participatory programs that make theatre matter to more people in neighborhoods throughout the region. Humanities programs at the Globe and around the city broaden the community’s understanding of theatre art in all its forms. The Globe also boasts a range of new play development programs with professional and community-based writers, as well as the renowned The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program. Numerous world premieres—such as 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Bright Star, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!—have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theatres across the country.

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