Announcing the 2019 Ensemble/Playwright Collaboration Grant to Cornerstone & Larissa FastHorse!


2019 Ensemble/Playwright Collaboration Grant from
Network of Ensemble Theaters and Playwrights’ Center
Awarded to Cornerstone Theater Company
and Playwright Larissa FastHorse


PORTLAND, OR & MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET) and Playwrights’ Center (PWC) are pleased to award the 2019 Ensemble/Playwright Collaboration Grant to Cornerstone Theater Company (Los Angeles, CA) and playwright Larissa FastHorse (Santa Monica, CA). The annual award is designed to support creative exchange and dialogue between ensembles and playwrights.

The 2019 award will support the grantees’ collaborative community engagement, script development, rehearsal, and performance of The Lakota Project. The community-generated and performed theatrical experience will be directed by Cornerstone’s Artistic Director Michael John Garcés and created through engagement with FastHorse’s Lakota communities of South Dakota. As the final part of a trilogy (following Cornerstone’s and FastHorse’s 2016 collaboration on Urban Rez in Los Angeles, and 2019 Native Nation in Arizona), The Lakota Project shifts the creative team’s process and focus to a rural context for the first time. The trilogy looks to synthesize the practices of conventional theater, contemporary engagement, and Indigenous art-making in experiences that are immersive, not for effect, but to create art that is of and for the community; that critiques and dismantles power structures while creating a sense of human collective; that is inclusive and embraces diversity; and that gives primacy to Indigenous voices. The collaboration will culminate in a 2020 production of The Lakota Project that blends culture, theater and community at three sites in South Dakota.

Now in its 9th year, the annual $4,000 Ensemble/Playwright Collaboration Grant is awarded jointly by NET and the Playwrights’ Center (Minneapolis, MN) through our partnership to support creative exchange, dialogue, and collaborative activities between NET ensemble members, and members of the Playwrights’ Center’s Core Writer Program. Past recipients include: Theater Grottesco and Andy Bragen (2011); Theatre Novi Most and Cory Hinkle (2012); Live Action Set and John Olive (2013); Team Sunshine Performance Corporation and Jenny Connell Davis (2014); The Satori Group and Susan Soon He Stanton (2015); SITI Company and Kate Tarker (2016); One Year Lease and Jason Gray Platt (2017); and Wonderlust Productions and Carlyle Brown (2018).


Cornerstone Theater Company -

Founded in 1986 as a traveling ensemble, Cornerstone Theater Company is a Los Angeles–based theatre company known for making new plays with and about communities. For over 30 years, Cornerstone has brought together an ensemble of professional artists of the highest caliber with people who would never think of themselves as artists to produce works of excellence based on the stories, concerns, and issues of a given communities. The company’s plays celebrate many voices, and are staged in theaters and in parking lots, in factories, schools, and subway stations. Striving to include people who have not been on stage or even seen theater, Cornerstone has taken up residence in small towns and urban neighborhoods, collaborating with locals from start to finish to tell their unique stories through theater.  By combining the artistry of people with many levels of theatrical experience, the company acts on the conviction that artistic expression is civic engagement, and that access to a creative forum is essential to the wellness and health of every individual and community.  Cornerstone is a founding member of the Network of Ensemble Theaters.

Larissa FastHorse

Larissa FastHorse is an award-winning playwright, director, and choreographer. She has received the PEN/USA Literary Award for Drama, NEA Distinguished New Play Development Grant, Joe Dowling Annamaghkerrig Fellowship, AATE Distinguished Play Award, Inge Residency, Sundance/Ford Foundation Fellowship, Aurand Harris Fellowship, and numerous Ford and NEA Grants. Larissa's produced plays include The Thanksgiving Play, Cow Pie Bingo, Urban Rez, Native Nation, Landless, Average Family, Teaching Disco Squaredancing to Our Elders: a Class Presentation, and Cherokee Family Reunion. She has written commissions for Yale Rep, Cornerstone Theater Company, Artist’s Rep Portland, Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, AlterTheater, Kennedy Center TYA, Native Voices at the Autry, Perseverance Theater Company, and Mountainside Theatre. She developed plays with Kansas City Rep, Artist’s Rep Portland, Arizona Theater Company, the Center Theatre Group Writer’s Workshop, and Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor. Larissa is a member of the Playwrights’ Center Core Writers, Playwright’s Union, Director’s Lab West 2015, and Theatre Communications Group board of directors, and is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Sicangu Lakota Nation.


A national community of ensembles and artists dedicated to collaborative creation, the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET) exists to propel ensemble theater practice to the forefront of culture and society. NET links a diverse array of ensembles and practitioners to one another and the performing arts field, encouraging collaborations and knowledge building/dissemination. NET is committed to the advancement of the ensemble form and strives to bring about change in the world beyond ourselves through the transformative power of collaborative theater. We support bold artistic and civic experiments and aim to heighten the impact and excellence of ensemble theater. For more information:


The Playwrights’ Center champions playwrights and new plays to build upon a living theater that demands new and innovative works. In addition to awarding some of the most generous fellowships for playwrights and theater artists in the United States, the Center is an industry leader in playwright-led development of new work, theater partnerships with substance, and online and onsite resources serving 2,100 member playwrights around the world. For more information:


Alisha Tonsic
Executive Director
Network of Ensemble Theaters
503-482-8638 /

Gregory Collins
Director of Marketing and Communications
Playwrights’ Center
612-332-7481 x1118 /

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Posted by: 
Friday, August 23, 2019

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