Every year the John D. and Catherine T. McArthur Foundation awards a $500,000 fellowship grant to people who "show exceptional merit and promise for continued and enhanced creative work" in any field. Other than that there are no other requirements - nor are there any requirements on what the individuals do with the money. The winners are made by anonymous nominations and selected by a small committee.
This year 25 grants were awarded. Representing the theater is Jennifer Tipton the legendary lighting designer. She won the 1977 Tony for The Cherry Orchard and the 1989 Tony for Jerome Robbins' Broadway. Tipton was a professor of lighting design at the Yale School of Drama.
Past notable winners include:
Lee Breur (1997) Playwright
Richard Foreman (1996)Director
John Jesurun (1996)Playwright
Elizabeth LeCompte (1996) Director
Lynn Nottage (2007) Playwright
Han Ong (1997)Playwright
Sarah Ruhl (2006)Playwright
Anna Deavere Smith (1996)Playwright
Naomi Wallace (1999) Playwright
Mary Zimmerman (1998) Director and Adapter