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Introducing The Boost

The Leah Ryan Fund is pleased to announce its new commission: The Boost, a new commission to be awarded to mid-career women, trans, and non-binary playwrights over 40 years old to give them, and their writing, a “boost” to help them reach the next level in their careers.

The Leah Ryan Fund created The Boost to support this much-deserved – and often underserved – group. The winner will receive $10,000 to write a new play in conversation with the work of Leah Ryan. For this, the inaugural year of The Boost, that work will be Leah’s play The Wire. The play will serve as inspiration, while also allowing applicants to create freely from Leah’s themes, characters, and style.

“I am thrilled that this new commission will put more talented writers in touch with the richness and depth of Leah’s writing. It is such a thoughtful way to honor her extraordinary body of work, and also shine a light on a talented mid-career writer by giving them vital support in crafting a new play,” said playwright and Leah Ryan Fund board member Cusi Cram.

Applications for the The Boost open September 18, 2023 and the application deadline is November 15, 2023 or until 150 applications are received. The winner will be announced by February 1, 2024 and the expectation is that the winning play will be submitted one year later – February 1, 2025. There will then be a reading of the commissioned play in the Spring 2025.

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Our Mission



The Leah Ryan Fund helps sustain and support writers facing individual challenges and systemic oppression so they can keep writing, connecting, creating, and thriving. The Fund currently offers an annual playwriting prize (The Leah) and an annual award for writers facing a serious illness (The Vladimir), and the newly created commission (The Boost).

The Leah Ryan Fund was established in 2008 to honor the memory of Leah Ryan, a woman of letters who wrote plays, poetry, essays, lyrics, adaptations, and collaborated with performance artists.