The Boost

The Boost - a new commission

This new commission – The Boost – will be awarded to women, trans, and non-binary playwrights age 40 or over who have an ongoing practice. The winner will receive $10,000 to write a new play in conversation with a work by Leah Ryan. Applicants should think of Leah’s work as a prompt, taking inspiration and creating freely from her themes, characters, or any other aspects of her writing. 

The Board of the Leah Ryan Fund has chosen Leah’s play The Wire as the prompt for the Boost’s inaugural year. 


Application Opens: September 18, 2023 

Application Deadline: November 15, 2023 or until 150 applications are received

Winner announced: February 1, 2024

Play delivered: February 1, 2025

Reading of the commissioned play: Spring 2025


At this time, an eligible applicant for the Boost is a woman, trans, and/or non-binary playwright age 40 or over who has had at least one production performed in front of a paying audience OR a script published by an established/known publishing/licensing house.

Application requirements:

– A two-page project summary in which the writer describes the play they intend to write, and answers the question: what about Leah’s play The Wire inspired your idea for this play? 

– CV / production history

– Fifteen pages of a work that best represents your voice. (This does not need to be the first fifteen pages of the work, just the pages you feel are the strongest).

– One reference (someone who can speak about your work as a playwright and theater maker – a letter is not needed.)

The winner will receive:

—$10,000 ($6K at time of commission, $4K on completion)

—A workshop and a reading of the new play

About Leah’s play The Wire

The Wire is about a family of high wire circus act performers all of whom, at one time or another have had the dream, the nightmare really, about “being up on the high wire in front of thousands of people. In the dream, you start to fall. Then everyone else starts to fall. And then you wake up. Or else, you don’t. And if you manage to survive, perhaps even the simple act of setting foot on the floor will seem impossible.

If you have any questions please contact Project Coordinator Dev Bondarin at