Doris Duke Foundation awards $125,000 for 'Benediction'

Kent Haruf

The photo above shows a page from the memorial held for Kent Haruf in Salida last year.

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has awarded the DCPA Theatre Company a $125,000 grant to directly support its upcoming world premiere production of Benediction, which will finish the trilogy of plays based on the novels of Kent Haruf. The grant also designates funds to commission playwright Eric Schmiedl for his next play — which would be his fifth with the DCPA Theatre Company.

The purpose of the grant is to support the commissioning and production of a new work by an American playwright, and to help companies nurture continuing relationships with individual playwrights.

“We are honored that the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has selected the Theatre Company for this generous grant,” said Producing Artistic Director Kent Thompson. “And we are thrilled to have the resources to continue our long-term commitment to this gifted playwright.”

The grant is administered through the foundation’s new “Theatre Commissioning and Production Initiative.”

“We are thrilled to support the DCPA Theatre Company in their exciting, ongoing collaboration with Eric Schmeidl,” said Ben Cameron, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Program Director for the Arts. “Through this new larger initiative, the foundation aims to help address the historically poor compensation of playwrights, to encourage long-term relationships between theaters and writers, and to support the production of plays that serve theaters’ nonprofit missions, even if such plays do not have immediate commercial appeal.”

For more information on the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, please visit

Benediction runs January 30 through March 1, 2015 in the Space Theatre at the DCPA.

Hailed a “masterful look at the end of life” by The Denver Post, this stage adaptation of Kent Haruf’s best-selling novel again takes audiences to the high plains of Colorado. Benediction focuses on three central characters searching for meaningful connections despite separation, loneliness and a race against time. 

Benediction: Ticket information
Performances run Jan. 30 through March 1
Space Theatre
Performances daily except Mondays
Call 303-893-4100, or go to the Denver Center’s web site at

Our previous coverage of Benediction:
DCPA to celebrate Kent Haruf on Feb. 7
Bittersweet opening for ‘Benediction’ rehearsals
Kent Haruf, author of ‘Plainsong’ Trilogy, dies at age 71
Kent Haruf: The complete final interview
Kent Thompson on the 2014-15 season, play by play
2014 Colorado New Play Summit will complete ‘Plainsong’ trilogy
Video: ‘Benediction’ reading at the 2014 Colorado New Play Summit

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