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In March 2018, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation gifted $250,000 to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television to create the groundbreaking Hearst Theater Lab Initiative. The donation was in keeping with a series of innovative ventures created by former Dean Teri Schwartz, in partnership with faculty and donors, to support UCLA TFT’s central vision as a pre-eminent storytelling school — one whose mission is educating and developing a new generation of diverse, humanistic artists, industry leaders and scholars to use the power of story to not only entertain, but to enlighten, engage and inspire change for a better world.

In alignment with the School’s vision and mission, the Hearst gift is designed to advance UCLA TFT’s Department of Theater as a destination for playwriting excellence and funds three pillars:

The Distinguished Playwright-in-Residence Program
The Distinguished Playwright-in-Residence program allows award-winning playwrights from around the world to be in residence at UCLA TFT to develop and showcase exciting new works and to give dynamic master classes to students. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel was the school’s first Distinguished Playwright-in-Residence in academic year 2018-19.


Nilo Cruz (Anna in the Tropics)

Paula Vogel (Indecent)

Funding the Playwriting Season
The Hearst gift funds the annual undergraduate and graduate student playwriting season, strengthening opportunities for playwriting students to develop and showcase their works and to advance UCLA TFT’s educational mission to develop the next generation of diverse humanistic storytellers.

Grants for Faculty
UCLA TFT’s award-winning Department of Theater faculty are supported by grants from the Hearst gift to develop and showcase new plays and works-in-progress.

For nearly 50 years, the Hearst Foundation has been a dedicated supporter of UCLA and UCLA TFT. It has a rich history of working with educational institutions that demonstrate uncommon success in preparing students to thrive in a global society.