Palm Beach Dramaworks

Maurer Family Foundation to Sponsor Palm Beach Dramaworks’
New Year/New Plays Festival
with Gift of $90,000
(Monday, August 8, 2022) West Palm Beach, Fla. – Palm Beach Dramaworks Producing Artistic Director William Hayes and Managing Director Sue Ellen Beryl announced today that the Maurer Family Foundation will underwrite the New Year/New Plays Festival for the next three years, with a gift of $90,000. The fifth annual festival is set for January 5-8, 2023. 

“We are so grateful to the Maurer Family Foundation, which has had a deep and abiding commitment to supporting arts and culture of all kinds for more than 25 years,” said Beryl. “Their belief in Palm Beach Dramaworks and their generous gift mean a great deal to us.”

“Palm Beach Dramaworks deeply impressed us with their dedication, and with the bootstrap way that Bill and Sue Ellen built the company,” said Gilbert C. Maurer, co-founder of the foundation. “They created something deeply serious. The Maurer Family Foundation believes that culture plays an important role in the life of communities, and that the arts are essential to growing communities like West Palm Beach. We think that Palm Beach Dramaworks has an important and growing role to play in South Florida’s cultural life, and we wish to join our name, our efforts, and our funding to help forward their enterprises.”

The New Year/New Plays Festival was launched in 2018 under the auspices of The Dramaworkshop, PBD’s lab for developing new plays. Five promising, evolving plays receive readings by professional actors on PBD’s mainstage, followed by audience feedback – an integral step for playwrights as they continue to refine their work. Due to the pandemic, the festival was presented online for the past two seasons. One of PBD’s most popular initiatives, the festival returns to the theatre and in-person audiences in 2023.

“We are thrilled that actors, audiences, and playwrights will be sharing the same space for next year’s festival, because nothing compares to the communal experience,” said Hayes. “What the Maurer Family Foundation’s generosity enables us to do is take the event to the next level. The funding makes it possible for us to have more rehearsal time and gives us the ability, should the need arise, to bring in artists from anywhere in the country. Previously, the festival didn’t have the budget to fly actors in, house them, and provide transportation. For those reasons and so many others, this gift is a game-changer.” 

To learn more about the Maurer Family Foundation, visit
Palm Beach Dramaworks is a professional, nonprofit theatre company founded in 2000 and located in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach. Each season, the award-winning company produces five mainstage shows and offers a wide variety of programs for students at the theatre, in schools, and online. Committed to fostering the future of theatre, PBD has become a hub for playwrights in Florida and around the country to nurture their work through initiatives including Drama(in the)works and the annual New Year/New Plays Festival. PBD is a member of Theatre Communications Group, Florida Professional Theatres Association, and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.
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