NBC UNIVERSAL'S TALENT DIVERSITY INITIATIVE EXPANDS HORIZONS WITH NEW FIRST-LOOK DEAL WITH NEW YORK'S CELEBRATED ARS NOVA
UNIVERSAL CITY, CALIF. - March 23, 2009 -- As part of NBC Universal's ongoing Talent Diversity Initiative, NBC has entered a first-look deal with Ars Nova, New York's premier artistic hub dedicated to new work in theater, comedy and music. Ars Nova is committed to the development of emerging diverse talent, and will aid NBCU in identifying and meeting with diverse talent, including writers and performers, who develop artistic material at the theater.
NBCU casting executives and development will seek out new TV talent at the theater, which presents ongoing performance series with play readings, music performances and alternative comedy.
"We are proud to begin what we know will be a rewarding association with Ars Nova," said Grace Wu, Senior Vice President, Casting, NBC Entertainment. "This arrangement will further enhance our efforts to promote diversity at NBC Universal."
"Working in tandem with Ars Nova will expand our outreach to add new voices to our organic diversity campaign," said Kendra Carter, Director of Diversity Initiatives, NBC Universal. "This underscores our commitment to provide a full spectrum of opportunities for talented actors, writers, comedians and musicians who might not have a viable outlet for their work to be showcased."
Ars Nova offers a diverse range of programming, which includes: the "Out Loud" play reading series; the "Uncharted" live music series; and "Tragedy Tomorrow," for alternative comedy. Ars Nova also nurtures the next generation of writers through its selective playwrights group, "Play Group."
Ars Nova founders and Executive Producers Jon Steingart and Jenny Wiener Steingart and Artistic Director Jason Eagan have created a theater space producing some of the best and most talked-about alternative comedy and innovative theater on the New York scene. "It's been gratifying to see that many of the artists who began at Ars Nova have gone on to success in film, television and theater. This arrangement with NBC Universal will provide new opportunities to our deep pool of talent," said Steingart.
Eagan said, "Our programming allows for a diverse slate of artists and projects. We know some of these will translate to television and this partnership with NBC Universal gives our artists a significant option to explore."
Ars Nova has nurtured such talents as Lin-Manuel Miranda, star, creator and composer of the hit Broadway musical "In the Heights," writers Beau Willimon and Liz Meriwether, writer/director Scott Sanders of the Sundance Film Festival hit "Black Dynamite," and comedian Jack McBrayer of NBC's "30 Rock."