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TDF is the largest not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts in the United States.


TDF Research & Audience Dev. Resources


To contact TDF Research

Email or call (212) 912-9770 ext. 100














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HowlRound is committed to modeling a commons-based approach to advancing the health and impact of the not-for-profit theater



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Read about Counting New Beans on


New York, NY; August 22, 2013 -- Theatre Development Fund (TDF) and Theatre Bay Area (TBA) are pleased to announce that they have received a grant in the amount of $78,750 from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Fund for National Projects to support a consortium project, Triple Play.

Triple Play will explore the crucial relationship between playwrights and other generative artists, theatres and audiences. This exploration aspires to create a paradigm shift in the way the field thinks about audiences and the way audiences experience new work, and in so doing will help to restore theatre's relevance as a national art form.

Listen to excerpts from the HowlRound Live Stream in Washington, DC, Friday, February  7, 2014



When TDF was founded in 1968, the serious new play on Broadway was in jeopardy.  John Booth, one of TDF's founders and its first president, said that a primary motivation for the fund was the realization that rising costs had caused producers to become risk-averse, stating in the announcement article, "We cannot permit the worthy play to become extinct."   That conviction has been in the organization's DNA from that point on. 

And finally, Todd London and Ben Pesner have written Outrageous Fortune, the Life and Times of the New American Play.   It is our deep hope that the book will be both a culmination and a beginning.  It is the culmination of years of work and the beginning of a new conversation.  If you would like to purchase the book, click the "Buy Now" link at the top right of this page.

Read about Outrageous Fortune



From philosophical to practical, the role of the audience in the performing arts has been parsed, debated, and interrogated left, right, and center. This is the central concern editor Clayton Lord has unleashed in the sprawling database that is Theatre Bay Area’s recent publication Counting New Beans, an almost-five-hundred-page compilation of essays, research, and statistics that attempts to measure the intrinsic impact of live theater.

Counting New Beans





Infinia report






In the fall of 2008, Theatre Development  Fund commissioned the Infinia Group to do a study examining barriers to theatre participation among New Yorkers. TDF was interested in understanding the forces at work that were keeping New Yorkers from attending the theatre.  We needed these insights to be able to create new programs which would be effective in building audiences.  The study involved quantitative surveys and qualitative (focus groups, in home meetings) research as well as a culture scan. At left read an extract from the findings.