This programme was closed in 2005.
The Theatre Development Fund (TDF) was constituted from a grant from the Ford Foundation in 1996. The TDF was created with two mandates: i) to take on the responsibility for the theatre programme started by the Ford Foundation in the 1980s, including support for The Theatre Laboratory programme and the Seagull Theatre Quarterly, and ii) underwriting theatre related grants under India Foundation for the Arts’ own core programmes.
There were four important initiatives that were funded through the TDF; i) The Theatre Laboratory was conceived to help theatre groups become influential centres of theatrical research and creativity in their respective regions; ii) The Management Development initiative was developed to design workshops that enabled theatre groups to address questions on organisational culture and governance and initiate processes of professional management; iii) The Institutional Development initiative was envisioned to enable theatre groups build sustainable institutional capabilities, launch appropriate management systems and seek professional advice for skills in media relations, audience development and income generation; and iv) Theatre Documentation and Publication, to help strengthen theatre documentation and publication in India, mainly by supporting the publication of Seagull Theatre Quarterly by the Seagull Foundation for the Arts.
Between 1996 and 2005 the TDF supported seven projects, disbursing Rs 2.08 crore to the field.
With some of these initiatives coming to a natural closure, in 2005 IFA received permission from the Ford Foundation to use this fund and the interest generated by it, to support the making of performances that are breaking boundaries of practice, and the New Performance programme was born in 2005.