Monk Funds Ambitious Play

Jennifer Schuessler writes for the Artsbeat weblog of The New York Times:

An actor and stage manager turned Episcopal monk who pledged last year to give away much of his $153 million Powerball jackpot to support the performing arts has made his first grant — to a theatrical production as improbable as his own story.

The Goodman Theater in Chicago announced last week that its 2015-16 season would include a five-hour adaptation of Roberto Bolaño’s 900-page novel, “2666,” underwritten by a grant from the Roy Cockrum Foundation. The foundation was established to support projects at nonprofit theaters that “reach beyond their normal scope of activities and undertake ambitious and creative productions.”

Mr. Cockrum, 58, has emerged as one of the more unusual donors in American theater. He studied acting at Northwestern University in Chicago and worked as an actor and stage manager for television and theater in various cities before entering the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Cambridge, Mass., an Episcopal monastery where he took vows of poverty, in 2003.

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