The announcement was made in New Haven, Conn., but the news has Minneapolis origins: Yale University revealed Thursday that it had received a "transformational" $18 million gift to support the creation of new plays and musicals throughout the country.

The money, from the Minneapolis-based Robina Foundation, endows the Binger Center for New Theatre. It is named for James H. Binger, the late Twin Cities lawyer, financier, theater lover and philanthropist who once owned five Broadway playhouses. 

The gift, which includes a $15 milion endowment, will support works at Yale and elsewhere. It follows earlier investments. The foundation gave $2.85 million in 2008 to establish the Yale Center for New Theatre, now to be renamed the Binger Center. Robina gave an additional $950,000 to Yale in 2010, bringing its total to $21.8 million.

"This gift is fundamentally an investment in creativity, and in the exciting and important role that theatre plays in the human experience," Peter Karoff said in a statement on behalf of the foundation. "We hope our gift will inspire other donors to be bold, to be transformative, and to invest deeply in all of the arts at organizations and institutions across the country.” 


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