The Humana Foundation has increased the amount of money it will give to Actors Theatre for the Humana Festival of New American Plays to the highest level in the festival’s history.

It costs Actors Theatre about $1.5 million to put on the festival, and the Humana Foundation will be contributing almost half of that. The foundation will contribute $700,000 toward the festival each year for the next three years. That’s a $25,000 annual increase over the previous award.

Actors Theatre Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein says she and the staff are grateful for the gift and that they place a priority on getting the most out of every contributed dollar.

“Compared to our peer organizations who have the same size operating budget as us, we produce double the number of plays that they produce, so we’re highly efficient with every dollar that we spend,” she says.

Bielstein says the theatre reduces costs with the help of more than a thousand volunteers and through its intern and apprentice programs. The festival also receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. Bielstein says Actors Theatre’s goal is to break even on the Humana Festival each year.