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2021: New York City
Zi Alikhan (He/Him, New York, NY) is a queer, first-generation South Asian-American, culturally Muslim theatre director, educator, and leader. Zi is currently the inaugural Artistic Directing Fellow at Artists Repertory Theatre, where he serves as the first Director of DNA: Oxygen, an affinity space and creative hub dedicated to the development and production of new work generated by, led by, and featuring artists of color. DIRECTING: Manik Choksi’s The Ramayan (currently in development at Ars Nova), Ragtime (Playmakers Rep), Lady Apsara (filmed for Prospect Theatre Co), The Flick and Red Speedo (Juilliard), and development at Playwrights Horizons, LCT3, New York Stage and Film, and The Playwrights Realm. RESIDENT/ASSOCIATE: Hamilton, The Band’s Visit, The Rose Tattoo, and Six Degrees of Separation. ALUM: Drama League Directors Project, Soho Rep Lab, Ars Nova Makers Lab, MTC Alper Fellowship, NYU/Tisch. UPCOMING: The Great Leap with Portland Center Stage and Artists Rep. https://www.zialikhan.com/
Sivan Battat (She/They, New York, NY) is an Iraqi-Jewish theatre director & community organizer. Sivan’s work is across genres - in the theatre, in community, in ritual celebration, and beyond. They create work that leans into multiplicity and resists cultural erasure, exploring displacement across immigrant experiences, asking questions about nostalgia and home. Recent projects include: Layalina (National Queer Theater), The Night Traveller (Cutting Ball Theater), Coexistence My Ass (Harvard University/Tour), Baba Karam, McArabia (Atlantic Middle Eastern Mixfest), East o’, West o’! (ANTFest, Ars Nova). Fellowships/Residencies: Roundabout Theatre Company (Directing Fellow), Drama League (Leo Shull Musical Directing Fellow), NYTW (Adelphi Residency), National Queer Theater (Mount Tremper Arts Residency), 14th Street Y (LABA Fellowship), Studio Theatre (Artistic Apprentice). Sivan works with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) specifically organizing Mizrahi & Sephardi Jews, and ritual events. Sivan has curated several iterations of Salon Al-Mahjar صالون المهجر, a performance salon for queer & trans MENASA artists, leads ancestral storytelling workshops, and serves on the board with Ammud: the Jews of Color Torah Academy. Sivan seeks to bridge justice work and cultural work, bringing the power of performance to our movements, and the vision of movement work to our theaters. https://www.sivanbattat.com/
Adam Coy (He/Him, New York, NY) is a Tejano director, curator of vibes (producer), and actor based in New York City, originally from San Antonio. He currently serves on The Fled’s leadership circle and is the Associate Artistic Director of The Egg & Spoon Theatre Collective. Recent Directing: The Aliens (Syracuse University), You Don’t Deserve to Die (Invited Dress Podcast), Zabelle, Crave (E&S). SDC Foundation Observer: Mojada (Chay Yew, The Public Theater). Acting: The Fre, Southern Promises, Fill,Fill,Fill,Fill,Fill,Fill,Fill (The Flea); Lilia (New Dramatists), Romeo and Juliet (Westport Country Playhouse), Young Playwrights Project (Chautauqua Theater Company). Adam is a member of Theater Producers of Color: Producing 101 inaugural cohort, the 2018-19 SDC Foundation Observership Class, and an SDC Associate Member. BFA in Acting, Syracuse University. Upcoming Porjects: Egg & Spoon's Incubation Series and Chopp it Up with Chef John Capers. https://www.adamcoy.com/
Rebecca Martinez (She/Her, Brooklyn, NY) is an award-winning director and choreographer, ensemble member of Sojourn Theatre and the BOLD Associate Artistic Director of WP Theater. Affiliations: Sol Project Collective, Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, INTAR’s Unit52, SDCF Observer, Latinx Theatre Commons Advisory Committee, 2019 Audrey Resident, New Georges Affiliated Artist, 2018-2020 WP Lab, 2017 Drama League Directing Fellow, Member of SDC, and artist with Center for Performance and Civic Practice. She is the recipient of two Drammy Awards for Outstanding Choreography (Portland, Oregon), a Henry Award for Outstanding Direction (Colorado) and the Lilla Jewel Award for Women Artists. Rebecca is based in Lenapehoking aka Brooklyn, NY, and originally from the lands of the Arapaho, Cheyenne and Ute peoples aka Denver, Colorado with deep ancestral roots in the Southwest. https://www.rebeccamartinez.org/
Liz Morgan (She/Her, Bronx, NY) is the Director of Training & Pedagogy at Theatre of the Oppressed NYC where she facilitates creative advocacy work and trains practitioners all over the world in social justice theatre techniques. Her original work includes Deliver: Letters to the Motherland from a Foreign Body (Kilroys Honorable Mention) and The Clark Doll which was featured at the Deep Water Literary Festival and nominated for a Drammy Award in the category of Best Original Script after its premiere. Other theatrical honors include the 2017 Torchbearer for Black Theatre Award, Playwrights Realm Writing Fellowship (Semi-Finalist) and the New Works Lab at Stratford (Semi-Finalist). Before leaving to help form “The Fled,” a collective rooted in anti-racist values, Liz was also a resident writer at The Flea. Her acting credits range from Hollywood film to experimental theatre and include her performance with Ntozake Shange on the legend’s choreopoem, Lost in Language and Sound. She is proud to have served on A.R.T./New York’s Body Autonomy Leadership Council and looks forward to collaborating more with her classmates from Columbia Law & Broadway Advocacy Coalition’s Theatre of Change program. MFA: Brown/Trinity Rep Acting. http://www.lizmorganonline.com/
Rudy Ramirez (They/Them, Brooklyn, NY) is a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist, arts educator, and facilitator. They are presently a Consulting Director of Antiracism Initiatives for Theatre for Young Audiences/USA. Rudy is also a current teaching artist with Ping Chong + Co, and has served similarly at other organizations like Seattle Children’s Theatre, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Childsplay, and others. Recently, they were a founding member of the BIPOC in TYA Advisory Board and project curator for ANTI-RACIST & ANTI-OPPRESSIVE FUTURES FOR THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES: AN INTERACTIVE GUIDE. They are a member of Actors' Equity and have performed both regionally and on national tours. Rudy believes in the transformative power of art, theatre, and storytelling. They live and create and dream on unceded Lenape Land.
Danica Rodriguez (She/Her, New York, NY) is a New York casting director & theatermaker who is dedicated to centering & celebrating the voices of the global majority. Danica has worked at Marc Hirschfeld Casting, Warner Brothers Television Casting NY and most recently The Public Theater’s casting department, under Jordan Thaler & Heidi Griffiths. Danica’s core values of generosity & equity led her to her role as trainer & educator for Broadway for Racial Justice’s Casting Directive. As a proud Puerto Rican & Mexican-American woman, she believes inclusivity is a radical act and chooses to uplift the voices of BIPOC, Trans folks & Queer artists. Danica has also taken on projects connected to Netflix, LALIFF, & The Civilians, bringing her keen eye to a multitude of artistic mediums. As a freelance casting director, she has been invited to speak at The Playwrights Realm & Roundabout Theater Company. Danica holds a Bachelor of Arts with distinction in Film & Media Studies from Dartmouth College. https://www.danicarodriguez.com/
Gaven Trinidad (He/Him/Siya, New York, NY) is a first-generation Filipinx American theatremaker, illustrator, and educator from NYC. His artistic work examines the intersections of race, language, immigration, queerness, ritual, community, and futurity. He taught undergraduate courses on the work of contemporary BIPOC playwrights at the University of Massachusetts Amherst under the mentorship of Dr. Priscilla Page. He continues to teach social justice and intergenerational theatre as a member of the Education Team at New York Theatre Workshop. He's had the privilege to collaborate with folx in various positions at places such as The Juilliard Drama Division, Musical Theatre Factory, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, and National Queer Theater. Selected dramaturgy credits: PreP Play, or Blue Parachute (National Queer Theater), June is the First Fall (Yantze Repertory Theater), Collidescope 2.0 (Ping Chong + Company). Directing credits: Joker (National Queer Theater), Are You There Truman? (Pride Plays, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater). Upcoming: Sa Aming Puso (Global Forms Theatre Festival, Rattestick Playwrights Theater, New York Theatre Salon). B.A. American Studies, Dickinson College; M.F.A. Dramaturgy + Graduate Certificate in Woman, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Proud former public-school teacher in Memphis, TN. He is the Community Engagement Associate at New York Theatre Workshop. https://www.gaventrinidadtheatre.com/
2020: New York City
Tahnia Belle | New York, NY
Tahnia is a Haitian-American arts administrator, cultural producer and actor. For 20 years Tahnia has managed social impact and leadership development projects for nonprofit institutions. Her career spans the fields of international programs, higher education scholarship management, small business consulting and the arts. Tahnia is Director of Operations & Special Projects for Urban Bush Women (UBW) and co-founder of SunnEvents & Consulting, a socially conscious events company. Tahnia is passionate about contributing to a vision of the field that includes sustainable organizations of color producing values-based work supported by administrators who represent them and in partnership build values-aligned infrastructure, processes and systems. She is an alum of the UBW Summer Leadership Institute, member of Artists Co-Creating Real Equity (ACRE) and Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA). BA in Geography & Africana Studies, Hunter College; MPA in Nonprofit Management, University of Colorado/Denver.
Kareem Fahmy | New York, NY
Kareem Fahmy is a Canadian-born director, playwright, and cultural consultant of Egyptian descent. Fellowships/Residencies: Sundance Theatre Lab, Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Phil Killian Directing Fellow), Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center/National New Play Network (National Directors Fellow), Second Stage (Van Lier Directing Fellow), Soho Rep (Writer/Director Lab), Lincoln Center (Directors Lab), New York Theater Workshop (Emerging Artist Fellow & Usual Suspect). Kareem is the co-founder of the Middle Eastern American Writers Lab at The Lark and of Maia Directors, a consulting group for organizations and artists engaging with stories from the Middle East and beyond. MFA in Directing: Columbia University. www.KareemFahmy.com
Lanxing Fu | Brooklyn, NY/Canarsee land, Lenapehoking
Lanxing Fu is a Chinese-American theater artist and co-director of Superhero Clubhouse, an interdisciplinary community engaged in theater-making to shift culture towards climate and environmental justice. With SHC: playwright and co-creator of Mammelephant (The New Ohio / HERE Arts Center), program director of The Living Stage NYC (University Settlement / Meltzer Senior Center), and co-creator of PLUTO (no longer a play), (The Brick) and JUPITER (a play about power), (La MaMa). She is lead teaching artist with Big Green Theater (Bushwick Starr/SHC). Workshop facilitator and speaker on eco-theater: The New School, Asian American Arts Alliance, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, CESTEMER, and more. BA Theatre Arts & BA Humanities, Science, Environment from Virginia Tech. www.superheroclubhouse.org
Miranda Haymon | Brooklyn, NY
Miranda Haymon is a Princess Grace Award/Honoraria-winning director, writer and deviser of performance. Their recent projects include Really, Really Gorgeous (The Tank), Everybody (Sarah Lawrence College), In the Penal Colony (Next Door @ NYTW, The Tank) and Mondo Tragic (National Black Theater). Their theatre is radically inclusive, fundamentally multi-voiced, oriented towards sparking dialogue and in direct conversation with the current American state of affairs. Miranda is a graduate of Wesleyan University where they double majored in German Studies and Theater and were awarded the Rachel Henderson Theater Prize in Directing. Upcoming: Exception to the Rule (Roundabout Underground). www.mirandahaymon.com
Jasmine Johnson | Brooklyn, NY
Jasmine Johnson (she/her) is a theatre producer passionate about building platforms to uplift the voices of traditionally underrepresented artists. She is currently the Associate Producer in the Live division of Bad Robot Productions; a new branch within the LA-based company that develops new theatre productions and live experiences. Prior to joining Bad Robot, she served as the Artistic Production Associate at Manhattan Theatre Club where she bridged the producing and literary departments through designing new artistic development initiatives while fostering new institutional relationships with emerging artists of color. Previous work includes various positions at the Williamstown Theatre Festival where she oversaw administration of the 2020 L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award. She was named one of Theatre Communication Group’s 2020 Rising Leaders of Color and holds a BFA in Theatre from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Jasmine is a proud native of Atlanta, Georgia and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Peter Kim | Brooklyn, NY
Peter Kim is an accomplished actor and award-winning producer in New York City. Select theatre credits include the New York premieres of Wild Goose Dreams (Public Theater), Kung Fu (Signature Theatre), Maple & Vine (Playwrights Horizon) and Year Zero (2ST) as well as Thoroughly Modern Millie on Broadway. Select Film & TV credits include Universal’s BROS (upcoming), The Forty-Year-Old Version (Sundance Film Festival, US Dramatic Competition Directing Award), Saturday Church (Tribeca Film Festival, Audience Award), Margin Call, Sex and the City, Hackers, “After Forever”, “Chicago Med”, “Louie”, “Ugly Betty”, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”. As Creative Producer of NAATCO, the company has received OBIE awards and Drama League and Drama Desk Award nominations. He is a Steering Committee Member of AAPAC and a Lecturer in Theater at Princeton University. He holds an MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama & BFA from NYU. @peterkimpeterkim
A'shanti Tyree | New York, NY
A’shanti Tyree is an artist and arts administrator with a keen interest in development. As the Individual Giving Manager at Manhattan Theatre Club, she helps strengthen existing donor relationships while discovering other theatre-lovers to support the work of established and emerging playwrights. She holds a BFA in Theatre with a minor in producing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. When she’s not fundraising, she can be found reading, writing and sharing her soulful vocals at venues all over NYC.
Victor Vazquez | New York, NY
Victor Vazquez (he/him/his) is the founder of X Casting NYC. Through a shared purpose towards collective liberation and anti-racism in all its processes, X Casting reimagines the art of casting. He served as resident Casting Director and Line Producer at Arena Stage in Washington D.C. for three seasons. Previous employment includes: Center Theatre Group, Pasadena Playhouse, Cornerstone Theatre Company. Vazquez holds a master’s degree (with distinction) from the University of Oxford in dramatic writing, and is a member of the Casting Society of America. Originally from Compton, California, he is the proud son of Mexican immigrants and Spanish is his first language. He lives and works in New York City. www.xcastingnyc.com
2019: Miami, FL | New York, NY
Christina N. Alexander | Executive Director, Voices United, Inc | Miami, FL
Alexander has a passion for addressing Diversity and Tolerance issues in both her work and everyday life. Her academic research has focused on chronicling Black American Music from the Slave Era to its present forms and its impact on the American Musical Culture. She founded the South Florida Kids Choir, a program for performers interested in quality vocal and musical theater training. Her original theatrical piece HATE: An American Love Story addresses issues of gender, sexuality, race, and faith. Presently, her work is centered on bridging the arts and education and not shying away from conversations about EDI.
Jordana De La Cruz | Co-Director, JACK | Brooklyn, NY
Cruz is a Brooklyn-based director and creative producer who connects artists, activists, and neighbors in cross-cultural dialogue to expand the concept of community and question what it means to be free. In winter 2019, De La Cruz was appointed Co-Director of the OBIE Award-winning performance space, JACK. Before joining JACK, she held positions at The Story Pirates, Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company, 52nd Street Project, and INTAR Theatre. Most recently, as Program Manager of Park Avenue Armory, De La Cruz was instrumental in the creation of the institution’s Public Programs Series.
Gabriela Gutierrez | Production Manager, Signature Theatre | Brooklyn, NY
Gutierrez is the current Production Manager at Signature Theatre. She is a Chilean immigrant who moved to Miami at the age of 12 and is currently living in New York City. Gabriela graduated with a B.F.A in stage management from the University of Central Florida. In addition to her current position at Signature, she is also part of their EDI committee, and will take over as co-leader starting in the summer. With Gabriela’s involvement, specifically in the hiring/recruitment/onboarding process, Signature has created and is working on new and ongoing EDI initiatives.
Jazmin Jones-Oliver | Theater/Facility Manager, African Heritage Cultural Arts Center | Miami, FL
Jones-Oliver is the Theater Director/Facility Manager at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, the nucleus of arts training for African Americans in Miami. She is also the Artistic Director of the African Heritage Youth Theatre, where she trains young thespians ages 9-17. Understanding that students can only achieve what they see, Jazmin’s main goal has been to expose her students to the arts. So when she is not in rehearsal, you may her find her and about twenty students in any theater house in Miami-Dade County. At home, Jazmin enjoys watching reruns of “The Big Bang Theory” with her husband.
Reynaldi Lindner Lolong | Associate Director of Digital Engagement, The Public Theater | New York, NY
Lindner Lolong is the Associate Director of Digital Engagement for The Public Theater, where he focuses on the strategic intersection of digital content, social media, and email communications. He has been a frequent presenter at the Tessitura Conference, speaking on a variety of subjects including revenue strategy, organizational collaboration, and community engagement. He has also been a guest lecturer at Julliard, and a grant panelist for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Reynaldi has his B.A. in Arts Marketing from San Francisco State University, and an M.F.A. in Theater Management from the Yale School of Drama.
Niurca Márquez | Director | Miami, FL
Márquez is an artist/researcher working in film, site-specific work, and staged performance. Her work continuously examines the many intersections of roots and creation in flamenco informed by contemporary marginal practices in dance and theater, and is particularly interested in notions of identity, cultural memory and ritual, and the multiple layers of communication and understanding in the form that lead to liaisons with political and social discourse. She is Director of Cultural Arts Exchange, an organization dedicated to expanding the conversation and offerings of the arts community in South Florida and the Caribbean.
Cristina Pla-Guzman | Contributing Editor for Miami, BroadwayWorld.com | Hialeah, FL
Pla-Guzman writes for BroadwayWorld.com as a Contributing Editor for Miami, Florida. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in Theatre and earned her Masters’ in Special Education from St. Thomas University. She was honored with the Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award in 2016. Cristina also was awarded Educator of the Year, the Cervantes Educator from Nova South Eastern University, the Varsity Brands National Top-Notch Teacher where her program was nominated for Performing Arts Achievement and the Spirit of Inclusion. For the last fifteen years, she has dedicated her life to theatre education. Currently, she is the Upper School Theatre Teacher at Miami Country Day School.
Erik J. Rodriguez | Director of New Work, Miami New Drama | Miami Beach, FL
Rodriguez is extremely happy to be chosen by the TCG as a Rising Leader of Color. Erik has been the Director of New Work and Community Relations at Miami New Drama since January 2018. He was also Literary Manager of New Theatre from 2014-2016. Some of his production credits include Body Awareness (Actor, Island City Stage), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Actor, What If Works) and Not Ready for Primetime (Playwright, New Theatre). Erik has produced One Act Festivals in South Florida and Line Produced the National New Play Network 2015 Showcase at the South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center.
Vyana Rodríguez Preti | Director of Education, Miami New Drama | Miami Beach, FL
Rodríguez Preti is a Venezuelan theater director, writer, and educational & community leader. Her interest in theatre, community and social change has brought her to found a theatre school for kids and teenagers in Petare, one of the most dangerous favelas in Latin America, in 2011. During her tenure, over 300 students, most of them living in extreme poverty, graduated from the program – completely free of cost to them. She is also the writer of several children’s plays, where she explore issues as gender, inclusion and coexistence. In 2019, Miami New Drama gave Vyana the opportunity to become Director of Education to continue and expand their Educational Program.
Alyssa Simmons | Assistant General Manager, The Public Theater | New York, NY
Simmons is a creative producer and manager. She currently serves as the Assistant General Manager at The Public Theater where her primary responsibility is the Under The Radar Festival. Her interests run the gamut from devised performance to new plays to musicals to immersive experiences and live events. She is a woman of two cities: her hometown of Los Angeles and her adopted city of New York. She is a member of the 2018-2020 WP Theater Producers Lab and produced the 2018 Prelude Festival. BA, Yale University; MFA in Theater Management, Yale School of Drama.
2018: St. Louis, MO | New York, NY
Sophie Ancival | Assistant Producer | New York, NY
Ancival is the outgoing Producing Fellow at Manhattan Theatre Club, having worked on Broadway and Off-Broadway productions including Saint Joan, In the Body of the World and Sugar in our Wounds. A producer of Afro-Caribbean decent, Sophie’s work focuses on giving theatre access to a larger audience, caring especially for equity, diversity and inclusion. Sophie holds a MBA from the Baruch College at the City University of New York and has a background in Marketing. Following her fellowship at MTC, Sophie is transferring to the American Repertory Theater as their new Assistant Producer.
Rosalind Early | Writer | St. Louis, MO
Early is the associate editor for Washington University’s alumni magazine. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she traveled to Austria to teach English. She later earned a master’s degree in German literature from the University of Konstanz in Germany. She worked on staff at St. Louis Magazine for three years before joining the staff at Washington University. She has also written for American Theatre Magazine, Humanities: The Magazine for the National Endowment for the Humanities, and The Cambridge Companion to Boxing (forthcoming). She is currently working on a book with her dad about gentrification in Philadelphia.
Ariel Estrada | Producing Artistic Director, Leviathan Lab | New York, NY
Estrada is an actor, arts advocate, and Founder/Producing Artistic Director of Leviathan Lab, a NYC-based creative studio for Asian American theatre artists. As an actor, Ariel has performed in television, film, commercials, industrials, digital media, and on, Off-, and Off-Off Broadway. As an arts advocate, he is the outgoing Manager of Communications and Community Engagement and Interim Manager of Public Programs for the Asian American Arts Alliance, and the incoming Communications Associate for The Tank NYC, as well as the 2018 Marketing Director for Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. He is also an accomplished grant writer and professional graphic designer. www.arielestrada.com
Bryce Goodloe | Analytics and Engagement Assistant, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis | St. Louis, MO
Goodloe is an interdisciplinary artist focusing on the African diaspora, LGBTQ identity, and community activism. He currently works as the Analytics and Engagement Assistant for Shakespeare Festival Saint Louis. He holds degrees in Theatre Studies & Dramaturgy (B.A.) and Business Administration (B.S.) from Webster University. He is also a graduate of the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission’s Community Art’s Training.
Pia Haddad | Producer/Actor | Brooklyn, NY
Haddad is a Lebanese-American producer and actor focusing on new work reflecting the diversity of our world. She is the founder of 3K² Productions, a NY-based theatre and film production company dedicated to new projects created by multicultural artists. She has produced in NYC at HERE and is the associate producer of the interdisciplinary solo show Hope which premieres at the Wild Project this fall. She is currently working on a documentary on the inclusion of LBGTQ in Catholicism and is developing a female-centric project based in Lebanon.
Peter J. Kuo | Director, Producer, Cultural Activist | New York, NY
Kuo is a New York-based director, producer, and writer focusing on raising the visibility of marginalized communities. Artistically, he’s worked at East West Players, South Coast Repertory, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and The Play Company, among others. EDI work: founding NSD: Affinity Groups, teaching “Acting Beyond Marginalization” at HB Studio, and coordinating the Asian American Directors List. Co-founder of Artists at Play, and recipient of a Drama League First Stage Residency. This summer; Directing Corps for Williamstown Theatre Festival, assisting Rachel Chavkin on Lempicka, a world premiere. MFA: The New School For Drama. www.peterjkuo.com
Carl Overly, Jr. | Artist | St. Louis, MO
Overly, Jr. hails from Maysville, Ky and received his BA in Theater from Eastern Kentucky University. He was an intern with The Black Rep (2005-2007) Carl was a co-producer for The Every 28 Hour Play Festival. Some of his favorite roles include Lennie in SATE Ensemble's Of Mice and Men (Best Actor in a Drama nominee- 2018 St. Louis Theater Circle Awards) MacDuff in ERA's Trash Macbeth. Directing credits include Night, Mother and Prime's 24 Hour Play Festival. Carl has worked with numerous companies including Shakespeare Festival-STL, Theatre Nuevo, Upstream Theatre, Actor's Studio, Unity Theater Ensemble, and is also a teaching artist with Prison Performing Arts.
Anna Skidis Vargas | Artistic Director, Theatre Nuevo | St. Louis, MO
Skidis Vargas is the founder and artistic director of Theatre Nuevo. She holds a BA in Performance from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and is currently earning a Directing MFA at University of Texas - Austin. She has produced and directed This is Not Funny, Orgullo, Acronyms, and HELL, all with Theatre Nuevo and Luchadora! with Mustard Seed Theatre in collaboration with Theatre Nuevo. As an actor and singer, Anna has performed with several companies in Saint Louis, receiving two STL Theatre Circle Awards for outstanding performances in Lizzie (Lizzie Borden) with New Line and Spring Awakening (Ilse) with Stray Dog.
Gabe Taylor | Associate Artistic Director, Equally Represented Arts (ERA), Theatre Nuevo | St. Louis, MO
Taylor currently serves as the associate artistic director for both Theatre Nuevo and Equally Represented Arts (ERA). He’s stage managed, acted, and directed with ERA, YoungLiars, Theatre Nuevo, New Line Theatre, among others. He most recently directed twelfth period and played Hubert in Snow White (ERA); designed lighting and sound for Theatre Nuevo’s HELL; and served as stage manager for YoungLiars Titus Androgynous. He’s currently the assistant director and stage manager for the regional premier of Luchadora! with Theatre Nuevo and Mustard Seed Theater and is directing a devised piece this fall as part of the 2018 Faustival, whither should I fly.
Jacqueline Thompson | Actor/Director | St. Louis, MO
Thompson is an actor/director passionate about creating art that intersects racial equity and community engagement. In March, the St. Louis Post Dispatch recognized her as one of six women shaping St. Louis Arts and entertainment. She was also noted as one of St. Louis’ most versatile performers. This year she received a St. Louis Theater Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama as well as a fellowship from the Regional Arts Commission. Thompson holds an M.F.A. from the University of Louisville and a B.A. from Clark Atlanta University. She is a proud member of Actors Equity Association. www.Jacquelinelthompson.com
2017: Portland, OR
TJ Acena | Freelance Writer | Portland, OR
Acena is a freelance writer living in Portland, OR. As he former arts reviewer for PQ Monthly, he covered the arts scene of Portland Metro, including theatre, dance, and literature. His prose has appeared most recently in Pacifica Literary Review and Somnambulist. As an associate artist with Action/Adventure Theatre since 2015, he has collaborated on devised work, serial plays and spoken word performances, He holds a B.A. in creative writing. www.tjacena.com.
Tracy Cameron Francis | Director, Producer and Interdisciplinary Artist | Portland, OR
Francis is a director, producer and interdisciplinary artist with a focus on international exchange and socially conscious work. She is a former TCG Global Connections grant recipient which she used to collaborate with Syrian writer Mohammad Al-Attar in Beirut. She is a core member of Theatre Without Borders, an associate member of SDC, member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and holds a B.A. in Theatre and Middle Eastern Studies from Fordham and American University of Cairo. She is a writing coach for at risk youth with the Playwrite program and works as the lead coordinator of the Cascade Festival of African Film. She is currently developing a new devised work Exodo for Milagro Theatre.
Geno Franco | Production and Facilities Manager, Oregon Contemporary Theatre | Eugene, OR
Franco is the production and facilities manager at Oregon Contemporary Theatre (OCT) in Eugene, OR. Other duties at OCT include community engagement and producing. Geno has held production management positions with The Hypocrites, The Raven Theatre, The New Colony and Steppenwolf Theatre where he was a Multicultural Fellow. Previously, he was a scenic artist at companies such as Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse and South Coast Repertory. Geno is a graduate of the Pacific Conservatory Theatre (PCPA).
Madilynn Garcia | Freelance Production Manager | Portland, OR
Garcia is a native Texan and an alumna of The University of Oregon. She currently works as a freelance production manager in Portland, OR at companies such as Profile Theatre, Third Rail Repertory, and Action/Adventure Theatre. Garcia is an active member of USITT, serving on both the Finance Committee and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. For the past three years she has acted as coordinator of the Gateway Program, an initiative that fosters emerging members of production who are underrepresented in the field.
Jordan Schwartz | M.A. Candidate, Performing Arts Management, University of Oregon | Eugene, OR
Schwartz is finishing her M.A. in Performing Arts Management at he University of Oregon and looks forward to starting her new job as the Director of Literary Programs and Outreach at the Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis. She received her B.A. in History from Bryn Mawr College in 2015. An Atlanta native, Schwartz became interested in the arts through community theatre. Noticing a significant cultural gap in her community, She founded the Bilingual Theater in 2004. After touring its first production through four local elementary schools, CBT gained 501c3 status and has produced several full productions and literacy events.
Samson Syharath | Artistic Associate and Instructor, Portland Actors Conservatory | Portland, OR
Syharath is a multidisciplinary artist focusing on visibility of Asian-American artists and underserved communitiesd. After receiving a B.A. from the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith, Syharath trained at the Portland Actors Conservatory where he is currently Artistic Associate and instructor, and assisting with their Equity Initiative. Syharath is also a founding company member of Theatre Diaspora (Oregon's only professional Asian American/Pacific Islander theatre company). Syharath is currently co-directing Refugee Dreams Revisited, a MediaRites production of true refugee elders' stories presented by local Asian/Pacific Islander youth. He is also creating an original autobiographical theatre piece using traditional Laotion arts.
2016: Washington, DC | Baltimore, MD | Northern VA
Annalisa Dias | Independent Artist & Director of Artistic Partnerships & Innovation, Baltimore Center Stage | Baltimore, MD
Annalisa Dias is a Goan-American transdisciplinary artist, community organizer, and award-winning theatre maker working at the intersection of racial justice and care for the earth. She is Director of Artistic Partnerships & Innovation at Baltimore Center Stage. Annalisa is also a Co-Founder of Groundwater Arts. Prior to joining BCS, Annalisa was a Producing Playwright and Acting Creative Producer with The Welders, a DC playwright's collective; and a Co-Founder of the DC Coalition for Theatre & Social Justice. Artistic credits include: WRITING: 4380 Nights, the earth that is sufficient, One Word More, The Last Allegiance, A Legacy of Chains, Crooked Figure, Consider the Dust, Matanuska, Coal, and Servant of the Wind. DEVISING: Wit's End Puppets: Malevolent Creatures; banished? productions: Tyger; Theater Alliance: I Love DC. DIRECTING: Source Festival: Dust to dust to dust and Dressing Bobby Strong; The Salima Project (film). Annalisa’s work has been produced or developed by The Welders, Theater Alliance, Signature Theatre (DC), Arena Stage, the Phillips Collection, The Gulfshore Playhouse, the Mead Theatre Lab, The Hub Theatre, Spooky Action Theater, Tron Theatre (Glasgow), and OverHere Theatre (London). Annalisa frequently teaches theatre of the oppressed and decolonization workshops nationally and internationally and speaks about race, identity, and performance.
Paige Hernandez | Performer, Playwright and Educator, B-FLY ENTERTAINMENT | Capital Heights, MD
Paige Hernandez is a multidisciplinary artist who is critically acclaimed as a performer, director, choreographer and playwright. She has nearly twenty years of experience in arts administration, creating new works, producing and performing. As an AEA equity actress, Paige has performed on many stages throughout the country. She has collaborated with the Lincoln Center and has been commissioned by several companies including the National New Play Network, the Smithsonian, The Kennedy Center, La Jolla Playhouse and the Glimmerglass Festival. She is the recipient of an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council as well as four Helen Hayes nominations for choreography, directing and performance. Paige has also been named a “classroom hero” by The Huffington Post, a “Citizen Artist Fellow” with the Kennedy Center, "40 under 40" by the Washington Post and one of “Six Theatre Workers You Should Know” by American Theatre Magazine. She is elated to be the Associate Artistic Director of Everyman Theatre in her hometown of Baltimore, MD. With her company B-FLY ENTERTAINMENT, Paige continues to develop and tour original work internationally. www.paigehernandez.com
Sadiqua Iman | Artistic Director, Earth Pearl Collective | College Park, MD
Iman is an interdisciplinary artist and activist who challenges preconceived notions of marginalized identities through theatre, as well as dance workshops and productions. She launched her youth arts program, Sister Stories, in 2015 with the support of her National Arts Strategist Community Arts Fellowship. In 2011, she founded her not-for-profit, Earth Pearl Collective, a queer womyn of color social justice arts organization. Sadiqua believes the arts are an imperative part of healing communities. “That unruly curl. That shapely, textured, shift of consciousness springing forward with bounce, giving non-linear expression to unspoken boundaries.”
Kristen Jackson | Connectivity Director, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company | Washington, DC
Jackson is currently the connectivity director at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC. She earned her M.A. from University of Texas at Austin in Performance as Public Practice. Kristen has also worked on- and off-Broadway for Ostar Productions and Playwrights Horizons in the areas of producing and casting; and as a teaching artist and performer for the regional theatres Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Actors Theatre of Louisville. Outside of theatre, she provided administrative and programming support for Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance. Kristen holds a B.A. in Theatre Studies and English from Duke University.
Bryan Joseph Lee | Director of Marketing and Communications, Round House Theatre | Bethesda, MD
Lee is the director of marketing & communications at Round House Theatre, a 400 seat LORT D regional theatre in Bethesda, MD, where he oversees earned revenue, institutional branding and audience development. He has a specific interest in building diverse audiences through authentic relationship-building and targeted cultivation strategies. In 2016, he was awarded a fellowship with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management. He has previously worked with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and Source Festival. Bryan is a graduate of Dartmouth College, and holds a degree in Latin American Studies and Theatre.
Ouida Maedel | Grants Manager, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company | Washington, DC
Maedel joined Woolly Mammoth as grants manager in the summer of 2015. Previously, she led artistic producing efforts for Dance Exchange, a dance/theatre company known for devising innovative performance projects that engage communities and partners across wide-ranging disciplines. Specializing in experimental theatre and performance art, she has produced and performed in DC and New York City. Ouida has also worked in numerous applied theatre capacities at the intersection of theatre and social change in Ghana, Zambia, and the U.S. She holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, and an M.A. in International Communication and Arts Management from American University.
Ronee Penoi | Creative Producer, The Welders | Washington, DC
Penoi is the incoming creative producer for The Welders, and the founder of Theatre from the District. Ronee was previously the National New Play Network producer-in-residence at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and part of the inaugural class of New Play Producing Fellows at the American Voices New Play Institute at Arena Stage, where she produced a national convening on devised work. Ronee was the assistant stage manager for Anna Deavere Smith’s national tour of Let Me Down Easy, the directing fellow for Arena Stage, and the artistic fellow for The Shakespeare Theatre. Ronee is currently writing a musical about Carlisle Indian School. She received her B.A. from Princeton University.
Amelia Acosta Powell | Artistic Associate and Casting Director, Arena Stage | Washington, DC
Amelia Powell is currently the artistic associate and casting director in residence at Arena Stage in Washington, DC. She is also a freelance producer, director, and casting director, and a member of the Casting Society of America. She is a regular teaching artist at The Growing Studio NYC, and has given master classes at Brown University/Trinity Rep, Catholic University, Howard, American, Messiah College, and Montgomery College. She holds a B.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies and a M.A. in Spanish Linguistics from Georgetown University. She is a proud alumna of the Allen Lee Hughes Fellowship.
Shayla Roland | Special Programming Manager, Ford's Theatre | Arlington, VA
Roland is the special programming manager for Ford’s Theatre where she has implemented and maintained innovative programming to further engagement with theatrical audiences, and encourages millennial participation. She assists in casting, dramaturgy, and works extensively with Ford’s Theatre’s director on correspondence for special events, including the Ford’s Theatre Annual Gala. Shayla coordinated the 150th Anniversary of the Lincoln Assassination commemoration, serving as a key contributor to the conception of the events, and working with partner organizations to execute 36 hours of programming. She’s an assistant producer for the Source Festival in Washington, DC.
Stephanie Rolland | Creative Producer, Curator, and Arts Administrator | New York, NY
Stephanie Rolland is a creative producer, curator, and arts administrator. Her work is fueled by connection, experimentation, and laughter. She finds her joy in bringing multi-faceted, swirling, human universes together in space to make magic. She is currently working as a consultant with ALJP Consulting Group, as a Lecturer in Theatre Management with Yale School of Drama, and as a freelance producer. She co-founded and is working as a curator and producer with Interfest, a collective using arts and ideas to arouse liberation for the Black diaspora through ritual, healing, and pleasure. Most recently she line-produced ‘A Past Becomes A Heritage’, a virtual play reading and panel discussion for CLASSIX. Prior experience includes: Director of Theatre Operations for Theatre Row, Artistic Line Producer for McCarter Theatre, and the Artistic Administrator for Baltimore Center Stage. She was chosen as a member of the 2018-2020 cohort of WP Theater Producing Fellows, the Americans for the Arts inaugural Diversity in Arts Leadership Lab in 2018, and the Theater Communications Group (TCG)’s inaugural Rising Leaders of Color cohort in 2016. Stephanie has also served on The Playwrights Realm script reading committee, TCG’s National Awards Committee, LORT’s ‘Equity, Diversity and Inclusion’ Committee and as an NEA Grant Panelist. She holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA in Theater Management from Yale School of Drama.