NEW YORK CITY: La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club has announced the first recipients of the annual Ellen Stewart International Award, which recognizes international theatre artists doing socially engaged work with youth. Colombian artists Bernard Rey and Nube Sandoval are this year’s winners.
Rey and Sandoval will attend the International Institute World Congress in Brazil this year. They will also receive an artistic residency at La MaMa Umbria in Italy to create new work together in June 2016. The award also provides financial and production support to present a new work at the Spoleto Festival of 2 Worlds in July 2016, and subsequently at La MaMa in New York.
The Ellen Stewart International Award executive committee nominated eleven international theatre artists from Pakistan, Northern Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, U.S., Canada, Netherlands, India, and Colombia for the prize. The committee made their final selections based on a variety of criteria, including an online ballot that drew more than 30,000 voters worldwide.
Sandoval and Rey are the founders of Teatro Cenit (Italo-Colombian Centre for theatre research). They are developing The Echo of Invisibles, a theatre piece with live music that focuses on migration and refugees in Europe and the Middle East. They previously directed the Theatrical Laboratory of psychosocial rehabilitation with refugee victims of torture in Rome, and continue to work in Colombia in social contexts of high vulnerability. Their methodology, Theater as Bridge, is based on the rescue, stimulation, and enhancement of artistic skills of participants who are mostly young refugees from Africa, Afghanistan, and Iraq.