NEW YORK CITY: Theatre Communications Group (TCG) has announced the inaugural cohort of the Rising Leaders of Color (RLC) Program, supported by The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation and Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment. The RLC program is an expansion and reenvisioning of TCG’s Young Leaders of Color Program, which launched in 2008, and will complement TCG’s SPARK Leadership Program. The RLC program will provide 10 early-career leaders from the D.C., Baltimore, and Northern Virginia with professional development and networking opportunities. The program will launch with the 2016 TCG National Conference, which will take place in D.C. June 23-25.
“Watching the profound impact of the Young Leaders of Color and SPARK Leaders on the TCG National Conference over the past eight years has been inspiring,” said executive director Teresa Eyring in a statement. “Their collective leadership has rippled out to transform our field, and we’re excited to welcome ten new leaders into that growing community of change-makers.”
The rising leaders of color are Annalisa Dias, Paige Hernandez, Amelia Powell, Bryan Joseph Lee, Ronee Penoi, Shayla Roland, Sadiqua Iman, Kristen Jackson, Ouida Maedel, and Stephanie Rolland.
Dias is a performer, director, and playwright. She is an incoming producing playwright with the Welders, a D.C. playwright’s collective; and cofounder of the D.C. Coalition for Theatre and Social Justice.
Hernandez is a multidisciplinary artist who works with her company B-FLY ENTERTAINMENT to develop and tour original work internationally. She has received an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council, as well as two Helen Hayes nominations for choreography and performance.
Powell is the artistic associate and casting director in residence at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. She is also a freelance producer, director, and casting director, and a member of the Casting Society of America.
Lee is the director of marketing and communications at Round House Theatre in Bethesda, Md., where he oversees earned revenue, institutional branding and audience development. In 2016, he was awarded a fellowship with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management.
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.
Roland is the special programming manager for Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., where she has implemented and maintained innovative programming to further engagement with theatrical audiences, and encourages millennial participation. She’s also an assistant producer for the Source Festival in Washington, D.C.
Iman is an interdisciplinary artist and activist in College Park, Md. 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 woman of color social justice arts organization.
Jackson is the connectivity director at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC. She has worked on and off Broadway for Ostar Productions and Playwrights Horizons in the areas of producing and casting, and she’s also worked as a teaching artist and performer for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Actors Theatre of Louisville.
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.
Rolland is the artistic administrator at Center Stage in Baltimore, Md. Before arriving in Baltimore, Stephanie was the assistant managing director of Yale School of Drama and Special Events at Yale Repertory Theatre, the project manager for the first Krymov Lab at Yale led by Dmitry Krymov, and the event manager of the first Inspiring Yale, an evening of TEDx style talks delivered by elected Yale professors.