WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT.: Northern Stage has announced the first cohort of the BOLD Theater Women’s Leadership Circle. The new initiative, led by Northern Stage’s producing artistic director, Carol Dunne, will provide grants to support women artistic directors in professional theatres across the country. A total of $1.25 million dollars will be gifted to five theatres run by women artistic directors, including Northern Stage, during the 2018-19 season.
Selected from a pool of more than 40 applications, the inaugural winners include Susan V. Booth, the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta; Eileen Morris, the Ensemble Theatre, Houston; Sarah Rasmussen, Jungle Theater, Minneapolis; Lisa McNulty, WP Theater, New York City; and Dunne at Northern Stage. Each of the winners demonstrated both artistic excellence and a commitment to their communities.
“We were overwhelmed by the applicants for the BOLD Circle,” said Dunne in a statement. “The stories that our country’s women artistic directors had to tell should be required reading for anyone interested in why women hold such a small percentage of leadership positions in the American theatre. I am confident that this first cohort of visionary artistic directors will pave the way for countless others.”
Each theatre will receive a $250,000 grant, supported by the Pussycat Foundation. The funds will allow for networking opportunities for the leaders with semiannual meetings. The grants will also provide for a woman associate artistic director position at each theatre, designed to train the artistic directors of the future.
“In this time of turmoil and change, the BOLD Artistic Leadership grant feels like a beacon in the wilderness,” said McNulty in a statement. “I am honored to join these indomitable women in fostering the next generation of female artistic leadership in the theatre, and in shattering glass ceilings across the nation.”