Kealoha Kelekolio, Moses Goods, Lelea'e Wong, and Kapano Na'ili'ili in "Kinolau" at Honolulu Theatre for Youth in 2018. (Photo by Brad Goda)

TCG Names Recipients of Global Connections Travel Grants

The sixth round of grants will support new and existing international collaborations.

NEW YORK CITY: Theatre Communications Group has announced the recipients of the latest round of Global Connections. The program, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, encourages reciprocity and cultural exchange through international artistic exchanges. More than $93,000 has been awarded to 13 projects in this cycle, supporting new international collaborations and continuing partnerships.

“At a time when our country’s diplomatic ties are under great stress, artists continue to forge vital relationships with colleagues and communities worldwide,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG, in a statement. “These relationships are built on a sense of respect and reciprocity. Thanks to enduring support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, these projects will model the creative dynamism of equitable exchange.”

The Global Connections grants are divided into two programs: ON the ROAD and IN the LAB. The selection panel included Sophie Ancival, assistant producer, American Repertory Theater, Cambridge, Mass.; Lillian Manzor, associate professor and chair of Modern Languages and Literatures, University of Miami; and Howard Shalwitz, theatre specialist, Alexandria, Va.

The seven ON the ROAD grants are for $5,000 each and will fund travel to foster new relationships with international colleagues. The recipients of that grant are:

  • Jessica Bauman, who will travel to México to begin collaborating on community engagement projects with Tijuana Hace Teatro
  • Atsuko Taneya Dachs, who will travel to Japan to further develop a translation and adaptation of Monzaemon Chikamatsu’s works
  • Velina Hasu Houston, who will travel to Japan, Brazil, Canada, and the Philippines to cultivate a play on Japanese-Brazilian identity
  • Imagination Stage in Bethesda, Md., will collaborate with the Piano School for Deaf students in Russia to bring together teenage artists to explore the use of movement-based theatre
  • Poet and writer Shaunna Oteka McCovey and theatre artist Jean O’Hara of Vermont will travel to the Karuk Tribe to collaborate in drafting an original play based on the historical book In the Land of the Grasshopper Song: Two Women in the Klamath River in 1908-1909
  • Dañel Malan, artistic director of Milagro Theatre Group in Portland, Ore., will travel to Hamilton, Ontario, in spring 2019 to visit Marilo Nuñez, a Chilean-born Canadian playwright to begin a collaboration for a 2020 touring production
  • Rattlestick Playwrights Theater will bring Hungarian director Martin Boross to New York City to explore an adaptation of a piece about homelessness

The IN the LAB grants includes $10,000 and supports the continuing development of pre-existing international collaborations. This round’s recipients are:

  • Javier Antonio González will collaborate with Puerto Rican composer/ethnomusicologist Pilli Aponte and translator Aurora Lauzardo in developing Jardín de pulpos (Octopus’s Garden), the seminal Latin American political theatre piece by Argentinian playwright Arístides Vargas, to be presented at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center
  • Spoken word poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner (Republic of the Marshall Islands) and director/playwright Daniel A. Kelin II of Honolulu Theatre for Youth in Hawaii will meet again in the Marshall Islands to collaborate with a select group of local young artists to conduct interviews with multigenerational Marshall Islanders about the personal and communal effects of climate change
  • Director/actor Mumbi Kaigwa and writer/producer/co-director Jeremy Kamps of Brooklyn conducted a drama workshop with a group of women who work at a flower farm in Naivasha, Kenya, and will continue to develop the play
  • Mosaic Theater Company in Washington, D.C., will bring Morad Hassan (Haifa) and Einat Weizman (Tel Aviv) to D.C. to rehearse and present a workshop production of their piece SHAME (With Comments from the Populace)
  • New York Theatre Workshop will collaborate with Russian director Dmitry Krymov in partnership with the New School College of Performing Arts, where Dmitry will be in residence from January through February 2019, to present master classes and  develop a new work
  • Chicago’s Silk Road Rising will organize a two-way artistic exchange between Chicago-based and Moscow-based artists to further develop new plays that explore concepts of belonging, cultural identity, and immigration

Over its first five rounds, the Global Connections program has awarded 108 grants to artists and companies in 39 U.S. states to collaborate with their colleagues in 53 different countries on six out of seven continents. In total, $972,000 has been awarded to date.