NEW YORK CITY: Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and the William & Eva Fox Foundation have announced the 13th round of Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship recipients. The fellowships award grants in two categories: Exceptional Merit, which provides $15,000 (with an additional $10,000 available to relieve student loan debt) to chosen actors with 10 or more years of professional experience; and Distinguished Achievement, which provides $25,000 to selected actors with at least 20 years of professional experience.
“When actors take the stage, they carry the living histories of their communities, illuminating the visions of the playwright in unexpected and uniquely powerful ways,” Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG, said in a statement. “Thanks to our enduring partnership with the Fox Foundation, this program empowers these actors to strengthen their craft while deepening their relationships with communities.”
The fellowship aims to not only support an actor’s artistic development, but also to enrich their relationship with not-for-profit theatre and the surrounding community through collaboration with a host theatre. The recipients of the Distinguished Achievement Fellowship are Karen MacDonald and Dael Orlandersmith. The recipients of the Exceptional Merit Fellowship include Ansa Akyea, Monique Gaffney, Reynaldo Piniella, and Kenny Ray Ramos.
Karen MacDonald will work with Merrimack Repertory Theatre and members of the community in Lowell, Mass., to develop a new piece of work telling the history of Lowell’s “Mill Girls,” their daily lives, their work and their impact on labor in America. MacDonald will also use the grant to take part in international workshops and programming.
Dael Orlandersmith will work with Chicago’s Goodman Theatre to develop an original solo play about being a mixed-race woman and more broadly about the fight of mixed-race Irish people to be recognized as fully Irish. To do so, Orlandersmith will explore constructions of race and national identity in both Ireland and the United States while pushing the boundaries of the types of stories she is perceived as being able to tell.
Ansa Akyea will develop and write a piece of theatre with Guthrie Theatre Foundation that uses Herman Hesse’s Siddartha as a metaphor for the immigration journey of West Africans (Ghana and Liberia) living in Minnesota.
Monique Gaffney will work with San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre to create and develope a devised multimedia theatre piece inspired by the book
Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculèe Ilibagiza, a true story about a woman who survived the Rwandan genocide for 91 days living with seven other women in a three-by-four-foot bathroom.
Reynaldo Piniella will travel to Cuba and London to research and develop a bilingual version of Hamlet to be produced at the Classical Theatre of Harlem. Piniella will also engage the Latinx communities of Spanish Harlem and Washington Heights to immerse himself further in his native Afro-Latinx culture.
Kenny Ray Ramos will collaborate with Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles on the creation of Native Nation, written by Larissa FastHorse, premiering in Phoenix and then touring to tribal communities across the United States.
The Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowships panel included Shá Cage, William Carden, Oanh Nguyen, Nancy Piccione, and Regina Taylor.