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The 2019 Park Square artistic fellows are (top row, from left to right) Ricardo Beiard, Ernest Briggs, Mary Capers, Maxwell Collyard; (bottom row, from left to right) Ashawnti Ford, Sophie Peyton, Lindsey Samples, and Scott Akiem. (Photos courtesy of Park Square Theatre)

Park Square Theatre Announces Recipients of 2019 Artist Fellowships

The new program strives to increase opportunities for under-represented theatre artists.

ST. PAUL, MINN.: Park Square Theatre has announced the eight recipients for the pilot year of its new artistic fellowship program. The fellows are Ricardo Beaird, Ernest Briggs, Mary Capers, Maxwell Collyard, Ashawnti Sakina Ford, Sophie Peyton, Lindsey C. Samples, and DJ Kool Akiem Scott.

“Fellowships gave me an inside track at some of the best theatres in the country, advancing my artistry and building my network,” said Park Square’s artistic director, Flordelino Lagundino, in a statement. “It’s important to me that in our work at Park Square we find ways to open doors and build a pipeline for all early career theatre artists, especially for marginalized communities such as indigenous, people of color, and LGBTQA artists, in order to create a greater sense of belonging for everyone in our community.”

The fellows will each assist on two productions to deepen and develop their skills through collaboration with the lead production staff. Additionally, staff support and dedicated resources will be provided to help each fellow create an engagement experience for the wider community. The fellowship cohort will participate in an evening cabaret performance at the end of the program. Artistic leaders of the Twin Cities area will be invited to the culminating event.

The fellows are divided into two groups, one of directors, the other of designers. The five director track fellows include Ricardo Beaird, Ernest Briggs, Ashawnti Sakina Ford, Sophie Peyton, and Lindsey C. Samples. The three designer track fellows are wig designer Mary Capers, projection designer Maxwell Collyard, and sound designer DJ Kool Akiem Scott.

Park Square’s community partners in this program include Springboard for the Arts, the MN Theatre Alliance, the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Theatre Mu, the History Theatre, PRIME Productions, and the East Side Freedom Library.

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