NEW YORK CITY: New Victory Theater has named nicHi douglas, ChelseaDee Harrison, Nambi E. Kelley, and Christopher Rudd to be its 2020-21 New Victory LabWorks Artists. These four artists return for a second year in the development program focusing on new work for young audiences as the theatre dedicates this and future years of LabWorks to serving artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color, as well as artists with disabilities and artists who identify as LGBTQIA+.
“Artists deserve time, space, compensation, and support,” said artistic director Mary Rose Lloyd in a statement, “and New Victory is taking a closer look at what we can do better to serve artists of color so that we might help share their stories with young audiences across the country.”
This year will also see the LabWorks artists receiving $15,000 as well as professional development, and dramaturgical and community support, from the theatre’s network of artists, educators, presenters, and producers. Artists will also have the opportunity to hold invited rehearsals for industry professionals, fellow artists, and New Victory audiences with facilitated feedback sessions.
Applications for the 2021-22 cohort of LabWorks Artists are now open with a deadline of Feb. 17. More information is available online.
NicHi douglas is a Brooklyn-based performer, choreographer, director, writer and artivist. The head of movement in the NYU/Tisch Playwrights Horizons Theater School studio, she has worked in various capacities with artistic institutions across the country, including Denver Center, Berkeley Rep, the National Museum of African American Music, the Public Theater and Carnegie Hall, among others. She is currently co-directing an event in celebration of women at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Douglas received her BFA from NYU/Tisch and MFA from the New School.
ChelseaDee Harrison is a multi-hyphenate, interdisciplinary creator and arts educator. Specializing in theatremaking, she performs, teaches, curates, co-facilitates, develops curriculum, directs, and produces arts events. Her focus is creating new works of theatre that highlight history and challenge dominant narratives and ensuring art is a tool in the hands of the people. She has also facilitated arts workshops and residencies with the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the New York City Department of Correction, New York University/Tisch School of the Arts and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.
Award-winning playwright Nambi E. Kelley was chosen by literary legend Toni Morrison to adapt her novel Jazz for the stage (Baltimore Center Stage, Marin Theatre Company). Her adaptation of Richard Wright’s Native Son has played across the country and premiered Off-Broadway at the Duke on 42nd Street (in a production by the Acting Company). Kelley has been a playwright-in-residence at the National Black Theatre, Goodman Theatre, and New Victory Theater. Awards include this year’s NNPN annual commission, the Prince Prize 2019 and a Dramatists Guild Foundation Writers Alliance Grant 2018-19. Nambi is a staff writer for a new show on Fox and for Showtime’s The Chi.
Jamaican born dance-maker and 2019 Guggenheim Fellow Christopher Rudd credits the Thomas Armour Youth Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, and New World School of the Arts for his performance career. Highlights include dancing for Les Grands Ballet Canadiens de Montréal and Cirque du Soleil. He founded RudduR Dance in 2015 to accomplish the goal of bettering the world through dance. RudduR Dance was presented on four continents in its first four years. The company made its City Parks SummerStage debut by participating in a globally accessible Juneteenth Tribute on June 19, 2020. Rudd has also made headlines by creating TOUCHÉ, an interracial homosexual pas de deux, for American Ballet Theatre.
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