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LMDA Names 2020 Grant Recipients

David Clauson, Lindsay A. Jenkins, and Merlin Simard are awarded grants, with Clauson receiving the inaugural Innovation Grant.

NEW YORK CITY: Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA) have announced the 2020 winners of the Innovation Grant, Field Grant, and Early Career Dramaturg (ECD) Residency Grant.

David Clauson.

David Clauson has been awarded the inaugural Innovation Grant. The grant awards $1,500 to an artist pushing the boundaries of dramaturgical work. Clauson is the steward of the Alternative Canon, a free online sourcebook looking to aid artists and educators in challenging Eurocentric, patriarchal, racist, and other biases in theatre history. The project was originally conceived by an ad hoc, anonymous feminist collective, Preying Womantis, in 2016 before the project was passed to Clauson.

In 2021, the Alternative Canon will host three panel discussions featuring a diverse group of artists and educators exploring new and inclusive approaches to theatre history. The panels will be recorded and available online and they will form a toolkit to answer difficult questions around teaching, contextualizing, and decolonizing theatre history.

Lindsay A. Jenkins.

Lindsay A. Jenkins, has been awarded the Field Grant, an annual award of $1,000 that goes to supporting a dramaturg-led project designed to foster an expanded understanding of the dramaturgical field. Jenkins is working on Sandbranch, a devised theatre project seeking to explore and expand on Afrocentric dramaturgical methods, taking research off of the page and putting it into the body. In developing a more culturally grounded approach to dramaturgy, the hope is that it will result in a more connected foundation from which Black theatre collaborators can grow and make discoveries within the development process.

Jenkins holds an MA in theatre from California State University, Northridge, and is the founder of Maroon Arts and Culture, an organization dedicated to empowerment through performance, arts education, and cultural programming.

Merlin Simard.

The ECD Residency Grant, which includes $1,500 for an early career dramaturg to assist a mentor dramaturg in a professional setting, has been awarded to Merlin Simard. Simard is an award-winning, disabled, Franco-Ontarian, queer, trans-feminine performer, playwright, dramaturg, and filmmaker originally from Tiohtiá:ke (Montréal) now based in Tkarón:to (Toronto). They wrote Fear of Men (in development at Theatre Passe Muraille), Zaddy Issues (in development at Ergo Arts Theatre) and E-Transfers (Buddies In Bad Times/BCurrent/NTS; co-written with Gabe Maharjan). Simard currently holds the position of dramaturgy intern at Theatre Passe Muraille.

LMDA gives $7,000 annually to individual dramaturgs to support their creative projects. More information is available on their website.

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