NEW YORK CITY: New York Stage and Film announced jeremy o’brian and Elisa Bocanegra as the 2021 recipients of the Founders’ Award and Pfaelzer Award on Oct. 12.
Jeremy o’brian will receive the 2021 Founders’ Award, a prestigious honor that acknowledges an exceptional generative artist, in honor of the founders’ enduring commitment to nurturing emerging voices. It provides $2,500, an extended residency during the NYSAF Summer Season in the Hudson Valley, and financial and administrative support for a project for which they are the sole curatorial voice, as well as access to the NYSAF artist community. This year’s finalists for the Founders’ Award were Troy Anthony, Zeniba Now, Banna Desta, Gethsemane Herron-Coward, Katie Madison, and Marcus Scott.
During o’brian’s residency, he will curate multiple events in proximity to World AIDS Day, including a conversation that bears witness to the multiplicity of stories available from Black, queer, and HIV-positive artists, which will be available as a live event and audio podcast for streaming. O’brian will also offer a reading of his play boys don’t look at boys to complement the conversation.
“Boys don’t look at boys is a play of great significance, underscoring my deepest hope for a world where we normalize Black boys prioritizing vulnerability, gentleness, and a deep regard for self and the other,” o’brian said in a statement. “My time with NYSAF will be spent developing this play, and I am excited to be introducing myself to the New York theatre community at a time that feels both new, exciting, and burgeoning in its consciousness of what true inclusion and representation might look like.”
Bocanegra will receive the 2021 Pfaelzer Award, created in honor of former producing director Johanna Pfaelzer’s 20-year commitment to nurturing artists and their developing stories at New York Stage and Film. The Pfaelzer Award is selected in consultation with Pfaelzer, and includes the opportunity to have her mentorship on a project.
“I know firsthand the power of a great mentor. Olympia Dukakis was mine, and she encouraged me to start HERO Theatre,” Bocanegra said in a statement. “This new chapter in my career is about commissioning and developing new work. I’m so honored to receive mentorship from Johanna Pfaelzer. She’s amazing at nurturing artists, manages to understand work-life balance, and is a great leader. I feel very fortunate.”
Bocanegra receives artistic and administrative support for projects of her choosing throughout the year, culminating in a residency during NYSAF’s summer season. The residency is meant to include a reading, workshop, or other developmental activity that best supports the artist and their work.
New York Stage and Film is a nonprofit company dedicated to both emerging and established artists in the development of new works for theatre, film, and television.
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