SAN FRANCISCO: PlayGround has announced the recipients of five one-year paid fellowships for early-career women artists in directing, acting, playwriting, design/technical theatre, and theatre management. In the spirit of PlayGround’s June Anne Baker Prize, which has fostered a community of 20 early-career women playwrights over the past 20 years, the new Women Leader Fellowships are intended to create an ongoing and growing community of future women leaders, representing all theatrical disciplines.
Fellows will receive a one-year guaranteed stipend of $5,000 to be applied toward a personalized residency. This residency includes unique opportunities for professional growth offered through PlayGround programming, offers mentorship and networking through PlayGround senior staff and company veterans, and is uniquely designed to meet the long-term needs and goals of the individual fellow. The fellows for 2021-22 are as follows:
Tessa Corrie (she/her) receives the award for directing. A queer and Latinx theatre director based in the Bay Area, she grounds her work in creating space for marginalized and underrepresented communities and narratives. She is a company member and ambassador at PlayGround SF and an artistic associate at Hillbarn Theatre. Her credits include work at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Center REPertory Company, Shotgun Players, the Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco and PlayGround SF, among others.
Rosie Hallett (she/her) is awarded for acting. An Equity and SAG-AFTRA-eligible actor, and a PlayGround Company Member since 2012, she has been heavily involved in new-play development at Playground, Playwrights Foundation, the Magic, ACT, TheatreWorks, Marin Theatre Company, Ojai Playwrights Conference, and others. She is a core company member of Word for Word Performing Arts Company, and has originated roles in shows that ran in San Francisco and France.
Genevieve Jessee (she/her) is being honored for playwriting. A playwright based in Puerto Rico, she received her MFA in playwriting from Boston University. Her work has been staged at PlayGround, the Source Festival, Atlanta Black Theatre Festival, San Francisco Fringe Festival, EXIT Theatre, Those Women Productions, and the Festival de Marseille. She is the recipient of commissions from PlayGround and Planet Earth Arts.
Jasmine Murray (she/her) is receiving recognition for design/tech. In pursuit of a career in stage management, she grew up in Long Beach, Calif., and graduated from San Francisco State University in May with a Bachelor’s degree in theatre arts, with a minor in business administration. She’s looking forward to exploring the world of theatre and seeing what magic she can help create for the next generation of theatre kids.
Lindsey Abbott (she/her) receives this award for theatre management. An MFA candidate at CUNY Brooklyn College for theatre management, she currently works at Berkeley Rep as a patron experience representative (PER) as well as working at PlayGround as a producing fellow. She hopes to work throughout the Bay Area in theatre, enhancing the community and supporting voices that have systematically been silenced.
The fellowships were made possible by the Fund-a-Future campaign at this year’s PlayGround Gala, which generated $25,000 to help fund the first year of this initiative. PlayGround seeks to raise another $100,000 to fund four additional years of the Women Theatre Artist Fellowships and is accepting additional donations.
PlayGround is a leading playwright incubator and theatre community hub, which provides development opportunities for the Bay Area’s, Los Angeles’s, and New York’s best new playwrights, including the monthly Monday night PlayGround staged reading series, annual PlayGround Festival of New Works, full-length play commissions, and support for the production of new plays by local playwrights through the New Play Production Fund.
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