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Woolly Mammoth Names 3 Miranda Family Fellows

Fellows Tania Crescencio (connectivity), Fatima Dyfan (new work), and Malaya Press (development), will each have paid year-long department-specific positions that include benefits and a housing stipend.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company has announced the second cohort of fellows for the Miranda Family Fellowship program. The 2022-23 cohort includes Tania Crescencio as the connectivity fellow, Fatima Dyfan as the new work fellow, and Malaya Press in the newly named role of development fellow. Created in partnership and supported by a lead gift from the Miranda Family Fund, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s family philanthropic fund, the program is designed to provide talented candidates from historically excluded communities, especially folks who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color, with the job experience, resources, and training necessary to build their careers as arts administrators or theatre technicians.

“We are thrilled to welcome Tania, Fatima, and Malaya to Woolly Mammoth,” said Woolly Mammoth artistic director Maria Manuela Goyanes in a statement. “Our first cohort of Miranda Family Fellows—Autumn Mitchell, Jeremy Pesigan, and Citali Pizarro—set an incredible example for this next group of young theatre professionals. It is an honor to be part of the journeys of the next generation of leaders in American theatre, and for Woolly to gain so much from their creativity, intelligence, and passion.”

The fellowship is structured as a paid year-long department-specific position that includes health benefits and a housing stipend. Fellows have access to professional development opportunities, anti-racism and anti-oppression training, affinity spaces, as well as networking events held locally and as a part of the larger network of Miranda Family Fellows.

As the connectivity fellow, Tania Crescencio will aid Woolly Mammoth’s connectivity department in linking the theatre’s artistic mission with its social and political mission through artistic programs, community engagement, and audience enrichment activities. Born in Ciudad de México and raised in Antioch, Tenn., Crescencio is a first-generation college graduate and a daughter of immigrants. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn. She seeks to combine design and advocacy in her craft, having worked with organizations such as the National Association for Latino Independent Producers, Latino Achievers, Partners of the Americas, and UnidosUS.

As the new work fellow, Fatima Dyfan will be immersed in Woolly’s artistic team and exposed to season planning, new work development, and production dramaturgy processes. Dyfan is a performer, poet, and creative spirit who believes in healing, community, care, and the immense power of imagination. She graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor’s in government and African American studies with a minor in theatre and performance studies. She served as the executive producer of GU’s Black Theatre Ensemble for two years, where she directed Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls… and ended her collegiate career with a performance art thesis exploring autobiographical notions of black womanhood. 

As the first development fellow, Malaya Press will be immersed in Woolly’s fundraising and strategic development department. They are a recent alum of Ithaca College, where they graduated with a Bachelor of Music in voice with an outside field in theatre arts management. Malaya founded the Ithaca College Musicians’ Intersectionality Initiative, a student organization that advocates for representation and support of musicians from marginalized backgrounds in the School of Music curriculum and community. They have also served as subscriptions coordinator for the Ithaca College Theatre, development intern for Opera Mississippi, and administrative intern for the International Performing Arts Institute. Malaya’s advocacy for new work is rooted in their musical background, having performed and premiered many new pieces for voice, wind band, and trombone choir. Most recently, they were cast in the world premiere of We Wear the Sea Like a Coat, an opera written by Sally Lamb McCune, Rachel Lampert, and Yvonne Gray.

“The Miranda Family Fund welcomes this new cohort of Miranda Family Fellows to Woolly Mammoth, a theatre innovator that remains close to me and my family’s heart,” said Luis A. Miranda Jr. in a statement. “With 300 applicants for three positions, the response to our program was astounding, and our inaugural cohort has been extraordinary. We know that this next group will continue that momentum and begin to chart their paths as future industry leaders. The energy and excitement around these Fellowships and our collaboration with Woolly Mammoth further proves our hypothesis that supporting diverse, emerging theatre artists across multiple disciplines is a necessary change for the betterment of the American theatre.” 

Major support for the Miranda Family Fellowships is provided by the Wilke Family Foundation, the UPS Foundation, and the Patalano Family with additional support from Kristin Ehrgood and Vadim Nikitine, Judith Heumann, The Venable Foundation, and the Verizon Foundation.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company is a nonprofit theatre company located in Washington, D.C. For more than 40 years, Woolly has been committed to producing new works that redefine theatre as a catalyst for an equitable, creative, and engaged society. As of 2019, Woolly Mammoth had a budget of approximately $4.7 million.

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