NEW YORK CITY: Broadway producers Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey, along with Steven Chaikelson, head of the M.F.A. theatre management and producing concentration at Columbia University, have named Lamar Richardson as the 2022 Front Row Fellow. The Front Row Fellowship, which launched last year in collaboration with Columbia, is a year-long program that aims to foster a pipeline for future Broadway producers of color. It seeks to advance individuals who have producing and theatre management backgrounds by giving them the tools to succeed in a competitive theatrical industry.
The fellowship provides entrepreneurial skills, the opportunity to create business opportunities, and access and guidance to New York and regional industry professionals. The goal is for the fellow to be able to take an existing project to the next stage of development in hopes of becoming a future leading commercial producer.
As the 2022 Fellow, Richardson will receive a $10,000 stipend, a $20,000 budget to cover development costs, one-on-one support from mentors and advisors, access to Columbia University resources, including the library system, and courses offered through the MFA concentration in theatre management and producing, and the opportunity to participate in the Theatre Management & Producing Concentration’s Producer Exchange Program with Stage One in the U.K.
“We are thrilled to announce Lamar as 2022 Front Row Productions Fellow at Columbia University,” said Byrd and Jones-Harvey in a joint statement. “The enthusiasm, innovative approaches to theatre, and acumen of the applicants this year made our selection process a challenge. Along with our mentors, advisors, and Steven Chaikelson, we look forward to working with Lamar on his journey to bring his project to the commercial theatre and expand upon his very intention to be a catalyst for change.”
Richardson is an actor and producer born in New Brunswick, N.J., who was raised in Charlotte, N.C. Acting credits include Phylicia Rashad’s production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Weird City, Black Terror, Straight Up, and New Amsterdam. Richardson will make his Broadway debut as co-producer in the upcoming revival of Death of a Salesman at the Hudson Theatre. He is currently producing Afrika Brown’s play The Fight, and has co-founded Ivy Lion Productions, an independent production company that centers underrepresented voices and champions empowering stories. Richardson holds a B.A. from Columbia.
Front Row Productions was established to bring major works to Broadway and the West End featuring diverse casts, creative teams, and management. The Front Row Fellowship is supported by the Barbara Stiefel Foundation, Comcast NBCU Foundation, No Guarantees, Jujamcyn Theaters, the Nederlander Organization, The Shubert Organization, Ira Pittelman, Rene Smith, Sharon Karmazin, Jeffrey Richards, Scott Wilcox, Thomas R. Distler, Jennifer Melin Miller, Dr. Ofem I. Ajah, Kenneth Schur, Merrie L. Davis, Jack W. Batman, Roland Archer, Judicial Friends Association, Avery Kotler, Philip M. Getter, and Runi Mehta.
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