NEW YORK CITY: Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre and the publisher of American Theatre, has announced the participants in the eighth round of its Rising Leaders of Color (RLC) Program. Whereas previous RLC cohorts have comprised theatremakers, artists, producers, and journalists of color, this year’s participants are all three talented early-career BIPOC theatre journalists who demonstrate the potential to impact the field in a positive way. Funding for Rising Leaders of Color activities is supported in part by Howard Gilman Foundation and Walt Disney Imagineering.
“We’re excited to welcome this new cohort of theatre journalists to the Rising Leaders of Color Program,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG, in a statement. “In our conversations with theatre workers, we’ve heard over and over about the need to invest in theatre journalism, especially from BIPOC, TGNC, and disabled journalists. We’re thrilled to work with this cohort through Rising Leaders of Color, American Theatre magazine, and so much more.”
“We are thrilled to launch the eighth round of the Rising Leaders of Color program,” said Emilya Cachapero, director of grantmaking programs, in a statement. “BIPOC journalists and critics are the key to unlocking meaning in work created by BIPOC theatremakers that may not be seen otherwise. A robust dialogue between BIPOC critics and BIPOC theatremakers generates a more vibrant theatre ecosystem where BIPOC audiences can see their truths, complexities, and questions voiced. Equally valuable is the role BIPOC journalists and critics play to uncover aesthetic, cultural and political meaning in work created by non-BIPOC cultures.”
Amanda L. Andrei (she/her) is a playwright, literary translator, theatre critic, and community archivist residing in Los Angeles by way of Virginia/Washington, D.C. The plays she writes center the concealed, wounded places of history and societies from the perspectives of diasporic Filipina women, and she co-translates from Romanian to English with her father, Codin Andrei. Her plays have been produced by Relative Theatrics and developed with Boston Court, NY Classical Theater, La MaMa, Echo Theatre, the Vagrancy, Pasadena Playhouse, Artists at Play, and more. She also reviews theatre for Stage Raw and the South Eastern European Film Festival (SEEFest), and her reviews of translated literature and poetry have appeared in Hopscotch Translation, Barrelhouse magazine, and more.
Citlali Pizarro (she/her) is a writer, theatre artist, and producer based in New York City. She currently works as an associate line producer at the Public Theater. She is interested in linking the development of new theatrical work to the envisioning of more just worlds, and cultivating interdisciplinary, anti-oppressive, and deeply collaborative artistic processes. She has received the PEN America Writing for Justice Fellowship, Marvel Cooke Journalism Fellowship, and the inaugural Miranda Family Fellowship in Connectivity at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Her writing has been featured in Current Affairs and Shadowproof.
afrikah selah (they/them) is a Boston-based cultural worker with a focus on producerial dramaturgy, new-play development, and arts writing. They are the 2022-23 NNPN New Work Producer in Residence at Company One Theatre, whose mission is to build community at the intersection of art and social change. Outside of producing, collaborating, and supporting new work in development, they are a freelance arts writer who has written for the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.), New England Theatre Geek, The Public Theater, and 3Views on Theater. They are also a proud alum of the BIPOC Critics Lab, and the Front Porch Arts Collective’s Young Critics Program. As a cultural worker, they strive to create intentional work that activates and bridges community action and dialogue at the intersections of identity, time and space, social change, and care-centered engagement for artists and audiences.
The panelists for the 2023 RLC Program were Jose Solís (he/him), a Honduran cultural critic based in Madrid, Spain; Cristina Pla-Guzman (she/her), a teaching artist, director, actress, singer, theatre critic, writer, and previous RLC journalist; and Jerald Raymond (J.R.) Pierce (he/him), the former arts and culture reporter and theater critic for The Seattle Times and new Chicago editor of American Theatre magazine.
The 2023 RLC Program will combine practical skills building with professional connections and opportunities to develop empowering relationships, as well as tools and resources to navigate a career in the theatre field as a BIPOC theatre journalist/critic. Activities include a two-week workshop for arts writers and critics at the O’Neill’s National Critics Institute, individual coaching, cohort meetings, and professional development webinars on topics selected specifically for the needs of the cohort.
RLC builds on the learnings and momentum of the Young Leaders of Color Program (YLC) and the SPARK Leadership Programs. From 2008 to 2013, YLC brought 79 leaders of color to TCG National Conferences. RLC expands and re-envisions that community as part of an ongoing national network of leaders of color. During 2014-15, the SPARK Leadership Program assembled a cohort of 10 leaders of color for a focused, year-long professional development curriculum. Through RLC and SPARK and its other professional development programs, TCG has supported a variety of learning opportunities and networking programs to meet the diverse needs of BIPOC theatre leaders at various stages of their career.
Support American Theatre: a just and thriving theatre ecology begins with information for all. Please join us in this mission by making a donation to our publisher, Theatre Communications Group. When you support American Theatre magazine and TCG, you support a long legacy of quality nonprofit arts journalism. Click here to make your fully tax-deductible donation today!