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SDCF Ockrent Fellow, TDF/Sharaff Awards, NAMT Residency Grants, and More

A roundup of prizes, fellowships, and other recognitions.

Rebecca Kritzer. (Photo by Samuel Pickart)

NEW YORK CITY:  The Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF) has announced that Rebecca Kritzer will be the 2024 Mike Ockrent Fellow. Established in 2001 by the family of the late British stage director, the fellowship helps early-career directors and choreographers to develop their skills by assisting a master director or choreographer on the creation of a big-budget Broadway musical or play. Kritzer will serve as the fellow for director Leigh Silverman and choreographer Mayte Natalio on the Broadway production of SUFFS. Kritzer will receive a $5,000 stipend during the tenure of the fellowship.

Rebecca Kritzer is a Cuban American Miami native, living and working in New York as a director, choreographer, writer, performer, and arts educator. Recently, she was part of the directing cohort at the Mercury Store in Brooklyn for their 2023 fall cycle. She directed the musical Cabaret at San Antonio Broadway Theatre, served as both the associate director and the choreographer of In The Heights at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater, and choreographed Aladdin Jr. for Riverdale Children’s Theatre. She was the associate choreographer for productions of In The Heights (TUTS, Olney Theatre Center) and Sweet Charity (Maltz Jupiter Theatre), and was the assistant choreographer for Another Rose, an interdisciplinary theatrical show for Virgin Voyages.

The Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation celebrates, develops, and supports professional stage directors and choreographers throughout every phase of their careers.

Ann Hould-Ward.

NEW YORK CITY: TDF has announced the recipients of the 2024 TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards. Ann Hould-Ward will receive the TDF/Irene Sharaff Award for Sustained Excellence in Costume Design, an honor presented annually to a costume designer who has achieved great distinction and whose work embodies the qualities of excellence represented in Ms. Sharaff’s lifework.

Richard Hudson.

Scenic designer Richard Hudson will receive the Robert L.B. Tobin Award for Sustained Excellence in Theatrical Design, an award which honors its namesake and symbolizes Tobin’s passion, respect, and esteem for the art of theatrical design.

Machine Dazzle.

Machine Dazzle will receive the the TDF/Kitty Leech Ascending Artist Award and Tricorne, inc. will receive the TDF/Irene Sharaff Artisan Award. The Ascending Artist award, named in honor of the late designer and Sharaff Awards voting committee chair, recognizes a designer whose promising work has come to fruition, encouraging them as they achieve success and excellence in the field. The artisan award recognizes an individual or company that has made an outstanding supportive contribution in the field of costume technology.

An awards ceremony presented through the TDF Costume Collection will take place on Friday, April 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Edison Ballroom.

TDF is a nonprofit service organization dedicated to sharing the power of the performing arts with everyone. TDF’s mission is to sustain live theatre and dance by engaging a broad and diverse audience and eliminating barriers to attendance.

NEW YORK CITY: The National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) has announced the member theatre and writer recipients for the 2023-24 Writers Residency Grants, part of the Frank Young Fund for New Musicals. The fund supports the development and production of new musicals, while the writers residency grants seek to encourage collaborations between NAMT member theatres and writers at the earliest stages of a project.

Each of the following member organizations has received $500 to $2,000 grants: the 5th Avenue Theatre (Seattle) for Emerald Jett by Kendra Allen; Ars Nova (N.Y.) for Elsewhere by Wesley Olivier AKA Klondyke; La Jolla Playhouse (Calif.) for UNTITLED MILCK PROJECT by Sam Chanse, MILCK (Connie K. Lim), and Adrianne Gonzalez; Live & In Color (N.Y.) for We Start in Manhattan: A New Queer Musical by Sav Souza and Ariella Serur; The Morrison Center (Boise, Idaho) for Take Two (Working Title) by Leta Harris Neustaedter; New York Theatre Barn (N.Y.) for SKYWARD: An Ending Elegy by Truth Future Bachman; Olney Theatre Center for the Arts (M.D.) for Built for This by Hallie Gordon, Kira Stone, and Lauren Gunderson; Playwrights Horizons (N.Y.) for Mother, Tree by Kuhoo Verma; and ZACH Theatre (Austin) for Zapata: A Superhero Folklórico Musical by Jesse J. Sanchez.

The next application cycle for the writers residency grants will open April 30 for projects slated to take place between July 1 and December 31. Applicants must be U.S.-based NAMT member nonprofit theatre organizations. Grant recipients are selected by the new works committee, a distinguished panel of industry leaders from across the country.

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre is a nonprofit organization serving the musical theatre community. Its mission is to be a catalyst for nurturing musical theatre development, production, innovation, and collaboration.

Tei Blow and Nile Harris. (Photos by Maria Baranova)

NEW YORK CITY: The Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA) has announced the recipients of its 2024 Grants to Artists awards. 23 individual artists have been recognized for their work in Dance, Music/Sound, Performance Art/Theatre, Poetry, and Visual Arts categories and selected to receive unrestricted $45,000 grants. This year’s Performance Art/Theatre recipients are media designer, technologist, and performance maker Tei Blow and performer and director Nile Harris.

The Grants to Artists awards are unrestricted, by-nomination grants that provide recipients with the financial means to pursue their artistic endeavors. Each year, the foundation invites artists and arts professionals to nominate one exceptional individual, collective, or performing group whom they feel deserves and will benefit from an award. The grant selection committee includes FCA’s board members along with guest panelists working in the five awards disciplines.

FCA will celebrate the 2024 grantees with a reception on April 8. Artist statements, biographies, work samples, and other information about the 2024 grantees are available on FCA’s website.

The Foundation for Contemporary Arts is a nonprofit organization that seeks to encourage, sponsor, and promote innovative work in the arts.

Novid Parsi.

NORMAL, Ill.: The Crossroads Project at the Illinois State University School of Theatre and Dance has selected Novid Parsi’s The Life You Gave Me as the winner of the 2024 Diverse Voices Playwriting Initiative. This initiative was started in 2020 to support the development of new plays by BIPOC playwrights and create opportunities for the Illinois State University and Bloomington-Normal communities to interact with BIPOC professionals in the theatre. Parsi will participate in a one-week new play development workshop on campus, culminating in an in-person staged reading, directed by Dr. Kee-Yoon Nahm, on April 26 at 7:30 p.m. The initiative provides travel, housing, and meals for the winning playwright during the residency, as well as a $500 honorarium.

A panel of judges, including university faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as well as members of the local community, evaluated more than 100 submissions this year. The finalists for the 2024 Diverse Voices Playwriting Initiative include Mikaela Berry’s Spent, Jayne Deely’s I never asked for a gofundme, Pedro Eiras’s The Other America, Raul Garza’s El Nido, DeLane McDuffie’s Follow the Lady, and SMJ’s small town icons.

The Life You Gave Me is an intimate domestic play about an Iranian American man’s relationship with his mother. At the same time, it is an abstract metatheatrical play about a BIPOC writer navigating expectations around the stories he should and should not tell.

Novid Parsi is a playwright whose recent work includes Remains and Returns, a winner of the Ashland New Plays Festival, and Through the Elevated Line, Jeff Award nominee for best new work. His plays have been produced or developed by Boise Contemporary Theater’s BIPOC Playwrights Festival, Golden Thread Productions, The New Group, Paines Plough, Playwrights Foundation, Queens Theatre, Silk Road Rising, and the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival’s Confluence Writers Project, among others. A son of Iranian immigrants, Parsi grew up in East Texas, earned degrees in literature from Swarthmore College and Duke University, and then lived in England and Chicago. He and his husband live in St. Louis.

The Crossroads Project promotes diversity and inclusion in the theatre at Illinois State University and the surrounding communities.

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