jakub | February 23, 2023

AMERICAN THEATRE | Lanise Antoine Shelley Named Black Theatre Coalition AMEX Directing Fellow


Headshot of Lanise Antoine Shelley


Lanise Antoine Shelley. (Photo by Orel Cholette.)

NEW YORK CITY: The Black Theatre Coalition (BTC) has named Lanise Antoine Shelley the recipient of their 2023 American Express Directing Fellowship. Shelley will receive a $50,000 stipend as part of the fellowship.

“Once we identified just how vast the disparity is between the perceived inclusivity onstage and the utter dearth of Black professionals offstage, we began outlining ways in which we could address this invisible imparity,” BTC co-founders T. Oliver Reid, Warren Adams, and Reginald Van Lee said in a joint statement about establishing the coalition. “It’s time to reshape the theatrical ecosystem for those who have been marginalized by the American theatre.”

Shelley is a Haitian director, actor, adaptor, and visual artist who is the creator and host of the podcast When They Were Young: Amplifying Voices of Adoptees. She has directed works with the Rising Sun Performance Company and directed a reading of her original play Pretended at the Paramount School of the Arts. She also adapted Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen for the Chopin Theatre and starred in and associate produced the film Fresh Hell. Shelley was the artistic director of the House Theatre of Chicago from mid-2021 until the theatre’s closure in mid-2022. As part of her BTC fellowship, Shelley recently directed a reading of Phaedra at the Red Bull Theater.

Formed in 2020 to eliminate racial inequities in American theatre, the Black Theatre Coalition currently has more than 50 fellows placed throughout the industry. Fellows receive mentorship from Black professionals in the industry and have the opportunity to put their skills into practice at BTC Pop Up events.

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