jakub | April 27, 2024

AMERICAN THEATRE | Doris Duke Awards, Guggenheim Fellowships, Reiser Lab, and More

NEW YORK CITY: The Doris Duke Foundation has announced the recipients of the 2024 Doris Duke Artist Awards for theatre, dance, and jazz. Nataki Garrett and Chay Yew were each awarded an unrestricted gift of $525,000 for achievements in theatre.

Garrett is the former executive artistic director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and former acting artistic director of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. She is currently the co-artistic director of One Nation/One Project and leads the #ArtsforEveryBody arts and health initiative. Garrett is a member of the Theatre Communications Group board of directors.

Yew is a New York-based playwright and director from Singapore who previously served as the artistic director of the Victory Gardens Theater. His work has been produced at La Jolla Playhouse, Manhattan Theatre Club, and Long Wharf Theatre, among others. At Victory Gardens, Yew oversaw the world premieres of 18 plays. He is known for his plays Porcelain, A Language of Their Own, and Wonderland, which make up the Whitelands Trilogy.

MINNEAPOLIS and ST. PAUL: Theater Latté Da has named Jay Adana the recipient of this year’s NEXT Generation Commission. The $20,000 commission supports women artists of color to develop new musical theatre projects.

Adana is the writer and composer of The Jordan and Avery Show, which will be further developed with the NEXT Generation Commission. The show follows two broke comedians whose song about their eviction goes viral. The Jordan and Avery Show was developed at the 2022 National Music Theater Conference at the O’Neill. Adana is also under commission with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and was a resident of the Public Theater’s #BARS program.

NEW YORK CITY: The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has announced the recipients of the 2024 Guggenheim Fellowships. This year 188 culture creators working across 52 disciplines were selected to participate in the fellowship program out of nearly 3,000 applicants. In recognition of their achievements and exceptional promise, fellows receive a monetary stipend to pursue independent work. The Guggenheim Fellowships seek to “further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions.”

This year’s fellowship class represents 84 academic institutions, 38 U.S. states as well as Washington, D.C., and four Canadian provinces. Roughly one out of four of the fellows do not hold a full-time affiliation with a college or university. Seven fellowship recipients specialize in drama, performance art, and theatre art studies. The drama and performance art fellows include Joshua Harmon, Modesto Jimenez, Martyna Majok, James Scruggs, and Caridad Svich. The theatre arts and performance studies fellows are Jack Halberstam and Tavia Nyong’o. A full list of fellowship recipients is available here.

Created and initially funded in 1925, by U.S. Senator Simon and Olga Guggenheim in memory of their son John Simon, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has since granted over $400 million in Fellowships to more than 19,000 individuals.

The Dramatists Guild of America has announced the recipients of the inaugural Dramatists Guild Advocacy Award, which will be presented at the Guild’s annual awards night on Mon., May 6 at Sony Hall. The award recognizes artists who have emerged as leading advocates within the theatrical community, highlighting individuals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to promoting the professional and economic interests of theatre writers, ensuring their voices are heard and their contributions are recognized.

This year’s advocacy award recipients are:

 Ife Olujobi (Jordans), for her work advocating for wage increases for playwrights at the Public Theater, which marked the first increase in playwright pay at the theatre in 12 years. Her efforts also resulted in playwrights receiving compensation for preproduction and reimbursement for health insurance, along with annual reviews of compensation to ensure that playwrights continue to be fairly compensated for their work.

Pulitzer finalist Warren Leight (Law & Order: SVU) and the Captains of the 2023 Writers Guild of America Strike, who led the charge for new contracts for film and television writers on the ground during ongoing negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Their efforts, galvanized by the solidarity of the Screen Actors Guild and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, united the members of WGA East and West to demonstrate and leverage their power for 148 days. The new contract offered members increased pay minimums, increased health insurance and pension contributions, protections from artificial intelligence, improved terms for streaming residuals, and increased the minimum number of writers who could be employed for a film or television series. The 365 strike captains will be represented at the awards by Micharne Cloughley (Law & Order: SVU), Patrick Coker (East New York), Karen DiConcetto (SKAM Austin), David Handelman (The Newsroom), Sheri Holman (Palm Royale), Starlee Kine (Search Party), Sarah Montana (Rescuing Christmas) Victoria Pollack (Law & Order: Organized Crime), Iturri Sosa (Narcos: Mexico) and Adam Wiesen (East New York).

Find out more and purchase tickets to the awards night here.

The Dramatists Guild of America is the professional trade association for playwrights, librettists, lyricists, and composers. The guild works to protect and advance the rights of all theatre writers across the country.

ATLANTA: The Alliance Theatre has announced Round 9 and 10 selections for its annual project development program, the Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab. Since its launch in 2013, the lab has sought to provide opportunities for and support to multidisciplinary artists seeking a home for undeveloped work. The round nine projects will be presented in the 2024 Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab Festival May 31-June 2, at the Woodruff Arts Center. These projects include Hold on to Your Names (May 31 at 6 p.m.) by Ipek Eginli, Sara Ghazi Asadollahi, Juana Farfán; Rome & Juice (June 1 at 6 p.m.) by Justen Ross aka Domino Juicy Balenciaga, N’yomi Stewart aka Omi Juicy Balenciaga, and Jade Maia Lambert; and Sweet Clay Lands (June 2 at 3 p.m.) by Anterior Leverett, Damian Lockhart, and Jasmine Waters.

The Round 10 projects to be presented in Spring 2025 include Day by Emma Yarbrough, Caitlin Greenamyre, and Melissa Word; Peps! Cola Bitch by Dalyla Nicole, K. Parker, and Amanda Washington; and Plastic Bottle Genie by Vynnie Meli, Jimmica Collins, and Cedwan Hook.

The Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab aims to celebrate the breadth and vision of Atlanta-based artists, encourage collaboration among Atlanta’s artistic community, and seed projects that will be locally produced. Each year Atlanta artists are openly invited to submit works for consideration, which are then evaluated by a panel of local and national judges from varying creative disciplines. Three projects are selected for the lab, along with a prize of $10,000 for further exploration and development. Participants are also provided access to the Alliance’s artistic, educational, and production staff, and rehearsal spaces.

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