New Generations Program

Objective #3: Future Collaborations

This grant is no longer active.  For support for unrestricted travel for theatre artists and organizations, please see the Global Connections Program.

The New Generations Program was designed by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and TCG. The Future Collaborations objective is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Travel grants of up to $6,000 will be awarded in the winter/spring and summer/fall seasons to theatres and theatre professionals for unrestricted international travel, enabling them to share ideas and techniques and/or collaborate with their colleagues around the world.

Objective #3: Future Collaborations

Future Collaborations: Round 10 Summer/Fall Recipients

Clinton Turner Davis (Brooklyn, NY) continued a collaboration in Taipei with Robin Ruizendaal, artistic director of the Taiyuan Puppet Theatre to adapt the Vietnamese literary masterpiece The Tale of Kieu; and began developing, A Sea of Tears -- songs, music and puppets that explore themes of life, separation and the “blues” in different cultures.

Darius Mannino (Burbank, CA) traveled to Kigali, Rwanda, to enhance ongoing relationships with several Rwandan theatre artists through the creation of an original, artist-generated work to be performed in both Rwanda and the U.S.

Michael Sommers (Minneapolis, MN) traveled to Indonesia and began a collaboration with director and shadow puppet master Koes Yulinadi, whose work pushes his country's tradition of puppetry, mask, music, movement and gesture to a contemporary voice and context.

GALA Hispanic Theatre (Washington, DC) producing artistic director, Hugo Medrano and six company members traveled to Madrid and attended special workshops on Spanish classical technique, verse and interpretation; all to prepare for GALA's production of El Caballero de Olmedo by Lope de Vega, which will launch the theater’s upcoming 35th anniversary season.

Three company members of Jump-Start Performance Co. (San Antonio, TX) traveled to Slovakia to work on a joint production with Divadlo z Pasaze, an ensemble of mentally challenged performers.  Together, they will work on Outsider as they also begin a long-term cultural and personal exchange.

Lark Play Development Center (New York, NY) playwrights David Henry Hwang and Lloyd Suh worked with the Lark’s partners at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and The Writers’ Bloc to create a comprehensive action plan for ongoing reciprocal exchange activities between Filipino and U.S. playwrights.

Pregones Theater (Bronx, NY) traveled to Gauteng Province, South Africa, for a convening of the Worldwide Theater Carousel.  Alongside host Tswelopele Performing Artists (TSWEPA), other partners attending are from Belgium and Peru. Collaborators in Chile, Holland, Slovakia and Iraq joined remotely via web.

The grant applications were reviewed by an independent national panel of theatre professionals comprised of  Carlyle Brown, playwright/artistic director, Carlyle Brown & Company (Minneapolis, MN); José Antonio Cruz, producing artistic manager, Repertorio Español (New York, NY); Sharon Graci, artistic director, PURE Theatre (Charleston, SC); Morgan Jenness, creative consultant, Abrams Artists Agency (New York, NY); Rebecca Rugg, associate producer, Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Chicago, IL); and Dawn Akemi Saito, performer/writer/artist-in-residence, Fordham University (Brooklyn, NY).

Future Collaborations: Round 10 Winter/Spring Recipients


Jorge Luis Cacheiro traveled to Havana, Cuba to direct the Latin American premiere of Jorge Cortiñas’ Blind Mouth Singing (Canto Del Pozo Ciego) with the Rita Montaner Theater Company

Puppet artist Tom Lee, traveled to Hachioji, Japan with collaborators Matthew Acheson, Karen Kandel, Bill Ruyle and Lake Simons to research, train and work on a new piece with Master Puppeteer Koryu Nishikawa V and Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo (Wheeled Puppet Theatre).

Playwright Dan O'Brien traveled to the Arctic Circle in Canada to work with Canadian photo journalist and author Paul Watson on a play about his life as a war correspondent, and about his present life in the Arctic.

Double Edge Theatre directors traveled to Moscow to work with collaborators, establish new relationships with artists and presenters, and begin research on their five-country, five-year performance cycle based on the work of Marc Chagall.

McCarter Theatre Center partnered with Danai Gurira and Chipo Chung as they traveled across three continents (Zimbabwe, United Kingdom, United States) to develop a new play that gives voice to Zimbabwe and its people, with a goal of an eventual production at McCarter.

PushPush Theater collaborated with Ballhaus Ost in Berlin to generate an affordable, recurring and reciprocal exchange of artists, ideas, scripts and productions that cross cultural boundaries.

The grant applications were reviewed by an independent national panel of theatre professionals comprised of Dawn Chiang, lighting designer, Dawn Chiang Lighting Design, (Bridgeport, CT); Mark Cuddy, artistic director, Geva Theatre Center, (Rochester, NY); Rachel Fink, Director, School of Theatre, Berkeley Repertory, (Berkeley, CA); Peter Karapetkov, director, PURE International, PURE Theatre, (Charleston, SC); Bill Reichblum, founder and ceo, KadmusArts, (Bennington, VT); Lisa Schlesinger, playwright/asst. professor of playwriting, Columbia College of Chicago, (Iowa City, IA).    


Future Collaborations: Round 9 Summer/Fall Recipients


Joanna Sherman, artistic director of Bond Street Theatre Coalition (New York, NY), traveled to Myanmar to collaborate with Gitameit Music Center to develop their new theatre program.

Denise Maroney of The Children's Theater Company (New York, NY) project-directed & costume designed Books in Motion, a collaboration with The Lebanese Street Theatre Group to adapt youth literature into 'street theatre' and perform for free, in outdoor, site-specific locations across Lebanon.

Rhodessa Jones, co-artistic director of Cultural Odyssey (San Francisco, CA), continued to facilitate the international collaboration between Cultural Odyssey's Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women and the Urban Voices Festival of South Africa.

Playwright Catherine Filloux (New York, NY) developed and adapted plays by two female Cambodian playwrights, Morm Sokly and Chhon Sina, at AMRITA (Phnom Penh) and continue collaborations begun in 2001.

Jason Southerland, artistic director of Next Theatre Company (Evanston, IL), traveled to Israel to work with Return to Haifa author Boaz Gaon and to explore future collaboration with Cameri Theatre.

Director, playwright and educator Johnmichael Rossi (Brooklyn, NY) worked with LOTOS Collective in the Triangulated City, a collaboration with Zoukak Theatre Company and developled a multi-location performance in Beirut, Lebanon.

The Sundance Institute (Beverly Hills, CA) has invited Rwandan composer Alif Naaba to be a Fellow at the 2009 Theatre Lab as on Odile Gakire Katese's project called NWINA UBEHO (Come and Be Alive).

The grant applications were reviewed by an independent national panel of theatre professionals comprised of Devon De Mayo, academy director at Northlight Theatre (Skokie, IL), Erik Ehn, dean at CalArts School of Theater (Valencia, CA); Linda Hartzell, artistic director at Seattle Children’s Theatre (Seattle, WA); Jamil Khoury, artistic director of Silk Road Theatre Project (Chicago, IL); and Freelance director Victor Maog (New York, NY)


Future Collaborations: Round 9 Winter/Spring Recipients

Bedlam Theatre, Minneapolis, MN

Co-artistic director Maren Ward and producing artist Rah Kojis visited Bibi Bulak, a performing arts organization in the small country of Timor-Leste.  Conversations, brainstorming sessions and workshops will contribute to a development of a joint production performed in both countries

Interact Theater, Minneapolis, MN
Artistic director Jeanne Calvit and resident composer and music director Aaron Gabriel attended the Temps des Effusions Culturelles pour l’Education et la Jeunesse (TECEJ) Theater Festival in Pointe Noir, Congo, where they worked with Jean Leopold Ngoulou on the conception and development of a collaboration titled We Are All Africans.

Lark Play Development Center, New York, NY
Producing director John Clinton Eisner and U.S.-Mexico Playwrights Exchange program director Andrea Thome met in Mexico City with partner organizations in the theater and government sectors in order to create a comprehensive plan for a reciprocal component of the program that will bring U.S. playwrights to Mexico for annual translation residencies.

Latino International Theater Festival of New York, Inc. (LITF/NY) New York, NY
Producing Executive Director Susana Tubert traveled to Chile to strengthen artistic dialogues with Chilean theater companies and cement collaborations between Latin American theater artists and TeatroStageFest, the annual theater festival LITF/NY produces in New York.

The Music Center - Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA
Artistic Director for Education Barbara Leonard attended Recontres Internationales de Théâtre de Papier to conduct research and planning for The Music Center’s next Toy Theatre Festival.

New York Theatre Workshop, New York, NY
Artistic director James C. Nicola and associate artistic director Linda Chapman traveled to Jenin, Palestine to visit The Freedom Theatre and its new school in order to further NYTW’s cultural exchange program, Suspects Abroad, and to discuss a future collaboration/co-production.

Pregones Theater, Bronx, NY

Associate artistic director Jorge B. Merced traveled to Antwerp, Belgium for the third convening of the International Virtual Theater School, a project that involves a core group of six theaters across four continents.  The goal is to nurture a mix of traditional and virtual learning and performance projects.

Theatre of Yugen, San Francisco, CA

Co-artistic director, playwright, performer and director Jubilith Moore traveled to Japan to study, attend creative meetings and discuss a future collaboration with Kyogen Master Ishida, Yukio.  They examined the script for Candide, or Optimisim and discuseds staging techniques, as well as songs and dances to be used in the adaptation.

Future Collaborations applications were reviewed by an independent national panel of theatre professionals comprised of Clinton Turner Davis, Associate Professor, Department of Drama and Dance, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO; Jason Loewith, Artistic Director Emeritus, Next Theatre Company, Washington, D.C.; Roche Schulfer, Executive Director, Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL; Torange Yeghiazarian, Artistic Director, Golden Thread Productions, San Francisco, CA ; and Mia Yoo, Artistic Associate at LaMaMa E.T.C., New York, NY


Future Collaborations: Round 8 Summer/Fall Recipients

Playwright/director Chay Yew (New York, NY) traveled to Singapore for a collaboration with Ong Keng Sen and Brian Gothong Tan, director and video/film artist respectively, in writing a new theatre piece, Vivien and the Shadows.

A Contemporary Theatre (Seattle, WA) hosted and collaborated with Luca Ronconi, artistic director of the Piccolo Teatro di Milano (Milan, Italy), on John Barrow's Infinites.

Barclay Goldsmith, producing artistic director of Borderlands Theater (Tucson, AZ) continued their bi-national exchanges with Mexican actors and playwrights to further the Borderlands US/Mexico program.

Interact Theater (Minneapolis, MN) hosted playwright/theatre artist Jean Leopold Ngoulou (Republic of Congo) to begin a cultural and artistic dialogue in preparation for an international collaboration, We Are All Africans.

Northern Stage (White River Junction, VT) deepened its existing relationship with Ndiripo Kana Muripo Theater Collective (Harare, Zimbabwe) by collaborating with company member Michael Kudakwashe for six weeks in Vermont.

Heidi S. Howard, education director of 7 Stages Theatre (Atlanta, GA) traveled to the Netherlands to develop her relationship with ZID Theatre, including specific work with the DIZZ KIDS youth program and planned future collaborations.

Stages Theatre Company (Hopkins, MN) hosted Lee Lyford, artistic director at the young people’s theatre at Theatre Royal's the egg theatre (UK) to plan a youth artist exchange in which young people from both companies will travel to each other's theatres to perform.

Sundance Institute Theatre Program (Beverly Hills, CA) supported the residency of Rwandan playwright/director Odile Gakire Katese as a playwright-in-residence at the Sundance Theatre Lab in Sundance, Utah.

A national independent selection panel, comprised of theatre professionals from across the United States, reviewed applications for this round of Future Collaborations. The selection panel included Catherine Coray, festival director, hotINK International Festival of Play Reading at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts (New York, NY); Ruth Mayleas, board member, League of Professional Theatre Women (New York, NY); Caridad Svich, playwright (South Gate, CA) and Kate Warner, artistic director, Dad’s Garage (Atlanta, GA).


Future Collaborations: Round 7 Spring/Summer Recipients

The Civilians’ (New York, NY) artistic director Steven Cosson traveled to Colombia and Venezuela to plan for future collaboration, particularly with Teatro San Martin in Caracas, Venezuela and Mapa Teatro in Bogotá, Colombia.

Golden Thread Productions (San Francisco, CA) hosted Israeli playwright Motti Lerner to collaborate with the creative team developing Benedictus, a new play created by artists from Iran, Israel and the US.

Director Ricardo Khan (Hoboken, NJ) traveled to the Theatre Royal Stratford East in the United Kingdom and the Market Theatre in the Republic of South Africa and met with artistic leaders to explore future collaboration ideas.

Director, dramaturge and teacher Roberta Levitow (Santa Monica, CA) traveled to four East African countries: Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda to develop and strengthen artistic links between U.S. and East African artists. Ms. Levitow will lead new writing workshops at Kenya’s The Theatre Co., Rwanda's Interdisciplinary Genocide Studies Center, Tanzania's Parapanda Arts, and Uganda's National Theatre.

Playwright Danai Gurira traveled to Liberia where she worked with various women's organizations, UN Organizations who work specifically with female ex-combatants,and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission toconduct research for a new play.

Independent theatre artist Artemis Preeshl (Roseville, MN) traveled to the Republic of Albania to collaborate with Albanian director Arben Kumbaro to create a new play synthesizing the impact of capitalism on contemporary and historical violence, including revenge killing, with traditional Albanian music, Dervish and folk dances.

Stages Theatre Copany's (Hopkins, MN) artistic director Sandy Boren-Barrett traveled to Theatre Royal Bath’s Egg Theatre in the United Kingdom to explore the idea of forming a youth exchange in which actors from both companies will perform together in a co-commissioned musical.

Director Ivan Talijancic (New York, NY) traveled to Zagreb, Croatia where he has been invited by Zagrebacko Kazaliste Mladih (Zagreb Youth Theatre) to get acquainted with the theatre’s acting ensemble, facilities and working methods. Mr. Talijancic also met with the theatre’s artistic staff to discuss plans for a future production.

Teatro del Pueblo’s (St. Paul, MN) artistic director Alberto Justiniano traveled to Peru along with playwright Kiseung Rhee to finish work on Mr. Rhee’s latest piece, Nesian. The piece, commissioned by Teatro del Pueblo, explores the unique Japanese/Peruvian experience during World War II.


Future Collaborations: Round 7 Fall/Winter Recipients

Denise Gabriel, resident movement coach at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival (ASF) traveled to South Africa to teach movement communication and to study traditional African movement for future ASF performances.

New York City-based performer David Barlow traveled to Germany to begin work on a new theatre piece with the Biorama Projekt, and to teach a series of workshops on movement and theatre at the European College of Liberal Arts, Berlin.

Actor Electa Behrens of Belfast, ME traveled to Norway to participate in a research and development project, Primarily Vertical: Stage 1, with theatre director Jorn Riegels Vimpel. The program served in the development of Vimpel’s long-term research on songs from oral traditions and actively explored it within the theatrical structures of Luigi Pirandello’s In Silence and Man with a Flower in His Mouth.

Joanna Sherman, Artistic Director of the Bond Street Theatre Coalition (New York, NY) traveled to Afghanistan to collaborate with Exile Theatre on a new project of performances and workshops for emerging theatres.

Playwright and Artistic Director of Ping Chong & Company (New York, NY) Ping Chong traveled to Japan to attend creative meetings with Yukiza Marionette Theatre and puppet artist Atsushi Yamato to discuss a future collaboration.


The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation ( is a private philanthropic institution that makes grants on a selective basis in five core program areas: higher education and scholarship; libraries and scholarly communication; museums and art conservation; conservation and the environment; and performing arts. The Foundation’s Performing Arts program focuses on achieving long-term results by providing multi-year grants to leading organizations in the disciplines of music, theater, and dance. Annual giving in the area of the performing arts has averaged approximately $28 million per year since 2005. In 2004 The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation was awarded a National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States Government.