New Generations Program

Objective #1: Future Leaders

The New Generations Program was designed by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and TCG.  Round 11 of this program is funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

The Future Leaders objective seeks to identify exceptionally talented theatre professionals who will impact the field in a positive way. The program hopes to nurture future leaders in all areas of theatre including but not limited to acting, administration/management, craft areas, design, directing, dramaturgy/literary management, playwriting, producing, stage management and technical production.

In round 11, eighteen-month grants of $80,000 per theatre ($40,000 per 9-month period) will be given to foster relationships and develop a new generation of leaders through mentorship programs. Up to an additional $10,000 per grant ($5000 per 9-month period) will be available upon request either to defray outstanding student loans or to meet unique travel and legal costs incurred when an international mentee is selected.

Both mentors and mentees should approach this relationship with the assumption that it will be an eighteen-month commitment, and that the mentored individual will be in residence at the theatre in a full-time capacity (at least 35 hours/week). The mentee may not be enrolled in a full-time university or conservatory training program at the commencement of the mentorship.

While the bulk of grant funds must be applied to compensation and benefits for the mentee, we recognize that theatres will inevitably incur costs as a result of participating in the program. Theatres will be allowed to apply grant funds (not to exceed 10% of the grant) towards costs incurred as a result of additional mentorship activities.

This program is not designed to provide stopgap labor for the host theatre or to meet long-term staff needs. It is up to the discretion of the mentee, mentor and host theatre to discuss the most appropriate transition plan for the mentee following the mentorship.

Read what American Theatre says about the New Generations Program in "Hot Seats and Safety Nets" (PDF) and "The Audience as Art" (PDF) by Suzanne M. Sato. You can also download Spotlight On (PDF), an annual publication that introduces the mentees of the program to the theatre field.

Objective#1: Future Leaders

Future Leaders: Round 11 Project Description

Cornerstone Theater Company’s (Los Angeles, CA) artistic director Michael Garcés will mentor Ashley Walden while she serves as associate producer.

New York Theatre Workshop’s (New York, NY) production manager Brian Garber and technical director Paul Bradley will mentor Jason Goedken, a former intern and freelance technician.

Roadside Theater’s (Norton, VA) managing director Donna Porterfield will mentor Mark Kidd, a young professional.

San Diego Repertory Theatre (San Diego, CA) will mentor Herbert Siguenza, through residency, to prepare him to serve as an artistic leader or co-leader at a major regional theatre.

Underground Railway Theater’s (Cambridge, MA) artistic director Debra Wise will mentor Megan Sandberg-Zakian. Ms. Sandberg-Zakian will work as associate artistic director and help create a Public Conversations Initiative during a time of transition for Underground Railway Theater.

Objective#1: Future Leaders

Future Leaders: Round 10 Project Description

Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s (Berkeley, CA) managing director Susan Medak will mentor Meghan Pressman in the capacity of associate managing director. Ms Pressman’s responsibilities will include overseeing contracts, budgets and scheduling.

Center for Puppetry Arts’ (Atlanta, GA) artistic director Jon Ludwig will mentor Michael Haverty in all aspects of artistic leadership including season selection, program growth and the development and direction of new work.

McCarter Theatre Center’s (Princeton, NJ) producing director Mara Isaacs will mentor Erica Nagel in all aspects of creative producing, emphasizing a holistic approach to production, play development and community engagement.

South Coast Repertory’s (Costa Mesa, CA) artistic director Martin Benson will mentor Oanh Nguyen in the newly created position of producing associate in SCR’s artistic department. Mr. Nguyen’s mentorship will encompass a wide range of artistic responsibilities designed to give him in-depth exposure to the workings of a large non-profit theatre.

Sundance Institute Theatre Program’s (New York, NY) producing artistic director Philip Himberg will mentor Deborah Asiimwe in the Institute’s East Africa Initiative, a program of exchange between American and East African theatre artists. Ms. Asiimwe’s duties will span both artistic director and management tasks.

William Inge Center for the Arts’ (Independence, KS) artistic director Peter Ellenstein will mentor Amanda D. White in running a successful professional rural theatre organization through collaborations with volunteers, community and educational organizations.

The Wooster Group’s (New York, NY) director Elizabeth LeCompte and producer Cynthia Hedstrom will mentor Jamie Poskin in directing and producing experimental theater, preparing him to establish his own company.

Read the New Generations Program Round Ten Recipients press release (PDF).

Future Leaders: Round 9 Project Description

Atlantic Theater Company’s (New York, NY) artistic director Neil Pepe will mentor promising director Jaime Castaneda in a program designed to expand Jaime’s leadership capabilities through administrative and artistic roles at Atlantic.

Chicago Dramatists’ (Chicago, IL) artistic director Russ Tutterow will mentor Richard Perez by sharing his knowledge and experience.  Tutterow’s efforts will advance Perez’s journey to become an artistic leader in new work.

Classical Theatre of Harlem’s (New York, NY) artistic director Alfred Preisser will mentor Lydia Fort in artistic direction, strategic planning, board relations and new play development. Lydia will take a leading role in administering the theatre’s Future Classics play reading series at the Schomburg Center for Research in African American Culture.

Dell'Arte International's  (Blue Lake, CA) founding artistic director and school director Joan Schirle will mentor Matt Chapman to develop his potential to be at the forefront of the next generation of leaders in ensemble theatre. Dell’Arte’s director of pedagogical research, Ronlin Forman, will co-mentor Chapman

Huntington Theatre Company, Inc.'s (Boston, MA) artistic director Peter DuBois will mentor Charles Haugland in dramaturgy and new play development.

Pasadena Playhouse State Theatre of California, Inc.'s (Pasadena, CA) artistic director Sheldon Epps will mentor Bari Newport through an artistic associate position in preparation for an artistic directorship of her own.

Redmoon Theater’s (Chicago, ILL) artistic director Frank Maugeri and resident artist Jim Lasko will mentor Gabriel Richardson, providing him with skills and contacts for a career in technical theater.

Second Stage Theatre’s (New York, NY) artistic director Carole Rothman will mentor Jade King Carroll to become an artistic director and prepare her for starting her own theater company.

The Talking Band’s  (New York, NY) founder Paul Zimet will mentor Sam Chase as managing director in creating and managing an experimental ensemble theater company.

Theatre Grottesco North America, Inc.'s (Santa Fe, NM) artistic director John Flax will mentor Kate Kita in areas of artistic creation, production, outreach and community relations as she moves toward becoming a producing artistic director.

Round 9 Mentee Bios

Jade King Carroll's directing credits include Cherry Smoke (Theatre Row), The Persians, Splittin’ the Raft (People's Light & Theatre) After Adam (Playpenn), Contents of a Book, Life as a Balloon (McCarter Ink Festival), The Summer House, White Baby (Passage Theatre), Like Father (Producer's Club), The Adoration (Chocolate Factory Theatre), White Trash (Players Theatre). Ms. Carroll has directed workshops and readings for McCarter Theatre, New Dramatists, Second Stage Theatre, Playwright’s Realm, BE Company, Clockwork Theatre, 24 Hour Plays & New Jersey Rep.  As an assistant director she has worked with Michael Greif, Les Waters, Rebecca Taichman, Michael Kahn, Gary Griffin, Lisa Peterson, Lou Bellamy & Ruben Santiago-Hudson among many others.

Jaime Castañeda Welcome to Arroyos (Summer Play Festival), One for the Road (DirectorFest) Crave, Closer, Blue/Orange, Nocturne, Sonnets for an Old Century (FireStarter Productions) Red Light Winter (Perseverance Theatre) Attack of the Asians (Kennedy Center) This is How it Goes (Amphibian Stage Productions) Lincolnesque, A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant (Circle Theatre). Mr. Castañeda has assistant directed at the Atlantic Theater Company, Old Globe Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Center Theatre Group and on the recent revival of Speed the Plow on Broadway.  He has received a Drama League Fall Fellowship, a 2008 Princess Grace Award and various Dallas/Fort Worth critics awards. Education: MFA Directing (University of Texas at Austin).

Matt Chapman is a performer, director, and teacher of physical theatre and clown. He is artistic director and co-founder of Brooklyn's Under the Table, now in its ninth year of making works and touring. He has taught clown at Marymount Manhattan College and Manhattanville College in New York, and has taught workshops at such places as the Kennedy Center, NYU, Vassar, Sarah Lawrence, and Towson. Mr. Chapman works abroad regularly as well; his workshops in the last two years have included South Africa, Denmark, the Netherlands, and England. He is a graduate of Dell'Arte International and the University of Kansas.

Sam Chase first began work with the Talking Band in 2005, becoming development director in 2007, and managing director in 2009. He has served as a development and arts management consultant for numerous award-winning theaters in New York, including Red Bull Theatre, and Theatre for a New Audience. Prior to that, he served as Assistant Director at Ten Thousand Things and Communications Director at The Playwrights' Center, both in Minneapolis. Mr. Chase received his Masters at Harvard University, where he held the Javits Fellowship, and graduated valedictorian at Vanderbilt University with Highest Honors in Theatre.

Lydia Fort has directed and developed work at Ensemble Studio Theater; New Federal Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem; Ma-Yi Theater, The Public Theater; Soho Think Tank; The Hangar Theatre; New Professional Theatre; Lark Play Development Center; MudBone; CAP21 and the Ethnic Cultural Theatre in Seattle, WA.  Awards: New York Theatre Workshop Directing Fellowship, SDCF Observership, and Drama League Directing Fellowship. Currently, Ms. Fort is in mentorship at Classical Theatre of Harlem as the recipient of the TCG New Generations Program. B.A., NYU. MFA, University of Washington School of Drama, directing.

Charles Haugland is the literary associate for the Huntington Theatre Company.  His dramaturgy has also been seen at Company One (Boston), PROP THTR (Chicago), Arizona Theatre Company, and Nebraska Repertory Theatre. Mr. Haugland previously was an intern at the Huntington and Actors Theatre of Louisville.  He holds a B.A. from Illinois Wesleyan University, and writes about Naomi Wallace's work.

Kate Kita is the managing director and an ensemble member of Theater Grottesco where she has created and performed in original productions for the past four seasons. She has worked in various areas of management, production and creation with companies such as Classic Stage Company, New York Stage and Film, the Ohio Theatre, the Hangar Theatre Lab Company, and International WOW. Ms. Kita is a co-founder of the Brooklyn-based arts collaborative The Engine and a creator of the company’s writing program. She holds a BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and is a certified Montessori teacher.

Best known for her edgy sensibility and her bold, precise staging, producer/director/actor, Bari Newport brings an element of moxie to every project she takes on. For five and a half years, she was the associate director of Florida Repertory Theatre, where she was influential in the economic growth of the theatre. There, Ms. Newport also bolstered education programs, developed new work and directed thirteen productions, including the first regional theatre production of The Underpants. Her work has also been seen at Horizon Theatre Company, Greenbrier Valley Theatre, Cumberland County Playhouse, Sacramento Theatre Company and at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Richard Perez recently ended a seven year tenure as the producing artist director of the Bloomington Playwrights Project in Indiana. In that time he oversaw the development and production of over thirty new plays. Directing credits include: The Mercy Swing (2007 New York Fringe Festival); Nocturnal (part of the Kennedy Center's New Visions/New Voices Festival); and the 2007/2009 Symposiums of Bonderman New Play Development (Indiana Repertory Theatre). Mr. Perez studied acting at The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and with Uta Hagen at HB Studios in New York City and has an MFA in Performance from Arizona State University.

Gabriel Richardson is a technically focused artist who began his love affair with stage and spectacle at Chicago's Redmoon Theater. Before being introduced to theatre Mr. Richardson studied as a blacksmith and metal sculptor. He now serves as Redmoon's artistic engineer, a role that combines many of the technical aspects of theatre and spectacle to accomplish the unique entity that is a Redmoon production as well as the creative visions of the involved collaborators. Mr. Richardson’s credits include: The Rivals (Polarity Ensemble Theater) as technical director, Look What I Don't Understand (Thirteenth Pocket Production-Poland) as set designer,Winter Pageant Redux (Redmoon Theater) as a collaborative designer,Spectacle 2008 (Redmoon Theater) as apprentice artistic engineer, and Last of My Species: The Fearless Songs of Laarna Cortaan (Redmoon Theater) as artistic engineer.