Drama League's New Impact Residency Among First of Its Kind in the U.S.

Drama League's New Impact Residency Among First of Its Kind in the U.S.

The Drama League has just announced The Impact Residency, a new opportunity for ensembles and devised theatre makers that is among the first of its kind in the United States.

A partnership between The Drama League and the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC) in Queens, The Impact Residency will award $10,000 in development support, 120 hours of rehearsal space in LPAC's 740-seat Mainstage Theater and 199-seat Little Theater, 30 additional hours of technical rehearsal with a complement of technical staff, a work-in-progress workshop presentation at The Drama League Theater Center in Tribeca, and a presentation of as part of LPAC's Rough Draft Festival, with the opportunity to stage the premiere of the work there as well in the future, if desired.

Applications for the 2017 Impact Residency will be available September 6th at www.dramaleague.org.

"There are no greater obstacles for emerging artists than inadequate space, time, and money. This is doubly true of devised theater makers and ensembles, who thrive when these resources are available," said Drama League Executive Artistic Director Gabriel Stelian-Shanks of the new initiative. "With our fantastic partners at LPAC, we are able to offer luxurious amounts of all three, so that these artists can create thoughtful, powerful new pieces for the stage. To create in these wonderful environments, embedded inside one of the world's most diverse communities, will be a dream come true for many ensembles."

LPAC Artistic Producing Director Steven Hitt had this to share, "With this new partnership between The Drama League and LPAC we have the opportunity to impact the lives of our artists and the people of our incredibly diverse community." He went on to add, "Artists have space to envision and create new work. Audiences experience live performance - often for the very first time. With this new model the work is given time to breathe and grow, and change over a period of time; while the topic has the opportunity to influence and change the community."

Under the stewardship of Drama League Associate Producer Travis LeMont Ballenger and LPAC Associate Artistic Director Handan Ozbilgin, The Impact Residency will also feature professional mentorship and encourage new modalities of theatrical creation. "Devised practice puts a director's contributions at the center of an unique ecosystem, and it inspires work that challenges, inspires and invigorates audiences," said Mr. Stelian-Shanks.

"The Impact Residency seeks to combat some of the most pressing issues of our time for artists, both financial and technical," Drama League Associate Producer Travis LeMont Ballenger. "By pointing this residency towards ensemble groups, The Drama League and LaGuardia Performing Arts Center further demonstrate our shared goal to do what isn't being done."

LPAC Associate Artistic Director Handan Ozbilgin stated, "Spanning 10 years, LPAC has hosted more than 70 emerging companies and artists at the center from all 5 boroughs. The selected resident artists enter as a guest, but by the end of their residency they become like a member of the family to us. LPAC is always a safe place to create! Our partnership with Drama League is a very exciting new chapter for us. Both organizations share the same vision about the creative process."

Travis Lemont Ballenger joined the Drama League's artistic leadership team in June. He was most recently the Associate Producer for Dallas Theater Center. Over his career, Mr. Ballenger has produced a wealth of playwrights during his tenures at Arena Stage, Market Road Films, and The Hip-Hop Theater Festival. Mr. Ballenger served as an Associate Producer for Market Road Films (for National Geographic) and field producer on Lynn Nottage's The Reading Project with the Labyrinth Theatre. He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University.

Handan Ozbilgin works as an independent director in NYC and is the Associate Artistic Director at LPAC. Handan conceived of and cultivated the widely acclaimed LPAC LAB Space Grant Program. Now in its eighth year under Handan's leadership, the LAB has hosted more than 70 companies. Handan is also the curator and founder of The Rough Draft Theater Festival and Global Exchange Program.

The Drama League of New York, since 1916, has been at the forefront of the American Theatre community, providing talent, audiences, and prosperous support. It is one of the nation's oldest continuously-operating, not-for-profit arts advocacy and education organizations. Through its programs, initiatives and events, The Drama League serves over 3,000 artists and 15,000 Audience members each season with over 150 events and programs. For more information about events or membership, call Tom Sime at 212.244.9494 ext 101. For additional information, visit the website at www.dramaleague.org.

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