TCG Announces 2nd Cycle Grant Recipients of Int'l Global Connections

By: May. 25, 2011
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Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, announces the second cycle of the Global Connections program recipients, the new international grant funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to build bridges and artistic collaborations between U.S. theatre professionals and counterparts abroad.

The program encourages reciprocity and cultural exchange throughout the world through two components: ON the ROAD, grants to foster new relationships with international colleagues, and IN the LAB, grants to further pre-existing international collaborations.

Inaugural Global Connections ON the ROAD recipient, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, shared this statement: "Our trip to Moscow last month was a great catalyst for our international work, as The Golden Mask Festival gave us a big-picture perspective on new Russian drama, original director-driven work, and reinvented classics. This travel opportunity and our work with Russian artists in DC are already pointing the way towards practical and philosophical shifts to deepen our work and its relevance to our audiences.

During this cycle, the Global Connections program will support the travel of U.S. artists and theatre practitioners to Afghanistan, China, Congo Brazzaville, England, Finland, Lebanon, South Africa, and South Korea.

"TCG has had a longstanding history of supporting international artistic collaborations and cultural exchange through travel grants, sending delegations abroad, and service as the U.S. Center of the InterNational Theatre Institute," said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG. "We are inspired by these talented, forward-thinking artists, who are taking an active role within the interNational Theatre community-collaborating, experiencing new aesthetics and learning new practices-in order to better connect and engage with their local communities back home.

The following six recipients were each awarded up to $6,000 for unrestricted travel support to foster new relationships with international colleagues that will inspire future collaborations:

Mia Chung (Providence, RI) will collaborate with musical theatre artist Yong Jin Song in Seoul, South Korea to create a bilingual, modern pansori, the traditional Korean art form of solo opera.

Dan O'Brien (Santa Monica, CA) will travel with journalist Paul Watson to Kabul, Afghanistan to work on a play about Afghanistan's first English-language school in the 1990s for the children of the Taliban.

Katy Rubin (New York City) will exchange practices with Cardboard Citizens and Mind the Gap, two British theatres that work with homeless and learning-disabled actors respectively, to enhance her directing work with those communities in New York.

Kate Sutton-Johnson (Minneapolis, MN) will travel to Congo Brazzaville to collaborate with American, British, Bantu and Pygmy artists using sustainable materials from urban and rain forest areas to create the set and visual elements for a theatre piece.

Carmen C. Wong (Washington, DC) will continue research and documentation with Finish collaborators and food designers in Helsinki, Finland to create a culturally-specific experiential food-and-performance hybrid.

San Francisco International Arts Festival (San Francisco) will partner with Erika Chong Shuch for travel to South Korea to build a collaborative team for the creation of a new multidisciplinary work inspired by stories about the sociopolitical situation in North Korea.

IN the LAB
The following three recipients were each awarded $10,000 to further pre-existing international collaborations by supporting residencies that advance the development of a piece and/or explore elements leading up to a full production:

Liza Bielby (Detroit, MI) will co-lead a month-long training exchange between U.S. physical theatre artists and xiqu artists in Shanghai, China, culminating in a workshop performance merging xiqu with American vaudeville.

Denise Maroney (New York City) will workshop an environmental play with Lucien Bourjeily and other Lebanese artists (Beirut, Lebanon), for their upcoming productions in fishing enclaves along the country's coast.

Quest: Arts for Everyone (Lanham, MD) will host deaf and hearing actors from FTH:K (Cape Town, South Africa) to create an original visual theatre piece that will tour in the U.S. and South Africa

The Round One, Cycle B panelists included: Debbie Chinn, Consultant (Philadelphia, PA); Elizabeth Hess, Professor, Performer, Playwright, NYU (New York, NY); Morgan Jenness, Creative Consultant, Abrams Artist Agency (New York, NY); Kim Peter Kovac, Producing Director, Theater for Young Audiences, Kennedy Center (Washington, DC); Chiori Miyagawa, Playwright (New York, NY), Sandy Shinner, Associate Artistic Director, Victory Gardens Theater (Chicago, IL); Philip Sneed, Producing Artistic Director, Colorado Shakespeare Festival (Boulder, CO); Nilaja Sun, Artist (New York, NY); Mark Valdez, National Coordinator Network of Ensemble Theaters (Los Angeles, CA).

To read more about the recipients and their artistic collaborations, visit:

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