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Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas Announces 2020 Grants and Awards Winners

LMDA annually gives $7,000 directly to individual dramaturgs in support of their creative projects.

Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas Announces 2020 Grants and Awards Winners

LMDA has announced the recipient of their inaugural Innovation Grant, which awards $1500 to support an artist who is pushing the boundaries of dramaturgical work. This year's recipient of The Innovation Grant is David Clauson.

The Alternative Canon is a free online sourcebook to help artists and educators challenge Eurocentric, patriarchal, racist, and other biases in theater history. Originally conceived by Preying Womantis, an ad-hoc, anonymous feminist collective founded in 2016, the project was passed over to its current steward, David Clauson, later that year.

This project is the next phase of The Alternative Canon, which began as a sourcebook of plays from before 1945 from outside the Western canon, or by women or writers of color. Over three panel discussions in 2021, a diverse group of artists and educators will explore new, inclusive approaches to theater history in the classroom and on stage. How do we teach and stage works by writers from under-resourced communities? How do we understand, contextualize, and discuss plays from radically different cultural traditions? How can artists and scholars have difficult conversations with organizations and audiences about decolonizing theater history? By the end of their three sessions, the panels, recorded and available for free online, will form a practical toolkit to answer these difficult questions.

The Field Grant

This grant of $1000 is given annually to support a dramaturg-led project that fosters an expanded understanding of the dramaturgical field. LMDA is pleased to announce this year's recipient is Lindsay A. Jenkins (L.J.). Lindsay holds an M.A. in Theatre from California State University, Northridge. She is particularly passionate about Black Performance Heritage, connecting past performances to contemporary experiences. L.J. is the founder of Maroon Arts and Culture, an organization dedicated to empowerment through performance, arts education and cultural programming.

Afrocentric theatre is rooted in a long history that decentralizes text in favor of embodied performance practices. Therefore, when developing and devising works that emphasize Black aesthetics, experiences and performance heritages, it is critical that the dramaturgical methods be in alignment. Sandbranch is a devised theatre project that seeks to explore and expand on Afrocentric dramaturgical methods that take the research off the page and put it into the body. Developing a more culturally grounded and embodied approach to dramaturgy will hopefully provide a more connected foundation from which Black theatre collaborators can make discoveries in the development process.

The ECD Residency Grant

This grant of $1500 is given to an Early Career Dramaturg to assist a mentor dramaturg in a professional setting. The grant has been awarded to Merlin Simard.

Merlin Simard (iel/elle/they/she) is an award-winning, disabled, Franco-Ontarian, queer, trans-feminine performer, playwright, dramaturge, and filmmaker originally from Tiohtiá:ke (Montréal) now based in Tkarón:to (Toronto). They wrote FEAR OF MEN (in development at Theatre Passe Muraille), ZADDY ISSUES (In development at Ergo Arts Theatre) and E-TRANSFERS (Buddies In Bad Times/BCurrent/NTS (co-written with Gabe Maharjan)). Merlin currently holds the position of Dramaturgy Intern at Theatre Passe Muraille.

Where the spirit world and the real-world meet, lies a world unapologetically crafted and performed by critically acclaimed trans identified artist, Samson Bonkeabantu Brown. 11:11 explores the other side of fear through the eyes of a young, Black transman struggling to understand the ancestral messages saturating his dreams.

LMDA annually gives $7,000 directly to individual dramaturgs in support of their creative projects. For more information about Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, visit their website at

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