2023 Charlie Blackwell Symposium Scholarships for BIPOC Stage Managers Revealed

Each recipient receives a complimentary pass to join the Broadway Stage Management Symposium as well as a meeting with one of the adjudicators on the committee.

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BSMS has announced the five stage managers receiving the 2023 Charlie Blackwell Symposium Scholarships for BIPOC stage managers. These recipients will join the professional development and networking conference made by stage managers, for stage managers, featuring Broadway's stage managers for free. The recipients were chosen by a committee of veteran Broadway stage managers of color: Narda E. Alcorn, Lisa Dawn Cave, Beverly Jenkins, Kenneth J. McGee, & Cody Renard Richard. Each recipient receives a complimentary pass to join the Broadway Stage Management Symposium as well as a meeting with one of the adjudicators on the committee.

The recipients are:

Refilwe Kekana, a theatre major at SUNY Purchase with many interests. She has had the pleasure of working on the American Theatre Wing Gala in New York City, working alongside professional stage managers and is very excited for the opportunity to continue learning alongside the stage managers of the Broadway Stage Management Symposium.

Kassandra Melendez-Ramirez comes to stage management from being a trained actor at Manhattanville College. Kassandra is thrilled to join the Symposium. "This opportunity is important to me because I strive to learn as much as a I can. This symposium allows me to engage in conversation and listen to Broadway professionals who have so much insight."

Jacoby Jenkins studies stage management and directing at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, FL. He has served as a director, stage manager, assistant director, spotlight operator and was Youth Body President at the Manhood Youth Development Foundation, educating peers on the black experience, leading community programs, and developing opportunities for black youth.

Lulu Kachele is from Albuquerque, New Mexico where she has worked at a variety of theaters as well as pursing film and television work. "Attending the symposium is important to me because it's an incredible opportunity to learn from and connect with people who have the same passions. In the past years I have left feeling more prepared and more excited for my career, whether it's in theatre, film, or both."

Whitney Renell Roy joins the Symposium following her fellowship with Black Theatre Coalition's Management Fellowship. At Colorado State University Whitney received a BA in Theatre with concentrations in Stage Management and Scenic Design and a Minor in Ethnic Studies with a concentration in Black Studies. "This is exactly what I need at this point in my career... to continue gaining experience in this unique craft."

The BSMS is grateful for the incredible support of the adjudicators, giving their time and experience to support and cultivate these amazing young stage managers, as well as the entire Broadway and global community of stage managers that have supported the conference and its growth over the last eight years.

This Broadway Stage Management Symposium is an educational intensive, open to the public, and designed for the growth of stage managers at all levels and experience. The website has full details, registration, and more information. The ninth annual BSMS will be held May 21 - 21, 2023 in a hybrid format, available live in New York City and online from anywhere and includes On-Demand replay access for all attendees. Student discounts & group rates available, contact BSMS for more details: info@broadwaysymposium.com

The Charlie Blackwell Symposium Scholarships for BIPOC stage managers is named for Charlie Blackwell, a black stage manager whose Broadway credits include Nine, Sunday in the Park with George and Jerome Robbins Broadway. He passed away in 1995 and these scholarships honor his legacy, opening doors for future generations of BIPOC stage managers.

About Broadway Stage Management Symposium

Founded by seasoned Broadway stage manager and educator, Matthew Stern who has worked on over twenty Broadway productions including Come From Away, The Lion King, Finding Neverland, On The Town, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, The Little Mermaid, Wicked, Death Of A Salesman (with Philip Seymour Hoffman), Fiddler On The Roof (with Alfred Molina & Harvey Fierstein), Enchanted April (with Molly Ringwald & Jayne Atkinson), The Phantom Of The Opera, The Full Monty, and many more.

Stern is on the board of directors of the Stage Managers Association and is part of the faculty of SUNY Purchase and has taught at UC San Diego. Inspired by his students' enthusiasm to learn what it really takes to manage a Broadway show, he brings together his colleagues and fellow Broadway stage managers for this intensive weekend of panels, seminars and lectures, the Broadway Stage Management Symposium.

For more information, please see their website: www.broadwaysymposium.com.


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