Front Row Productions Names Lamar Richardson 2022 Fellow

Front Row Productions was established to bring major works to Broadway and the West End featuring diverse casts, creative teams and management.

By: Sep. 13, 2022

Front Row Productions Names Lamar Richardson 2022 Fellow

Stephen Byrd & Alia Jones-Harvey's Front Row Productions Fellowship, in association with Columbia University School of the Arts, named Lamar Richardson as the 2022 Front Row Productions Fellow.

"We are thrilled to announce Lamar as 2022 Front Row Productions Fellow at Columbia University". Byrd and Jones-Harvey said, "The enthusiasm, innovative approaches to theatre, and acumen of the applicants this year made our selection process a challenge. Along with our Mentors, Advisors, and Steven Chaikelson, we look forward to working with Lamar on his journey to bring his project to the commercial theatre and expand upon his very intention to be a catalyst for change. ."

Front Row Productions was established by award-winning producers Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey to bring major works to Broadway and the West End featuring diverse casts, creative teams and management. In furtherance of that mission, the producing team founded the Front Row Productions Fellowship last year to support the development of gifted theatrical producers of color and increase the diversity of work produced on Broadway. Applicants who have demonstrated potential, achievement and/or leadership in and support for the African-American theatre community are given preference during the selection process.

Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey with partner Steven Chaikelson, Head of the MFA Theatre Management & Producing Concentration at Columbia have created a pipeline for emerging producers of color to bring their work to Broadway. The program is designed for an individual with producing and/or theatre management experience who is looking to take their existing project to the next level and aspires to a career as a lead commercial producer. The goal of the program is to foster entrepreneurial skills and to help the Fellow create their own business opportunities. The Fellowship will provide the tools to succeed in the competitive Broadway environment; access to a New York City and regional network of theatre professionals; and expert guidance in the creative and business development of their fellowship project.

The Front Row Productions Fellow is supported by Fellowship Mentors Stephen Byrd, Alia Jones-Harvey, Jordan Roth (President, Jujamcyn Theaters), Eva Price (Producer), Willette Klausner (Producer) and Steven Chaikelson, along with an advisory council of industry leaders who serve as additional resources for the fellows, sharing their expertise, perspective, and complementing the existing mentorship and academic curriculum. The Advisory Council includes Jackie Alexander (Artistic Director, North Carolina Black Repertory Theatre), Saheem Ali (Associate Artistic Director, The Public Theater), Thomas Distler (Attorney), Maria Manuela Goyanes (Artistic Director, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company), Amy Jacobs (General Manager, Bespoke Theatricals), Jonathan McCrory (Artistic Director, National Black Theatre), Anthony McDonald (Executive Director, Shubert Theatre, New Haven), Ira Pittelman (Producer), Jeffrey Richards (Producer), LaTanya Richardson Jackson (Actor/Director), Nick Scandalios (Executive Vice President, Nederlander Organization), Stephen Sosnowski (Senior Vice President, SpotCo), and Tamara Tunie (Actor/Director/Producer).

Lamar Richardson is an actor and producer born in New Brunswick, New Jersey and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He received his B.A. from Columbia University in the City of New York in 2015. Shortly after, Lamar made his regional theater debut as 'Sylvester' in Phylicia Rashad's award-winning production of August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in 2016. He is making his Broadway debut as a Co-Producer on the upcoming 2022-2023 revival of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman starring Wendell Pierce, Sharon D. Clarke, and Andre De Shields at the Hudson Theatre. He is also currently producing Afrika Brown's new play in development, The Fight. Lamar co-founded Ivy Lion Productions, which is an independent production company that centers underrepresented voices and champions empowering stories. His additional acting credits include: Jordan Peele's 'Weird City', Richard Lawson's 'Black Terror,' James Sweeney's 'Straight Up' on Netflix, and NBC's 'New Amsterdam.'

During his time participating in the year-long Front Row Productions Fellowship, Richardson will develop his fellowship project; receive a $10,000 stipend and a $20,000 budget to cover development costs; receive one-on-one support from the mentors and advisors; have access to the Columbia University resources including the library system and courses offered through the MFA concentration in Theatre Management & Producing; and have the opportunity to participate in the Theatre Management & Producing Concentration's Producer Exchange Program with Stage One in the UK.

Generous support for the Front Row Productions Fellowship includes The Barbara Stiefel Foundation, Comcast NBCU Foundation, No Guarantees, Jujamcyn Theaters, The Nederlander Organization, The Shubert Organization, Ira Pittelman, Rene Smith, Sharon Karmazin, Jeffrey Richards, Scott Wilcox, Thomas R. Distler, Jennifer Melin Miller, Dr. Ofem I. Ajah, Kenneth Schur, Merrie L. Davis, Jack W. Batman, Roland Archer, Judicial Friends Association, Avery Kotler, Philip M. Getter and Runi Mehta.

The 2022 Front Row Productions Fellowship year runs from September 2022 through August 2023. Prospective applicants can visit for more information about the program and to join the mailing list. The application deadline for the 2023 Fellowship will be announced in the spring of 2023.

Stephen C. Byrd

is the President and Founder of Front Row Productions, Inc., whose primary purpose is to shine the spotlight on diversity, inclusion, and non-traditional casting on Broadway and London's West End. Multi-Tony Award Nominated, and Olivier Award winning producers Byrd, and his producing partner Alia Jones-Harvey are the only African American Producers, both on Broadway and London's West End, and they have been Partners for the past 15 years. Their producing credits to date, include, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, (both on Broadway and London's West End where they won the Olivier Award for Best Revival of a Play; a film adaptation is currently in development), A Streetcar Named Desire, The Trip to Bountiful, Romeo and Juliet, Eclipsed, Paramour (with Cirque de Soleil), The Iceman Cometh, Smokey Joes Café, American Son, Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations, and the current Broadway smash hit, MJ the Musical. They are also developing the iconic Oscar and Palme D'Or winning Brazilian film Black Orpheus into a Broadway musical. Additionally, they are part of the Producing team for Get Up, Stand Up: The Bob Marley musical, on London's West End. Byrd, serves on the Board of Governors of the Broadway League, and is a member of SOLT (Society of London Theatre), and on the Board of Directors of New York City Colleges Performing Arts Department. Stephen is the recipient of numerous Awards and Honors, including the Global Producer of the Year Award.

Alia Jones-Harvey

is an Olivier Award Winning and 4-time Tony Nominated Producer, who, with producing partner Stephen Byrd, has focused on mounting productions with people of color on the stage, on the creative team, in management and as co-producers. Jones-Harvey is proud to join the producing team of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson in Fall 2022. Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Danielle Brooks and John-David Washington and directed by LaTanya Jackson, the first woman to direct Wilson on Broadway. Jones-Harvey serves on the Board of the Arthur Miller Foundation, the Advisory Board of The American Theater Wing, and is a Tony voter. Jones-Harvey and producing partner Stephen Byrd have been honored with numerous awards, including the AUDELCO Pioneer Award.


is international, collaborative and interdisciplinary. Named in honor of Oscar Hammerstein II, it is defined by its location in New York City, a global capital of theatre, and by the extensive network of Columbia alumni and faculty who run prestigious Broadway, OffBroadway and regional theatres; direct and perform in Tony and other awardwinning productions; work in every level of the professional theatre world; and teach, mentor and engage with students on an ongoing basis. The Theatre MFA programs in acting, directing, playwriting, dramaturgy, stage management, and theatre management & producing seek students who have the talent, vision, and commitment to become exceptional artists. At the School of the Arts, students acquire disciplines rooted deeply in the classics while branching out into new forms and exploring the cutting edge of theatrical art. The best theatre in every culture and in all eras has not only reflected its time but also shaped its society and often helped point it toward the future. The Theatre Program aims to train theatre artists to fulfill that important role in today's society. Among the program's leading faculty are Anne Bogart, James Calleri, Steven Chaikelson, Peter Jay Fernandez, David Henry Hwang, Brian Kulick, Chuck Mee, Lynn Nottage, Christian Parker, Michael Passaro, and Ron Van Lieu. Visit for more information.


awards the Master of Fine Arts degree in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts and Writing and the Master of Arts degree in Film and Media Studies; it also offers an interdisciplinary program in Sound Art. The School is a thriving, diverse community of talented, visionary and Committed Artists from around the world and a faculty comprised of acclaimed and internationally renowned artists, film and theatre directors, writers of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, playwrights, producers, critics and scholars. In 2015, the School marked the 50th Anniversary of its founding. In 2017, the School opened the Lenfest Center for the Arts, a multi-arts venue designed as a hub for the presentation and creation of art across disciplines on the University's new Manhattanville campus. The Lenfest hosts exhibitions, performances, screenings, symposia, readings, and lectures that present new, global voices and perspectives, as well as an exciting, publicly accessible home for Columbia's Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery. For more information, visit

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