SDC Foundation Awards Cristin Carole with 2023-2024 Denham Fellowship

The Denham Fellowship is awarded annually to women who are early and mid-career directors to further develop their directing skills.

By: Apr. 15, 2024
SDC Foundation Awards Cristin Carole with 2023-2024 Denham Fellowship
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Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, the not-for-profit foundation of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, has named Cristin Carole as this season’s SDCF Denham Fellow for her upcoming production of A Night at Club Delisa at the Harold Washington Cultural Center in Chicago, Illinois produced by The Sammy Dyer School of Theatre. The Denham Fellowship is awarded annually to women who are early and mid-career directors to further develop their directing skills. The Denham Fellowship comes with a $10,000 stipend. Carole was unanimously selected for this honor by a panel comprised of Nancy Keystone (Committee Chair), Mina Morita, Lisa Portes, and Laurie Woolery.
"As a Black woman director, I am immensely honored and grateful to be named a SDCF Denham Fellow. This prestigious fellowship recognizes the importance of cultivating innovative direction within the theatrical arts, especially from underrepresented voices. It will allow me to further develop my craft and explore new creative avenues for staging authentic, impactful stories on stage. My deepest thanks to the SDC Foundation for this incredible opportunity,” said says Carole on receiving this award.
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About A Night at Club Delisa

In 1933, African-American, tap dancer Sammy Dyer lefqt a successful career on Broadway, to establish himself as a choreographer in Chicago. He found work in the many post-prohibition clubs that soon opened all over Chicago. He developed a chorus line called the Regalettes and later the Delisa Chorines. His unique approach to an evening of entertainment was most uniquely expressed in the shows he created at the Club Delisa in the1940s -1950s where he ultimately perfected his showmanship in his presentation of the Dyerettes, 5 young Black women, who tapped, tumbled, sang and danced on point. In addition to the Dyerettes, evenings included a swinging live band, stand-up comedy, tap duos, novelty acts, a kiddie cabaret, and singers. Our show will capture the lives of these historic performers both on and off stage in this unique venue on the south side of Chicago.

About Cristin Carole

Cristin Carole is a multi-faceted performing arts professional based in Chicago. This year, Cristin will make her directorial debut as associate director at Goodman Theatre, working alongside resident director Chuck Smith on August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Most recently, Cristin became a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, as well as an SDCF Denham Fellow. In this capacity, she is focused on championing diversity and excellence in the arts by directing Black and female stories on stage. Her interdisciplinary research on historical Black dances has inspired the development of an original production, A Night at the Club Delisa which she will direct this fall. She would like to thank her long-time collaborator, Chicago director Ron O.J. Parson, actress/director/writer Regina Taylor, producer Peter Altman, dancer and comedian Clarice White-Pruitt, and many others for their incredible professional support during her transition to director.
Though she began her career as a ballerina, she transitioned to behind-the-scenes work, earning a degree in technical theater from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Cristin went on to become an acclaimed movement designer and choreographer, lending her talents to esteemed theaters like Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Timeline Theatre Company, American Blues Theater, and Writers Theatre. At the Tony Award-winning Court Theatre, she has designed movement for productions including Home, Seven Guitars, Blues for an Alabama Sky, George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and most recently Gospel at Colonus which successfully remounted at the Getty Villa in California.
As a performing arts educator, Cristin has held faculty positions at institutions including Columbia College Chicago, City Colleges of Chicago, the University of the Bahamas, and Loyola University. She is dedicated to arts education programming, having developed initiatives for organizations like The Joffrey Ballet, Chicago Public Schools, and the Shirley Hall Bass Foundation, which she directs to promote dance education and cultural exchange between The Bahamas and Chicago. She serves on the Board of Classical Kids LIVE! and is delighted to be the choreographer for their internationally touring production of “Saint-Georges’ Sword and Bow.” 


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