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Playwrights' Center Names 2016-17 McKnight Theater Artist Fellows

The Playwrights' Center is pleased to announce the 2016-17 recipients of the McKnight Theater Artist Fellowships:

Costume designer Sonya Berlovitz, who worked for decades with Theatre de la Jeune Lune and now designs for The Moving Company, Ten Thousand Things, Jungle Theater and others

Actor Thomasina Petrus, a company member at Penumbra Theatre and Mixed Blood Theatre who was seen recently in Park Square's "Nina Simone: Four Women" and Pillsbury House Theatre's "The Gospel of Lovingkindness"

Actor Kimberly Richardson, a Ten Thousand Things Artist Core member currently appearing in their production of "The Changelings" and seen recently in "My Life as a Fairytale" at Open Eye Figure Theatre, a show she co-created with Michael Sommers

The McKnight Theater Artist Fellowships at the Playwrights' Center recognize Minnesota theater artists other than playwrights whose work demonstrates exceptional artistic merit. The fellowship provides a $25,000 award as well as $7,000 in development funds to launch a new collaboration for the fellow towards building a new theatrical work. Fellows are selected by an independent panel.

"Not only are these artists demonstrating high levels of skill and innovation in their individual crafts," says Playwrights' Center Producing Artistic Director Jeremy B. Cohen, "but they are all deeply invested in the Minnesota theater community. These generous fellowships from the McKnight Foundation recognize the artists' impressive work and will give them time and resources to further develop their already exceptional talent."

Between 1980 and 2008 Sonya Berlovitz designed costumes for over 50 productions at Theatre de la Jeune Lune. Since then she has worked on numerous shows with The Moving Company, touring with them to South Coast Repertory, Playmakers Repertory Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Actors Theatre of Louisville. Productions elsewhere have included Children's Theatre Company, the Guthrie Theater, American Repertory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, The Jungle Theater, Theater Latté Da and Ten Thousand Things. Grants and awards have included The Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle ("The Green Bird," 2000), Bay Area Theatre Award ("Tartuffe," 2016), Minnesota State Arts Board Initiative Grant (2005, 2013) and a McKnight Theater Artist Fellowship (1998, 2016).

Thomasina Petrus is a 25-year equity actor and vocalist and company member at Penumbra Theatre and Mixed Blood Theatre. Her company, Thomasina Productions, has produced a number of works for music and theater including six separate stagings of "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill" by Lanie Robertson and original productions "Lady Days," "Etta James...Dreams to Remember," "Hot Chocolate" and her newest endeavor, "The Sound Effects." All of Thomasina's upcoming productions and performances can be found on her website, A successful departure from performing, Thomasina has also created Thomasina's Cashew Brittle, available at a number of locations:

Kimberly Richardson is a physical theater performer. A member of Ten Thousand Things Artist Core, Kimberly has appeared frequently with the company since 2008, in productions including "Othello," "Music Man," "As You Like It" and "Dirt Sticks." Also a regular at Open Eye Figure Theatre, Kimberly performed/co-created "My Life as a Fairytale" and "The Clumsy Man" with Michael Sommers and played Ed Norton in Sommers' "To the Moon." Other credits include: Workhaus Collective, Children's Theatre Company, Jungle Theater, TigerLion Arts, Interact Center and actor-driven collaborations with Sodhouse Theater, Live Action Set, Jon Ferguson and Sara Richardson. Kimberly was awarded a 2006 Sage Award for dance performance.

The public is invited to see works in progress by two of the current (2015-16) McKnight Theater Artist Fellows, Aimee K. Bryant and James A. Williams, on Tuesday, June 28 at 7 p.m. at the Southern Theater. See for details and to RSVP.

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