New 42 Announces 2022-23 Cohort of New Victory LabWorks Artists

The program is specifically for artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, including those who identify as LGBTQIA+ and who identify as disabled.

By: Jun. 16, 2022
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New 42 Announces 2022-23 Cohort of New Victory LabWorks Artists

Today, New 42 announced the tenth group of New Victory LabWorks and LabWorks Launch artists for the 2022-23 season. Established in 2012, LabWorks explores, devises and reimagines what theater for families can be by supporting New York-based artists of all disciplines in making work that challenges preconceptions commonly held about theater for young audiences. Since 2020, the program is specifically for artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, including those who identify as LGBTQIA+ and who identify as disabled.

The new cohort of LabWorks Artists are Sindy Castro, Sifiso Mabena, Reynaldo Piniella, and Arif Silverman, and the 2022-23 LabWorks Launch Artists are Nehprii Amenii and nicHi douglas.

New Victory LabWorks artists each receive $15,000 as well as professional development, networking and community building. Artists also have the opportunity to hold invited rehearsals for industry professionals, fellow artists and kid and family audiences with facilitated feedback sessions. By connecting artists with New Victory families and education partners to garner invaluable responses and feedback from kids, New Victory LabWorks invites artists to hone their craft, expand their skills, make contacts in the field, take artistic risks and make bold choices with their work.

"I am thrilled about and for these artists who are leading theater for young and family audiences into the future with imagination, wonder and truth," commented New 42 Artistic Director, Mary Rose Lloyd. "We hope New Victory LabWorks will be a model program for other arts institutions and their artist communities by deeply supporting innovators to develop inclusive new work for the young people who so richly deserve it."

More about the 2022-23 cohort of New Victory LabWorks Artists:

Sindy Castro is an actress, educator, and theater artist. She is co-founder of Jugando N Play, a multilingual theatre for young audiences. Their first play, The Neighbors - Los Vecinos - Las Vecinas, premiered virtually in 2020 to audiences in more than six countries and was remounted in 2021 and 2022. Sindy is a teaching artist with Arts Connection, Lincoln Center Theater, New York City Children's Theater, and the People's Theatre Project in NYC. She is a teacher mentor through the Arthur Miller Foundation and an ensemble member of Emit Theatre.

Sifiso Mabena is a New York based, Zimbabwean multidisciplinary theater maker who is a skilled actor, singer, puppeteer, playwright and deviser. Her work often explores displacement in diasporic communities, history, identity and femininity. As a playwright, Sifiso has collaborated with The Royal Court Theatre and the British Council (ZW). Her work has been performed at the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Winner HIFADirect 2011), the Intwasa Festival and the Chimanimani Festival. More recently, Sifiso co-directed The Othello Project for Shake on the Lake and premiered her show [sunflower] at Dixon Place in June 2022.

Reynaldo Piniella is an actor, writer, activist and educator from East New York, Brooklyn. In 2021, he was in The Acting Company of two Broadway shows at the same time - Thoughts of a Colored Man and Trouble in Mind. His Off-Broadway acting credits include The Death of the Last Black Man..., Venus (Signature), The Skin of Our Teeth (TFANA), Lockdown (Rattlestick), The Space Between the Letters (The Public/UTR), and The Best of Theatreworks (Working Theater). Reynaldo is the inaugural recipient of the All Stars Project's Fellowship for Young Artists of Color, a FREEdom Fellow at the Weeksville Heritage Center and has received residencies from The Public Theater's Shakespeare Initiative and HB Studio.

Arif Silverman (he/him) is a Brooklyn based actor, writer, teacher, and composer. His children's musical THE STRAY was produced at the 14th Street Y in 2019. He has four solo shows, which have been performed across the country: NOLIE MIN TANGIBLE (Grafton Correctional Facility, Dixon Place), CONSTELLARIUM (Theatre Row, Access Theater), GALAHAD AND THE DRAGONS (BorderLight Fringe), and AMERICAN REFUGEE (HERE Arts Center). He currently teaches Drama to middle schoolers at the Hewitt School, an all girls' school in the Upper East Side. This summer, his latest solo play AMERICAN REFUGEE will receive a reading at IATI Theater, and will be performed as part of the BorderLight Fringe Festival in Cleveland.

In 2021, New 42 established LabWorks Launch, a special program which allows artists to further develop a particular project for young audiences with the aim of connecting the production with potential producers and perhaps presenting them in a future New Victory season.

New Victory LabWorks Launch allows the artist to continue to receive individualized support from the program focusing on taking steps toward bringing their theatrical work to the stage with production support, dramaturgical input, industry relationship connections, rehearsal space and a fee of $7,500.

The 2022-23 LabWorks Launch Artists are Nehprii Amenii and nicHi douglas.

Nehprii Amenii is a Brooklyn based writer, director, production designer, and educator. As a theatre artist, she has a passion for personal narratives, puppetry, and grand-scale spectacle. She is known for creating experiences that dismantle the wall between players and audiences, enchant the imagination and inspire new ways of seeing and thinking. She is the founder and Artistic Director of Khunum Productions, a creative consulting and production company. As an educator and curriculum developer for over 20 years, she uses puppetry, multi-media arts and storytelling to mentor teachers in curriculum differentiation and to teach English to young immigrants within New York public schools.

nicHi douglas is a Brooklyn based artist, educator, activist and 2021 Princess Grace Award winner. They have developed original theater at The Public, Roundabout, Denver Center, Lincoln Center, and Berkeley Rep, among others, and have created interactive dance exhibits for the National Museum of African-American Music and the New York Hall of Science. nicHi's reparations-focused mutual aid fund, nicHi's SuSu, launched in 2020, raising over $17K for Black artists since. Their experimental dance work (pray), co-composed by Starry Busby and JJJJJerome Ellis, will be produced by Ars Nova in the 22-23 season.

About New Victory Theater

The New Victory opens new worlds to young people and families through extraordinary performances, education and engagement programs. Bringing kids to the arts and the arts to kids since 1995, this nonprofit theater has become a standard-bearer of quality performing arts for young audiences in the United States. Reflecting and serving the multicultural city it calls home, The New Victory is committed to arts access for all communities of New York to experience and engage with the exemplary international shows on its stages. A global leader in arts education, youth development and audience engagement, the New Victory Theater has been honored by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, by Americans for the Arts with a national Arts Education Award, and by the Drama Desk for "providing enchanting, sophisticated children's theater that appeals to the child in all of us, and for nurturing a love of theater in young people."

About New 42

Under the leadership of President & CEO Russell Granet, New 42 is a cultural nonprofit whose mission is to make extraordinary performing arts a vital part of everyone's life from the earliest years onward. Driven by a deep commitment to performing arts access, New 42 connects people to world-class performances, essential education and employment programs, and creative communities that push culture forward. Through New Victory and New 42 Studios, the nonprofit serves artists, educators and New Yorkers of all ages with invaluable arts engagement and resources in and beyond the performing arts. Together with our supporters, New 42 opens new perspectives, incubates new works and creates new opportunities to move us all.


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