Parity Productions Announces Commission Award Winners and More!

The ceremony took place on Wednesday, November 10th as a hybrid event over Zoom and in person at the Manny Cantor Center.

By: Nov. 12, 2021

Parity Productions Announces Commission Award Winners and More!

Theatre production company Parity Productions, the only New York Theatre Company that ensures that they fill at least 80% of the creative roles on their own productions-playwrights, directors, and designers-with women, trans, and gender-expansive artists and offers free tools to encourage the rest of the theatre industry to do the same, has awarded two commissions to Kelley Nicole Girod for This Stretch of Montpelier and M Sloth Levine for At Hotel MacGuffin. The ceremony took place on Wednesday, November 10th as a hybrid event over Zoom and in person at the Manny Cantor Center.

The commission awards were presented by award winning actor/director/producer Cezar Williams and one of last year's Parity Commission-winning playwright Jonathan Alexandratos.

Each year, Parity awards two commissions, one to a woman (cis or trans) and one to a gender expansive playwright who have demonstrated a dedication to the craft of playwriting and a singular talent for storytelling. The selected playwrights receive $2,500 each and extensive developmental support for their play, including one "closed door" reading with the Parity team, and at least one public reading, with an option for Parity to produce the Commissioned work.

"We are thrilled to welcome Kelley Nicole Girod and M Sloth Levine to our family of women, trans and gender expansive commission winning playwrights," says Parity Founder and Artistic Director, Ludovica Villar-Hauser. "We look forward to developing these two extraordinary works that function so beautifully in harmony with our mission. We are also beyond grateful in this year, which is so challenging for so many-in particular the small not-for-profit theatre companies and theatre artists-to award not only our 9th and 10th Parity Commissions, but also to award the Parity in Motion Prize to Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi."

Parity has not yet set an application period for the 2022 Commission, but that information will appear on their website when details are determined.

Those interested can support this year's Commission winners and other Parity artists by bidding on Parity Productions' auction items at until November 17th at 11:59pm Eastern. All funds raised through Parity's auction support their work with women, trans, and gender-expansive theatre artists.

Parity's 5th annual AC&C was an evening celebrating our return to the theatre after prematurely closing our stage production of MIRRORS at Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop on March 12, 2020. It is with great privilege and excitement that we were able to film our COVID-19 halted production in August 2021 and present the premiere filmed stage production of MIRRORS at this year's AC&C.

In addition to the screening of MIRRORS and the announcement of our 2021 Commission Award Winners, we are thrilled to award the Parity in Motion Award to Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi. The Parity in Motion Award is given to an industry person or artist who is making a difference for women, trans, and gender-expansive artists. The award comes with $1,000 and the opportunity for a table reading

Parity Productions identifies, develops, and produces new work exclusively by women, trans, and gender-expansive playwrights. At all phases of development and production, our creative teams are comprised of 80-100% women, trans, and gender-expansive artists. Our work unrelentingly centers the experiences of women, trans, and gender-expansive individuals onstage and off to provide urgent perspective to our audience and the industry, and to create greater momentum in achieving gender parity within the American theatre.

Kelley Nicole Girod (she/her) Kelley Nicole Girod is an award-winning playwright whose work centers on her Black Cajun/ Creole Louisiana heritage. Awards include Sundance IDP 2021 grantee, City Corp Artist Grant 2021, Atlantic Launch New Play Commission 2019, Sheen Center Fellow 2019, Stein and Liberace Fellow 2007, and John Golden Fellow 2008. Her work has been developed/presented at Atlantic Theater Company, Sheen Center for Thought and Culture, The Fire This Time Festival, Harlem 9, Primary Stages, Project Y, Poetic Theater Productions, Classical Theater of Harlem, Frigid NYC, Planet Connections Theater Festival, The Field, and Dixon Place. She was recently commissioned by Stanford University's TAPS Program and completed a commission of a children's play about Covid through a collaboration with Erin Brown under a City Corp Artist grant.

In addition, Kelley Nicole Girod is an award winning producer, known mostly for founding The Fire This Time Festival which has become a premier destination for Black artists and theater makers, and won a prestigious OBIE award in 2015. She was recently named Director of New Works at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem.. Kelley was also Producing Director of The Billie Holiday Theater from 2014-2015, and creative programmer at The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture from 2017-2019.

M Sloth Levine (they/them/theirs) M Sloth Levine is a transgender theatremaker who writes, directs, and designs in Brooklyn, NY. The Castle of Ghoul Hammond and How It Fell Into the Void has been developed by Sparkhaven Theatre/Central Square Theatre. Nosferatu, The Vampyr was produced by Sparkhaven Theatre, but fell victim to the pandemic in March 2020 before reviving on Zoom with thanks to HowlRound Theatre Commons and Homesick Play Project. Sloth co-created and lead the writers room on Tales from Camp Strangewood, a virtual campfire anthology that streamed over the summer of 2020 with a grant from the Mayor's Office of Boston. The Interrobangers has been developed by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Company One, and the Trans Theatre Project. The Interrobangers will be produced by Tufts University in December 2022. ...Wrath of the Swampy Thing... premiered at the JP Porch Fest in collaboration with Open Theatre Project in Boston, MA. They are also developing an untitled religious service/PowerPoint presentation about evil transgender serial killers with Jo Michael Rezes and Hannah Pryfogle at Central Square Theatre in January 2022. Sloth is the proud Manager of Production and Manufacturing for All Of Us Crayons. They are a Company One Play Lab Unit alum. In 2016 they received a BA in Theatre Studies: Directing & Playwriting from Emerson College.

Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi (she/her) is a Black Nigerian, Cuban, Indigenous, American Performance Artist, Author, Educator, a Helen Hayes Award winning Playwright (Klytmnestra: An Epic Slam Poem), a 2021 Helen Merrill Award Winner, Advocate, Dramaturg, choreographer, and co-editor/co-Director of the Black Trans Prayer Book. She is the curator and associate producer of Long Wharf Theater's Black Trans Women At The Center: An Evening of Short Plays.

Azure D. Osborne-Lee (he/him, they/them) is a current member of Trans Lab, which is supported by The Public Theater and WP Theater. Azure's work has been produced and/or developed by Trans Lab, The Tank, The Syndicate, The Flea Theater, BAX|Brooklyn Arts Exchange, BAM, JACK, Rising Circle Theater Collective, The Fire This Time Festival, Horse Trade Theater Group, The Castillo Theatre, The New Ohio Theatre, National Black Theatre, Freedom Train Productions, Downtown Urban Arts Festival, Lambda Literary, The Helix Queer Performance Group, and regionally.

Paul A. Notice II (he/they) (Georgetown '09, NYU '11) has over 12 years of journalism and video production experience, is a 2017 Emmy Award-Winning producer & editor, and has edited and produced hundreds of videos with MSNBC, JLUSA, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, The Legal Aid Society, OkayAfrica, Melanie Charles, OkayPlayer, Lyft, Elite Daily, Fresco News, and other media outlets. From his performance in the 2010 GLAAD Award Winning play "She Like Girls" (Working Man's Clothes) and his written work like the Loraine Hansberry Award-Nominated "Leaves, Trees, Forest"(MPAACT), to his most recent NY Emmy Award-Winning documentary, "Broken Windows"(Elite Daily).

Ludovica Villar-Hauser (she/her) is the Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of Parity Productions. At Parity, her directing credits include the world premieres of Charlie's Waiting by 2017 Commission Winner Mêlisa Annis, Mirrors by 2018 Commission Winner Azure D. Osborne Lee and the award-winning She Calls Me Firefly by Teresa Lotz. Prior to founding Parity, Ludovica directed many critically acclaimed plays in the U.S. and the U.K., including Final Analysis by Otho Eskin (The Signature); The Countess by Greg Murphy (634 Off-Broadway performances and in London's West End); Leaves of Glass by Phillip Ridley (The Peter Jay Sharpe Theater); As It Is In Heaven by Arlene Hutton (The Cherry Lane); The Brightness of Heaven (The Cherry Lane) and This Will All Be Yours (The Barrow Group Theatre) by Laura Pedersen; and Long Day's Journey Into Night by Eugene O'Neill in London's West End. Ludovica was the youngest woman ever to simultaneously produce and direct in London's West End. In the New York theatre industry, she was also one of the few women to own and operate her own theatre - The Greenwich Street Theatre, which she ran for 17 years. She served on the Board of the League of Professional Theatre Women from 2009-2018 and is currently the Producer of its Oral History Project at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

The world premiere stage production of MIRRORS was co-produced by India Blake/IB Productions and Cecelia Johnson/Deep End Productions and was directed by Parity's founder and Artistic Director, Ludovica Villar-Hauser (she/her). Film direction by Paul A. Notice II. (he/they). Film Editor/Audio Engineer Paul A. Notice II. Featuring Joyia D. Bradley (she/her) as Louise Sterling, Suzanne Darrell (she/her) as Bird Wilson, Anthony Goss (he/him) as Ray Johnson, AnJu Hyppolite (she/her) as Mabel Mosley, Natalie Jacobs (she/her) as Constance Jenkins, Ashley Scott