INTAR Creates Max Ferrà Directing Fellowship
INTAR announces that Max Ferrá, founding Artistic Director of INTAR, will be memorialized with the The Max Ferrá Directing Fellowship, funded by the Peg Santvoord Foundation.
The M.F.D.F. is an annual fellowship given to an emerging Latinx director. INTAR defines "emerging" as an early career director, post graduate, although university study is not a requirement. INTAR Theater will be working closely with Stage Directors and Choreographers Society to provide Fellows with an introduction to the professional union, including a full one year associate membership. The fellowship seeks to identify an exceptional emerging Latinx director annually that best represents the passion and courage of Max Ferra and his vision for the American theater.
The Fellowship is named for INTAR's founder Max Ferrá who died in 2017. He founded INTAR in 1966 to provide opportunities for Spanish speaking actors and directors. Although not conceived as an organization for social change, it quickly came to realize its responsibility as part of New York's Hispanic community. By 1968 INTAR began providing free classes in acting, diction, dance and make-up, culminating with at least one full production by students each year. An effort was made to include different genres: in addition to theater, there was an art gallery, Cinema INTAR showcasing Latin American films, and a late night Café INTAR, offering free form entertainment.
In an effort to reach a wider audience, INTAR began concentrating on English language performances in 1975. In 1981 the Hispanic Playwrights-in-Residence Lab was created to develop new voices, mentored by Maria Irene Fornés. The Hispanic Music Theater Lab was created in the same mode to create musical compositions by Hispanic playwrights, lyricists, and composers. By 1985 INTAR was commissioning new works from such writers as Fernando Arrabal, Manuel Puig, Fornés, Tito Puente, and Luis Valdez, among others. These works were performed in English, a tradition that continues at INTAR to this day, offering works to the widest possible audience.
"Max Ferrá imbued in those around him - and his charisma was such that there were always people around him - a fierce sense of passion for beauty. Beauty that shook you out of your received assumptions. Be the work tragic or comic, his concern was with beauty as a political act, as resistance, and also as radically individual expression. He aspired to fully live this passion, and succeeded to a remarkable degree. In a real sense, the play or performance in question mattered less than one's passionate commitment to making a piece of theatre with fervid, vital life-commitment to using the banal stuff of life, our bodies, voices, feelings, fears, and hopes in service of making something greater, more fully lived, more acutely experienced, than could be achieved in everyday life. His ideals were such that he had no patience for theatre that did not reach this level, and even less for anyone he perceived as not aspiring toward this goal," said Michael John Garcés, longtime INTAR artist and SDC Board member.
Each year a panel of INTAR artists will select a candidate to serve as a fellow for the season. Each Fellow will receive $2000 cash award, will participate in a NewWorks Lab developing a new play, and serve an Assistant Directorship on INTAR's Spring mainstage Off-Broadway production. Interested directors must submit a resume and artistic statement along with a digital link to examples of their work. Fellow must be a NYC resident or be able to relocate to NY for a year from January 1st 2020 to December 31st 2020.
Submissions should be sent, beginning September 1st through November 30th to Maxfellowship2019@intartheatre.org. Fellows who are selected will be notified by December 15th.
INTAR, one of the United States' longest running Latino theatres producing in English, works to:
- Nurture the professional development of Latino theater artists;
- Produce bold, innovative, artistically significant plays that reflect diverse perspectives;
- Make accessible the diversity inherent in America's cultural heritage through an integrated program of workshops, productions of works-in-progress, and mainstage productions. INTAR brings to the public vital and energetic voices of emerging and accomplished Latino theater professionals, giving expression to the diversity and depth of today's Latino-American community.
Photo via INTAR