Adventure Creates Assistant Directors Fellowship for People of Color
Adventure Theatre MTC (ATMTC), recent recipient of the Weissberg Foundation's 2016-2019 Fund for Diversity in Theater to engage and expand new voices and audiences in DC-area theatres, announces its commitment to a goal of 50% people of color representation (artists, designers and technicians) in its professional theatre season to better reflect the diversity of our audiences and community. This commitment is part of its EDI initiatives which includes a new Fellowship program for Assistant Directors who are people of color and working with a consensus organizer on its production of Huckleberry Finn's Big River. Recognizing a need in the industry for equity and diversity and to reflect the highly diverse DC and Montgomery County area, Adventure Theatre MTC has already upheld this commitment with its current production of Blueberries for Sal cast and creative team.
The Assistant Director Fellowship is a yearlong opportunity where fellows are paired with known, experienced and established DC area directors for one professional production in the Adventure Theatre MTC season. Fellows will also have the opportunity to participate in the entirety of ATMTC's season including rehearsals, first looks, production meetings, workshops, season planning and openings. Finally, fellows receive interaction with other theatres and artistic directors for career mentorship. Adventure Theatre MTC is proud to announce the inaugural 2018-2019 Assistant Director Fellowship for People of Color recipients, Angelisa Gillyard (Blueberries for Sal), Carlos Castillo (Fancy Nancy), Monique Midgette (Huckleberry Finn's Big River), Ayesis Clay (Winnie the Pooh), and Cara Hinh (The Cat in the Hat).
Says Michael J. Bobbitt (Artistic Director), the only black Artistic Director of a professional theatre in the DC region, "I didn't have many role models who looked like me growing up. I have a dream of inspiring all the future Michael Bobbitt's of the world and giving them the opportunities to participate in all aspects of theatre"
Managing Director, Leon Seemann, adds "DC's largest demographic is African American and Montgomery County is 65% diverse. We need to make sure our industry is serving and reflecting its community."
Says Broadway performer and current Fellow Monique Midgette, "I am grateful to Adventure Theatre for taking steps to address the need for diversity on the production and creative side of theatre. In my career as a performer, I very rarely encountered any directors, writers, or producers of color. Now that I am transitioning to writer/artistic director myself, having access to mentors to help navigate the industry is essential."
Fellow Carlos Castillo expounds, "As an alumnus of its Academy, Adventure Theatre MTC has constantly provided me with avenues to advance in my career, and this is a wonderful opportunity that ATMTC has given me to grow as an artist, and explore a new facet of the industry," says Carlos Castillo, 2015 graduate of the Pre-Professional Program. "I would love to see programs like this in more theaters across the country, and see more artists who are people of color have the opportunity to take part in the process of choosing what stories to tell, and in the implementation of the creative process."
ATMTC celebrates the glorious richness of our world by cultivating Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity as they inspire the creativity that nurtures great art, artists, and audiences. For more information about Adventure Theatre MTC or its current production of Blueberries for Sal, visit www.adventuretheatre-mtc.org or call 301-634-2270.
Carlos Castillo is a proud ATMTC Academy alumnus who is thrilled to be making his directing debut at Adventure Theatre MTC, where he was last seen onstage as Peter Pan in the world premiere of Tinker Bell by Patrick Flynn! Other acting credits include Once at the Arden Theatre Company, Wonderland: Alice's Rock & Roll Adventure at Imagination Stage, Altar Boyz at the Off Broadstreet Theatre, and Carousel at Olney Theatre Center. Carlos is also a teaching artist at ATMTC. IG: @ccastillomusic. Upcoming: Once at Olney Theatre Center.
Ayesis Clay hails from Ahoskie, NC and is an actress, director, and theatre educator. For 14 years, she served as the Theatre Department Chairperson for the Center for the Visual and Performing Arts at Suitland High School and sat on the Prince George's County Theatre Advisory Board where she helped produce the county's annual Theatre Festival for over 1000 students. Some of her recent acting credits include Mayme in Intimate Apparel (Anacostia Playhouse), Bud Not Buddy (Adventure Theatre), and Miss Leah in Flyin' West (CVPA-Suitland). Ayesis has written and produced Standing on the Edge, which has toured in locations across the Washington, DC and Atlanta metro areas and recently premiered her one-woman show, Sculpting Clay or How I Became Mother of Unicorns at the Kennedy Center's Page to Stage Festival. She recently was accepted in the Assistant Director of Color Fellowship program (Adventure Theatre). Her favorite directing credits include Afromemory by Teshonne Powell (FRESHH), Elijaheen Becomes Wind by Nina Mercer (FRESHH), Once on this Island, and In the Heights (both CVPA-Suitland productions). Some of her stage management credits include the world premiere of Holly Bass' The TransAtlantic Time Traveling Company (Theatre Alliance), Liner Notes (B-Fly Productions) and Paige in Full (B-Fly Productions). Visit her online at www.AyesisClay.com.
Angelisa Gillyard's DC area directing credits include #poolparty at Ally Theatre Company; Three Cheers to Grace, My Bittersweet Journey in Life, and Discovering Alex at Young Playwrights Theatre; Duke Ellington's Neighborhood at the In Series; afromemory and Black Girl, Black Pearl at the Kennedy Center Page to Stage Festival. Choreography credits include The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington and Clover at Ally Theatre Company; Abduction from the Seraglio at the In Series, Ain't Misbehavin' at Arena Players and Once on This Island at Montgomery College. MFA Directing Candidate at Catholic University.
Cara Hinh is a Director, Educator and Theatre Artist originally from the MidWest. She is currently in her second season as the Education Fellow at Baltimore Center Stage. Her love of theatre is driven by the need to bring the stories of othered bodies to the stage. Most recent credits include assistant directing on King of the Yees at Baltimore Center Stage and Vietgone at Studio Theatre. Directing credits include Sa'idah at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival and Heavy Hors d'oeuvres with Interrobang Theatre Co. She is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio.
Monique Midgette is a produced playwright, and a professional singer/actor/dancer for over twenty five years. In her varied career in the theatre, she was also an agent, and a casting director. She currently owns a performing arts studio in Hyattville, Md (mdpaa.org). Monique's performing credits include the original Broadway productions of The Civil War, Marie Christine, Seussical the Musical. She toured the U.S. with the Broadway production of The Lion King, and originated lead roles in the casts of the Disney Cruise Line and Hong Kong Disneyland's Festival of the Lion King. She was most recently featured as Aunt Em/Evilene/and Adaperle in The Wiz at Ford's Theatre. Locally, Ms. Midgette's favorite local credits include THE WOMEN OF BREWSTER PLACE at Arena Stage (Helen Hayes Nominee), CHILDREN OF EDEN at Ford's Theatre, the world premiere of WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY at the Kennedy Center, BEEHIVE at Toby's Theatre (Helen Hayes Nominee). Ms. Midgette is currently directing Ain't Misbehavin at Toby's Dinner Theatre.