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Northern Stage Announces 2021 Recipients of the BOLD Theater Women's Leadership Circle Grant

Awardees: Nataki Garrett, Artistic Director of Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR), and Maria Manuela Goyanes, Artistic Director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

Northern Stage Announces 2021 Recipients of the BOLD Theater Women's Leadership Circle Grant

Northern Stage has announced the 2021 recipients of the BOLD Theater Women's Leadership Circle grant, which marks its fourth year with two new inductees into its unprecedented $3.5 million grant funded by the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation to support and promote women+ artistic directors and their associates in professional theaters across the United States. Nataki Garrett, Artistic Director of Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR), and Maria Manuela Goyanes, Artistic Director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (Washington, DC), have each been awarded $250,000 a year for two years, and join the circle's previously-announced cohort of recipients: Susan V. Booth of Alliance Theatre (Atlanta, GA), Eileen J. Morris of The Ensemble Theatre (Houston, TX), Sarah Rasmussen of the McCarter Theatre Center (Princeton, NJ; formerly of the Jungle Theater in Minneapolis, MN), Christina Baldwin of the Jungle Theater (Minneapolis, MN), Lisa McNulty of WP Theater (New York, NY), and BOLD founder Carol Dunne of Northern Stage (White River Junction, VT).

Goyanes, the first woman of color to run a major DC theater, joined Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company as Artistic Director in 2018 after serving as Director of Producing and Artistic Planning at The Public Theater. She is shepherding Woolly to become an equitable, progressive, and inclusive cultural beacon, with her inaugural season featuring plays written solely by females or BIPOC playwrights, and with the majority of those plays directed by women. Garrett served as the acting Artistic Director for Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company (DCPA) during the $66 million organization's 18-month leadership transition, and has made a name for herself by fostering, directing and producing new artists and works, as well as adaptations of classics. Garrett takes the helm of Oregon Shakespeare Festival as the first African American Artistic Director in the theater's eighty-five-year history. Both women have faced unprecedented trials early in their tenures with the COVID pandemic, social injustice movements, and, in Garrett's case, wildfires, and are primed to meet these challenges from their own bold and progressive perspectives.

Led by Northern Stage's Producing Artistic Director Carol Dunne, the BOLD Theater Women's Leadership Circle is a visionary initiative created to bridge career gaps for women artists in the American theater. A 2016 study by Wellesley Centers for Women - commissioned by American Conservatory Theater Artistic Director Carey Perloff and former Executive Director Ellen Richard - revealed that women hold only 17% of artistic leadership positions in the American regional theater, and that the dearth of female theater leaders is not due to a lack of candidates but rather to a clearly observed glass ceiling preventing women from assuming the artistic helm of professional theaters. The BOLD Circle creates a network of women artistic directors - selected every three years in an open application process - and empowers them to address the issues preventing women from advancing in theater leadership.

The BOLD Circle offers major support of artistic initiatives focused on women artists and creates a formal mentorship program to train and prepare future women artistic directors to lead, to create, to innovate, and to enhance the impact of theater across America. The Circle's major funding for the mentorship of women directors and producers supports artists at every level: Gurley Brown Fellows join theaters directly out of college, while artists further along in their careers join as BOLD Associate Directors and Producers. Fellows and associates that entered the BOLD Circle in the past year include Rebecca Martinez (BOLD Associate Artistic Director, WP Theater), Nidia Medina (BOLD Special Projects Producer, WP Theater), Nicole A. Watson (BOLD Associate Artistic Director, McCarter Theatre Center), Kerrigan Quenemoen (BOLD Artistic Fellow, Northern Stage), Emma Orme (BOLD Producing Associate, Northern Stage), Skylar Burks (BOLD Producing Associate, Alliance Theatre), Michelle Elaine Ogletree (BOLD Artistic Fellow, The Ensemble Theatre), Krystal Uchem (BOLD Production Fellow-Production Manager, The Ensemble Theatre), and Alison Ruth (BOLD Artistic & Advancement Associate, The Jungle Theater).

In the three years since BOLD's establishment in 2017 by the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation (in the spirit of longtime Cosmopolitan magazine editor Helen Gurley Brown and renowned filmmaker David Brown), five BOLD members have been promoted to major theater leadership positions, over 60 new works by women have been developed, and five new musicals by women are currently in development.

"Our story proves that when women who have achieved major leadership in predominantly male fields are given the support and tools necessary to focus on mentoring the next generation, they are a powerful force for systemic change," said Carol Dunne. "Our artistic directors' hard-won experience provides leadership training that cannot be learned in any school. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, the women who have been supported by our program are more than ready to meet the myriad challenges that face the theater industry. We are committed to creating equitable and artistically inspiring theater that answers the call to make the world a better place."

More About The New BOLD Circle Artists:

Nataki Garrett and the OREGON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL (Ashland, OR): a not-for-profit professional theatre founded in 1935. Presents an eight-month season, offering up to 11 productions annually, spanning Shakespeare, classics, musicals and world-premiere plays.

Nataki Garrett (she/her) is the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's sixth Artistic Director. Since her appointment in April of 2019, she has guided the organization through numerous transitions and crises, all while building toward a more sustainable producing and fundraising model. Garrett's forté and passion is fostering and developing new works, including those that adapt and devise new ways of performing the classics. She has directed and produced the world premieres of many well-known and important playwriting voices of our time, including Katori Hall, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Dominique Morriseau and Aziza Barnes. Her credits at OSF include directing Christina Anderson's How to Catch Creation and producing the world premiere of Karen Zacarias's The Copper Children. Prior to her appointment at OSF, Garrett served as the acting Artistic Director for Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company (DCPA) during the $66 million organization's 18-month leadership transition. During her tenure, she produced a very provocative Macbeth, which became the most successful production in the Space Theatre's 40-year history. She also initiated and negotiated the first co-world premieres in ten years for two DCPA-commissioned plays-The Great Leap with Seattle Repertory Theatre and American Mariachi with The Old Globe. Prior to that, she was an Associate Artistic Director of CalArts Center for New Performance. Garrett has served on nominating committees for many arts awards and prizes, including the MacArthur Award and the Kilroys, and was the recipient of the first-ever Ammerman Prize for Directing, given by Arena Stage.

MARIA MANUELA GOYANES and WOOLLY MAMMOTH THEATRE COMPANY (Washington, DC), a national innovator in the development and production of new plays, is one of the best known mid-sized theatres in the country, having earned 48 Helen Hayes Awards and premiered works that have gone on to have productions at more than 250 theatres all over the world.

Maria Manuela Goyanes (she/her) joined Woolly as Artistic Director in 2018, after serving as Director of Producing and Artistic Planning at The Public Theater, where she oversaw the day-to-day execution of a full slate of plays and musicals at the Public's five-theater venue at Astor Place and the Delacorte Theater for Shakespeare in the Park. Earlier in her career at The Public, she managed some of the theater's most celebrated productions, including Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Josephine & I by Cush Jumbo, Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee, Barbecue by Robert O'Hara, and Here Lies Love by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim. While at The Public, Maria also held a position on the adjunct faculty of Juilliard and curated the junior year curriculum of the Playwrights Horizons Theater School at NYU. Since 2015, she has served as a member of the board of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. From 2006-2008, she co-chaired the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab with Jason Grote, and from 2004-2012, was the Executive Producer of 13P. Maria is first-generation Latinx-American, born to parents who emigrated from the Dominican Republic and Spain. She was raised in Jamaica, Queens, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from Brown University.

More about the Continuing BOLD Theater Women's Leadership Circle Members, and their Associates & Graduates:

Susan V. Booth, Jennings Hertz Artistic Director of ALLIANCE THEATRE (Atlanta, GA), founded in 1968, a leading theater in the American Southeast whose productions reach more than 165,000 patrons annually. Under Booth's leadership, the Alliance received the Regional Theatre Tony Award® in recognition of sustained excellence in programming, education and community engagement.

  • Tinashe Kajese-Bolden / BOLD Artistic Director Fellow, Alliance Theatre
  • SKYLAR BURKS / BOLD Producing Associate, Alliance Theatre
  • HERSHEY V. MILLNER / BOLD Graduate, Alliance Theatre
  • DONYA K. WASHINGTON / BOLD Graduate, Alliance Theatre

EILEEN J. MORRIS, Artistic Director of THE ENSEMBLE THEATRE (Houston, TX), founded in 1976, the oldest and largest theater in the Southwest dedicated to preserving African American artistic expression, and enlightening, entertaining and enriching a diverse community.

  • RACHEL HEMPHILL DICKSON / BOLD Artistic Associate, The Ensemble Theatre
  • KRYSTAL UCHEM / BOLD Production Fellow-Production Manager, The Ensemble Theatre
  • Michelle Elaine OGLETREE / BOLD Artistic Fellow, The Ensemble Theatre

SARAH RASMUSSEN, Artistic Director of MCCARTER THEATER CENTER (Princeton, NJ), established in 1973, has been honored with a Regional Theatre Tony Award® for its innovative programming throughout Princeton, Trenton, and central New Jersey, including premieres of several plays that have gone on to Broadway. Rasmussen's grant was split this season between her current work at McCarter, and her former post as artistic director at The Jungle Theater in Minneapolis, MN. The Grant will be given in full to Rasmussen and the McCarter Theater Center with Cohort 2. The Jungle Theater will continue as BOLD Circle members for Cohort 2.

Lisa McNulty, Producing Artistic Director of WP THEATER (New York, NY), founded in 1978 as Women's Project Theater, is the country's oldest and largest theater company committed to developing and producing the work of women+ at every stage of their careers, and under McNulty's leadership has been honored with a Lucille Lortel Award, a Drama Desk Award, and an Obie Award, all for Outstanding Body of Work.

Carol Dunne, Producing Artistic Director of NORTHERN STAGE (White River Junction, VT), a nonprofit regional LORT-D professional theater company, has become the preeminent year-round theater company in its region, offering world premieres, classics, and musicals in its new home at the Barrette Center for the Arts. In recent years, the company has developed and launched several original works that have been produced off-Broadway and beyond.

  • JESS CHAYES / BOLD Associate Artistic Director, Northern Stage
  • KERRIGAN QUENEMOEN / BOLD Artistic Fellow, Northern Stage
  • Emma Orme / BOLD Producing Associate, Northern Stage
  • VIRGINIA OGDEN / BOLD Artistic Fellow, Northern Stage
  • MAGGIE BURROWS / BOLD Resident Director Graduate, Northern Stage

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