The Theatre Communications Group/International Theatre Institute (TCG/ITI) Travel Grants have been designed to foster cultural exchange and artistic partnerships between theatre professionals in the United States and their counterparts in Russia, Eastern Europe or Central Europe (see below for geographic scope). These $3,500 grants will support trips in either direction by theatre artists, administrators and educators, enabling these professionals to share ideas, gain exposure to each other's cultural traditions and contemporary theatre techniques and/or work together.
The independent Baltic States and those of Central Asia that were formerly part of the Soviet Union are not currently within the geographic scope of the program.
This grant program was developed by TCG in collaboration with the International Theatre Institute and is funded by the Trust for Mutual Understanding.
TCG/ITI Travel Grants Fall/Winter 2009 Recipients
Performer-actor Kersti Bryan (New York, NY) will to travel to Moscow to perform with young Russian and American artists at the Pushkin Theater of Moscow.
Actor-writer Anthony Nikolchev (Portola Valley, CA) will collaborate with Polish actress-puppeteer Anna Skubik to create a new piece for Wroclaw's Puppet Theater.
ArtSpot Productions' (New Orleans, LA) artistic director Kathy Randels will travel with fellow ensemble members Jeff Becker (designer) and Sean LaRocca (composer) to Serbia to develop The Black Lady Project, a performance directed by Dah Teatar's Dijana Milosevic.
Kim Whitener, producing director of HERE Arts Center (New York, NY) will travel to Serbia and Croatia to participate in Eurokaz and the Belgrade Summer Festival.
Marcy Arlin and Aurorae Khoo from Immigrants' Theatre Project will travel to the Czech Republic for a binational, trilingual (English/Czech/Vietnamese), year-long theatre project based on stories from Vietnamese immigrants in the U.S. and the Czech Republic with Czech and American playwrights, directors and theatres.
Del Hamilton, Heidi Howard and Faye Allen of 7 Stages will meet with Dah Teatar in Belgrade to develop ideas and concepts that will lead to their next collaborative project.
A national independent selection panel comprised of theatre professionals reviewed applications for the Fall/Winter round of the TCG/ITI Travel Grants. The panelists were Raymond Bobgan, executive artistic director, Cleveland Public Theatre (Cleveland, OH); Susan Loewenberg, producing director, L.A. Theatre Works (Los Angeles, CA); Rob Melrose, artistic director, The Cutting Ball Theater (San Francisco, CA); Michael Robertson, managing director, Lark Play Development Center (New York, NY); and Shawn Sides, co-producing artistic director, Rude Mechanicals (Austin, TX).
TCG/ITI Travel Grants Spring/Summer 2009 Recipients
Kristin Marting, artistic director of HERE Arts Center (New York, NY) will to travel to Moscow to participate in the New European Theatre and Big Break Festivals to develop future collaborations.
Playwright Aditi Brennan Kapil and dramaturg Liz Engelman (Minneapolis, MN) will work with a Bulgarian director, actors and commedia artists on a new play at the Rhodopi International Theater Laboratory in Smolyan, Bulgaria.
Director and choreographer Artemis Preeshl (New Orleans, LA) will co-direct and choreograph Money, Money, Money with playwrights Jeton Neziraj and Michael Devine at Kosovo National Theatre with Kosovar, Canadian and American actors.
Poor Dog Group (Los Angeles, CA) will travel to Eastern Europe for further exploration of post-dramatic theatre. They will develop their collaborative performance, titled The Internationalists, at The Student Centre in Zagreb, attend The Grotowski Festival in Poland and tour throughout Croatia with Daska Theater.
Theater Breaking Through Barriers (New York, NY) staff will travel to the 6th International Theater Festival for the Blind in Zagreb, Croatia in fall 2009. Held bi-annually, it includes artists from many European countries.
Jiri Zizka, co-artistic director of The Wilma Theater (Philadelphia, PA) will travel to Prague to consult with playwright Václav Havel and director Ondrej Hrab prior to a 2010 production of Leaving.
Susan Claassen, managing artistic director of Invisible Theatre (Tucson, AZ); Rob Orchard, executive director at American Repertory Theater (Cambridge, MA); Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental artistic director Thaddeus Phillips (Philadelphia, PA); freelance director and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Jay Scheib (Cambridge, MA) and Michael Sommers, artistic director of Open Eye Figure Theatre (Minneapolis, MN).
Spring/Summer 2008 Recipients
Actor/producer Bridgit Evans (New York, NY) and director/producer Cynthia Croot (Walla Walla, WA) will travel to Croatia to produce a high-profile radio docu-drama inspired by Suzan-Lori Parks’ Venus, designed to focus media and public attention on Croatia’s sex trafficking crisis.
Rebecca Joy Fletcher (New York, NY), a performer, playwright and cantor will further develop her acclaimed off-Broadway show, KLEYNKUNST! by traveling to Warsaw to collaborate with the State Jewish Theater and the Shalom Foundation.
Joanna Klass (Costa Mesa, CA), artistic director of Arden-2 will travel to Poland to help coordinate 2009 Year of Grotowski worldwide events by the invitation of the Grotowski Institute.
Lark Play Development Center (New York, NY) playwrights Yussef El Guindi and Lloyd Suh, along with two Romanian playwrights, will work with the acting company of the National Theatre’s New Drama Festival at the Romanian National Theatre in Timisoara, Romania, to develop translations of their plays (based on the theme of “Emigrating to America”) for publication and future production.
Puppet artists Tom Lee and Matt Acheson (Brooklyn, NY) will travel to Rhodopean Drama Theater in Smolyan, Bulgaria to develop an experimental performance.
Mara Isaacs, producing director of McCarter Theatre Center (Princeton, NJ) will travel to Moscow and St. Petersburg to attend productions by director Alexander Morfov and begin collaborative planning with Russian producers.
Johanna Smith, associate professor of theatre education at CSUSB Theatre Arts (San Bernardino, CA) and Gina Pavlova (Bulgaria/Los Angeles, CA) will present a collaborative, multimedia puppetry work at the International Puppetry Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Spring/Summer 2008 Panelists
A national independent selection panel comprised of theatre professionals reviewed applications for the Spring/Summer round of the TCG/ITI Travel Grants. The panelists were Sarah Benson, artistic director, Soho Rep (New York, NY); Jeff Church, artistic director, Coterie Theatre (Kansas City, MO); Jonathan Fox, executive artistic director, Ensemble Theatre Company (Santa Barbara, CA); James Haire, producing director, American Conservatory Theater (San Francisco, CA) and Helen Richardson, associate professor of theatre, Brooklyn College (Brooklyn, NY).
The Trust for Mutual Understanding
The Trust for Mutual Understanding was established in 1984 by an anonymous American philanthropist as a private, grantmaking organization dedicated to promoting improved communication, closer cooperation, and greater respect between the people of the United States, the Soviet Union, and other countries in Eastern and Central Europe. Today, the Trust makes grants to American nonprofit organizations to support the international travel component of cultural and environmental exchanges conducted in partnership with institutions and individuals in Russia and Eastern and Central Europe. Priority consideration is given to projects in which direct, professional interaction plays a major role. More information can be found on their website, www.tmuny.org.