Leadership U[niversity]

Round 4 Recipients:

Nell Bang-Jensen is being mentored by Dan Rothenberg, co-artistic director of Pig Iron Theatre Company (Philadelphia, PA). Bang-Jensen’s mentorship focuses on helping to develop the next chapter of Pig Iron’s artistic model as the company enters its third decade. Functioning as associate artistic director, Bang-Jensen is exploring connections between ensemble practice and community engagement in Pig Iron’s new Kensington home.


Elisa Bocanegra is being mentored by Cynthia Rider, executive director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) (Ashland, OR). Bocanegra will design and manage specific projects relating to OSF's Strategic Plan, working with key staff and the board's strategic plan committee to monitor progress. She is also joining OSF's Latino Play Project team, and will act as a representative to historically black universities and other cultural institutions to help OSF attract more diverse applicants for employment and internship.


Alejandra Cisneros is being mentored by Jesus Reyes, Community Partnerships Director at Center Theatre Group (Los Angeles, CA). Cisneros is focusing on research, observing and practicing the work being done in the Education and Community Partnership Department at Center Theatre Group, specifically focusing on community programs.



Clay Martin is being mentored by Jordan Butterfield, education director and head of the Trinity Rep Active Imagination Network (TRAIN), and Tyler Dobrowsky, associate artistic director of Trinity Repertory Company (Providence, RI). Martin is building on TRAIN's groundwork in K-12 autism outreach, as well as his own experiences founding an educational theatre initiative involving adults on the autism spectrum, to develop a pilot program for professional theatre outreach and social engagement.


David Mendizábal is being mentored byNeil Pepe, artistic director at Atlantic Theater Company (New York, NY). MMendizábal’s mentorship is focusing on the role of an artistic director in growing an arts institution both in size and reach through artistic programming, artist development and cultivation, mission-based decision making and audience outreach. He is also exploring the role of a director in bringing one's identity and political/personal point of view to the work within an established organization.


Lauren E. Turner is being mentored by Aimée Hayes, artistic director of Southern Rep Theatre (New Orleans, LA). Turner is exploring the theatre's role in community building, and ways in which to highlight the theatre's commitment to the development of new work. She is also hands-on in devising inroads to increase the theatre's accessibility to non-traditional theatregoers. Additionally, Turner will potentially engage a new community audience base, as Southern Rep Theatre prepares to transition to a new location in the historic Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans.


Jamie Van Camp is being mentored by Michael Fields, producing artistic director of Dell’Arte International (Blue Lake, CA). Van Camp is participating and assisting in various programs geared towards community engagement that Dell'Arte offers through their company and school, including The Holiday Show Tour and The Annual Mad River Festival. He is also shadowing leadership and faculty to get inspiration for a performing arts center that he hopes to establish in Placerville, CA.


Abigail Vega is being mentored by P. Carl, director of HowlRound and co-artistic director of ArtsEmerson (Boston, MA). Vega’s mentorship focuses on learning new methods of creative producing and presenting. She is leading the Latina/o Theatre Commons (LTC) from within the structure of HowlRound, assisting on producing HowlRound convenings, artist residencies and productions, and using what she learns to eventually lead her own projects and initiatives that will grow HowlRound and the LTC's national presence.


Round 3 Recipients:


John M. Baker | The Lark
John M. Baker was mentored by John Clinton Eisner, artistic director at The Lark (New York, NY). Baker’s mentorship focused on deepening his thinking about the role played by playwrights as critical leaders in our rapidly evolving and globalized society while devising new and effective strategies for supporting them in their work.


Benjamin Hanna | Children's Theatre Company
Benjamin Hanna was mentored by Peter Brosius, artistic director of Children's Theatre Company (Minneapolis, MN). Hanna’s mentorship focused on the development of new work for children and young audiences, researching best practices in diversity and inclusion initiatives, and engaging teen theatre artists.


Jamil Jude | Park Square Theatre
Jamil Jude was mentored by Richard Cook, artistic director at Park Square Theatre (St. Paul, MN). Jude observed senior management and board meetings, season planning and producing conversations, as well as long-range strategy development and implementation. He also helped to create a new work development model that outlines and manifests a pathway for Park Square to institutionalize the commissioning and production of new plays.

Lauren Keating | Guthrie Theater
Lauren Keating was mentored by Joseph Haj, artistic director at the Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis, MN). Keating functioned in the role of associate producer, working closely with artists and the Guthrie staff to connect rehearsal, performance and administration, as well as engaged the larger community through special events and outreach activities.


Emily Sophia Knapp | Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival
Emily Sophia Knapp was mentored by Davis McCallum, artistic director at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (Cold Spring, NY). Knapp explored how an artistic director takes a theatre through a period of organizational transition and growth. She focused on producing, strategic planning, and community engagement, taking the lead on HVSF's inaugural community-generated show, a 50-person version of Our Town in September, 2016


Erik Schroeder | Center Theatre Group
Erik Schroeder was mentored by executive producer, Barry Grove and general manager, Florie Seery at Manhattan Theatre Club (New York, NY). Schroeder’s mentorship was focused on general management, leadership, producing, budgeting, strategy, contract negotiation, marketing, and fundraising. In addition to participating in the work being done in MTC’s general management office, he had the opportunity to contribute to fundraising efforts and marketing initiatives at the theatre.


Round 2 Recipients:


Ryan Conarro | Ping Chong & Company
Ryan Conarro was mentored by Ping Chong + Company’s (New York, NY) founder/artistic director, Ping Chong. Conarro’s mentorship spans three areas of collaboration: artistic creation, community-engaged practice and organizational leadership.


Shana Cooper | Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Shana Cooper was mentored by Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s (Washington, DC) artistic director, Howard Shalwitz. Cooper explored the artistic and administrative skills necessary to build and sustain a theatre that puts innovation at the forefront of the creative process.


SK Kerastas | Berkeley Repertory Theatre
SK Kerastas was mentored by Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s (Berkeley, CA) director of The Ground Floor and resident dramaturg, Madeleine Oldham. Kerastas gained experience working in arts leadership at a large institution that incorporates programming that activates values of diversity, inclusion and access.


Joanie Schultz | Victory Gardens Theater
Joanie Schultz was mentored by Victory Garden Theater’s (Chicago, IL) artistic director, Chay Yew. Schultz’s mentorship focused on the responsibilities of artistic directorship, including season planning, artistic development and management.


Jerry Tischleder | Artists Repertory Theatre
Jerry Tischleder was mentored by Artists Repertory Theatre’s (Portland, OR) artistic director, Dámaso Rodriguez. Tischleder’s mentorship focused on administrative leadership and producing, while integrating works by ensembles, devising companies and multidisciplinary artists into Artist Rep’s programs.


Dawn Monique Williams | Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Dawn Monique Williams was mentored by Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s (Ashland, OR) artistic director, Bill Rauch. Williams explored artistic direction at this large-scale classical theatre, immersing herself in artistic programming, casting, board and donor relations, as well as diversity/inclusion initiatives. She also assisted on mainstage productions.

Round 1 Recipients:


Diana Buirski | Denver Center Theatre Company
Diana Buirski was mentored by Denver Center Theatre Company's (Denver, CO) managing director, Charles Varin. Buirski honed her skills in fundraising, budgeting and season planning, and focused on the implementation of audience development strategies and new programming to increase community engagement.

Amanda Delheimer Dimond | Lookingglass Theatre Company
Amanda Delheimer Dimond was mentored by Lookingglass Theatre Company's (Chicago, IL) executive director, Rachel Kraft. Dimond's mentorship encompassed the areas of executive and artistic direction, exploring the ethos and ecology of an ensemble-based theatre that creates new work.

Seema Sueko | Arena Stage
Seema Sueko was mentored by Arena Stage's (Washington, DC) artistic director, Molly Smith. The mentorship focused on artistic direction and helped Sueko develop the leadership, artistic and fundraising skills needed for artistic direction at the LORT level.

Matt O'Hare | The Builders Association
Matt O'Hare was mentored by The Builders Association's (New York, NY) artistic director, Marianne Weems and sound designer, Daniel Dobson. O'Hare's mentorship focused on interactive sound and video design for theatre via observation and participation in the developmental processes of the company.

Quentin Talley | Penumbra Theatre
Quentin Talley was mentored by Penumbra Theatre's (St. Paul, MN) founder and artistic director, Lou Bellamy. The mentorship covered programming, education and directing. The experience provided Talley the tools to become a more efficient and impactful artistic leader of his own company, On Q Performing Arts.

Maureen Towey | Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Maureen Towey was mentored by Berkeley Repertory Theatre's (Berkeley, CA) artistic director, Tony Taccone. Towey's mentorship focused on interactive technologies and community engagement while working alongside Taccone to learn the craft and business of running a large theatre organization.

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