Supported by a grant from The Jerome Foundation, the Playwrights' Center's Many Voices program is designed to increase cultural diversity in the contemporary theater, both locally and nationally, through cash grants, education, and opportunities to develop new work with theater professionals.
The Many Voices Fellowship is designed to significantly benefit early-career writers of color with previous playwriting experience and/or training.
Current (2012-13) Fellowship Year
In the current fellowship year, two Minnesota-based playwrights of color received a $5,650 stipend and an additional $1,250 to be applied toward the cost of developing new work.
Upcoming (2013-14) Fellowship Year
Following an extensive national field study and reevaluation of the program, the upcoming 2013-14 Fellowship will differ from the current iteration in significant ways. One fellowship will be awarded to a Minnesota playwright, and one fellowship will be awarded to either a Minnesota or national playwright. Both Many Voices Fellowships will provide a $10,000 stipend, an additional $2,500 for living expenses, and $1,500 in play development funds, and other benefits. The Fellowship will also focus more heavily on building connections with theater leaders and companies in the Twin Cities and nationwide.
To learn more about the benefits of the Many Voices Fellowship or to find out if you're eligible, click here!
Two Many Voices Mentorships are awarded annually to Minnesota-based beginning playwrights of color. Many Voices Mentorship focus on the nuts and bolts of playwriting through a curated package of writing and development services intended to aid the participant toward the completion of a play script. Mentorships provide a $1,000 stipend and other benefits.
To learn more about the benefits of the Many Voices Mentorship or to find out if you're eligible, click here!
2012-13 MANY VOICES MENTORSHIP
Taous Claire Khazem teaches theatre to youth, young adults and adults with disabilities at SteppingStone Theatre, Stages Theatre, the Children's Theatre and Interact Center for the Arts. She has taught theatre workshops in Casablanco, Morocco; Amman, Jordan and Albi, France. In Algeria, she worked with seven women to gather folktales from elders in order to create an original production in the city of Bejaia. She also developed a six month long theatre training course in acting, directing, scene design and playwriting for 37 women from Algeria's second biggest city, Oran, culminating in three original short play productions. She has also led numerous workshops in physical theatre for actors throughout Algeria from small villages to big cities. In addition, she taught teachers in Algeria how to use theatre as a method for teaching English in the classroom. She created the theatre company Daraja Theatre with her husband Mohammed Yabdri and performed in Paris, France; Yaoundé, Cameroon; Casablanca, Morocco as well as in every major Algerian city. In 2011 she was invited by the Aat Network in Amman, Jordan to teach a physical theatre workshop. In the Twin Cities she has performed locally with Pangea World Theater, Frank Theatre, Dreamland Arts and Off Leash Area. In 2009 she was named Performance of the Year by MinnPost for her work in Frank Theater's Palace of the End. She has performed her one-woman show Tizi Ouzou in Portland, Seattle, St. Paul, Alexandria (Egypt) and for the US Embassy in Algiers. Taous trained at the Jacques Lecoq International Theatre School in Paris, France and holds a B.A in theatre and French from Macalester College.
2012-13 MANY VOICES FELLOWSHIP
Janaki Ranpura believes in making it fun to live cheek-to-jowl. She writes mainly for public space venues, and she builds nomadic structures that promote self-conscious enjoyment of human density. As a designer, she values intimacy and mobility. She unites technology with the traditional stagecraft of puppet theater. Projects evolve from her experience as a performer, a community artist, a writer, and a designer for parades and stage.
Her sense of space is informed by her training at the Lecoq School in France. Her sense of light was developed at Larry Reed's groundbreaking company, Shadowlight Productions. Her desire to include the public comes from working on community projects with Heart of the Beast Theatre. Her ability for movement and hilarity comes from her restless roots as the inappropriately creative daughter of Indian doctors. She studied at Yale University.
She's received fellowships through Northern Lights MN, Forecast Public Art, Pillsbury House Theatre, and Heart of the Beast Theatre. The international association UNIMA has awarded her a Citation of Excellence for her puppet work. She is currently an emerging Many Voices fellow at the Playwrights' Center.
2012-13 MANY VOICES MENTORSHIP
Miré Regulus is a mover, writer, and theater performance artist. Past associations include @rkology, a spoken word and music group, and performances at Patrick's Cabaret and the Center for Independent Artists. Miré directs, most notably performance pieces by Mankwe Ndosi and Gabrielle Civil. She developed new work in Red Eye's Works In Progress series and studied with the Change Exchange program on L.A.'s Skid Row. In 2009, she was a recipient of Pillsbury House's Naked Stages grant and created work for Laurie Carlos' Late Nite series in 2011. Her work is marked by poetical prose, rich language and non-linear structure.
2012-13 MANY VOICES FELLOWSHIP
Ricardo Vazquez is a Puerto Rican actor/writer who has survived over twenty Minnesota winters to date. He has written articles for Minnesota Playlist, ATS.com, and one act scripts for the University of Minnesota New Works Series. As an actor he was recently seen around town in the title role of Teatro del Pueblo and Pangea World Theater's collaborative production of Oedipus El Rey, Mixed Blood's world premiere of Crashing the Party, and can also be seen weekly on the TV show M@dabout TV! airing nationally. When he is not auditioning around town, he can be heard struggling to learn classical guitar in Powderhorn Park.