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Dramaturg Driven Grants Announced!
The Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the Spring 2011 round of Dramaturg Driven Grants: Ilana Brownstein and Liana Thompson. This round of grants saw seven applications, and the selection process was overseen by the Chair of LMDA’s Committee on Programs, Stephen Colella, along with committee members Joanna Falck and Diane Brewer.
Dramaturg Ilana Brownstein will be heading the Freedom Art Theatre Retreat, which will pluck 9 emerging theatre makers (3 each of playwrights, designers, and dramaturgs) from the hot, humid urban jungle that is Boston in August, and transport them to a cabin in the lush, green Maine woods for a week. While there, they will be encouraged to think outside the box; to innovate through unexpected collaborations; and to let their relocation into a natural space provide fertile ground for new artistic growth. Retreat participants will be drawn from the ranks of Boston’s young, hungry fringe theatres, which are eager to produce new work by emerging playwrights, but have few formalized infrastructures for supporting that work in development. The goal of the Retreat is to let loose the bonds of production budgets, and encourage these teams to create the boldest, bravest work possible. For Playwrights' Commons Founding Dramaturg Ilana M. Brownstein, and Associate Producer/Dramaturg Corianna Moffatt, it is a deeply held belief that if they're not doing something to strengthen the local arts ecology, then they're not doing our jobs as artists. The Freedom Art Theatre Retreat is our answer to that challenge.
Dramaturg Liana Thompson will use the grant to fund a research project looking at employment trends within the profession of dramaturgy over the past 25 (or so) years, with the goal of helping early career dramaturgs think about their career decisions in a more constructive way. The study will take a longitudinal look at Dramaturgy MFAs’ careers, and will explore the paths that various MFAs have taken to their current positions as institutional dramaturgs, freelance dramaturgs, professors, or whatever else these individuals are doing within or outside the field. The end goal of the project is a publishable paper (or papers). This is a project she is passionate about because the current economy is making it incredibly difficult for bright, young dramaturgs to gain a foothold in the dramaturgy profession. Her hope is that the data from this research project can help newly-minted (or not so newly minted) dramaturgs identify ways to channel their energy and expertise into career paths that excite and engage their creativity and their skills… while also being able to eat. And be prepared—if you have an MFA, there is a very good chance you’ll be hearing from her!