Named as one of the fund's first "storytelling fellows" is playwright Tracey Scott Wilson, known for her racially charged drama, The Story, seen at The Public Theater and regionally.
Sundance Institute is dedicated to the artistic development of filmmakers, screenwriters, composers, writers, playwrights and theatre artists.
The new Time Warner Storytelling Advancement Fund is composed of two main components. The first is the establishment and specialized support of the Time Warner Storytelling Fellows, a talented group of Sundance film and theatre artists (up to 20 fellows over a four-year period) whose work uniquely positions and advances the concept of storytelling.
Fellows will each receive a grant to enable them to focus specifically on the advancement of the narrative and voice in their projects.
The second component is the piloting of activities "to explore ideas in advancing storytelling throughout the broader arts landscape, including public readings and creative roundtables." The first two Time Warner Storytelling Fellows are filmmaker Patricia Benoit for her project "Haiti Cherie" and playwright Tracey Scott Wilson for the project The Good Negro.
Benoit and Wilson participated in the 2007 Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Labs and 2007 Sundance Theatre Lab respectively. Each will receive a $5,000 grant and will be given a combination of year-round guidance, residency support, mentoring, work presentation, professional development and ongoing investment.
Fellows are chosen for "the uniqueness and diversity of the project's voice and narrative, and the particular timeliness of the story and its perspective."
According to the Sundance-Time Warner announcement, The Good Negro, directed by Liesl Tommy, is a new play "that puts a very human face on the 1960s American civil rights movement through personal and intimate stories that emerged from the political upheavals of the era. In a constantly shifting landscape, a trio of emerging black leaders must conquer their individual demons, the local KKK fights for its old way of life and everyday, black men and women must overcome their fears, all under the all watchful eye of the FBI."