A new networking organization that aims to connect early and mid-career BIPOC stage managers with industry professionals has launched. Founded by established stage managers Lisa Dawn Cave, Beverly Jenkins, and Jimmie Lee Smith, the group provides opportunities to advance a career in the arts through free networking and educational events.
The group will host its first virtual, free event December 17 at 5:30 PM ET, featuring Tony-winning director Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun, A Soldier’s Play), who introduces a panel discussion and Q&A with professionals from Broadway, national tours, and regional theatres across the country.
Panelists will be provided with the résumés of all confirmed participants in advance of the event and plan to engage directly with attendees in small break-out groups. Among the panelists are representatives from Disney Theatrical Productions, Bespoke Theatricals, Foresight Theatrical, RCI Theatricals, The Alliance Theatre, The Muny, and The 5th Avenue Theatre.
“The theatre industry is a beautiful community to be a part of, and one we are grateful to have forged success and meaningful relationships in,” said the founders. “But we recognize the many challenges that face aspiring theatre-makers, especially from within BIPOC communities, to making inroads to the small group of decision-makers who produce theatre and build out production teams. We want to give BIPOC stage managers direct access to the people who are responsible for filling stage management positions, to eliminate the phrase ‘I don’t know where to find them’ from the hiring process, and create necessary opportunity pathways for a group of folks who are woefully underrepresented on production teams around the country.”
Additional events planned for 2021 will be announced at a later date. BIPOC stage managers interested in participating can learn more and sign up at BroadwayBeyondAccess.com. Free registration is required by December 13.