New Shows by Antoinette Nwandu, Grace McLean, and More Receive Grants From the 'Made in NY' Women’s Film, TV & Theatre Fund | Playbill

Industry News New Shows by Antoinette Nwandu, Grace McLean, and More Receive Grants From the 'Made in NY' Women’s Film, TV & Theatre Fund 14 theatre projects are the recipients of grants from the fund in support of creative entrepreneurs who identify as women.
Antoinette Nwandu, Grace McLean, Danya Taymor, and Nia O. Witherspoon
Antoinette Nwandu, Grace McLean, Danya Taymor, and Nia O. Witherspoon

The “Made in NY” Women’s Film, TV & Theatre Fund has awarded grants to 63 film, TV, theatre, and digital media projects made by creative entrepreneurs who identify as women. Among the projects that have been selected: a new play by Antoinette Nwandu (who reunites with director Danya Taymor following their collaboration on the acclaimed Pass Over) with The Vineyard Theatre attached to produce; and a new musical by composer and actor Grace McLean (currently performing in Alice by Heart) about Medieval mystic Hildegard von Bingen, directed by Dance Nation's Lee Sunday Evans and produced by LCT3.

Lee Sunday Evans
Lee Sunday Evans

Other shows that have been selected include Colette Robert's piece deconstructing black debutante ball culture, produced by New Georges and the Movement Theatre Company; Aya Ogawa's autobiographical play The Nosebleed; Nia O. Wiherspoon's Messiah, which will be seen at La MaMa this spring with direction by Mei Ann Teo; and the upcoming 50in50: Letters to Our Daughters, curated by Dominique Morisseau and presented by The Billie Holiday Theatre.

The Fund is part of the City’s initiative, which helps women succeed by connecting them with resources and tools, including free expert legal advice, financial assistance, networking, and mentorship opportunities. This is the first round of a $5 million, three-year program funded by MOME and administered by New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).

See the full list of selected theatre recipients below.

Grace McLean: Librettist, Composer, Lyricist; Lee Sunday Evans: Director
Title: In the Green
About: In the Green is a new musical based on the origin story of one of Medieval history's most powerful and creative women: Hildegard von Bingen. Produced by LCT3.

Colette Robert: Playwright, Director
Title: The Harriet Holland Social Club Presents the 84th Annual Star-Burst Cotillion in the Grand Ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel
About: The Harriet Holland Social Club Presents the 84th Annual Star-Burst Cotillion in the Grand Ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel cleverly deconstructs black debutante ball culture. Produced by New Georges and the Movement Theatre Company.

Karen Brown, Karimah, Ntozake Shange: Playwrights; Ifa Bayeza, Karen Brown: Directors
Title: Negro Ensemble Company Celebrates The Art of Women
About: NEC Celebrates the Art of Woman explores extraordinary women in performance with multi-dimensionality; range of voice, perspective and emotion across generational, economic, and cultural descriptors.

Nia O. Wiherspoon: Playwright; Mei Ann Teo: Director
Title: Messiah
About: Messiah is a love story. Or many. It follows the journey of a DJ. A transman. A seer with fire in his teeth. Hoover's nightmare. A son of two Black Panthers. Come dance inside his church of memory, where we who have been denied voice—black women, queer, and trans folks—are on the pulpit.

Lisa Schlesinger: Playwright; Marion Schoevaert: Director; Irina Patkanian: Filmmaker
Title: Iphigenia Point Blank
About: This immersive public ritual fuses together documentary film, theatre, live music, and dance, to share the story of a woman's experience of war.

Antoinette Nwandu: Playwright; Danya Taymor: Director
Title: Tuvalu: Or the Saddest Song
About: Tuvalu by Antoinette Nwandu depicts a young black woman's coming of age in 1990s Los Angeles set against the backdrop of the OJ Simpson trial. Produced by The Vineyard Theatre.

Karen Kandel: Writer, Performer
Title: Vicksburg Project
About: The Vicksburg Project traces women's experiences in Vicksburg, Mississippi, from The Civil War, Jim Crow/Great Migration, Civil Rights era, and today through song and text. Produced by Mabou Mines.

Indira Etwaroo: Director; Dominique Morrisau: Curator
Title: 50in50: Letters to Our Daughters
About: 50in50: Letters to Our Daughters brings to the stage 50 stories from 50 women across the globe as they consider the world [they] inherited and the one [they] would like to create. Produced by The Billie Holiday Theater.

Aya Ogawa: Playwright; Director: Performer
Title: The Nosebleed
About: A theatrical memorial and healing ritual for the audience, The Nosebleed is a darkly humorous autobiographical play about writer/director Aya Ogawa's fractured relationship with her long-deceased father.

DeVante Lewis: Director
Title: Girlz in Da Hood
About: The Writher's Project aims to create space for girls and femme writers from the Bronx to express their personal narratives in fun and empowering ways. Presented at Community Connections for Youth.

Zoey Martinson: Playwright, Director
Title: The Black History Museum According to the United States of America
About: The Black History Museum... According to the United States of America is a theatrical installation experience delving into the fraught relationship between Black bodies and the value America places on them. Produced by HERE Arts Center.

Kayran Irani: Playwright, Performer; Rania Lee Kahlil: Director
Title: There is a Portal
About: There is a Portal is a multimedia, one-woman show and community building project that re-imagines belonging and human connection through linking narratives of migration, displacement and home.

Andrea Stolowitz: Playwright, Producer; Portia Krieger: Director
Title: The Berlin Diaries
About: In 2006, Oregon Book Award-winning playwright Andrea Stolowitz receives a family diary from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. In 2015 she travels to Berlin to investigate.

Robin Frohardt: Playwright, Director
Title: The Plastic Bag Store
About: The Plastic Bag Store is an installation and puppetry-based immersive play that explores how the hordes of plastic waste we are leaving behind might be misinterpreted by future generations.

The theatre submissions were evaluated by the following panelists: Emilya Cachapero, TCG Director of Artistic & International Programs; actor Kathleen Chalfant; Mandy Greenfield, Artistic Director at Williamstown Theatre Festival; playwright Caridad Svich; and performer and writer Daphne Rubin-Vega.

For the complete list of the 63 selected projects across film, television, and theatre, visit

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