Black Theatre United and Williamstown Theatre Festival have collaborated on a new program aimed at fostering young theatre artists of color. The Early Career Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Theatre-Makers Program will become part of the Festival's training programs beginning this year, with participants spending a summer in residence at the Festival whlie embedding themselves in various WTF departments.
Participants will be recruited and chosen by both organizations and will named BTU Rise Fellows. The program provides room and board for all participants, along with a $2,500 stipend. Fellows will work along WTF's industry professionals and engage in a structured mentorship with BTU founding members, along with attending seminars and panels as a cohort.
“After the culmination of horrific events of this spring including but not limited to the death of Breonna Taylor, the execution of George Floyd, the execution of Ahmaud Arbery, the beating deaths of Dominique 'Rem’mie' Fells, and Riah Milton, it was clear that something had to be done," says BTU founding member Allyson Tucker-Mitchell. "And when our own industry broke open with stories of abuse, pain, marginalization, access denied, subjugation and more, constantly visited upon Black, Indigenous, and People of Color bodies, the path forward became clear: artists in all aspects of the industry had to act ... With this collaboration, BTU strives to create an inclusive program that will allow BIPOC artists to emphatically state, ‘We are here. We will be seen. We will not be denied.’”WTFestival.org.