Houston’s Main Street Theater announces BIPOC scholarship to help future theater talent

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The Main Street Theater recently announced its BIPOC Fellowship initiative this week for those in the theater industry looking to get their foot in the door. The announcement was made via the theater’s Facebook page on Tuesday, February 1.

According to Rebecca Udden, artistic director of the Main Street Theater and one of its founders, the scholarship program is the first the theater has ever run and is designed for those who may struggle to break into the industry, whether either because of work or other life obligations.

“This is to encourage early career professionals, BIPOC artists, directors, designers and managers to consider pursuing a professional career,” Udden explained of the scholarship. “It’s very easy for someone early in their career to get distracted or distracted from what they really want to do.”

Udden explained that the Main Street Theater is looking for Houston-based BIPOC people who have demonstrated a commitment to pursuing the contemporary. In particular, they monitor those who have earned a college degree in theater, as well as others who have always worked or shown a passion for the theater industry.

The Fellowship itself involves working on a production, which will open in September. Selected applicants will work with either MainStage or Theater For Youth depending on their availability. For example, those with day jobs will be allowed to work evenings and nights, and vice versa.

Under these programs, individuals will be given tasks in their areas of interest, including directing, design and stage management. Those selected will have access to certain “professional development opportunities” within the theatre.

The scholarship aims not only to help individuals become more involved, but also to promote greater inclusion within Main Street Theatre. The theater hopes to attract more talent from BIPOC and expose them to greater opportunities within the industry.

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“In 2020, we held a number of town hall meetings with our Houston BIPOC theater artists,” Udden said. “And although we have always considered ourselves a welcoming and inclusive company, the artists of BIPOC did not see each other at the Main Street Theatre. We are trying to change that.

According to Udden, the fellowship will begin in early summer with production meetings, during which planning for shows will take place over the next few months, with a meeting every month. The selected fellows will work closely together and play an active role in this production process.

In addition to working on the production, hands-on experience and mentorship will be offered through Main Street Theatre’s Director of Artistic Inclusion, Sloane Teagle, as well as other industry players with the aim of networking and learning. improve leadership skills.

“Historically, BIPOC artists have not been given equal opportunities and access to work with established professionals,” Teagle said. “Main Street Theater has always been on a mission to create paid, professional work for artists in general, and this scholarship is another step towards more inclusive and equitable work specifically for BIPOC artists.”

The application deadline is April 1, 2022. Successful applicants will be selected the same month. Further information about the scholarship and its requirements can be found on the Main Street Theater website.

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