The Alliance Theatre and its artistic director Susan V. Booth have been awarded a $250,000 grant as part of the inaugural BOLD Theater Women’s Leadership Circle. The program supports theaters run by female artistic directors and offers support for artistic initiatives focused on women artists.
The BOLD Theater Women’s Leadership Circle, led by Carol Dunne, producing artistic director of Vermont’s Northern Stage Theatre, will provide $1.25 million of support for Northern Stage and four other theaters run by female artistic directors during the 2018–2019 season. Each theater will receive a $250,000 grant. The first cohort of the BOLD Theater Women’s Leadership Circle includes Booth, Dunne, Eileen Morris (The Ensemble Theatre, Houston, TX), Sarah Rasmussen (Jungle Theater, Minneapolis, MN) and Lisa McNulty (WP Theater, New York, NY).
In awarding the grant to Booth, BOLD highlighted several aspects of Booth’s tenure at the Alliance, such as the Spelman Leadership Fellows program, which provides one to three years of training to prepare women of color for top leadership roles in the nonprofit sector; the Yale Directing Fellowship, which provides a year of training for a graduate student in Yale’s MFA Directing program (the past three Yale Directing Fellows have been women, and have returned to the Alliance to direct several subsequent productions); the Mellon Playwright in Residence, awarded to playwright Pearl Cleage to produce new plays and work with teenagers to develop new work through the Palefsky Collision Project; and a strong track record of producing plays by women playwrights, including new works by Pearl Cleage, Janece Shaffer, Meg Miroshnik, Lindsey Ferrentino, Madhuri Shekar, Alix Sobler and many more.
“We were overwhelmed by the applicants for the BOLD Circle,” said Dunne, who noted that the BOLD Circle received over 40 applications. “I am confident that this first cohort of visionary artistic directors will pave the way for countless others.”
Along with the $250,000 grant, the BOLD Circle will provide leadership resources for women artistic directors and networking opportunities in semiannual meetings. It also provides for a woman associate director position designed to train future artistic directors.