TYA/USA Professional Development Presents Diversity and TYA: Action Steps for a Bright Future Wednesday February 25, 2015 Noon to 1:30 CST The TYA

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Petite Rouge, a Cajun Red Riding Hood at Adventure Theatre MTC

TYA/USA Professional Development Presents

Diversity and TYA: Action Steps for a Bright Future

Wednesday February 25, 2015 Noon to 1:30 CST

The TYA community has a responsibility to help grow the next generation of theatre patrons and artists by introducing young people across the country to the joy of live theatre. But, whose stories are we telling? Who are we representing on our stages? Who is sitting in our audiences? It is time to take a hard look at all of our processes—casting, season selection, marketing—and assess if we are going the extra step to reach out to diverse actors, storytellers, playwrights, and patrons. This webinar will be an interactive discussion on best practices for telling diverse stories on our stages and reaching diverse audiences. We will be looking at the topic of diversity from an artistic, educational, and business perspective.

By Attending this Webinar, participants will be able to:

1. Assess your own organization's progress towards a diverse platform of programming
2. Create action steps for implementing diversity and inclusion in your organizations and programming
3. Be a part of forming a national conversation in diversity and TYA



Click: TYA/USA MEMBERS - $5.75
Click: NON TYA/USA MEMBERS - $15.75

Unsure of your membership status? Please CONTACT US.

After payment, you will be redirected to the event registration page. If you are not redirected, CONTACT US, and we will send you the registration link.

CLICK HERE for further information on our Professional Development Webinars and to suggest topics and guests for future events.



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Sean Fenton is an arts consultant and researcher at WolfBrown, a leading provider of market research, consulting, and evaluation services in the arts and culture sector. As co-director of WolfBrown's Intrinsic Impact program, Sean helps theatres and other arts organizations better understand the impact of their work through audience feedback. His clients include Center Theatre Group, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Arts Club Theatre Company, Cornerstone Theatre Company, A Noise Within, TheatreSquared, and San Diego Repertory Theatre, to name a few. Sean holds a degree in cultural and social anthropology from Stanford University and has guest lectured on the topic of audience feedback and impact assessment at the Yale School of Drama.

Additionally, Sean has worked as a theatre artist in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 13 years. As a long-time contributor to and supporter of Bay Area Children's Theatre (BACT), he has served as the vocal director and music supervisor for nearly a dozen of the company's productions, including the world premiere of Ivy + Bean, The Musical and the national tours of Strega Nona: The Musical and The Magic School Bus, Live! The Climate Challenge.

As an actor, Sean received a Theatre Bay Area award for his role in BACT's 2014 world premiere production of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. He has also worked at other theatre companies throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including TheatreWorks, Broadway By the Bay, Custom Made Theatre Company, and Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre, where he oversaw external communications, branding, metrics, and reporting for the company's Northern California region.


Damon Chua received an Ovation Award (Best World Premiere Play) for his full-length work FILM CHINOIS, a noir mystery set in 1947 China. This play is published by Samuel French. His short play STUFFED GRAPE LEAVES was picked as one of the Best 10-Minute Plays of 2009 and is published by Smith & Kraus.


A Durfee Foundation grant recipient, Damon plays have been presented in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Alaska, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, London and Singapore. Previously, he served as Literary Manager of Company of Angels in Los Angeles, and was a Playwright-in-Residence at Brimmer Street Theatre Company and Upper Reaches Theatre Company. He was also a member of following companies’ playwrights group: Ensemble Studio Theatre Los Angeles, Company of Angels, and Reverie Productions.

Damon is a current member of Ma-Yi Theater’s Writers Lab in New York.

Jamil Jude

Jamil Jude is a freelance director, producer, playwright, and dramaturg. Self identifying as an "Artist Plus", Jamil feels most at home bringing socially relevant art to the community.

Jamil worked as the National New Play Network (NNPN) Producer in Residence at Mixed Blood Theatre Company for three seasons. He remains an Affiliated Artist with NNPN. Before joining the staff at Mixed Blood, Jamil served as a New Play Producing Fellow at Arena Stage in Washington, DC. His interest in social justice and theatre continues to drive his work, including co-founding a culturally relevant theatre company, Colored People's Theatre, in Washington, DC. Jamil has helmed productions for D.C. area companies such as Olney Theatre and Forum Theatre, as well as various Twin Cities’ theatre companies, including Freshwater Theatre, Theatre in the Round, and Lakeshore Players.

Jacqueline Lawton 4C  Photo by Jason Hornick

Jacqueline E. Lawton was named one of the top 30 national leading black playwrights by Arena Stage’s American Voices New Play Institute. She received her MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin. Her plays include: Anna K; Blood-bound and Tongue-tied; Deep Belly Beautiful; The Devil’s Sweet Water; The Hampton Years; Love Brothers Serenade; Mad Breed; Noms de Guerre; and Our Man Beverly Snow.

Lawton has worked as a dramaturg and research consultant at Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Arden Theater, Arena Stage, Folger Shakespeare Library, the Ford's Theatre, Kennedy Center VSA Program, Round House Theatre, Theater J, Virginia Stage Company, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company among others. Currently, she serves as Dramaturg at PlayMakers Repertory.

Ms. Lawton has taught classes on acting, directing, dramaturgy, movement, playwriting, Shakespeare, and solo performance at Arena Stage, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Folger Shakespeare Library, the John F. Kennedy Center, Round House Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Smithsonian Associates, University of the District of Columbia, and the Young Playwright's Theatre. Additionally, she has taught theater residencies and professional development workshops to adults and teachers wanting to integrate arts into the classroom. Currently, she serves as Assistant Professor in the Department of Dramatic Art at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.

Lawton is a 2012 Theatre Communications Group (TCG) Young Leaders of Color award recipient and a National New Play Network (NNPN) Playwright alumna. She is a proud member of Arena Stage's Playwright's Arena and the Dramatist Guild of America.



Bobbitt M

Michael J. Bobbitt is the Producing Artistic Director of Adventure Theatre MTC and has directed, choreographed, and performed at many theatres in the DC region, including Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre Society, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Center Stage, The Kennedy Center, and the Washington National Opera. His national and international credits include the NY Musical Theatre Festival, Mel Tillis 2001, La Jolla Playhouse, Jefferson Performing Arts Center, and 1996 Olympics.

He studied creative writing and music at Susquehanna University and theater and dance at The Washington Ballet, The Dance Theatre of Harlem, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and NY University’s Tisch School of the Arts (Cap 21). He received executive training at the Harvard Business School, Vanderbilt University, National Arts Strategies, National Training Laboratories, and American Alliance for Theatre and Education. He has taught theater and dance at George Washington University, Catholic University, Montgomery College, Howard University, and the Washington Ballet. He is a member of the Dramatist Guild of America and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. As a writer, his work has been accepted in the 2006 NYC International Fringe Festival, The New York Musical Theatre Festival and has received grants from the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Maryland State Arts Council and the Puffin Foundation. His new musical, Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds appeared at the New Victory Theatre in NYC. Michael served on boards with League of Washington Theatres (President), The DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative (Vice-Chair), Theatre for Young Audiences – USA (Secretary), The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County), and American Alliance of Theatre and Education. Currently, he serves on the board of theatre Washington, Rockville Chamber of Commerce, and the Non Profit Village.

Nina Meehan smaller

Nina Meehan is a founding company member of Bay Area Children’s Theatre where she has directed James and the Giant Peach, Little Women, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Pippi Longstocking, and many others. She is very proud of her work producing and commissioning new works for young audiences including: Ivy+Bean, the Musical, Tales of Olympus, A Musical Adaptation of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and, most recently Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy, the Musical. She is an award winning Youth Theatre Director, including her students 2013 Outstanding Achievements in Acting at the Broadway Jr. Festival in Atlanta, GA for her youth production of Pirates of Penzance. Nina was recognized as one of the 35-faces of Theatre Bay Area and a “Mom who Rocks” by Red Tricycle. Nina has proudly served on the Theatre Services Committee for Theatre Bay Area for the past eight years. She has worked throughout the Bay Area as an actress, educator, storyteller, and director. Nina received her BS in Theatre from Northwestern University and her Masters in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco. She is mom to Toby (age 6) and Robby (age 2).


And don't forget! Registration for One Theatre World Chicago May 7-9 is now open.

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