New Org Aimed at Providing Opportunities for Stage Managers of Color Launches With Kenny Leon
Last Edit: Official_Press_Release 04:39 pm EST 12/03/20
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 04:32 pm EST 12/03/20

Launches First of Multipart Virtual Panel Experiences
Connecting BIPOC Stage Managers With Industry Professionals

Inaugural Free Event to Be Held Thursday, December 17, 2020
With Special Guest Tony Award®-winning Director Kenny Leon

NEW YORK CITY, December 3, 2020 - Broadway & Beyond: Access for Stage Managers of Color is a newly-formed networking organization that aims to connect early and mid-career BIPOC stage managers with industry professionals. Founded by veteran stage managers Lisa Dawn Cave, Beverly Jenkins, and Jimmie Lee Smith, Broadway & Beyond will provide opportunities to aspiring and current stage managers of color to learn from industry insiders, meet industry leaders, and provide insights to help BIPOC stage managers start, maintain, and advance a career in the arts and theatre through free networking and educational events. The first event will be held virtually on Thursday, December 17, 2020 from 5:30-7:30pm EST.

Tony-winning director Kenny Leon (A Soldier's Play, American Son) will introduce the event, which will consist of a panel discussion and Q&A with professionals from Broadway, national tours, and regional theaters across the country. BIPOC stage managers interested in participating can learn more and submit an application at BroadwayBeyondAccess.com. Subsequent events are being planned for Spring and Summer 2021.

"The theater industry is a beautiful community to be a part of, and one we are grateful to have forged success and meaningful relationships in," said Broadway & Beyond founders Lisa Dawn Cave, Beverly Jenkins, and Jimmie Lee Smith. "But we recognize the many challenges that face aspiring theater-makers, especially from within BIPOC communities, to making inroads to the small group of decision-makers who produce theater and build out production teams. We want to give BIPOC stage managers direct access to the people who are responsible for filling stage management positions, to eliminate the phrase 'I don't know where to find them' from the hiring process and create necessary opportunity pathways for a group of folks who are woefully underrepresented on production teams around the country."

Broadway & Beyond's first networking event for BIPOC stage managers will include a virtual panel discussion featuring production supervisors, stage managers, and general managers representing organizations including Disney Theatrical Productions, Bespoke Theatricals, Foresight Theatrical, RCI Theatricals, The Alliance Theatre (Atlanta), The Muny (St. Louis), The 5th Avenue Theatre (Seattle), and others. A full list of panelists is available at BroadwayBeyondAccess.com.

Attendance is free, and applicants must register online at BroadwayBeyondAccess.com no later than Sunday, December 13. Participation is capped at 75. Panelists will be provided with the résumés of all confirmed participants in advance of the event and will engage directly with attendees in small break-out groups.

To learn more and submit an application for the December 17 event, visit BroadwayBeyondAccess.com and connect with us on Facebook and Instagram @broadwayandbeyondaccess.

KENNY LEON is a Tony and Obie Award-winning and Emmy®-nominated Broadway and television director, presently directing The Mahalia Jackson Story for Lifetime. Most recently, he directed the Broadway premiere of Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece A Soldier's Play. He also directed The Underlying Chris at Second Stage Theatre Company and the acclaimed production of Much Ado About Nothing at the Delacorte/Shakespeare in the Park. Broadway: A Soldier's Play; American Son; Children of a Lesser God; Holler If Ya Hear Me; A Raisin in the Sun (Tony Award, 2014); The Mountaintop; Stick Fly; August Wilson'sFences, Gem of the Ocean, and Radio Golf. Off-Broadway: Everybody's Ruby, Emergence-See! (The Public), Smart People (Second Stage). Television: "American Son" (adapted for Netflix), "Hairspray Live!," "The Wiz Live!," "Steel Magnolias," "Dynasty," "In My Dreams." Author, Take You Wherever You Go. Artistic Director Emeritus, Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company.

LISA DAWN CAVE is currently the production supervisor for Disney's Frozen both nationally and internationally. She is currently in Sydney, Australia mounting the Australian production.

Stage management is Lisa's second career. She started her studies as a dancer/singer and worked professionally in that role for 10 years. She then transitioned into stage management and has been working consistently for over 25 years.

Her other credits include the Broadway productions: Shuffle Along, Fun Home, Rocky, The Humans, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Bring It On, West Side Story (2009), Come Fly Away, The Color Purple, Hot Feet, The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, The Woman In White, Julius Caesar, Caroline or Change, Hollywood Arms, Into the Woods, Wild Party, Parade, andSmokey Joe's Café. She has worked with creatives: Hal Prince, George C. Wolfe, James Lapine, Jerry Zaks, Kenny Leon, Thomas Kail, Sam Gold, Daryl Waters, Jeanine Tesori, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Alex Lacamoire, Tom Kitt, Jason Robert Brown, Lisa Kron, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Maurice Hines, Rob Ashford, Andy Blankenbuehler, Alex Timbers, Hope Clark, Savion Glover, and Christopher Gattelli, to name a few.

Ms. Cave is on the board of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and a founding member of Black Theatre United. She is an adjunct professor at Columbia University and an elected Councilor for Actors Equity Association.

BEVERLY JENKINS has been managing Broadway productions for close to 30 years. Ms. Jenkins is the production stage manager for the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Hadestown. Other shows she has worked on include A Bronx Tale, Fully Committed, Amazing Grace, Living On Love, Holler If Ya Hear Me, Machinal, Godspell, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, In the Heights, Shrek: The Musical, Avenue Q, Aida, Sweet Charity, Oklahoma!, The Lion King, Bring In Da Noise/ Bring In Da Funk, Miss Saigon. Off-Broadway: A Bronx Tale: The Musical (Paper Mill Playhouse); Bad Jews, If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet (both at Roundabout).

Ms. Jenkins is on the board of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and president of D.I.V.A., Inc: The Society for Women in the Arts. She is an adjunct professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and The Conservatory at Shenandoah University. She is a proud mom, wife, and Howard University graduate.

JIMMIE LEE SMITH is currently a stage manager with Disney Theatrical Group stage managing on Aladdin The Musical. Aladdin marks Jimmie's fourth show with Disney Theatrical. Recently Jimmie was also honored to be a part of Kenny Leon's production of The Mountaintop with Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett. Other Broadway, pre-Broadway, and national touring credits include: The Lion King, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Saturday Night Fever, Jekyll & Hyde, Evita, and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Jimmie Lee has worked with creatives such as: André De Shields, Mercedes Ellington, Sir Richard Eyre, Jerry Mitchell, Casey Nicholaw, Arlene Phillips, Kenny Leon, Anthony Lyn, Julie Taymor, Alex Timbers, Schele Williams, and George C. Wolfe.

Jimmie has also managed corporate fundraising and entertainment events for Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and for the MLK Memorial in Washington, D.C. to name a few.

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