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BLACK THEATRE COALITION ANNOUNCES INAUGURAL SEMESTER OF BROADWAY ACROSS AMERICA FELLOWS
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 01:03 pm EST 01/19/22

BLACK THEATRE COALITION
FORMED TO ERADICATE RACIAL INEQUITIES IN EMPLOYMENT
IN THE AMERICAN THEATER
ANNOUNCES INAUGURAL SEMESTER OF
BTC - BROADWAY ACROSS AMERICA FELLOWS

New York, NY – Co-founders T. Oliver Reid, Warren Adams, and Reginald “Reggie ” Van Lee, along with Executive Director Olivia Jones and Program Director Lico Whitfield have partnered with the John Gore Organization and Broadway Across America to create a comprehensive paid fellowship program for college undergraduate juniors, seniors and recent college graduates interested in pursuing careers in theater administration. Recognizing the underrepresentation of Black-identifying professionals in the commercial theater industry, this program will be dedicated to fostering and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, access and inclusion while providing an invaluable, in-depth education in the business of commercial theater.

The inaugural cohort of BAA Fellows, set to begin their appointments in Ticketing, Marketing, Operations, and Finance this month, will include Cris Blak in Louisville, Kentucky; Alison Currie in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; Je’Shaun Jackson in Cincinnati, Ohio; and Viraj S. Shriwardhankar, Rickey Orr, & Jessica Augustave in New York, NY.

BTC-BAA Fellows will gain practical experience through on-the-job learning in Broadway Across America offices and learn the intricacies of the business through an education curriculum taught by John Gore Organization professionals as they embark in an offstage career in the business of Broadway. The fourteen-week paid fellowships will provide fellows with an opportunity to develop the job skills, broad understanding and network connections necessary to begin a professional career in the commercial theater industry.

Lauren Reid, President of John Gore Organization, Broadway Across America and Broadway.com, states, “ To truly achieve equity in the American theater, we need to facilitate fair representation and access to opportunities at every level of our industry, from producing offices to venue operations, from marketing to ticketing, from accounting to analytics. We are proud to introduce the first Broadway fellowship program with a national footprint as many in our industry’s workforce get introduced to live theater in their own hometown. That’s why we believe this initiative has the power to move the needle in ways big and small. We are very excited to launch this program and provide an introduction to our industry for fellows not only in our NYC office, but also in Cincinnati, Fort Lauderdale and Louisville and more cities to come. What a great partnership this is with BTC and its three founders. Our missions are aligned.”

Black Theatre Coalition recently announced its inaugural General Management Fellowship program and has completed its inaugural Apprentice Program with the opening of the critically acclaimed Broadway revival, Company. BTC also has an ongoing Broadway Fellowship Program which has currently funded 20 fellows with more to come in this first year.

Over the 155 years since the very first Broadway musical (The Black Crook) premiered in 1866, the “Great White Way” has seen 3,002 musicals and 8,326 plays. Across all of these productions, there have been only Ten Black directors of a musical (0.3%) , Eleven Black directors of a Play (0.13%) and Seventeen Black choreographers of a Musical (0.56%). All of this directly correlates to the fact that there have only ever been Two Black lead producers of a musical (representing 0.06% of all Broadway musicals). Furthermore, the numbers for Writers, Composers, Scenic, Lighting, Costume, Sound, Video, Music Contractors, Musical Directors, Arrangers, Orchestrators, Hair/Wigs/Makeup, Casting, General Management, Stage Management, Company Management, PR and Marketing/Advertising range from 0 to 5 in each category.

In a joint statement, Mr. Reid, Mr. Adams, and Mr. Van Lee said, “Once we identified just how vast the disparity is between the perceived inclusivity on stage and the utter dearth of black professionals off stage, we began outlining ways in which we could address and ultimately eradicate this invisible imparity. This outline provided a clear path forward for our organization and our entire industry. It’s high time to end this ‘illusion of inclusion’ by reshaping the theatrical ecosystem for those who have been marginalized by systematically racist and biased power structures that have endured since the dawn of the American theater.”

For more information about the Black Theatre Coalition, visit their website www.BlackTheatreCoalition.org
For partnership inquiries email - Partnership@blacktheatrecoalition.org
For submissions - Submissions@blacktheatrecoaliton.org
Link http://www.BlackTheatreCoalition.org
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