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National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation

National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation


Pangea World Theater and Art2Action Inc., with 8 nationally prominent performing arts networks – Alternate ROOTS, Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists (CAATA), First Peoples Fund, National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC), National Performance Network (NPN), Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET), New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), and Theatre Communications Group (TCG) – have worked together to develop the vision and model for a National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation, dedicated to professional peer exchange and training the next generation of theatre  artists of color and women directors.

This project arose as a response to the dearth of professional development and exchange opportunities for directors in the U.S., particularly directors of color and women, as well as the need for in-depth ensemble training in various forms of future aesthetics.  The 2010-12 pilot phase included field-wide dialogues, collaborative planning, documentation, and professional exchange  among leading directors and ensemble artists in the field. Key activities included roundtables at partner convenings nationally (2010-11), a pre-conference hosted by the University of South Florida Department of Theatre in association with the National Performance Network Annual Meeting in Tampa (2011), and a one-week residential Pilot Intensive at Pangea World Theater in Minneapolis (2012), to develop the structure, content and curriculum, prior to the projected public launch of the Institute.  This two-year pilot process ignited and deepened field-wide dialogues on the needs of women directors and artists of color.  It has, in turn, informed and shaped the proposed Institute, to create a secure foundation for the successful launch of a replicable program. 

In 2015, we launched the second phase of the National Institute program.  In March 2015, we co-convened a 4-day Indigenous Artists Gathering, organized to address the lack and need for a national network of First Nations artists working in theatre and/or contemporary performance.  In August 2015, another week-long Professional Peer Exchange was held in Minneapolis.

In July 2017, we embarked upon a month-long journey with leading artists in our field, as well as emerging artists ready to grow into leadership.  The program included an Indigenous Artists Pre-Conference for First Nations participants who served as faculty and advisors; a Professional Peer Exchange for our faculty and invited guests, including professional development workshops and curriculum design; and the first-ever Next Generation ArtistsInstitute for emerging practitioners!  

2017 Next Generation Institute FACULTY:

  • Adelina Anthony

  • Dora Arreola

  • Izumi Ashizawa

  • Andrea Assaf

  • Murielle Borst Tarrant

  • Nobuko Miyamoto

  • Dipankar Mukherjee

  • Meena Natarajan

  • Linda Parris-Bailey

  • …and more!! 


















Participants in the 2012 Pilot Intensive (photo by Luminous Concepts, at Intermedia Arts, 2012).

The National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation is organized by Art2Action Inc. and Pangea World Theater, developed in partnership with Alternate ROOTS, CAATA, First Peoples Fund, NALAC, NPN, NEFA, NET and TCG. The 2017-18 Institute series is made possible by the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, and the First People’s Fund; with previous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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