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Press Contacts:
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New York, NY (March 21, 2022) – Co-founders T. Oliver Reid, Warren Adams, and Reginald ReggieVan Lee, Board members Aaliytha Stevens and Naila McKenzie, along with Executive Director Olivia Jones, Program Director Nik Whitcomb, Communications Director Davon Williams, #WFHStudio, and Creative Producer, Stephanie Rolland announced today their upcoming virtual gala, BUILDING NEW PATHWAYS, streaming on Sunday, March 27, 2022 at 7pm.

The event is a fundraiser celebrating Black Theatre Coalition’s second year of Broadway Fellowship cohorts and programming. The event is free for all after registration. For more information, please visit: https://blacktheatrecoalition.org/building-new-pathways-2022/ 

Building New Pathways is a 75-minute celebration of what Black artists have been able to accomplish over 154 years both on and offstage. The show will highlight the history of Black artists’ creativity, magnify the work of today’s Black artists, and most importantly, shed a light on the future of Broadway, the American Theatre, and those leading the way.

The evening will include performances from some of Broadway’s top stars, interviews with members of the inaugural cohort of BTC Fellows, a conversation with Broadway’s Trouble in Mind star LaChanze and the production’s director Charles Randolph Wright. See firsthand how Black Theatre Coalition is moving the needle towards equity. All Donations from the event will go directly to BTC Fellowship programming.

Performances include Grammy winning Artists Wynton Marsalis and Kenneth Overton,Tony Nominee Norm Lewis, Tony honoree Britton Smith, Television and Broadway Stars Christiani Pitts and Alex Newell, Broadway’s Aisha Jackson, T. Oliver Reid and Rashidra Scott, BFRJ’s Brandon Michael Nase and multiple Award winning actress and author, Vanessa Williams. The evening will be directed by Daniel Calderon with script by Jess Carson (“The Flash”) and music direction from Michael O.Mitchell (MJ: The Musical).

The Black Theatre Coalition Fellowships are one-year placements with Broadway creatives or professional offices specific to the opening or ongoing operations of Broadway productions. These Fellowships provide a $50,000 annual salary and the opportunity to participate in the efforts of mounting a Broadway production. Each fellow has the opportunity to immerse themselves in their area of the industry, working alongside current industry leaders at the highest levels, learning the process of theater making from the executive, creative, and administrative areas. The Fellowship also provides mentorship and guidance from Black professionals currently working in the industry and from BTC Accomplices within offices where fellows are placed. Additionally, Black Theatre Coalition will produce “Pop Up Events” in which the full cohort of fellows will have the opportunity to put skills into practice.

The Black Theatre Coalition Fellows currently working with specific productions are as follows: Taylor Courtney, Devon Miller, David Norwood, Carrli Cooper, Brandon Kelly, Nia Blizzard, John Bronston, Adam Hyndman, Tyra Wilson, Amy Marie Haven, Jourdan Miller, Amina Alexander, Jordan Booker Medley, Lori Tishfield, Crystal Monee Hall, Danielle Covington, Brandi Knox, Michael Leon Thomas, TaNisha Fordham, Jorge Pluas (in partnership w/ BFRJ), Kevin McAllister, Matthew Johnson Harris, and Aaron Ward.

Black Theatre Coalition currently has more than 30 Fellows placed throughout the industry.

“We are so proud to be participating in BTC’s fellowship program,” said Thomas Schumacher, President & Producer, Disney Theatrical Productions. “During my initial conversation with T. Oliver and Warren, I was inspired by the clarity of the strategy and breadth of their vision. But then, to see what they have already accomplished in their mission to bring about tangible change to our industry is just incredible.”

Black Theatre Coalition recently 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, 8 apprentices, and 6 regional Fellowships in cooperation with the John Gore Organization and Broadway Across America.

Other Industry Partners helping fund these fellowships include Madison Wells Media, Disney Theatrical Group, Jujamcyn Theatres, Bespoke Theatricals, Foresight Theatricals, 101 Productions, RCI Theatricals, Showtown Theatricals, Thompson Turner Productions, Sony Music Group, Adventureland, Octopus Theatricals, Tom Kirdahy Production, Hal Luftig Company, Sutton Square Productions, Hunter Arnold, Daryl Roth Productions, Stage Entertainment, Moulin Rouge, Come From Away, Hamilton, Tara Rubin Casting, Telsey + Co, SpotCo., DKC/O&M, Broadway Women’s Alliance, Bond Theatrical, American Express and The Theatre Leadership Project (TTLP).

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.”

Register for free here: https://blacktheatrecoalition.org/building-new-pathways-2022/ 

Applications for the next round of Fellows will be made available May 2022.
For more information about the Black Theatre Coalition, visit their website www.BlackTheatreCoalition.org
For partnership inquiries email – Partnership@blacktheatrecoalition.org

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