In 2018, Actors Bridge was awarded a Metro Arts Catalyst Grant to create a Directors Inclusion Initiative to train emerging directors of color.
Today, the program is supported in part by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.
Actors Bridge is a female-led company with a deep commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. In the last 5 years, at least 50% of our plays were written by, directed by and starring women or people of color, far outpacing the national averages where the majority of theater companies are still led by white men producing work written and directed by other white men. We are strong in terms of gender equity across our programming, but we are lacking in racial and cultural equity in the stories we tell.
As a training program, we offer year-round acting classes and writing workshops. It is a natural extension of our mission to add director training to our programming and giving emerging directors an opportunity to participate in our Meisner Technique training to develop a vocabulary and tools for eliciting truthful performances from actors.
We recruit cohort participants from across Tennessee to participate in a 2-year training program that will culminate in a showcase of their work. Each cohort chooses its own focus and guest faculty to support its goals and vision.
Members of the first cohort pictured are:
TOP: Sejal Mehta, Cynthia Harris, Alicia Haymer
MIDDLE: Patriq James, Candace Lafayette, Diego Gomez
BOTTOM: Tasneem Grace Tewogbola, Consultant Jon Royal, ABE Artistic Director Vali Forrister