Multicultural Theater

About the Committee

The Five College Multicultural Theater Committee, supported by the Five College Theater chairs and Five Colleges, Inc., is charged with furthering multicultural perspectives in theater in our community. For nearly two decades, it has done so by supporting visits from guest artists, five-college productions, and workshops that foreground the experiences of people of color. For the past three years, our efforts have also included supporting in-depth residencies for artists of color to work and interact with students and faculty on specific performance projects. Proposals for artist residencies and other projects must reflect a multicultural perspective and represent a theatrical work in areas of text, movement, design, or interdisciplinary performance.

Our work falls into three categories:

• Artist Residencies: Artists and projects selected by the committee will teach and present on at least three of the five colleges culminating with a public presentation of their work.

• Mini-Grants for student-centered productions: The committee will award matching funds to support productions, newsletters, and honoraria for workshops and guest artists. Awards are normally no more than one half of the total budget for the event.

• WORD!: Our annual multicultural student play-reading festival designed to encourage student writers who engage multicultural themes in their work. Each year in the spring semester, up to ten short, original works are selected to be presented as staged readings. Their authors receive an award from the James Baldwin Memorial Fund. A different campus hosts the festival each year.

Guidelines for Artist Residency grants, Mini-Grants, and applications to WORD! are available from members of the committee and Sue Dickman, Five College Multicultural Theater Committee coordinator. She can also be reached at 413.542-4023. Requests for proposals may also be found on the Five College RFP page.

Five College Multicultural Theater Committee:

Amherst: Peter Lobdell,
Senior Resident Artist in the Department of Theater and Dance, 542-8124
Hampshire: Natalie Sowell, Associate Professor of Theatre, 559-6099
Mount Holyoke: Roger Babb, Professor of Theatre Arts, 538-2836
Smith: Nan Zhang, Lecturer in Theatre, 585-3215
University: Judyie Al-Bilali, Assistant Professor of
Performance and Theater for Social Change; John O'Neal,  Visiting Artist in Residence, Department of Theater; Tanya Fernando, Assistant Professor of English