Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Ma-Yi Theater Company, National Asian-American Theatre Company, Ping Chong + Company, Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company, Billie Holiday Theatre, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, Lark Play Development Center, New Georges, Women’s Project Theater among 41 NYC Theater Organizations to receive grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

imgres-1The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation announced that 41 organizations in its New York Theater Program will receive grants totaling $4.1 million. Ranging from $10,000 to $160,000, the grants will be used toward operating support over the next two years.

A stalwart supporter of theater, the Mellon Foundation established the New York Theater Program in 1997. It supports development and presentation of work by small and midsized theater producers, presenters, development labs, and ensembles.

“The New York Theater Program recognizes the outsized influence of the city’s small and midsized nonprofit theater organizations on the development and dissemination of new repertoire both locally and across the US,” said Mellon Foundation program officer Susan Feder. “They develop and produce a broadly diverse array of new plays, cultivate playwrights and other theater makers, experiment with new technologies and multidisciplinary forms, present important revivals and translations, and are risk takers in the extremely competitive environment of theater in New York City.”

“The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has taken the lead in identifying a crucial sector that needs focused funding and support,” said Virginia Louloudes, Executive Director of Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York.  “The work developed and nurtured by these companies will have a profound impact on the art form and many of the plays developed by these groups will be produced across the country and around the world.”

The 41 organizations in the current round of funding were chosen following a review of more than 100 New York City nonprofit theater organizations in 2014. They represent a mixture of vibrant venerable institutions and fresh voices from a new generation of theater, each with annual budgets between $75,000 and $3.5 million. Women lead about half of the organizations, and 25 percent have leaders of color. Fourteen focus primarily on social justice or on artists and communities of color, women, and people with disabilities, making them crucial contributors to the vitality, relevance, and accessibility of the performing arts sector in New York and beyond.

The organizations serve a wide range of cultural communities across New York City and cover a diversity of artistic approaches, including:

  • producing theaters that have been dedicated to the production of new work and emerging artists for the past 20 to 40 years and have recently broadened their programming to further their impact;
  • highly regarded presenters of experimental theater with traditions of bringing challenging, boundary-breaking projects to the stage, both in their own seasons, and through collaborations with other organizations;
  • incubators that provide a range of critical resources needed from residency and workshop programs, opportunities for readings, and developmental intensives;
  • ensembles and artist-led companies that also develop, direct, and produce works of other artists.

Below is the full list of recipients:

Mia Katigbak, Sanjit De Silva, Mel Duane Gionson, Teresa Avia Lim, James Saito, Jon Norman Schneider, David Shih, Alok Tewari, and Henry Yuk in NAATCO’s AWAKE AND SING! at The Public Theater through August 1

Ma-Yi Theater Company Presents World Premiere of SOLDIER X by Rehana Lew Mirza at HERE, March 24 – April 19

May 1: A/P/A Institute at NYU presents Remembering SlutForArt: Tseng Kwong Chi with Muna Tseng, Ping Chong, and Bill T. Jones 



Founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon and Taxman. She has guest starred on “One Life to Live,” “As the World Turns,” and “New York Undercover.” She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

Other articles by Lia Chang
Photos and Video:’The Visit’ Broadway cast performance and CD signing at Barnes & Noble with Chita Rivera, John Kander, Graciela Daniele and Co.
Drumhead Magazine: Living Colour Drummer Will Calhoun, Photos by Lia Chang 
World Premiere Musical HAMILTON Transfers to Broadway; Previews begin July 13
Jose Llana and Hoon Lee to play King of Siam in Tony Award-winning production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I
Rajiv Joseph’s GUARDS AT THE TAJ starring Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed at Atlantic Theater Company, extends through July 12
Ebony Jo-Ann Celebrates PLEASE SAVE YOUR LOVE FOR ME CD Release, with a concert at Ashford & Simpson’s Sugar Bar on July 15
Sutton Foster,Steven Pasquale, Brandon Victor Dixon, Miriam Shor, Renée Albulario, Raymond J. Lee, Kenita Miller and More in Encores! Off-Center’s THE WILD PARTY, July 15 – 18 at New York City Center
Photos: #EmptyMet Tour with Chief Digital Officer Sree Sreenivasan
China: Through the Looking Glass Exhibition Extended through September 7 at Metropolitan Museum
Photos:Lunch with Tony Winner Lea Salonga and George Takei, Stars of ALLEGIANCE
Award-winning Filmmaker Jennifer Phang’s Sci-Fi film ADVANTAGEOUS starring Jacqueline Kim, Ken Jeong and Samantha Kim, available on Netflix and iTunes
Photos: Garth Kravits, Michael Keyloun, Klea Blackhurst, Eloise Kropp, Maxine Linehan, and Aaron Ramey in GROUNDED FOR LIFE at The York
Victory Gardens Theater’s IGNITION Festival of New Plays features new works by Two-time Tony nominee André De Shields, Julia Cho, Minita Gandhi, Basil Kreimendahl, José Rivera, Madhuri Shekar and A. Zell Williams, July 16-19
July 25-26: #AAIFF2015 Spotlight on Arthur Dong- Screenings of THE KILLING FIELDS OF HAING S. NGOR and FORBIDDEN CITY, U.S.A, plus an on-stage conversation
2015 Asian American International Film Festival Lineup, July 23-Aug. 1
WORLD PREMIERE of THE TOP TEN 72 Hour Shootout films of 2015 at Village Cinema East on July 25
Behind the Scenes of the Asian American Film Lab’s 72 Hour Shootout with Lia Chang, Garth Kravits, Evan Daves and Alicia Manns in HIDE AND SEEK
Photos: The 11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Launch Party at The Korea Society; TWO FACES is this year’s theme 
Photos: Traveling through the mouth of the Dragon with BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA’s James Hong, Peter Kwong, Lia Chang, Gerald Okamura, George Cheung, Al Leong, Jeff Imada, James Lew, Gary Goldman, Eric Lee
Coming to America through The Angel Island Immigration Station
Michael K. Lee, Christopheren Nomura, Greg Watanabe and More Join George Takei, Lea Salonga and Telly Leung in Broadway’s ALLEGIANCE; Full Cast Announced!
Two-Time Tony nominee André De Shields, Tony Winner Lillias White, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK’s Lori Tan Chinn, Stephanie Powers, Georgia Engel & More Will Lead Broadway-Bound Musical GOTTA DANCE in Chicago
Crafting a Career
Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow Backstage Pass with Lia Chang on