New York, NY (June 8, 2023) – Today marks the debut of RISE (Representation, Inclusion, & Support for Employment) Theatre, along with the launch of their new tool: The RISE Theatre Directory, a FREE national online directory promoting the visibility of individuals who work backstage, behind-the-scenes, and in support of theatre making. With a special focus on amplifying women, people of color and folks from underrepresented communities, RISE aims to bridge gaps amongst the theatre industry’s large diverse talent pool.
RISE Theatre was founded by Maestra Music and the Miranda Family Fund, with generous seed funding from inaugural partners: the Miranda Family Fund, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Jeffrey Seller, John Gore for Broadway.com, Jordan Roth, The Nederlander Organization, Thomas Kail, and UPS Foundation and through partnership with the American Theater Wing and The Broadway League.
“Staffing a theatrical production is often a daunting task and people often miss out on hiring incredible talent because they don’t know where to look. The RISE Theatre Directory aims to level the playing field for all theatre practitioners and give underrepresented communities a place to be discovered. From crew up to general managers, the RISE directory strives to ensure that backstage staff are as diverse as the stories we write for and tell on the stage. I couldn't be more excited to see how this directory can help foster greater collaboration and make our beloved industry more equitable.”
- Lin-Manuel Miranda
“RISE Theatre is a national ecosystem built with a coalition of partnership that is representative of the diverse theatre-making that exists in all corners of the United States. By building networks of visibility and empowering practices of equity within our industries, we are providing the field with greater tools to build progress and sustainability.”
- Adam Hyndman (RISE Theatre)
“At Maestra, we have learned that the best way to combat the dangerous idea that skilled people who look like us don't exist is to offer visible evidence that we most certainly do. I’m so happy that RISE Theatre is now set to transform the industry, filling our workforce with skilled artists and laborers who previously had not seen the path to their employment in the theatre.”
- Georgia Stitt (Maestra Music)
RISE Theatre’s Community Partners Include:
A Broader Way Foundation
Asian American Performers Action Coalition (AAPAC)
Arts Administrators of Color
Black Stage Everything
Black Theatre Coalition
Breaking the Binary Theatre
Broadway Advocacy Coalition
Broadway Women’s Alliance
The Business of Broadway
Dramatists Guild of America
Harriet Tubman Effect Institute
Invest In Access, Inc.
Latiné Musical Theatre Lab
Musicians United for Social Equity (MUSE)
Open Stage Project, Inc.
Prime Produce Apprentice Cooperative
Ring of Keys
TEMPO (Trans & Expansive Music Professional Organization)
Theatre Producers of Color (TPOC)
The Industry Standard Group (TISG)
Women & Theatre
Setting the stage for the launch of the directory, different leaders and talent in the theatre space such as Danny Marin, Nzinga Williams, and Rosalba Rolon, came together to share their personal accounts of what fuels their passion for their craft, while acknowledging and identifying the prevalent diversity issue in the theatre industry. By organizing and sharing their stories, RISE Theatre’s Community of Advocates aim to build community, and hold a mirror up to theatre employers and decision-makers, in hopes of inspiring change for the future.
RISE Theatre’s Community of Advocates Include:
Brandon Kazen-Maddox (@bkazenmaddox) - Director, ASL Artist, Educator
Camille A. Brown (@camilleabrown) - Choreographer
Cody Renard Richard (@codyrenard) - Stage Manager
Cherie B. Tay (@cheriebtay) - Stage Manager
Clint Ramos (@clintramos) - Costume/Scenic Designer
Danny Marin (@itsdannymarin) - Producer/Actor
Dede Ayite (@dedeayitedesign) - Costume Designer
Emilio Sosa (@esosafashion) - Costume Designer
Georgia Stitt (@georgiastitt) - Composer, Lyricist, Music Director
Helen Park (@thehelenpark) - Composer, Lyricist
Judy Yin-Chi Lee (@judyyclee732)- Musician
Larissa Fasthorse - Playwright
Lin-Manuel Miranda (@lin_manuel) - Songwriter, Actor, Director, Producer
Maria Goyanes (@mariagoyanes) - Artistic Director
Meghan Abel (@meganbable) - Head of Props for Barrymore Theatre/Shuberts
Nina Ward (@geminina1) - Publicist
Nzinga Williams (@zingzinga) - Company/General Manager, Fat Ham
Paul Tazewell - Costume Designer
Peter Royston (@peterroyston) - State Manager/Arts Educator
Quiara Hudes (@quiaraalegria) - Playwright
Rosalba Rolon (@rosalbarolonr) - Artistic Director
Ryan J. Haddad (@ryanjhaddad) - Actor/Playwright
Sammy Lopez (@shlopez21) - Producer/Director
Shakina Nayfack (@shakeenz) - Actress
Sonya Tayeh (@sonyatayeh) - Choreographer
Wilson Chin (@wilsonchindesign) - Scenic Designer
LINK TO COA PORTRAITS HERE
To celebrate the debut, RISE Theatre organized an industry launch brunch at The Civilian Hotel in New York City, with attendees including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeffrey Seller, Helen Park, Quiara Alegría Hudes, John Gore, Martha Steketee, Maggie Brohn, and more. Lin-Manuel spoke about the nexus for RISE Theatre’s creation, before playing a PSA which highlights personal accounts from RISE Theatre’s Community of Advocates and explains the necessity for the directory. Adam Hyndman (Project Manager for RISE) and Victoria Detres (Project Coordinator for RISE) then spoke of ways to get involved and support the cause RISE Theatre is uplifting -- to create more equitable hiring practices within the theatre community.
About RISE Theatre Directory
The RISE (Representation, Inclusion, & Support for Employment) Theatre Directory is a national personnel directory created to promote visibility of individuals who work backstage, behind-the-scenes, and in support of theater making. The directory is a public service tool, available to all, created with the knowledge that amplification is particularly powerful for those who are often overlooked, including women, people of color, and folks from underrepresented backgrounds. RISE Theatre Directory allows these professionals to be discovered and identified for employment and opportunities by producers, general managers, theaters and various employers.
Membership is free for professionals across more than 120+ job categories, including Costume Design, Choreographers, Direction, Hair/Make-up, Lighting, Management, Music, Producing, Props, Scenic/Carpentry, Sound, and Writing among others. Members must have at least one verifiable production credit.
About Miranda Family Fund
For over 40 years, the Miranda Family has championed community activism. They have created and supported institutions that have served both underserved populations in Upper Manhattan and communities throughout New York City, across the country, and in Puerto Rico. Luis A. Miranda, Jr. and Dr. Luz Towns-Miranda are proud parents to Luz Miranda-Crespo, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Miguel Towns. Now as adults, Luz and Lin-Manuel are married to Luis Crespo and Vanessa Nadal, respectively, with children of their own. They continue to foster the family’s commitment to advocacy for education, the arts, and social justice - along with a sustained focus on relief and rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria.
About Maestra Music
Maestra Music, Inc. was founded by composer/lyricist and music director Georgia Stitt to give support, visibility, and community to the women and nonbinary people who make the music in the musical theater industry. Membership is made up of composers, music directors, orchestrators, arrangers, copyists, rehearsal pianists and other musicians who are an underrepresented minority in musical theater. The organization’s initiatives include monthly educational seminars, mentorship programs, technical skills workshops, networking events, and online resources and partnerships that aim to promote equality of opportunity and to address the many historical disadvantages and practices that have limited women and nonbinary composers and musicians in the musical theater. Learn more at www.maestramusic.org