TCG Announces Recipients of 2023 Rising Leaders of Color Program

Cohort features three early-career BIPOC theatre journalists

Multi-color text logo reading Rising Leaders of Color 2023

New York, NY – Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, is pleased to announce the participants in the eighth round of its Rising Leaders of Color (RLC) Program. The participants will form a cohort of three highly talented early-career BIPOC theatre journalists who demonstrate the potential to impact the field in a positive way. Funding for Rising Leaders of Color activities is supported in part by Howard Gilman Foundation and Walt Disney Imagineering.

“We’re excited to welcome this new cohort of theatre journalists to the Rising Leaders of Color Program,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director and CEO, TCG. “In our conversations with theatre workers, we’ve heard over and over about the need to invest in theatre journalism, especially from BIPOC, TGNC, and disabled journalists. We’re thrilled to work with this cohort through the RLC program, American Theatre magazine, and so much more.”

“We are thrilled to launch the eighth round of the Rising Leaders of Color program.” said Emilya Cachapero, director of grantmaking programs, TCG. “BIPOC journalists and critics are the key to unlocking meaning in work created by BIPOC theatre makers that may not be seen otherwise. A robust dialogue between BIPOC critics and BIPOC theatre makers generates a more vibrant theatre ecosystem where BIPOC audiences can see their truths, complexities and questions voiced. Equally valuable is the role BIPOC journalists and critics play to uncover aesthetic, cultural and political meaning in work created by non-BIPOC cultures.”

The members of the new cohort are:
Amanda L. Andrei (she/her) is a playwright, literary translator, theater critic, community archivist, and DG member residing in Los Angeles by way of Virginia/Washington DC. She writes epic, irreverent plays that center the concealed, wounded places of history and societies from the perspectives of diasporic Filipina women, and she co-translates from Romanian to English with her father, Codin Andrei. Her plays have been produced by Relative Theatrics and developed with Boston Court, NY Classical Theater, La MaMa, Echo Theatre, The Vagrancy, Pasadena Playhouse, Artists at Play, and more. Her play Mama, I Wish I Were Silver won the 2022 Jane Chambers Award for Feminist Playwriting and was a Finalist for the 2023 Blue Ink Award. Her other work has received finalist status with the Princess Grace Award, Eugene O’Neill Conference, Playwrights Realm, and Ashland Festival. She reviews theater for Stage Raw and the South Eastern European Film Festival (SEEFest), and her reviews of translated literature and poetry have appeared in Hopscotch Translation, Barrelhouse Magazine, and more. She is the founder of The Palangga Archives and currently a member of the IAMA Emerging Playwrights Lab, Chalk Rep writing group, and Road Theatre group. MA: Georgetown, MFA: USC.

Citlali Pizarro (she/her) is a writer, theater artist, and producer based in New York City. She currently works as an Associate Line Producer at The Public Theater. She is interested in linking the development of new theatrical work to the envisioning of more just worlds; and cultivating interdisciplinary, anti-oppressive, and deeply collaborative artistic processes. She has received the PEN America Writing for Justice Fellowship, Marvel Cooke Journalism Fellowship, and inaugural Miranda Family Fellowship in Connectivity at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Her writing has been featured in Current Affairs and Shadowproof.

afrikah selah (they/them) is a Boston-based cultural worker with a focus on producorial dramaturgy, new play development, and arts writing. They are the 2022-23 NNPN New Work Producer in Residence at Company One Theatre, whose mission is to build community at the intersection of art and social change. Outside of producing, collaborating, and supporting new work in development, they are a freelance arts writer who has written for the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.), New England Theatre Geek, The Public Theater, and 3Views on Theater. They are also a proud alum of the BIPOC Critics Lab, and the Front Porch Arts Collective's Young Critics Program. As a cultural worker, they strive to create intentional work that activates and bridges community action and dialogue at the intersections of identity, time and space, social change, and care-centered engagement for artists and audiences. You can learn more about their work at

The panelists for the 2023 RLC Program were Jose Solís (he/him), a Honduran cultural critic based in Madrid, Spain; Cristina Pla-Guzman (she/her), an artist, theatre critic, and writer based in Miami, FL; and Jerald Raymond (J.R.) Pierce (he/him), the former arts and culture reporter and theater critic for The Seattle Times and new Chicago editor of American Theatre magazine. 

The 2023 RLC Program will combine practical skills building with professional connections and opportunities to develop empowering relationships, as well as tools and resources to navigate a career in the theatre field as a BIPOC theatre journalist/critic. Activities include:
June 13 and 15, 2023 (Online): Two-Part orientation meeting. A detailed agenda will be provided in advance of each event.
July 5 - 16 (In-person): A two-week workshop for arts writers and critics at the National Critics Institute.
July - October 2023 and February - June 2024: Individual coaching, full cohort meetings, and professional development webinars on topics selected specifically for the needs of the cohort.

RLC builds on the learnings and momentum of the Young Leaders of Color Program (YLC) and the SPARK Leadership Programs. From 2008-2013, YLC brought 79 leaders of color to TCG National Conferences. RLC expands and re-envisions that community as part of an ongoing national network of leaders of color. During 2014-15, the SPARK Leadership Program assembled a cohort of ten leaders of color for a focused, year-long professional development curriculum. Through RLC and SPARK and its other professional development programs, TCG has supported a variety of learning opportunities and networking programs to meet the diverse needs of BIPOC theatre leaders at various stages of their career. 

To learn more about the program, please visit:

Howard Gilman believed in the power of the arts to transform lives. The Howard Gilman Foundation honors his legacy by supporting the most robust, innovative, and promising performing arts organizations in New York City.

Walt Disney Imagineering is the creative engine that designs and builds all Disney theme parks, resorts, attractions, and cruise ships worldwide, and oversees the creative aspects of Disney games, merchandise product development, and publishing businesses.

Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, leads for a just and thriving theatre ecology. Since its founding in 1961, TCG’s constituency has grown from a handful of groundbreaking theatres to over 700 Member Theatres and affiliate organizations and over 7,000 Individual Members. Through its programs and services, TCG reaches over one million students, audience members, and theatre professionals each year. TCG offers networking and knowledge-building opportunities through research, communications, and events, including the annual TCG National Conference, one of the largest nationwide gatherings of theatre people; awards grants and scholarships to theatre companies and individual artists; advocates on the federal level; and through the Global Theater Initiative, TCG’s partnership with the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, serves as the U.S. Center of the International Theatre Institute. TCG is North America’s largest independent trade publisher of dramatic literature, with 20 Pulitzer Prizes for Drama on the TCG booklist. It also publishes the award-winning American Theatre magazine and ARTSEARCH®, the essential source for a career in the arts. TCG believes its vision of “a better world for theatre, and a better world because of theatre” can be achieved through individual and collective action, adaptive and responsive leadership, and equitable representation in all areas of practice. TCG is led by executive director and CEO Teresa Eyring.