Lileana Blain-Cruz and Teo Castellanos Named 2021 Doris Duke Artists | Playbill

Awards Lileana Blain-Cruz and Teo Castellanos Named 2021 Doris Duke Artists Both theatre makers will receive an award of $275,000 for new works.
Lileana Blain-Cruz and Teo Castellanos

Lileana Blain-Cruz and Teo Castellanos have been named to the list of 2021 Doris Duke Artists in the field of theatre. The award consists of $250,000 in unrestricted funding and an additional $25,000 dedicated to encouraging savings for retirement.

Blain-Cruz will make her Broadway directorial debut in 2022 with a revival of Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth. The LCT resident director and Obie winner has previously helmed productions of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Marys Seacole, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ War, and Dominique Morisseau’s Pipeline.

Castellanos is a performer-writer-director. His solo show NE 2nd Avenue toured extensively for a decade and won the Fringe First AwardFringe First Award in 2003. That same year, he founded the Teo Castellanos D-Projects. His most recent solo piece is Third Trinity, directed by Oscar winner and Choir Boy creator Tarell Alvin McCraney.

Other artists were selected for their impact on contemporary dance (Cynthia Oliver and Dormeshia) and jazz (Kris Davis, Danilo Pérez, and Wayne Shorter). “Art is the antidote to crisis. These exemplary artists demonstrate that a time of unprecedented disruption in the arts and across society cannot stifle the power of great art to persevere,” said Sam Gill, president and CEO of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

“With the knowledge that these performing artists excel in their forms, we recognize that they deserve funding that trusts them to best determine how to invest in their own futures,” said Maurine Knighton, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. “These awards are intended to enable artists with the freedom to create the way that artists are meant to create: freely, organically, and without restrictions.”

Overall, the program has awarded more than $35.4 million in funding to 129 artists since the program began in 2012. To read more about the awards and selected artists, visit

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