Work Light Productions and Mama Foundation for the Arts have joined forces for the new initiative "Backstage," which will recruit, train, and employ BIPOC talent in various departments of Work Light's theatrical operation.
Mama Foundation participants will learn from industry leaders in behind-the-scenes roles, including general/company management, stage management, technical direction/crew, and creative and residency positions. Once theatres reopen, select participants will be placed in paid production assistant positions on Work Light tours, including Ain't Too Proud, Jesus Christ Superstar, An Officer and a Gentleman, and the 25th anniversary farewell tour of Rent.
"At Mama Foundation, we have always focused on nourishing, encouraging, and fine-tuning the talents of young people," says Founder and Executive Director Vy Higginsen. "We are dedicated to educating our young students—primarily BIPOC youth and young adults—while providing them with experience in the arts. Under our 'Mama's Access to Opportunities' initiative, we continue to strive to open more doors in the industry for our students and alumni. This partnership with Work Light Productions, and the efforts of Stephen and Nancy Gabriel, make this dream of opening more doors a reality."
"As a young professional, I learned by watching and listening to experienced managers and producers as they made decisions around the production table. That table needs to reflect our society and all its voices," adds Work Light President Stephen Gabriel. "The first step is finding the young talent and bringing them into the room. We couldn't be more thrilled to be working with the Mama Foundation on this endeavor."
Work Light Productions is a full service producing, investment, general management, and technical supervision company. Mama Foundation for the Arts, which champions gospel music as the bedrock of all popular music birthed out of the American 20th century landscape, nurtures new voices in African-American culture through the development of viable platforms for artists to celebrate Black musical heritage.
Backstage with Work Light Productions will begin with four webinars commencing September 22, followed by in-depth training sessions to help candidates prepare for the P.A. positions.
For more information about the program and how to get involved, click here.