“We will break the cycle of exclusion and disengagement among our young people that keeps them from considering the theater as a realistic career option.” — Zelda Fichandler, Founding Director of Arena Stage

The Allen Lee Hughes BIPOC Fellowship is a program near and dear to Arena Stage and its staff, and we’re excited to introduce our 2023/24 Season Fellows!

The Fellowship aims to cultivate the next generation of BIPOC theater professionals by providing the highest standard of training through immersion in the art and business of producing theater. Over the program’s decades-long history, our Fellows have gone on to exciting careers in all disciplines at top theaters across the country… including right back here at Arena! From Literary to Marketing to Community Engagement, several members of the Arena staff are former Fellows.

Name: Vanessa Dalpiaz

Department: Artistic Development Fellow

Vanessa is a director, actor, and teaching artist from the San Francisco Bay Area. She spent the past two summers working with SF Shakespeare as the assistant director for their free Shakespeare in the park program. Vanessa is a graduate of Pomona College where she earned her BA in theatrical performance and directing. She also studied English conservatoire performance at the London Dramatic Academy where she worked on a devising team who performed at the Tower of London. Vanessa’s previous directing projects include both theatrical works and digital media content. She frequently performs in plays and musicals around the San Francisco area. She also taught musical theater and Shakespeare performances classes for Poison Apple Productions.

Name: Indigo Garcia

Department: Lighting Fellow

Indigo is a freelance lighting designer and technician from Phoenix, A.Z. currently based in Washington, D.C. She graduated from Ithaca College in 2020 with a BFA in theater production arts with a concentration in lighting design and has designed many productions with Ithaca College Department of Theatre Arts. These productions include Marie Antoinette (2020), Revolt She Said, Revolt Again (2020), Sister Act (2019), and Violet (2019). Recently she has worked as the Electrics Apprentice at Studio Theatre, and as lighting designer for Rent (2023) at Scottsdale School of Film and Theatre.

Name: Jazmyn Ja’Net

Department: School Programs Fellow (Community Engagement)

Jazmyn is a recent graduate of Howard University, where she earned her BFA in acting and playwriting at the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts. This summer, she’s had the pleasure of studying Black British Theatre at BADA, training at the Wilma Theater’s Hothouse Intensive in Philly, and assistant stage managing Africa’s Promise Jr. with Shine Arts Alliance. She is passionate about using her gifts to empower others to become the best version of themselves and is excited to return to Arena Stage as a School Programs Fellow.

Name: Destiny King

Department: Marketing and Media Fellow

Destiny is an arts leader, musician, and advocate from rural North Carolina. She recently received her bachelor of music in music education with a minor in arts administration at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). At UNCG, Destiny was incredibly active within the School of Music, Office of Leadership & Civic Engagement, and in her community. For three years, Destiny also served on the North Carolina Music Educators Association Board for the Collegiate Section. Destiny’s primary instrument is the oboe, and she has performed with UNCG’s Middle Eastern Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble. Destiny currently performs with and serves as director of marketing for Appalachia: A Southeastern Wind Symphony. Like a true North Carolinian, Destiny enjoys Bojangles sweet tea and hiking in Western NC.

Name: Alexandra Lopez

Department: General and Company Management Fellow

Alexandra is a recent graduate of the University of Florida, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in theater management. During her education, she worked on the university’s productions as a stage manager and deck stage manager. She has also worked at a small nonprofit theater as a dramaturg and at a performing arts center as a stagehand. Alexandra is excited to begin her professional journey with Arena Stage. In her free time, she can be found playing soccer, reading, painting, and making crafts.

Name: Darien Mitchell

Department: Graphic Design Fellow

Darien is a versatile and dedicated freelance creative designer from Washington, D.C. with a wide range of experience in print production and digital printing. Darien performed in City at Peace, a youth theater organization at the Atlas Performing Arts Center under artistic director Sandra Holloway, as well as acting as a production team member leading the cast to present a performance based upon their own examination of the social justice issues and conditions that divide them. He spent two years at Bowie State University studying Advertisement Design. Most recently he was the Senior Digital Print Production Specialist at UPS near Howard University. Outside of theater he often is seen playing basketball, writing and designing.

Name: Mina Sollars

Department: Development Fellow

Mina graduated from the University of Mary Washington in May with a focus in theater and a minor in arts administration. She loves every aspect of theater, particularly the number of people and work it takes to make a show go on. Watching and being able to be a part of that process has always drawn her to this work, but outside of the theater, she enjoys taking dance classes, running, and watching any and every movie, good or bad, with my friends. She also loves being outdoors and spending a lot of my free time hanging out alone in the woods—she assures us she can run really fast, so it’s fine! She’s so grateful to have the opportunity to continue supporting the art that she loves and grow professionally all at once.