September 2022 marked the much-anticipated start of our Allen Lee Hughes BIPOC Fellowship after a two-year hiatus. We’re excited to present our 2022/23 Season class!
The mission of Arena Stage’s Allen Lee Hughes BIPOC Fellowship is 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! Did you know that Otis Ramsey-Zöe, Arena’s Literary Manager, was a Fellow?
Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith underscores the program’s impact, “The articulation of the great underlying themes of the American experience in our work demands artists, administrators, educators, and audiences who are diverse in terms of ethnicity, socioeconomic background, age, and gender. The Fellows program is critical to our quest to become the most robust theater in the country.”
Pronouns: he/him | Department: Marketing
Jordan hails from Fort Washington, MD, and is on the road to self-actualization. With a degree in Theatre & Media Performance from Stevenson University, Jordan took the initiative to learn social media and marketing of his own accord. He is looking to Arena Stage to teach him the nuances of marketing and communications, make connections, and to bolster his wits and skill. Jordan moonlights as a competitive gamer, an actor, and a style-icon.
Pronouns: she/her | Department: Costumes
Ty is from Ohio and a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University with a B.A in Theatre: Design and Technical. She is the current Costumes fellow and looks forward to being a part of the storytelling process.
Pronouns: he/him | Department: Graphic Design
Kristopher resides in Baltimore City with his 13-year-old dog Baby and 27 houseplants. He is a recent graduate of The George Washington University with a B.F.A. in Graphic Design. He dedicates his craft to uplifting and servicing his communities and making meaningful connections on a personal level. Kris finds inspiration in observing nature and indulges his curiosity through identifying local plants and animals which greatly influences the subjects of his work. He can be found hiking local state parks or scouring the web for the perfect addition to his DNB playlist. Kris is overjoyed to have been granted the opportunity to work alongside attentive theater professionals as the 2022/23 Graphic Design Fellow.
Zoë Elizabeth Lillis
Pronouns: she/her | Department: Artistic Development
Zoë is a director and producer from Boston, MA, who now finds herself based in New York City and D.C. She recently graduated from NYU Gallatin with a B.A. in Directing and Dramatizing History, with a focus on the relationship between narrative and the process of production. Zoë is most driven by opportunities to develop an engaging and equitable process of theater creation for all involved – from the very first stages of a project to how it will ultimately live each night in performance. When she is not dreaming up a new show, Zoë loves knitting, skiing, and playing guitar. Zoë is thrilled to join Arena Stage as their 2022/23 Artistic Fellow and is so excited to learn from their incredible team.
Pronouns: she/her | Department: Community Programs
Savanna is a performance artist and aspiring educator from Dallas, Texas. She recently finished her studies in Berlin, Germany with an M.A. in Devised Theatre and Performance from Rose Bruford College, and before that received her B.A. in Film, Television, & Theatre (FTT) at the University of Notre Dame. Savanna is passionate about decolonized approaches to performance, literacy, and society; understanding the three as inherently connected. She is excited to join the fellowship cohort at Arena Stage, as she investigates how theater can be used in alternative schooling practices, and to challenge normative definitions of emotional and academic intelligence. She’s a fan of big animals and large crowds. One of her main comforts lies in food, especially when enjoyed in big groups.
Hayley Garcia Parnell
Pronouns: she/they | Department: Lighting
Hayley grew up just outside of Denver, Colorado, and received their B.A. in Theatre with a minor in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Hayley is a lighting designer who believes that the act of sitting in the dark telling each other stories is the most innately and intimately human thing we can do. She loves collaborating with other artists to tell stories that move, inspire, heal, challenge, and, most importantly, amplify the voices of their community. They also find great joy in photography, poetry, and a particularly good latte. Hayley is ecstatic to grow as a professional artist and honored to follow in Allen Lee Hughes’ footsteps as the 2022/23 Lighting Fellow.
Pronouns: she/her/ella | Department: Media Relations
Bianca is a first generation Mexican-American artist from San Antonio, Texas, now based in the DMV area. She is a recent graduate from George Mason University where she received her B.F.A. in Theatre with a concentration in Performance for the Stage and Screen. She loves binge watching Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, and Friends during her free time as well as playing with her cat, Toothless. Bianca is very excited to be working with such a talented and passionate team and can’t wait to get started!
Pronouns: he/him | Department: Development
Fabian comes from Dallas, Texas. He recently graduated from Skidmore College with a B.S. in Theater. Fabian is an activist, actor, and director who enjoys being a part of stories often forgotten or left behind. He enjoys going to museums, reading, and cooking in his free time. Being able to engage with people and make a difference through art is why he wanted to work at Arena. He is extremely grateful for the opportunity and is looking forward to working with everyone during his fellowship.
Bianca Chauntell Taylor
Pronouns: she/her | Department: Patron Services
Bianca was born and raised El Paso, Texas, where she received her BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Texas at El Paso. Her main practice has been acting but she hopes to be an overall theater professional in which she can create work for BIPOC artists that is rooted in liberation. She hopes to create artistic pieces by imagining Black utopias and futuristic societies by using radical thought and imagination through the creative lenses of film, theater, art, and/or literature. Bianca is thrilled and honored to be a 2022/23 fellow of the prestigious Allen Lee Hughes BIPOC Fellowship! She is excited to meet everyone and be a part of the revolution happening in the theater and discover where our voices can uplift that change.
Kayla A. Warren
Pronouns: she/her | Department: School Programs
Kayla is a Philadelphia native and a graduate of Howard University with a BFA in Musical Theatre. She has a passion for youth empowerment and believes that one of the best pathways for this initiative is through theater. Kayla is also a strong advocate for accessibility and inclusion within theater education and believes that all children should have the opportunity to explore their artistic possibilities because they all have the potential to become groundbreaking artists. She loves staying active, whether it be through dance, sports, or chasing after her puppy, Rocky. Kayla is thrilled to grow as a 22-23 fellow and to collaborate and create with the School Programs team.