Andre DeShields receives Fox Foundation grant
By Hedy Weiss Theater Criticemail@example.com October 3, 2012 6:36PM
Updated: October 4, 2012 8:33PM
Actor Andre DeShields, a veteran of Broadway, who most recently appeared in the Goodman Theatre’s controversial production of the Tennessee Williams play, “Camino Real,” has received a grant from the New York-based William & Eva Fox Foundation, a private foundation “committed to the artistic development of theatre actors as a strategy to strengthen live theatre.” The grant will underwrite DeShields’ residency at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater running March 23, 2013-March 22, 2015.
According to Chay Yew, Victory Gardens’ artistic director, “While in residency, Andre will be developing and working on his ambitious and exciting, interdisciplinary, socially conscious, collaborative performance project, Positive Individual Making Progress (PIMP), which is also in line with our mission and my vision for Victory Gardens. For PIMP, we would be able to provide research and dramaturgical assistance, and all the necessary resources for a reading and workshop of the new work.”
Yew said his aim also is for DeShields “to conduct a series of workshops with select Chicago actors so that they could learn his unique style of Griot Performance Art, the Way of the Golden Triangle, and the 5W Stack/Inner Athlete system, and incorporate these methods into their current theatre practices. With our Poets Conservatory and our school programs, we will have Andre speak and mentor these artists and young people who are always empowered when they meet and converse with a successful, working artist-of-color. Our four-member Playwrights Ensemble will collide with Andre regularly, as I’m sure they would be inspired to write a play with Andre in mind. We are also in the process of talking about future Victory Gardens productions in which Andre will be a part.”