the from Ordway green room is a paid musical theater training fellowship created by and for Black, Indigenous and Artists of Color (BIPOC). The GreenRoom, Minnesota’s first six-week fellowship created by and for BIPOC artists. Maia MaidenOrdway’s new Director of Arts Learning and Community Engagement is the creator of the program.
the green room intends to create a stimulating and supportive learning environment to instill the confidence, understanding and skills necessary to excel in the challenging and rewarding field of musical theatre.
We chat with Maia about the GreenRoom and why she started the GreenRoom and the impact of this program on the Twin Cities theater community.
What inspired you to create the GreenRoom program?
As the musical theater landscape continues to change, be more inclusive and tell a wider range of stories and experiences – representation and resources matter.
Financial barriers to growth and development opportunities remain, which can directly impact from the audition room to the stage. In some cases, artists who progress in their careers tend to be those who have benefited from years of expensive training and dedicated mentorship. The combination of a paid scholarship with amazing faculty, an innovative curriculum (including business and wellness), and one-on-one mentorship flips the script to provide a specialized training model.
Why is GreenRoom an important theater initiative in the Twin Cities?
Musical theater is a particularly demanding art form. To become a professional, an artist must excel in three difficult skills that require specialized training: singing, acting and dancing. And while there are paid courses in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, there were no free training programs to learn all the skills to become an emerging musical theater artist after high school/college. GreenRoom is an accessible program to champion artists and add to their already wonderful talents.
How did you go about selecting the GreenRoom faculty?
Professors were selected with consideration for a variety of lived experiences, specialist knowledge, and different entry points into the craft. Also, being enthusiastic about supporting fellows and working with fellow faculty in a collaborative environment was key (not to mention fun!).
What impact do you hope the GreenRoom program will have?
The power of art is undeniable. Artists continue to enrich our ecosystem with their talents in the most joyful, stimulating and exciting way. Hopefully GreenRoom can complete their trajectory with a supportive learning environment focused on excellence in a challenging and rewarding field.
Why is diversity, equity and inclusion important to you in the Twin Cities theater community?
Reflecting our communities and supporting the artists who live there is essential. From the audition room to the stage and out to the audience, the content of the stories and the intricacies of the characters, coupled with the complexities of time and culture, demand more. Learn more about how it looks and feels. More on what is said. Learn more about takeout and the embodiment of experience. The importance of diversity, equity and inclusion yields to all of these dynamics and continues to be necessary work to elevate theater.
What do you hope the selected students take away from this scholarship?
Our hope is that Fellows will feel encouraged and nurtured in a collaborative environment where their performing arts skills are expanded and their stories and practices are elevated in ways that bring them to the stages in Minnesota, nationally and internationally. worldwide.
For more information about the GreenRoom and the application process, click here
Photos courtesy of the Ordway