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Theatre Philadelphia’s Content + Criticism Cohort

Participants will be provided with a $500 stipend.


Theatre Philadelphia is pleased to announce our new initiative: the Theatre Philadelphia Content + Criticism Cohort. Funding has been provided by PA Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Sharpen your theatre criticism and content creation skills!

It is more important than ever to help audiences understand the power of theatre to offer space for human connection and understanding. As an umbrella organization, Theatre Philadelphia aims to aid in COVID recovery efforts for our sector while expanding our industry’s reach to welcome new partners, collaborators, and audiences.

Through skill training for theatre workers, critical coverage for theatres and donor bases, and new forums for audience engagement, the Theatre Philadelphia Content + Criticism Cohort program will utilize a humanities-based approach to develop avenues of long-term sustainability and connection for all of our constituents. 

The program will select 10 participants, who will join a series of 5 monthly workshops and intensives. Following each workshop, participants will create their own content and writing pieces to submit for feedback from the program’s facilitators. Select content may be shared with producing companies, included on Theatre Philadelphia’s website, or compiled for archival use. Participants will leave the program with a Certificate of Completion, new skills in writing and theatre criticism, and a set of new critical content for their own portfolios. A small stipend will be provided to participants.

Workshops Include:

  • Philadelphia Theatre in a Historical Context with Free Library of Philadelphia (In-Person) - August 4th

  • Writing for the Press led by Cameron Kelsall (Virtual) - September 8th

  • Navigating Audiences Across Platforms led by Darnelle Radford (Virtual) - October 13th

  • Virtual and Non-Traditional Theatre led by thINKingDANCE (Virtual) - November 3rd

  • Decolonizing Theatre Criticism (Virtual) - December 1st

Meet the Facilitator: Renee Lucas Wayne

Renee Lucas Wayne has been a playwright-in-residence for many organizations including The Salvation Army of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Arts in Education (PAEP), the Philadelphia Department of Recreation, and the Rainbow Connection of the Prince Music Theatre. She was a theater critic for the Daily News.

Seeking to create opportunities for artists of color, Renee has collaborated with like-minded women as a member of Black Magic Woman Productions, which developed new theater works, presented contemporary theater, and re-imagined the Classics. Most recently she brought her talents and unique perspective to the staff of The Bridge PHL as a Co-Director.

Writing across genres, Renee's plays include romantic comedies, (“While The Gettin's Good,” “It’s a Man Thing”), dramas (“Angels Unaware”), historical dramas (“Fly Girl,” Ride Mary, Ride!”), and plays for young audiences (“Fairy Tale Court,” “Kisa! Kisa! Kisa!”).