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The Black Theatre Coalition and “COMPANY” on Broadway Announce Their Apprenticeship Program

Tuesday, Dec 14, 2021

The producers of the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s COMPANY announced a landmark partnership with Black Theatre Coalition (BTC), an organization dedicated to eradicating racial inequities in the theatre industry, in the creation of a comprehensive paid apprentice program for creative and management professionals pursuing a career in theatre. The apprentices are Jordan Fleming in Producing, Siobhan Peterson in Stage Management, Brandi Knox in Company Management, TaNisha Fordham in Directing, Dwayne “DJ” Fralin in Lighting Design, Damian Jöel in Costume Design, Bobbie Lee Crow III in Musical Direction and Twi McCallum in Sound Design. Recognizing the underrepresentation of BIPOC professionals in the commercial theatre industry, this paid apprenticeship program has been dedicated to fostering and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, access, and inclusion while providing an invaluable, in-depth education in the business of commercial theatre. BTC is working with multiple General Management offices to use this apprentice program model on upcoming Broadway productions. Producer Chris Harper commented, “We have been honored to partner with BTC for this apprenticeship program. The apprentices have been an integral part of Company’s return to the Jacobs as we all do the work to further the goal of creating permanent change in our industry.” Black Theatre Coalition was founded by T. Oliver Reid and Warren Adams during the Summer of 2019. They identified the disparity between the growing inclusivity onstage, versus the almost non-existence of Black professionals off stage. They invited their colleague, Reggie Van Lee, (Chief Transformation Officer of the Carlyle Group) to join them as Co-Founder and Chairman of The Board. Afton Battle is the Executive Strategist and Tamica Clanton is Digital Marketing Strategist. BTC’s mission is to remove the “illusion of inclusion” in the American Theatre, by building a sustainable ethical roadmap that will increase employment opportunities for Black theatre professionals. Their vision is to reshape the working ecosystem for those who have been marginalized by systemically racist and biased ideology. Black Theatre Coalition officially filed as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) in June of 2020.