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We Are Thrilled to Announce the Recipients of Our New Visions Fellowship!

Join Us In Celebrating Our New Visions Fellows,

Ayla Sullivan and Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko!

The New Visions Fellowship, established in partnership with The Dramatists Guild, is an innovative and rigorous year-long professional development program created to support emerging Black trans and gender nonconforming (TGNC) playwrights. We are so excited to award this fellowship to Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko (he/they) and Ayla Xuan Chi Sullivan (they/them). The program will be helmed by Black and Filipinx playwright Roger Q. Mason (they/them) along with Project Manager Jordan Stovall (they/them).

The 2021 New Vision Fellowship playwrights will each be awarded $5,000, fully funded by National Queer Theater, to develop a play, musical, or performance experience of their design and choosing. We will host a professionally cast and directed reading of their play at the end of the program. They will also have the opportunity to participate in professional development sessions covering a wide range of artistic topics. In addition, they will receive a five-year complimentary membership to The Dramatists Guild including access to contracts, business advice, and career services, to help protect the artistic and economic integrity of their work.

“Nick Mwaluko and Ayla Sullivan are shining stars of our craft, and the New Visions Fellowship is honored to help them find the distinction and opportunity they rightfully deserve in our profession.”

- Roger Q. Mason, Lead Mentor


About Ayla

Ayla Xuan Chi Sullivan (they/them) is a Black and Vietnamese, non-binary, interdisciplinary arts practitioner. They are an actor, a playwright, a director, a poet, an educator, and a co-founder of Shift 23 Media. They create and question the nature of performance through their desire to dismantle and disengage with the white supremacist commitment to the Hierarchy of Humanity. Sullivan’s work is often referred to as “love poems addressed to people in our community we are conditioned to forget”: Black, Indigenous, Asian, Queer and Trans People of Color, those experiencing homelessness, immigrants, and anyone who is (or has been) caged. In short, their politics begin and end with the Liberation of All Black People. Currently in Columbia University’s playwriting class of 2022, Sullivan is a budding new playwright of the Denver Metro Area. Their most recent production, Last Stop, was a semi-autobiographical, immersive nail salon experience at Denver’s Buntport Theatre. They also are the creator and star of You, Me, and the FAFSA (currently being taught in the television courses at Emerson College) and the short film D.A.M.E. They have also written librettos with composer Jack Frerer for the Arapahoe Philharmonic and the Albany Symphony. From 2016-2019, Sullivan served the Denver Metro Area as your second Denver Youth Poet Laureate. Their term ending Legacy Project brought Know Your Rights content to the youth of Denver by blending poetry with resources for police interactions.

About Nick

Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko (he/they): Plays include: Silence Is A Sound about intimate partner abuse with Black trans femminity; comedy Cock Tales for Christmas; 37, a Black lesbian duet; S.T.A.R: Marsha P. Johnson; queer fantasia Waafrika 123 (National Queer Theater); QTPOC trans masculine THEY/THEM/THEIRS; queer apocalyptic Homeless in the AfterLife; Blueprint for an African Lesbian; SH/Ero; Asymmetrical We; Brotherly Love; Trailer Park Tundra; Once A Man Always A Man; Mama Afrika; Queering MacBeth; Life Is About the Kill; That Day God Visits You; Ata; To Dyke Trans; Gayze; Good Grief; Pence At The Border & many more. Residencies: Nationally recognized Resident Playwright Initiative with Playwrights’ Foundation (SF, CA 2019-2023); Resilience and Development Writers’ Lab with Crowded Fire Theater Company in SF, CA (2017-2018); New York City’s EWG (Emerging Writers’ Group) at The Public Theater sponsored by Time Warner Co.; New York City’s Groundbreakers Group, Djerassi Artist Residency in northern CA, Freedom Train Productions, Ragged Wing Ensemble & more. Nick is a 2018 finalist for Africa’s Gerald Kraak Award. Nick graduated Magna Cum Laude at Columbia University in NYC for undergrad and completed an MFA at Columbia University as a Point Scholar, the nation’s largest LGBTQIA scholarship fund, and was awarded a Columbia University Fellowship for theater at the same time. Nick attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop thanks to a Norman Felton Fellowship. XXY Queer Africa: More Invisible, a companion essay to WAAFRIKA 1-2-3 published in Juked, was in Best American Essays 2020. Another essay, A Letter to My Gay Black Brother, was recently nominated for a Pushcart Award (results pending).

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