TheFrontOffice's charitable branch TheFrontOffice Foundation has awarded an inaugural $25,000 mid-career grant to Mina Morita. Based on merit and need, the award recognizes a developing artist's career and spotlights gender inequities for female-identifying directors.
“The significance of this moment is that, for me, it recognizes years of dedication to the Bay Area theatre ecosystem as an arts leader, which has deepened my abilities and craft as a director," says Morita in a statement. "The resources I am receiving will be focused on my continued development as a director through various trainings and retreats; on work with BIPOC-centered companies that may not otherwise have the finances to invite me into a development process as an out-of-town director; and on support with health care after over a decade of paying my own way.”
Currently serving as Director of Artistic and Artist Development at Crowded Fire Theater Company, Morita has previously worked at Yale Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and American Conservatory Theatre. This spring, Morita will direct Sanaz Toossi's English at Berkeley Rep.
“We learned via SDC's 'On The Edge Study,' women directors fall out of the membership when they should be flourishing, all of which my community knew to be true, and it was now confirmed with data," said Wendy C. Goldberg in a statement. "The goal with this grant is to draw attention to the support of directors, as well as encourage other funders to create some structures of support for our country's most gifted artists.”
Morita was selected by a committee led by director and producer Goldberg, who founded TheFrontOffice. The committee also included Patricia McGregor, Robert O’Hara, Lisa Peterson, and Chay Yew. Directors Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown), Tamilla Woodard, Pam Mackinnon (Clybourne Park), Lear DeBessonet (Into The Woods) led the funding of the grant along with Goldberg and TheFrontOffice, Lila Neugebaur, producer Peggy J. Koenig, and supporters Jerry and Roz Meyer.