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TCG, La Mama hand out awards

Thompson, Dizzia, Olmos among recipients

Thesps John Douglas Thompson and Maria Dizzia are among those landing fellowships from legit nonprofit Theater Communications Group, which has named a slew of grant recipients.

Meanwhile, Sam Shepard has tapped Matthew Paul Olmos to be the emerging playwright whose work will get a showcase at downtown venue La Mama, as part of that theater’s newly inaugurated Ellen Stewart Award, of which Shepard was the first recipient.

As part of its Fox Foundation Resident Actors Fellowships for professional development, much-lauded Off Broadway regular Thompson (“Othello,” “The Emperor Jones”) has snagged one of two distinguished achievement awards alongside Peter Howard. Thompson and Howard will receive $25,000 each, with $7,500 going to the theaters with which the actors will work. Thompson will use to funds to prep for playing lead roles in Shakespeare comedies with Theater for a New Audience, while Howard, with L.A.’s Cornerstone Theater Company, will write and perform a piece based on travels to six communities that have hosted Cornerstone in the past.

Dizzia (“In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play”), paired with Yale Rep, is one of three thesps to get an extraordinary potential fellowship for early or mid-career actors. Dizzia will travel to China to study voice. Sandra Delgado, with the Goodman Theater in Chicago, will study interview-based theater while Miriam Silverman, with Washington’s Shakespeare Theater Company, will develop her own approach to voice and verse acting. This version of the fellowship hands out $15,000 to each recipient, with up to $10,000 more available to be put toward student loans.

TCG also named recipients of its New Generations grant program, with five pros set to mentor industry newbies at orgs including New York Theater Workshop and Cornerstone. Another arm of that grant program funds aud development at legit nonprofits, with coin this year going to companies including Gotham’s Foundry Theater and Washington’s Woolly Mammoth.

At La Mama, Shepard’s selection of Olmos is a component of the theater’s Ellen Stewart Award, named after the downtown mainstay’s late founder. As part of the kudo, Shepard was tasked with picking a young scribe who would create a new work to be presented by La Mama.

Olmos, a writer who is also on the staff at the Lark Play Development Center, has penned plays including “Monkey” and “I Put the Fear of Mexico in ‘Em.” Writer’s new play will be produced at La Mama next season.

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