National Institute for Directing

& Ensemble Creation


“It further informed and deepened my  directorial practice and commitment more than any other program could possibly do.” – Kamilah Forbes, The Apollo Theater

“An extraordinary resource for directors to develop their craft and find solidarity with a community of peers and mentors.” - Dan Kwong, Great Leap

“The Institute has the potential to coalesce this spirit and commitment into a powerful tool to educate ourselves, the next generation of unique theater makers and directors, and an infinite number of other fields and disciplines.” – Theresa Chavez, About Productions



     Art2Action and Pangea World Theater, with 8 nationally prominent performing arts networks – Alternate ROOTS, Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists (CAATA), First Peoples Fund, National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC), National Performance Network (NPN), Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET), New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), and Theatre Communications Group (TCG) – have worked together to develop the vision and model for a National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation, dedicated to professional peer exchange and training the next generation of theatre  artists of color and women directors.

     This project arose as a response to the dearth of professional development and exchange opportunities for directors in the U.S., particularly directors of color and women, as well as the need for in-depth ensemble training in various forms of future aesthetics.  The 2010-12 pilot phase included field-wide dialogues, collaborative planning, documentation, and professional exchange  among leading directors and ensemble artists in the field. Key activities included roundtables at partner convenings nationally (2010-11), a pre-conference hosted by the University of South Florida Department of Theatre in association with the National Performance Network Annual Meeting in Tampa (2011), and a one-week residential Pilot Intensive at Pangea World Theater in Minneapolis (2012), to develop the structure, content and curriculum, prior to the projected public launch of the Institute.  This two-year pilot process ignited and deepened field-wide dialogues on the needs of women directors and artists of color.  It has, in turn, informed and shaped the proposed Institute, to create a secure foundation for the successful launch of a replicable program.


Articles & Links

Global Voices Panel LIVESTREAM on HOWLROUND (July 18, 2018)


Twin Cities Equity Panel LIVESTREAM on HOWLROUND (July 20, 2018)


Past Institutes

2019 First Peoples Pre-Conference & Mentorship Institute

July 9-11, 2019 –– First Peoples Pre-Conference July 12-22, 2019 — Mentorship Institute Art2Action and Pangea World Theater are proud to announce the first MENTORSHIP iteration of the National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation. The 2019 Mentorship Institute builds on and draws from previous Professional Peer Exchanges, Indigenous Artist Gatherings, Next Generation Institute, and the first Mentorship Institute, held 2012-18. It includes Master Artists from around the U.S. and across the world, including First Nations Artists of Turtle Island, and their invited mentees — emerging artists of any age, from those just graduating from academic programs, to working professionals who are emerging in a new area of practice, as Directors.

2018 First Peoples Pre-Conference & Mentorship Institute

More soon!

2017 Professional Peer Exchange & NextGen Institute

In July 2017, we embarked upon a month-long journey with leading artists in our field, as well as emerging artists ready to grow into leadership. The program included an Indigenous Artists Pre-Conference for First Nations participants who served as faculty and advisors; a Professional Peer Exchange for our faculty and invited guests, including professional development workshops and curriculum design; and the first-ever Next Generation Artists Institute for emerging practitioners! 2017 Next Generation Institute FACULTY: - Adelina Anthony - Dora Arreola - Izumi Ashizawa - Andrea Assaf - Murielle Borst Tarrant - Nobuko Miyamoto - Dipankar Mukherjee - Meena Natarajan - Linda Parris-Bailey …and more!!

2015 Indigenous Artists Gathering & Professional Peer Exchange

In 2015, we launched the second phase of the National Institute program. In March 2015, we co-convened a 4-day Indigenous Artists Gathering, organized to address the lack and need for a national network of First Nations artists working in theatre and/or contemporary performance. In August 2015, another week-long Professional Peer Exchange was held in Minneapolis.

2012 Pilot Institute

More soon!

The National Institute for Directing & Ensemble Creation is organized by Art2Action Inc. and Pangea World Theater, developed in partnership with Alternate ROOTS, CAATA, First Peoples Fund, NALAC, NPN, NEFA, NET and TCG. The 2017-18 Institute series is made possible by the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, and the First People’s Fund; with previous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.