Announcing the 2018 Naked Stages Fellows!

Pillsbury House Theatre is excited to announce the recipients of the 2018 Naked Stages Fellowship: Julia Gay, A.P. Looze & Chitra Vairavan.

Naked Stages is a 7-month development program that provides time, financial support, and mentoring to three emerging artists as they create an original piece of performance art.

The 2018 Naked Stages Program Mentor will be Sharon Bridgforth. The 2018 Fellows were chosen by a panel of artists comprised of past Naked Stages recipients and other professional artists, including Carlyle Brown, Junauda Petrus, and Siddeeqah Shabazz.

About the 2018 Naked Stages Fellows:


Project: Julia Gay’s project, In Her Eyes Like Stars, is an exploration of the familial bond between adopted daughters from the same motherland. Informed by a series of interviews, this project will shine light on the Chinese adoptee diaspora – the young women who share blood, but have yet to share their stories.

Bio: Julia Gay is an actor, dancer, writer and stand up comedian. She completed her B.A. at Macalester College. Julia is in her third season as a dancer with Ananya Dance Theatre and is the recipient of The Playwrights’ Center’s 2017-18 Many Voices Mentorship. Julia is a Chinese adoptee who writes and creates to bridge the vastness between memory, heart and home.


Project: Some moms were there for us, some of them weren’t. What do you do when she wasn’t there for you? Mom Material is a performative odyssey that delves into the depths of relationship to “mother”: from our own moms, to Mother Earth, to the moms we find along the way. Inspired by the psychological, the spiritual, Looze’s own mom and the moon, this project is a heartache-driven tribute and lament to all things mom.

Bio: A.P. Looze seeks the truth and goes on heartfelt and honest adventures to find it. Their work touches on concepts of spirituality by way of personal narrative and investigation and inquiry of past experience. They are most inspired by objects, nature, pop culture, and science

to share stories that create vessels and spaciousness for the self to heal and flourish. Their solo performances have appeared as a part of Pleasure Rebel, Queertopia, through 20% Theatre Company, and The Guthrie.


Project: Vairavan will explore her contemporary Indian dance aesthetic in a site-specific performance titled cloth and body. For over a decade she has trained and been energized by studying yoga, as it informs her work as a dance artist. However, when Vairavan first experimented with cloth puppetry a year ago, she shifted how she saw herself as a brown dancing body. Her work will investigate that shift through body and cloth in a site-specific performance.

Bio: Chitra Vairavan is a contemporary Indian dancer and choreographer of Tamil (South Indian)-American descent. Vairavan is immersed in both Tamil culture and progressive brown politics in the U.S. She dances to heal and creates to help heal others. Vairavan is a founding member of Ananya Dance Theatre and a dance collaborator with Aniccha Arts. She received the 2016 McKnight Dance Fellowship. Dance Magazine named her “25 to Watch” in 2017.

About Naked Stages:

This year, 2017 Guggenheim Fellow Pramila Vasudevan begins her third year as Director of Naked Stages. A creative opportunity unlike any other in Minnesota, Naked Stages is a 7-month development program that provides time, financial support, and mentoring to three emerging artists as they develop their unique voices as performance artists and creators.  Twice a month, they also participate in workshops focused on the business side of art, from audience development to technical support, helping to develop their unique voice into a sustainable, artistic career.

The performances of the 2018 Naked Stages naked stages artists will be January 17 – 26, 2019. All tickets are Pick-Your-Price. (Regular price = $15).

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