2023 Naked Stages Fellow Announced!

Pillsbury House + Theatre (PHT) is excited to announce the recipients of the 2023 Naked Stages Fellowship: snem DeSellier, Yoni Light, and Dakota Blankenship! We’re thrilled to welcome these brilliant performers into our 31st season.

From left to right: snem DeSellier, Yoni Light, and Dakota Blankenship.


Project: snem’s been kicking around this idea of ‘mundane devastation’ for years now. grief hole: round hole, trying to test what fits in the mouth by deriving a square root of care (simulated? synthetic? non-gmo?). as a sick-in-the-body sick-in-the-head type of trans, they can’t help but want to research pleasure seeking in devastation, to move with some risky risky patience. can you live sample the recording devices around you? loop pedal bodies when you know lights and not sound? idk let’s find out.
Bio: snem is a wiggly idea. they often call themselves a multi modal maker and what they mean by that is that they want it all, all the time, in every way. an organic improviser, they build with body and light and metaphor and overlap, they sow things like slowness and rapid cycles, they harvest what is ready to come off the vine and they practice leaving what isn’t. they grew up along the long tidal river in western massachusetts, tracing everything that kept growing old in such a scarred landscape. trained as a dancer and facilitator in Mettler-based group improvisation through a relationship with the Tucson Creative Dance Studio, counted as a graduate of Hampshire College’s history of scrappy emboldened learning, and welcomed into the folds of trans centered theatre making here in Minneapolis, snem will just keep believing that they get to draw ever new maps/webs/paths forward. they have worked / designed / performed /presented with Lightning Rod, 20% Theatre, Red Eye Theater, Fresh Oysters Performance Research, Playwrights’ Center, 9×22 Dance/Lab, International Association for Creative Dance, Body Watani, Five Colleges, National New Play Network, and the University of Minnesota: MSimulation.


Project: Masquerading Lights focuses on the imminent change we experience within human emotions. It’s a deep dive on 4 specific emotions/states of being: Bravado, Ecstasy, Rage and Jealousy. She picked these four specifically because they are all emotions she’s been in close proximity with for the past three years and felt either disconnected or enamored by them.
Bio: Yoni Light is a multi-disciplinary artist from Saint Paul, Minnesota. She has been dancing professionally for the past nine years acquiring her training from multiple programs and schools including TU Dance, SPCPA and Perpich. She was a co-founder of the Hip Hop dance crew called New Black City, a crew dedicated to using dance to create and activate social change. She has been a part of many collectives, some including S.H.E, New Black City and Atlantis 13. These collectives are dedicated to blackness, expression and social change. She has collaborated with multiple artist/shows including Pavielle French, TPT Artist is…Black Light, Deja Joelle; Controlled Burn, SHE Al’twam; Abandoned Outlines and many more. She is local teaching artist that has worked with multiple community programs, schools and studios throughout the Twin Cities. Yoni is also a recipient of multiple grants including; 2020 Time Capsule Micro Grant, 2020 Momentum New Dance Work Grant and 2022 MN State Arts Board Individual Creative Support Grant. Yoni’s work is dedicated to the art of healing, self-expression and soul and body awareness.


Project: Dakota plans to take audiences on a somatic journey, weaving together roller skating with their songs and meditations. Exploring ways of embodying our genuine experience, he will hold space for people to sit with parts of themselves that may be unfamiliar or unknown. The performance will impart skills to help process and integrate our personal traumas related to family, love, and death. She hopes to leave people with knowledge that inspires curiosity towards their own healing journey.
Bio: Dakota Blankenship is a somatic wellness coach, intuitive healer, and artist. For nearly a decade, they have worked behind the scenes as a dresser in theaters across the country as well as crafting countless garments for the stage. With fabric as their medium, Dakota creates one-of-a-kind clothes that she likes to wear while grooving at the roller rink. After hundreds of hours spent on eight wheels, Dakota can glide with artistry across surfaces inside and out. A passion of helping people become more comfortable in their own bodies, whether through clothes or touch, has led them to create their own healing practice.


2023 marks Masanari Kawahara’s second year as Director of Naked Stages, a 7-month development program that provides time, financial support, and mentoring to three early career artists as they develop their unique voices as performance artists and creators. The program is made possible through the generous support of the Jerome Foundation.

The scheduled performance dates for the 2023 Naked Stages artists are November 9 – 18, 2023 at Pillsbury House + Theatre. We are continuing to evaluate the situation with COVID-19 and will keep you apprised of any changes.

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