Pictured: Vanessa Severo
The William and Eva Fox Foundation and Theatre Communications Group, the national service organization for theater, have announced that Vanessa Severo in association with Kansas City Repertory Theatre, is the recipient of a Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship for Exceptional Merit.
Funded by the Fox Foundation and administered by TCG, the fellowship is one of only a few programs of its kind for actors in the country, and Severo is one of only six recipients in round eleven of fellowship activities.
“I’m thrilled to have KC Rep partner with and champion Vanessa Severo, a top actor in our diverse Kansas City community,” says Artistic Director Eric Rosen. “Connecting Vanessa with our new work and education program will forward our commitment to put artists at the center of our institution, investing deeply in new, urgent stories.”
The Exceptional Merit Award supports actors who are established in their careers as working professionals with 10 years or more of professional experience. Funds will support actors who are evaluating the current state of their career and envisioning what their career could be as they continue to grow in their artistry. By enriching their relationship with a not-for-profit theater, recipients are encouraged to work outside their comfort zone, and are committed to giving back to and sharing their artistic talents and skills with their respective communities.
Through her fellowship work, Severo will further her artistic growth through theater movement training, develop her one-woman show, FRIDA: A Self Portrait, and strengthen the bridge between Kansas City’s community of diverse actors and KC Rep. Severo will use this Fellowship to build a master class that offers regular training sessions for actors of color and actors with disabilities, specifically addressing auditions and monologues.
“In a culture telling us to hurry, art requires us to take our time,” says Severo. “I am grateful for the TCG Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship which provides me with time, resources, and collaboration with the KC Rep to develop FRIDA: A Self Portrait. After 13 productions at KC Rep, I am thrilled to embark on this journey.”
Here in Kansas City, Vanessa has also worked with The Living Room Theatre, The Unicorn Theatre, The Coterie Theatre, and Off Center Theatre, among others. Vanessa is currently directing SHIPWRECKED! for Spinning Tree Theatre, a PerformInk critic’s pick.
“As a vocal, passionate, and smart artist, Vanessa will be at the forefront of our artistic conversations about new works and collaborations with artists of color and artists with disabilities,” says Director of New Works, Marissa Wolf. “As we build out our OriginKC: New Works Program and our education initiative, Vanessa is the perfect artist to engage audiences and artists in Kansas City and beyond with her electrifying work.”