At-A-Site Theater Artistic Director, Monika Gross, a 2016 NC Artist Fellowship Recipient

I am honored and very pleased to be a recipient of a 2016 North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship for Playwriting.

Thank you to the NC Arts Council and to the National Endowment for the Arts, which delegated the federal funds for these fellowship awards!


Press Releases

Eighteen Artists Receive NC Arts Council Artist Fellowship

Author: hearp/Wednesday, August 12, 2015/Categories: Headlines, Press Releases

Raleigh, N.C. (August 11, 2015) — Thirteen literary artists, three composers and two songwriters have been awarded North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowships for 2015–16.

The North Carolina Arts Council recognizes individual artists for excellence and achievement within their art forms or traditions. This recognition comes in the form of Artist Fellowships and through the North Carolina Heritage Award program.

More than 260 artists from across the state submitted applications for the 18 fellowship awards.

In the literary category the following artists will receive fellowships: Julie Funderburk, poetry  (Charlotte); Ann Lena Phillips Bell poetry (Wilmington); Sheila Webster Boneham, prose (Wilmington); Abigail DeWitt, prose (Burnsville); Alina “Tita” Ramirez, prose (Greensboro); David Joy, prose  (Cashiers); Lee Zacharias, prose (Greensboro); Wiley Cash, prose (Wilmington); Kim Church, prose (Raleigh); and Drew Perry, prose (Greensboro).

Two artists received fellowships for screenwriting: Sally Vacca (Statesville) and Laura DeBar (Durham). Monika Gross (Asheville) received a fellowship in the playwright category.

Composers that received fellowships include: Brandon J. Lee (Greensboro), Dr. Alejandro H. Rutty (Greensboro); and N. Cameron Britt (Raleigh).

In the songwriting category two artist received fellowships: Silas Durocher (Asheville) and Django Haskins (Durham).

Artists receive a fellowship of $10,000 to support creative development and the creation of new work. Recipients were selected by panels comprised of artists and arts professionals with expertise in each discipline.

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"I like to make theater with 'uptown' and 'downtown' timing," says playwright Monika Gross. "With the 'hook' of mainstream theater and the free fall of the avant-garde, mixing traditional and contemporary, simple stories and complex layers. In that space both audience and artist can have an entertaining, meaningful, and challenging experience on whatever level they wish to engage."

Monika grew up in Asheville and Chapel Hill, earned her BFA from UNCSA, moved to NYC for thirty years, and returned to Asheville in 2010. While in NYC, she was artistic director of Theaterworkers and Smarty Pants Theatre. In Asheville, she currently develops work through At-A-Site Theater. "Our mission is to create theater in unexpected places, theater in familiar places in unusual ways, theater and audience meeting unexpectedly," she explains. "With the constant stimuli of our digital days, theater is the intervention that allows us to take time to give meaning to space. Theater is the space I like to hope in public."

Monika admires the work of Caryl Churchill, Timberlake Wertenbaker, Carson Kreitzer and the female wits of the early 1800s. "Women playwrights in Restoration London supported one another. 21st century women playwrights are doing this again. As a female theater professional you face harsh realities. Less work in general and less well-paid and prestigious work in particular. My strategy has always been to see myself as a Theater Artist, 'writing' my theater from the inside and the outside, as a playwright, adaptor, director, performer. I try to find creative ways to be in that theater space I love so much."

Monika's playmaking is influenced by early training with Joseph Chaikin, members of Peter Brook's company, and Ariane Mnouchine and Theatre du Soleil. She imbibed the creative process of Charles Ludlam and the Ridiculous Theatrical Company as well as Polish theater artist Tadeusz Kantor's memory pieces.

Monika's residencies include Hedgebrook writer's colony for her full-length play "Report on the Rainforest," which was further developed at the O'Neill Puppetry Conference as well as at 7 Stages in Atlanta; and a residency in Minneapolis with 3 Legged Race for her adaptation of Irene Beckerman's "Love, Loss & What I Wore". Her NYC site-specific piece, "Grandmothers Information Project," was supported by a grant from Dancing in the Streets. Her adaptations from literature include "Chekhov's Last Story" (Anton Chekhov), "The Spirit of Service" (Luigi Pirandello), and "Mortal Love" (Edna O'Brien).


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