The DISTILLERY upholds four critical components: creative advisorship, cross-discipline exchange, evaluation, and audience critical engagement. Local peer mentorship is the most critical component of The DISTILLERY.
*Being a part of the fellow selection process
*Viewing public showings and visiting fellow rehearsals at the CAC
*Engaging in conversation about creating and furthering the work in a local, regional, or national context
We are proud to announce Distillery Artist Residency peer mentor and artistic advisors, Stephanie McKee and MK Wegmann!
Stephanie McKee, Artistic Director of Junebug Productions, is a performer, director, choreographer, educator, facilitator and cultural organizer born in Picayune, MS and raised in New Orleans. She is the founder of Moving Stories Dance Project, an organization committed to dance education that provides opportunities for dancers and choreographers to showcase their talents. In 2007, she was awarded The Academy of Educational Development/New Voices Fellowship, an award for emerging leaders. For the past 20 years, Ms. McKee has been involved with Junebug Productions as an artist, director, and educator. Most recently, she served as Associate Artistic Director of the first annual Homecoming Project 2011, a place-based performance project that addresses the Right of Return and what home means to communities in post-Katrina New Orleans. For the past two years, Ms. McKee has served as one of three directors devising and developing original dance theater presented by Urban Bush Women’s Summer Leadership Institute. In 2006, Ms. McKee was one of ten artists who collaborated to create the original interdisciplinary production, “UPROOTED: The Katrina Project,” co-produced by Junebug Productions. As an artist and cultural organizer, Ms. McKee is deeply committed to creating work that supports social justice and aligns with the FST and Junebug legacy.
MK Wegmann, President & CEO, National Performance Network (NPN), has more than 35 years of experience in organizational development, artists’ services, presenting and producing for non-profit visual and performing arts organizations. NPN supports the creation and touring of contemporary performing and visual arts, providing an important organizing link among communities, artists and presenters in the US. As an independent consultant, she works with organizations and individual artists in long-range planning, organizational development and systems management. Clients have included Alabama Dance Council, JumpStart Performance Co., Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts, Southern Danceworks, Dallas Black Dance Theatre and Young Aspirations/Young Artists (Ya/Ya). From 1978-1991 she was Associate Director for the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, a $2.2 million, multi-disciplinary artists’ organization, and from 1993-1999 served as Managing Director of the theatre company Junebug Productions. She has served on and chaired panels for the National Endowments for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Louisiana Division for the Arts, The Kentucky Arts Commission and the Cultural Arts Council of Houston. Wegmann serves on Boards of Directors for National Performance Network and Junebug Productions, Performing Arts Alliance, and Creative Alliance of New Orleans. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Spring Hill College and a Master of Arts degree from Louisiana State University of New Orleans (LSUNO). As a life long resident of New Orleans, Wegmann is active in its recovery efforts.
2014 Alumni Mentors:
Sherri Marina is an actress, educator, and potato chip addict with over 20 years experience. She currently resides in New Orleans, LA and is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association. Sherri holds a MFA from The University of Iowa and a BFA from Kent State University. Sherri was the Chair of the Department of Theatre at Dillard University from 2001 – 2010. She actively teaches workshops in movement, voice and acting at universities and schools around the USA. As a performer, her resume includes many regional theatre, commercial and film credits. She has served as a faculty member with the Urban Bush Women Summer Leadership Institute and is a member of Team NOLA. Sherri is passionate about teaching and bringing theatre to underserved populations through the use of “story circles,” a methodology developed by John O’Neal of Free Southern Theatre. But her most important work is being “Mom” to her son Michael!
Jeff Becker is a director, designer and sculptor based in New Orleans. He received his BFA from Alfred University and an MFA from The Ohio State University. He co-founded CRISUS, a performance group that specialized in site-specific performances that utilized innovative kinetic sets, sculpture, film, and machines. He has continued working in this way as an ensemble member of ArtSpot Productions that creates site-responsive devised theater. Jeff has collaborated with several theater companies including San Francisco’s award winning Cuttingball Theater Company, Pan Pan Theatre in Ireland, Dah Teatar in Serbia, Hand 2 Mouth Theater in Portland, OR, and Mondo Bizarro in New Orleans. He has also collaborated with choreographer Elizabeth Streb, developing “Ascension” a 25’ spinning ladder machine that was featured in Talagfar Square during the 2012 Summer Olympics. Jeff’s sculptures, set designs and performances have been exhibited throughout the United States and abroad. He is the recipient of several awards and grants including an NEA RAP Grant, a Theater Bay Area Grant, and several SURDNA professional development grants. He received a 2009 Louisiana Division of the Arts Fellowship and recently completed the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors and Designers, enabling him to travel extensively to Russia, Europe and Africa to gain a global perspective on theater making. He is the founder of Catapult, a performance laboratory dedicated to nurturing design-driven performance.