Dance Mission Theater, Afro Urban Society, and AAAPAC / The Black Choreographers Festival Presents… Stage Lighting and Tech Fellowship.

This fellowship is supported in part by the Center for Cultural Innovation and Urban Jazz Dance Company.

Announcing the 2019 FELLOWS

Tanika Baptiste is a producer, actor, vocalist and entrepreneur. “The stage is my happy place”.

Tracy Baxter is an Oakland-based writer who will sing, dance, or act at the drop of a hat. She’s performed with Theater of Others and Ninjaz of Drama in San Francisco. A new playwright whose very first work, KUDZU 2012, was a 2016 Bay Area Playwrights Foundation festival semifinalist, she’s now exploring the worlds of stage directing and lighting design.

Niki Brown is an Oakland-based drummer, dancer and performance artist who loves to explore rhythm through many avenues of creativity and exploration.

Destiny Evans is a black, non-binary androgynous, femme. Their work is rooted in telling the stories and prioritizing the work/healing of queer and trans black folks.

Kimberly Harvey-Scott’s passion for eclectic dance began at age eight. Her career started and excelled with Diamano Coura West African Dance Company in 2006. With this, she has been able to spread her message and volunteers her time and talent to Berkeley High students since 2008, as Stage Manager, counselor, and teaching

Shaunnah Ray is an Oakland native who is committed to applying her passion for the performing arts and expression to perpetuate activism in her communities. As a means to nurture her own creative outlets Shaunnah has found and is pursuing a growing interest interest in lighting design, a craft that she has been exploring at EastSide Cultural Center through EastSide’s Live Arts and Resistance Theater programming.

Tyler Musgrave is a futurist and activist who believes that all that is beautiful in this world is illuminated.

Saoirse Weaver is a 23 year old from San Francisco with a background in Art and Design. In her spare time she likes to read & make jewelry. movement and choreography.




The Stage Lighting Tech Fellow is mentored and trained by Dance Mission Theater’s in-house Technical Director, Harry Rubeck in introductory and intermediate basics of stage lighting production. The Stage Lighting Tech Fellowship has emerged from years of conversations between Black Choreographers Festival, Dance Mission, and Afro Urban Society about what would better our field. Our collaborating team is passionate about expanding the opportunities for womxn and people of color in stage production, and is committed to creating accessible, professional, and relevant skill sets that live up to our high standards of production. This fellowship is appropriate for people interested in the technical aspects of being on a production crew and specifically lighting design.


The fellowship is open to all people of African descent. Priority will be given to Black womxn-identified and gender non-binary peoples. The ideal Stage Lighting Tech Fellow is interested in/curious about a career as a Lighting Technician, Lighting Designer, and/or working in the field as a Stage Manager or Sound Technician. We are looking for fellows that are able to commit to all the sessions, and have strong work ethic, curiosity, willingness to learn, are efficient and flexible and able to work well with others in a fast-paced environment, have strong communication skills; and demonstrate organization, attention to detail, problem-solving, and time-management skills. The fellow must be able to climb a ladder up to 18 ft and be able and willing to carry equipment (lights, cable etc) up to 25 lbs. We will only be accepting a limited number of fellows so that class sizes remain small.

Following the fellowship, those showing a strong commitment level will be able to work select shows from load-in to strike as a practicum at Dance Mission Theater and at other venues around the Bay Area.



  • A $500 stipend upon successful completion and attendance of all sessions

  • Free professional training

  • Paid opportunities to work future shows at Dance Mission including Black Choreographers Festival and the Choreographers Showcase

  • Ability to attend shows free of charge at Dance Mission Theater during the time of the fellowship (dependent on ticket availability)

  • Professional referrals to other venues throughout the Bay Area



November – December, 2019

  • Monday, 10AM-3PM: November 18

  • Monday, 10AM-3PM: November 25

  • Monday, 10AM-3PM: December 9

  • Monday, 10AM-3PM: December 16

  • Required Practicum production dates & Field trips to shows and other spaces, as well as lectures / panel discussions by other leaders in the field of Lighting and Sound design. (Times TBD)

2018 Fellows: Tiombe Wiley, Natalya Shoaf, Jewel Buchanan-Boone, Alexa Burrell

(Photo of 2018 fellows)


This program includes training sessions, practicum, field research and professional connections.

  • Project activities include:

  • Four training sessions

  • An in-depth practicum at Dance Mission under the supervision of Harry Rubeck and at other sites around the Bay Area under the direction of Stephanie Johnson.

  • Field trips and lectures to other sights led by POC leaders in the fields


Skills covered in training sessions include (subject to change):

  • Session 1: Introduction to lighting instruments and how to use equipment

  • Session 2: How to hang and secure lighting fixture, how to focus a lighting fixture, how to cut and prepare gel, how to make a circuit/ patch sheet.

  • Session 3: Review of previous skills, Learn how to execute making a cue on the light board and to record it.

  • Session 4: Mini practice plot to hang and focus, write and practice cue sequences. Learn how to prepare and focus a floor mount. Introduction to running sound cable. Review as necessary.


  • Complete the APPLICATION | Deadline: September 17, 2019 (12noon)

  • For more info: Stella Adelman at Dance Mission Theater | 415-826-4441 |


Afro Urban Society and Dance Mission present in partnership with the Black Choreographers Festival
Harnessing the Power of Light with Stephanie Ann Johnson
A Workshop for Black/People of African Descent

Sunday Aug 4 2019
9:30AM – 2:30PM (registration opens at 9:30am and workshop begins at 10am sharp)

NEW LOCATION! Flax Building 1501 Martin Luther King Way, Oakland 94612

$20-$30 Sliding Scale | No One Turned Away for Lack of Funds (Registration now closed)

Some healthy refreshments provided (bring your own lunch, especially if you have any special dietary needs)

Lighting is an essential element in any production. In this dynamic workshop with renowned Lighting Designer Stephanie Johnson explore basics – visibility, shape, color and rhythm using professional theater equipment.

You will learn the language to communicate your ideas and effective ways to use lighting as an expressive tool as you move from the page to the stage.

This workshop is intended to create space for Black Person/Person of African Descent.


Stephanie Anne Johnson is a second-generation theater practitioner. Her mother Virginia Greene worked with the American Negro Theater in the 1950s. Johnson has been a lighting designer for forty five years. Nationally she has done designs for La Mama Theatre (N.Y.), Black Moon Theatre (N.Y. & Paris), Telluride Theatre (Colorado), The Arizona Repertory Theatre, The National Black Theater, and The Apollo (N.Y.). Internationally, she has worked in India, Holland, Belgium, Paris, Italy, and Canada. Locally, she has worked with Cultural Odyssey, Afro Solo, Ubuntu Theatre Project, TheatreFirst, African American Shakespeare Company, the Marin Theatre Company, Anne Bluenthenthal & Dancers, and many other groups. Johnson is also a visual artist who has had two one-person shows in San Francisco. She has also written and performed a one-person show entitled Every Twenty One Days: Cancer, Yoga, and Me. Dr. Johnson is a founding professor in the Visual and Public Art Department at Cal State University, Monterey Bay.

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