The Ball Grant
The Ball Grant is a $1000 grant that's expressly designed for a writer who identifies as living in or emerging from a lower economic status.
The recipient of the first annual Ball Grant is playwright Antu Yacob!
Antu is an excellent playwright whose work exemplifies the type of artistic voice that The Playwriting Collective champions. Her work is nuanced, resonant, and worthy of support.
Antu was born in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia and raised in San Francisco and Minnesota. She received her MFA in Acting from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and her BA in Communication from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She was last seen onstage in the 2017 United Solo Theatre Festival’s premiere of her one woman show In the Gray on Theatre Row in New York. The first Ethiopian American show ever presented in United Solo, Antu’s piece shared her experiences of being an Americanized African, artist, mother, daughter navigating her identity between multiple worlds. Her play Mourning Sun, a love story shedding light on the fistula epidemic set in Ethiopia and the US was featured in the 2016 Kampala International Theatre Festival in Uganda. The play received its world premiere as part of Theatre 167’s 2015-2016 season at the West End Theater in New York. Antu’s two-woman play The Firsts, a historical piece about six women who overcame adversity premiered in Project Y Theatre’s 2013 New York New Playwrights Festival. Her work has been featured in readings at the inaugural NowAfrica Playwrights Festival at Tisch-NYU, Crossroads Theatre’s CommonGround Festival, CoLAB Arts theOrphanage series and Project Y Theatre’s Racey Plays Series. As an actor, Antu’s theater credits include Risen from the Dough (Sam French OOB Short Play Festival-Winner) Mourning Sun (KITF and Theatre 167), In the Continuum original national tour (Primary Stages), Stepping out of the River at Dawn, Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World and A Jew on Ethiopia Street (Mixed Blood Theatre), Holiday Jubilee (Crossroads Theatre), Crowns (The Theater Project), The House That Crack Built (Pillsbury House Theatre) and No Longer at Ease (Pangea World Theater). Her film & television credits include Night Comes On, Gypsy, Law & Order: SVU, Conjure, Eminent Domain, and Walking in Circles. She teaches Acting at Baruch College and Rutgers University. www.antuyacob.com
The Playwriting Collective has been organized to create artistic and theatrical productions, readings, and showings centered around supporting voices from lower economic backgrounds and other marginalized communities. The Ball Grant is a financial resource dedicated to those lower class as well as marginalized writers and artists.
The Playwriting Collective intends to continually bring voices from poor backgrounds into the broader network of art and theater in NYC.