Rachel Alderman, a producer with the New Haven-based A Broken Umbrella Theatre, has been awarded a Denham Fellowship from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, which describes the prize on its website as “an annual award to aspiring young directors, and particularly women directors, to further develop their directing skills.”
The foundation is a program of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, a labor union serving theater professionals.
Alderman said the $2,500 award would be put toward A Broken Umbrella Theatre’s production of Freewheelers, which will explore the relationship between the establishment, in 1866, of New Haven’s first corset factory and the patent Frenchman-turned-New Havener Pierre Lallement secured that same year for the modern-day bicycle.
Alderman said she applied for the fellowship “wanting to really be able to develop (Freewheelers) and develop my own skills.”
While she thought receiving the award “was a long shot” when she applied in July, Alderman saw the application process as an “artistic exercise,” a way of “communicating my vision.”
Having recently enjoyed opportunities to assist theater directors Michael Wilson (for productions at the Alley Theatre in Houston and The Old Globe in San Diego) and Hana Sharif (at the Hartford Stage), Alderman was looking for new professional-development opportunities, which she found through her SDC membership.
Alderman said A Broken Umbrella Theatre plans to stage Freewheelers in June. Information about the production will be made available at here.
This story originally appeared in the Breaking Arts section of the New Haven Independent.