Front Row Productions Announces First Fellow

BY Emma Schillage, September 23, 2021

Award-winning producers Alia Jones-Harvey and Stephen Byrd have partnered with Professor Steven Chaikelson, Professor of Professional Practice and Concentration Head of Theatre Management and Producing, to headline Front Row Productions' new Fellowship.


Alia Jones-Harvey and Stephen Byrd started Front Row Productions to help spearhead work from diverse and underrepresented communities in theatre. The Fellowship Program, founded this year, is geared towards theatre-makers of color with producing and management experience whose current project is ready for the next level of real Broadway experience.


Chaikelson will mentor the project, which will allow the chosen Fellow to have access to NYC's regional theatre professionals, promote entrepreneurial skills, and create an opportunity for the Fellow to be a business advocate for their project in a competitive Broadway environment.


Marjuan Canady has been chosen as the first Front Row Productions recipient for the year 2021. She will receive a $10,000 stipend and a $20,000 budget to cover all developmental costs for the production. During Canady's time participating in her project, she will have access to many of Columbia University's resources, including the library system and courses in the Theatre Managing and Producing concentration. She will also communicate with creative and business-minded experts and participate in one-on-one meetings with management and production professionals.


The program runs from September 2021 until August 2022.


Marjuan Canady is an award-winning Caribbean-American producer, director, writer, performer, entrepreneur, and educator. A native Washingtonian, her work spans theater, film, tv, children’s media and literature. Her original work has been seen at The John F. Kennedy Center, Sesame Street, The Smithsonian, Harlem Stage, The Lincoln Center, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, and the Miami Book Fair. She is the CEO/ Author of the children's media brand Callaloo Kids, in which she penned four children’s books while adapting these stories for international stages and into digital media. Canady has held fellowships at The Schomburg Center, DC Commission on the Arts, Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, and the Anacostia Arts Center. She is the founder of her production company Sepia Works and the nonprofit Canady Foundation for the Arts. Canady is a graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts and holds a BA in Theatre / Africana Studies from Fordham University and an MA in Arts Politics from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She is a proud member of the Producers Guild of America. Canady currently resides in Washington, DC with her daughter and her partner, Sheldon.