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2024 Naked Stages Artist Fellowship Guidelines 

Jerome Performance Art Commissioning Program 

Produced by Pillsbury House + Theatre (PH+T) 

Deadline for Submissions—March 1, 2024 by 5PM CST. Applications Open January 8, 2024. 


Feel free to contact Masanari Kawahara for general information about Naked Stages and feedback for proposals by appointment. You may contact him via email at masanarik@pillsburyhousetheatre.org 



Purpose of Naked Stages 

Pillsbury House + Theatre (PH+T), with support from the Jerome Foundation, seeks to provide a fellowship opportunity for early career performance artists in Minnesota. This program is designed to give artists a supportive environment for building their performance and production skills while creating a stage or site-specific performance piece with PH+T as the venue.  

 Performance Art/Live Art:  is not a singular form of art but an umbrella term for intrinsically live practices that are rooted in a diversity of disciplines and discourses involving the body, space and time. Disrupting borders, breaking rules, defying traditions, resisting definitions, asking questions and activating audiences, …is a research engine where the limits of art and ideas are tested and new possibilities imagined.   -a summary adapted from the essay “Fluid Landscapes“ by Lois Keidan + Daniel Brine 


Description of Naked Stages 

The goal of this program is to assist individual artists in acquiring knowledge and experience in performance creation, critical response skills, marketing, and technical production. This program emphasizes the development of artistic process rather than technical production. Artists are not permitted to supplement their technical budget with additional grant funds. Artists are expected to be in residence in the Twin Cities throughout the mentorship program period. This is a time intensive program and artists should consider their ability to commit to the program prior to applying.  

Three artists will be selected as 2024 Naked Stages Fellows. The selected artists meet as a cohort to participate in workshops and together provide a critical and supportive environment for creating work. All parts of the fellowship will be coordinated and facilitated by the program director. Artists will receive support for marketing, technical production, and photo and video documentation from PH+T. Stage artists will share a two-weekend, 6 performances run at PH+T Nov. 14 through Nov. 23, 2024, and site-specific artist (if applicable) will set their own schedule depending on their concept.  

Artists are selected based on the merit of their proposal which can be performance art for the stage or site-specific.  

Performing Arts for the Stage
The artists creating for the stage will perform a solo performance piece (developed through the program) 30 – 35 minutes in length. Artists develop their creative process by experimenting with form and content and discover how that works with an audience.  

Site-Specific Performance  
Artists who are interested in creating a solo performance for a PH+T site-specific context are able to do so within the various spaces available at the PH+T site. The work created might be social, participatory, or durational. Artists must work closely with PH+T staff throughout the fellowship to communicate their vision and needs. The artists must be committed to understanding the various users of PH+T and create a piece that keeps those users in mind (ex. The work must be appropriate for all ages in the lobby as children use it regularly).

Performing Arts and live performance in the time of COVID  
Our hope is for as much in-person experience as possible, and to have live performance in the theatre or in site specific locations, but our main concern is for the health and safety of the artists, staff and audience, so we may move to restricted capacity or virtual platform or both.  

Summary of Commissioning and Mentoring Support

  • An honorarium of $4000 to the artist(s). 
  • A program Director to coordinate the creative and production process with artist(s), technical staff, and director. 
  • An honorarium of $1200 for a Mentor/Performance Director to assist artist(s) with the development of their performance piece. The Mentor/Performance Director is selected by the artist in cooperation with the Program Director. The Performance Director must have experience in directing performance in a live venue.  
  • Critical response workshops preceding the presentation of the work, a facilitated critical response session with the audience, a post-production meeting with artistic, production and technical staff.  
  • Workshops in performance practice with accomplished artists.  
  • Promotional support, such as marketing photos, a promotional piece, and media relations. 
  • A budget of $1000 for artistic development and production-related expenses. A lighting designer, production manager, and stage manager will be provided for the stage performances. Artists also have access to the available lighting, sound, and audio/visual equipment inventory of PH+T.  
  • Access to the PH+T programs and space when available throughout the later part of the process. 
  • Photo and video documentation of the performances.  

Applicants must be Minnesota residents and considered early career artists. For the purpose of this program, early career artists are those who have produced/presented their own performance work at least 2-3 times in a non-student context, and who have not been recognized as established artists. Full-time students, tenured faculty at college/universities, staff or board members of PH+T, or artists who have received direct project Support from the Jerome Foundation for performing arts projects are not eligible to apply.  

Artists must be able to attend all of the following:

  • 2-3 Artist Meetings per month 
  • 3 day intensive with Naked Stages mentor in late July  
  • Additional Production and Marketing Meetings as scheduled by the Program Director and artists 
  • 3 works in progress showings 
  • Performances and participation in the multiple programs taking place at PHT 
  • Additional activities as designed by the Program Director 

Timeline for selection Process
The Program Director will facilitate a panel of 3 experienced artists and presenters who in turn will review applications and select three Fellows to present their work at PH+T in early November of 2024. Selections will be announced by mid-April, 2024. Program begins by the early May, 2024.  

Selection Criteria
Applicants must be individual early career artists who:  

  • Have presented their work in a non-student context 2-3 times. 
  • Articulate interest in participating in a critical response process with peers and mentors. 
  • Demonstrate a need and interest in further developing their artistic process in the context of a community based arts organization (PH+T) 

Please use the Submittable interface to submit the following documents and video files.

___ Cover page (first part of online form)
___ Up to 2 pg. Resume OR Bio
___ 3 pg. pdf or video file of Proposal Narrative
___ Work Samples
___ Work Sample Description Sheet

Please name your file with your last name_NS2024.pdf (for example, Kawahara_NS2024.pdf).  

Note: if the suggested application format is challenging due to a disability, please contact the Program Director to coordinate an alternate format for submission.  

Cover Page
Please submit the following required information on the Submittable application.

  • Name 
  • Address 
  • Telephone Numbers 
  • Email 
  • Project Title 
  • Are you applying to create a performance for the stage or to create site-specific performance? 

Resume or Bio
The artist resume or bio should help us get a sense of your past experiences and projects and the role you played in them. The artist must have presented 2-3 projects in a non-student context.  

Proposal Narrative
Please answer the following in a narrative of no more than 3 pages.


  1. Why are you applying to this program at this time? Explain your artistic experience thus far in creating performance and/or site-specific work (if you are applying to be considered for the site-specific track) and discuss how the Naked Stages program focus on creative process in the context of PH+T will benefit your development as an artist. (Limit one page).
  2. Describe your proposed project (although the project that you are proposing may change). What questions are you asking in your work right now? What artistic forms are you exploring? If you are applying to create a site-specific work, tell us why this approach to performance is interesting to you right now and how you would approach the creation of a site-specific piece within the context of PH+T. (Limit one page).
  3. Naked Stages involves group work, artist meetings/workshops, intense process, and evaluation. Have you had any experience with this methodology? How do you feel about making a full commitment to this way of working? What will you do to make space in your life for this fellowship? (Limit one page). 

Work Samples
It is important that you submit the best quality representation of your performance work: 

  • Select a minimum of 2 and maximum of 4 works (preferably of work created within the last 4 years) totaling no more than 10 minutes.  
  • Submit media online. Please submit videos to the portal or attach photos. Videos are preferred.  
  • Work samples must be ready to be viewed by the panel upon submission. Please present the ten minutes you feel best represents your current creative output which may consist of a mix of different works. If you include edited sections, we encourage you to allow each to unfold enough to give a sense of how your work develops. The panel will watch a minimum of three minutes, so please lead with the work you most want the panel to view.  

Work Sample Description Sheet
It is important to include an information sheet that clearly indicates the following to aid the panelists in their viewing of the work samples:

  • Title 
  • Duration of the excerpt 
  • Duration of the work 
  • Performance dates 
  • Venue 
  • Your role in creating the work 
  • Brief 1-2 sentence description of the excerpt. 

The current Program Director, Masanari Kawahara, is able to review drafts of your proposal and offer feedback by appointment. Feel free to contact him at masanarik@pillsburyhousetheatre.org.  
All applications must be received via Submittable by  
5 PM CST on March 1, 2024. No exceptions. You will receive a confirmation email within 48 hours of submitting your application.  

Please apply for Naked Stages 2024 Fellowship program: https://pillsburyunited.submittable.com/submit/281184/naked-stages-2024-fellowship-program 


Past PH+T Naked Stages Recipients 

2023 Yoni Light, Dakota Blankenship (site specific), snem DeSellier (via phone, WIP)  

2022 Allison Vincent, Marisol Herling, Tumelo Khupe 

2021 Ashe Jaafaru, Yumi Inomata, Margaret Ogas (site specific)  

2020 Alia Jeraj, Atlese Robinson, C. Michael Menge 

2019 Amoke Kubat, Queen Drea, Hawona Sullivan Janzen  

2018 A.P. Looze, Anat Shinar, Chitra Vairavan (site specific) 

2017 Antonio Duke, Ritika Ganguly, Jessica Lopez-Lyman (site specific) 

2016 Nadia Honary (installation), Magnolia Yang Sao-Yia, Shanté Zenith 

2015 Marisa Carr, Junauda Petrus (installation), Eliza Rasheed 

2014 Eric F Avery (installation), PaviElle French, B Billy Xiong 

2013 Zainab Musa, Moheb Soliman, Emily Zimmer 

2012 Jeffry Lusiak, Zoe Sommers Haas, David Steinman, Ahanti Young 

2011 Max Wirsing, Ephraim Eusebio, Paulino Brener, Moe Lionel 

2010 Esther Ouray, Janaki Ranpura, Andrea Jenkins, Cochise Anderson 

2009 Julia Elizabeth Babb, Julian McFaul, Kelly A Meister, Mire Regulus  



This program is made possible by generous support from the Jerome Foundation. Produced by Pillsbury House + Theatre Producing Directors (Signe V. Harriday, Artistic Producing Director & Noël Raymond, Senior Director of Arts & Culture)   





We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.