Gamm launches fellowship program for emerging artists


The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre (The Gamm) announces the launch of its new Gamm Fellowship Program for emerging artists of color.

The pilot cohort comprises three fellows hailing from Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and the University of Rhode Island. The 10-month program, in partnership with Rhode Island’s public institutions of higher education, is a paid fellowship designed to provide an immersive experience and establish mentoring relationships between aspiring and established theater professionals.

Over the course of The Gamm’s 2021-22 season, fellows will engage in all areas of creative, administrative and educational theater making. Kate Hanson, The Gamm’s associate director of education, is the fellows’ advisor. Additionally, each has been paired with an advanced career mentor who will provide guidance about making a living in the theater industry. This first group of fellows will also appear on stage in the role of townspeople in The Gamm’s season opener, “A Lie Agreed Upon.”

“We are thrilled to enrich and expand our community of artists and creators here in Rhode Island, particularly with this outstanding inaugural class of Gamm fellows,” said Gamm Managing Director Amy Gravell. “Maria, Dan, and Erik were enthusiastically nominated by their professors, and recognized for their talent, commitment, and passion toward creating a life in the theater.”

“Our organization has enjoyed long-standing, cooperative relationships with our public colleges and university” said Gamm Artistic Director Tony Estrella, who is a member of the URI theater faculty and an alumnus. “The Gamm Fellowship Program solidifies and formalizes our partnership, and provides access and opportunity for graduates who can benefit from an entree to the challenging field of professional theater.”

The 2021-22 Gamm Fellows are:

Maria Noriko Cabral of Fall River, Massachusetts, has a B.A. in musical theater from Rhode Island College (’21), where she appeared in “Marvin’s Room,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Cherry Orchard” and other productions. Maria lived for many years in South Korea before moving to the U.S. to attend college. She interned for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, as well as College Light Opera Company on Cape Cod. Maria’s mentor is Deb Martin, administrative director of The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust (Admissions, The Night of the Iguana and others at The Gamm).

“Theater has been and always will be an integral part of my life and part of the reason I became comfortable with the idea of living in America,” Maria said. “I hope my Gamm fellowship will help me find a job in my next stage in life, and that I can help future BIPOC theater artists grow their passions and make their dreams a reality.”

Dan Garcia of Warwick has an A.F.A. with a concentration in acting from Community College of Rhode Island (’21), where he appeared in “Fool for Love,” “Lone Star,” “Crimes of the Heart” and other productions. Other acting credits include “Bedtime Stories” at Seed & Ivy Theatre. Dan’s mentor is Jeff Church, artistic director at Burbage Theatre Company (“It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” “Gloria” and more at The Gamm).

“I’m extremely thankful to have been selected for The Gamm’s inaugural fellowship program,” Dan said. “I’m excited about the many learning opportunities that come with working in a professional environment and absorbing as much as I can from some of the great theater minds.”

Erik Robles of Providence is a University of Rhode Island B.A. candidate (’22), majoring in philosophy and theater arts with a concentration in acting. Erik is CEO of Complex Ambition, a media company distributing video and podcast content focused on urban music. He has appeared in countless hip-hop music videos and in the short film “After The Happiness.” Erik’s mentor is Steve Kidd, head of performing arts at Moses Brown School (“True West,” “A Doll’s House, Part 2” at The Gamm).

“I feel privileged to have this opportunity, as I venture into the real world where competition is thick,” Erik said. “I’m excited about the holistic experience I will gain as a theater maker, not just an actor. My hope after completing this fellowship is to be a better, stronger, well-rounded artist and person.”


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