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Influential Women in the Arts: Lynde Rosario

Influential Women in the Arts: Lynde Rosario

Although she might not know it, Lynde (she/her) has been someone I look up to since I joined LMDA, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas. I’m so glad that I had the chance to interview her to learn more about her background as a dramaturg for this Women’s History Month series.

What is your job title?

Currently, my job titles are Director of Fellowship Programs at Playwrights’ Center (PWC) and Freelance Dramaturg. As a volunteer, I hold the title of President of Literary Managers & Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA) until July 2024.

How did you get this position?

I got to be a Freelance Dramaturg first by meeting playwrights and other artists to collaborate as much as I could, offering support and enthusiasm, which built a personal network of professional advocates and allies who advance the making of new works together with me. I got to be President of LMDA when members of that personal network encouraged me to run, and I was elected for my 2-year term in 2021. I got to be Director of Fellowship Programs at Playwrights’ Center when other members of that same personal network shared the listing, I applied, interviewed, and was hired. This director-level position at PWC had not previously existed as it does now and was created in response to an increased demand by playwrights for more of this type of support. 

What is your educational background?

In my early education, I came up in the public school system in New York, from P.S. 276 in Brooklyn, through Wantagh High School on Long Island, and I stayed on Long Island to go to Hofstra University for my Undergraduate Degree in Drama. After graduating from Hofstra in 2006, I started my Graduate Degree in Dramaturgy at the American Repertory Theater / Moscow Art Theatre School Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University until graduating in 2009. After graduate school, I returned to New York to freelance and found a more experiential education in and among ensembles doing devised theatre.

Did you always want to do this sort of job?

I always wanted a job that put me with other artists making new work, and these jobs absolutely do that for me.

Can you give an overview of the duties, functions, and responsibilities of your job?

I provide dramaturgy services such as script feedback, research, and guided conversation. I plan engagement activities and convenings, produce workshops and readings, and facilitate adjudication processes. Across all of my jobs, I maintain relationships with local, national, and international artistic communities, arts industry leaders, and service organizations, like the National New Play Network, toward fostering future collaborations and opportunities, as well as securing resources for artists.

Is your job what you thought it would be when you started?

As with most of my artistic work, I find that it is always changing based on an ever-evolving vision, and I’ve come to expect that. I am very grateful that, with each job, I have the gift of freedom to make it what I want/need it to be to do my best work in support of myself, the artists, the organizations, and the field at large.

What is your favorite project that you have worked on (or favorite organization that you have worked with)?

The projects that always stand out are those that not only fed my artistic soul and creative mind, but also my social justice activist heart. “Double Falsehood Project” with Letter of Marque Theater Co., the Rolling World Premiere of Refuge by Satya Jnani Chávez and Andrew Rosendorf, and the tour of Wild Fire by Jessica Kahkoska, are my top three (in the order of when I worked on them), but there are truly too many favorite projects to name, including everything I’ve ever worked on with The Anthropologists.

As for my favorite organizations, the devising ensembles who expanded my perceptions of theatre-making and genuinely made me a better artist-human, Letter of Marque Theater Co. and The Anthropologists. The service organizations I adore and admire, LMDA and NNPN, and their staff and leadership bodies remind me why I continue to join and build artistic communities. And, of course, the developmental and retreat spaces like Playwrights’ Center and Tofte Lake Center and so many more, run by artists and artist-advocates who gave me and so many others space to breathe freely.

If you could change anything about your job, what would it be?

I wish I could increase the number of artistic collaborators I am working with at any given time. Honestly, if I could afford to compensate additional collaborators in any capacity, that’s what I would do first and foremost. Too many times I’ve been a department of one or two. I want that paradigm to change. 

What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing the arts today?

The needs are ever-evolving and the resources are too often not ample enough nor flexible enough to meet those needs. The level of responsiveness that is required to be a responsible artist today, requires an equal, if not surplus, level of support. So many artists, specifically artists of marginalized communities, are not only tasked with educating institutions, organizations, etc. on evolving best practices, but also are typically not there long enough to reap the benefits. The artists who teach us the greatest lessons are the ones who benefit the least from those learnings. That is a challenge I would love to see us overcome collectively as a field.

What advice do you have for young women aspiring to be in leadership roles in a world largely operated by a patriarchal system?

Collaboration is more impactful than competition. Resource-sharing and community-building creates sustainability. Be responsive to needs as they are identified, especially your own.

Learn more about Lynde’s work by following her on Instagram and Twitter/X! She can also be found on New Play Exchange (NPX)!

 

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