Sarita Ocón will receive the RHE Artistic Fellowship at the 2016 TBA Awards

Sarita Ocón Wins RHE Artistic Fellowship

Jacob Coakley

Sarita Ocón will receive a $10,000 award and a year-long mentorship with a veteran theatre artist as part of the 2016 RHE Artistic Fellowship. The award is meant to enable “individual artists to focus on special avenues to advance their career.” 

THEATRE BAY AREA ANNOUNCES THE 2016 RHE ARTISTIC FELLOWSHIP $10,000 AWARD RECIPIENT SARITA OCÓN
AWARD TO BE PRESENTED AT THE 2016 TBA AWARDS CELEBRATION

San Francisco, CA -- Theatre Bay Area, in partnership with the RHE Charitable Foundation, announces The 2016 RHE Artistic Fellowship Award recipient, Sarita Ocón. The Fellowship enables individual artists to focus on special avenues to advance their career by offering a $10,000 award and a year-long mentorship with a veteran theatre artist. The program, now in its third year, is made possible by the generosity of the RHE Charitable Foundation, whose work extends the legacy and compassion created by its founder, Richard Henry Epstein.

This year’s recipient, Sarita Ocón, is a professional actor and visual artist based in Oakland, CA.  She has been seen on the stages of Berkeley Repertory Theatre, BRAVA Theater Center, California Shakespeare Theater, Golden Thread Productions, PlayMakers Repertory, San Francisco Playhouse, ShadowLight Productions, Shotgun Players, and Teatro Visión. In addition, Ocón is a company member of HERO Theatre, the Ubuntu Theater Project, and is a co-founding member of the Bay Area Latino Theatre Artists Network.

The award will be presented to Ocón at The 2016 Theatre Bay Area Awards Celebration on December 5 at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater. To purchase tickets or to learn more about the Awards, visit www.theatrebayarea.org/awardsceremony.

“I am thrilled to have Theatre Bay Area partnering with the RHE Foundation to present this award to Sarita Ocón,” says Executive Director Brad Erickson. “RHE is dedicated to advancing the careers of outstanding Bay Area artists like Sarita, and we at Theatre Bay Area are honored to be working with RHE to support artists and advance theatre in our region.”

RHE Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Heyneman Sousae writes, “I am inspired to honor Sarita Ocón with this award. Sarita channels prodigious talent, emotional power and fearlessness into characters that change you. Quoting her recent director, Emilie Whelan, ‘For Sarita, arts and civic engagement are one...Sarita hurls her heart onto the stage and dares a contemporary audience to wrestle with her heart's power.’ I believe that Sarita Ocón will soon be among the top Latina actors in regional theatre.” 

“Sarita Ocón is the epitome of the artist activist,” writes 2014 RHE Artistic Fellowship recipient Reggie D. White. “Not only is she fiercely gifted and incredibly hard-working when it comes to the work she does on stage, but she is a tireless advocate for equity, inclusion, and storytelling that accurately reflects the diverse beauty of our world both on and off stage. The special alchemy of her kindness, intelligence, and generosity of spirit make her someone everyone wants to work with, and I couldn't be happier to welcome Sarita to the family of RHE Artistic Fellows.”

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be awarded the 2016-17 RHE Artistic Fellowship,” writes Ocón. “As a theatre artist and activist, my work has been guided by three principles: the belief in the power of the human spirit; art as a catalyst for social change; and art as a tool for civic engagement. With support from the RHE Charitable Foundation and Theatre Bay Area, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to deepen my practice and further my career, while being an active leader in the field."

Theatre Bay Area, now in its 40th year, is one of the largest and most respected regional performing arts service organizations in the nation. Its membership is drawn from 11 Bay Area counties and includes 300 theatre companies and some 2,100 individual artists. The Bay Area is home to one of the most dynamic theatre communities in the country; the region boasts more theatre companies per capita than any other metropolitan area in the United States, houses the third largest community of Equity (union) actors, and premieres some 200 new plays each year.

Theatre Bay Area's mission is to unite, strengthen, promote and advance the theatre community in the San Francisco Bay Area, working on behalf of our conviction that the performing arts are an essential public good, critical to a healthy and truly democratic society, and invaluable as a source of personal enrichment and growth.

For more information, visit theatrebayarea.org

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