KST’s Artist Council

Kelly Strayhorn Theater is pleased to announce the application for two positions as a part of the KST’s Artist Council. The Artist Council is a new initiative launched by KST with support from The Pittsburgh Foundation that aims to co-create our portfolio of programming with our community, and practice transparency with artists and audiences. The Artist Council will consist of five artists representing a diverse range of artistic forms and identities. They will meet for at least two hours each month beginning January 2021. Meetings will be focused on the intentions, operations, and outputs of KST’s portfolio of programs.

To date, KST’s Programming Team has invited the participation of the first three members of the Artist Council: Tresa Murphy Green, Deesha Philyaw, and Adil Mansoor. In collaboration with the three inaugural members, KST is launching this application to welcome two additional seats on the council. All council members are compensated $25/hour for their participation in council meetings. KST aims to have diverse representation on the Artist Council with respect to identity, rental needs, artistic discipline, professional background, and/or aesthetics. Council members may be invited to spearhead artistic initiatives and are not limited from participating in other KST programs. The full terms of the Artist Council are yet to be determined as they are to be finalized with the participation of the full council.

An Info Session for the Artist Council application process with KST Senior Producer Ben Pryor will take place, Tuesday, November 10 from 6:00pm – 7:00pm. The info session will talk attendees through the application process and hold time for answering questions from prospective applicants. Applications will be reviewed and positions invited by KST’s Artist Council members Tresa Murphy Green, Deesha Philyaw, and Adil Mansoor in conversation with KST’s Programming Team.

Applications open: Thursday, October 29, 2020
Applications close: Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 11:59pm
Artist council members will be announced by the end of December 2020.


Applications for the Artist Council have closed. 


Adil Mansoor is a theatre director and educator centering the stories of queer folks and people of color. Directing projects include Gloria by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Hatch Arts), Chickens in the Yard by Paul Kruse (Hatch Arts and Quantum Theatre), Desdemona’s Child by Caridad Svich (Carnegie Mellon University), Dark Play or Stories for Boys by Carlos Murillo (Carnegie Mellon University) and an upcoming ensemble generated piece with Pittsburgh Playhouse. Adil is currently developing Amm(i)gone, a solo performance adapting Sophocles’s Antigone as an apology to and from his mother. Amm(i)gone is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creative and Development Fund Project co-commissioned by Kelly Strayhorn Theater, The Theater Offensive, and NPN.

Adil has developed and directed new work through NYU, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, and PearlArts Studio. He is a founding member and resident director with Pittsburgh’s Hatch Arts Collective. As an educator, Adil has worked with Middlebury College, Sarah Lawrence College, The Mori Art Museum, and The Warhol. He led educational programming at Dreams of Hope, an LGBTQA+ youth arts organization in Pittsburgh, for over 5 years. He is a member of DirectorsLabChicago, an alumnus of the Gerri Kay New Voices Fellowship with Quantum Theatre, and a current 2050 Directing Fellow with New York Theatre Workshop. Adil received his MFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, Tresa Murphy Green is a young, dynamic, multidisciplinary artist and cultural curator. Creative, visionary and thinker Tresa Murphy Green poet, deejay, self taught artisan and organizer makes an intentional step to center the voices, perspectives and lives of black women and femmes in all forms of their work.

Deesha Philyaw’s debut short story collection, THE SECRET LIVES OF CHURCH LADIES, has been longlisted for a National Book Award. The collection focuses on Black women, sex, and the Black church. Deesha is also the co-author of Co-Parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households After Divorce, written in collaboration with her ex-husband. Her work has been listed as Notable in the Best American Essays series, and her writing on race, parenting, gender, and culture has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, McSweeney’s, The Rumpus, Brevity, dead housekeeping, Apogee Journal, Barrelhouse, Harvard Review, The Baltimore Review, Electric Literature and elsewhere. Deesha is a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow.