A4 Announces Recipients of the 2024 Van Lier Fellowship for Theater

By A4 Staff
May 8, 2024

Asian American Arts Alliance (A4) is pleased to announce the selection of Lianah Sta. Ana and Borna Barzin as the organization’s 2024 Van Lier Fellows in Theater. This year’s awards were given to one in the field of acting and one in the field of directing. Lianah Sta. Ana is the Fellow for Acting and Borna Barzin is the Fellow for Directing. The fellowship includes an unrestricted cash stipend of $7,500 and eight months of professional development training and career support to foster the next milestone of their careers.

This fellowship is made possible with support from the Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund through the New York Community Trust. Created by the will of Sally Van Lier, the Trust carries out Edward and Sally Van Lier’s legacy of arts appreciation by supporting arts groups and training programs to provide education, training, or other support.

The 2024 Van Lier review panel was composed of respected leaders in the field of theater: director Zi Alikhan, director and former A4 Van Lier fellow Miranda Cornell, actor and writer Daniel K. Isaac, director and creative producer of NAATCO Peter Kim, and actor Moses Villarama.

“The Van Lier Fellowship is championing the future generation of theater practitioners and innovators who are enriching our cultural dialogue and community while pushing the art form into new and exciting terrain,” noted panelist Daniel K. Isaac noted. “To encounter this emerging generation of AAPI actors and directors has been incredibly encouraging and energizing. This fellowship not only supports the artistic growth of Asian American theater artists but also acts as a beacon of inspiration within the community, showcasing the rich diversity and profound creativity that defines our city. I can’t wait to see all that these artists are going to do.”

“On behalf of the board and staff at A4, I am thrilled to present these fellowships to such outstanding and promising talents,” said Lisa Gold, A4’s Executive Director. “We are honored to have the opportunity to administer the Van Lier Fellowship on behalf of the New York Community Trust and are incredibly excited to recognize such gifted members of the Asian American creative community. I am so grateful to our esteemed panelists who thoughtfully shared their perspectives and expertise to help us make these selections.”

About Lianah Sta. Ana
Lianah Sta. Ana is an Asian American artist of Filipino descent. After making her Broadway debut at 17 years old in the revival of Miss Saigon, Lianah decided to pursue a B.A. in Ethnicity and Race Studies (Columbia University, ‘22) to gain a more critical understanding of the ideologies and systems enabling popular representations of historically oppressed bodies on U.S. stages. Her own creative work, located at the intersection of Filipina/x/o and Filipina/x/o American culture, history, and memory, combines theory and practice to empower audiences and encourage critical consciousness. She is currently developing an experimental, new “kind-of” musical titled Performing Filipina. @lianah lianahstaana.com

About Borna Barzin
Borna Barzin is a director, writer, and arts administrator based in Brooklyn, New York. He recently served as a Guest Artist at NYU Tisch where he directed Lorca’s “Blood Wedding” and Charles Mee’s “Summertime” at Atlantic Stage 2. Other directing credits include “When We Write With Ashes’‘ (Lincoln Center/National Queer Theater), “Black Ice” (Chain Theater), “Pinching Pennies with Penny Marshall” (New York Theatre Workshop), and “How I Learned to Drive” (Sibiu International Theatre Festival in Sibiu, Romania). He has completed residencies at institutions such as Roundabout Theater Company, Colt Coeur, and The Mercury Store. His play “HELL IS’‘ was workshopped as a part of Egg & Spoon Theater’s Inclubate NYC Program. Borna is currently developing a new play, “The Tunnel of Love” with playwright Charles Mee. bornabarzin.com

Information about the fellowship is available on A4’s website.

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