Roots and River Productions grew from the small seed of an idea. Artistic Director
Azure D. Osborne-Lee moved to New York City and experienced firsthand how difficult it can be for an emerging artist, especially a Black artist, to make headway in the theatre. And so, out of a desire to foster artistic community and create opportunities for queer and trans artists of color, Roots and River Productions was born.
Roots & River’s mission is to produce the creative work of queer and trans Black artists. The company is an artistic home for artists residing in the New York City metropolitan area. Roots & River serves as an incubator for new work, a site of artistic exploration, and an agency for community outreach.
When the company was first founded in 2012, its primary programming consisted of the Roots & River Emerging Artist Mentorship Program and a portable, sustainable model for creating new work, simply called the Voicebox Workshops. After the first two cohorts of mentees graduated, the Emerging Artist Mentorship Program was retired.
Today Roots & River is primarily producing interdisciplinary and theatrical works by queer and trans Black artists. The Voicebox Workshops are still available upon request.
Roots and River Productions is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a proud member of Materials for the Arts, Indie Theater Fund, The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, and has been the recipient of a Brooklyn Arts Council 2012 Community Arts Fund Grant, a grant from the Edie Windsor Fund for Old Lesbians under the aegis of Open Meadows Foundation, and support from Indie Theater Fund.