Gabrielle Mariella (@gabriellemariella) is an actress, singer and filmmaker based in New York and is the latest to receive the Alpha Female+ grant. Mariella’s project focuses on recognition of women within the creative industry and especially within Broadway.
Inspired by Sonya Tayeh's speech at the Tony's, Alpha Female+ grant winner Gabrielle Mariella will create a film to inspire younger women to pursue a creative career in the theater and the arts.
After watching Sonya Tayeh's acceptance speech for her work on Moulin Rouge at this year's Tony awards, Mariella was motivated to undertake a project to inspire change. “[The project] will highlight the work of the female creatives that bring Broadway to life and the need for more of them,” she explains, ”especially BIPOC and trans women who are often completely erased from both the stage and the wings. This piece will incorporate interviews with directors, composers, instrumentalists, set designers and others often left out of the conversation and feature a mixture of up-and-comers alongside industry veterans."
Being in the industry and having lived through these experiences herself, Mariella hopes to inspire younger women who want to pursue a creative career by highlighting the women who are already pursuing a life in the arts and producing groundbreaking work. "As an actress, singer, and now a filmmaker, this project is a personal one. When I started making films, I learned quickly that it was not a world designed with me in mind. Not only was the field male-dominated, everything from production companies to the way equipment is designed and marketed catered to men. Through this film, I not only want to raise awareness for the lack of gender diversity behind the Broadway stage, but also inspire young women to pursue a career in the arts as a creative by showing the groundbreaking work done by women today.''
Mariella’s goal is to encourage gender balance within the theater industry. ''Though women shine on stage,” she says, “behind the scenes of Broadway productions lies a stark gender imbalance. In the past two decades, only 3.7% of roughly 190 orchestrators have been women. 0% have been BIPOC women. 90.5% were white men. In the past five years, female directors of Off-Broadway and Broadway shows hovered around 30%, writers and composers around 15%, and set, lighting and sound designers an even tinier percentage, clocking in in the single digits.''
Stay tuned to Alpha Universe as we follow along with Mariella and her film. See how you can apply for an Alpha Female+ grant for your project. All of the details are on the Alpha Female+ page HERE. And you can see all the past grant winners and their projects HERE.