The Bellwether Project

The Bellwether Project is a company of young theatre artists who are passionate about telling inclusive stories through the exploration of new forms. The company first united to produce a show at Carnegie Mellon University's 2015 Playground festival. Since then the company has produced pieces at Carnegie Mellon's Playground and Dance/Light festivals, CollaborAction Studios in Chicago, IL and in New York City at Ars Nova’s ANT FEST, Project Y’s Women in Theater Festival, and for FringeCLUB at Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe. They are currently in development for season 2 of their webseries, (in)alienable. 


The mission of The Bellwether Theatre Project is to create a culture of understanding and empathy for its community through personal, intersectional storytelling.


Nikki "Nix"


Describe The Bellwether Project in 5 words or less. 

Family, Perseverance, Curiosity, Equity, Passion.

What Does the Bellwether Project Mean to you?

It means lasting partnerships, incredible ideas, deep, unnerving, important questions, the freedom to create whatever we set our minds to. It's creativity, it's hard work, it's fun and it's laughter and it's tears and it's light. 


What was the first show you ever worked on?

The first show I ever worked on I was actually an actor - I was four years old and I starred as Max in Where the Wild Things Go. After the performance, my mother came up to me and asked me if I wanted to be an actor, and I remember saying with utter certainty that I hated acting, hated theater, and would never want to do this again. Funny how things work out! 

Which celeb would you love to collaborate with?

Either Celine Sciamma or Desiree Akhnavan - would love to have such smart and sharp LGBT minds as advisors, producers, directors! 


Why The Bellwether Project?

Because it gives me the opportunity to tell stories I wish I could have seen when I was younger, stories that inspire me and explore and celebrate the beautiful diversity of the world - our world. 

What Does the Bellwether Project Mean to you?

The Bellwether Project, to me, is home. It's a collection of people who can trust that they'll be supported by one another, no matter how crazy their idea sounds. It's about constantly searching - for a story that needs to be told, a question that is both crucial and challenging, an audience to speak to. It combines my love of experimentation and probing elusive questions with the need to make the world a brighter, fairer, and more equitable place. 


Describe The Bellwether Project in 5 words or less. 

Radical Nuance, Radical Joy.


What was the first show you ever worked on?

A Christmas Story in a local community Theatre Production. I played Flick, the kid who gets his tongue stuck to the pole.


Why The Bellwether Project?

Combining the tradition of ensemble with tearing down hierarchy. Pushing past an obvious "message" to explore complex questions that don't have clear answers. Unabashedly making sociopolitical work that values speaking truth to power over vague "both-sides" neutrality.


What piece do you wish we had conceived? 

I think about Heidi Schreck's What the Constitution Means to Me, and how that piece was able to dive into the radically nuanced space between the constitution, supreme court, and the personal stories of three generations of women in a single family, all while playing with form and structure in innovative and approachable ways. That's an aspirational project to me, but I don't really wish we conceived it. 


Jack Dentinger

Timiki Salinas

What Does the Bellwether Project Mean to you?

A creative home where I am pushed to be a better person and artist by our community and vice versa. 


What was the first show you ever worked on?

The Legend of Polar Mountain. I wanted to be/was cast as the village leader….. he wasn’t the lead...but he was the leader...Is that too much insight to young Timiki?


What's your favorite Bellwether Memory?

Being asked to be a part of it. As an insecure college freshman I was dumbfounded anyone would find my perspective interesting or important. I was caught so off guard and so validated and learned to grow so much into the person I am today because of BWP. That’s what I take with me as I strive to empower other artists we work with and I love seeing others challenge the ingrained practices and take up the space they deserve to have. 


Which celeb would you love to collaborate with?

Michaela Cole, Michaela Cole, Michaela Cole!

The Wachowski Sisters for a Dr. Rees Ziti franchise.

Anne Bogart is a high-profile celebrity to me.

Also if any casting directors are reading this please cast me as Jessica Chastain’s younger lover - or paper boy even . 


Why The Bellwether Project?

It allows me to continue to grow as an artist and collaborator in an industry that wants me to jump whenever they say jump. 

Aubyn Heglie

Jacob Wesson

What Does the Bellwether Project Mean to you?

The Bellwether Project has always meant a home for artists from all walks of life to come together and create art that speaks truthfully to their lived experiences, give voices to those often left silent, and to always do so fearlessly.


Who's your favorite character in any of our projects?

Renner from Ziti, to this day I think a rollerblading eulogy is one of the most interesting things to come out of this company 


What's your favorite Bellwether Memory?

Walking into a trashed venue in Chicago with Jack and essentially overnight transforming the space into what would be the home for Night Witches.


Describe The Bellwether Project in 5 words or less. 

Truth through art via collaboration


How Do You Build community?

I would say I build community via hopefully creating and nurturing processes that ensure that no voice stands above all and that every thought is given equal weight, is interrogated equally, and is allowed to blossom to maximum potential.

Megan Forster

THE TEAM (minus Jacob)

Keep up to date with our company and our latest projects by staying connected with us!

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Phone: (412) 254-3147
Email: bellwether.theatre.project@gmail.com

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