Josh Wilder, Co-Founder. Josh is a playwright and actor hailing from South Philadelphia. His work has been developed at The Fire This Time Festival, Playwrights’ Center, Pillsbury House+Theater, The History Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, The Drama League and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. His play Leftovers was a recipient of the 2014 Holland New Voices Playwright Award at The Great Plains Theatre Conference. Josh is a 2014-15 Jerome Fellow at The Playwrights’ Center where he’s currently developing, The Dandelion Plays, a trilogy set in inner-city Philadelphia. Training: BFA, Carnegie Mellon University.


Jamil Jude, Co-Founder and Lead Producer. Jamil is a freelance director, producer, playwright, and dramaturg. Self identifying as an "Artist Plus", Jamil feels most at home bringing socially relevant art to the community.

Jamil is a participant in the Leadership U: One-on-One program, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group. The program provides him a residency at Park Square Theatre, in St. Paul, MN, where he works as Artistic Programming Associate. Prior to that, he served as the National New Play Network (NNPN) Producer in Residence at Mixed Blood Theatre Company for three seasons. He remains an Affiliated Artist with NNPN. Before joining the staff at Mixed Blood, Jamil served as a New Play Producing Fellow at Arena Stage in Washington, DC. 

Jamil has helmed productions for D.C. area companies such as Olney Theatre and Forum Theatre, as well as various Twin Cities’ theatre companies, including Park Square Theatre, History Theatre, Daleko Arts, Freshwater Theatre, Theatre in the Round, Stages Theatre Company and Lakeshore Players. Upcoming directing projects include Curious Theatre in Denver, CO and Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta, GA.


AsaleSol, Associate Producer. Founder of Sankofa Underground North (S.U.N.) Academy and a member of the dance ensemble BLAQ, AsaleSol comes to New Griots with a passion for Black arts and expression. As the Zimbabwean saying goes: 'if you can walk, you can dance, if you can talk, you can sing;' AsaleSol believes that each of us is capable of artistry, yet too often it goes undeveloped or unrecognized. Returning to theater after a long hiatus dedicated to Black youth and education, AsaleSol is excited to support the mission and vision of the New Griots Festival that seeks to both further develop and provide a platform for recognition of Twin Cities emerging Black artists. 

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Salima Seale, Stage Manager. Salima Seale is a Freelance Stage Manager based in the Twin Cities. She graduated from Macalester College with a BA in Theatre in 2014.  Her most recent credit comes from The Red Shoes at Open Eye Figure Theatre.  Salima spends her summers working with Penumbra Theatre Company’s Summer Institute.  A leadership development program that trains young people to use art to promote justice and equity in their communities. She is currently exploring ways to make Theatre Production more accessible to Black youth. She has previously worked at Penumbra Theatre Company, Daleko Arts, Park Square Theater, Open Eye Figure Theater and Intermedia Arts among others.  She is honored to be a part of the 2017 New Griots Festival.  It is a rare privilege to work with such a wide variety of Black Artists.  Much Thanks and Appreciation to the Staff at New Griots for their support.