2024 CIRCA Summer Fellowship Winners

Photo by Marlayna Demond

Dr. Susan McCully

Susan McCully’s project is Lady MacBeth and Lady MacDuff Tick Tock While @DurgaGirls Save Our World. The play takes place in the near future as rising tides and mid-level storms threaten lives daily. The four actors—two boomer white women who are climate change influencers and two GenZ activists who use social media to organize climate justice mutual aid networks– create of “social media” in real time. This “content” is projected behind the actors as they negotiate personal conflicts and rising crises. The chaotic outside world and the myriad invested followers and trolls are represented through pre-recorded videos mimicking TikToks. As the conflicts build, characters build resilience and forge mutually beneficial climate change solutions that include both activism and climate science.

The play is written to be geographically specific with recorded videos produced by local youth and activists introducing and amplifying climate resilience in the theatre’s community. She will use this grant to do developmental readings at other theatres and identify co-producers and their climate activists.

Bio: Dr. Susan McCully is a queer feminist theatre-maker and playwright. Over the past thirty-years, all of her professional efforts involve advocacy for intersectional feminist and queer theatre whether through her own playwriting, performing, and teaching or through creating opportunities for others as a producer and dramaturg. From 2005 to 2012, she served as artistic director and dramaturg for the GirlParts Festival of New Plays at UMBC. Beginning in 2015, her playwriting work focused on creating feminist and/or queer identified work for young actors at UMBC–Voracious (2015), Leah’s Dybbuk (2015) and Girls on a Dirt Pile (2019). Susan returned to performing in her plays including Inexcusable Fantasies (Prague and New York Fringe) and Kerrmoor (Women’s Voices Theatre Festival). In 2018, RepStage commissioned her play about Etta Cone entitled All She Must Possess. She is currently developing a play about climate justice with EnActe Arts in Silicon Valley.


Kelley Bell

Kelley Bell is creating Automata. This artwork focuses on combining digital fabrication technology (laser cutting, 3d printing) and traditional woodworking techniques to create graphically striking interactive works of kinetic sculpture that blend art, craft, and STEM-fields research. Automata are a playful way to investigate the basic principles of much more complicated machines by simplifying the interaction of mechanical elements.  The grant funds will assist with the costs of a studio workspace, purchase materials, and furnish the necessary equipment to ensure that fabrication processes are carried out according to established safety guidelines.

Bio: Kelley Bell incorporates animation, illustration, and many other visual media in her graphic design practice. She started as a freelance artist in New York City, with a diverse portfolio of clients including MTV Networks, The Walt Disney Company, clothing designers Marithe Fracoois Girbaud, and Strictly Rhythm records.

Leaving the Big City for Charm City, she established an independent graphic design studio, KBell Design, focused on print media for non-profit organizations in the Baltimore – DC region. Past clients include youth media group Wide Angle Media, the Creative Alliance at the Patterson, the Enoch Pratt Free Library, and the Maryland State Teacher’s Association.

Her animated work appeared in and literally on Baltimore City in two series of public guerilla-style projections: White Light, Black Birds and Rise and Fall of the Land of Pleasant Living. These projects compared the benefits and downsides of urban development through imagery and animations projected on specific sites facing transformation (or destruction) due to economic and cultural factors.

Kelley’s animations have been screened locally and as far away as Berlin, Germany. Screenings include the American Visionary Arts Museum, the Annapolis Film Festival, The Transmodern Arts Festival, and the University of Maryland College Park. She was a recipent of the 2024 Baker Arts Award in the Interdisciplinary Arts Category. She was a recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in 2004, and a semifinalist for the Sondheim Art Prize in 2010.

Kelley holds an MFA from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in Imaging and Digital Arts, and a BFA in Graphic Design from Pratt Institute.

Read more about previous CSF projects here.