Joyce Award Winners

Will Power with Children’s Theatre Company



Hip-hop artist Will Power is an actor, rapper, playwright, and educator. Working in the new genre of hip-hop theater, Power is best known for his one man show FLOW, an urban fairy tale that chronicles the lives of seven storytellers and incorporates rap music, rhymed language, and hip-hop choreography. FLOW was chosen as one of the Top 10 Theater Performances for 2003 by The New York Times. Power has performed on Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam, was a featured vocalist with the Jazz group Omar Sosa Sextet, and played the lead in Drylongso, a film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1999. For his solo work, which includes The Gathering, a hip-hop theater journey to the meeting places of black men, Power received two AUDELCO Awards given for outstanding black plays and performers, and a Trailblazer Award from the National Black Theatre Network.

In 2001, Power was commissioned by Thick Description Theatre Company to write and compose The Seven, a hip-hop adaptation of the Greek tragedy Seven Against Thebes. The Seven was staged at the New York City Hip-Hop Theater Festival and won three Bay Area Critics Circle Awards (presented by the Theater Bay Area organization in San Francisco), including Best Book/Lyrics. The Seven is currently in development for an off-Broadway run in this season.

The Joyce Award enabled the Children’s Theatre Company to commission Power to develop a new play titled Cipher. Stemming from a conversation between Power and a young soldier on his way to Afghanistan, Cipher will tell the story of a young man who packs his Gameboy and goes off to a war with a video game soundtrack, army recruiters, embedded journalists, and offers of a steady income and a secure future.

Related Content


Joyce Awards Information Session - August 2023

Culture director Mia Khimm and grants manager Lynne Wiora discuss the Joyce Awards program and application process. LOIs are due on Sept. 11, 2023. New applicants should create accounts by Sept. 6, 2023.

Grantee Spotlight

Ron OJ Parson

Acclaimed director/actor Ron OJ Parson is in a season of radical reflection. In a 50-year career that most creatives dream of, Parson has become one of the nation’s pre-eminent theater directors. Learn more about his work here.


2024 Joyce Awards applications open: Grants increased to $100K each

Now accepting applications for the 2024 Joyce Awards


2023 Joyce Awards Announcement

We’re thrilled to announce the 2023 winners of our Joyce Awards, which support the creation of community-driven new works by artists of color in partnership with organizations in the Great Lakes region.

Grantee Spotlight

They Got NEXT — Chicago Sinfonietta Celebrates 35 Years

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chicago Sinfonietta, like so many organizations, was forced to reimagine itself, pivoting programming and performances to a fully virtual space.

Chicago Sinfonietta


Joyce Awards Information Session - August 2022

Culture director Mia Khimm and grants manager Lynne Wiora discuss the Joyce Awards program and the application process. LOIs are due on September 12, 2022. New applicants should create accounts by September 7, 2022.


2022 Joyce Awards Announcement

Five innovative new projects by pioneering artists of color spanning the visual, performing, and multidisciplinary arts that engage diverse communities in Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis-St. Paul will receive this year’s annual awards.


The “Full-Circle” Moment of Nick Cave and Forothermore

Recent work by Internationally acclaimed, Chicago-based artist and Joyce Awards winner Nick Cave.