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BIPOC Critics Lab Cohort

Applications are closed for the 2024-2025 BIPOC Critics Lab Cohort. Please return to this page next Spring for information about the next BIPOC Critics Lab Cohort.


The Public Theater is hosting cultural critic Jose Solís’ BIPOC Critics Lab in the 2024-25 season. After successfully hosting the 2023-2024 cohort, The Public is honored to continue Solís’ commitment to creating an educational space for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) writers in the realm of cultural criticism.

Sessions for the Lab will span the course of The Public’s 2024-25 season. Those chosen to participate will receive offers to join the cohort in late June, with the cohort officially beginning in mid-September. This iteration of the cohort will be a hybrid model of online sessions and option in-person activities.

The program begins with ten 90-minute weekly sessions on Zoom for cohort members to define “What My Criticism Will Be”, to take place in Fall 2024. Additional learning opportunities will take place in the spring on a semi-regular basis. Participants who meet the attendance requirements will be assigned a future commissioned piece with compensation.

Please reach out to us at [email protected] for any inquiries.

Learn More



About the BIPOC Critics Lab

The BIPOC Critics Lab was founded in 2020 by Jose Solís as a first-of-its-kind program designed to train and create work by emerging BIPOC theater journalists. Solís noticed a gap in training based on his own experience as a cultural critic in the field and created an educational space for BIPOC writers who had not been welcomed into cultural criticism, whether due to systemic oppression, lack of opportunity, or because they didn’t know they were allowed to see themselves as critics. Solís solicited applicants for the first cohort through Twitter where over 100 BIPOC participants expressed interest in participating. From 2021-2023, The Kennedy Center hosted the BIPOC Critics Lab online as a part of the American College Theater Festival. In the summer of 2023, a cohort was also co-hosted by the Stratford Festival and Intermission Magazine. During its 2023-2024 season, The Public Theater hosted its first BIPOC Critics Lab cohort. Alumni of the program have gone on to write and work as editors for outlets such as The Los Angeles Times, Andscape, Elle, Glamour, American Theatre, Broadway News, 3Views, Brooklyn Rail, and Token Theatre Friends.  

Following the tenets of dialogue, compassion, and nurturing one’s unique voice, future critics who participate in the cohort will contribute to the creation of a custom program that fits their specific needs and encourages them to pursue the path of criticism that best serves them. Participating in the cohort is at no cost to members. Selected members will have the opportunity to learn all aspects of arts journalism through a variety of mediums beyond the written word. BIPOC experts in the field also serve as guest speakers for the Lab. Writers who meet the attendance requirements at the culmination of the program will be assigned a future commissioned piece with compensation. 

Please reach out to us at [email protected] for any inquiries.

Host the Lab at Your Theater Company

The BIPOC Critics Lab is a movement.

Since the Lab was founded in 2020, The Public committed to commission all past and present cohort members. As we host the next iteration, we invite theater organizations from all around the world to commission a critic. If you are interested in being added to our list of interested organizations, please email us at [email protected] with your organization name and preferred main contact. We are gathering a database of interested contacts as opportunities come up. Additionally, if you are writing to us from a press office, we hope you can add our future cohort members to invite lists during their tenure at The Public. 

While The Public is hosting a Lab next season, there are opportunities for more than one cohort to exist simultaneously, particularly in other parts of the country or world. If you’re interested in hosting a cohort at your organization, we encourage you to reach out to Jose Solís by filling out this form.

About the Founder

Jose Solís began his career as a critic at age 16 when he launched a film review website in Honduras, his home country. He began writing about theatre while attending college in Costa Rica, and upon moving to NYC in 2012, focused mostly on the stage. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Toronto Star, The Washington Post, American Theatre, TDF Stages, The National Catholic Reporter, Encore Monthly, Backstage, Salon, Rotten Tomatoes, 3Views, and America Magazine. He created the web series/podcast Token Theatre Friends.

In 2020, he was selected as the Floria Lasky Visiting Artist at Hunter College where he hosted the Wed@One series. The same year he founded the BIPOC Critics Lab, a training program for the cultural critics of the future. The second and third installments of the Lab were hosted by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In 2021, he was named one of the Kennedy Center’s Next 50, “leaders and organizations that, through sustained excellence of artistic, educational, athletic, or multi-disciplinary work, are lighting the way forward.”

He is currently based in Madrid, Spain, and recently completed a master's degree in Cultural Criticism and Theory at the Universidad Carlos III.