About our trip
In 2022, with the pandemic in retreat, we initiated the travel phase of LINKAGES: Poland, bringing Project Director Howard Shalwitz, Project Manager Brandice Thompson, and LINKAGES participant Julieanne Ehre to Warsaw. The initial goal was to meet face-to-face with as many of our Polish cohort as possible, along with future candidates for the program, and to educate ourselves in preparation for a larger December visit. The visit took on greater urgency with the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the unprecedented wave of refugees into Poland. Theatres and theatre artists across Poland were stepping up to provide services and support for the refugees, and CITD felt an urgent need to report to the American theatre field on this historic undertaking. STUDIO teatrgaleria– the leading experimental theatre in Poland – was also celebrating their 50th anniversary and Natalia Korczakowska, our very first Polish participant in LINKAGES: Poland, was re-appointed as the theatre’s Artistic Director. She, along with STUDIO teatrgaleria’s Head of International Development, Annna Lewanowicz, graciously provided us with a home base and worked with Malgorzata Semil to arrange meetings with Warsaw artists.
Julieanne Ehre is the founder and the director of Pivot Arts in Chicago. She both leads the organization and curates and produces the Pivot Arts Festival, Pivot Arts Podcast, and site-specific works. Julieanne directs Pivot Arts’ incubator program in partnership with faculty and staff at Loyola University Chicago where the incubator is housed. As part of the program, she has developed multidisciplinary works by over 25 artistic groups including Issac Gomez’s La Ruta which premiered at Steppenwolf Theater as well as the hip h’opera, The Rosina Project, and the nationally acclaimed theater company, Rude Mechs’ Not Every Mountain both of which premiered as part of the Pivot Arts Festival. She has produced discussion events with artistic and civic leaders including Senator Richard J. Durbin. Ehre was listed as one of “50 People Who Perform for Chicago”
by New City Stage in 2019 and 2022. Ehre served as the NEA/TCG New Generations “Future Leaders” Fellow at the Goodman Theatre where she served as Producer on Latino Festival, New Stages Series and conceived of and produced the Goodman’s Artists Talk series — producing discussions with artists such as Philip Seymour Hoffman. At the Goodman, she focused on International Initiatives including the Global Exploration of Eugene O’Neill with the Wooster Group, Ivo van Hove and other world-class artists. She served as a delegate to the Santiago a Mil Festival in Chile and the ITI World Theater Congress in Xiamen, China through Theater Communications Group and was the Co-Chair of the Arts and Culture Committee for Chicago’s 48th Ward. As the Artistic Director of Greasy Joan & Co. for five years, she won an “Abbey Award” from the Arts and Business Council for the organization’s strategic planning. At Greasy Joan, she directed and produced critically acclaimed and premiere adaptations of classic plays and worked as a freelance theater director. Ehre holds an MFA in Directing from Northwestern University and a BA in Anthropology from Grinnell College.