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600 Highwaymen

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POLISH PARTICIPANTS
 

Marta Górnicka

Marta Górnicka – a theatre director, author, re-discoverer of the choral principle, creator of THE CHORUS OF WOMEN modern chorus theatre company. Graduate of the Faculty of Drama Directing at the Theatre Academy in Warsaw. She studied at the Frederic Chopin School of Music in Warsaw, and at Warsaw University.

Górnicka describes the chorus as one of the most powerful elements of the theatre.

THE CHORUS which she brings into existence as the sole protagonist of her performances is always both a critical tool to examine modern mechanisms of control, exclusion and violence, and a vehicle of community. In her works, Górnicka often probes the relationship between the individual and society, she experiments with new forms of collective voices. She develops practices in the domain of the political character of the breath/ voice/ language.

In 2019 she founded POLITICAL VOICE INSTITUTE (PVI), social laboratory of a modern chorus theatre in Maxim Gorki Theatre in Berlin where she develops the CHORUS in its formal and political dimension. The institute is a workshop centre for the use of the collective voice/body and language. PVI’s performing team consists of seventeen performers from Israel, Germany, Poland, Lebanon, France, Brazil, or South Korea.

In 2009 with collaboration the Theatre Institute in Warsaw she founded CHÓR KOBIET, THE CHORUS OF WOMEN – a modern tragic chorus, writing librettos and directing the company’s subsequent performances. Her work was accompanied by the idea of „recovering/creating a woman’s voice” as the form the most repressed out of the western stage – and of using that gesture to regain women and the chorus for theatre. Experimental, laboratory work led her to the creation of a formula for the new chorus theatre – an aesthetic, formal and ideological concept of theatre which merges original power of collective voice, fundamental for the western scene with contemporary criticism of language as a tool of power.

Górnicka’s performances THIS IS THE CHORUS SPEAKING, MAGNIFICAT, REQUIEMACHINE, M(OTHER) COURAGE, HYMN TO LOVE, were invited and presented worldwide during more than sixty theatre and directing festivals in Greece, France, Germany, Japan, Ukraine, Switzerland, India, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Netherlands, Switzerland, England, Italy, Russia, Chile, Spain, and other countries.

The events included festivals: BERLINER FESTSPIELE Foreign Affairs, Festival International de Théâtre SENS INTERDITS in Lyon, International Theater Festival THEATER SPEKTAKEL in Zurich, Athens & Epidaurus Festival in Athens, International Theatre Festival MESS in Sarajevo, New European Theatre Festival in Moscow, SPIELART Festival in Munich, Festival METTRE EN SCENE – Rennes, Bharat Rang Mahotsav Festival in New Delhi, LESSINGTAGE in Thalia Theater Hamburg, SPRING Festival Utrecht and HERBSTSALON Berlin.

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Natalia Korczakowska

 

Natalia Korczakowska in her performances combines various art genres (music, visual arts, writing), emphsizing the value of space and visuality. The tender and deeply human glance that she casts on her heroes makes them funny, touching, struggling with existential and relational difficulties.  At the beginning of her professional career she had staged, among others, Electra. Anatomy Lesson (Norwid Theatre in Jelenia Góra),  Stanislaw Lem's Solaris (TR Warsaw), G. G. Lessing's play Natan mędrzec / Nathan the Wise (National Theater in Warsaw) and Dziady part III / Forefathers’ Eve. Part III by Adam Mickiewicz (Dramatic Theater in Bialystok).

In April 2016, Korczakowska became chief artistic director at Teatr STUDIO in Warsaw, changing its name to STUDIO Teatrgaleria (Theatregallery). Under her direction, STUDIO returned to the idea of being an interdisciplinary melting pot inspired by the 20th century avant-garde. Theatre critic Mark Swed wrote in the Los Angeles Times: "Teatrgaleria is both a gallery and a performance venue, and just about as confusingly mixed in its media as was Witkacy. It has a Fluxus vibe”.

 

Korczakowska created a unique company of actors at STUDIO, whose core concern is with the ethics of respect and participation.  She has directed there a highly acclaimed adaptation of Berlin Alexanderplatz by A. Döblin. Her next show,  The Devils by F. Dostoevsky, was reviewed by Jim O'Quinn in American Theatre Magazine: "None of the Polish artists from Generation After 2 has been closer to the socio-political dilemmas of the country than Natalia Korczakowska”

 

She has also been cooperating with the CalArts Center for New Performance in Los Angeles. As part of the co-production, she directed ‘Two Headed-Calf’, a play based on the writings of Witkacy, STUDIO's patron, presented at the RedCat Theater in Los Angeles in 2019. 

In June 2019, she directed an outdoor performance of G. Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly with eminent singers Aleksandra Kurzak and Robert Alagna. February 2020 saw the premiere of Devils VR, a performance-exhibition version of The Devils created in 2018, now adapted for a new medium – virtual reality. 

In March 2021 Natalia Korczakowska staged her adaptation of Crash, the cult novel by James Ballard.  The play deals with themes of addiction to violence and narcissism in modern society.

 

As an opera director, she directed Jakob Lenz by W. Rihm and Halka by S. Moniuszko for the National Opera in Warsaw. She has worked with the prestigious Ensemble Modern orchestra on El Cimarrón by H. W. Henze at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg. She also directed The Lost Highway by E. Jelinek and O. Neuwirth at the New Horizons International Film Festival in Wrocław, which Katja Petrowskaja reviewed for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung: "Natalia Korczakowska, has created a theatrical stereo effect from this music."

 

 

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Jakub Skrzywanek

Poland’s main theatre festivals (notably Boska Komedia / Divine Comedy) where he won awards at the m-Teatr Festival in Koszalin and the Grand Prix for the best début at the First Contact Festival in Toruń. Since then his performances are constantly hosted at the most important Polish festivals and occupy leading positions in rankings prepared by theater critics.

 

Today he collaborates with the important Polish theaters: Powszechny Theater in Warsaw, the Polski Theatre in Poznań, the Contemporary Theatre in Szczecin. He has also worked with the Capitol Music Theatre in Wrocław, Jan Kochanowski Theatre in Opole, the Teatr Zagłębia in Sosnowiec and Theatre 21 (A theater that employs actors with disabilities, mainly with a down syndrome), where he directed Superspektakl / Supershow with Justyna Sobczyk as a coproduction with the Powszechny Theatre in Warsaw. 

 

In his work, he often takes up current topics of public debate, trying at the same time to undermine established myths and debunk social taboos. His performances often take the form of epic shows combining elements of literature, documentary theater, and work on archives. Educational and pedagogical issues are also important in his work. He often prepares workshops for children and teenagers. He created several performances for this audience, in which he told about the problems today's youth have to deal with

 

His most acclaimed productions were part of the "Triptych on Violence" prepared in 2019 as part of the Anti-Fascist Year, which was opened by the play "Mein Kampf” (the Powszechny Theatre in Warsaw) which provided the first opportunity to challenge Adolf Hitler’s book on stage, and ask why ‒ after the experience of the Second World War ‒ have fascism and national socialism resurfaced as attractive ideologies, with nationalist banners and slogans rapidly replacing pride in a multicultural, diverse, united Europe?

 

The show was very positively received all over the world. Hundreds of journals wrote about him, including Financial Times, New York Times, Der Freitag, Jerusalem Post, and L'Espresso. The performance was invited to many of the most important international festivals from Australia to Europe. It has already been presented at the "Palm OFF fest" in Prague, and it will be shown in Stockholm at the "Bergman Festival" (postponed from March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic). The next part of the "Triptych on Violence" was "Kaspar Hauser" (the Contemporary Theater in Szczecin), which critics received very enthusiastically, especially at the Divine Comedy Festival, which is the most important international festival in Poland. The last part of the Triptych will be - the Cremator- based on a novel by Ladislav Fuks. A performance about the Holocaust and Romanian collaboration in WWII was prepared in 2020 for the Romanian Teatrul Tineretului Piatra Neamt, led by Gianina Carbunariu. Unfortunately, the Covid - 19 pandemic postponed works until 2022.

 

In 2019 the Dialog monthly published Skrzywanek’s début drama Pogrom alfonsów, Warszawa 1905 / Pogrom of Pimps, Warsaw 1905, which reached the semifinals of the Gdynia Drama Prize.

 

He recently created the Familia - first podcast series about a polish non-heteronormative family and now is working on a documentary film about the Furries fandom. At the end of 2020, he became the program curator of the Contemporary Theater in Szczecin.

Performance Selection

 

MEIN KAMPF (the Powszechny Theater Warsaw)
Description of the performance: https://www.powszechny.com/spektakle/szczegoly.html?id=1593&lang=en
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsAqxpvTySs  
YouTube recording with English subtitles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rQAXJue-NI

KASPAR HAUSER (the Contemporary Theater in Szczecin) 
Theater site: https://wspolczesny.szczecin.pl/kaspar-hauser/ 
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAg3-eTqNQE
Recording with English subtitles: https://vimeo.com/491570300/fcf2eb6b17
 

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Anna Smolar

(b. 1980 in France) French-Polish theatre director, dramaturge and translator.

Resident of the Nowy Teatr in Warsaw (2017-2019). Graduate of literary studies at the University of Paris-Sorbonne. In 2001, she founded in Paris La compagnie Gochka with whom she performed spectacles until 2004.

 

In Poland, among others she directed Claudel's The exchange at the Silesian Theatre in Katowice, a para-documentary performance Lady of Burma about Aung San Suu Kyi at the Polonia Teatr in Warsaw, The Jewish Actors at the Jewish Theatre, The Dibbouk at the Polish Theatre in Bydgoszcz, Cinderella, according to Joël Pommerat at the National Stary Teatr in Kraków.

 

At Nowy Teatr since 2010 she directed Enter, Pinocchio, Henrietta Lacks, Thriller, and Erazm/Erasmus in the context of the Europe Ensemble’s project.

 

Her latest works include The Cowboys at Teatr Osterwy in Lublin and Slow motion at Vilnius’ National theatre in Lithuania.

 

Laureate of the Polityka Passport 2016 for "a chamber and empathetic theater, with imaginative and humor approaching marginalized subjects" and for "consistent expansion of the theatrical field as well as willingness and ability to dialogue with every recipient".

 

Author of the French translation of Grażyna Jagielska's book Love of stone.

Links:

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Photo by Leszek Zych/Polityka    

Justyna Sobczyk

Justyna Sobczyk is a theatre educator and director. She graduated in theatre pedagogy (University of the Art, Berlin), special needs education (Mikołaj Kopernik University, Toruń) and theatre studies (Theatre Academy, Warsaw), and is the recipient of GFPS (Gemeinschaft für Wissenschaft und Kultur in Mittel und Osteuropa, Germany) and DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, Germany) scholarships. Justyna Sobczyk works in the Theatre Education Department at the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute in Warsaw, co-directs (with Zofia Dworakowska) the postgraduate programme in theatre education at the University of Warsaw, which was set up by the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute and the Institute of Polish Culture, University of Warsaw, and teaches at the Theatre Academy, Warsaw. She founded Teatr 21 and co-founded the Association of Theatre Educators. Sobczyk was also the curator of the „More than Theatre” project at the Grotowski Institute (Theatre Olympics 2016). Since January 2020, she co-directs the Centre for Inclusive Arts, a social cultural institution dedicated to the arts of people with disabilities and inclusive education.In 2016, she won Konstanty Puzyna Kamyk Award awarded by Dialog magazine and the Polish Book Institute. 


Choice of trailers and videos:
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Photo by Mikołaj Starzyński      

Radek Stępień

Radek is a director and playwright, teacher at the Directing Department of the AST in Krakow.

He made his debut with MISS JULIA by August Strindberg at the Ludowy Theater in Krakow (2018), which began with Konrad Hetel (Wyspiański's HAMLET at the Słowacki Theater, Arthur Miller's DEATH OF A COMIWOJER at the Wybrzeże Theater, WHO KILLED KASPAR HAUSER at the Teatr Staracza STUDY ABOUT HAMLET at AST Kraków, Witkacy's MOTHER at Teatr Nowy in Poznań, NIGHT AMONG TREES at AST Wrocław, Goethe's FAUST at Teatr Wybrzeże).

Participant of artistic residencies, incl. Sopot Non Fiction 2018. Laureate of, inter alia, Awards Leon Schiller in 2019. He was an assistant, incl. Krystian Lupa, collaborated with the Institute of Jerzy Grotowski and the Gardzienice Center for Theater Practices. Born in Pionki, lives in Kraków.

At the Teatr im. J. Słowacki created the dramaturgy for the play Kariera Artur Ui  Bertolt Brecht, dir. Remigiusz Brzyk (2018).


 

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Weronika Szczawińska

Weronika is a director, dramaturge, culture theorist and performer. Graduate of the College of Inter-Area Individual Studies In the Humanities and Social Sciences (MISH) at Warsaw University, PhD from the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN). Studied directing at the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. Has worked with a number of important theatres around Poland (including Narodowy Stary Teatr in Cracow, Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw, Komuna Warszawa, Wrocławski Teatr Współczesny) and Slovensko mladinsko gledališče in Ljubljana. Assistant professor at the Theatre Studies Department of the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. Laureate of the prestigious Passports of the Polityka weekly award 2019, for „the intimate and tender performances that combine the private themes with important social issues. For the commitment, transgressing one’s own career path”. Her latest works include: Onko (TR Warszawa; the premiere will happen in 2021), Miejski Ptasiarz (The Urban Birder, Wrocławski Teatr Współczesny 2020), Po prostu (Simply Said, Performing Arts Institute 2019), Rozmowa o drzewach (A Talk about Trees, Komuna Warszawa 2019), Nigdy więcej wojny (No More War, Komuna Warszawa 2018), Genialna przyjaciółka based on Elena Ferrante (My Brilliant Friend, Wrocławski Teatr Współczesny 2018), Lawrence z Arabii (Lawrence of Arabia, Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw 2018).

More from Weronika:

 

I have been working in theatre for thirteen years now. I try to combine as many functions as possible, so that my practice can be of a shape-shifting nature. Therefore, I mostly direct, but I also write, perform, teach, curate. I have never believed in the division between theory and practice, as well as the division between theatre and dance, or theatre and visual arts. I do a lot of work in the big repertory theatres and in the independent venues. I am very much devoted to rethinking hierarchies and establishing a true biodiversity on stages.

 

The very essence of my artistic practice is team work. Focus is always on the ensemble and especially on creating safe space for the artistic process of the actors. As a director I design area for the collaboration of the artists from different fields. Among my closest collaborators are: Piotr Wawer jr (dramaturge and actor), Agata Maszkiewicz (choreographer), Marta Szypulska (visual artist, stage and costume designer), Karol Radziszewski (painter, visual artist, stage and costume designer), Daniel Malone (visual artist, stage and costume designer), Maciej Szymborski (sound designer); in the past I have created many performances with Agnieszka Jakimiak (dramaturge and playwright) and Krzysztof Kaliski (composer, sound designer).

 

Another important team work, based on the practice of feedback and the ethics of care, happens within Performing Arts Institute Collective (InSzPer), which I co-create. You can read more about us here: www.inszper.org

 

Main fields of my artistic practice and research:

art in the anthropocene, autofiction in theatre, decolonizing one’s mind and culture, feminist theatre, representation of gender, social utopias, relation between theatre and collective memory, revisions of theatre tradition and canon, political theatre.

Most of my performances are not based on theatrical plays; I stage texts for theatre very rarely. Many of the shows are created from scratch by the artistic team, some of them are based on the adaptations of prose.

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Photo by Witek Orski         

Wojtek Ziemilski

 

One of the most prominent theatre makers of the contemporary Polish scene. Resident artist of Krzysztof Warlikowski’s Nowy Teatr i n Warsaw. His works have been shown at over 50 venues and festivals around the world. His “Small Narration“ has been hailed as “the best show I’ve ever seen at Edinburgh“ (Chris Goode for “Guardian”), while “One Gesture“ was called “one of the most important performances you’ll see this year“ (Culture.pl). Ziemilski extends the idea of documentary performance. His work is often an inquiry into spectatorship and the possibility for action. By using tools such as devising, real-time composition, but also references from the world of visual arts and various media, he builds universes that combine aesthetic experience with intellectual inquiry.


Areas of expertise

  • The development of postdramatic theatre, in particular, the different aspects of documentary performance (“theatre of the real”), and participatory performance

  • Crossovers from visual arts and dance to theatre

  • Polish avant-garde theatre (Kantor, Akademia Ruchu)

Enter Full Screen 
A theatre performance made explicitly for Zoom. Once upon a time of zoom meetings, selfie broadcasting and snap-chat masks, there was a country that had “LGBT-free zones”.


Teasers: #1 https://vimeo.com/460888199 #2 https://vimeo.com/462938817 
Recording of full show: https://vimeo.com/464124114/e0b64f6c79 
Production: Schauspiel Stuttgart, Nowy Teatr, Warsaw, and Zagreb Youth Theatre | Premiere: 28.09.2020 | 60 minutes 

The Polaks Explain The Future  
Sampling and remixing the heritages of whining, the siblings Jaśmina and Piotr Polak build a subversive force. Their dj set is an entertaining and perverse struggle with a dark version of the future. Can they free themselves from their mother's pessimism? 

Recording of full show: https://vimeo.com/324830400/d131708caa 

Come Together
A witty test of the limits of participatory theatre. Theatre is a symbol of the nightmare of participation we experience everywhere. “Come Together” plays that game well, asking us constantly to join, while simultaneously making participation impossible. 

Recording of full show: https://youtu.be/RgU8xYAqvEI 
Production: Teatr Studio, Warsaw | Premiere: 24.02.2017 | Duration: 80 minutes 

One Gesture 
A show about communicating with the world - with the world of the hearing and with the world of the other Deaf. How does communication work? What can we learn about the world from the languages of the Deaf? What is universal about their experience of communicating, and what is unique? 

Main Award - 38. Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Switzerland 
Main Award - Fast Forward Festival, Dresden, Germany 
Special Award and the Dani Press Award - MESS Festival Sarajevo, Serbia 
Honorable mention - 7th International Festival Theatre Caroussel, Łódź, Poland. 


Recording of full show: https://vimeo.com/205890762 (password: jedengest) 
Production: Nowy Teatr, Warsaw | Premiere: 24.09.2016 | Duration: 60 minutes 

Pygmalion 
A story of the conditioning we all have to go through to be able to participate in culture. Ziemilski takes the main trope from Shaw’s “Pygmalion” and subverts it, building a performative event around it. Documentary performance meets object choreography meets participatory theatre. 

Recording of full show: https://vimeo.com/161007295 (password: w)

Production: Centrum Kultury w Poznaniu, Komuna//Warszawa | Premiere 25.10.2014 | Duration: 45 minutes 

In Meinem Namen 
Together with six actors of the Staatsschauspiel Dresden ensemble and three Dresden citizens who feel invisible, Ziemilski embarks on a search for the basic requirements of democratic processes and the visibility of people in society. 

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-vIotG9pwk&feature=emb_title 
Production: Staatsschauspiel Dresden | Premiere 06.04.2019 | Duration: 90 minutes 

Representation 
A performance for 4 performers: 3 balloons and one human. This is a transhumanist story, and a fairy-tale, and a symbol of alter ego. A formal choreography, an abstract performance, a human negotiation, a floating question. 

Recording of full show: https://youtu.be/CaCKPEt8jLU 
Production: Komuna//Warszawa | Premiere 25.10.2014 | Duration: 14 minutes 

Wojtek Ziemilski, photo_Albert Zawada, A

Photo by Albert Zawada /
Agencja Gazeta
   

US Participants
 

Raymond O. Caldwell

Born in Wiesbaden, Germany and raised all over the world, Raymond O. Caldwell (he/him/his) is an award-winning director and producer who has been leading Washington, DC’s Theater Alliance as Producing Artistic Director since 2018. He has directed for Round House, Imagination Stage, Mosaic Theater, The Kennedy Center, National Players/OTC, Solas Nua, CulturalDC, and the Hegira. Prior to leading Theater Alliance, he was a faculty member and resident director in Howard University’s Department of Theatre Arts for six years, and spent six seasons as the Community Engagement Partnership Manager at Arena Stage. He is committed to using theatre as a tool to transform communities, and has worked with a number of non-profits and NGOs throughout the world. In July 2019—in partnership with the US Department of State and NGOs based in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal—he developed theatre with artists and activists to promote peace and counter violent extremism. He has done similar work throughout the US, India, Ukraine, and Croatia. MFA, Acting/New Play Development: The Ohitate University; BFA, Acting: University of Florida.

 

 

A word…

The American theatre is at an exciting and crucial moment. Playwrights, designers, directors, universities, and regional theaters are working together to redefine the theatre for the age we live in. These collaborations are making theatre accessible to communities that long have been disenfranchised and are giving voice to stories that have long woven the American tapestry, but who have gone unheard.

But these positive developments are taking place at the same time American theatre risks becoming ever more insular and disconnected from the lived realities of many people who have come to believe theatre is for other people, rich people, white people – them, not us. At a time when so many other institutions of public life have failed us, there remains a deep, spiritual hunger for meaning and connection. The theatre – one of the last public squares in America; a universal temple to ideas and ideals – is one of the few places where the mysteries of our lives and human existence can still be unearthed and the truth laid bare.

Links:

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Julieanne Ehre

Julieanne Ehre is the founder and the director of Pivot Arts. She both leads the organization and curates/produces performances including the Pivot Arts Festival, site-specific works, and has developed and produces the new Pivot Arts Podcast. She was 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. Julieanne 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.

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Maria Manuela Goyanes

 

Maria Manuela Goyanes (she/her/hers) is the Artistic Director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Prior to joining Woolly, she served as the Director of Producing and Artistic Planning at The Public Theater, where she oversaw the day-to-day execution of a full slate of plays and musicals at the Public’s five-theater venue at Astor Place and the Delacorte Theater for Shakespeare in the Park. Earlier in her career at The Public, she managed some of the theater’s most celebrated productions, including Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Josephine & I by Cush Jumbo, Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee, Barbecue by Robert O’Hara, and Here Lies Love by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim.

 

While at The Public, Maria also held a position on the adjunct faculty of Juilliard and curated the junior year curriculum of the Playwrights Horizons Theater School at NYU. She has guest lectured at Bard College, Barnard College, Brown University, Columbia University, Juilliard, the National Theater Institute at The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, UCSD, the University of Texas-Austin, and Yale University, among others. Since 2015, Maria has also served as a member of the board of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. From 2006 to 2008, she co-chaired the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab with Jason Grote, and from 2004 to 2012, Maria was the Executive Producer of 13P, one of her proudest achievements.

Maria is a first-generation Latinx-American, born to parents who emigrated from the Dominican Republic and Spain. She was raised in Jamaica, Queens, and has a collection of hoop earrings to prove it. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in 2001 from Brown University.

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Adam Immerwahr

Adam Immerwahr is a director and theater producer. He is currently the artistic director of Theater J, the nation's premier Jewish theater. He served as the Associate Artistic Director at McCarter Theatre, a Tony Award-winning regional theater in Princeton, NJ. Adam also served as Resident Director at Passage Theatre and the Artistic Director of OnStage, an ensemble of retired Mercer County residents who collect and perform the stories of their community. Adam is a graduate of Brown University, where he majored in Theatre, Speech and Dance, and Renaissance and Early Modern Studies.

 

Adam served on the producing team of multiple productions that have transferred to Broadway and Off-Broadway, including the world premiere of Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (which won the Tony Award for Best Play). Other notable producing credits include the original production of Fiasco Theater's Into the Woods (McCarter Theatre, The Old Globe, the Roundabout, the West End, national tour); the original developmental production of Danai Gurira's Eclipsed, directed by Liesl Tommy (a subsequent Broadway production garnered six Tony Award nominations); and the world premieres of Ken Ludwig's Baskerville and A Comedy of Tenors, Stephen Wadsworth's The Figaro Plays, and Tarell McCraney's Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet, as well as world premieres by Edward Albee, John Guare, Marina Carr, Will Power, and Rachel Bonds. Directors whose work he has produced or associate produced include Roger Rees, Nicholas Martin, Rebecca Taichman, Tina Landau, Des McAnuff, Sam Buntrock, Liesl Tommy, John Doyle, Mary Zimmerman, Stephen Wadsworth, Phylicia Rashad, John Kani, Amanda Dehnert, and Aaron Posner.

 

Adam was a recipient of a 2008 Drama League Directing Fellowship and a member of the Luna Stage Directors’ Lab in 2006-2007. He is the winner of a National Merit Award, the Young Scholar Award, the Weston Award for Directing, and the Brown University Shakespeare Prize. He recently received the NJ Theatre Alliance Applause Award and the Fairleigh Dickinson University / Center for Nonprofits Emerging Nonprofit Leader Award.

 

Adam has taught classes, masterclasses, and workshops in casting, producing, community-based performance, devised theater, audition technique, and acting at Princeton University, Juilliard, Arcadia University, Rider University, Kean University, Westminster Choir College, Chautauqua Theater, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and others.

 

As a director, Adam’s credits include international: The Convert (Zimbabwe); Off-Broadway: Missing Celia Rose (SPF 2007, Theatre Row), The Chimes (SPF 2009, The Public Theater); Spirit Sex: A Paranormal Romance (Ensemble Studio Theatre in NYC as part of the Going to the River Festival); Bacteria and Ground (The Wild Project, Theater Masters). Regional and NYC: The Understudy, The Mousetrap, A Christmas Carol (McCarter Theatre); Last of the Red Hot Lovers (Walnut Street Theater - and national tour); Familiar (Woolly Mammoth); Ken Ludwig's Sherwood (Cleveland Play House); The Last Schwartz, Roz and Ray and The Jewish Queen Lear (Theater J); Hannah and By The Water (Premiere Stages); Love and Communication (winner of the Brown Martin Philadelphia Award), Slippery As Sin, Trenton Lights, and Blood: A Comedy (Passage Theatre); The Possibilities, The Thing About Air Travel, The Kid Who Talked To Penguins (Hangar Theatre); Ground, Some Old Black Man, and Bacteria (Theater Masters); A Little Night Music (Princeton Summer Theater); Know Dog (Luna Stage); and others. Other credits include: Once Upon a Mattress, Measure for Measure; Metamorphoses; Marowitz’s The Shrew; Endgame; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; and Hush: An Interview with America.

Some trailers: 

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Rachel Jendrzejewski

 

Rachel Jendrzejewski is an experimental writer who frequently collaborates with choreographers, musicians, and visual artists to explore new performative vocabularies. Her work has been developed and/or presented by the Walker Art Center, Red Eye Theater, Public Functionary, In the Heart of the Beast, Padua Playwrights, Los Angeles Performance Practice, Tricklock Company, Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, The Wild Project, Rhode Island School of Design, A.R.T., and ICA/Boston, among others. Published plays and performance texts include In Which _______ and Others Discover the End, a collaboration with SuperGroup (Plays Inverse), encyclopedia (Spout Press), and Amber (in the anthology I Might Be the Person You Are Talking To: Short Plays from the Los Angeles Underground, Padua Playwrights). Honors include Playwrights’ Center McKnight and Jerome Fellowships; residencies at the University of Minnesota Institute for Advanced Study, Weisman Art Museum, and MASS MoCA; and project support from the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Minnesota State Arts Board, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Network of Ensemble Theaters, Dramatists Guild Foundation, PEN America, National Endowment for the Arts, and Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Behind the scenes, she has worked with Cornerstone Theater Company (Los Angeles), The Grotowski Institute (Wrocław), and Upstream Arts (Minneapolis). Rachel is a Core Writer at The Playwrights’ Center and 1 of 7 Artistic Directors at Red Eye Theater in Minneapolis. MFA Playwriting, Brown University.

 

Prior to COVID-19, Rachel was preparing to premiere two major projects: PASSION, a performance based on the 1928 silent film La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc by Carl Theodor Dreyer, in collaboration with director Zoe Aja Moore and CalArts Center for New Performance (Valencia); and MEMORY LAWS, an experimental opera on the life of Ignacy Jan Paderewski commissioned by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute (Warsaw), in collaboration with director Emily Mendelsohn, composers Chris Hepola and Jenna Wyse, and Tricklock Company (Albuquerque). She currently is researching a new project on illness, ecological collapse, and desire, loosely drawing from her personal experience with breast cancer caused, in part, by her mother’s childhood exposure to pollution from Dow Chemical Company in Michigan. Her short piece “Apologies for My Delayed Response” is included in Theater Artists Making Theatre with No Theater: Spring 2020, published this month by Tripwire Harlot Press.

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Photo by Valerie Oliveiro

Tasia A. Jones

Tasia A. Jones is a professional director, actor, and theatre educator. Her most recent directing credits include Intimate Apparel (Northlight Theatre), Small Mouth Sounds (UCCS Theatreworks), Voyeurs de Venus (Northwestern University), The MLK Project (Writers Theatre), Seussical the Musical (Jean’s Playhouse), and No Child (Northwestern University).

She has appeared in such works as Saturday Night/Sunday Morning (The Lyric Stage Company), Good Television (Zeitgeist Stage Company), and The Bluest Eye (Company One). She holds a BFA in Theatre Arts from Boston University and an MFA in Directing from Northwestern University. She is also an artistic associate for Black Lives Black Words International Project and the recent Artistic Fellow at Northlight Theatre. Tasia’s artistic mission is to create civic engagement and conversation through theatre and to promote positive societal change at the individual and community level.

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Pam Mackinnon

 

This is Pam’s third season as A.C.T.’s fourth artistic director. She is a Tony, Drama Desk, and Obie award– winning director, having directed upwards of 75 productions around the country, off Broadway, and on Broadway. Her Broadway credits include Beau Willimon’s The Parisian Woman (with Uma Thurman), Amélie: A New Musical, David Mamet’s China Doll (with Al Pacino), Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles (with Elisabeth Moss), Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance (with Glenn Close and John Lithgow), Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Outer Critics Circle nomination), and Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park (Obie Award, Tony and Lucille Lortel nominations). Her most recent credits include world premieres of Bruce Norris’s Downstate (Steppenwolf Theatre Company, London’s National Theatre), Lydia R. Diamond’s Toni Stone (Roundabout Theatre Company, A.C.T.), Kate Attwell’s Testmatch (A.C.T.), Christopher Chen’s Communion (A.C.T.), as well as Edward Albee’s Seascape (A.C.T.). She is an artistic associate of the Roundabout Theatre Company, an advisory board member of Clubbed Thumb, and an alumna of the Drama League, Women’s Project, and Lincoln Center Theater’s Directors’ Labs. She just completed a three-year term as executive board president of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) and continues to serve on the board. She grew up in Toronto, Canada, and Buffalo, New York, acted through her teens, but majored in economics and political science at the University of Toronto and briefly pursued a PhD in political science at UC San Diego, before returning to her true passion: theater. (she/her)

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Michael Socrates Moran

Michael Socrates Moran grew up in Richmond, California before attending Boston University where he pursued his BFA. He has worked as a professional actor in regional theaters in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and at an off-Broadway house in New York City. He recently graduated from UC San Diego’s world-renowned MFA Directing program where he founded the award winning, Ubuntu Theater Project: a professional theater company based in Oakland, California dedicated to inspiring compassion across socio-economic and racial barriers. Michael now serves as Ubuntu’s Executive Director. Having directed over 15 productions, favorite professional credits include: Dance of the Holy Ghosts by Marcus Gardley, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Waiting For Lefty by Clifford Odets, Othello by William Shakespeare, The Grapes of Wrath adapted by Frank Galati, Gospel of Lovingkindness by Marcus Gardley, Yellowman by Dael Oerlandersmith, Dutchman by Amiri Baraka the West Coast Premiere of TO THE BONE & Exit Cuckoo: (A Nanny in Motherland) by Lisa Ramirez, and the World Premiere of Rashomon by Phililp Kan Gotanda. Michael is the recipient of the San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Award for Best Director in the East Bay. 

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Gregg Mozgala

Gregg Mozgala is the founder and Artistic Director of The Apothetae, a theatre company dedicated to the production of works that explore and illuminate the, "Disabled Experience." Since 2012, The Apothetae has presented its work at The Public Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Kennedy Center, The Lark, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Queens Theatre, The Eugene O'Neil Theatre Center, Florida Studio Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and Dixon Place. The company has received support from the Time Warner Foundation, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, The Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

The Apothetae's full body of work goes far beyond the production of plays, the company also serves as a platform for a larger conversation around Disability that is not occurring within the cultural sector and society at large. In May 2015, The Apothetae and The Lark hosted the first ever national convening to discuss issues at the nexus of Disability and Theatre. A second convening was held in September 2017 and coincided with the official launch of The Apothetae and Lark Playwriting Fellowship. The Fellowship, the first of its kind, includes a two-year residency for a writer who identifies as Disabled, and also provides access to Lark and Apothetae resources, including artistic programs, rehearsal space and staff support.

As an actor, Gregg has been in various productions with Manhattan Theatre Club, The Public Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, La Mama ETC, Theater Breaking Through Barriers, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival and The Kennedy Center. Gregg is a former member of the Obie-award winning playwriting group, Youngblood, at The Ensemble Studio Theatre.
 
Gregg is the subject and executive producer of the documentary, Enter The Faun that aired on the PBS award winning series, America Reframed. As part of outreach for the documentary, he heads the “Cerebral Posse.” The Posse’s aim is to empower people living with CP by dialoguing honestly and authentically with each other, and by bringing together unlikely collaborators in the medical and arts communities to join with them.
 
He has been invited to speak about the effects of cerebral palsy at various institutions across the country and around the globe including the Cerebral Palsy Alliance in Sydney, Australia, the Wyss Institute For Biological Engineering at Harvard University, La Rabida Children's Hospital, Eastern Carolina University Medical School, Columbia University Medical School, the Hospital For Special Surgery, University of California at San Francisco Medical School and the Kennedy-Krieger Institute. Gregg has been keynote speaker at United Cerebral Palsy of Oregon and Southwest Washington and the New York City Arts In Education Roundtable.

He is currently serving as a Disability Consultant for Disney Theatrical Group, Queens Theatre, The Lark, Roundabout Theatre Company, National Endowment for the Arts Office of Accessibility and The New York City Mayor's Office for People With Disabilities. He formerly served as a consultant to the New York Foundation for the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs on the development of New York City’s first Cultural Plan.
 
He was honored as a, "Champion Of Change" by The New York City Mayor's Office For People With Disabilities in 2017, and named a Kennedy Citizen Artist Fellow by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2016.

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Ronee Penoi

 

(Laguna Pueblo/Cherokee) is a producer, composer, facilitator and activist. As Producer at Octopus Theatricals, she advances the work of many outstanding artists from development, production, to touring in the US and internationally. These artists and projects include Byron Au Yong  and Aaron Jafferis (Activist Songbook), DeLanna Studi (And So We Walked), Phantom Limb Company (Falling Out), Ripe Time (Haruki Murakami’s Sleep), Homer’s Coat (An Iliad by Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson), Christine Jones’ Theatre for One, Poland’s Song of the Goat Theatre, and many more. She is a two-time ISPA (International Society for Performing Arts) Global Fellow, and has been an APAP (Association of Performing Arts Professionals) Leadership Fellow and TCG (Theatre Communications Group) Rising Leader of Color. Ronee is a composer at work on two new musicals with collaborator Annalisa Dias under the banner of FLORA MUSICALS, and is a member of the Groundwater Arts Collective dedicated to climate justice in the arts (recipient of a SPACE at Ryder Farm Residency Grant). Groundwater Arts’ work includes movement building/organizing around a Green New Theatre (GNT), bespoke consulting in decolonization and anti-racism, and new creative theatrical projects. Ronee is a proud NEFA (New England Foundation for the Arts) National Theater Project Advisor, serves on Western Arts Alliance Committees (Indigenous and Conference Steering Committees) and leads the emerging Creative and Independent Producer Alliance (CIPA) Programs Committee. She is also on the Advisory Board of the Global First Nations Performance Network. Ronee is a two-time recipient of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Individual Artist Fellowship for her musical composing work.


 

Previously, Ronee was NNPN Producer-in-Residence at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Senior New Play Producing Fellow and Directing Fellow at Arena Stage, and toured nationally with Anna Deavere Smith’s Let Me Down Easy. Ronee spent three years with the Consensus Building Institute, a non-profit specializing in facilitation and mediation services. She graduated with honors from Princeton University with a degree in Music and certificates in Vocal Performance and Theatre & Dance. Recently Ronee co-led a 6-month EDI Arts Circuit for Princeton undergraduates in leadership positions with extracurricular performing arts groups.  She has been invited to guest lecture on producing at Princeton, Howard University, CalArts, and for American University’s graduate Arts Administration program. 

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Lisa Portes

Lisa Portes is a director, educator, advocate and leader whose aim is to define and promote a new American narrative that is driven aesthetically and politically by the world we are becoming, rather than the world we’ve been.  She seeks to forge an American theatre that expands our understanding of who we are, blows open our assumptions of what our world looks like and extends us into the great, big, messy experience of being human in the 21st century.

Portes has created work regionally for California Shakespeare Theatre, Guthrie Theatre, the Denver Center, the Cincinnati Playhouse, Children’s Theatre Company, Olney Theatre, South Coast Rep, McCarter Theatre LAB, and the Kennedy Center.  In Chicago she has directed for Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Victory Gardens, Timeline Theatre, American Blues, Silk Road Rising, Next Theatre and Teatro Vista.  New York credits include productions at Playwrights Horizons and Soho Rep, and developmental work at New York Theatre Workshop, the Flea Theatre and the Public Theatre.  Recent projects include Rightlynd by Ike Holter (Victory Gardens), The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa Fasthorse (Cincinnati Playhouse), I Come from Arizona by Carlos Murillo (Children’s Theatre Company) Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías (Denver Center); Breach:  A Manifesto on Race in American through the Eyes of a Black Girl Recovering from Self Hate by Antoinette Nwandu (Victory Gardens), Glass Menagerie (CalShakes), Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar (Cincinnati Playhouse), and This Is Modern Art by Idris Goodwin & Kevin Coval (Steppenwolf Theatre).  

In 2016, Portes received the SDC Zelda Fichandler Award which is dedicated to "an outstanding director or choreographer who has transformed the regional arts landscape".  She is the first freelance director to have been so honored. Other awards include the TCG SPARK Leadership fellowship, the NEA/TCG Career Development grant for Directors, and the Drama League Directing Fellowship.

A leader with over 20 years of experience in the field,  Portes serves on the board of The Theatre Communications Group and the executive board of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.  In 2012 she co-founded the Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC), a national advocacy network and thinktank that promotes Latinx stories as central to the American story.  She serves as lead producer and chief fundraiser for the LTC Carnaval—a tri-annual festival of new Latinx plays produced in Chicago—and the El Fuego Initiative, which seeded ten regional and world premieres over the course of the past three seasons by the playwrights selected for the inaugural 2015 Carnaval.  In June 2017, the LTC was honored by the TCG with the 2017 Peter Zeisler Award.

From 1993 – 1998, Portes served as Associate Director on The Who’s Tommy--staging it’s Toronto, Frankfurt and London productions as well as the 1st National U.S., UK and Canadian national tours.  She also served as Associate Director on the 1st National Tour of Titanic.

Portes heads the MFA Directing Program at The Theatre School at DePaul University.  During her tenure she has revitalized the curriculum, updated the admissions processes, diversified the program by 400%, created one of the strongest production programs for graduate directors in the nation and established a proven pipeline into the profession exemplified by such directors as Mikael Burke (MFA ’18):  Princess Grace Award, New Generations Fellowship, and Jeff Nominated Director; Jacob Janssen (MFA ’18), Artistic Producer, the Coop Theatre; Lavina Jadhwani (MFA ’15): Time Out Chicago’s 2014 Best Next Generation Stage Director, Drama League Classical Directing Fellowship; Michael Osinski (MFA ’14): Drama League Directing Fellowship; Keira Fromm (MFA ’08) and Krissy Vanderwarker (MFA ’10) Jeff nominated Chicago directors; and Marc Pinate (MFA ’13): Artistic Director of Borderlands Theatre in Tuscon.

From 2002 – 2017 Portes served as Artistic Director of Chicago Playworks for Young Audiences.  During that time she shifted a theatre based in European children’s classics to a theatre whose mission is to produce work that directly reflects Chicago’s specifically urban, contemporary and multi-ethnic audience.  She has commissioned, directed and/or produced new work for the TYA canon including Night Runner by Ike Holter, Augusta and Noble by Carlos Murillo, Barrio Grrrl by Quiara Alegría Hudes and Cinderella Eats Rice and Beans:  A Salsa Musical by Karen Zacarías.

Portes attended Oberlin College where she graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater.  She received a Fulbright Scholarship to Colombia and earned a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from the University of California - San Diego. She lives in Chicago with her husband, playwright Carlos Murillo and their two teenagers, Eva Rose and Carlos Alejandro.  

Links to production trailers : https://www.lisaportes.com/videos

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Bios
 

LINKAGES: Poland

Participant Network

Marta
Natalia
Jakub
Anna
Justyna
Weronika
Wojtek
US PARTICIPANTS
Raymond
Julieanne
Maria
Tasia
Rachel
Pam
Ronee
Lisa
Ben
Michael
Mei
Liesl
Radek
Michael Socrates

POLISH PARTICIPANTS
 

Marta Górnicka
she/her/hers

A theatre director, author, re-discoverer of the choral principle, creator of THE CHORUS OF WOMEN modern chorus theatre company. Graduate of the Faculty of Drama Directing at the Theatre Academy in Warsaw. She studied at the Frederic Chopin School of Music in Warsaw, and at Warsaw University.

Górnicka describes the chorus as one of the most powerful elements of the theatre.

THE CHORUS which she brings into existence as the sole protagonist of her performances is always both a critical tool to examine modern mechanisms of control, exclusion and violence, and a vehicle of community. In her works, Górnicka often probes the relationship between the individual and society, she experiments with new forms of collective voices. She develops practices in the domain of the political character of the breath/ voice/ language.

In 2019 she founded POLITICAL VOICE INSTITUTE (PVI), social laboratory of a modern chorus theatre in Maxim Gorki Theatre in Berlin where she develops the CHORUS in its formal and political dimension. The institute is a workshop centre for the use of the collective voice/body and language. PVI’s performing team consists of seventeen performers from Israel, Germany, Poland, Lebanon, France, Brazil, or South Korea.

In 2009 with collaboration the Theatre Institute in Warsaw she founded CHÓR KOBIET, THE CHORUS OF WOMEN – a modern tragic chorus, writing librettos and directing the company’s subsequent performances. Her work was accompanied by the idea of „recovering/creating a woman’s voice” as the form the most repressed out of the western stage – and of using that gesture to regain women and the chorus for theatre. Experimental, laboratory work led her to the creation of a formula for the new chorus theatre – an aesthetic, formal and ideological concept of theatre which merges original power of collective voice, fundamental for the western scene with contemporary criticism of language as a tool of power.

Górnicka’s performances THIS IS THE CHORUS SPEAKING, MAGNIFICAT, REQUIEMACHINE, M(OTHER) COURAGE, HYMN TO LOVE, were invited and presented worldwide during more than sixty theatre and directing festivals in Greece, France, Germany, Japan, Ukraine, Switzerland, India, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Netherlands, Switzerland, England, Italy, Russia, Chile, Spain, and other countries.

The events included festivals: BERLINER FESTSPIELE Foreign Affairs, Festival International de Théâtre SENS INTERDITS in Lyon, International Theater Festival THEATER SPEKTAKEL in Zurich, Athens & Epidaurus Festival in Athens, International Theatre Festival MESS in Sarajevo, New European Theatre Festival in Moscow, SPIELART Festival in Munich, Festival METTRE EN SCENE – Rennes, Bharat Rang Mahotsav Festival in New Delhi, LESSINGTAGE in Thalia Theater Hamburg, SPRING Festival Utrecht and HERBSTSALON Berlin.

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Jolanta Janiczak
she/her/hers

 

A graduate of psychology at the Jagiellonian University and Lart studio, playwright and playwright. With Wiktor Rubin, she adapted "The Second Killing of a Dog" by M. Hłasko, "Elementary Particles" by M. Houellebecq and "The Doll" by B. Prus, for which she received a distinction at the Opole Theater Confrontations "Klasyka Polska" 2009, and the theatrical adaptation of the film and book "Misja "Robert Bolt pt. "Misja Film Lovers Club", directed by Bartosz Szydłowski, at the Łaźnia Nowa Theater (2013).

She is the author of dramas: "James Bond: - Pigs Can't See the Stars" (Szaniawski Theater in Wałbrzych, 2010), "Joanna Szalona; Queen” (S. Żeromski Theater in Kielce, 2011), “Ophelia” (The Horzyca Theater in Toruń, 2011) “So Michael J said.” (Wybrzeże Theater in Gdańsk, 2012), "Dwarf, down and other elements" (K. Dejmek Nowy Theater in Łódź in co-production with the Divine Comedy Festival, 2012), and "Carycy Katarzyna" (S. Żeromski Theater in Kielce, 2013), "Towiańczyk, Kings of the Clouds" (Old Theater in Krakow, 2014), "Detroit, the History of the Hand" (Polish Theater in Bydgoszcz, 2014), "The Gorgon Case" (Old Theater in Krakow, 2015).

Since 2008, he has been working as a playwright with Wiktor Rubin, co-creating an original theatrical language. Their joint performances are present at all important festivals in Poland. At the 4th International Divine Comedy Festival in Krakow (2011) she received a distinction for the drama “Joanna Szalona; Królowa", which was also in the final of the Gdynia Drama Award 2012, and was printed in "Dialog" (April 2013). In 2013, her text "Caryca Katarzyna" was shortlisted for the Gdynia Drama Award. Winner of the Polityka Passport 2013 and winner of the scholarship program of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage "Young Poland" 2014.

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Natalia Korczakowska
she/her/hers

 

Natalia Korczakowska in her performances combines various art genres (music, visual arts, writing), emphsizing the value of space and visuality. The tender and deeply human glance that she casts on her heroes makes them funny, touching, struggling with existential and relational difficulties.  At the beginning of her professional career she had staged, among others, Electra. Anatomy Lesson (Norwid Theatre in Jelenia Góra),  Stanislaw Lem's Solaris (TR Warsaw), G. G. Lessing's play Natan mędrzec / Nathan the Wise (National Theater in Warsaw) and Dziady part III / Forefathers’ Eve. Part III by Adam Mickiewicz (Dramatic Theater in Bialystok).

In April 2016, Korczakowska became chief artistic director at Teatr STUDIO in Warsaw, changing its name to STUDIO Teatrgaleria (Theatregallery). Under her direction, STUDIO returned to the idea of being an interdisciplinary melting pot inspired by the 20th century avant-garde. Theatre critic Mark Swed wrote in the Los Angeles Times: "Teatrgaleria is both a gallery and a performance venue, and just about as confusingly mixed in its media as was Witkacy. It has a Fluxus vibe”.

 

Korczakowska created a unique company of actors at STUDIO, whose core concern is with the ethics of respect and participation.  She has directed there a highly acclaimed adaptation of Berlin Alexanderplatz by A. Döblin. Her next show,  The Devils by F. Dostoevsky, was reviewed by Jim O'Quinn in American Theatre Magazine: "None of the Polish artists from Generation After 2 has been closer to the socio-political dilemmas of the country than Natalia Korczakowska”

 

She has also been cooperating with the CalArts Center for New Performance in Los Angeles. As part of the co-production, she directed ‘Two Headed-Calf’, a play based on the writings of Witkacy, STUDIO's patron, presented at the RedCat Theater in Los Angeles in 2019. 

In June 2019, she directed an outdoor performance of G. Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly with eminent singers Aleksandra Kurzak and Robert Alagna. February 2020 saw the premiere of Devils VR, a performance-exhibition version of The Devils created in 2018, now adapted for a new medium – virtual reality. 

In March 2021 Natalia Korczakowska staged her adaptation of Crash, the cult novel by James Ballard.  The play deals with themes of addiction to violence and narcissism in modern society.

 

As an opera director, she directed Jakob Lenz by W. Rihm and Halka by S. Moniuszko for the National Opera in Warsaw. She has worked with the prestigious Ensemble Modern orchestra on El Cimarrón by H. W. Henze at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg. She also directed The Lost Highway by E. Jelinek and O. Neuwirth at the New Horizons International Film Festival in Wrocław, which Katja Petrowskaja reviewed for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung: "Natalia Korczakowska, has created a theatrical stereo effect from this music."

 

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Wiktor Rubin
he/him/his

 

Director, graduate of sociology at the Jagiellonian University and the Department of Drama Directing at the PWST in Krakow; He also studied philosophy at the Jagiellonian University. He made his debut in 2006. Since then, he has prepared over 20 performances in theaters in Poland, including in Bydgoszcz, Wrocław, Wałbrzych, Kraków, Kielce, Gdańsk and Warsaw. Initially, it staged adaptations of the novels: "Terrordrom" by Tim Staffel, "The Second Killing of a Dog" by Marek Hłasko, "Elementary Particles" by Michel Houellebecq and the greatest Polish novel "The Doll" by Bolesław Prus. Since 2008, he has been collaborating with the writer and playwright Jolanta Janiczak, staging mainly her dramas focused on women, corporeality and politics, as well as broadly understood feminist issues: "James Bond: - Pigs Can't See the Stars" (2010), "Joanna Szalona; Queen" (2011), "Ofellie" (2011),

His performances are an original phenomenon on the border of theatre, film and happening, regularly shown at the most important festivals in Poland, where they win awards, e.g. Grand Prix (2006) and Main Prize of the Kontrapunkt Festival (2014), Grand Prix of the Prapremier Festival Bydgoszcz (2006), honorable mention at the Festival of Pleasant and Unpleasant Plays (2007) and the Opole Theater Confrontations "Klasyka Polska" (2009), Grand Prix of the Report Festival ( 2014, 2017), Award for the best director of the Divine Comedy festival (2016). In 2013, he was awarded the Polityka Passport Award.

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Jakub Skrzywanek
he/him/his

Born 25 February 1992 in Wrocław, he graduated from the Faculty of Drama Direction at the Academy of Theatre Arts in Kraków, Polish Philology at Wrocław University and the
Documentary Film Directing at the Wajda Master School in Warsaw.

 

Since his debut with the play "Zinc Boys" at the Dramatic Theatre in Wałbrzych, which was awarded the Grand Prix at the First Contact Festival in Toruń and the M-Teatr in Koszalin. His work addresses political and social issues. His most famous performance was 'Mein Kampf', based on Adolf Hitler's book, in which he looked at contemporary fascist tendencies. Articles about the performance were written by major international media including the New York Times, Jerusalem Post, Daily Mail, Guardian, La Espresso, Economist etc. It was also well received at international festivals including Prague, Narva and the legendary Bergmann Festival in Stockholm.

 

In his other works he touches topics of human rights, violence against women or LGBTQ+ rights. His most important recent performances have been 'The Death of John Paul II' from the Polish Theatre in Poznań, in which he took a critical look at the last hours of Karol Wojtyła's dying and how this death was presented in the media and public space. For this performance, he received the Director's Award at the International Divine Comedy Festival in Krakow, and the "Konrad Laurel" the most important Polish director's award, awarded unanimously for only the second time in the history of Polish theater. His most recent performance is „Spartacus. Love in times of
plague”, in which he touched on the exclusion of LGBTQ+ people in Poland and the crisis of child psychiatry in Poland. In the final scene he organize performative weddings of same-sex couples, which are banned in Poland.

 

Since January this year, he was elected to be artistic director of Contemporary Theater in Szczecin, being also the youngest artistic director in Poland. In the 2023-25 seasons, he will curate the international programme for the Vaba Lava Theater in Tallinn.

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Anna Smolar
she/her/hers

 

(b. 1980 in France) French-Polish theatre director, dramaturge and translator.

Resident of the Nowy Teatr in Warsaw (2017-2019). Graduate of literary studies at the University of Paris-Sorbonne. In 2001, she founded in Paris La compagnie Gochka with whom she performed spectacles until 2004.

 

In Poland, among others she directed Claudel's The exchange at the Silesian Theatre in Katowice, a para-documentary performance Lady of Burma about Aung San Suu Kyi at the Polonia Teatr in Warsaw, The Jewish Actors at the Jewish Theatre, The Dibbouk at the Polish Theatre in Bydgoszcz, Cinderella, according to Joël Pommerat at the National Stary Teatr in Kraków.

 

At Nowy Teatr since 2010 she directed Enter, Pinocchio, Henrietta Lacks, Thriller, and Erazm/Erasmus in the context of the Europe Ensemble’s project.

 

Her latest works include The Cowboys at Teatr Osterwy in Lublin and Slow motion at Vilnius’ National theatre in Lithuania.

 

Laureate of the Polityka Passport 2016 for "a chamber and empathetic theater, with imaginative and humor approaching marginalized subjects" and for "consistent expansion of the theatrical field as well as willingness and ability to dialogue with every recipient".

 

Author of the French translation of Grażyna Jagielska's book Love of stone.


 

 

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Photo by Leszek Zych/Polityka    

Justyna Sobczyk
she/her/hers

 

Director, theater educator, founder of Warsaw's Teatr 21 (2005), whose actors are people with Down Syndrome and on the autism spectrum, co-founder of the Association of Theater Pedagogues (2010), co-founder of the Center for Inclusive Art / Theater 21, the first social-cultural institution in Warsaw dedicated to the work of artists with disabilities, and a board member of the Teatr 21 Foundation. Since 2005, Justyna has been an initiator of activities in the field of theater pedagogy in Poland which is associated with the Theater Institute of Zbigniew Raszewski. In 2014, the institute launched its first and only two-year postgraduate studies in theater pedagogy in Poland, which was the fruit of cooperation between the Theater Institute of Zbigniew Raszewski and the Institute of Polish Culture of the University of Warsaw. She lectures at the Theater Academy in Warsaw, the Academy of Theater Arts in Krakow, and the University of Warsaw (Institute of Polish Culture). She graduated from the Universität der Künste in Berlin (two-year postgraduate studies in theater pedagogy as part of the DAAD scholarship), the Theater Academy in Warsaw (extramural theater studies department), the Nicolaus Copernicus University (pedagogy), the School for Leaders programs: "Two sectors, one vision," and the Laboratory Leadership Innovation. Her directing work includes performances for young people: Jan Dorman's Theatrical Playground at the Theater Institute (2012), Homeland at the Polish Theater in Poznań (2016), Enemy - Instruction Manual (Zagłębie Theater in Sosnowiec, 2018), Wall (Polish Theater in Bydgoszcz, 2019), The Kingdom based on illustrations by the actress of Teatr 21 Marta Stańczyk, which were created during the pandemic (co-production of Teatr 21 and Teatr Guliwer in Warsaw, 2022). Her productions for adult audiences always include actors with disabilities and create a space for their subjective and creative presence. These productions include Shoemakers at the National Stary Theater in Krakow (2017), Hamer Sit-Up (co-production of Teatr 21/ Teatr Studio, 2021), Family (co-production of Teatr 21 and TR Warszawa) A Midsummer Night's Dream (Teatr Współczesny in Szczecin, dir. Justyna Sobczyk/ Jakub Skrzywanek, 2023). Currently, she is working on a performance for children, The Secret Garden, at the Zagłębie Theater in Sosnowiec. It is a co-production with the Warsaw Autumn Festival of contemporary music. It premieres on September 23 in Warsaw. She has been honored with multiple prestigious awards: "Kamyka Puzyny" awarded by the monthly "Dialog" and the Book Institute (2016) for theater and pedagogical activity, and for her work combining art with social commitment, she received the "Wdechy" award presented by the magazine Cojestgrane24.pl in the category MAN OF THE YEAR. Together with the Theater 21, she received the Polityka Passport in the Theater category. From 2023, a member of the Social City Council as the Mayor of the Capital City of Warsaw.

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Radek Stępień
he/him/his

 

Radek is a director and playwright, teacher at the Directing Department of the AST in Krakow.

He made his debut with MISS JULIA by August Strindberg at the Ludowy Theater in Krakow (2018), which began with Konrad Hetel (Wyspiański's HAMLET at the Słowacki Theater, Arthur Miller's DEATH OF A COMIWOJER at the Wybrzeże Theater, WHO KILLED KASPAR HAUSER at the Teatr Staracza STUDY ABOUT HAMLET at AST Kraków, Witkacy's MOTHER at Teatr Nowy in Poznań, NIGHT AMONG TREES at AST Wrocław, Goethe's FAUST at Teatr Wybrzeże).

Participant of artistic residencies, incl. Sopot Non Fiction 2018. Laureate of, inter alia, Awards Leon Schiller in 2019. He was an assistant, incl. Krystian Lupa, collaborated with the Institute of Jerzy Grotowski and the Gardzienice Center for Theater Practices. Born in Pionki, lives in Kraków.

At the Teatr im. J. Słowacki created the dramaturgy for the play Kariera Artur Ui  Bertolt Brecht, dir. Remigiusz Brzyk (2018).

 

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Weronika Szczawińska
she/her/hers

Weronika is a director, dramaturge, culture theorist and performer. Graduate of the College of Inter-Area Individual Studies In the Humanities and Social Sciences (MISH) at Warsaw University, PhD from the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN). Studied directing at the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. Has worked with a number of important theatres around Poland (including Narodowy Stary Teatr in Cracow, Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw, Komuna Warszawa, Wrocławski Teatr Współczesny) and Slovensko mladinsko gledališče in Ljubljana. Assistant professor at the Theatre Studies Department of the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw. Laureate of the prestigious Passports of the Polityka weekly award 2019, for „the intimate and tender performances that combine the private themes with important social issues. For the commitment, transgressing one’s own career path”. Her latest works include: Her latest works include: Trąbka do słuchania (based on Leonora Carrington's The Hearing Trumpet, Wrocławski Teatr Współczesny 2023), Grzyby (Fungi, Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw 2022), Czas porzucenia (Time of Abandonment based on the novel by Elena Ferrante, Teatr Jaracza in Olsztyn 2022), Onko (TR Warszawa 2021), Miejski Ptasiarz (The Urban Birder, Wrocławski Teatr Współczesny 2020), Po prostu (Simply Said, Performing Arts Institute 2019), Rozmowa o drzewach (A Talk about Trees, Komuna Warszawa 2019), Nigdy więcej wojny (No More War, Komuna Warszawa 2018), Genialna przyjaciółka based on Elena Ferrante (My Brilliant Friend, Wrocławski Teatr Współczesny 2018).

More from Weronika:

 

I have been working in theatre for fifteen years now. I try to combine as many functions as possible, so that my practice can be of a shape-shifting nature. Therefore, I mostly direct, but I also write, perform, teach, curate. I have never believed in the division between theory and practice, as well as the division between theatre and dance, or theatre and visual arts. I do a lot of work in the big repertory theatres and in the independent venues. I am very much devoted to rethinking hierarchies and establishing a true biodiversity on stages.

 

The very essence of my artistic practice is team work. Focus is always on the ensemble and especially on creating safe space for the artistic process of the actors. As a director I design area for the collaboration of the artists from different fields. Among my closest collaborators are: Piotr Wawer jr (dramaturge and actor), Agata Maszkiewicz (choreographer), Marta Szypulska (visual artist, stage and costume designer), Karol Radziszewski (painter, visual artist, stage and costume designer), Daniel Malone (visual artist, stage and costume designer), Maciej Szymborski (sound designer); in the past I have created many performances with Agnieszka Jakimiak (dramaturge and playwright) and Krzysztof Kaliski (composer, sound designer).

 

Another important team work, based on the practice of feedback and the ethics of care, happens within Performing Arts Institute Collective (InSzPer), which I co-create. You can read more about us here: www.inszper.org

 

Main fields of my artistic practice and research:

art in the anthropocene, autofiction in theatre, decolonizing one’s mind and culture, feminist theatre, representation of gender, social utopias, relation between theatre and collective memory, revisions of theatre tradition and canon, political theatre.

Most of my performances are not based on theatrical plays; I stage texts for theatre very rarely. Many of the shows are created from scratch by the artistic team, some of them are based on the adaptations of prose.

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Photo by Witek Orski         

Wojtek Ziemilski
he/him/his

 

One of the most prominent theatre makers of the contemporary Polish scene. Resident artist of Krzysztof Warlikowski’s Nowy Teatr i n Warsaw. His works have been shown at over 50 venues and festivals around the world. His “Small Narration“ has been hailed as “the best show I’ve ever seen at Edinburgh“ (Chris Goode for “Guardian”), while “One Gesture“ was called “one of the most important performances you’ll see this year“ (Culture.pl). Ziemilski extends the idea of documentary performance. His work is often an inquiry into spectatorship and the possibility for action. By using tools such as devising, real-time composition, but also references from the world of visual arts and various media, he builds universes that combine aesthetic experience with intellectual inquiry.


Areas of expertise

  • The development of postdramatic theatre, in particular, the different aspects of documentary performance (“theatre of the real”), and participatory performance

  • Crossovers from visual arts and dance to theatre

  • Polish avant-garde theatre (Kantor, Akademia Ruchu)

 

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Photo by Albert Zawada /
Agencja Gazeta
   

US Participants
 

Raymond O. Caldwell
he/him/his

Born in Wiesbaden, Germany and raised all over the world, Raymond O. Caldwell (he/him/his) is an award-winning director and producer who has been leading Washington, DC’s Theater Alliance as Producing Artistic Director since 2018. He has directed for Round House, Imagination Stage, Mosaic Theater, The Kennedy Center, National Players/OTC, Solas Nua, CulturalDC, and the Hegira. Prior to leading Theater Alliance, he was a faculty member and resident director in Howard University’s Department of Theatre Arts for six years, and spent six seasons as the Community Engagement Partnership Manager at Arena Stage. He is committed to using theatre as a tool to transform communities, and has worked with a number of non-profits and NGOs throughout the world. In July 2019—in partnership with the US Department of State and NGOs based in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal—he developed theatre with artists and activists to promote peace and counter violent extremism. He has done similar work throughout the US, India, Ukraine, and Croatia. MFA, Acting/New Play Development: The Ohitate University; BFA, Acting: University of Florida.

 

 

A word…

The American theatre is at an exciting and crucial moment. Playwrights, designers, directors, universities, and regional theaters are working together to redefine the theatre for the age we live in. These collaborations are making theatre accessible to communities that long have been disenfranchised and are giving voice to stories that have long woven the American tapestry, but who have gone unheard.

But these positive developments are taking place at the same time American theatre risks becoming ever more insular and disconnected from the lived realities of many people who have come to believe theatre is for other people, rich people, white people – them, not us. At a time when so many other institutions of public life have failed us, there remains a deep, spiritual hunger for meaning and connection. The theatre – one of the last public squares in America; a universal temple to ideas and ideals – is one of the few places where the mysteries of our lives and human existence can still be unearthed and the truth laid bare.

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Julieanne Ehre
she/her/hers

Julieanne Ehre is the founder and the director of Pivot Arts. She both leads the organization and curates/produces performances including the Pivot Arts Festival, site-specific works, and has developed and produces the new Pivot Arts Podcast. She was 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. Julieanne 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.

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Maria Manuela Goyanes
she/her/hers

 

Maria Manuela Goyanes (she/her/hers) is the Artistic Director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Prior to joining Woolly, she served as the Director of Producing and Artistic Planning at The Public Theater, where she oversaw the day-to-day execution of a full slate of plays and musicals at the Public’s five-theater venue at Astor Place and the Delacorte Theater for Shakespeare in the Park. Earlier in her career at The Public, she managed some of the theater’s most celebrated productions, including Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Josephine & I by Cush Jumbo, Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee, Barbecue by Robert O’Hara, and Here Lies Love by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim.

 

While at The Public, Maria also held a position on the adjunct faculty of Juilliard and curated the junior year curriculum of the Playwrights Horizons Theater School at NYU. She has guest lectured at Bard College, Barnard College, Brown University, Columbia University, Juilliard, the National Theater Institute at The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, UCSD, the University of Texas-Austin, and Yale University, among others. Since 2015, Maria has also served as a member of the board of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. From 2006 to 2008, she co-chaired the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab with Jason Grote, and from 2004 to 2012, Maria was the Executive Producer of 13P, one of her proudest achievements.

Maria is a first-generation Latinx-American, born to parents who emigrated from the Dominican Republic and Spain. She was raised in Jamaica, Queens, and has a collection of hoop earrings to prove it. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in 2001 from Brown University.

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Adam Immerwahr
he/him/his

Adam Immerwahr is a director and theater producer. In 2022, he became the Artistic Director at Village Theatre in Issaquah and Everett, WA.  Previously he served as the Artistic Director of Theater J, the nation’s premiere Jewish theater.  He served as the Associate Artistic Director at McCarter Theatre, a Tony Award-winning regional theater in Princeton, NJ. Adam also served as Resident Director at Passage Theatre and the Artistic Director of OnStage, an ensemble of retired Mercer County residents who collect and perform the stories of their community.

At Theater J, Adam led the revitalization of the nation’s premier Jewish theater after it had been met with enormous controversy leading to substantial losses. Within his first season, he led the theater to a balanced budget and continued growth over the coming years. He created and launched Theater J’s Expanding the Canon initiative, raising nearly $200,000 to commission seven racially and ethnically diverse Jewish playwrights to create and develop seven new works of theater that thematically center Jews of Color. He launched the Yiddish Theater Lab, commissioning four new adaptations or translations, producing many readings and workshops of forgotten Yiddish masterpieces, and producing the English-language world premiere of one of the most famous Yiddish classics: Mirele Efros (The Jewish Queen Lear). Adam launched a series of “Classes for Theater Lovers” that brought over $40,000 in income to DC theater artists during the pandemic closures, and many hundreds of adult theater learners. Under Adam’s leadership, Theater J increased its artist compensation substantially and created a culture of ethical, transparent, and candid producing that brought the top tier of DC’s theater artists back to Theater J. Next season, Theater J productions Adam launched will be transferring to Cleveland Play House and touring Michigan. Adam left Theater J in 2022 at the completion of his second contract, with the theater in extraordinary artistic and fiscal health.

At McCarter Theatre, Adam served on the producing team of multiple productions that transferred to Broadway and Off-Broadway, including the world premiere of Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (which won the Tony Award for Best Play). Other notable producing credits include the original production of Fiasco Theater's Into the Woods (McCarter Theatre, The Old Globe, the Roundabout, the West End, national tour); the original developmental production of Danai Gurira's Eclipsed, directed by Liesl Tommy (a subsequent Broadway production garnered six Tony Award nominations); and the world premieres of Ken Ludwig's Baskerville and A Comedy of Tenors, Stephen Wadsworth's The Figaro Plays, and Tarell McCraney's Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet, as well as world premieres by Edward Albee, John Guare, Marina Carr, Will Power, and Rachel Bonds. Directors whose work he has produced or associate produced include Roger Rees, Nicholas Martin, Rebecca Taichman, Tina Landau, Des McAnuff, Sam Buntrock, Liesl Tommy, John Doyle, Mary Zimmerman, Stephen Wadsworth, Phylicia Rashad, John Kani, Amanda Dehnert, and Aaron Posner.

Adam was a recipient of a 2008 Drama League Directing Fellowship and a member of the Luna Stage Directors’ Lab in 2006-2007. He is the winner of a National Merit Award, the Young Scholar Award, the Weston Award for Directing, and the Brown University Shakespeare Prize. He recently received the NJ Theatre Alliance Applause Award and the Fairleigh Dickinson University / Center for Nonprofits Emerging Nonprofit Leader Award.

Adam has taught classes, masterclasses, and workshops in casting, producing, community-based performance, devised theater, audition technique, and acting at Princeton University, Juilliard, Arcadia University, George Washington University, Rider University, Kean University, Westminster Choir College, Chautauqua Theater, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and others.

As a director, Adam’s credits include international: The Convert (Zimbabwe); Off-Broadway: Missing Celia Rose (SPF 2007, Theatre Row), The Chimes (SPF 2009, The Public Theater); Spirit Sex: A Paranormal Romance (Ensemble Studio Theatre in NYC as part of the Going to the River Festival); Bacteria and Ground (The Wild Project, Theater Masters). Regional and NYC: Sleuth (cancelled due to COVID), The Understudy, The Mousetrap, A Christmas Carol (McCarter Theatre); Last of the Red Hot Lovers (Walnut Street Theater - and national tour); Familiar (Woolly Mammoth); Ken Ludwig's Sherwood (Cleveland Play House); Nathan the Wise, Sheltered, The Last Schwartz, Roz and Ray and The Jewish Queen Lear (Theater J); Fires in the Mirror (Theater J and Theatrical Outfit), Hannah and By The Water (Premiere Stages); Love and Communication (winner of the Brown Martin Philadelphia Award), Slippery As Sin, Trenton Lights, and Blood: A Comedy (Passage Theatre); The Possibilities, The Thing About Air Travel, The Kid Who Talked To Penguins (Hangar Theatre); Ground, Some Old Black Man, and Bacteria (Theater Masters); A Little Night Music (Princeton Summer Theater); Know Dog (Luna Stage); and others. Other credits include: Once Upon a Mattress, Measure for Measure; Metamorphoses; Marowitz’s The Shrew; Endgame; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; and Hush: An Interview with America. Adam is a graduate of Brown University, where he majored in Theatre, Speech and Dance, and Renaissance and Early Modern Studies.


 

 

 

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Rachel Jendrzejewski
she/her/hers

 

Rachel Jendrzejewski is an experimental writer who frequently collaborates with choreographers, musicians, and visual artists to explore new performative vocabularies. Her work has been developed and/or presented by the Walker Art Center, Red Eye Theater, Public Functionary, In the Heart of the Beast, Padua Playwrights, Los Angeles Performance Practice, Tricklock Company, Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, The Wild Project, Rhode Island School of Design, A.R.T., and ICA/Boston, among others. Published plays and performance texts include In Which _______ and Others Discover the End, a collaboration with SuperGroup (Plays Inverse), encyclopedia (Spout Press), and Amber (in the anthology I Might Be the Person You Are Talking To: Short Plays from the Los Angeles Underground, Padua Playwrights). Honors include Playwrights’ Center McKnight and Jerome Fellowships; residencies at the University of Minnesota Institute for Advanced Study, Weisman Art Museum, and MASS MoCA; and project support from the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Minnesota State Arts Board, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Network of Ensemble Theaters, Dramatists Guild Foundation, PEN America, National Endowment for the Arts, and Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Behind the scenes, she has worked with Cornerstone Theater Company (Los Angeles), The Grotowski Institute (Wrocław), and Upstream Arts (Minneapolis). Rachel is a Core Writer at The Playwrights’ Center and 1 of 7 Artistic Directors at Red Eye Theater in Minneapolis. MFA Playwriting, Brown University.

 

Prior to COVID-19, Rachel was preparing to premiere two major projects: PASSION, a performance based on the 1928 silent film La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc by Carl Theodor Dreyer, in collaboration with director Zoe Aja Moore and CalArts Center for New Performance (Valencia); and MEMORY LAWS, an experimental opera on the life of Ignacy Jan Paderewski commissioned by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute (Warsaw), in collaboration with director Emily Mendelsohn, composers Chris Hepola and Jenna Wyse, and Tricklock Company (Albuquerque). She currently is researching a new project on illness, ecological collapse, and desire, loosely drawing from her personal experience with breast cancer caused, in part, by her mother’s childhood exposure to pollution from Dow Chemical Company in Michigan. Her short piece “Apologies for My Delayed Response” is included in Theater Artists Making Theatre with No Theater: Spring 2020, published this month by Tripwire Harlot Press.

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Photo by Valerie Oliveiro

Tasia A. Jones

she/her/hers

Tasia A. Jones is a professional director, actor, and theatre educator. Her most recent directing credits include Intimate Apparel (Northlight Theatre), Small Mouth Sounds (UCCS Theatreworks), Voyeurs de Venus (Northwestern University), The MLK Project (Writers Theatre), Seussical the Musical (Jean’s Playhouse), and No Child (Northwestern University).

She has appeared in such works as Saturday Night/Sunday Morning (The Lyric Stage Company), Good Television (Zeitgeist Stage Company), and The Bluest Eye (Company One). She holds a BFA in Theatre Arts from Boston University and an MFA in Directing from Northwestern University. She is also an artistic associate for Black Lives Black Words International Project and the recent Artistic Fellow at Northlight Theatre. Tasia’s artistic mission is to create civic engagement and conversation through theatre and to promote positive societal change at the individual and community level.

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Jennifer Kidwell

she/her/hers

Jennifer Kidwell is a performing artist. Recent original projects – Those With 2 Clocks, Underground Railroad Game (2017 Obie Award for Best New American Theatre Work; 2018 Edinburgh Fringe First Award; Lucille Lortel, Helen Hayes nominations)
Recent works - Ocean Filibuster (PearlDamour), Fat Ham and Antigone (The Wilma Theater), Michelle Ellsworth’s Body on a Table, Jaamil Olawole Kosoko’s Syllabus for Black Love, Geoff Sobelle’s Home (2018 Bessie Award), Adrienne Truscott’s Still Asking for It (Joe’s Pub), Dan Hurlin’s Demolishing Everything with Amazing Speed, David Neumann/Advanced Beginner Group’s I Understand Everything Better (2015 Bessie Award for Outstanding Production), Being/With and The Octopus and the Interview (Nichole Canuso Dance Company), Superterranean, Fire Burns Hot: Little Reno!, I Promised Myself to Live Faster and 99 Break-Ups (Pig Iron Theatre Company), Dick's Last Stand (Whitney Biennial 2014, as Donelle Woolford), Zinnias: the Life of Clementine Hunter (Robert Wilson/Toshi Reagon/Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon). Wilma Theater Associated Artist, co-founder of JACK. Published in movement research Performance Journal #45 and at hyperallergic.com. 2020 Visiting Artist
Duke University, 2021 Visiting Artist UPenn. 2013 TCG/Fox Resident Actor Fellowship, 2015, 2021 Leeway Foundation Art & Change Grant, 2016 Pew Fellow, 2017 Independence Fellowship, 2020 Ruthie Award & Hodder Fund Grant.

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Pam Mackinnon
she/her/hers

 

This is Pam’s third season as A.C.T.’s fourth artistic director. She is a Tony, Drama Desk, and Obie award– winning director, having directed upwards of 75 productions around the country, off Broadway, and on Broadway. Her Broadway credits include Beau Willimon’s The Parisian Woman (with Uma Thurman), Amélie: A New Musical, David Mamet’s China Doll (with Al Pacino), Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles (with Elisabeth Moss), Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance (with Glenn Close and John Lithgow), Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Outer Critics Circle nomination), and Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park (Obie Award, Tony and Lucille Lortel nominations). Her most recent credits include world premieres of Bruce Norris’s Downstate (Steppenwolf Theatre Company, London’s National Theatre), Lydia R. Diamond’s Toni Stone (Roundabout Theatre Company, A.C.T.), Kate Attwell’s Testmatch (A.C.T.), Christopher Chen’s Communion (A.C.T.), as well as Edward Albee’s Seascape (A.C.T.). She is an artistic associate of the Roundabout Theatre Company, an advisory board member of Clubbed Thumb, and an alumna of the Drama League, Women’s Project, and Lincoln Center Theater’s Directors’ Labs. She just completed a three-year term as executive board president of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) and continues to serve on the board. She grew up in Toronto, Canada, and Buffalo, New York, acted through her teens, but majored in economics and political science at the University of Toronto and briefly pursued a PhD in political science at UC San Diego, before returning to her true passion: theater. (she/her)

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Michael Socrates Moran
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Michael Socrates Moran grew up in Richmond, California before attending Boston University where he pursued his BFA. He has worked as a professional actor in regional theaters in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and at an off-Broadway house in New York City. He recently graduated from UC San Diego’s world-renowned MFA Directing program where he founded the award winning, Ubuntu Theater Project: a professional theater company based in Oakland, California dedicated to inspiring compassion across socio-economic and racial barriers. Michael now serves as Ubuntu’s Executive Director. Having directed over 15 productions, favorite professional credits include: Dance of the Holy Ghosts by Marcus Gardley, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Waiting For Lefty by Clifford Odets, Othello by William Shakespeare, The Grapes of Wrath adapted by Frank Galati, Gospel of Lovingkindness by Marcus Gardley, Yellowman by Dael Oerlandersmith, Dutchman by Amiri Baraka the West Coast Premiere of TO THE BONE & Exit Cuckoo: (A Nanny in Motherland) by Lisa Ramirez, and the World Premiere of Rashomon by Phililp Kan Gotanda. Michael is the recipient of the San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Award for Best Director in the East Bay. 

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Ronee Penoi
she/her/hers

 

(Laguna Pueblo/Cherokee) is a producer, composer, facilitator and activist. As Producer at Octopus Theatricals, she advances the work of many outstanding artists from development, production, to touring in the US and internationally. These artists and projects include Byron Au Yong  and Aaron Jafferis (Activist Songbook), DeLanna Studi (And So We Walked), Phantom Limb Company (Falling Out), Ripe Time (Haruki Murakami’s Sleep), Homer’s Coat (An Iliad by Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson), Christine Jones’ Theatre for One, Poland’s Song of the Goat Theatre, and many more. She is a two-time ISPA (International Society for Performing Arts) Global Fellow, and has been an APAP (Association of Performing Arts Professionals) Leadership Fellow and TCG (Theatre Communications Group) Rising Leader of Color. Ronee is a composer at work on two new musicals with collaborator Annalisa Dias under the banner of FLORA MUSICALS, and is a member of the Groundwater Arts Collective dedicated to climate justice in the arts (recipient of a SPACE at Ryder Farm Residency Grant). Groundwater Arts’ work includes movement building/organizing around a Green New Theatre (GNT), bespoke consulting in decolonization and anti-racism, and new creative theatrical projects. Ronee is a proud NEFA (New England Foundation for the Arts) National Theater Project Advisor, serves on Western Arts Alliance Committees (Indigenous and Conference Steering Committees) and leads the emerging Creative and Independent Producer Alliance (CIPA) Programs Committee. She is also on the Advisory Board of the Global First Nations Performance Network. Ronee is a two-time recipient of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Individual Artist Fellowship for her musical composing work.


 

Previously, Ronee was NNPN Producer-in-Residence at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Senior New Play Producing Fellow and Directing Fellow at Arena Stage, and toured nationally with Anna Deavere Smith’s Let Me Down Easy. Ronee spent three years with the Consensus Building Institute, a non-profit specializing in facilitation and mediation services. She graduated with honors from Princeton University with a degree in Music and certificates in Vocal Performance and Theatre & Dance. Recently Ronee co-led a 6-month EDI Arts Circuit for Princeton undergraduates in leadership positions with extracurricular performing arts groups.  She has been invited to guest lecture on producing at Princeton, Howard University, CalArts, and for American University’s graduate Arts Administration program. 

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Aya Ogawa
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Aya is a Tokyo-born, Brooklyn-based playwright, director, performer and translator whose work reflects an international viewpoint, centers women/non-binary perspectives and utilizes the stage as a space for exploring cultural identity and other facets of the immigrant experience. Cumulatively, all aspects of their artistic practice synthesize their work as an artistic and cultural ambassador, building bridges across cultures to create meaningful exchange amongst artists, theaters and audiences both in the U.S. and in Asia.    
They have written and directed many plays including A Girl of 16, oph3lia (HERE) Journey to the Ocean (Foundry Theatre) and Ludic Proxy (The Play Company). Most recently they wrote, directed and performed in The Nosebleed (Japan Society with The Chocolate Factory Theater, 2021; Lincoln Center Theater, 2022; Woolly Mammoth Theatre, 2023). Aya was awarded an Obie Award for the creation, writing, and direction of The Nosebleed, whose cast was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for outstanding ensemble. They are currently developing Meat Suit: the shitshow that is motherhood and an adaptation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis as a solo performance in collaboration with Saori Tsukada with new music by Philip Glass.  
As a director they directed Haruna Lee’s Obie Award-winning Suicide Forest (The Bushwick Starr & Ma-Yi Theater Company) and Maiko Kikuchi and Spencer Lott’s 9000 Paper Balloons (HERE & Japan Society).  
They have translated numerous Japanese plays into English including work by Toshiki Okada, Satoko Ichihara, and Yudai Kamisato; many of these translations have been published and produced in the U.S. and U.K.   
They are currently a resident playwright at New Dramatists and a Usual Suspect at NYTW, recent member of the Devised Theater Working Group at the Public Theater and Artist-in-Residence at BAX. They were the recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants for Artists, President’s Award in Performing Arts from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, a finalist for the SDCF’s 2021 inaugural Barbara Whitman Award, and finalist for the 2022 Alan Schneider Director Award.


 

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Lola Pierson
she/her/hers

Lola B. Pierson is a highly collaborative artist who was born and raised in Baltimore City. She is a playwright, writer, and director. Her work challenges theatrical form, incorporating elements of social media, performance art, visual art, switcheroos, and boredom. Other words she has used to describe her work in bios include: presence, explore, dynamic, and representation.

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Lisa Portes

she/her/hers

Lisa Portes is a director, educator, advocate and leader whose aim is to define and promote a new American narrative that is driven aesthetically and politically by the world we are becoming, rather than the world we’ve been.  She seeks to forge an American theatre that expands our understanding of who we are, blows open our assumptions of what our world looks like and extends us into the great, big, messy experience of being human in the 21st century.

Portes has created work regionally for California Shakespeare Theatre, Guthrie Theatre, the Denver Center, the Cincinnati Playhouse, Children’s Theatre Company, Olney Theatre, South Coast Rep, McCarter Theatre LAB, and the Kennedy Center.  In Chicago she has directed for Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Victory Gardens, Timeline Theatre, American Blues, Silk Road Rising, Next Theatre and Teatro Vista.  New York credits include productions at Playwrights Horizons and Soho Rep, and developmental work at New York Theatre Workshop, the Flea Theatre and the Public Theatre.  Recent projects include Rightlynd by Ike Holter (Victory Gardens), The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa Fasthorse (Cincinnati Playhouse), I Come from Arizona by Carlos Murillo (Children’s Theatre Company) Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías (Denver Center); Breach:  A Manifesto on Race in American through the Eyes of a Black Girl Recovering from Self Hate by Antoinette Nwandu (Victory Gardens), Glass Menagerie (CalShakes), Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar (Cincinnati Playhouse), and This Is Modern Art by Idris Goodwin & Kevin Coval (Steppenwolf Theatre).  

In 2016, Portes received the SDC Zelda Fichandler Award which is dedicated to "an outstanding director or choreographer who has transformed the regional arts landscape".  She is the first freelance director to have been so honored. Other awards include the TCG SPARK Leadership fellowship, the NEA/TCG Career Development grant for Directors, and the Drama League Directing Fellowship.

A leader with over 20 years of experience in the field,  Portes serves on the board of The Theatre Communications Group and the executive board of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.  In 2012 she co-founded the Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC), a national advocacy network and thinktank that promotes Latinx stories as central to the American story.  She serves as lead producer and chief fundraiser for the LTC Carnaval—a tri-annual festival of new Latinx plays produced in Chicago—and the El Fuego Initiative, which seeded ten regional and world premieres over the course of the past three seasons by the playwrights selected for the inaugural 2015 Carnaval.  In June 2017, the LTC was honored by the TCG with the 2017 Peter Zeisler Award.

From 1993 – 1998, Portes served as Associate Director on The Who’s Tommy--staging it’s Toronto, Frankfurt and London productions as well as the 1st National U.S., UK and Canadian national tours.  She also served as Associate Director on the 1st National Tour of Titanic.

Portes heads the MFA Directing Program at The Theatre School at DePaul University.  During her tenure she has revitalized the curriculum, updated the admissions processes, diversified the program by 400%, created one of the strongest production programs for graduate directors in the nation and established a proven pipeline into the profession exemplified by such directors as Mikael Burke (MFA ’18):  Princess Grace Award, New Generations Fellowship, and Jeff Nominated Director; Jacob Janssen (MFA ’18), Artistic Producer, the Coop Theatre; Lavina Jadhwani (MFA ’15): Time Out Chicago’s 2014 Best Next Generation Stage Director, Drama League Classical Directing Fellowship; Michael Osinski (MFA ’14): Drama League Directing Fellowship; Keira Fromm (MFA ’08) and Krissy Vanderwarker (MFA ’10) Jeff nominated Chicago directors; and Marc Pinate (MFA ’13): Artistic Director of Borderlands Theatre in Tuscon.

From 2002 – 2017 Portes served as Artistic Director of Chicago Playworks for Young Audiences.  During that time she shifted a theatre based in European children’s classics to a theatre whose mission is to produce work that directly reflects Chicago’s specifically urban, contemporary and multi-ethnic audience.  She has commissioned, directed and/or produced new work for the TYA canon including Night Runner by Ike Holter, Augusta and Noble by Carlos Murillo, Barrio Grrrl by Quiara Alegría Hudes and Cinderella Eats Rice and Beans:  A Salsa Musical by Karen Zacarías.

Portes attended Oberlin College where she graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater.  She received a Fulbright Scholarship to Colombia and earned a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from the University of California - San Diego. She lives in Chicago with her husband, playwright Carlos Murillo and their two teenagers, Eva Rose and Carlos Alejandro.  

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Ben Raanan
he/him/his

Ben Raanan is a disabled theatre-maker and advocate originally hailing from Chicago, Illinois. His artistic focus is centralized around creating artistically rigorous theatre with, for, and about the disabled community. Ben received his BFA from Drake University with a concentration in directing/musical theatre and his MFA in directing from DePaul University. In between, Ben spent five years at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati as a Director of Education and Outreach, where he retooled the theatre’s educational offerings to focus on accessibility and inclusion for those with disabilities. Some of his favorite directing credits include: Macbeth (Spectrum Shakespeare), Antigone: Born Against, Eleemosynary, Bob: A Life In Five Acts, Crumble: Lay Me Down Justin Timberlake (Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati) Mockingbird (Falcon Theatre) Falling, King Oedipus, I & You (The Theatre School at DePaul University.) He is beyond thrilled to join the family at Phamaly and looks forward to continuing the legacy of its storied history.

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Michael Rohd
he/him/his

Michael Rohd is a co-founder/member of the 21-year old national, ensemble-based Sojourn Theatre. In 2015, he received an Otto Rene Castillo award for Political Theater and The Robert Gard Foundation Award for Excellence. He is an Institute Professor at Arizona State University’s Herberger Insititute for Design & the Arts and is is author of the widely translated book Theatre for Community, Conflict, and Dialogue. He is an Artist for Civic Imagination at Center for Performance and Civic Practice and he was the 2013-2016 Doris Duke Artist-in-Residence at Lookingglass Theater Company in Chicago. In addition to Rohd’s creative work at venues and with partners across the nation, much of his current practice focuses on supporting local capacity for equitable, cross-sector, culture-based partnerships working for public good in civic and community systems.

Michael is a co-founder of Center for Performance and Civic Practice, where he holds the position Lead Artist for Civic Imagination. He is also founding artistic director of the 19 year old national ensemble-based Sojourn Theatre. In 2015, he received an Otto Rene Castillo award for Political Theater and The Robert Gard Foundation Award for Excellence. He is an Institute Professor at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design & Art and is is author of the widely translated book Theatre for Community, Conflict, and Dialogue. He was the 2013-2016 Doris Duke Artist-in-Residence at Lookingglass Theater Company in Chicago.

Recent and current projects include collaborations and productions with Goodman Theater, Bush Foundation, Lincoln Center, Singapore Drama Educators Association, Americans for the Arts, Nashville’s MetroArts, ArtPlace, Cleveland Public Theater, Catholic Charities USA, Cook Inlet Housing Authority Alaska, ASU/Gammage, and Steppenwolf Theater.

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Mei Ann Teo
she/her/hers and they/them/theirs

Mei Ann Teo (the