One of the founding principles CITD aspires to emulate is purposeful de-institutionalization, to focus on the organization's mission rather than maintaining a large administrative and funding operation. By curating a small team of workers, we're able to concentrate our resources on the artists and projects we’ve invested in around the globe.
Howard Shalwitz (ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR)
Howard co-founded Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC in 1980 and guided the company as Artistic Director for 38 seasons. Under his leadership, Woolly Mammoth grew from a tiny alternative theatre into one of the nation's most influential producers of provocative new plays. He has directed and performed in works by American and international playwrights – at New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, Arena Stage, Portland Center Stage, Milwaukee Rep, Woolly Mammoth, and other US theaters. In 2014 he received the prestigious Margo Jones Award for his lifetime commitment to new American plays. Over the past decade, partnering with CITD, Shalwitz has sought new models for American theatre by engaging with artists in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Russia, and sharing his insights with the US theatre field. Currently he is heading up CITD’s Linkages: Poland project, building new relationships between Polish and American theatre leaders. He teaches in the graduate theatre program at the University of Maryland and is currently working on a book about the language of theatre.
Yury Urnov (ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR)
Yury is a director, translator with the Specialist and the MFA Diplomas from the Russian Academy of Theater Art (GITIS). He has directed about 40 productions in Russia, Europe, Africa, and the US. He has translated into Russian plays of E. Albee, M. Mc Donagh, and S. Ruhl, as well as plays by Y. Klavdiev, P. Priazhko, and Presnyakov brothers into English.
He has worked with Philip Arnoult’s Center for International Theatre Development over the past two decades on three continents. In 2009/11, he was a Fulbright Scholar in Residence at Towson University. Yury is currently an Artist in Residence with both Towson University and the Woolly Mammoth Theater in DC.
Brandice Thompson (PROJECT MANAGER)
Brandice is a self-generative artist, educator, and director from the Pacific Northwest. She has been working in theater for over a decade and has studied many facets of the form including clown, cabaret, Shakespeare, Commedia Dell'Arte, melodrama, somatic movement, and more. A recent graduate from Towson University’s interdisciplinary MFA program, she developed a training method that cultivates the actor-creator through the devising of original works. She is currently teaching at Towson University.
Local credits include working as Assistant Director in The Suitcase/Der Koffer, Movement Director in Icarus at the Border, and performing in the ACME Corporation’s opera, The First Thing That Happens, which premiered at The Voxel. She previously studied Ensemble Based Physical Theater at Dell'Arte International and yoga, ritual, and art in Quito, Ecuador. From 2018-2019 she was a CITD Program Associate.
John Freedman (WORLDWIDE UKRAINIAN PLAY
READINGS PROJECT DIRECTOR)
John Freedman is an American writer and translator who, after working 30 years in Russia, now lives in Greece. He lived in Moscow from 1988 to 2018, where he was the theatre critic of The Moscow Times (1992-2015). His play Dancing, Not Dead (2011) was winner of the Internationalists Global Play Contest (2011); his short play Five Funny Tales from the Heart of Buenos Aires (2013) has been performed in NY, Chattanooga, and Edinburgh. He has translated over 100 plays, of which productions have been mounted in five continents. He is the author of numerous books, including Silence’s Roar: The Life and Drama of Nikolai Erdman (1992), and Provoking Theater: Kama Ginkas Directs (2003). He is the curator of two Worldwide Play Readings projects: Insulted. Belarus (2020 to present) and Ukrainian Play Readings (2022).
Carol Baish (CO-FOUNDER AND ARCHIVIST)
Carol has been an associate director of CITD since its founding. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English at Juniata College in 1960 and her master’s degree in English and American literature at the University of Maryland College Park in 1968. She has worked as a newspaper reporter, an instructor in literature and composition, and as managing editor of The American Scholar.
She joined the staff of the Baltimore Theatre Project in 1974, and served as managing director there until 1990. Her editorial and organizational abilities now help serve the work of CITD, and most recently, she has taken a key role in organizing and cataloguing Philip Arnoult’s theater archives now at the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Roland Kelemen (PROJECT MANAGER of LINKAGES: HUNGARY)
Roland is a theatre maker from Transylvania, Romania, mainly working as a theatrologist and a dramaturg. He studied theatre studies and drama writing at the University of Arts from Târgu-Mureș, Romania and he also studied theatre dramaturgy at the University of Theatre and Film Arts in Budapest, Hungary for a semester as an Erasmus exchange student. He published several articles in Játéktér.ro (Playing Area) and Színház.NET, furthermore he worked as dramaturg, assistant director and actor in numerous theatre projects. He currently works as
technical support and social media manager at the theatre magazine SZÍNHÁZ.
Jarod Hanson (PROJECT ASSOCIATE)
Jarod was the CITD Fellow from 2018-2020 and continues to contribute to CITD projects. He is a theatre artist and educator currently based in Baltimore. He is a certified Margolis Method teacher and serves as Lead Faculty at the Margolis Method Center Int’l in upstate New York. He recently attained his MFA in Theatre from Towson University where he focused on developing his pedagogy and practice of creating empowering, actor-centered theatre. Recent professional collaborations include The First Thing That Happens and Putin on Ice with The Acme Corporation Theatre, Close Your Eyes and Sleep with Truepenny Projects, Pride and Prejudice at the Peabody Institute, Overtime: Men at Work at the Minnesota Fringe, The Electric Baby at Towson University, and Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play at the Wilma Theater. Jarod has been a proud member of the MB ADAPTORS Company since 2004 and has contributed to the creation of several original Company productions including Sleepwalkers, The Human Show, American Safari, Cyclopedia, Pulling Strings, Insula, and Headshot. His short play Sweven was a regional semi-finalist at the KCACTF Region 2 festival’s National Playwriting Program. He is an active member of the Association of Theatre Movement Educators.
Program Associates are former CITD fellows who continue to work with us. We frequently utilize their valued expertise and history in special projects.
Daniel Mesta (PROGRAM ASSOCIATE)
Daniel Mesta is an actor, director and dramaturg most often working in radio, theatre and opera. His work often seeks to highlight and locate missing voices within the context of larger canonical works. These voices typically involve the Latinx community, of which he is a proud member and dedicated advocate. Mesta frequently brings his capacities as a director and performer into the curatorial arena, partnering with museums and libraries to create community-centered programming and events that spotlight the creativity of marginalized populations. Since the war, he was diverted from pursuing an MA in Russian and Eurasian Studies at the European University at St. Petersburg.
Community-based theater, somatics, and anti-racism form the triad of Megan’s artistic work in a devised community healing aesthetic and practice. Inspired by Resmaa Menakem’s concept of somatic abolitionism, she explores how theater can transcend our habitual ways of talking and connecting with each other across systemic divides. Her community-building process is part of her artistry, drawing on methodologies like Story Circles and Theatre of the Oppressed, meditation practices, and the joys of a communal meal. She holds a BA in Theater from Denison University, studied for a semester at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland, and was an apprentice at the Arden Theatre Company. As an MFA student in Towson University’s experimental theater program, she is exploring the reciprocal relationship between an artist and their surrounding community. Originally from Massachusetts, she is excited to be exploring her new community of Baltimore, Maryland.
Lindsey is a writer, performer, educator, and interdisciplinary artist. Her performance work blends systems of text and movement with sculptural props and costumes to tell stories that are absurd, funny, and strange. Currently based in Baltimore, she was born and raised in Southern Kansas and incubated in the warm wet belly of Kansas City’s weird collaborative art community, where she lived and worked for 10 years.
Her practice ranges from community-based experimental productions and interactive art to solo performance, incorporating elements of theatre, performance art, social practice, and sculpture. Lindsey holds a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Rockhurst University in Kansas City MO, and an MFA in Experimental Theater from Towson University in Baltimore MD. She currently teaches in the Theatre department at Towson University. She has history as a Program Associate since 2016.
Susan is a theater maker, primarily working as a director, who specializes in interdisciplinary and devised works of theater often performed in non-traditional spaces. Throughout her career, Stroupe has also worked as a performer, writer, puppeteer, teacher, and collaborator in professional and community-based projects, with actors and nonactors of many ages and many abilities and disabilities. Focus and passion lies in theater in nontraditional spaces or arrangements, collaboratively devising pieces or working with scripts that challenge norms of race, gender, and genre.
OVER THE YEARS
Many individuals who previously worked with CITD have moved on to influence other sectors of the theatre. These include:
Zenko Bogdan (Founder, Universal Pleasure Factory, Budapest/Bucharest)
Rebecca Eastman (Costume Designer and Professor, Baltimore)
Shannon Finnell (Founder and Director, Arts Connective, NYC)
Kelsey Jenkins (Production Manager at Kensington Arts Theatre, DC)
Barbara Lanciers (Director, Trust for Mutual Understanding, NYC; Director: Kaddish: The Play)
Hannah Lewis (Actor, Savannah, GA)
Sarah Lloyd (Performer, Designer, Educator, Administrator & Theatre Instructor at Riverstone School, Hamilton, MT)
Philip Rogers (Musician and actor, Austin)
Julia Rubens (Director and producer, Macon, GA)
Gabriel Stelian-Shanks (Executive Artistic Director of The Drama League, NYC)