Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Shakespeare Theatre Company's 2015-16 Directors' Studio

From our friends at the Shakespeare Theatre Company...

The Shakespeare Theatre Company Announces Its Inaugural Directors' Studio Participants

In an effort to continue its vision to provide a training ground for the next generation of theatre artists, the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) has launched its first-ever Directors’ Studio, a series of workshops and discussions designed to investigate the craft of theatrical direction created for local, early-career directors. By application, six directors have been selected for the 2015-16 season’s Directors’ Studio: Catrin Rowenna Davies, Rick Hammerly, Lee Liebeskind, Carter Lowe, Angela Kay Pirko, and Jason Schlafstein.

With the Directors’ Studio, STC hopes to foster collaboration between D.C.-area directors who all approach directing with their own, unique artistic visions. Throughout the season-long program, the selected directors will meet and learn from local and international directors, work to improve directing skills, and participate in an evolving dialogue about directing classic works.
In addition to collaborating with one another, the students of the Directors’ Studio will have the opportunity to train under, talk with, and observe several of this season’s professional directors, including STC Associate Artistic Director Alan Paul (Kiss Me, Kate), STC Artistic Director Michael Kahn (The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound), Ron Daniels (Othello), and Ed Sylvanus Iskandar (The Taming of the Shrew.)

“I’m quite pleased that we are the first theatre in Washington, D.C. to offer a year-long program offering local theatre artists the chance to work with and learn from an international cast of directors,” says Kahn. “I’m grateful and excited that each of the directors in the 2015-16 season have offered their mentorship to these emerging talents. Though we founded the Academy for Classical Acting many years ago, we have never before offered this type of comprehensive look at directing as a craft. It is a sign that the Shakespeare Theatre Company remains dedicated and committed to the development of the next generation of theatre artists.”

Catrin Rowenna Davies has directed at Peabody Conservatory, Live Arts Maryland, Lyric Opera Baltimore, Opera Delaware, Harford Community College, Annapolis Chorale, Harbor Opera, Towson University, and the Figaro Project. Davies received her graduate performance diploma from the Peabody Institute.

Rick Hammerly is the founder and producing artistic director of Factory 449: a theatre collective. He has directed at Factory 449: a theatre collective, Ford’s Theatre, New York Musical Theatre Festival, Source Festival, American University, Rainbow Theatre Project, Capital Fringe Festival, SCENA Theatre, Fourth Wall Productions, Actors’ Theatre of Washington, and Consenting Adults Theatre. Hammerly received his MA in arts management and MA in film and video production from American University.

Lee Liebeskind is the founder and producing director of The Inkwell—a local organization dedicated to the development of new plays—and the artistic advisor of Flying V Theatre, recipient of the Helen Hayes Awards’ 2015 John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company. Liebskind received his BA in general theatre from Towson University.

Carter Lowe has directed for AU Players, American University, and the AU Playwrights. He has interned for the Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences and Ford’s Theatre. He will also participate in this year’s Kennedy Center Directing Intensive. Lowe received his BA in theatre and secondary education from American University earlier this year.

Angela Kay Pirko has directed at the National Conservatory of the Dramatic Arts, Lean & Hungry Theater, Nu Sass Productions, Source Festival, Capital Fringe Festival, Peter’s Alley Theatre Productions, Virginia Players’ New Play Festival, Live Arts Shorts Festival, Shakespeare on the Lawn, and Firehouse Theater Company. She has been an assistant director for STC’s 2012 Free For All production of All’s Well That Ends Well (dir. Jenny Lord) and the 2013 Free For All production of Much Ado About Nothing (dir. Jenny Lord). Pirko received her BA in drama from the University of Virginia.

Jason Schlafstein is the co-founder and producing artistic director of Flying V Theatre. DC Metro Theater Arts named him one of the best directors of 2013 for his direction of The Best of Craigslist, which had its world premiere at Flying V and was then remounted at the Kennedy Center. Throughout the area, Schlafstein has directed at Flying V, Spooky Action Theater, Red Knight Productions, Source Festival, 1st Stage, and Capital Fringe Festival. He received his BA in theatre from the University of Maryland.

Recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award®, the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) has become one of the nation’s leading theatre companies. Today, STC is synonymous with artistic excellence and making classical theatre more accessible.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Kahn and Executive Director Chris Jennings, STC’s innovative approach to Shakespeare and other classic playwrights has earned it the reputation as the nation’s premier classical theatre company. By focusing on works with profound themes, complex characters and poetic language written by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and the playwrights he influenced, the Company’s artistic mission is unique among theatre companies: to present theatre of scope and size in an imaginative, skillful and accessible American style that honors the playwrights’ language and intentions while viewing their work through a 21st-century lens.

A leader in arts education, STC has a stable of initiatives that teach and excite learners of all ages, from school programs and acting classes to discussion series as well as accessible programs like the annual Free For All, one of STC’s most beloved annual traditions, allowing audiences to experience Shakespeare at no charge.

Located in our nation’s capital, STC performs in two theatres, the Lansburgh Theatre and Sidney Harman Hall in downtown Washington, D.C., creating a dynamic, cultural hub of activity that showcases STC as well as outstanding local performing arts groups and nationally renowned organizations. STC moved into the 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre in March 1992, after six years in residency in the Folger Library’s Elizabethan theatre. At that time the Penn Quarter neighborhood was not considered desirable by many; since then, STC has helped drive its revitalization. The 774-seat Sidney Harman Hall opened in October 2007.