Monday, August 8, 2016

Professional Theater Women Gather to Launch State Group


Anne Keefe.
Photo: Kerry Long
Women working in theater throughout the state will join together to launch an official chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women with events in northern and southern Connecticut.
Launch events will be held Monday, Aug. 15 in Hartford and Monday, Sept. 12 in Westport and will feature a mingle and reception starting at 6 pm followed by a panel featuring women from various theater disciplines speaking on the theme “Lean In and Branch Out: Claiming our Voice as Women in Connecticut Theater.”  The chapter also will present its first “Seal of Approval” awards for Connecticut theaters with policies that hire women on and behind the stage.
Panelists for the Hartford Event include Director Lucie Tiberghien, Playwright T.D. Mitchell, and  Hartford Stage’s Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Williamson. The moderator is Tracey Moore, an associate professor at University of Hartford’s Hartt’s Theatre Division.
Mitchell, best known as a writer and story editor for the acclaimed TV series "Army Wives," is the author of Queens for a Year, receiving its world premiere Sept. 8-Oct.2 at Hartford Stage, directed by Tiberghien. 
Elizabeth Williamson
The event at the Handel Performing Arts Center's Kent McCray Theater, 35 Westbourne Parkway, Hartford, is free, but an RSVP is necessary because seating is limited. Wine and light refreshments will be served. Register for the Hartford Launch at http://tinyurl.com/CT-LAUNCH-HARTTFORD.

Meanwhile, the second Launch event, at Westport Country Playhouse’s Lortel White Barn on Sept. 12 will feature a panel including Anne Keefe (former artistic director at the Playhouse and curator of its popular Script in Hand play reading series), Pat Flicker Addiss (Tony-Award-winning Broadway producer and producer of Buyer and Cellar which recently had a run at the Playhouse), Director Jenn Thompson (Bye Bye Birdie at Goodspeed and The Call at TheaterWorks) and actresses Mia Dillon and E. Katherine Kerr. The moderator is Producer/Director Marie Reynolds. Register for this event here: http://tinyurl.com/CT-LAUNCH-WESTPORT
Jenn Thompson
The Connecticut Chapter of LPTW is co-founded by state residents and members of the League of Professional Theatre Women Lauren Yarger (Broadway and Connecticut theater critic), Reynolds (theater director/producer), Mary Miko, (special events coordinator at Goodspeed) and Moore. All women in Connecticut working in professional theater are invited to join the chapter which will hold regional meetings throughout the year. A festival of works by women will be presented in Fall of 2017.
For more information, contact LaurenYarger@hotmail.com. 
ABOUT THE HARTFORD PANELISTS:
T.D. Mitchell
T.D. Mitchell's award-winning play scripts include A Gray Matter, In Dog Years, and Beyond the 17th Parallel (being adapted as a feature film). A prominent speech writer for non-profit and philanthropic organizations (US Fund for UNICEF, Feminist Majority, the Rolex Institute, ex.), her travelogue essays for Verbal Supply Company and, next year, a nonfiction book, exemplify her multi-format, cross-genre passion for storytelling.
Lucie Tiberghien’s directing credits include the recent world premieres: Pen/Man/Ship, by Chrisitina Anderson (Contemporary American Theater Festival), Blueprints to Freedom, by Michael Benjamin Washington, (Lajolla Playhouse, and Kansas City Rep) The Other Thing, by Emily Schwend, (Second Stage, NY). Soldier X, by Rehana Mirza, (Ma-Yi Theater Company, NY). The Ashes Under Gait City by Christina Anderson (Contemporary American Theater Festival, WV), Love in Afghanistan by Charles Randolph Wright (Arena Stage, DC) and Don’t Go Gentle by Stephen Belber (MCC).
Elizabeth Williamson served as senior dramaturg and director of new play development for Hartford Stage prior to her appointment as associate artistic director at Hartford Stage. Over the years, Williamson has developed new work with Brooke Berman, Bill Cain, Sheila Callaghan, Robert Freedman and Steven Lutvak, Kyle Jarrow, Julie Jensen, Kimber Lee, Matthew Lopez, Wendy MacLeod, T.D. Mitchell, Peter Morris, Brighde Mullins, Janine Nabers, Dan O’Brien, Dominique Serrand and Steve Epp, Octavio Solis, Bess Wohl, Lauren Yee and Mary Zimmerman. More recently, she translated La Dispute by French playwright Pierre Marivaux in the 50th anniversary season for Hartford Stage and helmed the theatre’s Brand:New Festival in its final years. Williamson also helped launch the Hartford Stage world premieres of the Tony Award-winning musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (2012); Big Dance Theatre’s Man in a Case (2013); Breath & Imagination (2013); and Matthew Lopez’s Reverberation (2015).
Tracey Moore (moderator) is an associate professor at The Hartt School of Music, Dance, and Theatre where she teaches a variety of acting and music theatre classes.  Prior to academe, Tracey was an Equity actress and singer in New York.  She appeared in the Broadway National Tours of Ragtime and Camelot, and has held leading roles in several Off-Broadway productions in addition to appearing at New York's Metropolitan Opera and at regional theaters across the country.  Articles she has written have appeared in The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Ed, International Studies in Music Theatre, Teaching Theatre Journal, and Dramatics magazine.  She is the author of two books including “Acting the Song,” a book on musical theatre performance techniques that is receiving a second edition this Fall.
ABOUT THE WESTPORT PANELISTS:
Pat Flicker Addiss has produced numerous shows on and Off Broadway including Buyer and Cellar, Vanya, and Sonia and Masha and Spike,  A Christmas Story The Musical, Promises, Promises, The 39 Steps, Spring Awakening, Passing Strange.  Chita Rivera; The Dancer's Life Bridge and Tunnel and  Little Women.Currently serving on the Board of the League of Professional Theatre Women, her passion is for creating opportunities for young women in the 21st Century.

Mia Dillon has appeared at Westport Country Playhouse in Once A Catholic, Return Engagements, Speed-The-Plow, Angel Street, Our Town, A Song at Twilight and in various Script-In-Hand play readings.  Her many award nods include a a Clarence Derwent Award and Tony, Barrymore and Drama Desk Award nominations.

Anne Keefe, an associate artist at Westport Country Playhouse, served as artistic director there with Joanne Woodward in 2008 and as associate artistic director from 2000-2006.  At Westport Country Playhouse, she co-directed a production of David Copperfield, directed readings of And Then There Were None, Harvey, Bedroom Farce, A Song at Twilight, Chapter Two and many more, as part of the popular Script in Hand program. She was awarded the Del Hughes Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Stage Managers’ Association. In October of 2012, she was honored by the Connecticut Women’s’ Hall of Fame as one of 10 Women of Distinction as well as receiving the Westport Arts Award for Theatre. In 2016 she received the Tom Killan Award from the Connecticut Critics Circle
E. Katherine Kerr is an actor, teacher, author and director. In addition to her many screen roles, as an actor her Broadway credits include the ground-breaking, Pulitzer Prize-winning No Place to Be Somebody; Night Watch and Passion. Her  Off-Broadway credits include The Trojan Women; Cloud 9, Laughing Wild written by Christopher Durang for Kerr and himself; and Love Letters. Her other credits as an actor include the national tour of The Gingerbread Lady by Neil Simon, starring Maureen Stapleton. As an author, her works include the plays Intelejunt Dezyne (The God Play) and Juno's Swans, and the highly regarded "The Four Principles: A Guide for Living from Authentic Acting." When not acting, writing, and directing, Kerr teaches privately in New York City and Connecticut.

Jenn Thompson's freelance directing work has been seen in NYC and across the country. Her recent production of Women Without Men, for Off-Broadway's Mint Theatre Company, garnered 2016 Lortel and Off-Broadway Alliance Award nominations for Outstanding Revival as well as five Drama Desk Award nominations including Outstanding Director and Revival. She served as co-artistic director of Off-Broadway's TACT/The Actors Company Theatre from 2011 to 2015. She has developed work at MCC, Primary Stages, The Mint Theatre Company, Hartford Stage, York Theatre Company, Abingdon Theatre Company,  The Bridge Theatre and Rattlestick, among others. She also spent 19 seasons with Connecticut’s award-winning River Rep at the Ivoryton Playhouse where she served as producing director working on more than 50 productions. Thompson was a 2012 finalist for the SDC’s Joe A. Callaway Award, for excellence in New York City directing.

Marie Reynolds (moderator) was a model for 35 years and shot more than 80 national TV commercials. On TV, she played Mickey Barlowe on “All My Children,” traded comedy lines on “Late Night” with Conan O'Brien, and on David Letterman's “Late Show,” and has many other appearance credits. Since receiving an MFA in Theatre at Sarah Lawrence College in 2002, Marie has concentrated on directing and producing. She was a Founding Producer of the New York Musical Festival (NYMF), produced Pterodactyl Island, The Seagull (musical), directed for Falcon Rep and Theatre Actors Workshop in Connecticut and served two terms on the board of Shakespeare on the Sound. She is currently developing a new play, Florence Nightingale, The Bitch Of Balaclava.

ABOUT THE LEAGUE OF PROFESSIONAL THEATRE WOMEN:
An advocacy organization with a mission to reinforce the positive image of, promote the visibility of, and increase opportunities for women in the arts and entertainment industries, more particularly professional theater, with a goal to enrich and infuse culture, the League is a support system for women in theatre, in which they serve as resources for each other by mutual sharing of experiences, insights and work. The League links women in professional theater with colleagues in college and university theaters and with women in other performing arts organizations in the United States and abroad. For more information about the league or to join the Connecticut chapter, visit  theatrewomen.org.

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