2009 TCG National Conference - Honorary Committee
Philip Arnoult is widely recognized, nationally and internationally, not only for his efforts to nurture and present new theater and dance from throughout the world, but also for his commitment to long-term, international projects that put artists together to take the first steps toward collaborative projects. He founded The Baltimore Theatre Project in 1971, and served as its director for over two decades, presenting artists from the US and abroad, working on the cutting edge of both theater and dance forms. In 1990 he founded the Center for International Theatre Development (CITD), now with offices and projects in the US (Baltimore), East Africa (Nairobi), and Russia (Moscow). CITD developed the Eastern & Central European Exchange Initiative (1999-2004) linking young directors from Poland, Hungary, Romania and Russia with a select group of US partner theatres. In recent years, Mr. Arnoult has also continued to pursue projects that link theater training with working theaters and theater professionals. At Towson University, where he currently serves as consultant and Adjunct Professor, he helped to develop the Department of Theater’s Graduate Program in Performance, initiating TU participation in a wide spectrum of international projects. From 1975 to 2002 he worked with the International Theatre Institute, serving on the US board of directors from 1982 to 2002, as well as President of the New Theatre Committee of the world-wide ITI. He has served on various policy and evaluation panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, and other state and regional agencies, as well as foundations and trusts in the US and abroad.
A founding member of Pilobolus Dance Theatre and Crowsnest, Martha Clarke has choreographed for the Nederlans Dans Theater, the Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Rambert Dance Company, and Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project, among many others. As a director Ms. Clarke's many original productions include The Garden of Earthly Delights, Vienna: Lusthaus, Miracolo d'amore, Endangered Species, An Uncertain Hour, The Hunger Artist, and Vers la flamme. She directed the premiere of Christopher Hampton's Alice's Adventures Underground at the Royal National Theatre in London. In opera Ms. Clarke has directed The Magic Flute for the Glimmerglass Opera and the Canadian Opera Company, Cosi fan tutte for Glimmerglass, Tan Dun's Marco Polo for the Munich Biennale, the Hong-Kong Festival, and the New York City Opera, and Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice for the English National Opera and the New York City Opera. She is currently developing a music-theatre piece about Toulouse-Lautrec and a new work based on Pirandello's short stories. Ms. Clarke is the recipient of a MacArthur "genius" Award and grants from the NEA and Guggenheim Foundations, and teaches at the Julliard School.
In June of 2000, Peter Culman retired as Managing from Center Stage after 34 years of collaborative work. During his tenure there, Center Stage survived two fires and flourished with a total audience of more than 110,000. He notes, "I relished the interactions with the artists, artisans, administrators, trustees, volunteers and our audiences. Mr. Culman also served as the President of LORT, the chair of the Companies' panel for the National Endowment of the Arts, the Treasurer of the TCG Board, and board member of The American Arts Alliance. He is an Adjunct Professor of Homiletics at St. Mary's Seminary and University and a trustee of The Institute of Christian and Jewish Studies. Mr. Culman also works as a hospice volunteer. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree by the Maryland Institute of Art. He is married to Sita Culman, a Vice-President of The Abell Foundation, with whom he has two sons.
Andre De Shields is a Broadway actor who has also appeared in film and TV productions, including Law and Order and Sex in the City. Raised in Baltimore, André was the ninth of eleven children. He received a B.A. degree in English and creative writing from UW-Madison in 1970 and an honorary degree from the university in 2004. He also has an M.A. from NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where he serves as Adjunct Professor. Additionally De Shields has been the Harold Clurman Visiting Professor at the City University of New York-Hunter College. Other credits include” B'way: The Wiz, Ain't' Misbehavin' (Emmy Award), Haarlem Nocturne (originated at La MaMa E.T.C.), Play On! (Tony and Drama Desk noms). Regional: Play On! and The Full Monty (The Old Globe); Waiting For Godot (Vladimir) and Play On! (Jeff Award, Black Theatre Alliance Award) at Goodman Theatre (Chicago). Also The Man Who Came to Dinner (Sheridan Whiteside) at Madison Rep, Death of a Salesman (Willy Loman) at Oasis Theatre Co. (Buffalo). De Shields is a true renaissance man; an actor, singer, writer, composer, lyricist, choreographer, director and educator, he made his Broadway debut in 1973 in Warp and that same year, choreographed Bette Midler's Clams on the Half Shell Broadway show.
Zelda Fichandler was the Founding Director of Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. and its primary artistic force from 1950-1990. Her history-making example, force of personality, and eloquence as a speaker and writer have made her a leading national figure in the performing arts and Arena Stage a model for scores of cultural institutions established around the country. Zelda's personal vision for theatre has had a transforming effect on the entire field, switching the axis from Broadway to the rest of the nation in the production of new work. She is considered a parent of the regional theatre in America. Zelda embraced a vast sweep of dramatic literature which reverberated through the commercial and non-commercial theatre world and into film and television. She directed many of Arena's productions including Mrs. Klein, Uncle Vanya, The Three Sisters, Death of a Salesman, An Enemy of the People, Six Characters in Search of an Author, and A Doll House; and the American premieres of new Eastern European works, Duck Hunting, The Ascent of Mt. Fuji, and Screenplay. Arena Stage was the first American theatre company, sponsored by the State Department, to tour the then-Soviet Union. Her Inherit the Wind played in Moscow and St. Petersburg in 1973, the company performed her After the Fall at the 1980 Hong Kong Arts Festival, and in 1987, her production of The Crucible appeared at the Israel Festival in Jerusalem. As a producer, Zelda nurtured all of Arena's plays, making a home for important European playwrights like Brecht, Frisch, Ionesco, Mrozek, and Orkeny, alongside significant American revivals of works by Albee, Miller, Williams, O'Neill, Thornton Wilder, Kaufman and Hart and classics by Shakespeare, Shaw, Moliere, Ibsen, and others. Broadway, too, has felt the impact of Zelda's work, especially with the development of new plays. The Great White Hope, Indians, Moonchildren, Pueblo, A History of the American Film, The Madness of God, Raisin, and K2 all started at Arena Stage. She left the artistic leadership of Arena in 1991 to her close associate, Douglas C. Wager. Zelda also made Arena the theatre of the "second chance," where plays like Summer of the 17th Doll, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and The Comedians found life after commercial failure in New York. Zelda's concern for the development of young actors led her, in 1984, to take on, in addition, the role of Chair of the Graduate Acting Program and Master Teacher of Acting and Directing at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, a position which she continues to fill. Graduates of this premier program now occupy leading positions in film, television, and the stage, winning top awards in the various media. From 1991 through 1994, she also served as the Artistic Director of The Acting Company, a young company of actors that tours a classical repertory throughout America. The link between professional theatre and training is important to Zelda as a means "to attract young people to the benefits of company work and to train them to perform in the broadest repertory." The idea of "company" has animated her work since the beginning, and her goal now is to establish in New York an acting company composed primarily of graduates from the Graduate Acting Program. Many agents, casting directors, and stage directors consider the Program at Tisch to be the most innovative and creative in the country. Zelda has received the National Medal of the Arts, awarded in 1997 by President Clinton, the Common Wealth Award for distinguished service to the dramatic arts, The Brandeis University Creative Arts award, The Acting Company's John Houseman Award for commitment to the development of young American actors, the Margo Jones Award for the production of new plays, Washingtonian of the Year Award, the Ortho 21st Century Women Trailblazer Award, and the Society for Stage Directors and Choreographers George Abbott Award. The New York commercial theatre world awarded Zelda and Arena Stage the Antoinette Perry or 'Tony' Award in 1976, the first to be given to a company outside New York. In 1999 she was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame, making her the first artistic leader outside of New York to receive this honor.
Liz Lerman is a choreographer, performer, writer, educator, and speaker. Described by the Washington Post as “the source of an epochal revolution in the scope and purposes of dance art,” her dance/theater works have been seen throughout the United States and abroad. Her aesthetic approach spans the range from abstract to personal to political, while her working process emphasizes research, translation between artistic media, and intensive collaboration with dancers and communities. She founded Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 1976, and has cultivated the company’s unique multi-generational ensemble, with dancers whose ages span five decades, into a leading force in contemporary dance. Liz has been the recipient of numerous honors, including the American Choreographer Award, the American Jewish Congress “Golda” Award, and Washingtonian magazine’s 1988 Washingtonian of the Year. In 2002 her work was recognized with a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, and she was recently designated for the National Foundation for Jewish Culture’s Achievement Award and induction into the University of Maryland’s Hall of Fame. Liz’s work has been commissioned by Lincoln Center, American Dance Festival, BalletMet, and the Kennedy Center, among many others. From 1994 to 1996, in collaboration with the Music Hall of Portsmouth, N.H., Liz directed The Shipyard Project, which has been widely noted as an example of the power of art to enhance such values as social capital and civic dialogue. From 1999 to 2002 she led Hallelujah, which engaged people in 15 cities throughout the United States in the creation of a series of dances “in praise of” topics vital to their communities. Her current projects include Ferocious Beauty: Genome, an investigation of the impact of genetic research in our lives, and a commission from the Harvard University School of Law for a work observing the human rights legacy of the post-WWII Nuremberg Trials. As a frequent keynote speaker and panelist, Liz addresses arts, community, and business organizations both nationally and internationally. She consults regularly with the Mellon Orchestra Forum and Synagogue 2000, and recently participated in Harvard University’s Saguaro Seminar, which gathered thinkers to promote the growth of civic connectedness in the United States. She is the author of Teaching Dance to Senior Adults (1983) and the co-author of Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process (2003), and has written articles and essays for such publications as Reconstructionism Today, Faith and Form, Movement Research, and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Community, Culture, and Globalization. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Milwaukee, Liz attended Bennington College and Brandeis University, received her B.A. in dance from the University of Maryland, and an M.A. in dance from George Washington University. She is married to storyteller Jon Spelman. Their daughter, Anna, was born in 1988.
Michael Rohd is founding artistic director of Sojourn Theatre in Portland, Oregon. His work there as creator/director/performer includes GOOD (his critically acclaimed site specific Brecht adaptation at a car dealership) The War Project (2005 Drammy, Best ensemble) 7 Great Loves (five 2003 Drammy awards including Best Production and Best Director), and Witness Our Schools (9 months of Oregon and national touring). Rohd was a 2005 recipient of Americans for the Arts' Animating Democracy Exemplar Award as well as the Theatre Communication Group's 2001 New Generations Grant, and their 2002 Extended Collaboration Grant with Atlanta's Alliance Theatre. An associate artist with Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles and an artistic associate with Ping Chong & Co in New York City, in Fall 2007 he begins a two year Visiting Professorship at Northwestern University as the Ethel M Barber Chair in Devising Performance. His work has been supported by Ford Foundation, the NEA, Rockefeller's MAP Fund, Doris Duke Foundation and Arts Councils in states around the nation including CA, OR, LA, NE & VA, He is author of the book Theatre for Community, Conflict, and Dialogue, and has recently premiered new work in Illinois, Idaho, New York & Australia. He has an MFA in Directing and Public Dialogue from Virginia Tech, where he studied with Bob Leonard.
J. Wynn Rousuck
J. Wynn Rousuck joined The Baltimore Sun as an arts writer in 1974 and became The Sun’s theater critic in 1984, a post she held for 23 years. She is currently the theater critic for WYPR, Baltimore’s NPR affiliate. She has been on the faculty of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s Critics Institute in Waterford, CT, since 1990. She has also served on the faculty of the National Endowment for the Arts Journalism Institute in Theater at the University of Southern California and has taught writing at Goucher College and at Northwestern University’s National High School Institute. In 1986, Rousuck was an on-air theater critic for Maryland Public Television. Before joining The Baltimore Sun, she worked for The Cleveland Press and for Cleveland’s fine arts radio station, WCLV.
In 1979-1980, Rousuck had a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship at the University of Michigan, where she studied the impact of business and law on the arts. She is also the recipient of numerous writing prizes including the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild’s awards for criticism, commentary and the Bill Pryor Memorial Grand Prize for Writing. She has been honored by the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, Center Stage, the Baltimore Playwrights Festival and the Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre.
She is a graduate of Wellesley College and has a masters degree in journalism from Columbia University. She spent the 2007-2008 academic year as a visiting student at Brown University, studying playwriting with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Paula Vogel, and Bonnie Metzgar, artistic director of Chicago's About Face Theatre and former associate producer of the New York Shakespeare Festival. Rousuck recently created a pilot program for Baltimore's Hippodrome Foundation to introduce inner city middle school students to the theater.
David Schweizer has been directing original theatre, performance, and opera for over 25 years nationally and internationally, beginning with his radical adaptation of Troilus and Cressida at New York’s Lincoln Center and returning there this fall with Sir Richard Rodney Bennett's Mines of Sulphur for New York City Opera. His recent Off Broadway productions include Charles Mee’s Wintertime (Second Stage Theatre), William Hamilton’s White Chocolate (Century Center), Mark Campbell’s Songs From an Unmade Bed (New York Theatre Workshop), and Rinde Eckert’s OBIE Award-winning And God Created Great Whales (The Culture Project), which also toured and played at the Barbican Centre in London. Mr. Schweizer’s international residencies include Lisbon, Sarajevo, Prague, Toga Village-Japan, and Warsaw where his Peer Gynt is still running. Regionally he has staged works at Trinity Repertory Company, Arena Stage and Center Stage, to name a few. He has collaborated with experimental companies (It’s A Man’s World-Mabou Mines) as well as worked with solo theatre artists such as Ann Magnuson on Rave Mom and earlier this season, Marga Gomez’ Los Big Names at the Magic Theatre. His staging of Benjamin Britten's chamber opera Albert Herring just closed at Gotham Chamber Opera, and he will stage the world premiere of Stephen Hartke and Philip Littell's The Greater Good this summer at Glimmerglass Opera.
Jon Spelman has been active in Arts in Education Programs and Projects for much of his adult life. He currently works with the Kennedy Center For The Arts Partners in Education Program, in its Professional Development Opportunities For Teachers Program, and in its Arts Coaches Program (CETA – Comprehensive Education Through The Arts). Jon is also on the roster of Young Audiences of Maryland / Arts For Learning. In addition, he offers a variety of specially tailored workshop and residency programs, and is frequently scheduled as a performing storyteller, both locally and nationally. He especially welcomes the opportunity to develop special programs in partnership with individual schools and teachers.
John Waters is a filmmaker, author and photographer based in Baltimore and New York who became famous as "the pope of trash" (William Burroughs) and the "king of suburban exploitation" Waters' work shows "gleeful irreverence and appreciation of the American grotesque." His films, photos and writings make the transition from underground to mainstream without losing their aesthetic integrity. Currently in post-production on the movie A Dirty Shame in Baltimore. Among his best known films: Mondo Trasho, Multiple Maniacs, Pink Flamingos, Hairspray, Divine, Serial Mom, Pecker, and Cecil B. Demented. Author of Shock Value; Crackpot (recently reissued); Trash Trio; Director's Cut; Art: A Sex Book.