2010 TCG National Conference - Speakers


Caron Atlas

Caron Atlas is a Brooklyn-based consultant working to support and stimulate arts and culture as an integral part of social change. She is currently directing three programs to further this goal: the Arts & Community Change Initiative, the Arts & Democracy Project, and Place + Displaced, a project of Fractured Atlas. She also teaches at Pratt Institute's Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment and New York University's Art and Public Policy program. Caron worked many years at Appalshop, the Appalachian media center and home of Roadside Theater, and was the founding director of the American Festival Project, a national coalition of activist artists. She has also worked with National Voice; Animating Democracy; Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Network of Ensemble Theaters; and the Ford, Leeway, Nathan Cummings, and Surdna foundations, among others. She was one of the organizers of a 2009 White House briefing on art and social justice, and in 2010, produced the inauguration of Council Member Brad Lander. A frequent writer about arts activism and cultural policy, Caron is co-editor of Critical Perspectives: Writings on Art and Civic Dialogue. Caron was a Warren Weaver Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation and holds a masters degree in the social sciences from the University of Chicago. She is an active member of the Freelancers Union.

Michael Bloom

Michael Bloom is the eighth Artistic Director of the Cleveland Play House, the oldest regional theatre in the country. Recently at The Play House he directed Lost in Yonkers, Heavens My Destination, The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Lincolnesque, Rabbit Hole, and Well. He has directed at many of the country’s major theatres, including American Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Rep, Old Globe Theatre, South Coast Rep, Seattle Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club, Alley Theatre, Alliance Theatre Company, Cleveland Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, and the Sundance Playwright’s Institute. His productions have also been seen throughout Japan and in Tokyo at the Aoyama Theatre and Theatre Cocoon. His Off-Broadway production of Sight Unseen garnered 3 Obie Awards, and he himself received a Drama Desk nomination for direction. Other productions include the American premiere of A Young Lady from Rwanda, Gross Indecency (for which we won the Elliott Norton Award for Best Directing in 1998), the world premiere of Dinner with Friends at Actors Theatre of Louisville, and the world premiere of Tennessee Williams’s Spring Storm. Among the many  playwrights he’s worked with are: John Robin Baitz,  Stephen Belber, Don DeLillo, John Guare, David Hare, Arthur Kopit, Neil Labute, David Lodge, Donald Margulies, David Mamet, and Wallace Shawn. He served as Associate Director at American Repertory Theatre, and  taught at NYU, Harvard University, University of Texas, and Scripps College.  His articles on theatre have appeared in American Theatre Magazine and The New York Times, and his book Thinking Like a Director was published by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux in 2001. His adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma, produced at The Play House in 2010, is published by Samuel French.

Eric Booth

As an actor, Eric Booth has performed in many plays on Broadway, Off-Broadway and around the country, playing over 23 Shakespearean roles, and winning acting awards on both coasts. As a businessman, he started a small company, Alert Publishing, that in seven years became the largest of its kind in the U.S. analyzing research on trends in American lifestyles; he was a frequent trend pundit in the major media, with a nationally syndicated radio program. As an author, he has had five books published. The Everyday Work of Art won three awards and was a Book of the Month Club selection. He has written three dozen magazine articles, was the Founding Editor of the Teaching Artist Journal, and his new book The Music Teaching Artist's Bible was published by Oxford University Press in 2009. In arts learning, he has taught at Juilliard (13 years), Stanford University, NYU, Tanglewood and Lincoln Center Institute (for 25 years), and The Kennedy Center (12 years). He was the Faculty Chair of the Empire State Partnership program for three years (the largest arts-in-education project in America), and held one of six chairs on The College Board's Arts Advisory Committee for seven years. He serves as a consultant for many arts organizations, cities and states and businesses around the country, including six of the ten largest orchestras in America, and five national service organizations. Formerly the Director of the Teacher Center of the Leonard Bernstein Center, he is a frequent keynote speaker on the arts to groups of all kinds. He delivered the closing keynote speech to UNESCO's first ever worldwide arts education conference (Lisbon 2006) and was the only American speaker, and he gave the keynote speech to the first world conference on orchestras connections to communities (Glasgow 2007). He recently completed a six week speaking tour of Scotland and Australia. He is the Senior Advisor to the Music National Service initiative (lead trainer and training designer for MusicianCorps). He is also Senior Advisor to El Sistema USA, a national organization training Abreu Fellows and spearheading the development of El Sistema-related sites around the U.S.

Susan V. Booth

Susan V. Booth is the artistic director of the Alliance Theatre Company. Ms. Booth’s regional directing credits include: the Alliance, Goodman Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Northlight Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Connecticut Repertory, City Theatre of Pittsburgh, New York Stage and Film, Victory Gardens, Touchstone Theatre, Organic Theatre, RAPP Arts, La Jolla Playhouse, Ojai Playwrights Festival, the National Playwrights Conference, and L.A.Theatreworks’ Theatre On the Air. Booth has held teaching positions at Northwestern and DePaul Universities and the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, and currently serves as adjunct faculty with Emory University. She holds degrees from Northwestern and Denison Universities and was a fellow of the National Critics Institute. She is a member of Leadership Atlanta’s Class of 2003, was cited as a Lexus Leader for the Arts by WABE and "Atlanta's Best New Visionary" by Atlanta Magazine in 2004, was named one of Atlanta’s “25 Power Women to Watch” in 2006 by Atlanta Woman Magazine, and was chosen as the Best Local Director in The Sunday Paper’s 2006 and 2007 Readers’ Choice Awards. She also serves as an officer on the board of the Metro Atlanta Arts and Culture Coalition and is the co-chair of the City of Atlanta’s One Book, One Community Program. She serves on the Board of Directors for TCG.

Moira Brennan

Moira Brennan is the Program Director for the MAP Fund. Under her leadership the fund has increased the number of proposals invited and reviewed by an average of 15 percent annually, making it the largest, nationally focused grant program for contemporary performance in the US, aside from the the National Endowment for the Arts. Under Moira's leadership in partnership with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the program developed two additional grants for artists: General Operating grants, which accompany project grants, and the Creative Exploration Fund, which is awarded to artists who have received two or more MAP grants in a five year period. In partnership with Creative Capital, MAP also welcomes its grantees into the Professional Development Program, coaching individuals on career sustainability, strategic planning, financial planning, and long-term goal assessment and achievement. This year, MAP will launch an online searchable database of contemporary performance projects currently in development, aiming to expand the networking and partnering potential of artists working in parallel or complementary avenues of investigation. Brennan studied theatre at New York University under Travis Preston. Her writing on the arts has appeared in Ms., American Theater, and Community Arts Network among other publications.

Polly Carl

In September 2009 Polly Carl joined the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in a newly created position, Director of Artistic Development. Carl produces the Garage Series--nine plays in repertory, oversees new play development and commissions, and participates in season planning. Prior to Steppenwolf, Dr. Carl served 11 years at the Playwrights’ Center – seven as Producing Artistic Director. At the Center Dr. Carl programmed the Ruth Easton Lab and served as the Lab’s lead dramaturg. Carl has sat on numerous boards, panels and committees including the Steinberg Advisory Committee to select their distinguished playwright award – the Mimi, the NEA Theater panel, and the MAP Fund panel. Her Ph.D. in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society is from the University of Minnesota.

Dawn Chiang

Dawn Chiang has designed the lighting at numerous regional theatres including Denver Center Theatre Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Arizona Theatre Company, Alliance Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Guthrie Theater, Syracuse Stage, San Jose Repertory Theatre, and Portland Center Stage. On Broadway, Ms. Chiang designed the lighting for Zoot Suit, was co-designer for Tango Pasion, and associate lighting designer for Show Boat, The Life and the original production of La Cage Aux Folles. Off-Broadway, she has designed for the Roundabout Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, and co-designed the first two seasons of the Encores! concert musical series at City Center. Chiang was resident lighting designer for New York City Opera, where her designs included A Little Night Music and Fanciulla del West. She is the lighting designer for the award winning FDNY Fire Zone at Rockefeller Center in New York, which teaches visitors about fire prevention through an immersive environment using video, lighting, sound, show control and special effects. At the Whitney Museum of American Art, she created a lighting performance piece, delights: Art on 5 Outlets. She has worked on the concert tours of Paul Anka, The Carpenters, Diana Ross, and Loggins and Messina; she has authored the operation manual for one of the first major computer lighting control consoles, the Strand Light Palette 1. Awards include two Dramalogue awards, an American Theatre Wing nomination, a Los Angeles Drama Critics' nomination and a THEA Award (Themed Entertainment Association). She is a member of United Scenic Artists, an associate consultant with Theatre Projects Consultants and a vice-president of the TCG Board of Directors.

Senator Richard Cohen

Minnesota State Senator Richard Cohen (St. Paul) currently serves in the Minnesota State Senate where he is the chairman of the Finance Committee. Senator Cohen is known for his persistent advocacy for arts funding. Most recently, he initiated and facilitated the successful passage of the Legacy Amendment, assuring a permanent source of public support for the arts for the next twenty-five years. Prior to this, he provided for significant increases for the Minnesota State Arts Board and regional arts councils. He has also originated the St. Paul Cultural Star program to provide arts and cultural funding for the city of St. Paul, and has led the effort to secure capital investment authorizations for almost all arts and cultural organizations seeking such support. Senator Cohen also serves on the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre Board of Directors and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Board of Directors. Last July, Senator Cohen received the State Arts Leadership Award from Americans for the Arts. In November, President Obama appointed Senator Cohen to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

Mica Cole

Mica Cole is the Managing Director at Free Street Theater in Chicago.  She joined the organization after serving in many capacities including as a board member and lead artist.   Before returning to Free Street, Mica served as the Director of Education at Writers' Theatre in Chicago.  While at Writers' Theatre, she developed their education and audience enrichment program and helped to produce 16 critically-acclaimed productions over nearly three seasons.  She has worked in theatre as an actress, director and producer.  As an actress, she was most recently seen in Timeline Theatre's production of Weekend.   Mica is a company member of Second Story (Serendipity Theatre Collective Chicago) and a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University.

Carol Coletta

Carol Coletta is president and CEO of CEOs for Cities, and host and producer of the nationally syndicated public radio show Smart City (www.smartcityradio.com). Previously, she served as president of Coletta & Company in Memphis. In addition, she served as executive director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, U.S. Conference of Mayors and American Architectural Foundation. Carol was a Knight Fellow in Community Building for 2003 at the University of Miami School of Architecture. She is a highly sought after speaker on the success formula for cities and creative communities and is frequently interviewed as an expert on urban issues by national media. In 2008 she was named one of the world’s 50 most important urban experts by a leading European think tank. Most recently, she was named the recipient of the Lamda Alpha International 2009 International Journalism Award for her work with CEOs for Cities and Smart City, and as one of the top 50 urban thinkers of all time by readers of PLANetizen.com.

Adrian Danzig

Adrian Danzig is the producing artistic director for 500 Clown and has appeared in shows at The Goodman, The Second City, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Steppenwolf Studio, Berkeley Rep, Brooklyn Academy of Music and The Public Theater, and with Shakespeare & Company and Lookingglass. He has worked with Mary Zimmerman, Les Waters, Joanne Akalaitis, Tina Landau and Anne Bogart. He has performed his solo works at The Kitchen, P.S. 122, The Ontological Hysteric Theater and Soho Rep. He was an early Neo-futurist and a founding member of Redmoon Theater, Hubinspoke Theater and 500 Clown. He graduated from NYC’s High School of Performing Arts, received his BA from Oberlin College and his MFA from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. He has studied clown with Ctibor Turba, Philippe Gaulier, Ronlin Foreman, Dominique Jando, Els Comediants, David Shiner and Avner the Eccentric. Adrian worked with The Big Apple Circus at its inception and also for seven years as a clown in Clown Care. In 2009, he clowned and taught circus arts in Jakarta, Indonesia with Hidung Merah Circus, a social youth circus, his trip supported in part by Clowns without Borders.  Adrian is currently writing a book on teaching physical theatre in high schools, a project commissioned by the Raven Foundation.

Kim Euell

Kim Euell is a playwright, producer, and dramaturg who is passionate about promoting socially relevant new work. She has headed play development programs at Center Theater Group’s Mark Taper Forum, Hartford Stage, San Jose Repertory Theatre, and The Robey Theatre Company where she was the California Arts Council’s Playwright in Residence. While serving as Director of New Play Development at Hartford Stage, Euell founded the Voices! Playreading Series featuring new work by African American and Latino playwrights. Voices! resulted in Hartford’s mainstage production of several of these writers. Euell has also worked as a dramaturg at the Sundance Institute’s Theatre Lab, The Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference, and for six seasons at Center Theater Group’s New Work Festival. Euell has authored a trilogy of new plays that humorously interrogate identity politics and cultural assimilation while promoting racial healing. Penumbra Theatre Company’s production of The Diva Daughters DuPree was named “Outstanding New Show of 2004” by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune in their year end review and the 2006 production was designated a Critic’s Choice by The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. A winner of the Theodore Ward Prize, this multi-racial play was published in an anthology entitled Best Black Plays by Northwestern University Press. Euell ’s plays have been seen at groundbreaking theatres across the country. Euell also collaborates with San Francisco’s Zaccho Dance Theater.  Invisible Wings, their multi-disciplinary work exploring legends of the Underground Railroad, was most recently reprised for Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival’s 75th Anniversary Season. Upcoming collaborations with Zaccho include Sailing Away (October 2010) and The Monkey and The Devil, a newly revised movement/text installation interrogating scholarly theories of racial superiority, which is being mounted along with Euell ’s new play Otto Bingo—or The History Lesson (June 2011). Euell recently edited Plays From the Boom Box Galaxy, the first anthology devoted to theatre from the Hip-Hop Generation (with Robert Alexander) for TCG Publications. She has published articles and reviews in American Theatre Magazine, The African American Review and The Oakland Tribune. This Fall, Euell returns to the University of Pennsylvania as a Visiting Professor. Having taught at several leading American universities, she was thrilled to have the opportunity of conducting playwriting workshops at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa and in Nairobi, Kenya. An alumna of Stanford University, Euell was The August Wilson Fellow at the University of Minnesota and a Dean’s Fellow at the University of Iowa, where she received her MFA.

Olga Garay

Olga Garay is the Executive Director of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), a position she assumed on August 1, 2007.  Reporting directly to the Mayor of Los Angeles and managing a $36-million budget in FY 09-10, the executive director is DCA’s chief administrative officer.  Since her appointment with the City, DCA has been awarded $9.8 Million in funding support from private and public entities.  These funds are being used to re-grant to LA-based artists and arts organizations, increase DCA programs, and refurbish its theaters and art centers.  Prior to joining the City, Olga was an independent producer and performing arts consultant who worked with organizations such as the Lincoln Center Festival, the National Performance Network, and El Museo del Barrio. As Program Director for the Arts for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (1998-2005), Olga was responsible for the planning, design, management, and evaluation of the Arts Program, one of the largest national arts funders in the United States.  She developed several major programs, including the Leadership Presenting Institutions and Mid-Sized Presenting Organizations Program and a Theatre Initiative created in collaboration with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that awarded more than $34.5 million and resulted in the creation of the acclaimed Under the Radar Festival in NYC.  A total of $145 million was awarded to arts organizations during Olga’s seven year tenure. In 2006 she received a “Bessie,” the New York Dance and Performance Award and was named the Cuban Artists’ Fund Distinguished Honoree.  She received the 2003 “Fan Taylor Distinguished Service Award” for exemplary service to the field of professional presenting from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

Gordon Gill

Gordon Gill has designed award-winning architecture across the globe. His work emphasizes a holistic approach to design that integrates all project disciplines. The results are performance based designs that work symbiotically with their natural surroundings- contributing to the sustainability of cities, augmenting the built landscape and creating an optimal user experience. Gordon’s work includes the design of civic facilities, large-scale mixed-use developments, city-wide master plans, the world’s first net zero-energy skyscraper and the world’s first large-scale positive energy building, the Masdar Headquarters. These landmark projects achieve energy independence through harnessing natural forces on site, exemplifying Gordon’s philosophy that architecture must strike a balance with its global environmental context.

Gordon’s work has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects, Architectural Record and has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. He has lectured widely and authored several papers on urban densification and the benefits of dense, sustainable communities. Prior to founding Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture LLP in 2006, Gordon was an Associate Partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP and a Director of Design for VOA Associates. Most recently, Gordon joined Adrian Smith, Robert Forest and Roger Frechette as founding principals of PositivEnergy Practice (www.pepractice.com), an energy, engineering and consulting firm that designs and implements energy, resource management and carbon reduction strategies for public and private clients around the world.

David Hawkanson

David Hawkanson is the executive director at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Prior to Steppenwolf, he was the managing director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota, under the artistic leadership of Joe Dowling. Before the Guthrie, he served for eight years as the managing director of Hartford Stage Company in Connecticut with artistic director, Mark Lamos. Earlier in his career, he was managing director of the Arizona Theater Company and a guest administrator at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre. He was a former senior staff member at the National Endowment for the Arts and subsequently chairman of its Theater Program. He has also had an active career as an arts consultant and trustee for such national organizations as the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, the Ford Foundation’s Working Capitol Fund, National Arts Stabilization Fund, the League of Resident Theatres, Theatre Trustees of America, Theatre Communications Group, and the American Arts Alliance. He currently serves as a trustee of Door County’s Peninsula Players and the League of Chicago Theatres and is Chairman of the Illinois Arts Alliance.

Ricardo Khan

Tony-Award winning Artistic Director, Ricardo Khan, is the Co-founder and Creative Advisor to the Crossroads Theatre Company of New Brunswick, NJ. Under his direction, Crossroads won the 1999 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater, making it one of the nation’s most acclaimed African-American theatre companies in history. Beyond the Crossroads stage, Mr. Khan’s creative reach extends globally to South Africa and London, where he has based his most recent endeavor, an international writers' collective called The World Theatre Lab. Khan is also a resident director at Lincoln Center Institute at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York, a visiting professor in the graduate theatre program for the University of Missouri in Kansas City, and an often active member of the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. Most recent directing credits include the 20th anniversary production of Sheila’s Day at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, Crossroads and Hartford Stage, Quindaro and the South African based Train To 2010, both for UMKC in Kansas City, and Fly at Lincoln Center, Crossroads and the Vineyard Playhouse on Martha’s Vineyard for which he was also co-writer. He also directed Melba Moore in her autobiographical Sweet Songs of the Soul. On Broadway, Mr. Khan served on the producing team of the Tony Award nominated It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues in 2000 and was Associate Director of the Earth, Wind and Fire musical Hot Feet! in 2006. Khan was the co-chair of the National Endowment for the Arts’ theatre grants panel in 1989, and from 1995 to 1999, he served as President of Theatre Communications Group, the national organization of American professional theatres. Recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Rutgers University in 1997 and a member of the Rutgers’ Hall of Distinguished Alumni, Mr. Khan has been a guest lecturer for numerous universities, theatres and professional arts associations throughout the world.

Jonah Lehrer

Jonah Lehrer, hailed as "an important new thinker" by The Los Angeles Times, is the author of Proust Was a Neuroscientist and the instant bestseller, How We Decide. Captivating, accessible, and never dull, he talks about how we make decisions -- and how we can make better decisions. "Lehrer ingeniously weaves neuroscience, sports, war, psychology, and politics into a fascinating tale of human decision making," says Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational). "He makes us much wiser." Lehrer, 27, has been called "something of a popular science prodigy," by The New York Times, a man of "considerable talents." He graduated from Columbia University and studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. His book, Proust Was a Neuroscientist, about how great artists anticipated brain science, is already a modern classic. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor at Wired. He has also written for The New Yorker, SEED, and The Washington Post, and is a Contributing Editor at Scientific American Mind and NPR's Radio Lab.  You can follow Jonah on twitter -

@jonahlehrer - and on his blog, The Frontal Cortex.

Rick Lester

Rick Lester, Chief Executive Officer of TRG Arts, built TRG Arts on a 30-year career in entertainment marketing. Since founding the firm in 1995 as Lester & Associates, Rick and his partners have developed TRG into America’s largest consulting company dedicated to arts and culture, as well as the largest provider of cooperative programs like Chicago’s Community Cultural Database. Rick leads TRG’s counsel on patron behavior trends and their impact on patronage and revenue generation for organizations and communities. His pioneering work in demand management, pricing, and cost-of-sale focus in marketing have become industry best practices. Hundreds of organizations in North America have generated successful revenue and audience results by following the data-driven strategies and counsel that Rick and his TRG colleagues recommend. He is a frequent guest lecturer and panelist nationwide and lead contributor to Analysis by TRG Arts, the firm’s blog on arts and cultural consumer behavior.

Whit MacLaughlin

Whit MacLaughlin is the OBIE and Barrymore Award-winning Artistic Director of New Paradise Laboratories. He has conceived, directed, and designed 14 original performance works with the company since its inception in 1996, including 2009’s FATEBOOK: Avoiding Catastrophe One Party at a Time, a piece that takes place both in real space and cyber-space. The audience attends in both spaces. FATEBOOK has been chosen to represent the United States at the Prague Quadrennial 2011. See www.fatebooktheshow.com and http://vimeo.com/8796650. NPL’s work has been presented at the Ontological Theatre and PS 122 in NYC, at the Walker Art Center and the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, by commission at the Humana Festival of New American Plays and Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, as well as in residency in a variety of colleges and universities all over the country. He is a recipient of a MAP Creative Exploration Fund grant, an APAP Ensemble Theatre Collaboration grant, an NEA/Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Artistic Advancement Grant, several Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship Awards, and a 2002 Pew Charitable Trust Fellowship in Performance Art. In 2010, he will present MORT, the third part of a trilogy of pieces about American Parties and FREEDOM CLUB, a collaboration with Adriano Shaplin and the Riot Group.

Bruce Mau

Visionary and world-leading innovator Bruce Mau is the Chief Creative Officer of Bruce Mau Design. Clients of his Chicago and Toronto studios include Coca-Cola, McDonald's, MTV, Arizona State University, Miami's AmericanAirlines Arena, New Meadowlands Stadium, Frank Gehry, Herman Miller, Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus, and the feature length documentary The 11th Hour. Since founding his studio in 1985, Mau has used design and optimism to originate, innovate, and renovate businesses, brands, products, and experiences. Mau is recognized as an author and publisher of award-winning books, including the celebrated Zone Books series and S,M,L,XL in collaboration with Rem Koolhaas. Now viral, Mau’s Incomplete Manifesto for Growth guides thousands with his articulation of design strategies and motivations for unleashing creativity. His newest book, The Third Teacher (Abrams Books, April 2010), which he and his studio co-authored with OWP/P Architects and VS Furniture, features a collection of 79 ways that design can transform teaching and learning for children to thrive in tomorrow’s world. Inspired by the conviction that the future demands a new breed of designer, Mau founded the Institute without Boundaries -- a groundbreaking studio-based postgraduate program. This became the engine for Massive Change, an ambitious travelling exhibition, publication, and educational program series on the power and possibility of design. In recent years, Mau led ¡GuateAmala!, a project in collaboration with business and cultural leaders of Guatemala, to galvanize action and realize a positive future for their country. Award highlights in Mau’s distinguished career include the Louise Blouin Foundation’s Creative Leadership Award, the AIGA Gold Medal for Communication Design, and being named the Bill and Stephanie Sick Distinguished Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Mau is also the feature of the recently released book GLIMMER: How Design Can Transform Your Life and Maybe Even the World (Penguin Press) by Warren Berger. Through his work, Mau seeks to prove that the power of design is boundless, and has the capacity to bring positive change on a global scale. Working with his team of designers, clients and collaborators throughout the world, Mau continues to pursue life’s big question, “Now that we can do anything, what will we do?”

Carey Perloff

Carey Perloff is celebrating her 17th season as artistic director of the Tony Award-winning American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in San Francisco, where she is known for directing innovative productions of classics, championing new writing for the theater, and creating international collaborations with such artists as Robert Wilson and Tom Stoppard. Before joining A.C.T., Perloff was artistic director of the Classic Stage Company in New York. She is a recipient of France’s Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the National Corporate Theatre Fund’s 2007 Artistic Achievement Award. She received a B.A. Phi Beta Kappa in classics and comparative literature from Stanford University and was a Fulbright Fellow at Oxford. She has taught at The Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and in the Master of Fine Arts Program at A.C.T., and is the author of numerous plays.

Will Power

Will Power is an award-winning playwright and performer. As one of entertainment’s new shining stars, Newsday calls Will Power “electrifying” and Variety hails him as a “dynamic performer.” He received the prestigious 2008 USA Prudential Fellowship, the first annual TCG Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, a 2005 Joyce Award, a 2005 NYFA Fellowship, a 2004 Jury Award for Best Theatre Performance at the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival, and a 2004 Drama Desk nomination for Best Solo Performance. Will Power’s talent is regularly captured on television and film. He was a featured guest on The Colbert Report (Comedy Central), Bill Moyers on Faith and Reason (PBS), Last Call with Carson Daly (NBC) and Russell Simmon’s Def Poetry Jam (HBO). He was the lead male in the film, Drylongso, a hit at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival and was also featured in the documentary All Fathers Are Sons (PBS). From glowing reviews in The New York Times to interviews in VIBE and The Source, Will Power deftly walks the line between serious, studied actor and urban hip hop MC. Viewed as a pioneer in hip-hop theatre, Power has created his own style of theatrical communication, fusing original music, rhymed language, and dynamic choreography to produce compelling evenings of work. His adaptation of the Greek tragedy Seven Against Thebes, re-titled The Seven, completed a successful Off-Broadway run at the New York Theater Workshop, and made its west coast premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse. The Seven was hailed as both an audience favorite and a critical success, and called everything from “brilliant” (The Village Voice), to “exhilarating” (USA Today), to “a spectacular offering to the theatre Gods” (Time Out New York). Will Power’s nationally and internationally acclaimed solo show FLOW has been described as “astounding” (Curtain Up) and “theatre with the refreshing aroma of originality” (New York Times). In addition to writing and performing, Power composes the music for his staged works as well. He’s also composed songs featured on MTV, Moesha on UPN, and Kingpin on NBC. As lead vocalist for the Omar Sosa Sextet, Will Power was featured on four critically acclaimed albums: Free Roots, Spirit of the Roots, Bembon, and Prietos.

Nick Rabkin

Nick Rabkin was the executive director of the Organic Theater in Chicago from 1981 to 1984. He subsequently has been the deputy commissioner of cultural affairs for Chicago, the senior program officer for the arts at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the executive director the Center for Arts Policy at Columbia College Chicago. He recently completed “Challenge and Opportunity: Arts Education and Declining Arts Participation”, a study of commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts. He wrote Putting the Arts in the Picture: Reframing Education in the 21st Century (2005). He is working now on the first national study of teaching artists at NORC at the University of Chicago (www.norc.org), where he is a senior research scientist, and active in efforts to expand arts education in Chicago public education.

Theresa Rebeck

Theresa Rebeck is a widely produced playwright throughout the United States and abroad. Past New York productions of her work include Mauritius at the Biltmore Theatre in a Manhattan Theater Club production; The Scene, The Water’s Edge, Loose Knit, The Family of Mann, and Spike Heels at Second Stage; Bad Dates, The Butterfly Collection, and Our House at Playwrights Horizons; and View of the Dome at New York Theatre Workshop. Omnium Gatherum (co-written, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2003) was featured at the Humana Festival, and had a commercial run at the Variety Arts Theatre. Her newest work, The Understudy, premiered at the 2008 Williamstown Theatre Festival and ran in New York at the Laura Pels Theater in a Roundabout Theatre Company production as part of their 2009 - 2010 season. All of Ms. Rebeck’s past produced plays are published by Smith and Kraus as Theresa Rebeck: Complete Plays, Volumes I, II and III and in acting editions available from Samuel French or Playscripts. Ms. Rebeck’s other publications are Free Fire Zone, a book of comedic essays about writing and show business. She has written for American Theatre magazine and has had excerpts of her plays published in the Harvard Review. Ms. Rebeck’s first novel, Three Girls and Their Brother, was published by Random House/Shaye Areheart Books in April 2008 and is available online and at booksellers everywhere. Her second novel, Twelve Rooms With A View, will be published by Random House/Shaye Areheart Books in May of this year. In television, Ms. Rebeck has written for Dream On, Brooklyn Bridge, L.A. Law, American Dreamer, Maximum Bob, First Wave, and Third Watch. She has been a writer/producer for Canterbury’s Law, Smith, Law and Order:Criminal Intent, and NYPD Blue. Her produced feature films include Harriet the Spy, Gossip, and the independent features Sunday on the Rocks and Seducing Charlie Barker, an adaptation of her play, The Scene. Awards include the Mystery Writer’s of America’s Edgar Award, the Writer’s Guild of America award for Episodic Drama, the Hispanic Images Imagen Award, and the Peabody, all for her work on NYPD Blue. She has won the National Theatre Conference Award (for The Family of Mann), and was awarded the William Inge New Voices Playwriting Award in 2003 for The Bells. Mauritius was originally produced at Boston’s Huntington Theatre, where it received the 2007 IRNE Award for Best New Play as well as the Eliot Norton Award. Ms. Rebeck is originally from Cincinnati and holds an MFA in Playwrighting and a PhD. in Victorian Melodrama, both from Brandeis University. She is a proud board member of the Dramatists Guild and has taught at Brandeis University and Columbia University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Jess Lynn and two children, Cooper and Cleo.

Ralph Remington

Ralph Remington serves as the Director for Musical Theater and Theater at the National Endowment for the Arts. He is responsible for the grantmaking processes for theatre and musical theatre, developing partnerships to advance the theatre field as a whole, and leading large-scale theatre projects such as the NEA's New Play Development Program. Most recently, Mr. Remington was a city council member of the City of Minneapolis, representing Ward 10 from 2006 through 2009. From 2001-02, Mr. Remington served as artistic associate and director of community engagement with Arena Stage, overseeing all of the company's outreach and education programs and a staff of 19. While at Arena, he led the Living Stage Theater Company, created and toured a theatre movement piece called America: Work in Progress, and directed Dael Orlandersmith's critically acclaimed The Gimmick. In the spring of 2002, Remington directed a well-received production of Amiri Baraka's Dutchman at the Source Theater in Washington. From October 2000 to May 2001, he was the executive director of the Media Artists Resource Center in St. Paul where he was responsible for fundraising and strategic planning and engineered a successful merger with the Independent Feature Project. In 1992, Remington founded Pillsbury House Theatre out of the settlement house tradition of community collaboration. Through1999, he served as Pillsbury's producing artistic director, managing a $500,000 budget. He also selected and oversaw a four-to-six play annual series; founded Breaking Ice, a touring multiracial, socio-political improv company for youth and adults; and created the Chicago Avenue Project where children write and perform original plays with professional actors. The program received a Coming Up Taller award in 2005. Presented by the First Lady on behalf of the President's Committee for the Arts and Humanities, Coming Up Taller awards recognize outstanding community arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America's young people. He received his bachelor of fine arts degree in drama from Howard University in 1984.

Jose Rivera

Rivera has received two OBIE Awards for Playwriting (for Marisol and References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, both produced by the Public Theatre, New York), a Whiting Foundation Award, a McKnight Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Grant, and a Kennedy Center Grant. On a Fulbright Arts Fellowship he was writer-in-residence at the Royal Court Theatre, London. In 1989 he studied with Gabriel Garcia Marquez at Sundance. His plays have premiered off-Broadway and have been seen at virtually every major theatre in the country as well as theatres in France, England, Romania, Peru, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Scotland, and Canada. They include The House of Ramon Iglesia, The Promise, Each Day Dies with Sleep, Cloud Tectonics, Sueño, The Street of the Sun, Giants Have Us In Their Books, Sonnets For An Old Century, Brainpeople, Adoration of the Old Woman, School of the Americas, Massacre (Sing to your Children, Boleros for the Disenchanted, Andrew and Pablo at the Altar of Words, and Human Emotional Process. In 2005 Rivera was nominated for an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Writers Guild of America Award for his first produced screenplay The Motorcycle Diaries (Walter Salles, director) and for which he won Spain’s Goya Award and Argentina’s top screenwriting prize. His film Trade was the first film to premiere at the United Nations. He worked on and was fired from Letters to Juliet. Rivera has written screen adaptations of On the Road (Walter Salles, director), The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Walter Salles, director), Three Apples Fell From Heaven (Cherien Dabis, director), Yesterday (Sir Alan Parker, director), Face Value (with Rachel Weisz), Patriotic Treason (with Josh Brolin), Diego Rising (Selma Hayak, producer), and American Rust (Walter Salles, director). Celestina (based on Cloud Tectonics, with Sona Tatoyan) will mark Rivera’s feature film directing debut. Rivera has served as a creative advisor for the Sundance Screenwriting Lab and has been on the boards of directors of the Sundance Institute, Film Independent, PEN Center West, and Theatre Communications Group. For more than twelve years he has led the Los Angeles based First Tuesday Writing Group. He is a member of The Ensemble Studio Theatre and the LAByrinth Theatre Company. He is at work on his first novel, Love Makes The City Crumble and lives in New York with his wife, actress Sona Tatoyan.

Michael Rohd

Michael Rohd is founding artistic director of Sojourn Theatre in Portland, Oregon, and a 2005 recipient of Americans for the Arts’ Animating Democracy Exemplar Award. His work there as creator/director/performer includes BUILT (presented as part of Portland’s 2008 TBA Festival), GOOD (2008 Portland Drammy, Outstanding Production of the Season), 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). He recently directed Chuck Mee's Full Circle in a site-responsive production at Woolly Mammoth Theater Company in Washington, DC as well as his own new play Wilson Wants it All at The House Theater in Chicago (Jeff Recomended). Rohd is a recipient of 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, he is on faculty at Northwestern University’s Theater Department with a focus on Devising Performance, Directing & Civic Engagement. Recent/upcoming residency, collaboration and/or consultancy work includes partnerships with UNC/Chapel Hill, Steppenwolf Theater Company, University of Maryland, Nike, CUNY, and the Orton Family Foundation. 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. Current projects include creating Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s first company devised, site-specific work, WillFul, a new Sojourn piece called On The Table and a commission at Kansas City Rep. He is author of the book Theatre for Community, Conflict, and Dialogue.

Tanya Saracho

Tanya Saracho was born in Sinaloa, México and moved to Texas in the late 80's . She is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and Teatro Vista, a Goodman Theater Fellow at the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Media, an Artistic Associate with AboutFace Theater and the Co-Founder and former Artistic Director of Teatro Luna. Tanya has developed and her writing has been featured in most of Teatro Luna's ensemble-built works including Generic Latina, Dejame Contarte, The Maria Chronicles, SOLO Latinas, SOLO Tú, S-E-X-Oh! and Lunatic(a)s. Her plays include: Adaptation of The House on Mango Street for Steppenwolf SYA (2009), Our Lady of The Underpass with Teatro Vista (2009), Surface Day with Chicago Children's Humanity Festival (2008 ), Jarred (A Hoodoo Comedy) with Teatro Luna (2008), Kita y Fernanda at 16th Street Theatre (2008), and Quita Mitos with Teatro Luna (2006). Saracho is a recipient of the Ofner Prize given by the Goodman Theatre as well as a 3Arts Artists Award. Coming up: El Nogalar (Spring 2011), a commission for Teatro Vista loosely based on Chekov's The Cherry Orchard; a fictional drama titled The Good Private for About Face Theater about a transgendered civil war soldier and a Mellon Foundation commission for Steppenwolf Theatre The Well Meaning. Directing/co-directing credits include: Jarred (A Hoodoo Comedy), SOLO Tú, S-E-X-Oh! and both productions of Lunatic(a)s, the remount of Generic Latina, The Maria Chronicles, and SÓLO Latinas. Tanya's performing credits include: Neil Labutte's Fat Pig with Renaissance Theatreworks in Milwaukee, Migdalia Cruz' Another Part of the House with Teatro Vista, Living Out with American Theatre Co./Teatro Vista, Electricidad at Goodman Theatre and Quita Mitos, and Jarred (A Hoodoo Comedy) with Teatro Luna. Tanya's voice can be heard around the country in radio and television commercials.

Betty Shamieh

Betty Shamieh’s off-Broadway premieres include The Black Eyed (New York Theatre Workshop), The Machine (Naked Angels), and Roar (The New Group), which was selected for a New York Times Critics Pick and is currently being taught at universities throughout the country.  She is an artist-in-residence at HERE Theatre, where she is developing a tragicomedy set in French Algiers entitled The Strangest about the anonymous Arab murder victim in Albert Camus’ masterpiece, The Stranger.  Her recent European productions in translation include Again and Against (Playhouse Teater, Stockholm), The Black Eyed (Theater Fournos, Athens), and Territories (co-production of the Landes-Theatre and the 2009 European Union Capital of Culture Festival).  She was the 2009 playwright-in-residence at Het Zuidelijk Toneel of Holland, where her play, Free Radicals, is slated for production in Dutch translation in 2011.  Her new comedy, As Soon as Impossible, was commissioned as part of the Time Warner Commissioning program.  Shamieh performed in her play of monologues Chocolate in Heat in three extended off-off-Broadway runs.  In 2007, she was the NEA/TCG playwright-in-residence at the Magic Theatre.  She received an Honorable Mention for her screenplay Anonymous from the Third Annual Writers Network Competition.  Her essays have appeared in The American Theatre Reader, The Brooklyn Rail, Counterpunch, and Mizna.  A graduate of Harvard College and the Yale School of Drama, she was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and selected as a Clifton Visiting Artist at Harvard in 2004.  She was named as a Playwriting Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies in 2006 and is currently serving on the playwriting advisory board for the New York Foundation for the Arts.  Shamieh recently completed her first novel.  She is a member of New Dramatists, New Group Affiliate Artist, and a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect.

Andrew Taylor

Andrew Taylor is Director of the Bolz Center for Arts Administration (www.bolzcenter.org), an MBA degree program and research center in the Wisconsin School of Business. An author, lecturer, and researcher on a broad range of arts management issues, Taylor has also served as a consultant to arts organizations and cultural initiatives throughout the U.S. and Canada, including the International Society for the Performing Arts, American Ballet Theatre, Create Austin, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, among others. Closer to home, he helped develop the budget pro forma and operating plan for the $205-million Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, Wisconsin. Andrew just completed his term as president of the Association of Arts Administration Educators (www.artsadministration.org), an international association of degree-granting programs in arts and cultural management, research, and policy, and is a consulting editor for The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society. Since July 2003, he has written a popular weblog on the business of arts and culture, “The Artful Manager,” hosted by ArtsJournal.com (www.artfulmanager.com).

Carlton Turner

Carlton Turner is the executive director of Alternate ROOTS, a 34 year-old southern based member service organization dedicated to supporting artists working in communities across the south. Carlton is also artistic director and co-founder, along with his brother Maurice Turner, of the performing group M.U.G.A.B.E.E. (Men Under Guidance Acting Before Early Extinction), a group composed of two brothers performing a theatrical blend of jazz, hip-hop, spoken word poetry and soul music. M.U.G.A.B.E.E. is currently working with Mondo Bizarro to create a multi-year performance project on issues of race and racism in the United States. Turner also works as a lead convener with Voices from the Cultural Battlefront: Organizing for Equity. This network is an ongoing 20-year international conversation about the role of art and culture in the struggle for human rights, including social justice, cultural equity, and a healthy natural environment. Hundreds of activists who are grounded in the cultural life of their local communities, who represent a variety of fields (including education, art, health, and youth services), and who are from all seven continents have participated in these conversations. Carlton is currently on the board of the Appalshop, on the planning committee for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, a member of the Free Southern Theater Institute’s planning board named the Phoenix Squad, and on the National Planning Committee of the United States Social Forum. Carlton is also on the planning advisory board of the Parents for Public Schools in Jackson, Mississippi. Carlton lives in Utica, Mississippi with his wife Brandi and two children, Johathan (11), and Xiauna (3).

Mark Valdez

Mark Valdez is the National Coordinator for the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET), a national coalition of ensemble-based organizations headquartered in Los Angeles, advancing ensemble sustainability and practice. Prior to working with NET, he served as the Associate Artistic Director for Cornerstone Theater Company, a community-based ensemble working in LA and around the country. Directing credits include the first ever approved adaptation of the Kaufman and Hart classic, You Can't Take It With You (adapted to the American-Muslim community), Tracey Scott Wilson’s Order My Steps, Mary Shelley’s Santa Claus by Erik Ehn, Boda de Luna Nueva, Peter Howard’s adaptation of Blood Wedding, Angus Oblong’s Victorian Hotel, Marisela Norte’s East LA Days/Fellini Nights, and a bi-lingual (Spanish-English) adaptation of the musical comedy classic, The Pajama Game. Writing credits include, Lighten Up! for Cornerstone’s Festival of Faith and Around Atlanta on $80, adapted from “Around the World in 80 Days,” for the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. Valdez is a guest lecturer at the University of California, Riverside and has taught at Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State LA. Valdez has led workshops and participated in panels for TCG, Lincoln Center, Southwest Arts Conference, Leadership for a Changing World, REDCAT, NYU, The New School, ATHE, NEA and the Ford Foundation. He is the recipient of a both Princess Grace Award in Directing and Special Project Grant. Valdez received an MFA in Directing from UC Irvine, and is a board member of TCG.

Chi-wang Yang

Chi-wang Yang is a Los Angeles-based theatre director and digital media artist. Committed to physical performance and interdisciplinary collaboration, his work synthesizes stage, media, and technology. His work has been featured at REDCAT (Los Angeles), New York International Fringe Festival, the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe, Time-Based Arts Festival (Portland), and the Platform International Animation Festival. Recent projects include the world-premier staging of composer Sandeep Bhagwati's Vineland Stelae, conceived as a theatrical concert at REDCAT, and co-directing a week of 365 Plays/365 Days Festival at the Public Theater. Chi-wang received his MFA in theatre Directing and integrated media at the California Institute of the Arts. Other training includes the SITI Company with Anne Bogart, the Kitchen Summer Institute, and Brown University. He is a recipient of the 2006 Princess Grace Award for Theater Directing.

William S. Yellow Robe

William S. Yellow Robe, a leading Assiniboine playwright, began his career in the theatre as an actor. Although his acting skills were respected, there were few roles for Native Americans. As a result, he began writing his own plays, creating roles not just for himself but for other Native actors as well. The anthology Where the Pavement Ends is comprised of five of Yellow Robe's: The Star QuilterThe Body GuardsRez PoliticsThe Council, and Sneaky, based on his experiences on the Fort Peck Indian reservation. His second book, a collection of full-length plays entitled "Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldiers and Other Untold Stories,” is also now available. His work Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldiers was produced by Trinity Repertory Theatre, where he was an artist in residence through the TCG/Pew Charitable Trust National Theatre Artist Residency Program. Yellow Robe was the first recipient of the First Book Award for Drama for his The Star Quilter from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas/Returning the Gift. He also received a Native American Achievers award from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian for his work in Native American Theater.


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