INTERVIEWS with ARTISTS

BEN VEREEN

JEANINE TESORI

PSALMAYENE 24

SYLVIA MCNAIR

MICHAEL McELROY

DEIDRE KINAHAN

BOB ARI

PAUL TAZEWELL

PATRICIA ROZARIO

NANCY RHODES

MAIA DANZIGER

EARL “PEANUTT” MONTGOMERY

WILLIE RUFF

DENNIS D’AMICO

GRACE CACHOCHA

KAREN SAILLANT

JENNIFER HORNE

JEANIE THOMPSON

ROBERT PERRY

WAYNE SIDES

JAMIE LEE McMAHAN

“Each of us have a gift given us freely by the universe. And each of us with every breath gives something back.”
– Kim Stanley

“All kinds of art serve to the greatest of the arts - the art of living on earth.”
– Bertolt Brecht

“You have to live spherically — in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm — and things will come your way.”
– Federico Fellini

“Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.”
– Oscar Wilde

 


Articles

Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company

Black Theatre United

Mabou Mines

Theater J

Pangea World Theater

Round House Theatre

Bucks County Playhouse

Charleston Stage

Maryland Ensemble Theatre

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

PURE Theatre Company

Ronald Rand’s “CREATE! How Extraordinary People Live to Create and Create to Live”

Virginia Stage Company

Constellation Theatre Company

League of Professional Theatre Women

Maryland Hall

BlackRock Center for the Arts

Great American Songbook Foundation & Academy

Kennedy Center REACH

Inter Act Art Theatre

“Grand Ball in the Belle Epoch” – Edwardian Period Style Salon

“To grasp the full significance of life is the actor's duty, to interpret it is his problem, and to express it his dedication.”  
– Marlon Brando

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”
– Helen Keller

“The theatre should be treated with respect. The theatre is a wonderful place, a house of strange enchantment, a temple of illusion.”
– Noel Coward

“Cultivate an ever continuous power of observation...see the sunlight and everything that is to be seen.”
– John Singer Sargent

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
– T.S. Eliot

“Feel is if you are reborn each day and rediscover the world of nature which are joyfully a part.”
– Pablo Casals, at the age of 96

“The secret of all natural and human law is movement that meets with devotion”
– I Ching

 

 

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
- Harriet Tubman

“It is a great piece of good fortune when an actor can instinctly grasp a play with his whole being. In such happy but rare circumstances it is better to forget all about laws and methods, and give himself up to the power of his creative nature.”
- Constantin Stanislavsky

“Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching.”
- C.S. Lewis

“Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The only revolution that counts is a revolution of the human spirit.”
- Henrik Ibsen

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
- Robert F. Kennedy

“Life shrinks or expands according to one’s courage.” 
- Anais Nin

League of Professional Theatre Women Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award

The International Committee of The League of Professional Theatre Women led by Shellen Lubin and Catherine Porter as Co-Presidents, an organization which has been
championing women in the professional theater for over three decades, has chosen
Hanane Hajj Ali of Lebanon to receive the 2020 Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award.

Hanane Hajj Ali of Lebanon, Recipient of the 2020 League of Professional Theatre Women Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award

Established in 2011, the League of Professional Theatre Women Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award was created and honor of Rosamond Gilder and Martha Coigney, two legendary theater women whose work on the international stage proved that theater knows no international boundaries.

Presented every three years, this Award acknowledges the exceptional work of theater
women around the world and aims to make a difference in the life and career of an
international woman theater artist as she has made in the lives of her audiences and
her culture. Odile Gakire Katese from Rwanda was the inaugural recipient of the G/C
Award in 2011. Patricia Ariza from Colombia received the award in 2014 and Adelheid Roosen from the Netherlands was honored in 2017.

The 2020 Award will be presented on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center/CUNY. Other Award Week events are in the planning process and will highlight all of the nominees with performances, workshops, readings and panel discussions.

Fluent in English, French and Arabic, Hanane Hajj Ali is a woman who defies
conventions, stereotypes and expectations. She is a singular ambassador
representing the breadth and depth of the evolving identities and realities for Arab
women and Arab world theater.

Throughout her 40-year career, she has written, performed and directed acclaimed Arabic-language productions and also facilitated and supported hundreds of colleagues, students and communities in Lebanon and throughout the entire Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region.

Ali's artistic career started as a founding member of Hakawati/Storytellers Theater in 1978, the Arab world’s pioneering experiment in socially engaged community led theater, where she was an actor and writer until 1992.

In 1999, she co-founded Shams Association which bridges the sectarian divides of Lebanese society and brings together young artists from different backgrounds.  “Jogging”, her solo piece, is "partly autobiographical and a taboo-breaking performance that tackles the Bermuda triangle of Religion, Sex, and Politics" which has toured throughout the Middle East and Europe.

Hanane Hajj Ali of Lebanon, Recipient of the 2020 League of Professional Theatre Women Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award

As a teacher and trainer, Hanane has worked with hundreds of young people across the Middle East, and has led sessions on theater practice, leadership, cultural management and cultural policy. Ali remains an activist, cooperating with numerous NGO’s and co-founding three of the Arab region’s most important cultural organizations: Al Mawred’s Culture Resource, Ettijahat and Action for Hope.

According to Hanane Hajj Ali, on her daily jogging route through Beirut, Lebanon, she started jogging as exercise – to avoid stress and fend off osteoporosis. Along the way, she began to see the streets of her city with new eyes. As she considered the city’s history of building and destruction through war, she thought about her roles of woman, wife and mother. She examined her dreams and desires. And she thought about Medea.
“The common element in all of my performances in Lebanon has been shock,” said Hajj Ali in The National during the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where “Jogging” was featured in the lineup for “Arab Arts Focus Edinburgh.”

“After once playing the show in a part of Lebanon that was ruled by a group averse to the ideas that I was presenting, an audience member walked up to me and asked if I was afraid for my life, as people had certainly been killed for less in the country. I answered by asking: ‘Why should I be afraid? Am I not portraying real life? All I’m doing is using my artistic background to portray reality.’”

Hanane Hajj Ali of Lebanon, Recipient of the 2020 League of Professional Theatre Women Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award

Twenty-seven women theatre artists from eighteen countries were nominated on the basis of work demonstrating artistic excellence and support of women’s work and issues and that inspires and educates across cultures. Awardee Hanane Hajj Ali was chosen from a group of four finalists that also included: Iman Aoun (Palestine), Mallika Sarabhai (India), and Maya Zbib (Lebanon). Mihaela Drăgan (Romania) will receive a special certificate of achievement.

The other nominees include: Jaspreet Saund (Canada), Beate Seidel (Germany), Avra
Sidiropoulou (Greece), Andrea Tompa (Hungary), Kalpana Gagdekar (India),
Deirdre Kinahan (Ireland), Edna Mazya (Israel), Burbuqe Berisha (Kosovo), Illire
Vinca (Kosovo), Zana Hoxha Krasniqi (Kosovo), Sherry Lara Alingod (Philippines),
Jung-Soon Shim (Republic of Korea), Lupe Gehrenbeck (Venezuela), Jill
Greenhalgh (Wales), Hope Azeda (Rwanda), Dijana Milosevic (Serbia), Grace
Gachocha (Tanzania), Jalila Baccar (Tunisia), Sarah Berger (England), Faynia
Williams (England), Katy Lipson (England), and Lucy Kerbel (England). [You can read interviews with some of these amazing artists and producers in ‘Spotlight on International Artists’ in this Issue.]

The League of Professional Theatre Women has been championing women and leading the gender parity conversation in the professional theater for over three decades. Since its founding, the LPTW’s membership has grown to more than five hundred theater artists and practitioners of all backgrounds, across multiple disciplines, working in the commercial and non-profit sectors.

To increase visibility of and opportunities for women in the field, The League of Professional Theatre Women spearheads public programming, advocacy initiatives, events, media, and publications that raise awareness of the importance of nurturing women’s voices, celebrate industry luminaries, preserving the legacy of historic visionaries, and working to shine a spotlight on the imperative of striving for gender parity and fostering a diversity of expression, both in the theater world and the world at large.

The Oral History Project is an ongoing project made possible by generous grants from the Edith Meiser Foundation, the Betty R. and Ralph Sheffer Foundation, and private sponsors. The Oral History Project is produced by Betty Corwin at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, and chronicles and documents the contributions of significant theater women in many fields. Interviews with such outstanding women are videotaped and housed in the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.
For info: www.theatrewomen.org

Dame Angela Lansbury speaking at Lincoln Center’s Library for the Performing Arts, as part of the League of Professional Theatre Women’s Oral History Project. The Talk began with an introduction by Ludovica Villar-Hauser. Then, Charlotte Moore, Artistic Director of Irish Repertory Theatre, continued a spirited discussion with the Stage, Film, and Television Actress.


"It is a law of life that man cannot live for himself alone. Extreme individualism is insanity. The world's problems are also our personal problems. Health is achieved through maintaining our personal truth in a balanced relation of love to the rest of the world. No expression is more emblematic of this relation than the creative act which we call art. No art by its very constitution typifies the social nature of that creative act more than the theatre. The theatre, to be fully understood and appreciated, must be seen as a manifestation of this process of interchange between society and the individual. It must be judged as a continuous development of groups of individuals within society, a development which becomes richer, acquires greater force and value as it grows with the society in which it originates. Only in this way can the theatre nourish us.  - Harold Clurman

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