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Sundance Institute Announces Acting Company For 2010 Theatre Lab On Governors Island

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Los Angeles, CA – Sundance Institute announced today the acting company for its 2010 Theatre Lab on Governors Island, which begins today, June 1 and runs through June 12. Under the artistic direction of Philip Himberg, Producing Artistic Director of the Sundance Institute Theatre Program, the Lab will provide these projects with guidance in the development of new work for the stage. The 2010 ensemble company includes: Wade Allain-Marcus, Vanessa Aspillaga (Anna in the Tropics), Aya Cash, Caroline Clay (Doubt), Shana Dowdeswell, Jan Leslie Harding (The Green Bird), Daoud Heidami (Aftermath), Neal Huff (Take Me Out), Jake Lacy, January LaVoy (ENRON), Christopher Larkin, Rory Lipede, Maryann Plunkett (Me and My Girl), Hubert Point-Du Jour, Karen Pittman (Passing Strange), Karen Young (A Lie of the Mind), and Laurie Williams (Sight Unseen).

As announced in February, the three playwrights and their works participating in the lab are: Jason Grote (Civilization; director Daniel Aukin), Laura Jacqmin (Look, We Are Breathing; director Mark Brokaw), and Harrison Rivers (When We Last Flew; director Colette Robert).

“In a year where our home base in Utah is undergoing exciting renovations, the Theatre Program has created new and exciting venues for its operations this season. Governors Island, a seven minute ferry ride from Manhattan is an ideal place for a Sundance ‘retreat’ in the context of New York City.  The towering views of lower Manhattan shelter us on one side, and the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island stand on the other, and here we are able to provide a safe, nurturing and rigorous environment in which to create new works for the stage,” said Philip Himberg.

The Sundance Institute Theatre Lab provides a protected environment, without the pressure of production, and an ensemble of professional actors, dramaturgs, and mentors to help shape the participants’ work. Process is tailored to the project’s individual needs and stage of development, including readings, text analysis, blocking rehearsals, music rehearsals, meetings with artistic staff, and private presentations to the assembled artistic community.

Creative Advisors for the Lab on Governors Island include Beverly Emmons (lighting designer) and Lynn Nottage (playwright). The dramaturgy team consists of Morgan Jenness, Christian Parker, and Lisa Timmel. In addition, David Nelson will be the production manager, and William “Peppy” Biddy, Cole Bonenberger, and Christine Lemme will serve as stage managers. A team of assistant managers will also be on hand: Charles Bales (Brooklyn College), Alston Brown, Kate Dial (Brooklyn College), and Oleg Ivanov (Brooklyn College). Lily Whitsitt (CalArts) will act as Assistant to Producing Artistic Director.

Sundance Institute Theatre Program

The Sundance Institute Theatre Program is a program of the Sundance Institute. Through its developmental activities at the Sundance Institute Playwright’s Retreat at Ucross, the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab at White Oak, Sundance Institute East Africa, and two new pilot theatre programs at Mass MoCA and Governors Island, the Program identifies and assists emerging theatre artists, contributes to the creative growth of established artists, and encourages and supports the development of new work for the stage. Under the guidance of Producing Artistic Director Philip Himberg, more than 85% of the work coming out of the Program’s labs has found professional production at theatres across the United States, Mexico and Europe. Recent productions of Sundance Institute-developed work include: Passing Strange by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, which won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical, Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker and The Lily’s Revenge by Taylor Mac.

Sundance Institute

Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a not-for-profit organization that fosters the development of original storytelling in film and theatre, and presents the annual Sundance Film Festival. Internationally recognized for its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Angels in America, Spring Awakening, Boys Don’t Cry, Sin Nombre, Born into Brothels and Trouble the Water.

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