Sundance Institute Announces Acting Company Selected for 2011 Theatre Lab Held at The Banff Centre

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NEW YORK, NY – Sundance Institute announced today the acting company participating in its 2011 Theatre Lab held at The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada from March 27-April 17. The Theatre Lab provides an atmosphere focused on artistic development and collaboration to develop and refine new theatre work with the support of full casts. Building upon the Sundance Institute’s history of cultivating international exchange and dialogue, the 2011Theatre Lab projects and participants  illustrate and explore the world’s most innovative storytelling. A record number 89 artists began their Lab experience on World Theatre Day, bringing works from the United States, Mexico, and Tanzania to the three week workshop. Sundance Institute is grateful for the assistance of the Performing Arts Residency Program at The Banff Centre.

The 2011 Theatre Lab at The Banff Centre acting company includes: Julius Ahn, Marisa Bernal, Elisa Bocanegra (The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore), Nadia Bowers (The Farnsworth Invention), Eddie R. Brown III, Billy Bustamante, Dan Butler (Frasier), Molly Camp, Robert Curto, Celso Duarte, Lisa Emery (The Women, Marvin’s Room), Rona Figueroa (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables), Carlos Henderson, Lillian Hurst (Lost), Joseph Keckler, Chris Lowell (Private Practice, The Help), Justina Machado (In the Heights, Six Feet Under), Curtis McClarin (Bring in ‘Da Noise Bring in the ‘Da Funk, The Good Negro), Maurice McRae, Robert Petkoff (Ragtime, Spamalot), Monica Raymund, Chita Rivera (West Side Story, Kiss of the Spider Woman), Nicholas Rodriguez (Tarzan, One Life to Live), Jon Rua (In The Heights), Yayo Serka, Aaron Serotsky (August: Osage County), Hanlon Smith-Dorsey, Rebecca Soler, Sharon Washington (The Scottsboro Boys), Susan Kelechi Watson (A Naked Girl on the Appian Way), Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie), C.J. Wilson (A Steady Rain), and Emily Young.

Under the guidance of Producing Artistic Director Philip Himberg, the three-week Lab offers playwrights, directors, choreographers, composers, solo performers and ensembles the time, space, and support to develop new plays and musicals or to explore new approaches to existing scripts. The Lab provides a protected environment, without the pressure of production, and an ensemble of professional actors, dramaturgs, and mentors to help shape work.

Traditionally, the Sundance Institute acting company comprises the heart of the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab. Their talent and willingness and ability to experiment truly defines the Sundance process. The work will grow and deepen because these artists will understand how to support the vision of the creative teams. Dynamic creative collaboration characterizes the three week workshop.

“Ranging from a musical version of the Sundance Film Festival film Like Water for Chocolate to a play in Kiswahili adapted from the writings of Nigerian activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, these eight projects stretch our understanding of work for the stage, and have the potential to contribute to a meaningful, truly global dialogue,” said Philip Himberg Producing Artist Director of the Institute’s Theatre Program.

More than 85% of the work coming out of Sundance Institute Theatre Labs have 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, The Lily’s Revenge by Taylor Mac, and A Small Fire by Adam Bock. The Sundance Institute Theatre Program is a constituent of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre.

Creative Advisors for the Lab include award-winning director Mark Brokaw (How I Learned to Drive), Carey Perloff (Artistic Director, American Conservatory Theatre), and Pulitzer and Tony Award winner Doug Wright (Grey Gardens, I Am My Own Wife). Stew will serve as a Creative Consultant for African Kills Her Sun.

Henry Russell Bergstein is the casting director. Rachel Motz will be the production stage manager, and Kevin Doyle, Kate Duncan, Amy Ehrenberg, Lisa Maydwell (Affiliate Artist-CalArts), Caroline Siewert, Gloria Tran, Micah Lynn Trapp (Affiliate Artist-CalArts), and Rebecca L. Trotter (Affiliate Artist-CalArts) will serve as stage managers. Julianne Just (Affliate Artist – CalArts) will be the Assistant to the Producing Artistic Director.

Previously announced in February, the 2011 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab at The Banff Centre projects are:

Africa Kills Her Sun (Tanzania/Kenya)
An Adaptation of Africa Kills Her Sun by Ken Saro-Wiwa
Mrisho Mpoto, adapter/performer
Irene Sanga, adapter/performer
Elidady Msangi, composer
Gilbert Lukalia, assistant director/performer
Indhu Rubasingham, director

Annie Bosh is Missing (U.S.A.)
Janine Nabers, playwright
Trip Cullman, director

Froggy (U.S.A.)
Jennifer Haley, playwright
Matt Morrow, director
Nathan Leigh, composer

Light Years to the Delling Shore (U.S.A.)
Sam Marks, playwright
Jackson Gay, director

Like Water For Chocolate (Mexico & USA)
Lila Downs, composer
Paul Cohen, co-composer
Quiara Alegria Hudes, bookwriter
Ted Sperling, co-director
Jonathan Butterell, co-director
Michael Levine, designer
Justin Levine, musical director

Stuck Elevator (U.S.A.)
Aaron Jafferis, librettist
Byron Au Yong, composer
Chay Yew, director
Andrew Byrne, musical director

Untitled World’s Fair Play (U.S.A.)
Made by The Debate Society
Hannah Bos, writer
Paul Thureen, writer
Oliver Butler, director

Wild with Happy (U.S.A.)
Colman Domingo, playwright
Robert O’Hara, director

Sundance Institute
Sundance Institute is a global nonprofit organization founded by Robert Redford in 1981. Through its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, composers and playwrights, the Institute seeks to discover and support independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce audiences to their new work. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to inform, inspire, and unite diverse populations around the globe. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Son of Babylon, Amreeka, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, I Am My Own Wife, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America.

The Banff Centre
The Banff Centre is Canada’s creative leader in arts and culture. A post-secondary learning institution located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, The Banff Centre’s mission is Inspiring Creativity. In this powerful mountain setting, exceptional artists and leaders from around the world create and perform new works of art, share skills and knowledge in an interdisciplinary environment, explore ideas, and develop solutions in the arts and leadership. The Banff Centre supports international creative residencies in opera, ballet, contemporary dance, Aboriginal arts, music, and visual and literary

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