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The Season

Biographies

Thomas Ades

(Composer, conductor and pianist). His compositions  include two operas, Powder Her Face (Cheltenham Festival/Almeida London, 1995), and  The Tempest (Royal Opera, Covent Garden, 2004); Violin Concerto Concentric Paths (Berliner Festspiele and London Proms, 2005); other orchestral works include Asyla (CBSO 1997),Tevot (Berlin Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall 2007), Polaris (New World, Miami 2011), In Seven Days (Piano concerto with moving image - LA Philharmonic and RFH London 2008), and Totentanz for mezzo-soprano, baritone and orchestra (London Proms, 2013). From 1999 to 2008 he was Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival. As a conductor he appears regularly with, among others, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw, Melbourne and Sydney Symphonies, BBC Symphony, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.  He has conducted the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic,  São Paulo State and Philharmonia Orchestras, Mariinksy Theatre and Gulbenkian Orchestras, and regularly appears with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Britten Sinfonia, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern and Athelas Ensemble of Copenhagen. As an opera conductor he has conducted The Rake’s Progress at the Royal Opera House and the Zürich Opera, and last Autumn made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera New York conducting The Tempest. He will conduct this production of The Tempest at the Vienna State Opera in 2015 with the Vienna Philharmonic. Recent piano engagements include solo recitals at Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium), New York, and the Barbican in London, and concerto appearances with the New York Philharmonic. Awards include: Grawemeyer Award for Asyla (1999); Royal Philharmonic Society large-scale composition awards for Asyla, The Tempest and Tevot; Ernst von Siemens Composers' prize for string quartet Arcadiana; and Best Opera Grammy and Diapason d'or de l'année (Paris) for The Tempest. He coaches the course in Piano and Chamber Music annually at the International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove. (WINTERREISE)

Aquila Theather

(Theater Company) Aquila Theatre is a 501 (c) 3 not for profit company founded in London in 1991 by Peter Meineck and based in New York City since 1999. Aquila’s mission is to bring the greatest theatrical works to the greatest number. To this end Aquila presents a regular season of plays in New York, at international festivals, and tours to approximately seventy American towns and cities each year. www.aquilatheatre.com. (THE TEMPEST)

Clea Alsip

(Actress) Clea was recently seen in Sarah Ruhl's Stage Kiss at Playwrights Horizons. Other credits include The Killing of Sister George (opposite Kathleen Turner at The Long Wharf); The Show Off (directed by Nicholas Martin at Westport Country Playhouse); Clybourne Park (Dorset Theater Festival, Barrington Stage); Lewis Black's One Slight Hitch (George Street Playhouse, Williamstown Theater Festival); Brace Yourself (Berkshire Theatre Group); L(y)re (Ars Nova); Six Degrees of Separation (Williamstown Theatre Festival); The Motherf***r with the Hat (TheaterWorks Hartford).   Film/TV: "Boardwalk Empire," Hunter & Game, The Little Tin Man, Seeking Sublet.  Education: BA, Stanford University, MFA, NYU Graduate Acting. www.cleaalsip.com. (ILLIAD)

Gian Maria Annovi

(Writer) Author of Denkmal (l’Obliquo, 1998); Terza persona cortese (d’if, 2007); Self-eaters (Mazzoli, 2007); Kamikaze e altre persone (Transeuropa, 2010); Italics (Nino Aragno, 2013); La scolta (nottetempo, 2013). His poems have appeared in the anthologies L’opera comune (Atelier, 2001), Parco Poesia (Guaraldi, 2003), Nodo sottile 4 (Crocetti, 2004), Poesie dell’inizio del mondo (Derive e Approdi, 2007), Calpestare l’oblio (Cattedrale, 2010), Poeti italiani in America (In forma di parole, 2011), Poeti degli anni Zero (Ponte Sisto, 2012). He received the Mazzacurati-Russo Prize for Poetry in 2006, and the Marazza Prize in 2014. As a critic, Annovi published Altri corpi: poesia e corporalità negli anni Sessanta (Gedit, 2008). He is the editor of Antonio Porta’s selected poems Piercing the Page (Seismicity, 2012) and of a collection of essays on Pier Paolo Pasolini, Fratello selvaggio: P. P. Pasolini fra gioventù e nuova gioventù (Transeuropa, 2013). He translated into Italian several North-American poets, Anna Carson, Michael Palmer, Bruce Andrews, Joseph Ceravolo and Anselm Berrigan, among others. He holds a Ph.D. in Italian Studies from Columbia University and a doctorate in Contemporary Italian Literature from the University of Bologna. He is an Assistant Professor of French and Italian at USC - University of Southern California in Los Angeles. (WRITERS' SEASON - June 5)

Fred Arsenault

(Actor) Broadway: The Royal Family (MTC), Born Yesterday. Off-Broadway: Tales From Red Vienna (MTC), Henry V & The Spy (The Guthrie/ The Acting Company), Blue Man Group. Regional/ International: A Doll’s House (The Old Globe), Marie Antoinette (A.R.T./Yale), Stones in His Pockets (Yale Repertory Theatre), The Book Club Play (Arena Stage), Travesties (McCarter Theatre), 12th Night, She Stoops to Conquer & Measure for Measure (The American Shakespeare Center), Billy Bishop Goes to War (Virginia Stage), Playboy of the Western World (The Hangar Theatre), Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare Santa Cruz), Pericles (The Continuum Company, Italy). Awarded the Beinecke Fellowship from Yale and the Baryshnikov Arts Center Fellowship from NYU. Film: Shadows & Lies. TV: The Good Wife, Person of Interest, Law & Order: SVU. Training: MFA - NYU/ Graduate Acting Program. (ILLIAD)

Bettibarsantini

(Music Group) A band created by Marco Parente and Alessandro Fiori. The name is an homage to their professional punk muse, Betty Barsantini, journalist queen of the regional TG news channel. Their first album, released in January by Malintenti Dischi, which had been preceded by the single 'Dissocial Network', seems to have already conquered the critics and not only. In very few weeks they reached the top charts of BEST LIVE in January edited by KeepOn and voted by local artistic directors. Accompanied by the base guitar of Lorenzo Maffucci (member of BlueWilla and at this point the third element of BettiBarsantini), the two founders of the band are on a tour with an important live set and not at all-like folk music. It is therefore a concert rich of groove and many afro-punk sounds, for listeners that don’t say no to a dancing floor. (WRITERS'S SEASON - June 5)

Elisa Biagini

(Actor) Elisa Biagini lives in Florence, Italy after having taught and studied in the U.S. for several years (Ph.D. Rutgers University). Her poems have been published in several Italian and American reviews and anthologies. She has published 6 poetry collections- some biligual- such as “L’Ospite”, (Einaudi, 2004), “Fiato. parole per musica” (2006), “Nel Bosco” (Einaudi, 2007), "The guest in the wood" (Chelsea editions, 2013 - “2014 Best Translated Book Award” ) and "Da una crepa" (Einaudi, 2014). Her poems have been translated into English, German, Spanish, Portoguese, French, Croatian, Japanese, Slovak, Arabic, Serbian, Chinese and Russian and she has been invited to important poetry festivals such as: “Stanza-Scotland’s International Poetry Festival”, St.Andrews, Scotland; “Dubai International Poetry Festival”, UAE; “poesiefestivalberlin”, Berlino; International Writers Workshop, Hong Kong, “Struga Poetry evenings”, Struga, Macedonia, “Poetry Parnassus”, London, England. She has translated several contemporary American poets for reviews, anthologies and complete collections (“Nuovi Poeti Americani” Einaudi, 2006) and she teaches Creative Writing-Poetry, Travel Writing, Literature and Art History in Italy and abroad. Along with her work as a poet, Elisa has presented several installation projects in relevant art spaces and has collaborated with musicians, artists and choreographers www.elisabiagini.it. (WRITERS'S SEASON - June 6)

Blip Trio

(Musical group) A Rhythm and Blues group that blends the soulful sounds of Funk and R&B of the past with the heartfelt guitar and voice Blues of the Southern United States. The group formed in Florence, Italy in 2013 from members of the Crossover/Indierock groups Upstream and Me and My Mule. The tunes draw from a minimalist dialogue between the instruments and the driving sound of the trio comes out of evasive harmonic moments contrasted with abrasive sounds full of aggression and mud. The lyrics speak the tragic comic language of the true blues. (STANDING IN A SAFETY ZONE)

Ian Bostridge

(Tenor) A post-doctoral fellow in history at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, before embarking on a full-time career as a singer. His international recital career includes the world’s major concert halls and the Salzburg, Edinburgh, Munich, Vienna, Aldeburgh and Schubertiade Festivals. In 1999 he premiered a song-cycle written for him by Hans Werner Henze. In 2003/04 he held artistic residencies at the Vienna Konzerthaus and the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, in 2004/2005 he shared a Carte-Blanche series with Thomas Quasthoff at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, in 2005/2006 he had his own Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall, in 2008 at the Barbican, London and in 2010/2011 at the Luxembourg Philharmonie. He made his operatic debut in 1994 as Lysander in Britten's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' with Opera Australia at the Edinburgh Festival. In 1996 he made his debut at the English National Opera as Tamino, returning for Jupiter in ‘Semele’. In 1997 he sang Quint in Deborah Warner's award-winning production of Britten's 'The Turn of the Screw' for the Royal Opera, and has since returned for Caliban in Adès’s ‘The Tempest’, Don Ottavio in ‘Don Giovanni’ under Pappano, and Vasek in ‘The Bartered Bride’ under Haitink.  In 1998 he made his debut at the Munich Festival singing Nerone in David Alden's production of 'L'Incoronazione di Poppea', returning for Tom Rakewell in ‘The Rake’s Progress’ and the Male Chorus in ‘The Rape of Lucretia’. He sang Janacek's 'Diary of one who Vanished' in a new translation by Seamus Heaney, staged by Deborah Warner in London, Paris, Munich, Amsterdam and New York. Most recently he sang Don Ottavio at the Vienna State Opera and his first Aschenbach in a new production of ‘Death in Venice’ for English National Opera, also seen at the Monnaie, Brussels and in Luxembourg. He will sing Aschenbach in his debut at La Scala Milan. His recordings include Schubert's 'Die schöne Müllerin' with Graham Johnson (Gramophone Award 1996); Tom Rakewell with Sir John Eliot Gardiner (Grammy Award, 1999); and Belmonte with William Christie. Under his exclusive contract with EMI Classics, he has recorded Schubert Lieder and Schumann Lieder (Gramophone Award 1998), English song and Henze Lieder with Julius Drake, Britten's 'Our Hunting Fathers' with Daniel Harding, ‘Idomeneo’ with Sir Charles Mackerras, Janacek with Thomas Adès, Schubert with Leif Ove Andsnes, Mitsuko Uchida and Antonio Pappano, Noel Coward with Jeffrey Tate, Britten Orchestral cycles with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle, Wolf with Pappano, Bach cantatas with Fabio Biondi, Handel Arias with Harry Bicket, Britten’s Canticles and both Britten’s ‘The Turn of the Screw’ (Gramophone Award, 2003) and ‘Billy Budd’ (Grammy Award, 2010). (WINTERREISE)

Luisa Valeria Carpignano

(Pianist) Born in 1988 in Gorizia, Luisa Valeria Carpignano, pianist and composer, has always been interested in modern and contemporary repertoire. She graduated with full marks in piano at the Florence L. Cherubini Music Conservatory, studying with Giovanna Prestia, and studied composition in Florence and in S. Cecilia of Rome conservatories with Rosario Mirigliano. As a pianist, she attended also masterclasses with Giampaolo Nuti, Geneviève Ibanez, Ian Pace, and with Jean-Pierre Collot and the members of ensemble recherché during BW Ensemble Academy (2012 and 2013). As a composer, her works have been premiered in Italy, in UK (commissioned by the London Ear Festival 2013), in Germany (Weimarer Frühjahrstage für zeitgenössische Musik), and was broadcasted by BBC Radio 3. She works as pianist and as consultant with the ensemble FLAMExperience; from 2012 she joined also the artistic direction of the contemporary music festival at the Bargello Museum in Florence ("Firenze Suona Contemporanea"), presenting projects around music, time and visual arts. At the present she is attending a master degree program in piano solo repertoire with Maria Grazia Bellocchio, and she is working on a FLAME commission funded by Ernst Von Siemens Music Foundation. http://lvcarpignano.weebly.com (ACTION PAINTING AND IRASCIBLE COMPOSERS)

Mark Cendrowski

(Movie/TV Director) Mark Cendrowski originally from the Detroit Michigan area. Went to the University of Michigan and majored in Communications. Moved to Los Angeles California in the early 80’s and joined the Directors Guild of America in 1985. Worked as a stage manager and assistant director on various shows including Full House, Family Ties, and Nurses. Started directing full time in 1995 doing shows like The Hughleys, The Jamie Foxx show, King of Queens, Yes Dear and According to Jim. Has been directing The Big Bang Theory for seven seasons and nominated for two DGA awards. (DISSECTING THE BIG BANG THEORY)

Veronica Citi

(Visual Artist) Veronica Citi graduates as an architect at the University of Florence with a multimedia project on the scenography of Federico Fellini’s movies. From that moment she focuses on photography and videomaking applying herself to direction, videoart, and cinematography. While attending some professional courses, (Istituto fondazione Marangoni, Florence, Scuola nazionale di cinema indipendente in Florence, a Documentary workshop at the Escuela Internacional de Cine y Television of Cuba) she workes as a free-lance on several production in the florentine area (Festival dei Popoli, Università di Firenze, Accademia San felice, Flame ensamble). From 2008 she is professor of Photography and from 2012 also of Digital video at the L.A.B.A Fine art Accademy in Florence. She is director of short films, videoclip and several experimental videos in connection with musicians (L’Enfance rouge, Gea Brown, Semersuaaq, Achref Chargui, Squarcicatrici, Jealousy Party). (ACTION PAINTING AND IRASCIBLE COMPOSERS)

Nicola Gardini

(Writer) Italian writer who has published numerous volumes of fiction, literary criticism, poetry, and translations. His latest novel, "Fauci," is a musical novel, set in mid-eighties Milan, starring a hysterical soprano, a heroic dog, two friends who desperately try to become lovers, and numerous weird extras. His previous novel "Le parole perdute di Amelia Lynd" (Feltrinelli, 2012) received the Premio Viareggio 2012 and the Zerilli Marimò Prize, and will be published in America by New Directions in 2015. As a critic, he has recently published a book on 52 classics of Italian literature ("Per una biblioteca indispensabile," Einaudi, 2011) and an introduction to the Italian Renaissance ("Rinascimento," Einaudi, 2010). In 2009, he published the memoir "I baroni" (Feltrinelli), a scathing denunciation of academic corruption in Italy. His new translation of Catullus’ poems in Italian verse has just appeared and his book on the aesthetics of lacunosity will be published in September by Einaudi. He teaches Italian Renaissance literature at the University of Oxford and is a member of Keble College. His website is www.nicolagardini.com (WRITERS READING May 26)

Kirill Gerstein

(Pianist) The multifaceted pianist Kirill Gerstein has reached beyond the classical genre with his unique background in jazz, coupled with a masterful technique, musical curiosity and an energetic and expressive musical personality. Winner of the 2010 Gilmore Artist Award, Gerstein used his prize-money to commission boundary crossing works from Brad Mehldau, Chick Corea, Oliver Knussen, and Timothy Andres. Based between Europe and the US, Gerstein’s European engagements include such prominent orchestras as the Munich, Rotterdam and Royal Philharmonics, CBSO, Dresden Staatskappelle, Zurich Tonhalle, the Swedish Radio Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne and the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin. Additionally, he has performed with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra with Gustavo Dudamel. He has given recitals in Paris, Budapest, Prague, Hamburg, and London. He made his Salzburg Festival debut in 2008 with András Schiff and has appeared three times at the BBC Proms, as well as the festivals of Verbier, Lucerne and Jerusalem. Among his US engagements, Gerstein has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Boston, Toronto, Montreal, Atlanta, Dallas, Baltimore, Seattle and Vancouver Symphonies, as well as at Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony, Blossom with the Cleveland Orchestra and at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. He has taken part in prestigious recital series in Vancouver, Miami, Detroit, Los Angeles, Washington and New York. Highlights of the 13/14 season include performances in Europe with London’s Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestras as well as with Santa Cecilia, Czech Philharmonic, Finnish Radio, Danish Radio, Dresden Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony and Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestras; and in North America with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago, San Francisco, St. Louis, Detroit, Cincinnati and Houston symphonies; return visits to Aspen and the Grant Park Music Festivals; and debuts with the New York Philharmonic and the Minnesota Orchestra. Gerstein’s first recital disc featuring works by Schumann, Liszt and Oliver Knussen was named one of the ten best recordings of 2010 by the New York Times, and will be followed by a second solo disc for Myrios Classics in summer 2014. (PIANO RECITAL)

Gretchen Hall

(Actress) Gretchen Hall's theater credits include Barbara in Major Barbara at A.C.T. and Theatre Calgary, Isabella in Measure for Measure and Imogen in Cymbeline at Shakespeare Theatre Company, Kate in The Taming of the Shrew and Isabelle in Henry V at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Nora in A Doll's House at The Old Globe, Elizabeth in The Circle at Westport Country Playhouse, Judy Sears in Trouble in Mind at Arena Stage, Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest and Maria in Let There Be Love at CenterStage, Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream and the Courtesan in Comedy of Errors at Shakespeare on the Sound and Pegeen in Playboy of the Western World at Hangar Theater.  She has also worked at Lincoln Center Theater, The Cort Theater and Theater Row in New York.  Her television credits include Person of Interest, Law & Order, Deception, Louie, Gossip Girl, and Lipstick Jungle.  Her film credits include The Weekend and Almost in Love.  She received a BA from Fordham University and an MFA from the NYU Graduate Acting Program, (ILIAD)

Isaiah Johnson

(Actor) TV credits include: "Person of Interest" (guest star) CBS, "The Knick" (guest star) Cinemax, "Think Tank" (series reg).
Broadway: "Peter and the Starcatcher" (original cast), "Merchant of Venice" w/ Al Pacino (Prince Morocco).
Off Broadway/other NY credits include: "Hamilton Mixtape" (George Washington), "Far From Heaven" (Raymond Deagan), "Othello" (title role), "The Music Man" (Harold Hill) He has a BFA from Howard University and an MFA from NYU/Tisch Grad Acting (ILIAD)

Chris Kraus

(Writer) Author of four novels, most recently Summer of Hate, and two books of art and cultural criticism. Described by the New York Observer as "the art world's favorite novelist," a conference on her writing was held this year in London at Royal College of Art. Spanish and German translations of her novels I Love Dick, Torpor and Summer of Hate are forthcoming in 2014. During the 1980s she worked at the St. Marks Poetry Project and studied acting with Ruth Maleczech. She is a co-editor of Semiotexte, a contributing editor to Los Angeles Review of Books, and Professor of Writing at European Graduate School. (WRITERS READING - June 11)

Dorothea Lasky

(Writer) Author of ROME (Liveright/W.W. Norton, 2014), as well as Thunderbird, Black Life, and AWE, all out from Wave Books. She is a co-editor of Open the Door: How to Excite Young People About Poetry (McSweeney's, 2013) and has authored many chapbooks, including Poetry is Not a Project (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010). Her poems have appeared in numerous places, including The Paris Review and POETRY. She holds a doctorate in creativity and education from the University of Pennsylvania and has been educated at Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and Washington University. She is an Assistant Professor of Poetry at Columbia University's School of the Arts, is a co-founder of the Ashbery Home School, served as a 2013 Bagley Wright Lecturer in Poetry, and co-directs Writers in Florence with Jessica Flynn. She lives in Brooklyn and can be found online at dorothealasky.tumblr.com. (WRITERS READING - June 4)

Vincenzo Latronico

(Writer) writer and translator living in Turin.  He has published novels (Ginnastica e rivoluzione -2008, La cospirazione delle colombe - 2011, La mentalità dell'alveare - 2013), theater, and a travel memoir (Narciso nelle colonie - 2013). Among his translations are works by Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Don Barthelme and Max Beerbohm. His writing (mostly art criticism) has appeared on frieze, Corriere della Sera, Domus and Rolling Stone. (WRITERS'S SEASON - June 6)

Ian Lassiter

(Actor) BROADWAY: War Horse (Lincoln Center); OFF-BROADWAY: Antony and Cleopatra (Public Theater, Royal Shakespeare Theatre), Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 (Kazino), Mission Drift (National Theatre of England/PS 122); NEW YORK/REGIONAL:Henry V (Two River Theater), Ash Girl (Connelly Theater), Martian Chronicles (Fordham Alumni Co), Land O'Fire (Wings Theater), September 12th (Nuyorican Poets' Cafe), Harpo and Juliet(Nuyorican Poets' Café), Twinicide: 2+2=2 (West End Theater); Fitz and Walloughs Get it in the End (NYC Fringe Festival); Valentyne and Orson (Mettawee Theatre Co), East Village Writer's Bloc (Manhattan Theater Source); TV/FILM: Law & Order, King Theodore Live!, Time After. BA: Fordham University. MFA: New York University. (ILIAD)

Jonathan Lethem

(Writer) Author of nine novels, including Motherless Brooklyn (winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award), The Fortress of Solitude, You Don’t Love Me Yet, Chronic City, and most recently, Dissident Gardens. He is also the author of numerous collections, including Men and Cartoons, The Disappointment Artist, and The Wall of the Sky, Wall of the Eye. A New York Times bestselling author and recipient of a MacArthur fellowship, Lethem has published his stories and essays in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Rolling Stone, Esquire, and The New York Times, among others. He lives in California. Visit Lethem’s website at jonathanlethem.com. (WRITERS READING - June 11)

Florence Lozano

(Actress) Florencia Lozano’s career spans the realms of television, film and stage. Born in Princeton, NJ and raised in Newton, MA, Florencia has earned degrees from Brown University and New York University. She played the tough as nails attorney ‘Téa Delgado’ on the daytime drama ONE LIFE TO LIVE. Due to Florencia’s dynamic portrayal, this character became one of daytime television’s most popular characters. Her television work continues in hit shows such as LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT, LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT, GOSSIP GIRL, LIPSTICK JUNGLE and UGLY BETTY. Florencia has also appeared in numerous films. She played opposite Halle Berry and Bruce Willis in the film PERFECT STRANGER, and recently starred in Franc. Reyes’ THE MINISTERS with Harvey Keitel and John Leguizamo. Some of Florencia’s other film credits include BITTERSWEET PLACE, DECEPTION, TRANSBEMAN and VERONIKA DECIDES TO DIE. (ILIAD)

Laurence Maslon

(Producer, writer, screenwriter) Aarts professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, as well as associate chair of the Graduate Acting Program, with an affiliation in the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.  He is the host and producer of the weekly radio series, Broadway to Main Street, broadcast on the NPR-affiliate station WPPB-FM. He is the author of the companion book to the recent PBS documentary series, Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle and co-wrote the series with producer/director Michael Kantor. Also with Kantor, he co-wrote the PBS series Make ‘Em Laugh (Emmy nomination)and two episodes of the Emmy-winning Broadway: The American Musical as well as the companion volume in addition to writing seven other books on musical theater and popular culture.  He served on the nominating committee for the Tony Awards from 2007 to 2010.  He is currently editing the two-volume set American Musicals (1927-1969) containing sixteen classic Broadway librettos, to be published by the Library of America in June 2014. (COMMEDIA TONIGHT!)

Ben Mehl

(Actor) He performed off-Broadway in The Public Theater’s Comedy of Errors in Central Park. He also co-starred in the OBIE award-winning New York premiere of Habit produced by Performance Space 122 and Crossing the Line Festival, French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF). Other New York acting/performance work includes the 52nd Street Project, Feeling at New Ohio Theatre and Victor Frange at Incubator Arts Project. Regional theatre includes Troublemaker at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Six Degrees of Separation at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Yentl at Cleveland Play House, Henry V at Two River Theater Company and Love’s Labour’s Lost at Chautauqua Theater Company. Internationally he has performed with Driftwood Theatre Group, Ontario and Piccolo Teatro di Milano. Mehl has a lead role in the upcoming film The Fly Room and was on the television show Supernatural Investigator. He holds a master’s degree in acting from the New York University Tisch Graduate Acting Program. (ILIAD)

Nolufefe Mtshabe

Holds Senior Teacher’s Diploma with University of Transkei, Performer’s Diploma in Music, BMus Hons from University of Cape Town. She has been working with Jim Calder and NYU first year Master’s students on the Agrarian Project since 2011 to date. Director of Heavenly Voices Choir which holds many Championships in South Africa. Former high school teacher. Founded the Simon Estes Music High School and chaperoned a group of 40 students on a foreign exchange programme between 1998 and 1999 in Iowa, where she had the pleasure of performing with Ray Charles and holding concerts in other States in the US. Worked as a Chorus Master trainee at Cape Town Opera. Worked as a vocal coach at Isango Portobello and Magnet theatre and also worked at The Spear Performing Arts Festival. Invited by UNESCO with a female chorus of 30 to the commemoration of Hiroshima bombing.  Translated Bizet’sCarmen and Bongani Ndodana’s Opera Winnie into Xhosa.Adapted the Magic Flute Opera into Xhosa as I mpempe Yomlingo and the Christmas Carol for Isango Poetobello. Recorded and performed the Big Brother Song for Shoprite Checkers with Mad Dot. Adjudicated school choirs at national level. (THE TYRANT & THE MAIDEN)

Eileen Myles

(Writer) was born in Boston (1949) and moved to New York in 1974 to be a poet. Snowflake/different streets (poems, 2012) is the latest of her 18 books. Inferno (a poet’s novel) came out in 2010, and is now available on i-Tunes in her own voice. For The Importance of Being Iceland/Travel Essays in Art she received a Warhol/Creative Capital grant. In 2010 the Poetry Society of America awarded Myles the Shelley Prize. She’s a 2012 Guggenheim fellow and in 2014 she won a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award in Poetry. She lives in New York. (WRITERS READING - June 4))

The Continuum Company

The Continuum Company, under the direction of Jim Calder, is a professional theatre in residence at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Acting Program and the Department of Design for Stage & Film.  The Continuum Company, whose mission is to stimulate collaboration among theatre artists who share a common training background, works within traditional methods dating back to Shakespeare, Moliere, and Commedia dell’Arte.  In addition to staging the classics, the Company encourages the development of new works such as the current project based on the lives of Natalya Estimirova and Anna Politkovsya, two journalists murdered for their work in Chechnya. With the outstanding support of Ellyn Toscano, Continuum Company began the Essential Shakespeares at Villa La Pietra in 2006 with a three-person TEMPEST.  Consecutive years saw a three-person ROMEO AND JULIET,  a collaboration with musician Jonathan Baptiste on MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, PERICLES, HAMLET and a five-person AS YOU LIKE IT and MACHBETH.  MIDSUMMER went on to tour New York City Parks thanks to Mary Schmidt Campbell, Dean of the Tisch School of the Arts.  In addition, the Continuum Company has collaborated with E.L. Doctorow, and Company works have been seen all over New York City including Classic Stage Company and New York Theatre Workshop.

Jacob Olesen

Has been acting in Italy and abroad for more than thirty years. His distinguished, lengthy artistic career began in 1978-79 at “Clownskolan” in Stockholm, in Sweden where he was born. He went from there to Paris where he spent two years at the Ècole “Jacques Lecoq”. Then, in 1981, he founded the Donati Olesen Company, with whom he performed more than 2500 shows in Italy and around the world over the course of thirty years. With six languages at his command – Italian, English, French, German, Danish and Swedish – he has been able to work in throughout Europe, in North Africa, South America, and Asia as well as in numerous short and feature-length films. He has presented many well-received theatrical performances in which he was not only the lead or supporting actor but also author and director. He has also written and performed in many television and radio programs. Finally, in 2002, he acquired a teacher's diploma in the Feldenkrais Method® in Rome, where he has been living for 24 years. The Season 2012- Servant of Two Masters. (CAPTAIN GLORIOSUS).

Marco Simonelli

(Poet, performer, and translato). He has published four collections of poems. For Black Sun Productions he wrote the libretto for the electronic opera Hotel Oriente. His forthcoming book, Splatter Love Poems will be out next winter for Sartoria Utopia Press. His website is www.marcosimonelli.net.. (WRITERS READING - June 18).

Justin Randolph Thompson

(Artist and Musician) A sculptor and new media artist born in Peekskill, NY in ’79. Living between Italy and the US since 2001, he has exhibited internationally and participated in numerous residencies in the US and in Europe. A recent recipient of the 2013 Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, a 2013 Visual Art Grant from the Fundacion Marcelino Botin, a 2013 Emerging Artist Fellowship at Socrates Sculpture Park , a Foundation for Contemporary Art Emergency Grant, the Open Studio Fellowship at Franconia Sculpture Park, a past Jerome Fellow and a resident at the Taller of Jannis Kounellis at the Fundacion Marcelino Botin in Santander, Spain. Thompson had a recent solo project at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum in San Antonio, at Villa Romana in Florence, at La Tache Gallery in Barcelona,  at Formato Comodo in Madrid and at the Cuchifritos Gallery in New York City as well as a recent screening at the Whitney Museum of American Art. In March he realized a performance piece at the Reina Sofia in Madrid.  Forthcoming projects include a collaborative show with Bradly Dever Treadaway, Sweet Exorcist at the Weil Gallery in Corpus Christi and a solo show, Moldy Figs at Momenta Art in Brooklyn. Jason Thompson is a third generation jazz musician from Peekskill, NY.  He began his professional saxophone career in 1996 when he gave up a scholarship to the University of Tennessee and started a six year stint on the road with Knoxville-based, nine member rock/R&B group Gran Torino. The group toured nationally, made several recordings, and enjoyed some college radio success before disbanding.  Thompson returned to the UTK  to study jazz under many great professors including Jerry Coker, and Donald Brown. Thompson's choice of the baritone saxophone as his main voice puts him in a smaller circle of the saxophone family, but it's his bass saxophone playing that makes him truly unique.  He recently founded the band Frog and Toad’s Dixie Quartet. Thompson performs and composes regularly. (STAYING IN A SAFETY ZONE).

Mark Wing-Davey

Mark Wing-Davey came to prominence in the US as a Theater Director with his highly acclaimed 1992 production of Caryl Churchill’s Mad Forest at New York Theatre Workshop for which he received and OBIE and other critical nominations. Since then he has worked extensively in New York City, for NYTW, Manhattan Theatre Club, Lincoln Center, Playwright’s Horizons, LAByrinth, and the Public Theater - directing Troilus and Cressida and Henry 5 (starring Liev Schrieber) in Central Park. He directed Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play at the Goodman in Chicago, Yale Rep and Epic Theater in a site-specific production at the Irondale Center in Brooklyn.  In 2013 he directed Pericles at Berkeley Rep, and continued his commitment to working on new plays, developing a project with Adam Rapp entitled The Eggs: A fantasy of Love and Death in the Age of Amelioration which he staged at NYU Graduate Acting, where he also premiered Tony Kushner’s music theater work: The Henry Box Brown Play in 2010 and in 2012 the world premiere of KMT - an adaptation by Keith Reddin and Carol Rocamora of Sukhovo-Kobylin’s Russian Trilogy. Committing much of his career to developing new work, he has directed premieres of Caryl Churchill, Sarah Ruhl, Amy Freed, Brett C Leonard (Unconditional World Premiere at LAByrinth/The Public, Ninth and Joanie), Naomi Iizuka (36 Views at Berkeley Rep/The Public- Lucille Lortel nom for Best Director, 3 Bay Area Critics Circle Award nominations), Jose Rivera (School of the Americas at LAByrinth/The Public), Anna Deveare Smith, Tony Kushner, and Craig Lucas (The Singing Forest world premiere, Small Tragedy-two OBIE awards), Mona Mansour’s The Hour of Feeling for the Louisville Humana New Play Festival, Carson Kreitzer (Behind The Eye- 8 Acclaim Awards, including Best Director, The Love Song of J Robert Oppenheimer, 1:23). Other US and international credits include productions of new and classic plays at New York and Regional theaters such as Lincoln Center, ACT, ART, Cincinnati, Mark Taper, McCarter, Milwaukee Rep, Pittsburgh Public, Playmaker’s Rep, Seattle Rep as well as earlier work at London’s Royal Court Theatre, Royal National Theatre, the Edinburgh Festival, and musicals in the West End, and Australia. In 2013 Wing-Davey became the first non-scientist member of the Emotional Brain Institute, beginning research into actors and emotion and neuroscience, and recently moderated a round-table discussion, One More with Feeling with neuroscientist Ray Dolan and actors Philip Seymour Hoffman and Tim Blake Nelson. Wing-Davey has taught and lectured all over the world, most recently at Mansfield College Oxford, Yale School of Drama, Columbia University, Princeton, British American Drama Academy, La Pietra NYU Florence and his Alma Mater, Cambridge University. Splitting his time between New York and Europe, Wing-Davey continues to direct award-winning productions while also holding the position of Chair of Graduate Acting at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, continuing to support the development of young talent, with his track record of finding and molding some of the great actors of their generation, having worked with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tim Blake Nelson, Calista Flockhart, Garrett Dillahunt early on in their careers, (BEING ME, BEING YOU)

Mark Wunderlich

(Writer) Author of three collections of poems, the most recent of which is The Earth Avails, which was published by Graywolf Press earlier this year. He is the recipient of fellowships from the NEA, the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Amy Lowell Trust, and his work has been widely anthologized. He teaches literature and writing at Bennington College in Vermont and lives in the Hudson Valley. More information about his work can be found at www.markwunderlich.com. (WRITERS READING - June 18)