American Theatre magazine, published by Theatre Communications Group (TCG), will hold an event on Monday, January 8th at the Robert Moss Theater in New York City to celebrate its January issue on directing training. The event will feature a panel discussion moderated by American Theatre’s Allison Considine about career-building, mentorship, and training with directors Anne Bogart, Rachel Chavkin, Anne Kauffman, and Liesl Tommy.
The conversation will be recorded as part of American Theatre’s Offscript podcast.
This AT Live free event is currently sold out, and is no longer taking advanced RSVPs at this time. There will be a wait list on the day-of on a first-come, first-seated basis. The event will be held on Monday, January 8th from 6-7pm ET at the Robert Moss Theater at 440 Studios, 440 Lafayette St, and livestreamed via American Theatre’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AT.magazine/.
The loneliest theatre discipline is also perhaps the one that requires the most collaborative skill set: directing. Directors must analyze text and shepherd a vision from the page to the stage, all while corralling the cast and creative team from the rehearsal hall to opening night. But the greatest skill they must master is shaping a career in an uncertain and changing theatre landscape that has put more resources into developing writers and audiences than in training and retaining directorial talent. Many training programs now offer courses in generative directing and devising, adding another prong to the long-game process of shaping a career. This panel will take a multi-generational look at the craft and career of directing in the American theatre.
Anne Bogart is the co-artistic director of SITI Company, which she co-founded with Takashi Suzuki. Her directing credits with the company include Steel Hammer, A Rite, Café Variations, Trojan Women (After Euripides), American Document, Antigone, Under Construction, Freshwater, Who Do You Think You Are, Radio Macbeth, Hotel Cassiopeia, Death and the Ploughman, La Dispute, Score, bobrauschenbergamerica, Room, War of the Worlds—the Radio Play, Cabin Pressure, Alice’s Adventures, Culture of Desire, Bob, Going, Going, Gone, Small Lives/BigDreams, The Medium, Noël Coward’s Hay Fever and Private Lives, August Strindberg’s Miss Julie, and Charles Mee’s, Orestes. Bogart runs the graduate directing program at Columbia University. She has written five books: A Director Prepares, The Viewpoints Book, And Then, You Act, Conversations with Anne, and the recently published What’s the Story. She received a B.A. from Bard College, and holds a M.A. from New York University.
Rachel Chavkin is a director, writer and dramaturg, as well as the artistic director of Brooklyn-based company the TEAM. Selected work includes Dave Malloy’s Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 (Ars Nova, Kazino, A.R.T., Broadway), Anaïs Mitchell’s Hadestown (New York Theatre Workshop, Edmonton Citadel), Marco Ramirez’s The Royale (Old Globe, Lincoln Center), Bess Wohl’s Small Mouth Sounds (Ars Nova, Off-Broadway, national tour), Sarah Gancher’s I’ll Get You Back Again (Round House), and multiple collaborations with Taylor Mac including The Lily’s Revenge, Act 2 (HERE). Chavkin is a recipient of a Tony nomination for Best Direction, three Obie Awards, a Drama Desk Award, multiple Lortel nominations, two Doris Duke Impact Award nominations, and the 2017 Smithsonian Award for Ingenuity along with Dave Malloy.
Anne Kauffman’s recent credits include Mary Jane and Hundred Days at the New York Theatre Workshop; Marvin’s Room at Roundabout Theatre Company; Assasins at City Center Encores! Off-Center; A Life (Lucielle Lortel and Drama Desk nominations), Marjorie Prime (Lucille Lortel and Drama League Award nominations), Detroit, Your Mother’s Copy of the Kama Sutra, and Maple and Vine at Playwrights Horizons; Sundown Yellow Moon at Ars Nova and WP Theatre; The Nether and Smokefall at MCC Theater; Buzzer at the Public Theatre; Belleville (Lucille Lortel Award nomination) at NYTW and Yale Rep; You Got Older (Drama Desk Award nomination) at P73 Productions: The Muscles in Our Toes at Labyrinth Theater Company; Somewhere Fun and God’s Ear at New Georges and Vineyard Theater; and Stunning and Slowgirl at LCT3. She has also directed regionally at Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Yale Rep, and the Wilma. She is the artistic associate and a founding member of The Civilians. She also serves as Roundabout Theatre Company’s resident director, program associate for Sundance, Clubbed Thumb associate artist and co-creator of the CT Directing Fellowship, New Georges associate artist, Artistic Council of Soho Rep, and SDC executive board member. She has won two Obie Awards (for Directing and Sustained Excellence), as well as the Joan and Joseph Cullman Award for Exceptional Creativity from Lincoln Center, the Alan Schneider Director Award, and two Barrymore Awards. She holds an MFA in directing from University of California, San Diego
Liesl Tommy is an Obie and Lortel award-winning director. Her Broadway production of Danai Gurira’s Eclipsed garnered six Tony Award nominations, and she made history as the first woman of color to be nominated for Best Direction of a Play. Her Off Broadway credits include Kid Victory at Vineyard Theatre and Virginia’s Signature Theatre; productions of Eclipsed, Party People, and The Good Negro at New York’s Public Theatre; and Appropriate at New York City’s Signature Theatre, for which she won an Obie Award. She has also directed productions at Hyperion Theater for Disney, Canadian Stage, Luminato Festival, Huntington Theatre Company, La Jolla Playhouse, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Baltimore Centre Stage, Dallas Theater Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Contemporary American Theater Festival, Yale Repertory, California Shakespeare Theater, and Trinity Repertory. She recently made her TV directorial debut with Queen Sugar on OWN. She is a program associate at the Sundance Institute, and an associate artist at Berkeley Repertory Theatre.