Jon Robin Baitz And Jo Bonney Join The New School Staff
The New School for Drama has announced that two award-winning artists, playwright Jon Robin Baitz and director Jo Bonney, will be joining the faculty for the Spring 2009 semester. Baitz will be teaching Playwriting and Bonney will be instructing a course on Directing Short Plays. Baitz will be teaching while faculty member Michael Weller is on leave.
Weller received the 2009 Carl Djerassi Distinguished Fellowship in Playwriting and will be spending the spring semester at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Bonney will be teaching directors in their first year of study, building upon the work begun by Directing Chair Elinor Renfield in the fall semester.
"Baitz and Bonney are examples of the high caliber professionals that the New School for Drama is able to attract through its strong ties to the New York theater world," said Robert LuPone, director of The New School for Drama. "Their success proves that there is still room for imaginative, risky, and, most important, original plays. For our students, this is an outstanding opportunity to learn from shining lights in the field. We look forward to having them join us this spring."
The New School for Drama is a three-year intensive, interrelated program dedicated to training artists in the fields of Playwriting, Directing, and Acting. Students begin with a course of self-discovery, explore technical craftsmanship in the second year, and finish by writing, directing, and acting in full productions, as well as developing a business plan for the transition from student to professional artist.
Jon Robin Baitz's plays include The Film Society, The Substance of Fire, Three Hotels, A Fair Country, Ten Unknowns, Mizlansky/ Zilinsky, a new version of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, which was produced on Broadway in 2001, and The Paris Letter. He is the creator of the hit ABC TV show Brothers & Sisters, which he also produced for the first two seasons. He is currently writing and executive producing a mini-series for HBO about the selling of the Iraq war to the public titled, "Bush's War". His PBS film version of Three Hotels won a Humanitas Award. Other screenplays include The Substance of Fire based on his play, and People I know, which starred Al Pacino. He has also written episodes of West Wing and Alias. He is a Pulitzer finalist, a Guggenheim and NEA fellow, an American Academy of Arts & Letters Award winner, and a founding member and a former artistic director of New York's Naked Angels theatre company. His new play Love & Mercy will be produced next season on Broadway. His work has been produced in New York by Playwrights Horizons, the Roundabout Theatre, Lincoln Center Theatre, and Second Stage.
Jo Bonney's plays include On the Mountain, Fat Pig, Living Out, Anna in the Tropics, Slanguage, Fifth of July, Adoration of the Old Woman, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, Humpty Dumpty, suburbia, Funhouse; Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll; Pounding Nails into the Floor with My Forehead, and Wake Up and Smell the Coffee. Other credits include, Philip Ridley's The Fastest Clock in the Universe and Seth Zvi Rosenfeld's The Flatted Fifth (The New Group), and Warren Leight's Stray Cats (Naked Angels). Bonney is the recipient of a 1998 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Direction and is the editor of Extreme Exposure: An Anthology of Solo Performance Texts from the Twentieth Century (TCG). Bonney's upcoming plays include: Caryl Churchill's Top Girls (Williamstown) and Charles Fuller's A Soldier's Play (Second Stage).
At The New School for Drama, the instinct to create is revered. Through its interrelated, three-year MFA program in acting, directing, or playwriting, the school is forging the next generation of dramatic artists. A faculty of working professionals brings to the fore each student's unique and original voice, and helps them establish a rooted sense of who they are as individuals and as artists. The New School's history in the dramatic arts began in the 1940s, when the Dramatic Workshop, led by founder Erwin Piscator and a faculty including Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg, fostered artistic voices as distinctive as Tennessee Williams and Marlon Brando. For more information, visit www.drama.newschool.edu.