David Hyde Pierce Named Master Teacher for Ten Chimneys Foundation's Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship
On January 27, 2014, Ten Chimneys Foundation announced that Tony and Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce will serve as the Master Teacher for the 2014 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program. From July 13-20, ten of the nation's top regional theatre actors will join Mr. Pierce for an intensive weeklong master class and immersion experience at Ten Chimneys, the National Historic Landmark estate of Broadway legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, in Genesee Depot, Wisconsin.
"What a gift this is - a chance to retreat and recharge, to connect with and learn from a diverse group of accomplished actors, and to remind ourselves, through Alfred and Lynn, of the theatrical lineage we all share."
- David Hyde Pierce, 2014 Master Teacher
This will be the sixth year of the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program. During the first two years, the top regional theatre actors in the U.S. spent the artistic portion of their Ten Chimneys immersion delving into Shakespeare - with the late actress Lynn Redgrave in 2009 and renowned Shakespearean Barry Edelstein in 2010. In 2011, they explored Chekhov with award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis. In 2012, the actors focused on American Musical Theatre with Broadway legend Joel Grey, and in 2013, explored spontaneity on stage with American icon, Alan Alda. Ten Chimneys Foundation is delighted to welcome award-winning actor David Hyde Pierce to this exemplary company of Master Teachers.
"The Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship is the preeminent program for theatre actors with a minimum of twenty years of stage experience. It's THE opportunity for our country's top regional actors to come together, to be reinvigorated, to grow in their art form, and to feed from the creative energies of their fellow actors and master class teacher. We are thrilled to have David Hyde Pierce as the lead for the 2014 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program. He exemplifies the qualities Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne valued - commitment to theatre, mentorship, and the pursuit of excellence."
- Randy Bryant, Ten Chimneys Foundation President & CEO
In consultation with a distinguished board of national advisors and in collaboration with top regional theatres from around the country, Ten Chimneys Foundation is in the process of selecting ten accomplished actors, its "theatre mentors," from the nominees submitted by this year's cast of award-winning Partner Theatres. In addition, Mr. Pierce's curriculum, content, and focus of the artistic elements of the experience are beginning to take shape.
"To attend Ten Chimneys as a Fellow was to commune with the masters of stage - past and present. The Lunt-Fontanne estate and program is an immersive experience for professionals into our talent AND our potential. My old pal, David Hyde Pierce, will bring his skill, wisdom, humor and humanity as a master of modern entertainment to this year's fortunate fellows."
- Sharon Lawrence, 2013 Lunt-Fontanne Fellow, nominated by The Pasadena Playhouse
Ten Chimneys, the Wisconsin estate lovingly created by theatre legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, is open to the public as a House Museum and national resource for theatre, the arts, and arts education. For much of the twentieth century, Ten Chimneys served as a haven for the Lunts and the artistic leaders of their era. Carol Channing famously said of Ten Chimneys, "There is a peculiar feeling for actors or anybody in the theatre that when you went to Ten Chimneys you had done something right. You had died and gone to heaven. You were home."
In addition to welcoming and inspiring the "best-of-the-best" in American theatre to Ten Chimneys, the Lunts were also known for their dedication to the next generation of actors, counting among their protégés some of the most famous actors in the world. The Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program continues that tradition of mentorship. This historic context, and the inherent inspiration of Ten Chimneys, is why Lynn Redgrave said that "this program simply couldn't happen anywhere else," and why participating Fellows have all talked about the immersion experience as being "transformative."