Berkeley Repertory Theatre Announces 16 Fellowships

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Berkeley Repertory Theatre Announces 16 Fellowships

Today Berkeley Repertory Theatre announced that 16 college graduates – including six California natives – have been awarded fellowships for the upcoming season. Each year, young leaders from across America are selected for this prestigious training program and proceed to learn their craft alongside accomplished professionals. In addition to being mentored by the experienced staff of a Tony Award-winning nonprofit, this new class of fellows will collaborate on productions with an incredible array of artists who have collectively earned five Tony Awards, 11 Obie Awards, and a Pulitzer Prize.

It's an unparalleled opportunity to get behind the scenes at one of the nation's hottest theatres. In the last decade, seven shows developed at Berkeley Rep have ended up on Broadway! Twelve landed off Broadway, two moved to London, two turned into films, and others have toured the nation. Berkeley Rep's fellowship program is sponsored by American Express.

"Berkeley Rep is renowned for its investment in new artists and its commitment to new plays," said Susan Medak, the Theatre's managing director. "We are equally committed to the young administrators and artisans who work behind the scenes. These young people are the future of American theatre, so our fellowship program is an investment in their future and the future of our vibrant industry. We look forward to teaching them – and learning from them – over the next year, as together we create a new season of exhilarating shows at Berkeley Rep."

Fellowships at Berkeley Rep combine hands-on practical experience with educational seminars that provide insight into the operation and inner workings of a professional theatre. The program, one of the nation's most esteemed and most extensive, offers training in more than a dozen different disciplines. Fellows make an 11-month commitment to the Theatre, generally starting in August and concluding their residencies in June. The partnership between Berkeley Rep and the fellowship recipient provides invaluable experience and professional contacts, providing a pathway to employment. Many of Berkeley Rep's employees are former fellows, and a full two-thirds of past fellows continue to work professionally in the industry. In fact, two of last year's fellows are joining the staff at Berkeley Rep: Kyle Sircus is the new marketing manager and Amy Bobeda now serves as assistant costume designer, assistant shop manager, and assistant wardrobe supervisor.

Fellowships for the 2012-13 Season have been awarded to the following 16 young people:

Leah Barish, a native of Austin, TX and graduate of the University of Rochester, will be mentored by Company Manager Megan Wygant.
Timothy Bruno, a native of Clifton Heights, PA and graduate of Point Park University, will be mentored by Costume Director Maggi Yule
Nora Sorena Casey, a native of Santa Monica, CA and graduate of the University of Chicago, will serve as the Peter Sloss Literary and Dramaturgy Fellow under Literary Manager Madeleine Oldham.
Ashley Cleveland, a native of Atlanta, GA and graduate of Spelman College, will be mentored by Community Programs Manager Ben Hanna.
Ali Dineen, a native of Jackson Heights, NY and graduate of Bard College, will be mentored by Technical Director Jim Smith.
Emily Fassler, a native of Seattle, WA and graduate of the University of Washington, will serve as the Harry Weininger Sound Fellow under Sound Supervisor James Ballen.
Mary Kay Hickox, a native of Alameda, CA and graduate of San Francisco State University, will return for another year under the mentorship of Art Director Cheshire Isaacs.
Anthony Jannuzzi, a native of Chandler, AZ and graduate of Arizona State University, will be mentored by Master Electrician Fred Geffken.
Betty Lin, a native of West Covina, CA and graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, will be mentored by Scenic Artist Lisa Lázár.
Rachel London, a native of New York, NY and graduate of Yale University, will be mentored by Production Stage Manager Michael Suenkel.
Jamie McClave, a native of Overland Park, KS and graduate of Trinity University, will be mentored by Director of Development Lynn Eve Komaromi.
Jacob Marx Rice, a native of Oakland, CA and graduate of Columbia University will be mentored by Director of Marketing and Communications Robert Sweibel
Amanda Spector, a native of Beverly Hills, CA and graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, will be mentored by Rachel Fink, director of the School of Theatre.
Read Tuddenham, a native of Berkeley, CA and graduate of Oberlin College, will be mentored by Production Manager Tom Pearl.
Ann Vollrath, a native of Cedarburg, WI and graduate of the University of Wisconsin, will be mentored by Properties Manager Ashley Dawn.
Brandon Weinbrenner, a native of Dallas, TX and graduate of the University of Minnesota, returns for a second year as the Bret C. Harte Directing Fellow under Artistic Director Tony Taccone.

These fellows will be an essential part of Berkeley Rep's 2012-13 Season, which begins in August with the West Coast premiere of Chinglish from Tony Award-winner David Henry Hwang and two-time Obie-winner Leigh Silverman. In October, Obie-winner Lisa Peterson delivers a visceral new version of An Iliad, and then Tony-winning director Mary Zimmerman gives the Bay Area a beautiful gift for the holidays with The White Snake. Dan LeFranc greets the New Year with the exuberant world premiere of Troublemaker, or The Freakin Kick-A Adventures of Bradley Boatright. Next Pulitzer Prize-winner Lawrence Wright teams up with legendary director Gregory Mosher for the world premiere of Fallaci before Berkeley Rep brings the Bard back with a bang in MarK Wing-Davey's production of Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Finally, in May, two beloved collaborators – Sarah Ruhl and Les Waters – reunite for the West Coast premiere of Dear Elizabeth. This entire experience is supported by BART and Wells Fargo, who have generously renewed their commitment as Berkeley Rep's official season sponsors.

Berkeley Repertory Theatre has grown from a storefront stage to an international leader in innovative theatre. Known for its core values of imagination and excellence, as well as its educated and adventurous audience, the nonprofit has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists since 1968. In four decades, four million people have enjoyed more than 300 shows at Berkeley Rep. These shows have gone on to win five Tony Awards, seven Obie Awards, nine Drama Desk Awards, one Grammy Award, and many other honors. In recognition of its place on the national stage, Berkeley Rep received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997. Its bustling facilities – which include the 400-seat Thrust Stage, the 600-seat Roda Theatre, the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, the Osher Studio, and a spacious new campus in West Berkeley – are helping revitalize a renowned city.

Come see tomorrow's plays today at Berkeley Rep. Subscriptions are now on sale for the upcoming season, and individual tickets go on sale soon. For details, call (510) 647-2949 – or simply click berkeleyrep.org.

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