Christopher Maring Will Receive 5th Annual T. Fellowship
T. Fellowship, in association with Columbia University School of the Arts, announces the next T. Fellow is Christopher Maring, the fifth fellow in the one-year program designed to educate and empower new creative producers. The fellow will receive a stipend of $10,000 with a $20,000 budget for the development of a new theatrical production.
The T. Fellowship mentors are Harold Prince (Mentor and Founder), Margo Lion, Gregory Mosher, Tom Schumacher, Jeffrey Seller and David Stone. The program is managed by Columbia University School of the Arts. The T. Fellowship Committee Members will serve as mentors to the selected Fellow.
Other advisors and staff for the T. Fellowship program include Victoria Bailey (Executive Director, Theatre Development Fund), Director Orin Wolf (President of NETworks), Co-director Steven Chaikelson (Head of the MFA Theatre Management & Producing Concentration at the School of the Arts), Assistant Director Laura Bennegadi, Ed Wilson (Co-Founder) and Allen Greenberg (Director of The Geraldine Stutz Trust).
The T. Fellowship was established to honor the legacy of Broadway producer T. Edward Hambleton by supporting and developing a new generation of gifted, emerging creative theatrical producers, who initiate work from the ground up, following a path all their own.
Orin Wolf and John Pinkard were awarded the first two T. Fellowships in 2006. Aaron Glick was awarded the third T. Fellowship in 2013. Jen Hoguet was awarded the fourth T. Fellowship in 2015.
Christopher Maring recently founded CM Stage Productions, a Production Company that develops, produces, and manages new musicals. Prior to this, he spent 9 years in the office of award-winning producers Tom Hulce and Ira Pittelman. During that time, he worked on the original Tony Award winning production of Spring Awakening (Broadway, London, National Tour), the critically acclaimed Green Day's American Idiot (Berkeley Rep, Broadway, National Tour), the re-imagined On A Clear Day You Can See Forever staring Harry Connick Jr. (Broadway), The Fortress of Solitude, adapted from the novel by Jonathan Lethem (Public Theater, Dallas Theater Center), and 10 Million Miles, with music by Patty Griffin (Atlantic Theater Company), as well as numerous readings and workshops. Independently, Christopher helped develop and produce Futurity, a new musical by César Alvarez and Brooklyn-based band The Lisps (ART, Walker Art Center) and develop Hadestown, based on the album by singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell. Christopher began his career as a freelance director and is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, the recipient of a SDC Observership, and spent a summer as part of the directing corps at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Christopher originally hails from Fargo, ND and is a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
The T. Fellowship is a one-year program.
The goal of the Fellowship is to support the development of gifted emerging theatrical producers. The T. Fellowship is committed to sustaining the finest traditions of creative producing. Although the environment in which theatre is produced continues to change, the underlying principles that have historically shepherded great works of American theater continue to have validity today and must be understood and adapted if the art form is to thrive.
Each selected T. Fellow will participate in two parallel tracks with different focuses.
Track One is the Rotation Track during which the fellow may take classes and apprentice/observe through placements "in the field" with working professionals. The curriculum and placements for the Rotation Phase will be tailored to the specific needs of the individual fellow.
Track Two is the Project Track during which the fellow will produce and present the work they have developed. The Mentors and Advisors will meet with the fellow throughout the year to provide feedback and guidance on how the work is developed.
The T. Fellowship exposes the Fellows to the widest possible range of contemporary theatrical producing practices while providing opportunities to discuss the shifting role of the creative producer. The T. Fellowship will provide financial, legal, and production support for development of a project and a presentation. The philosophy is that which is good for the art form is good for business. The Fellowship emphasizes that the creative producer's role is to be the instigator, the collaborator, and the leader who gets art on the stage and to the public. The T. Fellowship neither wishes to turn back the clock to 1950 nor settle for the status quo. The T. Fellowship is looking to empower new producers to reinvent the wheel themselves, on their own terms, following their own tastes, in their own style.
Limiting selection to one or two candidates a year is fundamental to the program. The limitation on the number of Fellows allows for maximum attention to the individual goals and needs of the Fellows. In addition it insures that the Fellowship can maintain a high degree of selectivity. Selection is based on an application, essays, and interviews.
The T. Fellowship will be accepting new applications from January 16 to March 31, 2017. Final candidates will go through an interview process with the T. Fellowship committee. The Fellow will be announced over the summer and the program will begin in the fall of 2017.
In the mid-1990s, T. and Geraldine Stutz had an idea to create a fellowship for creative producing. They had been collaborating on Theatre Projects when the idea came to them in Geraldine's living room. Along with Hal Prince and Ed Wilson, the plan was developed in conjunction with the Theatre Development Fund (TDF). The Founders felt the needs of the fellowship would be best served in an educational environment. Working in cooperation with Columbia University, The Columbia Arts Initiative (Gregory Mosher, director), the Theater Program of the Columbia School of the Arts (Steven Chaikelson, chair), and TDF (Victoria Bailey, Executive Director), they defined the vision for the Fellowship.
The T. Fellowship, as a partnership between theater professionals and Columbia University, draws on working professionals in the field as well as the extraordinary academic and cross disciplinary strengths that Columbia University offers. Columbia's participation ensures that, in addition to providing hands on experience, the Fellowship also provides an opportunity for an overview of the challenges facing theater producers in a cross-disciplinary, collaborative forum.
The T. Fellowship is administered by the Theatre Program of the Columbia University School of the Arts. A Committee of Mentors and Advisors has been formed that includes the T. Fellowship Founders, the Head of the Columbia University MFA Theatre Management & Producing Program, working theater professionals, and members of the Columbia University faculty.
This Committee approves Fellow selection, rotation programs, project selection, and budgets. Mentors and Advisors make themselves available to the Fellows on a one-on-one basis; additionally, they are a resource to the broader Columbia student population through participation in seminars and panel discussions.
T. Edward Hambleton founded the Phoenix Theatre with Norris Houghton in 1953, making it an early force in the Off-Broadway movement. After 29 consecutive New York seasons and 164 productions as managing director, T. Edward continued the Phoenix commitment by presenting challenging new productions of high artistic quality and assisting emerging playwrights. During its long and distinguished history, the Phoenix presented new works by Robert Audrey, Frank Gilroy, Arthur Kopit, James Saunders, LaTouche and Moross while at the same time offering fresh productions of Shakespeare, Shaw, Pirandello, Brecht, O'Neill, Ionesco, Fry, O'Casey, Sherwood, Gorky, Marlowe, Kaufman and Hart, Sartre, Molière, Miller and Williams, under such directors as Tyrone Guthrie, John Houseman, Ellis Rabb, Gordon Davidson, Hal Prince and Gene Saks with actors including Helen Hayes, Irene Worth, Cynthia Harris, Meryl Streep, Eva Le Gallienne, Jimmy Stewart, Nancy Walker and Carol Burnett. After 1976, the Phoenix concentrated on new plays and the nurturing of new playwrights through its Commission Program. The fruits of these labors include Wendy Wasserstein's Uncommon Women and Others and Isn't It Romantic; David Berry's G. R. Point; MarSha Norman's Getting Out; Ron Hutchinson's Says I, Says He; Peter Handke's A Sorrow Beyond Dreams; and Mustapha Matura's Meetings. Hambleton served as a member of the Board of Directors of Center Stage in Baltimore, Maryland, and as a member of the Board of Governors of the League of American Theatres and Producers. He received a Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre in 2000. In 2001, he was added to the Theatre Hall of Fame.
The MFA Theatre Program at Columbia University School of the Arts is international, collaborative and interdisciplinary. Named in honor of Oscar Hammerstein II, it is defined by its location in New York City, a global capital of theatre, and by the extensive network of Columbia alumni and faculty who run prestigious Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional theatres; direct and perform in Tony and other award-winning production; work in every level of the professional theatre world; and teach, mentor and engage with students on an ongoing basis. The Theatre MFA programs in acting, directing, playwriting, dramaturgy, stage management, and theatre management & producing seek students who have the talent, vision, and commitment to become exceptional artists. At the School of the Arts, students acquire disciplines rooted deeply in the classics while branching out into new forms and exploring the cutting edge of theatrical art. The best theatre in every culture and in all eras has not only reflected its time but also shaped its society and often helped point it toward the future. The Theatre Program aims to train theatre artists to fulfill that important role in today's society. Among the program's leading faculty are Arnold Aronson, Anne Bogart, James Calleri, Steven Chaikelson, David Henry Hwang, Brian Kulick, Chuck Mee, Gregory Mosher, Lynn Nottage, Christian Parker, Michael Passaro, Andrei Serban, and Niky Wolcz. Visit arts.columbia.edu/theatre for more information.
Columbia University School of the Arts awards the Master of Fine Arts degree in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts and Writing and the Master of Arts degree in Film Studies; it also offers an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts. The School is a thriving, diverse community of artists from around the world with talent, vision and commitment. The faculty is composed of acclaimed and internationally renowned artists, film and theatre directors, writers of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, playwrights, producers, critics and scholars. Every year the School of the Arts presents exciting and innovative programs for the public including performances, exhibitions, screenings, symposia, a film festival, and numerous lectures, readings, panel discussions and talks with artists, writers, critics and scholars. For more information, visit arts.columbia.edu.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski