Jenn Colella, Jenna Leigh Green, and More Make Up Cast of Drama League's DIRECTORFEST

Jenn Colella, Jenna Leigh Green, and More Make Up Cast of Drama League's DIRECTORFEST

The Drama League (Executive Artistic Director Gabriel Stelian-Shanks) has announced full casting for the newly reimagined annual event DirectorFest, a multi-week, city-wide festival focusing on the art and future of contemporary American stage directing at various locations around NYC: The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture (18 Bleecker Street), The Drama League Theater Center (32 Avenue of the Americas), and The Drama Book Shop (250 West 40thStreet) from January 13-22, 2018. Festival details, tickets and additional information are now available at www.directorfest.org, or by calling (212) 244-9494.

For its 34th year, the festival will include four fully-staged productions, a showcase evening of new musicals, staged readings, discussion panels, book signings, workshops and conversations with America's most notable directors.

Taking place over two weeks in venues across Manhattan, highlights of the festival include the rarely-seen plays F.O.B. by David Henry Hwang, and Disco Pigs by Enda Walsh, the new works Storm, Still by Gabrielle Reisman, and Pork Kidneys To Soothe Despair by Alejandro Ricaño, translated by Daniel Jáquez, and the staged readings Group by Alex Rubin, and an evening of selections from new musicals called She Persisted, directed by Laura Brandel.

The 2017 Drama League Directors Project Fellows include Laura Brandel, Bonnie Gabel, Matt Dickson, Flordelino Lagundino, and Rebecca Martinez. Chosen last spring from over 330 applicants nationwide, these five visionary emerging directors recently completed their year of mentorship, assistantships, training and career development as part of The Drama League Directors Project.

The creative team for DirectorFest includes Reid Thompson (sets), Lauren Gaston (costumes), Lois Gordon (lights), Justin Propper and Mike Tracey (sound),Mitch Krieger (props), Ling Tang (choreography), Sean Bradley (Fight Director), Brandon Pape (Production Manager), with Travis LeMont Ballenger (Associate Producer), Gabriel Stelian-Shanks (Executive Artistic Director), and Sherri Eden Barber (Program Director). Casting for the festival by Harriet Bass, Michael Cassara, Stephen DeAngelis, Kate Lumpkin, and Stephanie Klapper.

The festival will also include UpClose, a series of conversations with America's foremost contemporary directors, including Anne Bogart (Dead Man's Cell Phone), Anne Kauffman (Mary Jane), Damon Kiely (Oklahoma!), Robert O'Hara (Bootycandy), Kimberly Senior (Disgraced), and George C. Wolfe (Shuffle Along).

"Having supported American theatre directors for over thirty years, The Drama League has far too often heard the question, 'What does a director really do?' Finally, the time has come to answer that question," noted Executive Artistic Director Gabriel Stelian-Shanks. "By foregrounding the director's art, it's our hope that we can amplifyDirectorFest into a national conversation about the state of the art form."

Associate Producer Travis LeMont Ballenger added: "Through nearly two dozen performances and events this January, DirectorFest will ask audiences to explore the craft of directing, celebrating master directors at the top of their field alongside the brightest rising directors in the country."

During DirectorFest, Ms. Brandel, Ms. Gabel, Mr. Dickson, Mr. Lagundino, and Ms. Martinez will join the ranks of the illustrious 325+ alumni of The Drama League Directors Project, including Tony® Award winners Christopher Ashley (Come From Away), Rebecca Taichman (Indecent), Sam Gold (Fun Home), Diane Paulus (Waitress),Michael Mayer (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Pam MacKinnon (Amelie), John Rando (On The Town), Tony Award nominees Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812), Moritz von Steulpnagel (Present Laughter), Alex Timbers (Rocky The Musical), and Mark Brokaw (Heisenberg), to name only a few.

DirectorFest is made possible thanks to the generosity of The Achelis and Bodman Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and The Leo Shull Foundation for the Arts.

Programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Special thanks to The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust for supporting The Drama League.

Subsidized studio space provided by the A.R.T./New York Creative Space Grant, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


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