T. Fellowship Announces New Geraldine Stutz T. Fellow Rachel Sussman

T. Fellowship, in association with Columbia University School of the Arts, announces the next T. Fellow is Rachel Sussman, the seventh 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, and will have access to courses in Columbia's MFA Theatre Management & Producing Program.

Rachel Sussman is as talented a potential producer as she is wise, creative, energetic, and has boundless enthusiasm. She has a future as a creative producer, said mentor and founder Harold Prince.

The T. Fellowship mentors are Harold Prince (Mentor and Founder), Sue Frost, Margo Lion, Tom Schumacher, Jeffrey Seller and David Stone. The program is managed by Columbia University School of the Arts.

Other advisors and staff for the T. Fellowship program include Co-Director Orin Wolf (President of NETworks Presentations), Co Director Steven Chaikelson (Head of the MFA Theatre Management & Producing Concentration at the School of the Arts), Co-Director Aaron Glick (Producer, Former T-Fellow), Victoria Bailey (Executive Director, Theatre Development Fund), Gregory Mosher (Director), Assistant Director Hannah Rosenthal, Co Founder Ed Wilson 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. When Geraldine Stutz first met T. Edward Hambleton, her instinct told her that a collaboration with him would be an exciting adventure in the world of theater. A few years later, the adventure became a reality when the Fellowship for Creative Producing was hatched in Geraldine's living room with T. himself, Hal Prince and Ed Wilson.

Orin Wolf and John Pinkard were awarded the first two T. Fellowships in 2006. Aaron Glick (2013), Jen Hoguet (2015) and Christopher Maring (2016) and Allison Bressi (2017) are past recipients of the T. Fellowship.

The T. Fellowship is generously supported by The Broadway League, The Geraldine Stutz Trust and The John Gore Organization.

Rachel Sussman is a New York-based creative producer committed to nurturing dynamic theatrical work through collaboration. Rachel is a co-founder of The MITTEN Lab, an emerging theatre artist residency program in her native state of Michigan as well as the Co-Founding Producing Director of The Indigo Theatre Project. She has worked with companies such as Second Stage Theatre, RKO Stage, 321 Theatrical Management, Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, and NYMF. She recently produced the Obie Award-winning production of Strangemen & Co.'s The Woodsman (New World Stages/59E59) and is developing a new musical about the American women's suffrage movement by Shaina Taub. A past Women's Project Lab Time Warner Foundation Fellow, Rachel is a graduate of the Commercial Theater Institute (Fred Vogel Scholarship) and a University Scholar alumna of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

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.

The T. Fellowship is a project-based program that supports the development of the chosen fellow's project over the course of one year. Each fellow is given access to a selection of courses in the MFA Theatre Management & Producing Program at Columbia University School of the Arts. The specific courses are chosen in order to best support the fellow's growth. In addition, each fellow receives structured mentorship from the mentors and advisers who retain an advise and consent role in the process. Through these two support systems, the program aims to empower the fellows as they exercise freedom in all the creative and financial areas of development.

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 eighth T. Fellow, who has been selected and is set to begin in the Fall 2019, will be announced this spring. The T. Fellowship will be accepting new applications starting January 2020.

The T. Fellowship grew out of an idea that T. Edward Hambleton first had in the mid-1990s. He imagined a program that would help foster a new generation of creative theatrical producers who would stand apart from those who were strictly financiers. He worked with Harold Prince, the late Geraldine Stutz, Ed Wilson and the Theater Development Fund and the idea for the fellowship took shape.

The Founders believed the program would be best served under the umbrella of one of New York's top level educational institutions and approached Columbia University. The University, through Gregory Mosher at the Columbia Arts Initiative and Steven Chaikelson in the Theatre Program at Columbia University School of the Arts, further developed the vision and structure for the fellowship and provides the Fellows access to the extraordinary academic and cross-disciplinary strengths that Columbia University offers.

Today, through the ongoing generous support of The Broadway League, The Geraldine Stutz Trust and The John Gore Organization, a new fellow is selected annually.

The T. Fellowship is administered by the Theatre Program at 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, Moli re, 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 productions; 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 Anne Bogart, James Calleri, Steven Chaikelson, David Henry Hwang, Brian Kulick, Chuck Mee, Lynn Nottage, Christian Parker, Michael Passaro, and Ron Van Lieu. 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 and Media Studies; it also offers an interdisciplinary program in Sound Art. The School is a thriving, diverse community of talented, visionary and Committed Artists from around the world and a faculty comprised of acclaimed and internationally renowned artists, film and theatre directors, writers of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, playwrights, producers, critics and scholars. In 2015, the School marked the 50th Anniversary of its founding. In 2017, the School opened the Lenfest Center for the Arts, a multi-arts venue designed as a hub for the presentation and creation of art across disciplines on the University's new Manhattanville campus. The Lenfest hosts exhibitions, performances, screenings, symposia, readings, and lectures that present new, global voices and perspectives, as well as an exciting, publicly accessible home for Columbia's Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery. For more information, visit arts.columbia.edu.

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