'Theater Talk' to Air Discussion About Midwest Theatres on 10/3

By: Oct. 01, 2008
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“Theater Talk,” the nationally syndicated program co-hosted by New York Post theater columnist Michael Riedel and producer Susan Haskins, will air a historic panel discussion about the state of Midwest resident theatres on Friday, October 3 (early Saturday morning) at 12:30 AM on WNET, Channel 13.  Check local listings or visit www.theatertalk.org.

The panel, featuring Guthrie Director Joe Dowling, The Children’s Theatre Company Artistic Director Peter Brosius, Chicago Shakespeare Theater Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Steppenwolf Artistic Director Martha Lavey, was taped August 4 at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

This historic filmed-for-television discussion marks the first time “Theater Talk” was filmed outside of New York City.  An entirely separate episode of “Theater Talk” will be aired in February, featuring an exclusive look inside the Guthrie Theater and offering an informal interview with Dowling.

Earlier this year, Chicago Shakespeare Theater won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Regional Theatre. The same award was given to the Guthrie in 1982, Steppenwolf in 1985 and the Children’s Theatre Company in 2005, which became the first children’s theater in the country to receive the honor.

“Theater Talk” is a news and discussion television series devoted to the world of the stage. It began on New York television in 1993 and is co-hosted by Michael Riedel (Broadway columnist for the New York Post) and series producer Susan Haskins. Typically geared towards Broadway, recent guests have included Harvey Fierstein, David Hyde Pierce, Patrick Stewart, Jersey Boys librettists Rick Elice and Marshall Brickman, Frank Langella, Vanessa Redgrave, Tom Stoppard, Liev Schreiber, elaine stritch, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sean Combs and Edward Albee.

About the Participants

Joe Dowling (Guthrie Theater Director) arrived at the Guthrie in 1995, and since that time has directed more than 30 productions, including landmark productions of Shakespeare, Chekhov, Stoppard and Friel. Under Mr. Dowling’s leadership, the Guthrie Theater has enjoyed a period of tremendous growth, including the 2006 opening of a new Guthrie on banks of the Mississippi River. This architectural gem, designed by Jean Nouvel, houses three stages, increased production and rehearsal facilities and an entire floor of classrooms for the Theater’s ever-expanding education programs. Mr. Dowling was awarded the National Corporate Theatre Fund’s 2006 Achievement in Theater Award, and is a member of the Artistic Directorate of the Globe Theatre in London.  He holds an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the National University of Ireland; an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota; an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from St. John’s University, Minnesota; and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Gonzaga University, Washington.  Dowling served as artistic director of Ireland’s Abbey Theatre from 1978 to 1985. He served as managing and artistic director of Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre from 1985 to 1990. His American work includes numerous productions in New York and Washington.

Peter C. Brosius (The Children’s Theatre Company Artistic Director) joined The Children's Theatre Company in 1997. In 2003, CTC was the recipient of the 2003 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. At CTC, he has directed the world premieres of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Average Family, The Lost Boys of Sudan, Anon(ymous), Reeling, The Monkey King, Hansel & Gretel, The Snow Queen, and Mississippi Panorama, all commissioned and workshopped in CTC's new play development lab, THRESHOLD. Previously, he was the Artistic Director of The Honolulu Theatre for Youth and Artistic Director of the Improvisational Theatre Project of the Mark Taper Forum. Brosius is the recipient of numerous awards including TCG's Alan Schneider Directors Award and honors from the L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award and Dramalogue. He serves on the board of Theatre Communications Group and The Playwrights' Center.

Barbara Gaines (Chicago Shakespeare Theater Artistic Director) is the founder of Chicago Shakespeare Theater, where she has directed more than 30 of Shakespeare’s plays. Her work has been honored with Jeff Awards for Best Production and for Best Director. In 2005, Ms. Gaines was awarded the prestigious Honorary OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in recognition of her contributions strengthening British-American cultural relations. She received the 2007 Public Humanities Award from the Illinois Humanities Council this spring, and is the recipient of the 2004 Spirit of Loyola Award. Ms. Gaines serves on the Shakespearean Council of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London and is a Life Trustee of Northwestern University. She is a member of the Cultural Affairs Advisory Board for the City of Chicago and has served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Martha Lavey (Steppenwolf Artistic Director) is an Ensemble Member and the Artistic Director of Steppenwolf Theatre Company. She has served on grants panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and the City Arts panel of Chicago. She holds a doctorate in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and is a member of the National Advisory Council for the School of Communication at Northwestern and a Board Bember of TCG. She is a recipient of the Sarah Siddons Award and an Alumni Merit Award from Northwestern University.

About “Theater Talk”

“Theater Talk” is a news/discussion television series devoted to the world of the stage. It began on New York television in 1993, and is one of the few independent productions on PBS, now syndicated to a growing number of stations throughout the country, including those in Rochester, Syracuse, Schenectady, Binghamton, Albany, Buffalo, Watertown and Elmira in New York, Providence, RI; Odessa, Texas; Eureka, Kansas; Sacramento and Redding, California; Missoula, Montana; Steubenville, Ohio and Washington, DC. 

About the Guthrie

The Guthrie Theater, founded in 1963, is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training. The Guthrie is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. Led by Director Joe Dowling since 1995, the Guthrie recently moved to their new threew-theater home on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.

 The Guthrie is located at 818 South 2nd Street (at Chicago Avenue), in downtown Minneapolis. To purchase tickets or season subscriptions call the Guthrie Theater Box Office between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily at 612.377.2224 or toll-free 877.44.STAGE. For more information, or to purchase tickets online, visit www.guthrietheater.org.