Jerry Zaks Will Lead The Nation's Top Regional Theater Actors As Master Teacher For The 2023 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program

Actors to convene for master class and immersion experience at historic Ten Chimneys, July 16-23, 2023.

By: May. 17, 2023
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Jerry Zaks Will Lead The Nation's Top Regional Theater Actors As Master Teacher For The 2023 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program

Ten Chimneys Foundation has announced prominent director Jerry Zaks will serve as Master Teacher for the 2023 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program, a national program to serve the future of American theater.

July 16th-23rd, ten of the nation's top regional theater actors will join Mr. Zaks for an intensive, weeklong master class and immersion experience at Ten Chimneys, the National Historic Landmark estate of theater legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne in Genesee Depot, Wisconsin. Our 2023 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Class will delve into comedy. This groundbreaking program is exclusive for actors with a minimum of 20 years acting experience, often thought of as a "mentoring the mentors" program. Ten Chimneys has become the place where experienced actors gifted in their craft come for the opportunity to grow artistically, renew their passion, deepen their commitment to mentorship, rejuvenate, and form a community of Lunt-Fontanne Fellows. Past world-renowned Master Teachers include Lynn Redgrave, Barry Edelstein, Olympia Dukakis, Joel Grey, Alan Alda, David Hyde Pierce, Phylicia Rashad, Jason Alexander, Alfred Molina, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Tyne Daly.

"I'm thrilled to serve as the 2023 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Master Teacher and look forward to working with gifted actors to bring out their best. Working with actors has been my pride and joy for 40 years. I've gotten tremendous satisfaction out of helping actors demystifying the process of bringing scenes to life. I look forward to doing more of it at Ten Chimneys, particularly concentrating on comedy. The key to the best comedy is the actor meaning what they say as if their life depends upon it. Life and death stakes - that's what it's all about." - Jerry Zaks, 2023 Master Teacher

"The Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program is the preeminent fellowship for actors with a minimum of twenty years of acting experience. Many commonly refer to the program as "mentoring the mentors" and I'm thrilled that Ten Chimneys Foundation is able to give these accomplished actors the outlet to grow artistically and be inspired - all under the helm of Jerry Zaks. I'm continually impressed with Jerry. His commitment to providing the actors with an engaging experience which will hopefully transcend all boundaries should make the 2023 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program memorable. The theater communities of our actors will certainly feel the impact." - Randy Bryant, President & CEO, Ten Chimneys Foundation

The following are the ten actors who have been selected as the 2023 Lunt-Fontanne Fellows, with their nominating theaters:

At the close of the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program guests are invited to attend two public programs. On Friday, July 21, Ten Chimneys Foundation will present A Conversation with Jerry Zaks, an intimate evening during which Mr. Zaks will share stories about his life and career.

On Saturday, July 22, Mr. Zaks and the ten 2023 Lunt-Fontanne Fellows will take the stage together at our Ten Chimneys Gala and the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program Concluding Presentation with a rare look at the work they explored during their week at Ten Chimneys, to be held at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee.

More information, including event details and ticket prices can be found at, or by calling (262) 968-4110.

Jerry Zaks is a renowned American stage and television director, and actor. His most recent success is as Director for The Music Man, starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster. Jerry will soon be directing the touring company of Mrs. Doubtfire, after having directed it on Broadway. He has been nominated for eight Tony Awards, winning four for The House of Blue Leaves, Lend Me a Tenor, Six Degrees of Separation, and Guys and Dolls.

On Broadway, he has also directed Sister Act, Hello Dolly, La Cage aux Folles, Little Shop of Horrors, The Man Who Came to Dinner, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, among many others. He directed feature films Marvin's Room and Who Do You Love.

Jerry began his theater career as an actor, performing in Tintypes and as Kenickie in Grease. His big screen credits as an actor include Outrageous Fortune, Crimes and Misdemeanors, and Husbands and Wives. On the small screen he appeared in M*A*S*H and The Edge of Night, and has directed episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, Hope and Faith, and Two and a Half Men, and more.

He served as Resident Director at the Lincoln Center in New York for four years. Jerry has received the George Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theater, an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Dartmouth College, and was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

The one-of-a-kind Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program takes place at Ten Chimneys - the National Historic Landmark estate lovingly created by theater legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, widely considered the greatest acting couple in the history of American theater. This beguiling Wisconsin landmark offers a one-of-a-kind environment for the work of the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program. Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne constructed Ten Chimneys to be the perfect working retreat for themselves and a circle of friends comprising the best-of-the-best in American theater. This historic context, and the inherent inspiration of Ten Chimneys, is why Lynn Redgrave said that "this program simply couldn't happen anywhere else," and why participating Fellows have all talked about the experience being "transformative." Today, Ten Chimneys is open to the public as a House Museum and a national resource for American theater.


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