Guthrie Theater Presents One-On-One Conversation with Leigh Silverman and Joel Sass, 8/25

Guthrie Theater Presents One-On-One Conversation with Leigh Silverman and Joel Sass, 8/25

The Guthrie Theater, in partnership with the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, today announced it will host a one-on-one conversation with Tony Award-nominee Leigh Silverman (Violet on Broadway), director of The Heidi Chronicles which kicks off the Guthrie's 2014-2015 thrust season, and Joel Sass, director of the Guthrie's current hit comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike on August 25 at 7:30pm at the Dowling Studio. Their conversation in the Guthrie's Dowling Studio will be centered on the trajectory of their careers and directing for the theater today, and will be moderated by The Playwrights' Center Producing Artistic Director Jeremy Cohen. Tickets are free but must be reserved by calling the Guthrie Box Office at 612.377.2224. Seating in the Dowling Studio is general admission.

Silverman, who was recently nominated for a Tony Award for her direction of the Broadway musical Violet - the only female artist working behind the scenes to be nominated last season - is recognized as one of New York's hardest-working directors and an expert in new play development. Silverman has said, "I am drawn to writers who write plays that feel 'big,' either thematically or stylistically." She makes her Guthrie debut at the helm of Wendy Wasserstein's modern coming-of-age story, The Heidi Chronicles.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, helmed by Sass who is known for his knack for directing comedies, opened on the Guthrie's McGuire Proscenium to critical acclaim. The Star Tribune raved "this play reminds us how well Sass investigates language, character, intent, human observation... He builds this play with an overall eye for authenticity juxtaposed with a commitment to the absurd." The Pioneer Press said "Under Joel Sass' expert direction, each performance is distinct on its own but also part of a puzzle that fits together precisely."

LEIGH SILVERMAN (Director, The Heidi Chronicles). Guthrie: debut. Broadway: Violet (Tony nomination); Chinglish; Well; Violet (Encores). Recent Off-Broadway The Call (Playwrights Horizons); The Madrid (MTC); Golden Child (Signature Theatre); No Place to Go (Public Theater; Two River Theatre); In the Wake (Center Theatre Group/Berkeley Repertory Theatre and The Public Theater, Obie Award, Lortel nomination); Go Back to Where You Are (Playwrights Horizons, Obie Award); From Up Here (MTC, Drama Desk nomination); Yellow Face (Center Theatre Group/The Public Theater); Coraline (MCC/True Love); Blue Door (Playwrights Horizons); Well (The Public Theater; Huntington Theatre; ACT); Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (Second Stage Theatre). Recent regional: American Hero (WTF); Chinglish (Goodman Theater, Jeff nomination; West Coast/Hong Kong tour). This season: The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence (Playwrights Horizons) and Kung Fu (Signature Theatre).

JOEL SASS (Director, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike). Guthrie: The 39 Steps, 9 Parts of Desire, Pericles. Jungle Theater: associate artistic director: 15 productions as director and/or designer; Mary Worth Theatre Company: artistic director, 14 productions; Cal Shakes: Macbeth, Pericles; Theatre de la Jeune Lune; Park Square Theatre; Mixed Blood Theatre. As a designer: Ordway Center; Park Square Theatre; Theatre de la Jeune Lune; Red Eye Collaboration; Eye of the Storm Theatre; Minnesota Opera; Intermedia Arts. Awards Alan Schneider Director Award from TCG; McKnight Theater Artist Fellowship; Ivey Award for set design. Other Playwrights' Center Artist Affiliate; three years assistant director/designer/performer at Theatre de la Jeune Lune. Training: University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

JEREMY COHEN (Producing Artistic Director, The Playwrights' Center) From 2003-2010 he served as the Associate Artistic Director and Director of New Play Development at Hartford Stage where his directing credits include Snow Falling on Cedars, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mistakes Were Made, The Scene, Mahalia: A Gospel Musical, I Am My Own Wife, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Bad Dates and A Christmas Carol. Other regional theater credits include: Let There Be Love (Centerstage); The Novelist (Dorset Theatre); Smart Cookie (Alliance); The Scene, Bad Dates, and Trip to Bountiful (Alley Theatre); The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Rep Theatre of St Louis, Kansas City Rep and New Victory Theatre, NYC); Hannah and Martin (Theater J), after its world premiere production (TimeLine); Nickel and Dimed (Steppenwolf); Ghosts in the Cottonwoods (Victory Gardens), Scraped (Bailiwick), The Idiot Box (Naked Eye Theatre Company & Open Fist Theatre, LA); Mom's the Word (Metropolis Theatre/Royal George); Closet Land (NY Performance Works); The Unexpected Man (Adirondack Theatre); and Shopping and F***ing (Bailiwick).

STAGE DIRECTORS & CHOREOGRAPHERS WORKSHOP FOUNDATION (SDCF) Founded in 1965, Stage Directors and Choreographers Workshop Foundation (SDCF) exists to foster, promote and develop the creativity and craft of stage directors and choreographers. SDCF's goals are to provide opportunities to practice the crafts of directing and choreography; to gather and disseminate craft and career information; to promote the profession to emerging talent; to provide opportunities for exchange of knowledge among directors and choreographers; to increase the awareness of the value of directors' and choreographers' work, and to convene around issues affecting theatre artists. Because the work can often feel isolating, and these career paths can feel inaccessible to emerging artists, SDCF events and programs are designed to offer access, opportunity and community to directors and choreographers at all levels of career.

The GUTHRIE THEATER (Joe Dowling, Director) was founded by Sir Tyrone Guthrie in 1963 and is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training. The Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theater is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. With annual attendance of nearly 500,000 people, the Guthrie Theater presents a mix of classic plays and contemporary work on its three stages. Under the artistic leadership of Joe Dowling since 1995, the Guthrie continues to set a national standard for excellence in theatrical production and performance. In 2006, the Guthrie opened its new home on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Guthrie Theater houses three state-of-the-art stages, production facilities, classrooms and dramatic public lobbies.

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