Clubbed Thumb Names 2016-17 Early-Career Directing Fellows
Five-time Obie Award-winning theater company Clubbed Thumb has announced their second cohort of early-career directing fellows: Caitlin Ryan O'Connell, Christina Roussos, and LA Williams.
The second year of the fellowship will once again be under the mentorship of Obie Award-winning directors and Clubbed Thumb affiliated artists Anne Kauffman (A Life; Marjorie Prime; Clubbed Thumb's Dot, among others) and Ken Rus Schmoll (Iowa, Judy, Clubbed Thumb's Card and Gift, among others). The program is run in partnership with Playwrights Horizons Theater School, where Clubbed Thumb is in residence.
Building on the success of 2015/16's inaugural year, the fellowship begins this month and will culminate at the end of January 2017. Over the course of the fall, the three early-career directors will work on new plays by Clubbed Thumb alumni playwrights, with Playwrights Horizons Theater School student and alumni actors. In January, the directors will build on their work, directing professional actors in those same plays.
The 2016/17 fellows are:
CAITLIN RYAN O'CONNELL, directing Olivia Dufault's THE MESSENGER
CHRISTINA ROUSSOS, directing Jen Silverman's HIPPOS OF THE EASTERN ENCLOSURE
LA WILLIAMS, directing Sarah DeLappe's RICHARD IN 49 POSES
There will be five public performances for industry professionals, taking place from January 20 through January 23 at 440 Lafayette Street. Tickets to the presentations will be free; the full schedule and reservation system will be announced shortly.
This initiative is made possible by the generous support of The New York Community Trust, piece by piece productions, Jody Falco & Jeffrey Steinman and The Playwrights Horizons Theater School.
Clubbed Thumb commissions, develops and produces funny, strange and provocative new plays by living American writers. Since its founding in 1996, the company has earned five Obies including the Ross Wetzsteon Award for sustained artistic excellence. Clubbed Thumb has presented plays in every form of development, including nearly 100 full productions. Clubbed Thumb the inaugural participant in the Playwrights Horizons Resident Company Program. For more information, visit www.clubbedthumb.org.
ABOUT THE DIRECTORS:
Caitlin Ryan O'Connell is a theatre director and teaching artist focused on creating work that reflects the immediacy of our current social, cultural, environmental, and political life. Her work attempts to excavate the collision of all the minds and bodies in the room to generate a collective story. Originally from Waterville Valley, New Hampshire she now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She has worked with The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, LCT3, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Trinity Repertory Company, and Clubbed Thumb. In 2010, she conceived and directed A World of Girls, an original play based on interviews with teenage girls from twenty-two countries worldwide. At Brown/Trinity Rep Caitlin directed Timberlake Wertenbaker's The Love of the Nightingale, Rainer Werner Fassbinder's The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, William Shakespeare's Cymbeline and Will Eno's GNIT. Caitlin is a former directing intern at Actors Theatre of Louisville. She has trained with the National Theater Institute, St. Petersburg Theatre Arts Academy, The Royal Shakespeare Company, Simon McBurney's Complicite and the NY Neofuturists. She is a teaching artist with The International Theatre and Literacy Project and works in Rwanda to devise theatre with Rwandan youth. Caitlin is an alumna of Wellesley College and a graduate of the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Directing class of 2016.
Christina Roussos is a director of new plays. Her work has been seen at Ensemble Studio Theater, Rattlestick, The Lark and Theater Breaking Through Barriers among others. She also directs web series, short films, and music videos. Recent work includes the premiere of Kate Benson's Radium Now. BA Emerson College, MFA Brooklyn College. More information at christinaroussos.com.
LA Williams is a New York-based theatre director/dramaturg focused primarily on new work. He is specifically interested in how language and structure influence narrative. LA has directed and developed new work at The Public, Playwrights Horizons, New Dramatists, The Classical Theatre of Harlem, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Dramatists Guild of America, ALLIANCE THEATRE, The Kennedy Center, National Black Theatre, The Wild Project, Quicksilver Theatre Company, New York International Fringe Festival, The Cell, Liberation Theatre Company, Firebone Theatre, Horse Trade Theater Group and Crowded Outlet. LA is the creator and executive producer of Celebrate! with LA Williams: a multimedia docu-series that celebrates early career theatre artists. He is also the founding Artistic Director of the Black Directors Studio, a new play reading series for emerging Black directors. LA currently serves on the ENCORES! Off-Center Artist Board with Jeanine Tesori and is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. He is an Associate Member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Foundation and was the Kenny Leon Directing Fellow in 2009. Training includes: M.A. Emerson College, B.A. Alabama State University.