Ten Chimneys Foundation has announced that Washington, D.C. actors E. Faye Butler, Christopher Bloch, and Brad Oscar have been selected as 2012 Lunt-Fontanne Fellows.
Mr. Bloch was nominated by Signature Theatre, Mr. Oscar was nominated by Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, and Ms. Butler was jointly nominated by Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater and Goodman Theatre in Chicago. The actors are three of only ten in the entire country who will participate in the 2012 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program, a widely acclaimed national program to serve the future of American theatre.
July 22-29, Butler, Bloch, and Oscar will join Broadway legend Joel Grey for an intensive weeklong master class and immersion experience at Ten Chimneys, the National Historic Landmark estate of Broadway legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne in Genesee Depot, Wisconsin.
The groundbreaking Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program has brought the nation’s top regional theatre actors to work with a world-renowned Master Teacher at Ten Chimneys since 2009. Past Master Teachers include Lynn Redgrave, Olympia Dukakis, and renowned Shakespearean Barry Edelstein.
The 2012 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program will focus on the American Musical Theatre, led by Broadway legend Joel Grey and one of the nation’s top musical directors, Rob Fisher.
“I look forward to examining in depth some of the great iconic musical theatre roles. The focus will be on how, together, we can bring our imaginations to bear on fully realizing the rich characters of the American Musical Theatre.” – Joel Grey, 2012 Master Teacher.
In addition to the honor of being selected as a Lunt-Fontanne Fellow and the inherent value and benefits of the master class and immersion experience, Ms. Butler, Mr. Bloch, and Mr. Oscar will be awarded cash fellowships in recognition of their exceptional contributions to their community and to the overall quality of American theatre.
According to Judy Jorgensen, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Ten Chimneys Foundation, “The Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program celebrates the top actors in America’s top theatre communities — widely respected for their talent, dedication to craft, and passionate pursuit of excellence, the qualities for which Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne were so revered. This program celebrates people like E. Faye Butler, Christopher Bloch, and Brad Oscar — the best of the best, our communities’ theatre mentors.”
For the 2012 Fellowship Program, Ten Chimneys Foundation selected nine of the top regional theatres in the country to serve as Partner Theatres. Each Partner Theatre was invited to nominate the “master actors” of their communities for consideration as Lunt-Fontanne Fellows. Selected with guidance from a National Advisory Board, the following are the ten actors who have been selected as the 2012 Lunt-Fontanne Fellows, along with their nominating Partner Theatres:
E. Faye Butler – Goodman Theatre (Chicago, IL) and Arena Stage (Washington, DC)
Christopher Bloch – Signature Theatre (Arlington, VA)
Colman Domingo – TheatreWorks (Palo Alto, CA)
Nick Gabriel – American Conservatory Theater (San Francisco, CA)
Sarah Litzsinger - Milwaukee Repertory Theater (Milwaukee, WI)
Susan Moniz – Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Chicago, IL)
Martin Moran – La Jolla Playhouse (La Jolla, CA)
Brad Oscar – Arena Stage (Washington, DC)
Hollis Resnik – Goodman Theatre (Chicago, IL)
David St. Louis – Center Theatre Group (Los Angeles, CA)
The one-of-a-kind Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program takes place within the rooms of Ten Chimneys — the National Historic Landmark estate lovingly created by Broadway legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, widely considered the greatest acting couple in the history of American theatre. Today, the estate is open to the public as a world-class historic site and a national resource for American theatre, and has been widely hailed as one of the most inspirational historic sites in the country.
This celebrated and beguiling Wisconsin estate offers a one-of-a-kind environment for the work of the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program — an environment that Tony and Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce described as, “Dolley Madison meets Salvador Dali meets ‘Hello, Dolly.’” Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne constructed their Ten Chimneys estate to be the perfect working retreat for themselves and a circle of friends comprising the best-of-the-best in American theatre, including Helen Hayes, Noel Coward, and Katharine Hepburn.
The Lunts were also known for their dedication to the next generation of actors. Legends such as Laurence Olivier, Uta Hagen, Montgomery Clift, and Julie Harris proudly considered themselves prote?ge?s of the Lunts. The Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program continues that tradition of mentorship at Ten Chimneys. 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.”
The Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program was created by Ten Chimneys Foundation, and is made possible with the help of a generous lead grant from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. Through this groundbreaking national program, the top actors in the country are given a rare and deeply needed opportunity to grow artistically, renew their passion for their art form, deepen their commitment to mentorship, and form a national community of Lunt-Fontanne Fellows. These actors return to their home communities more inspired, and more inspiring — offering great benefits to other actors, to individual theatres, to students, to communities across the country, and to American theatre as a whole. Ultimately, this program does not exist simply to serve actors, but to strengthen the ability of actors and theatres to enrich people’s lives in communities throughout the country. Lunt-Fontanne Fellows do this as artists, as mentors, as teachers, and as leaders in their communities.
Joel Grey is widely acclaimed as a one of the true greats in the history of musical theatre, with a prolific career as an actor, singer, and dancer — on stage and screen. He has won the Academy Award, Tony Award, Golden Globe, and BAFTA, among countless other honors. Mr. Grey originated the role of the Master of Ceremonies in the Broadway musical Cabaret, and recreated the role for the film — directed by Bob Fosse and co-starring Liza Minnelli and Michael York. He’s had a career full of Broadway triumphs, including Chicago; George M!; Stop the World, I Want to Get Off; Goodtime Charley; and The Grand Tour. Most recently, he originated the role of The Wizard in the blockbuster hit musical Wicked — and is currently on Broadway in the critically acclaimed revival of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes, delighting sold-out houses as Moonface Martin. Earlier this year, Mr. Grey directed the Tony Award-Winning Best Revival of The Normal Heart. Mr. Grey has appeared in scores of films and television shows over the last 50 years. Just a few examples include The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, Kafka, A Christmas Carol, The Fantasticks, Dancer in the Dark, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Oz, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Alias, Private Practice, Grey’s Anatomy, and House. In addition to his work as a performer, Mr. Grey is also an accomplished photographer and has had three books of his photographs published. In April of this year, the Museum of the City of New York curated an exhibition of his work, Joel Grey/A New York Life.
Additional information is available at www.tenchimneys.org/fellowship.