2008 Performers

2008 ARTISTS

DARK DINING PROJECTS

Enormously successful in New York City and elsewhere, Dark Dining Projects has won raves from diners and has appeared in such diverse media as ABC News, NY 1 News, Univision, Time Out, USA Today, New York Times, Village Voice, Metromix, Cool Hunting, Toxic Pop, Theatre Journal and Contact Quarterly Dance Journal.

DANA SALISBURY

Dana Salisbury, winner of New York Dance and Performance Award (a “Bessie”), is a multi-disciplinary artist whose investigations span dance, video, language, site-specific performance/installation and visual art. Her work, Dance Insider has reported “evidences her acute consciousness, her keen multi-disciplinary attention to detail.” The Village Voice described her work as offering “trenchant dispatches from a life of keeping eyes and mind wide open.” Her dances and videos have been seen in New York at PS 122, Judson Church, Dance Theater Workshop, Dixon Place, University Settlement and the 92nd Street Y. She has created site-specific works for Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and the Old American Can Factory in Brooklyn. Her visual art has been exhibited widely in museums and galleries.

For the last several years, inspired by the sensate and imaginative life of the blind, Salisbury has been exploring non-visual perception. Her dance production, “Whole-Body-Seer” (2004) offered experiential equivalents of vision without sight. A quotation from John Hull’s, Touching the Rock: An Experience of Blindness helped shape her thinking: “I do not think of myself so much as a blind person, which would define me with reference to sighted people and as lacking something, but simply as a whole-body-seer. A blind person is simply someone in whom the specialist function of sight is now devolved upon the whole body, and no longer specialized in a particular organ.” Dark Dining Projects celebrates “whole-body-seeing”.

CHEF ALAN HARRIS of NOBLE FEAST CATERING in Shelburne Falls

The Noble Feast was created in 1975 as a community restaurant in Turners Falls providing innovative foods, in a unique setting geared toward people wanting vegetarian cuisine as well as those desiring meat and seafood. It became well known as a place in which to relax, and find food that was healthy and tasted fabulous. Although it did not make it through the eighties, Alan Harris reinvented it for the mid nineties. The name Noble Feast means that you can expect a conciousness of quality, integrity of production, and artistry in presentation. Harris notes “I’ve been committed to serving foods that reflect my love and respect for the world’s great cuisines and support for those involved in local, sustainable agriculture. These local friends make it possible for me to offer a quality and taste that is unique.”

THE METTAWEE RIVER THEATRE COMPANY

The Mettawee River Theatre Company, founded in 1975, creates original theater productions which incorporate masks, giant figures, puppets and other visual elements with live music, movement and text, drawing on myths, legends and folklore of the world’s many cultures for its material. The company is committed to bringing theater to people who have little or no access to live professional theater. Each year Mettawee presents outdoor performances in rural communities of upstate New York and New England as well as performing in the New York City area. For more information visit http://www.mettawee.org/

RALPH LEE

is a company Ralph Lee first created puppets as a child growing up in Middlebury, Vermont. He graduated from Amherst College in 1957, and studied dance and theater in Europe for two years on a Fulbright Scholarship. Upon returning to the United States, Lee acted on Broadway, off-Broadway, in regional theaters and with the Open Theatre. During that period he started creating masks, unusual props, puppets and larger-than-life figures for theater and dance companies, including the New York Shakespeare Festival, Lincoln Center Repertory Theatre, the Living Theatre, the Erick Hawkins Dance Company, Shari Lewis and Saturday Night Live (he created the Land Shark).

In 1974, while teaching at Bennington College, Ralph Lee staged his first outdoor production, which took place all over the college campus, and featured giant puppets and masked creatures. That same year he organized the first Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, which he directed through 1985. For his work on the parade Mr. Lee received a 1975 Village Voice OBIE Award, a 1985 Citation from the Municipal Arts Society, and in 1993 he was inducted into the CityLore People’s Hall of Fame.

In 1976 Ralph Lee became Artistic Director of the Mettawee River Theatre Company, which has been a center of his creative activity ever since. Mettawee’s productions are based on creation myths, trickster tales, Sufi stories, legends and folklore from the world’s many cultures. In addition to annual tours to rural communities, Mettawee has presented Ralph Lee’s work at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the New York Botanical Garden, Provincetown Playhouse, the Henson Foundation’s International Festival of Puppet Theater, La MaMa E.T.C., INTAR, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Central Park Summerstage, The Bowery Poetry Club, and many other locations.

Ralph Lee is the recipient of a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship in Drama. Two of Ralph Lee’s Mettawee productions have been honored with American Theatre Wing Design Awards: The Popol Vuh in 1995 and Wichikapache Goes Walking in 1992. Under Mr. Lee’s direction, Mettawee has also received a 1991 Village Voice OBIE Award and two Citations for Excellence from UNIMA, the international puppetry organization. Additional awards to Mr. Lee include a 1996 Dance Theatre Workshop Bessie Award for “sustained achievement as a mask maker and theatre designer without equal” and a 1996 New York State Governor’s Arts Award in recognition of his many contributions to the artistic and cultural life of New York State. In 1999 Ralph received an award for “excellence in theater” from the New England Theater Conference.

Since 1989 Ralph Lee has made annual trips to San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, to develop plays and a performing ensemble with the Mayan writers group Sna Jtz’ Ibajom. He is an artist-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, where he has staged special events with masks and giant puppets since 1984. In addition, he has produced parades and pageants featuring his giant figures for celebrations in Central Park, the Bronx Zoo, the New York Botanical Garden, the Ringling Museums in Sarasota, Florida and the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven, Connecticut.

From February through May, 1998, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center presented a retrospective exhibition of Ralph Lee’s work that attracted record-breaking crowds to the gallery. As part of the Henson Foundation’s International Festival of Puppet Theater, the Children’s Museum of the Arts featured an exhibition entitled “The Masks and Magic of Ralph Lee” in September, 1998. During 2000 there were three exhibits in New York City featuring creations designed by Ralph Lee for Mettawee productions. Masks and puppets from THE WOMAN WHO FELL FROM THE SKY were on exhibit in the ambulatory of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine; an array of giant figures were display in the Courtyard Gallery of the World Financial Center, and an exhibit of sketches and models were in the gallery of The Kitchen.

Lee has taught at Amherst College, Smith College, Bennington College, Hampshire College, Hamilton College, Colgate University, the University of Rio Grande and the University of North Carolina. He is currently on the faculty of New York University, and teaches puppetry at the Boys and Girls Republic on New York’s Lower East Side.

LIGHTBOX

LightBox creates bold, kinetic plays that speak to issues of our time. Collaboration is at the heart of everything LightBox does. The company extends this culture of collaboration to its audience through community outreach programs including the After Show Café, the Youth Workshop Program, and the interactive website for the Food Theater Project. ghtBox creates bold, kinetic plays that speak to issues of our time. Collaboration is at the heart of everything oes. The company extends t

MILK-N-HONEY premiered in October 2007 in New York City where it featured scenic design by Narelle Sissons, who designed the Broadway revival of ALL MY SONS and has worked with many prominent companies including, LAByrinth, The Public, The Vineyard, CSC, Mabou Mines, NYTW, Primary Stages, and Signature. MILK -N-HONEY also features sound design by Bray Poor; lighting design by Justin Townsend; costume design by Meghan Healey; video design by Nicole Betancourt (also the Producing Director of LightBox) and C. Andrew Bauer.re of collaboration to its audience through community outreach programs including the After Show Café, the Youth Workshop Program, and the in

ELLEN BECKERMAN

is the Producing Artistic Director of LightBox where she has directed Milk-n-Honey, Week 17 of 365 Days /365 Plays by Suzan-Lori Parks, Ajax: 100% Fun, Shutter, Gull, Fanatics, Charles Mee’s Orestes, Hamlet, Embarkation and Mother Courage and Her Children. Other directing credits include The Public Theater, Soho Rep, the Ontological Theatre, New Dramatists, Chicago Dramatists Center, the Playwrights’ Center, New Georges, New York Theatre Workshop, Louisiana State University, New Dramatists, Syracuse University. Ellen is a recipient of the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors, a Drama League Directing Fellow, a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, a 2005 member of the Soho Rep writer/director lab, and a New York Theater Workshop Usual Suspect. Ellen spent 8 months living in Thailand creating new Thai language plays and teaching at Patravadi Theatre and Chiangmai University. Ellen performed in Richard Foreman’s I’ve Got the Shakes and worked with Mabou Mines on The Mother. Drawing from her experiences in Asia, India, Europe, and South America, and working in collaboration with the artists of LightBox, Ellen has developed the LightBox Approach, a physical actor training method which has been taught at Princeton University, the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, New York Theatre Workshop, LSU, Syracuse University, Chiangmai University, St. Paul’s School, and The Artists’ Crossing. Ellen’s article, Finding the Boy Band in Chekhov’s The Seagull, will be published this year by Slavica Press. She has an A.B. in history from Princeton University.

MADELEINE GEORGE

worked on the text for MILK-N-HONEY. Her plays have been developed or staged at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, New York Theatre Workshop, The Playwrights’ Center, New Dramatists, the Cherry Lane Alternative, HERE, Playwrights Horizons, and The Public Theater. Her play THE MOST MASSIVE WOMAN WINS is included in the anthologies PLAYS FOR ACTRESSES and BEST AMERICAN SHORT PLAYS 1997-1998 and has had over 100 productions. Support includes a MacDowell Fellowship, the Princess Grace Playwriting Award, a Manhattan Theatre Club Playwriting Fellowship, and the Jane Chambers Award.

TEMPLE CROCKER

is a performer and educator currently residing in Baltimore, Maryland. She has worked extensively in the San Francisco Bay Area performing with multiple companies including Art Street Theater, Campo Santo, Torque Dance Theater and Pearl Ubungen Dancers and Musicians. In 1996 she co-founded the experimental performance ensemble STRANGEFRUIT with Annie Kunjappy and Rowena Richie. STRANGEFRUIT has created six original performances including The Heat Death of the Universe based on the science-fiction story by Pamela Zoline and Sewing Lessons, a surrealist lifecycle based on the lives and art of Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington (nominated for best direction and costume design by the Bay Area Critics Circle). Since her move to the east coast she has presented work at spare room, CHELA, Creative Alliance and the Baltimore Theatre Project. For the past three years she has had an ongoing relationship with the Ontological-Hysteric Theater in New York presenting new work at the Summer Series in 2005 and acting in Richard Foreman’s ZOMBOID in the spring of 2006. Temple is currently a member of the theater faculty at Towson University and University of Maryland, Baltimore County

ANNIE KUNJAPPY

has been devising original theatre since 1995 as Artistic Director of Strangefruit Theatre Ensemble in San Francisco, and in various collaborations with Temple Crocker and Daniel Nelson at the Ontological Theatre in New York. She was nominated for best direction and costume design by the Bay Area Theatre Critics’ Circle for Sewing Lessons, and was awarded best costume design for Funnyhouse of a Negro. Annie has performed and taught Motion Theatre, a physical impulse-based improvised narrative form, with its founder Nina Wise, in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, and is also part of Big Apple Playback Theatre. She works as a chef and teaches at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts.

SABRINA HAMILTON

is the Artistic Director of the Ko Festival of Performance in Amherst, MA. For many years she worked with the New York theatre company Mabou Mines as Lighting Designer, Production Manager, Stage Manager, Performer, and Assistant Director. Other credits include work at the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Goodman Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum and 6 years as Route Lighting Designer for New York’s Village Halloween Parade under the direction of Ralph Lee. International lighting credits include work in Bologna, Florence, Milan, London, Grenada, Geneva, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam, Brussels, Cardiff, Edinburgh, at the Bristol Old Vic, the Theatre Academy in Tampere, Finland, and at the International Theatre Festival in Havana, Cuba. She has been touring as the Lighting Designer for LOW, written an performed by Rha Goddess, directed by Chay Yew, most recently as part of the Under the Radar Festival at the Public Theatre in NYC.

Sabrina’s directing work, primarily original pieces, has been seen in New York, Berlin and throughout New England. Hamilton has served on the Editorial Board of Theatre Topics . She is on the Lighting Commission of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), for whom she serves as head of their Portfolio Review program and as the International Liaison. She was recently named as the USITT representative to the Lighting Design Working Group of OISTAT, the international parent body of USITT and served as part of the international team that put together the Scenofest at the Prague Quadrennial. In addition, Hamilton has served on a N.E.H. panel, the “New Forms” panel for Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Designers panel. She was elected this year to the Board of Directors of the Network of Ensemble Theatres.

Hamilton holds a B.A. from Hampshire College and double M.F.A. in Directing and Lighting Design from the UMASS/Amherst. She has been on the faculties of Hampshire, Williams and Trinity Colleges, and Long Island University, and served as the Program Director of the M.F.A. Theatre Program at Towson University for 2006-7.

BELLE LINDA HALPERN

has performed as a cabaret singer and actor at clubs and theatres in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Paris, Munich, Jerusalem, and Bombay. Each summer she sings cabaret concerts in the villas and castles of Northern Italy. A graduate of Harvard/Radcliffe, she performs in French and Italian as well as Yiddish and Hebrew. Her theater roles include Esther in Elizabeth Swados’ rock opera Esther, Alice in her Alice in Concert, Josephine in Laura Harrington’s N Bonaparte and Sally in Cabaret. Belle’s other theatre credits include work with Robert Wilson and Andrew Serban at the American Repertory Theatre. She has taught singing and performance since 1986 at Harvard University and each summer in Italy through the Tuscany Project. She has co-created Moon Over Dark Street, a Brecht/Weill Cabaret with Pilgrim Theatre and Cutting Crosstown: From 2nd Avenue to Broadway with fellow performer Jeffrey Korn. Her interest in Weill and Yiddish music was inspired by the generous spirit of her teacher, Martha Schlamme. She has also co-authored Leadership Presence: Dramatic Techniques to Reach Out, Motivate, and Inspire published by Penguin Putnam about the leadership development work she does with her company, The Ariel Group.

RON ROY

Pianist and Musical Director Ron Roy was most recently arranger and musical director for the Off-Broadway production “Disappearing Act” at the 47th Street Theatre. Other credits include “Forbidden Hollywood” at Steve McGraw’s. He was pianist and assistant conductor for the Gershwin musical “Crazy For You” (National Tour and Berlin, Germany), and pianist and musical director for Boston’s long running hits “Forever Plaid” and “Forbidden Broadway. He was last seen at the Ko Festival two summers ago accompanying Belle Linda Halpern and Kermit Dunkelberg in selections for Moon Over Dark Street for the Ko Festival’s 15th anniversary celebration, The Ko Cabaret.

PETER LOBDELL

Peter Lobdell is a senior resident artist in the Department of Theater and Dance and is presently Chair. He has directed and/or performed on, off and off-off Broadway in New York, on national tours, at regional theaters, and international venues. Most recently he was director of movement for the Hartford Stage Company’s Our Town last September.

BARBARA LANCIERS

is a company member and the resident choreographer for The Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf in New York City. She has trained extensively with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company. Barbara performed in the SITI Company production of Hay Fever (Actors Theatre of Louisville) and served as Anne Bogart’s assistant on Death and The Ploughman. Barbara is an Anne Bogart endorsed teacher the Viewpoints training method for theatre practitioners. She holds her MFA in Theatre from Towson University. Barbara is currently living and working in Budapest, Hungary on a Fulbright Scholarship. This is her 3rd season at the Ko Festival.

KATIE DOWN

is a sound artist, composer, performer and sound designer for theatre, film, and dance. She performs regularly with the infamous ukulele group The Ukuladies (www.myspace.com/theukuladies), and was the director of the Sephardic ensemble Adelantre, which appeared at the Ko Festival’s 15th Anniversary Celebration, the Ko Kabaret. She also wrote the music for and performed in The House Not Touched by Death in the 2000 Ko Festivval

Katie has traveled extensively throughout Eastern Europe and the Balkans and most recently South Africa with different theatre artists as a performer, sound designer, and teacher in voice, improvisation, and clown. She plays several instruments including flute, ukulele, guitar, didjeridu, and glass harmonica as well as a host of homemade instruments, percussion, and found objects. Katie works regularly as a sound designer in New York City and regionally and has created numerous sound scores and original music for Off, and off-Off Broadway productions for Target Margin, The Hourglass Group, Ripetime, New Georges, Ensemble Studio Theatre, SoHo Rep and others.

Internationally, Katie has performed at the Ohrid Summer Festival in Macedonia, Trn Festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and the Malta Festival in Poznan, Poland. She has toured twice with chashama’s international program where she co-conducted voice, movement, and clowning workshops with young people from Media Artes in Macedonia, the Up-Beat Hvar Music Festival in Croatia and Trn Fest in Slovenia.

Katie has also created sound installations for several gallery shows including Homebase II (Broadway Gallery, 2007), And Suddenly….(Ohio Gallery, 2005), Vision Whisper (chashama Gallery, 2002). She will be the guest curator at the arts colony Music Omi in August, 2008, and has been an artist in residence at The Watermill Arts Center, Music/Omi, Makor Artist Network, chashama AREA Space Grant, and The Composer Librettist Studio at New Dramatists.

Katie is deeply committed to the power of deep listening and sound healing and is currently working towards a Masters degree in music therapy at NYU.  For more information on Katie Down go to www.katiedown.com or www.myspace.com/katiedownmusic

DELETTA GILLESPIE

Deletta is a performing artist, playwright, and educator with nearly twenty years in the entertainment industry.

Deletta was born into a show business family. Her mother played piano and organ in backing bands for artists such as the Ink Spots, the Shirelles, and others. Her father played bass in the Army and in jazz bands on the West Coast. Deletta made her professional debut at age six, when her mother gave her a cameo in her nightclub act.

She has performed in a myriad of situations; clubs, theatres, casinos, cruise ships, and resorts as a singer, dancer, actress, choreographer, and entertainment coordinator. Highlights include performing for Michael Jackson, and opening for jazz legends Al Jarreau and Patti Austin. She has performed as a voice over artist, and a television and radio presenter. Additionally Gillespie served as entertainment coordinator for Destination Dockyard, a seasonal street festival jointly produced by The Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, RF Communications, and Royal Caribbean International.

She wrote and directed two critically acclaimed revue shows: The Time Tunnel Show, and Rufus’ Rhythm and Blues Revue. Her play, What a Girl Wants, produced by Healing Stage Productions in June 2006 raised over $15,000 for the Women’s Resource Center in Bermuda. And in October 2007, Atlanta-based theatre organization Alternate Roots, whose mission includes supporting artists that create theatre for social change, invited Gillespie to perform a staged reading of her upcoming musical, The Magic City Massacre during the Creative Convergence Festival in Baltimore. She has also written several plays for middle school students.

Gillespie has vocal pedagogy certification (Levels I & II of Somatic VoiceworkTM, The LoVetri Method) in Contemporary Commercial Music, as well as ABRSM certificates in Vocal Music.

ROBERT SMYTHE

is the Artistic Director of Philadelphia’s Mum Puppettheatre, the company he founded over two decades ago, and has created over 20 original productions. According to the Puppeteers of America he is one of the most influential puppet artists in the United States today. His work with Mum has taken him all over the world while winning three UNIMA Citations of Excellence in the Art of Puppetry and four Barrymore Awards. He was won numerous awards, including a Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 2006 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2000. He is the recipient of one of the last Solo Theater Fellowships ever awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts and six Solo Performer Fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He has directed and designed puppet work for the Arden Theater, the Wilma Theater, Interact Theater Company, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis.

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