Catherine Trieschmann, Playwright, ONE HOUSE OVER
Catherine Trieschmann's plays include The Bridegroom of Blowing Rock (L. Arnold Weissberger award), Before the Fire, crooked, The World of Others, How the World Began, Small and Selfish Creatures and Hot Georgia Sunday. Her work has been produced Off-Broadway at the Women's Project, the Bush Theatre (London), Florida Stage, the Summer Play Festival, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Theatre in the Square, American Theatre Company and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She has received commissions from Manhattan Theatre Club and South Coast Repertory Theatre. Originally from Athens, Georgia, she currently resides in a small town in western Kansas.
Jeffery Hatcher, Playwright, STRONGMAN'S GHOST
BROADWAY: Never Gonna Dance (book). OFF-BROADWAY: Three Viewings and A Picasso at Manhattan Theatre Club; The Government Inspector at Red Bull; Scotland Road and The Turn of the Screw at Primary Stages; Lucky Duck (book w/Bill Russell) at the New Victory; Tuesdays with Morrie (with Mitch Albom) at The Minetta Lane; Murder by Poe, The Turn of the Screw, and A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court at The Acting Company; Ten Chimneys at Peccadillo; Neddy at American Place; and Fellow Travelers at Manhattan Punchline. OTHER PLAYS/THEATERS: Work Song (with Eric Simonson), To Fool the Eye, Sherlock Holmes and the Suicide Club, Jeffrey Hatcher’s Hamlet, The Scarecrow and His Servant, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Critic, Holmes and Watson,and others at The Guthrie, Old Globe, Yale Rep, The Geffen, Seattle Rep, the Huntington Theater, Shakespeare Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse, South Coast Rep, Arizona Theater Company, San Jose Rep, The Empty Space, Indiana Rep, Children’s Theater Company, History Theater, Madison Rep, Intiman, Illusion, Denver Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Rep, Repertory Theater of St. Louis, Actors Theater of Louisville, Philadelphia Theater Company, Asolo, City Theater, Studio Arena, and dozens more in the U.S. and abroad. FILM/ TV: Stage Beauty, Casanova, The Duchess, Mr. Holmes, and episodes of Columbo and The Mentalist. GRANTS/AWARDS: NEA, TCG, Lila Wallace Fund, Rosenthal New Play Prize, Frankel Award, Charles MacArthur Fellowship Award, McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Barrymore Award Best New Play, and 2013 Ivey Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a member and/or alumnus of the Playwrights’ Center, the Dramatists Guild, the Writers Guild, and New Dramatists.
Harry Lennix, Filmmaker, THE GLEANER
Harry Lennix is an accomplished film, television, and stage actor. His recent credits include Warner Bros.' "Man of Steel", The CW's "Emily Owens, M.D.", Fox's "Dollhouse," HBO's "Little Britain," as well as the critically acclaimed series "24" as Walid Al-Rezani. Lennix made his Broadway debut in August Wilson's Tony nominated play, Radio Golf. He was seen on the big screen in Working Title's "State of Play." In 2006, Lennix starred in the Golden Globe nominated ABC show "Commander in Chief" as Jim Gardner, the Chief of Staff. His other appearances include the Oscar winning film "Ray," "The Matrix: Reloaded," and "The Matrix: Revolutions." Lennix received critical acclaim and a Golden Satellite Award as Aaron in Julie Taymor's "Titus" starring Anthony Hopkins. A host of other film credits include "Across the Universe," "Barbershop 2," and "Love and Basketball." Lennix starred his as the legendary Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in Showtime's "Keep The Faith Baby," for which he won a Black Reel Award and was nominated for both an NAACP Image Award and a Golden Satellite Award. He continued to make his presence known with recurring roles on "ER" and "Diagnosis Murder" and other guest starring appearances on shows such as "Law & Order: Los Angeles." Lennix has directed and appeared in stage productions across the country, including the Northlight Theater Company's production of Permanent Collection, at the Greenway Arts Alliance in Los Angeles. Under his directing consultation, it was remounted at Los Angeles' Kirk Douglas Theater. He directed the stage version of Robert Townsend's The Five Heartbeats, which received 3 NAACP Theater Award nominations and The Glass Menagerie for the Steppenwolf Theater Company. As a stage actor, Lennix was the first distinguished recipient of an Ollie Award for his portrayal of Malcolm X at the Goodman Theater in Chicago and two Joseph Jefferson Citations for his roles in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Caught in the Act. He also starred as King Hedley II, another play by August Wilson, at the Mark Taper Forum. In 2001, he was part of the first American company to be invited to the Royal Shakespeare Company in the production of Cymbeline. Lennix has also been extremely active in his native Chicago community where he was an English and music teacher before becoming an actor. He founded Legacy Productions with renowned director Chuck Smith in 1989. The company is dedicated to promoting significant works about the African American experience. He is on the staff of the Goodman Theater Co. He also is active in various civic groups and is on the Advisory Council for his alma mater, Northwestern University.
Julia Rhoads, Artistic Director, Lucky Plush Productions
JULIA RHOADS is the founding Artistic Director of Lucky Plush Productions, a dance-theater company recognized for its layered choreography, nuanced dialogue, surprising humor, and socially relevant storytelling. Her work with Lucky Plush has been presented in over 40 US cities from Maine to Hawaii, and international partners span from New Zealand to Cuba. Her independent choreography credits include Steppenwolf Theatre’s Love Kills, Lookingglass Theatre’s The Great Fire, Walkabout Theater’s Mama: A Play for Voices, Redmoon’s Project Y, River North Chicago Dance Company’s Oasis and Between Three, among others, and she will create a new work for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2017.
Under Rhoads’s leadership, Lucky Plush received the prestigious MacArthur Award in 2016, recognizing the company’s exceptional creativity and impact. Her independent and collaborative work for the company has also been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, National Performance Network, and MetLife Foundation, among others, and commissioning presenters include Harris Theater (IL), Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (IL), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (IL), Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (MD), Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (VT), and Links Hall (IL).
Rhoads is the recipient of the 2013 Alpert Award in Dance, a fellowship from the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Award, a Cliff Dwellers Choreography Award, two Illinois Arts Council Fellowships for Choreography, a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, and a 2014 Fractured Atlas Arts Entrepreneurship Award for spearheading a shared fundraising model between Lucky Plush, Grammy-winning Eighth Blackbird, and puppet theater company Blair Thomas & Co. She was named as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2010, and has three times been named in Newcity’s “Players: The 50 People Who Really Perform for Chicago.”
Rhoads is a former member of the San Francisco Ballet and ensemble member of XSIGHT! Performance Group. She received her BA in History from Northwestern University, her MFA in Performance from the School of the Art Institute Chicago, and she has taught in the dance and theater programs of several Chicago-area colleges and universities. She is currently a Part-time Lecturer and Dance Advisor in Theater and Performance Studies at The University of Chicago.
Leslie Buxbaum Danzig, Collaborating Director, Lucky Plush Productions
LESLIE BUXBAUM DANZIG is a collaborating director with Julia Rhoads/Lucky Plush Productions, where she co-created The Better Half, and The Queue. For over a decade, Leslie was resident director of the Chicago-based nationally touring physical theater company 500 Clown, whose shows (Macbeth, Frankenstein, Christmas and Elephant Deal) performed in Chicago at venues including Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Lookingglass Theatre. Other credits include stage directing Wild Sound, composed by Wilco’s Glenn Kotche for Third Coast Percussion, with performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, and with upcoming tours in the US and Europe; directing Damon Kiely’s The Revel (House Theatre), Redmoon’s Hunchback, and About Face Theater’s Float; co-directing Redmoon’s The Elephant and the Whale; and touring nationally and internationally as an actor with NYC’s Elevator Repair Service. Leslie has taught for University of Chicago’s Theater & Performance Studies and Northwestern’s MFA Directing program. She received her PhD in Performance Studies at Northwestern University and trained in physical theater at Écoles Jacques Lecoq and Philippe Gaulier. She is the curator of the University of Chicago’s Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, a laboratory for experimental collaborations between artists and scholars.
Robert Simonson, Mixologist
ROBERT SIMONSON write about cocktails, spirits, bars and bartenders for The New York Times. He is the author of the books “The Old-Fashioned: The Story of the World’s First Classic Cocktail” and “A Proper Drink,” the first-ever history of the cocktail renaissance. His upcoming book, “Three-Ingredient Cocktails,” will be published this fall. He was a major contributor to “The Essential New York Times Book of Cocktails.” His writing have appeared in Imbibe, Whiskey Advocate, Eater, Food & Wine, Saveur, Lucky Peach and Punch, where he is a contributing editor. He also has a monthly drinks column, “Notes From Brandyland,” in Milwaukee Magazine. He lives in Brooklyn.
The Festival Team
Eric Simonson, Founder
Simonson, a Wisconsin native and part-time Door County resident, has a rich and varied career, including writing, directing and acting in Broadway plays, and directing for opera, film and television. He has been nominated for a Tony, an Emmy and an Oscar, winning the Oscar for his documentary film “A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin.” He is an ensemble member of the renowned Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago and has developed television shows for HBO, STARZ, USA, FX, History Channel and NatGeo networks.
Alan Kopischke, Executive Director
Alan Kopischke is an actor and arts consultant with a long career in new play development and producing collaborative arts events. As an actor, he won a Dramalogue Award and performed with the American Conservatory Theatre, Steppenwolf, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Organic, Peninsula Players and Victory Gardens, in addition to film and television appearances including “Walker, Texas Ranger.” He has produced play reading series for American Conservatory Theatre and Peninsula Players and produced The Big Read Door County.
Dana Brawer, Festival Coordinator
Dana Brawer, an honors graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, is a director, producer, and editor. Her most recent short film, The Red Card, that she wrote/director/edited, has been selected for 9 international film festivals and has won various awards like a Platinum Remi in Worldfest-Houston, an Award of Merit, Special Mention in the Best Shorts Competition, an Award of Merit in Indiefest, and a nomination for Best Short Film in the Female Eye Film Festival.