1000 North Third Street, Aspen, Colorado 81611
Tel. 970 544-7929 • Fax 970-925-4188
For Immediate Release
Contact: Cristal Logan
Vice President, Aspen
The Aspen Institute
Theater Masters and the Aspen Institute present
Playwrights as Voices of our Cultural Moment
Examining the role of theater in a time of political crisis, social change, and revolution
with David Auburn, Abbie Van Nostrand, and Julia Hansen
ASPEN, CO, February 1, 2018 –– The Aspen Institute is pleased to partner with Theater Masters to welcome award-winning playwright, director, and screenwriter David Auburn (Proof, The Girl in the Park, and The Lake House) and Director of Corporate Communications at Samuel French Abbie Van Nostrand in conversation with moderator and Theater Masters Founder Julia Hansen. The program will also feature emerging playwrights from the top MFA programs in the country, and will take place on Saturday, February 10, 2018 from 5:00-6:30 pm in the Koch Building on the Institute’s Aspen Meadows campus. It is free and open to the public.
Clifford Odets’ 1935 play “Waiting for Lefty” made history when the final scene stirred the audience to stand up and yell “STRIKE!” Odets was able to tap into the political fervor of his time. What tactics do playwrights use to inspire people to action? What are the responsibilities of both individual artists, and institutions, in times of national discord? Lastly, how has social media altered the way we engage with the national conversation, and what can theater do to support and/or counteract this type of political participation?
David Auburn is a playwright, director, and screenwriter. His plays include Lost Lake (Manhattan Theatre Club), The Columnist (MTC/Broadway), and Proof (Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award, New York Drama Critics Circle Award). His film work includes The Girl in the Park, starring Sigourney Weaver, which he wrote and directed; the forthcoming Georgetown, directed by and starring Christoph Waltz, with Vanessa Redgrave and Annette Bening; and the screenplay for The Lake House. Recent stage directing credits include Long Day's Journey into Night (Court Theatre, Chicago); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Anna Christie, A Delicate Balance, Tennessee Williams’ Period of Adjustment, and Zayd Dohrn’s Sick (all Berkshire Theatre Group); and the Off-Broadway world premiere of Michael Weller’s Side Effects (MCC). A former Guggenheim Fellow, he lives in New York City.
Abbie Van Nostrand recently celebrated her 33rd Anniversary with Samuel French, the world’s leading publisher and licensor of plays and musicals. Abbie is a creative and innovative marketing executive with a highly successful track record in strategic planning and partnerships. As Director of Corporate Communications, she oversees the company’s publicity and client relationships ranging from emerging writers to well-established authors, composers and lyricists. Some of the most widely recognized Estates such as Noel Coward, Agatha Christie, Thornton Wilder and August Wilson are among her clients. Abbie has formed strong alliances with national educational, community and professional theatre organizations and non-profits. She is honored to serve on the Boards of Samuel French, New Dramatists (President), Educational Theatre Foundation (Advisory) and the Darien Arts Center (Vice President). She is a member of the Outer Critics Circle. Proudest achievement are her three sons.
Julia Hansen served as president of the Drama League of New York, where she conceived and administered The Directors Project, a national training program for young directors. Her board services include The Acting Company, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, the Lincoln Center Theatre, and the Advisory Board for Dramaworks in West Palm Beach, Florida. She is the founder and Executive Director of Theater Masters, a producing and presenting organization dedicated to bringing distinguished theater professionals to the Roaring Fork Valley and to enriching the quality of theater education in the Valley. On a national scale, Theater Masters is dedicated to nurturing, developing, and producing or causing to be produced the work of the next generation of American playwrights. Its goal is to enhance audience understanding of, and support for, theater.
For more information on events open to the public, please contact Jillian Scott at (970) 544-7914 or [email protected], call the Aspen Community Programs information hotline at (970) 544-7970, or visit the Institute’s website at www.aspeninstitute.org/aspenevents.
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has an office in New York City and an international network of partners.