2009 TCG National Conference - Speakers

Anne Bogart

Anne Bogart is the Artistic Director the SITI Company, which she founded with Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki in 1992. She is a recipient of 2 Obie Awards, a Bessie Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a Professor at Columbia University where she runs the Graduate Directing Program. Recent Works with SITI include Radio Macbeth; Hotel Cassiopeia; Death and the Ploughman; La Dispute; Score; bobrauschenbergamerica; Room; War of the Worlds; Cabin Pressure; The Radio Play; Alice's Adventures; Culture of Desire; Bob; Going, Going, Gone; Small Lives/Big Dreams ; The Medium ; Noel Coward's Hay Fever and Private Lives ; August Strindberg's Miss Julie ; and Charles Mee's Orestes. Other recent productions: Nicholas and Alexandra (Los Angeles Opera), Marina A Captive Spirit (American Opera Projects), Lilith and Seven Deadly Sins (New York City Opera). She is the author of three books: A Director Prepares, The Viewpoints Book and And Then, You Act.

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Jo Carson

Jo Carson is an award-winning playwright who has written 20 performance projects with communities all over America, based on their own life stories, including Swamp Gravy in Colquitt, Ga., and Cross Tides in Newport News, Va. She's also written short stories, books for children, essays and poems, and been a regular commentator on NPR's "All Things Considered." She is the author of eight books (three from TCG – Spider Speculations, Stories I Ain’t Told Nobody Yet: Selections from the People Plays, and Liars, Thieves and other Sinners on the Bench and a ninth is forthcoming elsewhere). Carson, who hails from East Tennessee, has won numerous prestigious writing awards, including the Kesselring Award in 1989 for Daytrips, her hilarious and compassionate play about a family dealing with Alzheimer's disease. Other awards include an NEA Fellowship, the AT&T: Onstage Award, the NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights, and a Roger L. Stevens Award from the Fund for New American Plays. She is a quintessential community artist, with a true ear for the way people talk and what they really mean to say. She teaches this community work regularly these days—“This stuff is the most important work I do. Also, the hardest. I need to spend some time giving back what I’ve learned. It is what we’re supposed to do, isn’t it, pass learning along? It is certainly what we humans are designed to do…” And she maintains her ongoing apprenticeship to Mama Spider (of Hopi tradition) who first made the alphabet in her web and who is the keeper of language and stories and storytelling.

Kate Taylor Davis

Kate Taylor Davis is chief marketing and communications officer for Olney Theatre Center (MD). She began at Olney in 2003 as their public relations manager. Since stepping into her current position in 2004, the theater has increased earned revenue by 73% and grown its subscriber base by 20%. Prior to working with Olney, Kate was assistant director of education and programs at the Association of Children’s Museums, and she interned in the development departments at The Kennedy Center and The District of Columbia Arts Center. She holds an M.A. in arts management from The American University and a B.A. in English from The University of Michigan. Kate is currently on the board of directors for The League of Washington Theaters, on the marketing committee for the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, and frequently guest lectures at local universities on the topics of marketing and event planning. In her spare time, Kate plans off-beat visual and performing arts events around the DC area.


Andrea J. Dymond

Andrea J. Dymond is Resident Director at Victory Gardens Theater, where she has directed five world premiere productions in seven years, including the award-winning Free Man of Color, by Charles Smith and, most recently, Gloria Bond Clunie’s Living Green. Other recent directing credits include I Have Before, Me A Remarkable Document Given To Me By A Young Lady From Rwanda (Victory Gardens); the musical, St. Heaven (Village Theatre, in Issaquah, WA); and, Intimate Apparel (Clarence Brown Theatre).

Based in Chicago for more than 20 years, Andrea’s experience ranges across creative, technical and administrative areas of the field; and includes her current position on the theatre faculty of Columbia College Chicago. In the past she has served as Co-Artistic Director of a small, ensemble-based theatre; Literary Manager at Victory Gardens; a freelance general manager and a production stage manager, among an array of other positions - and was once honored to be a mentee in TCG’s New Generations Program.

Looking forward, a deep interest in the development of new work and new voices for the stage, has leads Andrea to dream of a Theatre in which dynamic new forms are coaxed into being, engaging new audiences through a theatrical alchemy. She is especially interested in what work made locally can mean to the cultural conversation taking place in our communities, and therefore to the health and depth of that conversation throughout the U.S and ultimately throughout the global community.

Nadira A. Hira

Award-winning journalist Nadira A. Hira is a general assignment writer at Fortune, where she has focused increasingly on stories for and about Generation Y, the fastest growing segment of the American workforce.

She authored Fortune’s widely discussed 2007 cover story on Gen Yers and their impact on corporate America. She also writes a blog for Gen Yers on Fortune.com called “The Gig.”

In 2007, Hira received the NewsBios 30 Under 30 award, which showcases the most promising business journalists. She has twice been nominated for a National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence award.

Hira's work has also appeared in various other national publications—among them, Essence, Smithsonian, and Men’s Fitness magazines. Her media presence extends to television, where she has been a featured personality on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher and ABC’s America’s Black Forum, a regular contributor to VH1’s The Fabulous Life and BET’s Black Carpet, and an expert guest on many major outlets, including CNN, CBS, MSNBC, CNBC, and BBC-A.

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Bill T. Jones

Bill T. Jones, a multi-talented artist, choreographer, dancer, director and writer, has received such major awards ranging from a 1994 MacArthur “Genius” Award to a 2007 Tony Award. His work in dance has been recognized with the 2003 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, the 2005 Wexner Prize, the 2005 Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement, the 1993 Dance Magazine Award and four New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Awards, among many others. His venture into off-Broadway theatre (The Seven) resulted in a 2006 Lucille Lortel Award and his choreography for the Broadway show Spring Awakening was acknowledged with a 2007 Tony Award as well as an Obie Award for the show’s 2006 off-Broadway run. He is the recipient of the 2005 Harlem Renaissance Award, was named “An Irreplaceable Dance Treasure” by the Dance Heritage Coalition in 2000, and was honored with the Dorothy B. Chandler Performing Arts Award in 1991.

Before forming Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1982, Jones choreographed and performed nationally and internationally as a soloist and duet company with his late partner, Arnie Zane. In addition to creating more than 140 works for his own company, Jones has received many commissions to create dances for modern and ballet companies, including his 1995 collaboration with Toni Morrison and Max Roach, Degga, commissioned by Lincoln Center.

In addition to his 2008 production of Fela! A New Musical, based on the life of Fela Kuti, and his choreography for The Seven and Spring Awakening, Jones choreographed Sir Michael Tippet's 1990 New Year under the direction of Sir Peter Hall for the Houston Grand Opera and the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. He conceived, co-directed and choreographed Mother of Three Sons, which was performed at the Munich Biennale, New York City Opera and the Houston Grande Opera. Jones also directed Lost in the Stars for the Boston Lyric Opera. Additional projects include co-directing Perfect Courage with Rhodessa Jones for Festival 2000, in 1990. In 1994, he directed Derek Walcott's Dream on Monkey Mountain for The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN.

Written work includes his own memoirs, Last Night on Earth (1995), Body Against Body: The Dance and Other Collaborations of Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane (1989), Dance, a children’s book written by Bill T. Jones and photographer Susan Kuklin (1998) and Continuous Replay: The Photography of Arnie Zane (1999).

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Jamie Merwin

Jamie Merwin is the Founding Artistic Director of Philadelphia-based olive Dance Theatre and the artist -driven management cooperative Seed Management. She is equally committed to the tradition of Breakin' and the creation of contemporary American
theatre. In 2008, she was a fellow of the Ford Foundations Future Aesthetics Artists Re-Grant program. She is a 2007 Pennsylvania
Council on the Arts Fellow in Theater: New Performance Forms, a 2005 New Edge Artist in Residence at the CEC in Philadelphia and
currently an Artist in Residence at JS Jenks and Birney Elementary Schools, Philadelphia. Her work is supported by the Leeway
Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Dance Advance, CEC, GPCA Five County Arts Fund, Suzanne F. Roberts Cultural
Development Fund, Poor Richards Charitable Trust, Institute for Cultural Partnerships, NEFA & PennPAT. She holds a B.A. in Theater and
Dance with minors in Criminal Justice and African-American Studies from Temple University. She has taught at the Charter High School for

Architecture + Design, University of Pennsylvania and Bristol Riverside Theater’s Artrageous! Summer Camp. She has worked with
multiple Philadelphia organizations in many capacities from actor and director to stage manager and administrator, including: Rennie
Harris Puremovement, Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia Young Playwright's Festival, CEC, Actin' Up!, Eastern State Penitentiary and
the Pennsylvania Prison Society. Past projects include: “Rapid Transit…A Moving Kollage of African-American Writers,” “Closetlands,”
adapted from the screenplay, “OLIVE,” “tOy bOx,” “real thing come...and real thing go,” “ToTM Rd.,” “Strung” and “Phresh.” This year
oDT received support from the NEA’s American Masterpieces in Dance Program to reconstruct the work of Breakin’ pioneer Ken Swift;
the project “Swift Solos” premieres in August 2009 and will tour the United States and beyond during the 2009/2010 seasons. Other
current projects include two new evening length works—“Brotherly Love” and “Conversations.” Jamie serves on the Executive
Committee for Alternate ROOTS and Board of Directors of Network of Ensemble Theaters’ (NET).

Joe Salvatore

Joe Salvatore is a director/dramaturg/playwright based in New York City. His play III, about the ménage between George Platt Lynes, Glenway Wescott, and Monroe Wheeler, was featured as part of the 2008 New York International Fringe Festival where it received the Fringe’s Overall Excellence Award for Outstanding Play.  His current project open heart, an interview theatre piece about gay male couples living in open, non-monogamous relationships, will have its first workshop performance in July 2009.  Other original plays and performance pieces include You Know, The Class Project, transfigured (with Julie Marie Myatt), and fag/hag (with Kate Nugent).  Recent directing projects include What Can’t Be Seen (workshop), Medea Redux, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, and Polaroid Stories.  Additional directing work has been seen at the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, LAByrinth Theater Company’s Barn Series, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, New WORLD Theater, the Del Corazon Festival, INROADS: The Americas, and New York University.   Joe is on the faculty of the Program in Educational Theatre at New York University where he teaches courses in acting, directing, Shakespeare, applied theatre, and theatre pedagogy.  He also directs the program’s Shakespeare Initiative, which includes the touring Shakespeare-to-Go company, the Shakespeare Youth Ensemble, and the Looking for Shakespeare summer youth program. Joe serves as the Artistic/Education Director for Learning Stages, an award-winning youth theatre company in southern New Jersey that will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2010, and he has also worked as a consultant for Dance Theater Workshop, youngARTS/New York, and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.  MFA in Theater (Dramaturgy/Directing), University of Massachusetts at Amherst; BA in History, University of Delaware; Member, Lincoln Center Directors Lab.


Meiyin Wang

Meiyin Wang is the associate producer of Under The Radar Festival and Symposium in New York, where she has worked under the mentorship of producer Mark Russell since 2006. In her 3 years at UTR, a program of Arts Presenters and produced by The Public Theater, she has managed 47 productions, applied for artist visas from 11 embassies, and hosted over 550 artistic directors and presenters from 19 countries. Born and raised in Singapore, Meiyin served as resident playwright and assocate artistic director of Singapore Repertory Theatre before earning her Directing M.F.A from Columbia under Anne Bogart. Meiyin has directed or developed work at Women’s Project, Classic Stage Company, chashama, Theatre Row, HERE Arts Center, The Ohio Theatre, Joe’s Pub and other non-traditional sites. She assisted Robert Woodruff at American Repertory Theater, Long Beach Opera and Hong Kong International Festival, and Eduardo Machado at INTAR and Premio Dams Festival in Italy. In Singapore, Meiyin directed Betrayal (national premiere) at the Singapore Repertory Theatre and her play Postcards from Persephone garnered nominations for best director and script at the national theatre awards. Meiyin is an alumnus of the Women’s Project Directors Lab, a Schubert Presidential Scholarship and Singapore National Arts Council Grant receipient, and served on the NPAC Artists Task Force . She is the co-artistic director of the performance collective Quality Meats.

John Waters

Born in Baltimore, MD in 1946, John Waters was drawn to movies at an early age, particularly exploitation movies with lurid ad campaigns.  As a teenager, Waters made his first film, an 8-mm short, Hag in a Black Leather Jacket in 1964, starring Mary Vivian Pearce.  Roman Candles followed, the first of his films to star Divine and Mink Stole.  In 1967, he made his first 16-mm film with Eat Your Makeup, the story of a deranged governess and her lover who kidnap fashion models and force them to model themselves to death.  Mondo Trasho, Waters' first feature length film, was completed in 1969 despite the fact that the production ground to a halt when the director and two actors were arrested for "participating in a misdemeanor, to wit:  indecent exposure."

In 1970, Waters completed what he described as his first "celluloid atrocity," Multiple Maniacs.  Two years later he created what would become the most "notorious" film in the American independent cinema of the 1970's, Pink Flamingos, which went on to become a smash success at midnight screenings in the U.S. and all over the world. He followed the success of Pink Flamingos with two more pictures during the 70s: Female Trouble (1974) and Desperate Living (1977).

Waters created Polyester, a wide-screen comic melodrama starring Divine and Tab Hunter in 1981 followed by Hairspray in 1988.  The film was a box office and critical success and starred the then unknown Ricki Lake, Deborah Harry, the late Sonny Bono, Jerry Stiller, Pia Zadora and Ric Ocasek. The success of Hairspray brought Waters major Hollywood backing for his next feature, Cry-Baby (1990), starring Johnny Depp.  Throughout the 90s and into the new millennium he continued to produce a string of films with “no socially redeeming value” including Serial Mom, Pecker, Cecil B. DeMented and A Dirty Shame.

Waters is the author of five books: Shock Value, Crackpot, Pink Flamingos and Other Trash, Hairspray, Female Trouble and Multiple Maniacs, and Art: A Sex Book (co-written with art critic Bruce Hainley).  His photographs have been shown in galleries all over the world since 1992.   Three art catalogs have been published on John Waters’ photographs and sculpture:  Director’s Cut, John Waters: Change of Life and Unwatchable.

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Andrew Zolli

Andrew Zolli is a foresight and global trends consultant who analyzes critical trends at the intersection of culture, technology, and global society. His firm, Z + Partners, helps global companies and institutions see, understand and respond to complex change.

He is also the Curator of the annual PopTech conference, an elite annual gathering of thought leaders which explores the social impact of technology and the shape of things to come.

Andrew was recently named one of the Fellows of the National Geographic Society, where he is leading development of a global initiative to envision new scenarios for life in 2040-2050, and has served as Futurist-in-Residence at both Popular Science and American Demographics magazines, as well as Public Radio's Marketplace.

Zolli is a network member of the Global Business Network, and serves as a Visiting Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation . In 2005 he was named to Fast Company's “Fast 50,” the magazine's annual compilation of emerging business leaders. In the same year, he was named one of Red Herring's "Top 20 Under 35". Zolli's work, writings and ideas have appeared in a wide array of media outlets, including PBS, National Public Radio, The New York Times, Wired, BusinessWeek, ID, Fast Company, The History Channel and many others.

In addition to his work with larger multinational organizations, Zolli advises a number of cutting-edge not-for-profit, public policy and venture-backed startups. He currently serves on the boards of Worldchanging.com, a leading online resource tracking the future of sustainability, and Blurb, a revolutionary publishing company.

In the 1990's, Zolli served as Chief Marketing Officer of one of the world's leading strategic branding consultancies, Siegel & Gale, where he helped develop new designs, businesses, products and services for companies such as The Weather Channel, Netscape, Kodak, American Express, Forrester Research and IBM, among many others. At Siegel & Gale, he helped envision and develop next-generation approaches to product development, user experience, and communications and created and led the company's research and development lab. Prior to this, in the early 1990's, Zolli participated as an academic researcher in core technology and standards research and development that shaped the World Wide Web.

2009 TCG Pre-Conference Speakers

Jeanette Winterson

Born in Manchester, England and raised in Accrington Lancashire by adoptive parents, Jeanette Winterson was on track to becoming a Pentecostal Christian missionary, evangelizing and writing sermons by age six. At age sixteen she declared that she was a lesbian, left home and supported herself while pursuing an education at Accrington and Rossendale College and ultimately earning her bachelors degree in English literature at St Catherine's College, Oxford. At the age of twenty-four she published her first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, which won the 1985 Whitbread Prize for a First Novel. The television adaptation by Winterson won the BAFTA Award for Best Drama in 1990. Winterson's novels explore the boundaries of physicality and the imagination, gender polarities, and sexual identities, and have won several literary awards, including the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the EM Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Winterson’s 2002 stage adaptation of her novel The PowerBook opened at the Royal National Theatre, London, directed by Deborah Warner, and starring Fiona Shaw, Saffron Burroughs and Pauline Lynch. She frequently writes and speaks about the importance and power of the arts in society, most notably in her book of essays, Art Objects. She was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2006 for services to literature.

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