Faculty

Gideon Lester
Photo credit: Kevin Thomas Garcia

Gideon Lester

Professor of Theater; Artistic Director for Theater & Dance
 

Gideon Lester is Director of the Theater and Performance Program at Bard College. He is also Artistic Director for Theater & Dance at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, and Director of Live Arts Bard, the College’s residency and commissioning program for the performing arts. He is the co-curator of Crossing the Line, a cross-disciplinary arts festival in New York City. From 1997 to 2009 he worked at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as Acting Artistic Director, Associate Artistic Director, and Resident Dramaturg. He also chaired Harvard University’s MFA program in dramaturgy at the A.R.T./Moscow Art Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training, and taught at Harvard College. From 2009 to 2011 he taught at Columbia University’s School of the Arts where he founded and directed the Arts Collaboration Lab, in association with Performance Space 122. Professor Lester studied English at Oxford and Dramaturgy at Harvard, where he was a Fulbright and Frank Knox Scholar. His translations for the stage include plays by Marivaux, Büchner, and Brecht, and his stage adaptations include Kafka’s Amerika, Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire, and Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita.
Phone: (845)758-7949
Email: glester@bard.edu
 

Brooke Berman

Brooke Berman

Visiting Playwright in Theater & Performance

Brooke Berman is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker and memoirist whose work has been produced and published across the US and abroad.  Originally trained as an actor and solo performer in the experimental theater, Brooke began performing her own work on the Lower East Side of Manhattan before receiving formal training in playwriting from the Juilliard School and Maria Irene Fornes. Her play Hunting and Gathering, which premiered at Primary Stages, directed by Leigh Silverman, was named one of the Ten Best of 2008 by New York Magazine.  She is currently developing her play 1300 LAFAYETTE EAST with Leigh Silverman and is in pre-production for her feature POLLY FREED, based on her play OUT OF THE WATER.
 
Brooke’s plays have been produced and developed across the US at theaters including: Primary Stages, The 2nd Stage, Steppenwolf, The Play Company, Soho Rep, Williamstown Theater Festival, Naked Angels, MCC, New Dramatists, New Georges, The Womens Project, The Humana Festival, and The Bay Area Playwrights Foundation. In the UK, her work has been developed at The Royal Court Theatre, The National Theatre Studio and Pentabus. Her plays are published by Broadway Play Publishing, Playscripts, Backstage Books and Smith & Kraus.
 
As a filmmaker, Brooke wrote and directed the short film, UGGS FOR GAZA. UGGS premiered at the Aspen International ShortsFest where it won an Audience Special Recognition award and later played festivals including Toronto and Santa Fe. ALL SAINTS DAY, a short film she wrote, directed by Will Frears, won Best Narrative Short at the Savannah Film Festival and played at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008. She adapted her play SMASHING for Natalie Portman and has written features for The Mark Gordon Company, Vox Films, Red Crown, and Fugitive Films.
 
Brooke’s memoir, No Place Like Home, published by Random House, was called “Highbrow/Brilliant” by New York Magazine’s Approval Matrix.  The book made Elle.com’s “Top Ten Summer Reads,” LA Magazine’s summer reading roundup and the EW piece “If You Like GIRLS, You’ll Love …” 
 
Brooke is the recipient of a Berilla Kerr Award, a Helen Merrill Award, two Francesca Primus Awards, two LeCompte du Nuoy awards and a commissioning grant from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture.  She was a resident playwright at New Dramatists, where she served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, earned a Calloway Award, and developed countless plays. She has received support for her work from the MacDowell Colony and the Corporation of Yaddo and commissions from Arielle Tepper Productions and CTC in Minneapolis. 
 
Brooke attended Barnard College and is a graduate of The Juilliard School. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, PEN and an alumna of the MCC Playwrights Coalition and New Dramatists. As a teacher, she was a guest artist in the New York City public school system through MCC Theater, and has taught at ESPA, Eugene Lang College, UCSB, Fordham University and Barnard College as well as privately through the “24 With 5 Teaching Collective” which she co-created at New Dramatists.  She spent five years as the Director of the Playwrights Unit for MCC Theater’s Youth Company, a free after-school program for NYC youth.  She has mentored with the Young Storytellers Foundation in Los Angeles and Young Playwrights in New York.
Tania El Khoury

Tania El Khoury

Visiting Artist in Theater & Performance

Tania El Khoury is a live artist whose work focuses on audience interactivity and is concerned with the ethical and political potential of such encounters. Tania’s work has been translated to multiple languages and shown in 32 countries across six continents. She is the recipient of the International Live Art Prize 2017, the Total Theatre Innovation Award, and the Arches Brick Award 2011. Tania is associated with Forest Fringe in the UK and is the co-founder of Dictaphone Group, a research and performance collective in Beirut creating site-specific performances that question our relationship to the city and redefine its public space. Her PhD thesis in Theatre Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London, was funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council and was supervised by both the Geography and Drama departments.
 
Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas
Photo credit: Bill Jacobson

Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas

Playwright-in-Residence

B.A., Georgetown University; M.P.H., University of California, Berkeley; M.F.A., Brown University. Fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts; as well as the Helen Merrill Award; the Anschutz Distinguished Fellowship at Princeton University; and the Robert Chesley Award, among others. His most recent play, Recent Alien Abductions, was presented at the Humana Festival at the Actors Theater of Louisville. Other plays include Maleta Mulata (Campo Santo); Sleepwalkers (Area Stage, Carbonell Award; and Alliance Theatre); Tight Embrace (Intar); Blind Mouth Singing (Teatro Vista, and National Asian American Theatre Company, New York Times Critics Pick) and Bird in the Hand (Fulcrum Theater, New York Times Critics Pick). His plays have been published by Playscripts, Dramatic Publishing, TDR/The Drama Review and widely anthologized. He has been Commissioned by the Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, Soho Rep, Hartford Stage and Playwrights Horizons. He is a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop and an alumnus of New Dramatists. Cofounder, Fulcrum Theater. Poetry, fiction, and nonfiction published in many journals and anthologies. At Bard since 2011.
Phone: 845-758-3017
E-mail: jcortina@bard.edu
Liza Dickinson

Liza Dickinson

Visiting Artist in Theater & Performance

B.A., Oberlin College; M.F.A. A.R.T./MXAT Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University; Liza is a Brooklyn-based teaching artist who has performed in New York (The Public Theater, Martin E. Segal Theater Center), regionally (American Repertory Theater, MASS MoCa) and internationally (Moscow Art Theater). She has been fortunate to collaborate with a variety of talents from the theater, literary and musical worlds, including Nature Theater of Oklahoma, Sarah Benson, Neil Gaiman, Janoz Szasz, The Lisps and Honest Accomplice Theater.
 
Miriam Felton-Dansky

Miriam Felton-Dansky

Assistant Professor of Theater & Performance

B.A., Barnard College; M.F.A., D.F.A., Yale University. Research and teaching interests include performance in the digital age; the contemporary and historical avant-gardes; and political theater and performance. She is a contributing editor of Theater, where she served as guest co-editor of special issues "Digital Feelings" (2016), “Digital Dramaturgies” (2012), and "Censorship and Contemporary Theater" (2008). Her essays and articles have appeared in Theatre Journal, TDR, PAJ, and Theater, as well as The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Theater (2015). She has been a theater critic for the Village Voice since 2009. Awards received include a Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Research Fellowship, Yale Dissertation Fellowship, and Theater magazine fellowships. At Bard since 2012.

Phone: (845)758-7960

Email: mdansky@bard.edu

Jack Ferver

Jack Ferver

Artist-in-Residence

Jack Ferver is a New York based writer, choreographer, and director. His genre defying performances, which have been called “so extreme that they sometimes look and feel like exorcisms” (The New Yorker), explore the tragicomedy of the human psyche. Ferver’s “darkly humorous” (The New York Times) works interrogate and indict an array of psychological and socio-political issues, particularly in the realms of sexual orientation, gender, and power struggles. His visionary direction blurs boundaries between fantastic theatrics and stark naturalism, character and self, humor and horror.
 
Ferver’s works have been presented in New York City at the New Museum; The Kitchen; The French Institute Alliance Française, as part of Crossing the Line; Abrons Arts Center; Gibney Dance; Performance Space 122; the Museum of Arts and Design, as part of Performa 11; Danspace Project; and Dixon Place. Domestically and internationally, Ferver has been presented by the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College (NY); American Dance Institute (MD); Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (IL); Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (OR); the Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA (ME); the Institute of Contemporary Art (MA); Diverse Works in collaboration with the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston (TX); and Théâtre de Vanves (France).
 
His work has been critically acclaimed in The New York Times, La Monde, Artforum, The New Yorker, Time Out NY, Modern Painters, The Financial Times, The Village Voice, and ArtsJournal. Ferver has received residencies and fellowships from the Maggie Allesee National Center of Choreography at Florida State (2012); Baryshnikov Arts Center (2013); the Watermill Center (2014); the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art (2014); and Live Arts Bard, the commissioning and residency program of The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College (2014); and Abrons Art Center (2014-2015). He is a 2016 recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant.
 
He teaches at Bard College and is guest faculty at NYU. He has also taught at SUNY Purchase, and has set choreography at The Juilliard School. As an actor he has appeared in numerous films and television series, including an upcoming series for HBO. He and actress Parker Posey have a new media content project to be released in 2017. www.jackferver.org
Neil Gaiman
Photo credit: Kimberly Butler

Neil Gaiman

Professor in the Arts

Neil Gaiman is listed in the Dictionary of Literary Biography as one of the top ten living post-modern writers and is a prolific creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama. His work crosses genres and reaches audiences of all ages. His most recent adult novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a #1 New York Times Bestseller; other adult works include Neverwhere, Stardust, Anansi Boys, and Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett); the award-winning Sandman series of graphic novels; and the short story collections Smoke and Mirrors and Fragile Things. His novels for younger readers include Coraline and The Graveyard Book, which was awarded the Newbery Medal, the highest honor given children’s literature, as well as the Locus Award for Best Young Adult Book and the Hugo Award for Best Novel. The awarding of the 2010 UK Carnegie Medal makes Gaiman the first author ever to win both the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal with the same book. His most recent book, Fortunately, the Milk (“the funniest work of literature since Catcher in the Milk”) has been on bestseller lists since publication, and a recent reading and performance of the entire book sold out Central Hall in Westminster. His work has been adapted for film, television, and radio, including Stardust (2007), directed by Matthew Vaughan, and the animated feature film Coraline (2009), which secured a BAFTA nomination for Best Animated Film and was nominated for an Oscar in the same category. In March 2013, BBC Radio broadcast a new six-episode production of Neverwhere, with a star-studded cast that includes James McAvoy, David Harewood, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Romola Garai. Gaiman has written and directed for film and television, and his 2011 episode of Doctor Who, “The Doctor’s Wife,” caused The Times (London) to describe him as “a hero” and won the Hugo, Ray Bradbury, and SFX awards. Make Good Art, the text of a commencement speech Gaiman delivered at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, was published in a volume designed by renowned artist Chip Kidd; his recent speech in support of libraries and reading will be published as a book in 2014. More than 1.8 million people follow him on Twitter. Born in Hampshire, he currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife, the rock star Amanda Palmer, with whom he sometimes performs.
Lynn Hawley

Lynn Hawley

Artist-in-Residence

Lynn originated the role of Hannah Gabriel in renown playwright Richard Nelson’s three-play cycle, THE GABRIELS: Election Year in The Life of One Family at The Public Theater in New York City. Lynn performed in the full cycle of THE GABRIELS: Election Year in the Life of One Family at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., as well the 2017 international tour through Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, England and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. B.A., Middlebury College; M.F.A., New York University; Acting includes principle roles in the following Off-Broadway New York theaters: Lincoln Center Theater, The Public Theater (Several, Richard III, 2012), Irish Repertory Theatre, Classic Stage Company (Tony Kushner’s The Illusion), Circle Repertory Company, as well as numerous workshops at HERE, The Culture Project, and The Public Theater. Regionally, Lynn has performed plays at Yale Repertory Theatre, Center Stage, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, New York Stage & Film; Member of In The Continuum; film: Hamlet; television: Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU. Cofounder, TrueNorth Theater Project. Also studied at Moscow Arts Theater School. At Bard since 2000.

Phone: (845)758-7961

Email: Hawley@bard.edu

Chiori Miyagawa
Photo Jennifer May

Chiori Miyagawa

Playwright-in-Residence

M.F.A., CUNY Brooklyn College. Playwright and dramaturg. Plays produced Off-Broadway and nationally. Seven plays published in various anthologies. Playwriting fellowships: New York Foundation for the Arts, Van Lier, McNight. Recipient: Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, Rockefeller Bellagio Residency,Critic Beinecke Playwright-in-Residence at Yale School of Drama, Rockefeller Multi-Arts Production Fund (twice), Asian Cultural Council Fellowship. Resident playwright, New Dramatists. Coartistic director, Crossing Jamaica Avenue, a New York–based theater company; board member, ART/N.Y. At Bard since 1999.
Phone: 845-758-7938
E-mail: miyagawa@bard.edu
Jonathan Rosenberg

Jonathan Rosenberg

Artist-in-Residence

B.A., University of Pennsylvania; M.F.A., New York University. Work produced at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Dance Theater Workshop, Home for Contemporary Theater and Art, Theater for the New City, and Public Theater (workshop), all New York; Flynn Theater, Burlington; Berkshire Theatre Festival; A Contemporary Theater, Seattle; Institut International de la Marionnette, Charleville-Mézi ères, France; Bedlam Theatre, Edinburgh; Wits Theater, Johannesburg; and at Juilliard Drama Division, NYU Graduate Acting Program, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, SUNY Purchase Acting Conservatory, others. Associate artistic director, DearKnows Theater Company (1989–91). Recipient: National Endowment for the Arts Director Fellowship Award; Fox Foundation Fellowship Award. Has taught in Juilliard Drama Division, Conservatory of Theater Arts and Film at SUNY Purchase, Fordham University Theater Program, and at Colorado College and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. At Bard since 2005.
Phone: 845-758-7918
E-mail: jrosenbe@bard.edu
Andrea Thome

Andrea Thome

Visiting Playwright in Theater & Performance

Andrea Thome is a Chilean/Costa Rican-American playwright whose work navigates multiple languages and landscapes. Recent plays include PINKOLANDIA (INTAR, Two River Theater, Salvage Vanguard, 16th Street Theater; translated into Russian) and TROY (created with the Public Theater’s ACTivate Ensemble in a year-long process, culminating in full production at the Public). Andrea’s playwriting often experiments with the nature of theatrical collaboration. She was commissioned by En Garde Arts to create UNDOCUMENTED, a musical work-in-progress created from her interviews and ongoing conversations with undocumented immigrants. Also in development:  PURGATORIO WONDERLAND (developed through SPACE on Ryder Farm and Keen Company) THE NECKLACE OF THE DOVE (Mabou Mines, New Georges), a ‘translation’ of Shakespeare’s CYMBELINE (OSF-Play On!), and an EST/Sloan commission about an astronomer from Muslim Spain. She was a finalist for the 2019 Clubbed Thumb commission. Thome’s other plays include Undone (Queens College, Lark), Worm Girl (Cherry Red Productions), and various short plays and collaborative projects. Her play translations (Spanish to English) include Guillermo Calderón’s Neva) and have been produced by the Public Theater, CTG, La Jolla Playhouse and more. Thome co-directs Latina satire collective FULANA (www.fulana.org) and has directed the Lark’s Mexico-U.S. Playwright Exchange Program since 2006. Recent residencies include: MacDowell (Thornton Wilder Fellow), Keen Company, SPACE on Ryder Farm, and New Dramatists.  B.A. Harvard University, M.F.A. NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
 
Jean Wagner

Jean Wagner

Artist-in-Residence

B.A. Wesleyan University, M.A. Smith College. Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Voice & Vision Theater, a New York City based Theater Company that develops and produces new plays and performance works by women.  Jean has developed and directed many new works for V&V including Chiori Miyagawa’s I Have Been to Hiroshima Mon Amour, which was produced in 2009 at The Ohio Theater, The Good Life, a one-woman show by Yeardley Smith at The Culture Project (NYC), Ana Traina’s In Audela (The Culture Project), Dulcitius by medieval playwright Hrotswitha of Gandersheim at the Metropolitan Museum of Art at the Cloisters,  Maricela de la Luz Lights the World by Jose Rivera at the Connelly Theater and  Wendy Kesselman’s The Black Monk.  Other directing credits include Colette Burson’s A Dry and Thirsty Land at HERE Arts Center, The Notebook by Wendy Kesselman at Boston’s Wheelock Theater, Hans in Luck by librettist Margie Duffield and composer Dan Ashkenaze at BRIC (Brooklyn) and new works at New York Stage & Film Company, Manhattan Class Company, Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX) and the Mabou Mines/Suite. She was Associate Director of the 1998 Broadway revival of The Diary of Anne Frank, and Twelve Dreams at Lincoln Center Theater, both directed by James Lapine, and is a member of New York Theatre Workshop’s “Usual Suspects,” The League of Professional Theater Women and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society; and is an alum of Lincoln Center Theater’s Director’s Lab. In 2008 she received the Lucille Lortel Women’s Visionary Award from the League of Professional Theater Women. She has been on the faculty of the Bard College Theater and Performance Program since 2000.

Phone: (845)758-7937

Email: wagner@bard.edu