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
 

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

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, most recently 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

Geoff Sobelle

Geoff Sobelle

Visiting Artist in Theater & Performance

Geoff Sobelle is a theatre artist dedicated to the “sublime ridiculous.” He is the co-artistic director of rainpan 43, a renegade absurdist outfit devoted to creating original actor-driven performance works. Using illusion, film and out-dated mechanics, R43 creates surreal, poetic pieces that look for humanity where you least expect it and find grace where no one is looking. R43’s shows include: all wear bowlers (Innovative Theatre Award, Drama Desk nomination), Amnesia Curiosa, machines machines machines machines machines machines machines (OBIE award – design), and Elephant Room (commissioned by Center Theatre Group). His independent work includes Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl and The Object Lesson (commissioned by Lincoln Center 3)He has been a company member of Philadelphia’s Pig Iron Theatre Company since 2001. Pig Iron works include: Gentlemen Volunteers, Mission to Mercury, Shut Eye, James Joyce is Dead and so is Paris, Hell Meets Henry Halfway, Chekhov Lizardbrain and Welcome to Yuba City. All of his work to date has premiered at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival before touring nationally and internationally. As a teacher, Geoff has led workshops all over the world in devised theatre creation, physical approach to character, clown and “jeu.” He is a core teacher at the Pig Iron school in Philadelphia (APT) and is on faculty at Bard College. His work has been supported by the Independence Foundation, the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative, the Wyncote Foundation, US Arts International, the Princeton Atelier and the New England Foundation for the Arts. He is a 2006 Pew Fellow and is a 2009 Creative Capital grantee. He is a graduate of Stanford University, and trained in physical theatre at École Jacques Lecoq in Paris, France.
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
David Szlasa

David Szlasa

Visiting Artist in Theater & Performance

David Szlasa is a designer and producer spanning theater, dance, video, and social practice.  Collaborators include Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Joanna Haigood, Hope Mohr, Sara Shelton Mann, Joe Goode, Will Rawls, Myra Melford, Boots Riley, Yuri Zhukov, Rennie Harris, and Bill Shannon in venues including BAM Next Wave, the Sydney Opera House, Walker Arts Center, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Berlin Jazzfest, and the Harare International Festival of the Arts, Zimbabwe.  His own generative works have been called “so timely as to feel timeless” by the SF Chronicle and have received an Isadora Duncan Award, Future Aesthetics Award, and a Gerbode.  Range Studio, a public art project, mobile workspace and micro residency center was deemed a Living Innovation Zone by the City of San Francisco in 2015 with major funding from the Center for Cultural Innovation and Rainin Foundation.  Szlasa has taught design at Stanford University, St Mary’s College of California, and NYU and is the Director of the Petronio Research Initiative in Round Top, NY.
Adrienne Truscott

Adrienne Truscott

Visiting Artist, Theater & Performance

Adrienne Truscott is a choreographer, circus acrobat, dancer, writer, storyteller and comedian. She has been making genre-straddling performances in New York City and abroad for over 20 years. She was one of 20 artists selected nationally for the inaugural 2014 Doris Duke Impact Artist Award and is a 2017 Foundation for Contemporary Arts grantee for Theater/Performance Art.   Her evening-length solo comedic work and group choreographic works have been presented variously at Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Just For Laughs, Darwin Festival, PS122, Joe’s Pub, The Kitchen, Dublin Fringe, Danspace, Boom Arts, New York Live Arts, The Malthouse Theater (Melbourne), and Dance Theater Workshop, among others.
The Wau Wau Sisters, her boundary busting neo-vaudevillian collaboration with Tanya Gagne, have been presented by such iconic venues as the Sydney Opera House (Aus), Joe’s Pub and CBGB’s (NYC), Victoria Arts Center (Melbourne) and The Roundhouse (London). The Wau Wau Sisters are fixtures at among others, the Edinburgh, Melbourne, Brighton, Adelaide, Perth and Philadelphia Fringe Festivals and are seen regularly in the international sensations La Soiree and La Clique. They are winners of the prestigious 2009 Herald Angel Award and their contemporaries broadly recognize the influence of their radical and ludicrous take on circus and cabaret.
Her form-busting and ground-breaking show Adrienne Truscott's Asking For It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy and Little Else! won the 2013 Edinburgh Foster's Panel-Prize, was a finalist for the Total Theater Award for Playing With Form and is considered a critical impetus to the evolving conversation about rape culture. It continues to tour internationally and has been presented by or included in curriculum at CalArts, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Louis and Clarke College among others. Her latest solo performance piece, THIS, was recently nominated for a 2017 New York Performance Award (Bessie) for Outstanding Production.
As a writer, her essays have appeared in two Australian anthologies – Women of Letters: Between Us and Doing It: Women Tell the Truth about Great Sex. Other essays have been published in The Guardian, Mamamia, and several other print and online publications. She recently appeared as a storyteller at the Sydney Opera House’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas, on the iconic series The Moth and in various live storytelling series.
Truscott has taught at Wesleyan University Dance Department as a visiting artist, and has guest taught at Sarah Lawrence College’s Theater and Dance Departments and Yale Universtiy.
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