Normi Noël (Director, The Inner House) has directed many of the Edith Wharton and Henry James adaptations by Shakespeare & Company’s Dennis Krausnick and others, both in the Salon Theatre at the The Mount, and Springlawn Theatre, when Shakespeare & Co. moved to Kemble Street. Among those were Songs From the Heart, An International Episode, The Other Two, Roman Fever, and Xingu, re-adapted by Dennis into a one-woman show for Ventfort Hall. Over the years at S&Co she directed The Enchanted April, Hamlet, All’s Well That Ends Well, Virginia, Betrayal, The Chekhov One Acts, and others. No Background Music, her play about Penny Rock, an army nurse in the Vietnam war, won the Sony Award for best radio drama in the UK, performed by Sigourney Weaver. She is very happy to be working back at The Mount with The Wharton Salon, Toddy, and Edith. This is for Rich.
Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was born into the tightly controlled society of “Old New York” at a time when women were discouraged from achieving anything beyond a proper marriage. Wharton broke through these strictures to become one of America’s greatest writers. Author of The Age of Innocence, Ethan Frome, and The House of Mirth, Wharton wrote over 40 books in 40 years, including authoritative works on architecture, gardens, interior design, and travel. Essentially self-educated, Wharton was the first woman awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Yale University, and a full membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. 2012 is the 150th Anniversary of Edith Wharton’s birth. Happy Birthday, Edith Wharton. We dedicate our 2012 season to your brilliance, bravery, and indomitable spirit.
Jamie Steffen (Production Stage Manager) also for The Wharton Salon, Production Stage Manager for Autres Temps. New York: PSM, Shadow Box Theatre; How to Build a Forest (ASM), PearlDamour. Fault Line Theatre: Frogs. REGIONAL: Trinity Repertory Company; Long Wharf Theatre; Westport Country Playhouse; The Wharton Salon; Papermill Theatre; Lyman Center for the Performing Arts; Robert E. Kendall Drama Lab. Training: Jamie received her BA in Theatre at Southern Connecticut State University and has completed the USITT Stage Management Project at USITT Cincinnati and the Next Stage Resident Program at Long Wharf Theatre.
Kate Sinclair Foster (Set Designer) is a New York-based theatrical designer and artisan. For the The Wharton Salon: Set designer for Autres Temps. Other favorite projects include: The Flea Theater’s Office Hours (A. R. Gurney world premiere), Looking at Christmas, American Sexy, The Electric Lighthouse and A Letter from Omdurman (Resident Set Designer 2010-present), Christine Elmo’s Empress… (Lighting Design), Collaboration Town’s The Play About My Dad, Target Margin’s Uncle Vanya, The Tempest and The Really Big Once (Props Design) and production design for numerous TMT lab pieces, Young Jean Lee’s Untitled Feminist Show, LEAR and The Shipment (Assistant Set Design), SoHo Rep’s Uncle Vanya (Props Master), and props work for the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and Glimmerglass Opera. Kate holds a B.A. in theatre and art history from Williams College (’08).
Alexander Sovronsky (Original Music/Sound Design) is excited to be returning to The Wharton Salon after composing and performing an original live score for the 2010 production of Summer. In addition to being a composer, Alexander is also an actor/musician, whose performance and design credits include: BROADWAY: Cyrano de Bergerac (starring Kevin Kline). OFF-BROADWAY: Romeo & Juliet, Measure For Measure (NYSF/The Public); Bottom of the World (Atlantic Theater Company); Othello (TFANA); Women Beware Women (Red Bull); King Lear, Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, Marat/Sade, Three Sisters (Classical Theatre of Harlem); and The Libertine (Fools’ Theatre). REGIONAL: The Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare Theatre Company); As You Like It, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, All’s Well That Ends Well (Shakespeare & Company); Necessary Sacrifices (Ford’s Theatre); Cymbeline (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ); and Fiddler on the Roof (Walnut Street). MFA in Classical Acting from the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting. For a good time, visit www.AlexanderSovronsky.com
Kevin Sprague (Marketing Consultant) Kevin Sprague is the Creative Director of Studio Two in Lenox MA and is pleased to support Catherine Taylor-Williams and The Wharton Salon. Kevin and Catherine have collaborated frequently in the past, including working together on the graphic novel Muse.
Catherine Taylor-Williams (Producing Artistic Director) also for The Wharton Salon, Producer and Director: Xingu, Summer, and Autres Temps. Catherine founded The Wharton Salon in 2009. Catherine was an actor, director and Communications Associate at Shakespeare & Company from 2001-2007. S&Co: Directing: Shakespeare & the Language that Shaped a World, Love’s Labor’s Lost. S&Co: Acting: Vita & Virginia, My Own Stranger, Henry & June, The Servant of Two Masters, The Tamer Tamed and Wharton’s novel The Valley of Decision, also adapted by Krausnick. Catherine is an alumna of the two-year Producers’ Lab at The Women’s Project in New York, and of The John F. Kennedy Center’s 2008 DeVos Institute of Arts Management. Currently, Catherine is the Director of Individual Giving at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn. Catherine is grateful to Shakespeare & Company, Tina Packer, Dennis Krausnick, and director Normi Noël for pioneering adaptations of the stories of Edith Wharton for the stage at The Mount. She is delighted to welcome Normi to the Salon this year, and to see Tod Randolph bring Mrs. Wharton to life on stage. She also looks forward to bringing this production to the New York Society Library in December.
Susan Wissler (Executive Director, The Mount) Ms. Wissler came to Edith Wharton Restoration (EWR) in September of 2001 as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, after working for many years as a corporate attorney at Willkie Farr & Gallagher in New York City. Ms. Wissler took the helm as Executive Director of The Mount in 2008. That same year, following the exposure of the organization’s financial weaknesses, Ms. Wissler launched the Save The Mount Campaign and successfully forestalled foreclosure of the site. Since that time, Wissler has broadened the scope of The Mount, moving it beyond its status as a monument to Edith Wharton, and crafting it into a vibrant center for the literary arts. Committed to opening up the mansion and grounds to the widest possible audience, Wissler has tripled the size of Board of Trustees, initiated diverse programming, and established a master plan for The Mount’s future. Wissler holds a B.A. from Brown University and a J.D. from Columbia University.
Maia Robbins-Zust (Technical Director) for The Wharton Salon: Xingu, Summer, Autres Temps and The Inner House. Maia has a BFA in arts management from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and is an ETCP Certified Rigger and Entertainment Electrician. Currently she is Technical Director for Williams College’s Department of Theatre and Shakespeare on the Sound. She also owns Berkshire Production Resources, a production company that provides technical support for the many live performance venues of western Massachusetts including The Wharton Salon.
Maia and her company have worked with Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, Barrington Stage Company, Boston Early Music Festival, Berkshire Theater Festival, Berkshire Opera Company, Capital Repertory Company, The Colonial Theatre and the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center just to name a few.
Dennis Krausnick (Playwright) The Wharton Salon: Playwright Xingu, Summer, Autres Temps and The Inner House. Dennis is a founding member and Director of Training at Shakespeare & Company where he is also on the Board of Trustees and Faculty for the S&Co Summer Training Institute. He teaches and directs in theater programs across the country as well as designing and leading the actor training programs for S&Co. He has adapted several stories of Edith Wharton and Henry James for the stage over the past 30 years, the most popular being Ethan Frome, Xingu, Roman Fever and Summer. Dennis is performing as King Lear this summer in Shakespeare & Company’s 35th season.
Arthur Oliver (Costume Designer) also for The Wharton Salon: Xingu, Summer and Autres Temps. Broadway: 7 years of Broadway Bares at the Roseland Ballroom, NYC. Off-Broadway/New York: The Dishwashers 59E59 Theatres, The Man in Room 306 59E59 Theatres, Belle of the Books Harlem Renaissance Festival, NYMF Pandora’s Box with Kerry Butler, Diedre Goodwin and James Patrick Stuart. International: The Moscow Ballet, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker (2012). Regional: Resident Costume Designer Shakespeare & Company 1998-2008, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Gloucester Stage, Boston Conservatory, Opera Louisiane, NYU/Tisch, Colonial Theatre, Mabou Mines, Central Square Theatre, Gordon College, LSU, Virginia Arts Festival, Buffalo Philharmonic, Mt. Ida College, Summer Theater of New Canaan, Chester Theatre Company, Berkshire Opera, Connecticut Opera, Trinity College, Mixed Company, Bardavon Opera House, MassMOCA, The Yard, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, The Flying Karamozov Brothers, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, UCONN, Ventfort Hall, Emerson College, The Bronx Opera. Last year, Mr. Oliver was listed in the Wall Street Journal’s BEST of 2010 for “resplendent costuming”.
Tod Randolph* (Edith Wharton, The Inner House) first played Edith Wharton at The Mount in 1995 in a beautiful play by Dennis Krausnick called The Fiery Rain, about Edith’s love affair with Morton Fullerton. Fifteen years later, Tod had the great pleasure of performing in The Wharton Salon’s inaugural production, Xingu, playing the character of the visiting novelist Osric Dane, believed by some scholars to have been intended by the author as a self-parody. Tod has also recorded short stories in two Wharton collections by Berkshire Mountain Audio: Autre Temps in Edith Wharton on Audio, Vol. I, and The Lady’s Maid’s Bell in Ghosts: Edith Wharton’s Gothic Tales. Other great writers in Ms. Randolph’s repertoire have included Virginia Woolf (Virginia; A Room of One’s Own; Vita & Virginia; Shakespeare & Company) and Emily Dickinson (Emily; Mixed Company). She has been an acting, teaching and directing member of Shakespeare & Company since 1990, where her roles have included Queen Elizabeth in Richard III (opposite John Douglas Thompson), Goneril in King Lear (with Olympia Dukakis as Lear), Jaques, Titania, the Princess of France, Portia, Desdemona, Hermione, Lady Macbeth, and Beatrice, among others.
This season at Shakespeare & Company she can be seen as the journalist Dorothy Thompson in the world premiere of Norman Plotkin’s Cassandra Speaks. New York Credits include The Libertine at Theatre Row Theatre (Elisabeth Malet), Cymbeline with The Holderness Group (Imogen), and A Room of One’s Own with the Lincoln Center Theatre Director’s Lab. She is a graduate of the Juilliard Drama Division.
*Tod appears courtesy of Actors Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States, under Special Appearance Agreement.
Lauryn Franzoni (Managing Director) Lauryn has been a devoted reader of Edith Wharton for many years. In prior fundraising work, Lauryn has helped The Mount and Shakespeare & Company raise private support for new initiatives in performance and education. Lauryn is currently President of Leadership IQ, a leading global research and leadership training company that delivers research, insight, information products and events that inspire dynamic organizational growth, by aligning people, plans and practices around a shared purpose. A creative strategist and inspirational leader, Lauryn has recruited, trained and led high-performing creative and business teams for international research, media, and training companies in the U.S., U.K. and Europe in telecommunications, financial services, banking, energy, health and wellness, social media, education and the performing arts. Lauryn holds an MA from The American University and a BA from Dickinson College. Whenever possible, Lauryn shares her time and skills in work with cultural and educational organizations that are launching new projects and may need an extra set of hands clarifying strategy and implementing fundraising and audience development initiatives.