About the Charles Abbott Fellowship: Established through the generous gifts of friends and colleagues of Charles Abbott upon his retirement as Artistic Director of Maine State Music Theatre in 2010 and first awarded in 2011, the purpose of SDCF’s Charles Abbott Fellowship is to provide paid opportunities for emerging stage directors and director-choreographers to gain access to iconic musicals, of any genre, being produced in major regional theaters under the direction of a nationally-recognized master theatre artist. Prior Abbott Fellows have assisted and observed Molly Smith at Arena Stage, Ted Pappas at Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Eric Schaeffer at Signature in DC, and Karen Azenberg at Pioneer Theatre. Selection of finalists for each year’s Fellowship is by a committee of established directors and choreographers and chaired by Charles Abbott.
Eligibility: All directors and director/choreographers are eligible for this opportunity. SDC affiliation is not necessary.
Details: The Charles Abbott Fellow will serve as the 2nd Assistant on this production. Prior assisting work is a plus, as is demonstrated interest in musical theatre. The ideal candidate will have a knowledge of the history of the American musical, an interest in regional theatre, and enough dance knowledge to be able to look at dance and know what’s happening. Director-choreographers are encouraged to apply.
Production Information: Kiss Me Kate, directed by Darko Tresnjak, choreographed by Peggy Hickey at Hartford Stage in Hartford, CT.
Dates: Pre-production April 7 – April 13, First Rehearsal April 14, Opening Night May 14
Stipend: $2500 stipend
Fellow is responsible for housing and travel
Application Deadline: To apply, please email materials no later than Friday January 30 at noon eastern time. This is a hard deadline; send materials with time to allow for the possibility of technical issues. Again, to be fair to all applicants, no exceptions will be made to this deadline.
Submission Instructions: Include the following materials in one pdf or doc titled “Your Last Name Abbott” (i.e., Jones_Abbott.pdf) and email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Materials – Charles Abbott”:
- A current 1-page resume
- A response, not to exceed 1 page, to: What do you feel are the challenges and opportunities – from a directing standpoint – of staging a revival of a classic American musical?
You need not limit your response to Kiss Me Kate.
Please ensure your documents each print out on one-page. Only the first page of each document will be reviewed by the selection committee.
About Darko Tresnjak:
In 2011, Darko Tresnjak became only the fifth artistic director to lead Hartford Stage. Since then the theatre has presented the world premieres of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway, winner of four 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical by Darko; Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Water by the Spoonful, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; Breath & Imagination by Daniel Beaty; and Big Dance Theatre’s Man in a Case with Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Darko Tresnjak was the Artistic Director of the Old Globe Shakespeare Festival in San Diego from 2004 to 2009. His directing credits at the Old Globe include Cyrano de Bergerac, Coriolanus, The Women, The Pleasure of His Company, All’s Well That Ends Well, Bell, Book and Candle, Hamlet, Titus Andronicus, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Winter’s Tale, A Comedy of Errors, Antony and Cleopatra, The Two Noble Kinsmen, and Pericles. He received four awards from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle: for outstanding direction of Cyrano de Bergerac, The Winter’s Tale, and Pericles and for Excellence in Artistic Direction.
Tresnjak’s directing career began at the Williamstown Theatre Festival where over eight seasons he directed The Skin of Our Teeth, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Love of Three Oranges, Princess Turandot, The Blue Demon, The Winter’s Tale, Moving Picture, and Under Milk Wood. He has also directed at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, Theatre for a New Audience, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Vineyard Theatre Company, and Blue Light Theater Company. From 2002-2004 he was Director in Residence at Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company where his productions included What the Butler Saw, Heartbreak House, and Amphitryon.
Tresnjak grew up in Yugoslavia, the United States and Poland. He was educated at Swarthmore College and Columbia University and became an American citizen shortly after graduation. Between college and graduate school, he studied at the Martha Graham School, performed with numerous Philadelphia dance and theatre companies, and toured across the United States and Japan with Mum Puppettheatre. He is the recipient of grants from Theatre Communications Group, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Alan Schneider Award for Directing Excellence.
About the Show:
A renowned director of Shakespeare and musical comedy, Darko Tresnjak brings his two passions together in this new revival of Kiss Me, Kate. Director of our current Broadway smash, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Darko promises a Kiss Me, Kate like none before.
Cole Porter’s joyful and high-spirited musical comedy follows the backstage antics of a touring company performing The Taming of the Shrew, featuring two feuding couples, a few gun-toting gangsters, and some of the best numbers ever written: “Another Op’nin,’ Another Show,” “Too Darn Hot,” “Wunderbar,” “So in Love,” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.”
About Hartford Stage:
Now in its 51st year, Hartford Stage is one of the nation’s leading resident theatres, known for producing innovative revivals of classics and provocative new plays and musicals, including 68 world and American premieres, as well as offering a distinguished education program, which reaches more than 20,000 students annually.
In 2011, Darko Tresnjak became only the fifth artistic director to lead Hartford Stage. Since then the theatre has presented the world premieres of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway, winner of four 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical by Darko; Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Water by the Spoonful, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; Breath & Imagination by Daniel Beaty; and Big Dance Theatre’s Man in a Casewith Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Hartford Stage, under the leadership of Managing Director Michael Stotts, has earned many of the nation’s most prestigious awards, including its first Tony Award in 1989 for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Other national honors include Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, OBIE, and New York Critics Circle awards. Hartford Stage has produced nationally renowned titles, including the New York transfers of Enchanted April, The Orphans’ Home Cycle; Resurrection (later retitled Through the Night); The Carpetbagger’s Children; and Tea at Five.
Hartford Stage’s mission is to enlighten, entertain, and educate by creating theatrical works of the highest caliber that have a transformative impact on the field, its audiences and its community.