This month, we continue our feature on Theatre for a New Audience’s Artistic Council, a diverse group of professional leaders who bring expertise in a wide variety of artistic disciplines to our Board of Directors.
John Berendt: A native of Syracuse, NY, John Berendt studied English at Harvard University, where he was on staff at the Harvard Lampoon. Upon graduation, he moved to New York to pursue a career in journalism, working as editor and columnist for the likes of Esquire and New York Magazine. In 1994, he published Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, a finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction. It spent a record-breaking four years on the New York Times bestseller list, and was adapted into film by Clint Eastwood. Mr. Berendt’s second book, The City of Falling Angels, published in 2005, is a profile of life in modern-day Venice, centered on the fire that destroyed the La Fenice opera house.
Cicely Berry: A world-renowned vocal and text coach, author, and long-time Voice Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Cicely Berry has conducted theatre workshops all over the globe, including many with Theatre for a New Audience. She was recently appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire by the Queen of England. Please visit www.tfana.org/capital/news to read our full Spotlight article from our August 2007 issue.
Merle Debuskey: Legendary theatre publicist Merle Debuskey covered Broadway and Off-Broadway theatre from World War II until the mid-1990s. During that time, he was New York theatre’s top publicist, handling more shows, 300, than any press agent in Broadway history. A graduate of John Hopkins University, where he was an All-American Lacrosse player, he worked closely with Joseph Papp at The Public Theater, with whom he successfully fought Robert Moses to keep Shakespeare in the Park free. He was the first publicist for Lincoln Center Theater, and handled press for many downtown theatres previously ignored by local newspapers. He served as President of the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers for 25 years.
Frederick Wiseman: American documentary filmmaker and theatre director Frederick Wiseman was originally a law professor, and began making films in 1963. He has since directed and produced nearly 40 works, mainly studies of social institutions, which have all aired on PBS. Mr. Wiseman is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including membership to the American Academy of Arts & Letters, a MacArthur Prize Fellowship, a Guggenheim Award, and three Emmy Awards. His theater work includes directing The Last Letter, starring Kathleen Chalfant, for Theatre for a New Audience in 2003 and two productions at the Comedie Francaise: The Last Letter with Catherine Samie in 2002 and Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days in 2005. For more information on Mr. Wiseman and his films, visit http://www.zipporah.com/.