Jane Kosminsky


Artistic/Executive Director

Jane Kosminsky has had an extensive career as a dancer. She was a member of the May O’Donnell and Tamiris-Nagrin companies, a soloist with the Norman Walker Dance Company (1960-1965) and the Paul Taylor Dance Company (1965-1971). In 1971, she became Co-Artistic Director (with Bruce Becker) and Principal Dancer of 5 by 2 Dance Company and 5 by 2 Plus, a modern dance repertory company (1971-1982), one of the first three modern dance repertory companies in the United States. Jane was one of the first people to restage Paul Taylor’s work and restaged his Aureole for productions of Nureyev and Friends. She also appeared as Mr. Nureyev’s partner in Paris (1974), London (1976), and Madrid (1978). In 1986, she became the Director of Dance at the 92nd Street Y and created the programs Fridays at Noon, a free event that celebrates the work of emerging and established choreographers, and Space Grants, which provides subsidized rehearsal space, both of which still exist today. In 2014, Jane founded Great Circle Productions, Inc., a nonprofit organization for support and development of projects in the arts.

Jane has served on the faculties of the American Center for Alexander Technique (1986-1994) and The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre (1988-2012). She was a member of The Juilliard School Drama Faculty (1971-1986) and has been a member of the Dance Faculty since 1986. Through her organization, The Balance of Well-being, Jane has developed and produced three pioneer DVDs about the Alexander Technique, which are sold online and through select distributors. She is a graduate and dance award winner of the School of Performing Arts in New York City. Jane received her B.A. in Language and Literature from City College of New York and is a graduate of The American Center for the Alexander Technique.

Contact:
jkosminsky@greatcircleproductions.org
212-724-9755

photo credits: ©Peter Schaaf


Marianna Rosett


Composer

Marianna Rosett began her piano and ballet studies at the age of five in her hometown of Transylvania, Romania. She made her solo piano debut at age seven and was the two-time winner of the International Youth Competition in Bucharest by age ten. Her career includes solo recitals, chamber music, and performances with the ensembles Mannekrianna and Skymusic. Marianna has performed in India, Japan, Canada, and throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa in venues including La Scala Opera House (Milan), Lincoln Center, New York Shakespeare Festival, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, where she was an artist-in-residence.

As a composer, performer, and educator, Marianna use her peerless skills as an improviser to form a passionate and direct bond between the audience and performer, the listener and the piece, and the student and the instrument. Combining the formal structure of classical music with the emotional immediacy of improvisation, she creates a new musical language of enormous beauty. She has improvised and composed for television, theatre, and dance and, most recently, has turned her gifts to composing for opera. In 2013, she composed Songs for Then and Now with co-lyricists Eric Swanson and Jane Kosminsky, which is available on CD and online at CDBaby, iTunes, and Amazon.com. Marianna’s other recordings are available on La Mer Records (Roseleaf, 2002), and Roseleaf Records (Parallelas, 2010).

For more than thirty years, Marianna has devoted much of her life to teaching in her New York studio, through master classes, and at conservatories and universities. She specializes in teaching classical improvisation, as she believes it liberates the creative energies and imagination of the performer. Marianna studied at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem and received her B.S. and M.S. at The Juilliard School. She became the youngest faculty member in Juilliard’s history and has taught in the School’s music, drama, and dance departments.

Songs for Then and Now

photo credits: ©Hal Wilson


Eric Swanson


Librettist

Eric Swanson trained as a classical singer from an early age. He was one of the first recipients of the prestigious Allen Award, presented by the Rochester Philharmonic League to promising male vocalists. Eric worked as a professional actor for more than fifteen years, appearing on Broadway in the world premiere of La Bête and in the acclaimed Circle in the Square production of You Never Can Tell, starring Uta Hagen and Philip Bosco. Off-Broadway and regionally, Eric has performed at Manhattan Theatre Club, Theatre for a New Audience, Yale Repertory Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, Hartford Stage, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and Cleveland Play House. Tours include The Lion in Winter starring George Peppard. Film credits include Under Heat, starring Lee Grant, and Edie and Pen with Stockard Channing and Scott Glen. He also appeared on television in the PBS miniseries Concealed Enemies and the acclaimed public television children’s series Ghostwriter.

Eric began his career as a writer in 1990 with the publication of his first novel, The Greenhouse Effect, followed by several non-fiction books about animals, which were published by St. Martin’s Press and Andrews McMeel Publishing. His second novel, The Boy in the Lake, was a New York Times Book Review New and Noteworthy novel. After formally adopting Buddhism in 1995, Eric was commissioned by His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche to co-author a history of the Karma Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism: Karmapa, The Sacred Prophecy (1999). His second book on Buddhism, What the Lotus Said (St. Martin’s Press, 2002) is a graphic description of his journey to Tibet as a member of a volunteer team that developed schools and medical clinics in rural areas occupied predominantly by nomadic populations. Eric co-authored The New York Times bestseller The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness (Harmony Books, 2007) with world-renowned Buddhist teacher Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, a practical exploration of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and practices, and its follow-up edition, Joyful Wisdom: Embracing Change and Finding Freedom (Harmony Books, 2009). His most recent book, Open Heart, Open Mind: Awakening the Power of Essence Love (Harmony Books, 2012) was co-written with Tsoknyi Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist meditation master, and was named one of the best Buddhist Books by Buddhadharma Quarterly in 2012.

Eric has recently turned to writing for theatre. He co-authored the lyrics for Songs for Then and Now with Jane Kosminsky with composer Marianna Rosett, which was released on CD and for download online. Eric graduated magna cum laude from Yale College with a B.A. in Theater Studies and attended the Drama Division of The Juilliard School.

ericswansonbooks.com

photo credits: ©Ben Strothmann


Christopher Scott


Director

2016 Production Member: Christopher Scott is Artistic Director of the Masterworks Theater Company, an Equity classic theatre company in New York City, which he founded with theater producer, Eric Krebs. As artistic director, Christopher is committed to presenting accessible, professional, multicultural productions of theatrical and literary heavyweights—Masterworks—which are widely produced and studied in educational settings, to help ignite the audience for live theater among the next generation. The production company focuses on creating exciting productions for a youth audience at affordable ticket prices. The company’s inaugural 2015 season included the first multicultural production of Tennessee William’s The Glass Menagerie, which Christopher directed, and it received an Audelco Award Nomination.

His other off-Broadway directorial credits include Greed: A Musical for Our Times, Golf: The Musical by Michael Roberts (Drama Desk Nomination), Nancy Friday’s My Secret Garden (adapted for the stage with Miss Friday), For Lovers Only, Tails and The Big Bang. As part of Origin’s 1st Irish Festival 2013, Christopher directed Dan McCormick’s The Morons, for which he received a Jury Award nomination for Best Director. He also directed Years of Sky at 59E59, Barbara Suter’s Best Night Ever at FringeNYC 2012 and Sitting Shiva at FringeNYC 2014. His directorial work at The Actors Studio includes Lanie Robertson’s Murder At The Barnburners and Michael Watson’s A Mother’s Love and Blindsided. Other notable New York City work includes Lorenzo at New York Music Festival, David and Ira by Paul David Young, as well as numerous productions for Theatreworks USA.

As an actor, Christopher has performed on Broadway Meet Me in St. Louis and Off-Broadway The Fantasticks!, Bent, The Twilight of the Golds, The Chosen, Jekyll and Hyde, Pets! and The Body Shop. Other credits include performances at George Street Playhouse, The Goodspeed Opera House, and St. Michael’s Playhouse. He toured with Joel Grey in George M! and was honored to be directed by Ginger Rodger’s in a pre-Broadway production of Babes in Arms.

Currently, Christopher is a member of the Playwright/Directors Workshop at The Actors Studio, where he has been developing a new play, The Gardner, by Lanie Robertson (author of Broadway’s Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar And Grill). Christopher is a faculty member at Baruch College/CUNY. He teaches in the Fine and Performing Arts Department, where he directed Suddenly Last Summer, Lysistrata, The Motherf**Ker with the Hat and In the Blood. For the Baruch Performing Arts Center and The Joel Segal Great Works Reading Series, his work includes Antigone, Hedda Gabler, Medea, Miss Julie, Shakuntala & The Ring of Recognition and Zoo Story. In addition, Christopher is Artistic Associate with Amas Musical Theatre, founded by Rosetta Lenoire. During his 20-year association with Amas he has directed over 20 productions, including The 30th Anniversary of The Me Nobody Knows.

Christopher’s choreographic work has been featured on television, and includes the opening number of the 2005 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Museum of the Moving Image Salutes Ron Howard, Kathie Lee: We Need a Little Christmas, and The NBA All-Star Game for NBC at Madison Square Garden.

A member of The Michael Howard Studio he studied acting with Michael Howard, became his assistant and was a member of the faculty. Christopher was also on faculty at NYU’s Collaborative Arts Project 21 (CAP21) for many years.

In addition to Christopher’s career in the theatre, he spent many years working in the nonprofit sector as a counselor and advocate with The AIDS Treatment Data Network for people affected by HIV/AIDS. He is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory. For more information and videos visit xscottnyc.com.

photo credits: ©Tom Flynn


Evan Alparone


Musical Director

2016 Production Member: Evan Alparone (Musical Director) is a San Francisco Bay Area native currently living in New York. After graduating from UCLA’s Ray Bolger Musical Theater program, he continued studying music at San Francisco State University. For three years he directed the choral program at Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward, California and served as a musical director and accompanist for dozens of productions around the Bay Area. He currently serves as Academy Instructor/Music Director at the Rosetta LeNoire Musical Theater Academy. His recent credits as musical director include Chance for the 2016 Fresh Fruit Festival at The Wild Project; Urinetown (Amas Musical Theatre; and Anything Goes (The Heights Players).

photo credits: ©Algernon Sydney


Dana Watkins


Performer/Edwin Booth

2016 Production Member: Dana Watkins has been performing since the age of seven. Throughout his nine years as a boy soprano—both in the chorus and as a soloist at the Metropolitan and New York City Operas—he performed in almost every opera that included roles for children, including The Magic Flute, Tosca, Gianni Schicchi, The Cunning Little Vixen, Wozzec, and Billy Budd. During that period, he worked a number of renowned directors, including Frank Corsaro, John Dexter and Franco Zeffirelli. He toured annually with both the Metropolitan and New York City Operas companies, and performed with many East Coast opera companies as well, appearing in Amahl and the Night Visitors at BAM (directed by Giancarlo Menotti) and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem.

More recently, he was last seen in New Federal Theatre’s production of In White America. Other recent appearances include The Culture Project’s production of Tennessee Williams’ last full-length play In Masks Outrageous and Austere; Achilles and other roles in Verse Theatre Manhattan’s production of Kings; and My First Time—which enjoyed a two and a half year run at New World Stages. He was featured as F. Scott Fitzgerald in the world premiere of Allan Knee’s The Jazz Age at 59E59, and has appeared in a number of productions at the Classical Theatre of Harlem, including Marat/Sade (Charlotte Corday), Native Son (Jan Erlone), Macbeth (Banquo) and The Cherry Orchard (Trofimov). Other New York Theater credits include Kafka in the U.S. Premiere of Stanley Walden’s Letter to My Father at the Kaye Playhouse Prince Hal in Henry IV parts I and II at The Workshop Theatre, and Poe in the one-man show An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe. Regionally, he has appeared as Charles Smithson in the world premiere of The French Lieutenant’s Woman at The Fulton Opera House; John Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest, Scapino in Scapino! He has also worked extensively with Naked Angels, the Westbeth Theatre Center, Expanded Arts, and the sketch comedy group Commedia Dell’ Jilles.

Dana’s television work includes Hallmark’s Christmas With Holly, Once in A Lifetime, The City, and featured/supporting roles on One Life to Live and Guiding Light. On film, he has appeared in Sarah is Not Her Name, Falling to Pieces, How To Be A Man, The Empath, Dreamgirl, and Unbridled.

Dana is also a producer, whose credits include Allan Knee’s The Jazz Age at 59E59 and Black Nativity Now at Theatre at St Clements with his company, Lost Generation productions.

danawatkins.com


Chad McArver


Scenic & Lighting Designer

2016 Production Member: Chad McArver has designed scenery and lighting for Off-Broadway theatre in New York City and regional theatres on the East Coast. His Off-Broadway credits include George C. Wolfe’s production of The Gypsy and the Yellow Canary at The Public Theater and Wynn Handman’s Spoke Man at The American Place Theatre. Chad has also designed lighting for theatre and dance productions at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and at the LG Arts Center in Seoul, South Korea. On Broadway, he has worked with lighting designer Howell Binkley on The Best Man, Minnelli on Minnelli, Parade, and High Society. Chad has also worked with scenic designer Riccardo Hernandez on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Topdog/Underdog and Elaine Stritch at Liberty, both of which were directed by George C. Wolfe. He earned his MFA in lighting and scenic design from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and Chad is a full-time faculty member of Fordham University’s Theatre Program.


David Zyla


Costume Designer

2016 Production Member: David Zyla. Theatre credits include the Broadway and international tour of Roundabout/Deaf West’s Big River, the Ahmanson Theatre’s Sweeney Todd, starring Kelsey Grammer and Christine Baranski, as well as the Off-Broadway productions of Fraulein Else, Dreyfus in Rehearsal, POPart and Clue: The Musical. Regional theatre credits include productions for the Mark Taper Forum, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Ford’s Theatre, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Select television credits include ABC’s “General Hospital,” “All My Children” (Emmy Award) and Lifetime’s “Devious Maids.” David’s film credits include Heart of the Country, Sara’s Life, and Nice Guys Sleep Alone. He is the author of Color Your Style (Plume) and How to Win at Shopping (Workman).


Ifaat Qureshi


Graphic & Interactive Designer

Ifaat “Ifit” designed and branded both Great Circle Productions (GCP), Inc., and their first Off-Broadway production EDWIN, The Story of Edwin Booth. She also designed, developed and manages the GCP website. As principal designer of Ifaat Qureshi Design, her company specializes in brand development, logo design, information design, publication design, illustrations, and web and mobile design. Ifaat designs print and digital communications and marketing for arts (Polish Cultural Institute New York) and education (EDC’s Center for  Children and Technology) institutes, new businesses and nonprofits (The Ford Foundation, Robin Hood Foundation). Ifaat received her M.F.A. in Design from the Designer as Author Program, School of Visual Arts. For her M.F.A. thesis, she authored and illustrated a book, titled Spaghetti with Milk with a fun short video. Ifaat believes design isn’t just something you do. Design is a way of life.

Ifaat Qureshi Design


Stephanie Klapper


Casting Director

2016 Production Member: Stephanie Klapper is the resident casting director for Primary Stages and numerous other New York theater companies. Broadway credits include Bronx Bombers; A Christmas Story, The Musical; Dividing the Estate; Bells Are Ringing. Off-Broadway credits include The Roads to Home; Exit Strategy; The Good Swimmer; Informed Consent; The Glass Menagerie; and Jules Verne: From the Earth to the Moon. Regionally, she has cast for Baltimore Center Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, Ford’s Theatre, Berkeley Rep, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, and many others. Film and television credits include Another Dance of Death; Stag; Poor Behavior; Alice Jacobs is Dead; Roberta; Feast of the Goat, Sidewalk Stories and One Billion Rising, the video; and LazyTown. Internet casting credits include webisodes of Battery Park City, Parking Lot Chronicles, and Highlights of a Mom’s Life. She is a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women and the Casting Society of America. Casting Assistants: Alexa Magnotto and Ari Rudess.


Molly McBride


Videographer

Molly McBride is an Emmy® and Telly Award-winning producer. Recent producing credits include the PBS dance special Pennsylvania Ballet at 50 and Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (theatrical release in November 2014). Molly has produced numerous PBS performance specials, including the Great Performances episodes Duetto: Live from the Coliseum in Rome, Joshua Bell: West Side Story Suites from Central Park, Bobby McFerrin: Loosely Mozart, the New Innovators of Classical Music (1996), and more. Her documentary work spans ethnographic studies in Ecuador (Haiuarisq’a) to Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project (Silk Road Encounters) to at-risk youth in Harlem who were turned around by Latin jazz (Mi Mambo!). Molly was the executive producer for the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition’s three-week webcast from Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, and the bi-annual webcast of the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

As Executive Producer for Media in the U.S. Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015, Molly is creating thematic projections, interactive videos, and intimate documentary portraits for the five-month exhibition. Previous video installation work includes The Caring World, an exhibition gallery with ten films and interactive video installations in Beijing; and sixteen core exhibition films for the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. Molly is a Producer and Director at Sathya Production Services, a video production company specializing in music and dance performance films, and served as videographer for three pioneer videos about the Alexander Technique for The Balance of Well-being, a company founded by Ms. Kosminsky. She is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley.

photo credits: ©Tom Flynn