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The Director's Chair: A Conversation with New York's Directors

What's going on in the mind of your director? We talk with a group of the industries most successful directors about how they cast their shows, what their looking for, and what their relationships are to the actors they direct. Moderated by David Sheward.

Speakers include:
- Austin Pendleton, Director at Large
- Casey Childs, Primary Stages
- Gabriel Barre, director, Carmen

- Neil Pepe, The Atlantic Theater
- Jonathan Silver


Austin Pendleton
Austin Pendleton is an actor of stage (recent NY appearances include Mother Courage, with Meryl Streep, and Romeo and Juliet, with Lauren Ambrose, both for the Public Theatre in Central Park), screen (newer movies include Raising Flagg, Dirty Work and Lovely By Surprise; older ones include What's Up Doc, The Front Page, Simon and Mr. and Mrs. Bridge) and television (seasons on Oz and Homicide, recent appearances on Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Criminal Intent). 

He is also a director (recently at recently at NY's Manhattan Class Company with Michael Weller's Fifty Words; last year at the Pearl Theatre with a revival of Llilian Hellman's Toys in the Attic, a Tony nomination for Miss Hellman's The Little Foxes, in a revival with Elizabeth Taylor and Maureen Stapleton, numerous productions at Williamstown Theatre Festival and Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre); playwright (Booth, Uncle Bob, and most recently Orson's Shadow which ran for the year of 2005 at the Barrow St. Theatre in NY, all three of these plays in print); and teacher, of acting (HB Studio) and directing (New School.)

Casey Childs
Casey Childs founded Primary Stages and has directed many productions for the company including works by Lanie Robertson, Lee MacDougal, Jack Heifner, Bill Leavengood, and Edwin Sanchez. He served as the Artistic Program Director for the New Dramatists from 1981 until 1985, and has directed and taught at many regional theatres and universities. With a BFA in acting and an MFA in directing from Carnegie Mellon University, he is the recipient of their Commitment to Playwrights' Award. He conceived and directed the one-woman show Woman Before A Glass, written by Lanie Robertson and starring Mercedes Ruehl, He has received two Emmy Awards and many nominations for his extensive work in television. He has produced and directed for all of the major networks and PBS. Currently, he directs All My Children for ABC television. He is a past Vice President of the Directors' Guild of America.

Neil Pepe
Neil Pepe makes his Broadway debut with this season's revival of David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow, starring Jeremy Piven, Raúl Esparza and Elisabeth Moss. He has been the artistic director of Atlantic Theater Company since 1992. There he directed Ethan Coen's Almost an Evening; Jez Butterworth's Parlour Song; David Pittu's What's That Smell: The Music of Jacob Sterling; David Mamet's American Buffalo starring William H. Macy (also Donmar Warehouse, London); Harold Pinter's The Room and Celebration; David Mamet's Romance (also Mark Taper Forum, L.A.); Milos by John Guare; Tom Donaghy's The Beginning of August (also South Coast Rep.); Howard Korder's Sea of Tranquility; Jez Butterworth's Mojo and The Night Heron; Joe Penhall's Blue/Orange; Wolf Lullaby by Hilary Bell; Clean by Edwin Sanchez; and Shaker Heights by Quincy Long.

Other credits include the world premiere of David Mamet's Keep Your Pantheon as well as The Duck Variations (Center Theatre Group), Further Than the Furthest Thing by Zinnie Harris (Manhattan Theatre Club), Eric Bogosian's Red Angel (Williamstown Theatre Festival) and Jessica Goldberg's Refuge (Playwrights Horizons).

Jonathan Silver
Jonathan Silver's recent credits include the acclaimed Off Broadway revivals of A.R. Gurney's The Dining Room (Drama Desk nomination; Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble) and Robert Anderson's 1953 landmark play Tea and Sympathy, both for the Keen Company. Other credits include: Red Herring by Michael Albanese (New York International Fringe Festival; "Outstanding Direction" award), John Patrick's The Hasty Heart (Keen Company), Blueprint by Bixby Elliot (Summer Play Festival), The Triumph of Love (Cleveland Play House), Urinetown and Tick, Tick, BOOM! (Cape Rep Theatre), The Dadshuttle (Drama League DirectorFest 2003), The Rats Are Getting Bigger (New York International Fringe Festival and The Public Theatre's New Works Now! festival), A Perfect Analysis Given by a Parrot (Phoenix Ensemble), Greater Messapia (Queens Theatre in the Park) and Much Ado About Nothing (The Theatre at Monmouth). Jonathan has worked at The Kennedy Center, La Jolla Playhouse, The Roundabout Theatre Company, New York Theatre Workshop, Primary Stages, The Signature Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, and San Diego's Sledgehammer Theatre. He is a graduate of the MFA directing program at UCSD and an alumnus of The Drama League Director's Project. Member, SSDC.

Gabriel Barre
Gabriel Barre has just returned from Prague where he directed the world premiere of the new Frank Wildhorn musical, Carmen. He directed and choreographed American Musical Theatre of San Jose's production of Little Shop of Horrors earlier this year and has just mounted a production of Flower Drum Song there.

His off-Broadway credits include the Manhattan Theatre Club's production of The Wild Party by Andrew Lippa (nominated for 13 Drama Desk Awards and 5 Outer Critics Circle awards, both including Best Director and for which he won the Calloway Award), Summer of '42, Stars in Your Eyes, Honky-Tonk Highway, john & jen and Almost, Maine. He directed the recent national tour of Pippin which started at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut, as well as the national tour of Rodger and Hammerstein's Cinderella, starring Eartha Kitt, which was on the road over a three year period including stops at Madison Square Garden and a production at the Papermill Playhouse in New Jersey.

His regional theatre credits include, Private Lives at Seattle Repertory Theatre, Tom Jones and Memphis, at the North Shore Music Theatre in Boston (the later, also at Theatreworks), Sweeney Todd, Finian's Rainbow, Houdini and many other new musicals at Goodspeed; Stand By Your Man at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville; and Hay Fever and Pericles at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. As an actor he has been nominated for a Tony Award and appears often in film and on TV.

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