JoAnne Akalaitis is a Lithuanian American theatre director and writer and co-founder of Mabou Mines. Among works she directed are Endgame, The Balcony (by Jean Genet) and The Birthday Party (by Harold Pinter) – she has staged works by Euripides, Shakespeare, Strindberg, Schiller, Tennessee Williams, Philip Glass, Janáček, and her own work at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City Opera, Goodman Theatre, Hartford Stage, Mark Taper Forum, Court Theatre, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and the Guthrie Theater. She is the former artistic director of the New York Shakespeare Festival and of the Public Theater, and was artist-in-residence at the Court Theatre in Chicago. Ms. Akalaitis was the Andrew Mellon co-chair of the Directing Program at Juilliard School, and was the Wallace Benjamin Flint and L. May Hawver Flint Professor of Theater at Bard College until 2012. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts grants, Edwin Booth Award, Rosamund Gilder Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre, and Pew Charitable Trusts National Theatre Artist Residency Program grant. Ms. Akalaitis was the Andrew Mellon co-chair of the Directing Program at Juilliard School, and was the Wallace Benjamin Flint and L. May Hawver Flint Professor of Theater at Bard College until 2012. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts grants, Edwin Booth Award, Rosamund Gilder Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre, and Pew Charitable Trusts National Theatre Artist Residency Program grant. Last year she was the Denzel Washington Endowed Chair in Theater at Fordham University.
Lola Pashalinski is an American theatre artist known for her work as a founding member of Charles Ludlam's Ridiculous Theatrical Company. Pashalinski became involved in theatre as an assistant director with John Vaccaro's Playhouse of the Ridiculous, a resident company at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, during the 1960s. She left the Playhouse of the Ridiculous with Ludlam when he and John Vaccarro had a disagreement during rehearsals for Conquest of the Universe in 1967. Ludlam then founded his Ridiculous Theatrical Company, and Pashalinski was a founding member, working with the company from its establishment in 1967 until 1980. During those years, she appeared in 17 of the company's productions, including as Lola Lola in Corn (1973), Brunhilde in Der Ring Gott Farblonjet (1977), and Miss Cubbidge in Bluebeard (1970). After leaving the Ridiculous Theatrical Company, Pashalinski appeared in a range of theatrical productions and in film and television. In 1999, she and her partner Linda Chapman performed in a play they wrote called Gertrude & Alice: A Likeness to Loving, based on the relationship between Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas.
Linda Chapman served as an instrumental curator, advocate and collaborator at New York Theatre Workshop as Associate Artistic Director joining the company in 1995. Prior to her time at NYTW, Linda was an Associate member of The Wooster Group from 1983-94, where she served as Managing Director. She is also founding Artistic Director of Sang-Froid, Ltd. and one of the founding producers of Dyke TV and DTV Productions, a grassroots cable television program, and media center by and for the lesbian community. She was Administrator at Theater for the New City and was a member of Sonia Moore's American Stanislavski Theatre. She is also co-writer and performer of the Obie Award-winning Gertrude and Alice: A Likeness to Loving with her life partner of 40 years Lola Pashalinski, their two-character play about Gertrude Stein and her longtime companion Alice B. Toklas, directed by Anne Bogart. Linda co-adapted Ann Bannon's lesbian classic The Beebo Brinker Chronicles for the stage with playwright Kate Moira Ryan. The play was awarded a GLAAD Media Award and nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. A Lily Award winner, she is founding President of Youth Arts NY, Chair of the Lortel Award Committee for The League of Professional Theatre Women, a member of the BOLD Theatre Women's Leadership Circle, and has served on funding panels for TCG, NEA, The Princess Grace Foundation, Mellon Foundation, The Drama League, The Philadelphia Theatre Initiative, and the Fox Fellowship, among others.
Anne Bogart is one of the Artistic Directors of SITI Company, which she founded with Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki in 1992. She is a Professor at Columbia University where she runs the Graduate Directing Concentration and is the author of three books of essays on theater making: A Director Prepares; And Then, You Act; and What's the Story. She is a co-author, with Tina Landau of The Viewpoints Book, a "practical guide" to Viewpoints training and devising techniques. Conversations with Anne, a collection of interviews she has conducted with various notable artists was published in March 2012. Bogart's influence is felt throughout the contemporary theatre: through the widespread adoption of SITI's training methods of Viewpoints and Suzuki, her oeuvre of groundbreaking productions, and her guidance at SITI and including at Columbia University.
Melanie Joseph is a theatre maker and the founding Artistic Producer of The Foundry Theatre which she led and co-led for 25 years. For her work with The Foundry, she was twice honored with the Ross Wetzsteon OBIE for “creating cutting edge work” and “engaging artists in some of the thorniest issues of the world we inhabit.” She is a recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Prize, the Skirball Kennis T.I.M.E. Artist prize, a Lucille Lortel Award for Artistic Producing, and has twice been awarded the Duke/ Mellon Mentorship grant for mentoring “theatre leaders of tomorrow.” Joseph holds a BA in Literature from the University of Western Ontario and a Post-Baccalaureate degree in Pre-Medicine from the City University of New York.
Clove Galilee is co-artistic director of her theater company, Trick Saddle and an artistic associate with Mabou Mines. Her work has been presented in New York at P.S. 122, the Public Theater, The Performing Garage, Arts at Saint Ann's, The Flea, P.S. 1 Center for Contemporary Art / MOMA, The Skirball Center, HERE Center for the Arts, and St. Ann’s Warehouse.
About Coffeehouse Chronicles
Coffeehouse Chronicles is a free educational performance series exploring the history and development of Off-Off Broadway from its inception within the Village “Coffeehouse Theatres” of the 1960s through today. Part artist portrait, part creative event, part history lesson, part community forum, it is our mission to provide a home, as did our founder Ellen Stewart, for personal and intimate engagement with art. Since 2005 La MaMa has presented more than 123 Coffeehouse Chronicles featuring personal oral accounts from artists of the day as well as conversations with present day artists who continue to work in the same bold, daring manner. Coffeehouse Chronicles are held on one Saturday each month (September through June).
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the city council.