For more information, contact Festival Executive Director Alan Kopischke: 920-370-1034, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Door County Arts Festival Brings Hollywood and Wisconsin Artists Together in the Creative Process
Oscar-winning “Lombardi” playwright Eric Simonson is bringing some major creative talent to Björklunden for the inaugural Door Kinetic Arts Festival in June. The week-long festival will provide Door County residents and visitors a peek at the creative process through two staged readings, a dance presentation and the premiere of a commissioned film by Campbell Scott, an award-winning filmmaker and actor, best known for “The Amazing Spiderman,” “Big Night” and “Longtime Companion.”
Other notable cultural creators include Milwaukee Rep artistic Director Mark Clements developing and directing a play by Rick Cleveland, Emmy-winning writer/producer whose television credits include "The West Wing," "Six Feet Under," "Mad Men," "Nurse Jackie," "House Of Cards" and “Archer." Cleveland’s play “Five Presidents” which premiered at the Milwaukee Rep last year.
A new play by award-winning Broadway playwright, Lydia Diamond, titled “Toni Strong,” will be workshopped and given a staged reading, and the founder/artistic director of Milwaukee-based Wild Space Dance Company, Deb Loewen, will develop and premiere a new work. Wild Space is known for site-specific works and artistic collaborations, taking audiences on adventures through built and natural landscapes, visual art and the human condition.
The film portion of the festival will feature the world premiere of a newly commissioned short film by director/actor Campbell Scott, as well as two evenings of screenings of some of the world’s best short films. The two play readings will draw professional actors from both outside and within Door County.
Simonson, a Wisconsin native and part-time Door County resident, has a rich and varied career, including writing, directing and acting in Broadway plays, and directing for opera, film and television. He has been nominated for a Tony, an Emmy and an Oscar, winning the Oscar for his documentary film “A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin.” He is an ensemble member of the renowned Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago and has developed television shows for HBO, Starz, USA, FX, History Channel and NatGeo networks.
The Door Kinetic Arts Festival is Simonson’s brainchild, offering performing artists the opportunity to come together, collaborate, develop projects, present work and exchange ideas in the process of developing new work in the exceptionally beautiful and serene atmosphere maintained at Björklunden. Simonson and Scott are Lawrence alumni, and Simonson worked at Björklunden while attending.
“My family has a long history of vacationing in Door County. I now own a house there, as do other members of my family,” says Simonson. “It has been a lifelong dream of mine to exercise my profession in the serene environs of Door County, which has always been an inspiration for me. The Door Kinetic Arts Festival is meant to bring together artists of all sorts, to discuss their work and engage in the creative process. It is also my hope the festival will encourage cross-pollination between disciplines.”
Audiences will be encouraged to take part in discussions, seminars and classes with world-class artists. Björklunden will also offer a seminar, led by Simonson, titled “The Grand Synthesis.” The weeklong morning classes will focus on works and artists that cross over from one medium to another, and will take advantage of workshops going on in and around the Björklunden facilities. The seminar is scheduled for the week of June 12-17, 2016.
Performances will be open to the public June 14-18. Simonson, Scott, Clements, Diamond, Loewen and more than a dozen other artists will be in residence. Door County arts consultant and actor Alan Kopischke will serve as the festival executive director.
ERIC SIMONSON — is an ensemble member of the renowned Steppenwolf Theatre Company, a position he maintains while working as a writer and director for film, television, theatre and opera. Recent films include the documentary, "Studs Terkel: Listening to America" (Emmy nomination); "A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin", which won the Oscar for Documentary Short and received a nomination from the International Documentary Association (IDA) for Distinguished Achievement; "On Tiptoe: Gentle Steps to Freedom" (Oscar nomination, IDA Award, Emmy nomination). Broadway writing credits include the hit play "Lombardi", "Magic/Bird", and "Bronx Bombers". Other directing and writing credits in theatre include work at Steppenwolf Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Primary Stages in NY, The Huntington Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, Kansas City Rep, The Kennedy Center, Pasadena Playhouse, Seattle Rep, Arizona Theatre, San Jose Rep and Court Theatre in Chicago. His work at Steppenwolf includes the premiere productions of his plays "Fake", "Honest", "Carter's Way” and "The Song of Jacob Zulu", which was invited to the Perth International Arts Festival, ran on Broadway, and received six Tony nominations including Best Director. Opera directing credits include world premiere productions of "The Grapes of Wrath", and "Silent Night" (Pulitzer Prize). Simonson has been honored with the Princess Grace Foundation's Statuette Award for Sustained Artistic Achievement, the Frankel Award for new play development, and several Edgerton Foundation grants for new play development.
CAMPBELL SCOTT — played a lead role in the ground-breaking film Longtime Companion, which chronicles the early years of the AIDS/HIV epidemic and its impact upon a group of American friends. In the following year, Scott co-starred in the movie Dying Young (in which his mother also appeared) alongside Julia Roberts. He also appears in the 1992 movie Singles, and
in 1996, he teamed up with Stanley Tucci to direct the film Big Night. The film met with critical acclaim and was nominated for the "Grand Jury Prize" at the Sundance Film Festival. For their work, Scott and Tucci won both the New York Film Critics Circle Award and the Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best New Director. In 2002, he was awarded the Best Actor prize from
the National Board of Review for his notable performance in Roger Dodger. Scott starred in Six Degrees on ABC in 2006. In 2005 / 2006, Scott served as the reader for the audiobook versions of Stephen King's bestsellers The Shining and Cell. In 2007, Scott lent his voice for the narration of a Chevron Corporation television ad, as well as the critically acclaimed Iraq War documentary film, No End in Sight. Next up for Scott was the 2009 drama Handsome Harry. Scott also has a recurring role on the USA drama Royal Pains, as Boris Kuester von Jurgens- Ratenicz. On August 28, 2009, TVGuide.com confirmed Scott was cast for the third season of Damages. Scott was a series regular, playing Joe Tobin, the son of indicted Bernie Madoff-like
Louis Tobin (Len Cariou). He played the role of Richard Parker, the father of Peter Parker, in the 2012 film The Amazing Spider-Man. Scott reprised his role in the 2014 film The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
RICK CLEVELAND — is an Emmy winning writer/producer whose television credits include "The West Wing," "Six Feet Under," "Mad Men," "Nurse Jackie," "House Of Cards" and “Archer." Rick's stage play "Jerry and Tom" was adapted as a feature film and was an official selection at both the Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals, and he co-wrote the screenplay for the motion picture adaptation of John Grisham's "Runaway Jury," which starred John Cusack, Rachel Weisz, Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman. Rick performed his monologue play "My Buddy Bill" at the Berkshire Theatre Festival, the Goodman Theater in Chicago, Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago and the Geffen Theater in Los Angeles, and won the Best Solo Performance Award in Aspen at the HBO Comedy Arts Festival in 2006. He also performed the piece at the 92nd Street Y in NYC for a one-hour Comedy Central Special in 2007. As a playwright, Rick has earned grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Kennedy Center's Fund for New American Plays. Rick was invited to the National Playwrights' Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center twice, and is an Ensemble Member of American Blues Theatre, Chicago's second oldest ensemble based theatre company, as well as a Founding Member of the Ojai Playwrights' Conference. He received his MFA from the University of Iowa's Playwrights' Workshop, and several of his plays have been published by Samuel French and Dramatists Play Service. Rick has been a freelance commentator for NPR's "All Things Considered," and as a freelance journalist his writing has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and Outside Magazine.
MARK CLEMENTS -- began his tenure as The Milwaukee Rep’s Artistic Director in 2010. An award-winning international director whose work has appeared in over 100 major theaters throughout Europe and the U.S., recent directing projects at The Rep include: The Color Purple, The History of Invulnerability, End of the Rainbow, Ragtime, Clybourne Park, Assassins, Othello, Next to Normal, Death of a Salesman, Bombshells, and Cabaret. Other credits include: Oliver!, Born Yesterday, Great Expectations, Les Misérables, and Of Mice and Men for Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia; The Milliner (Off-Broadway, World Premiere), CSC, New York; My Fair Lady, Copenhagen; The Browning Version at Derby Playhouse and Blunt Speaking at Chichester Festival Theatre UK/Lucille Lortel Theatre, New York; Speaking in Tongues at Roundabout Theatre Company; Speaking in Tongues at Hampstead Theatre, London and Creator/Director of Soul Train, West End, among others. Clements was an Associate Artistic Director for Moving Theatre Company and Associate Director for New End Theatre and New Players Theatre, both in London, Royal Theatre in Northampton, and Torch Theatre in Wales and as Artistic Director of Derby Playhouse in the UK from 1992 to 2002. He serves on the National Advisory Board for the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program at Ten Chimneys.
LYDIA DIAMOND -- Lydia R. Diamond is a Huntington Playwriting Fellow and a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists. Her plays include Stage Black (Premiered at Arts Consortium of Cincinnati, 3rd Place Theadore Ward Prize), The Gift Horse (Premiered at Goodman Theatre, 2nd place Kesselring Prize, 1st Place Theadore Ward Prize); Stick Fly(Premiered at Congo Square Theatre Company, Joseph Jefferson Award recommended, BTAA Nominated); and The Inside (premiered at MPAACT Theatre Company), and recently published in TriQuarterly, where she is a contributing editor; Voyeurs de Venus (premiered at Chicago Dramatists, Joseph Jefferson Award recommended, BTAA Nominated, commissioned by Steppenwolf Theatre Co.) Ms. Diamond's adaptation of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre, won the Black Arts Alliance Image Award for Best New Play, and will be remounted at the Steppenwolf and moved to a co-production with New Victory in NY next season. Theatre Alliance, D.C., Playmakers Rep, N.C., and Plowshares, MI, will also mount productions The Bluest Eye this coming season. The Gift Horse is anthologized in 7 Black Plays, edited by Chuck Smith, Northwestern University Press. Ms. Diamond is currently working on her third Steppenwolf Theatre commission, a play based on Harriet Jacob's "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl", recently workshopped and presented at The Kennedy Center's New Visions New Voices festival. Ms. Diamond holds a B.S. in Theatre and Performance Studies from Northwestern University. She has taught playwriting at Columbia College Chicago, DePaul University, Loyola University, and Boston University.
DEBRA LOEWEN -- earned a BFA in dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MFA in dance from UW-Milwaukee. She formed the New Space Company while teaching at the University of Delaware, where her interest in site-specific work was first recognized in the early 1970's. She lived in Colombia and Peru, where she taught, choreographed and performed with Ballet Moderno and the National Ballet of Peru. As a solo performer and independent choreographer, she performed her work in Canada, California, Philadelphia, Chicago and throughout the Midwest. She also toured with Interface Inc. wearing a movement-sensitive costume interfaced with a computer/sound system. Her work with modern dance pioneer Robert Ellis Dunn began in the late 70's continued until his death in 1994. In 1987, she founded Wild Space Dance Company, creating more than 100 works for the company while performing to critical acclaim throughout Wisconsin and in Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, Japan and Korea. Over the past two decades, Loewen has earned multiple choreographic fellowships from Milwaukee County, the Wisconsin Arts Board and the National Endowment for the Arts. She currently teaches at UW-Milwaukee and Lawrence University and leads Wild Space's residencies at Lincoln Middle School of the Arts. She has consulted with K-12 educators to help design dance residencies and promote arts-in-education projects and conducted choreography and contact improvisation workshops throughout the Midwest.
ALAN KOPISCHKE – is an actor and arts consultant with a long career in new play development and producing collaborative arts events. As an actor, he won a Dramalogue Award and performed with the American Conservatory Theatre, Steppenwolf, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Organic, Peninsula Players and Victory Gardens, in addition to film and television appearances including “Walker, Texas Ranger.” He has produced play reading series for American Conservatory Theatre and Peninsula Players and produced The Big Read Door County.