1996 Ohio University Playwrights’ Festival
Janet Allen is currently the Executive Director of Indiana Repertory Theater. Creating world-class professional theatre for Central Indiana audiences of all ages has remained a career-long passion for Janet Allen. She began at the IRT in 1980 as the theatre’s first literary manager–dramaturg. After four years in New York City, she returned to serve ten years as associate artistic director under mentors Tom Haas and Libby Appel. She was named the IRT’s fourth artistic director in 1996. Janet studied theatre at Illinois State University, Indiana University, and Exeter College, Oxford. As a classical theatre specialist, she has published and taught theatre history and dramaturgy at IUPUI and Butler. Janet’s leadership skills and community service have been recognized by Indianapolis Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” Award, the Network of Women in Business–IBJ’s “Influential Women in Business” Award, Safeco’s Beacon of Light in Our Community Award, a Distinguished Hoosier Award conferred iby Governor Frank O’Bannon, Girls Inc.’s Touchstone Award for Arts Leadership, and the Indiana Commission on Women’s “Keeper of the Light” Torchbearer Award.
Tazewell Thompson has produced and directed more than 60 plays, which include works by classicists like Shakespeare, Moliere, and Euripides, as well as American masters like Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, and Thornton Wilder. Thompson is former Artistic Director of the Westport Country Playhouse, and former artistic associate of Arena Stage and The Acting Company. He also served as the artistic director of Syracuse Stage. Where he designed and edited StageView, a newsletter cited by Wilsonia Cherry of The National Endowment for the Humanities as “the finest theatre newsletter published in America.” Thompson directed the Glimmerglass Opera production of Les Dialogues des Carmelites last season for New York City Opera. His production of Porgy and Bess, also for New York City Opera, was televised for Live from Lincoln Center and received Emmy nominations for Best Classical Production and Best Director. Thompson directed world premiere operas of Stefan, Luyala, Vanqui and As of a Dream. Also a playwright, Thompson has been commissioned to write plays for Lincoln Center Theater, Arena Stage, South Coast Repertory and People’s Light and Theatre Company. Thompson is a board member of Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, the Society for New Music and the Thornton Wilder Society. (Biography from Hunting Theatre Company Website. http://www.huntingtontheatre.org/artists/Tazewell-Thompson/)
Milan Stitt was born in Detroit and attended Cooley High School and the University of Michigan. Long associated with the Circle Repertory Company in New York City, which produced all of his plays including Back in the Race and The Runner Stumble with William Hurt. He wrote and directed “Labor Day” for company member Christopher Reeve. The Runner Stumbles was named Best Broadway Play of 1976 in the annual Best Plays book. It has been published in four American versions and translated into several languages. The film version with his screenplay was made by Stanley Kramer. Among his teleplays are The Gentleman Bandit, Kentucky Ride, and Long Shadows, which was nominated for an International Emmy for best film. As an educator, he was chairman of the Playwriting Program at the Yale School of Drama and also taught writing at Princeton, New York University, University of Michigan, and was Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Worchester State University. He founded The New American Theater School at the Women’s Project and Productions. He was also the Head of the Dramatic Writing Program at Carnegie Mellon University where he was awarded the Raymond W. Smith Chair in Dramatic Writing. His articles on theater and travel have appeared in The New York Times and Horizon magazine. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, he received writing grants from both the New York and Michigan Councils for the Arts and from the National Endowment for the Arts. Stitt passed away in March of 2009 at the age of 68.
1996 Festival Line Up:
8:00PM Most Wanted Liszt by David Dressler
3:00PM It Ain’t Easy by Marianne Hales
8:30PM Spit for Distance by Scott Marshall Taylor
10:30AM Band of Gypsies by Dwight Wilkins
3:15PM The Right to Remain Silent by Harold Skinner