Over 800 applications were received to take part, and over 500 artists called to interview/audition. The program offers 21-30 year-old artists the opportunity to engage in a week of cultural activity and artistic development, culminating in a showcase of original work on The Old Vic's stage.
In a press statement, Kevin Spacey, artistic director of the Old Vic, commented, "The TS Eliot US/UK Exchange shows The Old Vic’s dedication to encouraging transatlantic collaboration. Last year’s programme was an extraordinary success and we have found another exciting team to forge lasting creative partnerships across the Atlantic. There is no doubt that relationships created on this project will bear fruit for many years to come."
This year’s American team comprises writers Jonathan Caren (2011 Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellow at The Juilliard School; The Recommendation at The Old Globe, 2012); Joshua Conkel (MilkMilkLemonade); Dipika Guha (2011 playwriting graduate, Yale School of Drama); Janine Nabers (Current P73 Playwriting Fellow, Annie Bosh is Missing at 2011 Sundance Theater Lab); Lila Rose Kaplan (Wildflower at Second Stage Uptown) christopher oscar peña (New York Theatre Workshop Emerging Artist Fellow) and Joe Tracz (FX's "Lights Out," Ars Nova Play Group).
The directors are Krystal Banzon (2010 LGBT Point Scholar, 2007-2008 Fulbright Scholar); Mary Birnbaum (Artistic Director of art.party.theater.company, 2010-11 Juilliard Directing Fellow); Jeremy Bloom (Leaves of Grass (Nude), Drama League Fellow); Mike Donahue (at A.R.T. Institute; the upcoming Moscow, Cheryomushki at Chicago Opera Theater); Kel Haney (Marathon 2010 at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Jonathan Alper Directing Fellow at Manhattan Theatre Club); and Luke D. Harlan (SDC National Directing Award Winner, Founder: Directors Repertory).
The producers are Alex Barron, Frances Black, Adam Blanshay, Anthony Francavilla, Melanie Hopkins, Avi Lipski and Roberta Pereira. The actors (male) are Michael Bradley Cohen, Chris Davis, W. Tre Davis, Bill Griffin, Graham Halstead, marcus d. Harvey, Harrison Hill, Jonathan Hooks, Nathaniel Kent, Eric Lockley, Timothy John McDonough, Michael Micalizzi, David Mitsch, Michael Shaw and Dominic Spillane. The actors (female) are Lourdes Aguilar, Zoe Anastassiou, Celeste Arias, Chanel Carroll, Chaelon Costello, Daliya Karnofsky, Maren Langdon, Lauren Sowa, Ariel Woodiwiss and Alison Yate.
An original showcase of their work will take place at the Old Vic on June 3. A parallel program that takes UK theatre artists to the US sees a group of 46 emerging British actors, writers, directors and producers travel to New York, where they will present seven new short plays at Off-Broadway's Vineyard Theatre on May 6.