Congratulations to Washington DC native Kaia Calhoun, who has been named the first Sir John Gielgud Fellow by the Stage Directors & Choreographers Foundation.
Gielgud bestowed the fellowship on the Foundation in 1996, writing, "This is a most excellent idea -- to create the Fellowship. I shall be delighted for my gift to be used in this way." The idea is to pass down directorial skills specifically useful for classical plays.
Said SDCF executive director David Diamond, "Kaia Calhoun is one of the extraordinary young artists in the theatre. She needs to be recognized, and we need to train the next generation of classical directors."
As part of her duties as an SDCF Fellow, Calhoun will assist Garland Wright on his September production of The Tempest at Shakespeare Theatre in DC.
A founding member of Shakespeare & Company, Calhoun earned a BFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama. She won a 1990 DC Helen Hayes Award for her performance in Heathen Valley. As a directing fellow at the Drama League (1995), Calhoun assisted Athol Fugard on his Valley Song at NJ's McCarter Theatre. Most recently, her direction of Kia Corthron's Seeking The Genesis can currently be seen Off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club. According to associate director James Graves, the Stage Directors & Choreographers Foundation was formed as a branch of the Society of Stage Directors & Choreographers but is now a separate, though connected, organization with its own board of directors. The organization was formed to foster, promote and develop "the craft and creativity of directors and choreographers."
--By David Lefkowitz