The foundation, which runs the lavish Wisconsin estate Ten Chimneys, which actors Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne called home, will bring the group to the hallowed halls and grounds for a summer 2009 master class with Lynn Redgrave.
The performers were nominated by major regional theatres where they have performed; a select group of theatres were asked to nominate three performers from their community, and one of the three from each theatre was selected to move forward to the master class.
In addition to "the distinction of being selected and the immense value of participating" in the "once-in-a-lifetime" experience, Lunt-Fontanne Fellows receive a $2,500 cash fellowship. Additionally, all travel and lodging expenses are covered.
The inaugural class of Lunt-Fontanne Fellows will convene with master teacher Lynn Redgrave, Aug. 3-9, 2009, at Ten Chimneys in Genesee Depot, WI.
Ten Chimneys Foundation hopes that "after their week at the inspirational National Historic Landmark, Ten Chimneys, Lunt-Fontanne Fellows will return to their home communities across the country, bringing with them everything they gained artistically as part of the master class, along with renewed energy and a deepened commitment to mentorship." Master teachers and nominating theatres will change every year.
The 2009 Lunt-Fontanne Fellows are:
Jack Willis, nominated by Carey Perloff, artistic director, American Conservatory Theatre (San Francisco). Award-winning Broadway, London, film and television actress Redgrave "will focus on Shakespeare during the inaugural week-long master class and retreat." Their work will take place at the historic Ten Chimneys estate and in the state-of-the-art Lunt-Fontanne Program Center.
According to the foundation, for much of the 20th century, Ten Chimneys was the center of the theatrical universe — an important place for the luckiest of artists to retreat, rejuvenate, and collaborate. The Lunts were known for their dedication to the "next generation" of actors. They reveled in mentoring young actors. Legends such as Laurence Olivier, Uta Hagen, Montgomery Clift and Julie Harris proudly considered themselves protégés of the Lunts. The Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program continues that tradition of mentorship at Ten Chimneys.
The week of August 3-9, 2009 will also have special programs for the local actors and the community at large. Redgrave will offer a half-day workshop, or "mini-master-class" for local actors. More details about this opportunity will be available as the date comes closer.
On Aug. 7, Redgrave will participate in Ten Chimneys Foundation's "Conversations at Ten Chimneys" lecture series, sharing anecdotes and remembrances about her life and career.
On Aug. 8, the 11 Lunt-Fontanne Fellows and Redgrave will offer an informal public presentation, sharing a glimpse of the work that took place at Ten Chimneys during the week.
For more information, visit www.tenchimneys.org/fellowship.