These actors were nominated by the nation's top regional theatres to participate in the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program, named for the American acting couple Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. Next summer (July 24-31, 2011), the newly selected Lunt-Fontanne Fellows will join Academy Award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis for an intensive "master class and immersion experience" at Ten Chimneys, the National Historic Landmark estate of Broadway legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, in Genesee Depot, WI, near Milwaukee.
The 2011 Lunt-Fontanne Fellows are:
René Augesen – American Conservatory Theatre (San Francisco)
James Craven – Penumbra Theatre (St. Paul)
Nike Doukas – South Coast Rep (Costa Mesa, CA)
Rick Foucheux – Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co. (Washington, DC)
Mark Harelik – South Coast Rep (Costa Mesa, CA)
Mary Martello – Arden Theatre Company (Philadelphia)
Austin Pendleton – Steppewolf Theatre Company (Chicago)
James Pickering – Milwaukee Rep (Milwaukee)
Vilma Silva – Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR)
Sally Nystuen Vhale – Dallas Theater Center (Dallas)
In 2011, the Lunt-Fontanne Fellows will explore Chekhov with Dukakis. Each selected Lunt-Fontanne Fellow is also awarded a $2,500 cash fellowship "in recognition of his or her exceptional contributions to their communities and to the overall quality of American theatre."
According to Sean Malone, president of Ten Chimneys Foundation, "The Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program celebrates the top actors in America's top theatre communities — widely respected for their talent, dedication to craft, and passionate pursuit of excellence, the qualities for which Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne were so revered. We are deeply proud to honor these ten extraordinary artists — the best of the best, our communities' theatre mentors." This will be the third year of the groundbreaking Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program. During the first two years, the top regional theatre actors spent the artistic portion of their Ten Chimneys immersion delving into Shakespeare — with the late actress Lynn Redgrave in 2009, and renowned Shakespearean Barry Edelstein in 2010.