November 2 - November 4, 2018
21st Annual Theatre Forum at Round Top
Danny Ashkenasi, Sonja Bruzauskas, Tom Foral, Chesley Santoro Krohn,
Felicia Hardison Londré, Kate Pogue, Vern Sutton, Ann Thompson
August to April Series

2018 Theatre Forum Brochure Cover
21st Annual Theatre Forum: Hand in Hand
   Friday November 2 - Sunday November 4, 2018

The 21st Annual Theatre Forum at Round Top will explore "Theatre Holding Hands": Theatre in collaboration with other art forms, disciplines, and life itself.

"We live in an era of isolation. Often, our communication takes place electronically. We exercise, shop and eat, drive through banks, coffee shops and pharmacies, all in isolation. As artists and audiences, we create human interaction, and the benefits to us are holistic, exponential. This forum highlights the power of collaboration, and the community it builds, in the arts and beyond."  - Sonja Bruzauskas, Theatre Forum Producer

We are delighted to welcome internationally acclaimed and New York based actor, composer and playwright, Danny Ashkenasi. Danny will enlighten us about his work on, and behind, the Big Apple stages, as well as his in-school program of creating original music theater with children.

Vern Sutton, Felicia Londré, Ann Thompson, Chesley Krohn, Tom Foral and Kate Pogue will investigate Improvised Opera, The Armistice, Libretto writing, Opera and the Movies, Theatre and Nature, Unavoidable Collaborations. See bios below.

     Click here to view and print downloadable brochure.
        To request a brochure by mail, email reservations@festivalhill.org
        or call 979-249-3129.


Taking full advantage of the picturesque Festival Hill Campus, the three-day Theatre Forum also offers a tour of grounds and buildings, morning walks with Ann Thompson, and appetizing meals in the Victorian-style Menke House dining hall, as well as an open-air lunch in the lush Menke gardens on Saturday. Though casual dress is the norm for events, formal dress is encouraged for the Saturday evening reception in the Menke House Parlours followed by a gourmet dinner in the dining hall.

Overnight accommodations are available. Complimentary breakfast is included. Please call the office or email reservations@festivalhill.org to check availability and make reservations.

Refund/Cancellation Policy: A 20% cancellation fee for registration, meals and lodging applies until October 19. No refunds will be issued after October 19.

Office/Information/Reservations: 979-249-3129

Location information below


Biographies

Danny Ashkenasi
Danny Ashkenasi - Danny Ashkenasi is a composer, performer, writer and producer. Current musical projects include "Speakeasy - John and Jane's Adventures in the Wonderland", "Feedstore Quartet" and a film adaptation of "The Tell-Tale Heart-a musicabre" (Award for Outstanding Music, FringeNYC 2006). Other works produced in New York include "beTwixt, beTween & beTWAIN", a Mark Twain Musical Comedy; the revue "I Too Sing America - The Blues According to Langston Hughes", a musical adaptation of Melville's "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo!"; the rock oratorio "The Song of Job 9:11"; "When Thou, My Music, Music Play'st"; "Lucky Hans" and "Les Artistes." Musical works produced in Germany include the "Wir Pfeifen auf den Gurkenkönig", "Once Upon a Frog" ("Es war einmal ein Frosch"); "Hexen" ("Witches", produced twice in NYC), and the chamber opera "Jenseits" ("Beyond", also produced twice in NYC). Danny also acts internationally in film, T.V. and theater and maintains the blog "Notes from a Composer" at www.dannyashkenasi.com.

Sonja Bruzauskas
Sonja Bruzauskas - Born and raised in Germany, Sonja was trained on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Besides her expansive stage career in Musical Theater, Opera and Operetta, Sonja is a well established concert singer and recitalist, focusing on German Art Song and contemporary music. Appearances include the Staatsoperette Dresden, where Sonja was under full contract for several years before moving to the United States, the Santa Fe Opera, Volkstheater Rostock, Nordharzer Staedtebundtheater, Babelsberger Filmorchester, Bochumer Symphoniker, Baton Rouge Symphony , Da Camera, the Bach Society Houston, Mercury, the Greenbriar Consortium, the Houston Chamber Orchestra, the Houston Chamber Choir, ROCO, Round Top Festival Institute and Ars Lyrica. Sonja's talks about Creativity and her creative approaches to teaching have taken her to CSSSA at CalArts, Rice University, the University of Houston, Vanderbilt and LSU.

Tom Foral
Tom Foral - Tom returns from Pennsylvania for his nineteenth annual Theatre Forum. Tom's undergraduate degree is from Northwestern and he holds an MFA in theatre from Penn State. His performing experience includes shows on Broadway, off-Broadway and in regional theatre, plus film and television. A painter and designer, Tom specializes in portraiture and figurative works. As a portraitist, Tom has painted among others, H.S.H. Princess Grace of Monaco, Audrey Hepburn, Bill Blass and Eudora Welty. He has been showing his work in New York and Bucks County, Pennsylvania, including two new series of paintings on the circus and the ballet. To see his work, visit thomasforal.com or tomforal.com.

Chesley Santoro Krohn
Chesley Santoro Krohn - An actress, choreographer, director and producer, Chesley trained as a dancer and was a member of Houston's Allegro Ballet Company. She studied in New York City with Luigi and appeared on Broadway in A Chorus Line. In Houston, she has played leading roles with Alley Theatre, Theatre Under The Stars and Theatre Inc., among others. She has taught, directed, and coached young professionals at Houston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She received a Best Director nomination from the Tommy Tune Awards for the school's recent production of A Man of No Importance and directed A Little Night Music and Pippin there. She recently directed the new play, A Heroine Free Summer, by Janet Lowery at Mildred's Umbrella Theatre, Houston, and has been cast to play Berthe in Houston's Theatre Under the Stars production of Pippin in Summer 2017.

Felicia Hardison Londre
Felicia Hardison Londré - Felicia is Curators' Distinguished Professor of Theatre at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where she teaches theatre history and dramaturgy. She earned her B.A. in French at the University of Montana, then, following a Fulbright year at the Université de Caen in Normandy, France, she earned her M.A. in Romance Languages at the University of Washington and her Ph.D. in Speech/Theatre at the University of Wisconsin. She received the ATHE Outstanding Teacher of Theatre in Higher Education Award in 2001. She is the author of fifteen books, the twelfth of which, The Enchanted Years of the Stage: Kansas City at the Crossroads of American Theater, 1870-1930 (University of Missouri Press, 2007), won the prestigious George Freedley Memorial Book Award for 2008. Felicia was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre in 1999 and served as Dean of the College (2012-14).

Kate Pogue
Kate Pogue - Producer of all twenty Theatre Forums, Kate retires this year. She is a playwright, librettist and theatre director. She received an undergraduate degree in theatre from Northwestern and an M.A. from the University of Minnesota. For ten years she was Artistic Director of both Opera to Go and The Shakespeare by the Book Festival, for which she directed numerous productions. Her book Shakespeare's Friends was published in January 2006 by Praeger and a companion volume, Shakespeare's Family, came out in June 2008. Her most recent Shakespeare books involve his training and include Shakespeare's Figures of Speech (2010) and Shakespeare’s Education (2012). Her most recent project involved directing Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in the original pronunciation.

Vern Sutton
Vern Sutton - Gifted teacher, lecturer, singer and actor, Vern returns for his nineteenth appearance at the annual Theatre Forum weekend. Longtime resident of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Vern is a retired Director of the School of Music at the University of Minnesota where he also directed the Opera Theater program for 32 years. His performances in the Twin Cities include work with the Plymouth Music Series/VocalEssence, Center Opera/Minnesota Opera, St. Paul Opera, Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Schubert Club, Guthrie Theatre, the Minneapolis Children’s Theatre, and A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. His special interests include Florenz Ziegfeld and the music used to create the scores for the Ziegfeld Follies as well as early styles and techniques of singing and performance.

Ann Thompson
Ann Thompson - Born in Indonesia and educated in Switzerland, Ann developed strong cultural interests early on with a special love and enthusiasm for opera. Her series called Let's Go to the Opera includes booklets and audiotapes giving background to a hundred and twenty operas which the Library of Congress stocks for use by the visually handicapped. She gives pre-concert talks for The Brazos Valley Symphony and for years provided introductory lectures to audiences and descriptive services for blind patrons for Houston Grand Opera. For fifteen years she has inspired Houston operagoers with her weekly talks at the West University Senior Center and classes at the Houston Women’s Institute.


Location Information

Festival Hill Campus Location (one-half mile north of Round Top on State Highway 237): 248 Jaster Rd, Round Top, TX 78954 Google Map
Service Building Location: #22 on Campus Map
Edythe Bates Old Chapel Location: #8 on Campus Map
Concert Hall Location: #6 on Campus Map
Menke House Location: 141 Jaster Rd, Round Top, TX 78954 #16 on Campus Map