BALTIMORE (December 4, 2015) – This morning in New York City, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s Founding Artistic Director, Ian Gallanar, was inducted into the distinguished National Theatre Conference.
The National Theatre Conference, founded in 1925, is comprised of executives, artists, and scholars who are leaders in American theatre. Membership is by invitation only. The members exchange ideas about major issues affecting the nation’s theatres. Also, the National Theatre Conference initiates, encourages, and supports projects intended to strengthen and broaden the influence of theatre in this country. It has been a leader in national theatre diversity initiatives including a movement to celebrate and perform plays by American women.
“It’s an honor to spend time with so many people I’ve admired for so long in my career,” Gallanar said.
At the organization’s annual meeting today, Jim Volz, former National Theatre Conference president, and current president of Consultants for the Arts, introduced Gallanar to the members.
“The National Theatre Conference is thrilled for Ian Gallanar to join our national theatre think tank and advocacy group that has been supporting artists since 1925,” Volz said. “NTC is comprised of theatre leaders nationwide and Mr. Gallanar will fit right in as a noted Shakespeare producer and champion of all things Baltimore.”
During the induction festivities this morning at The Players club in New York, Gallanar delivered an address, “Theatre as a Bridge,” about the vital role of theatre arts in city renaissance. He discussed Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s response to unrest in Baltimore this spring, and the company’s continuing outreach and education programs. Chesapeake Shakespeare Company welcomed Frederick Douglass High School to the theatre for a matinee performance of Romeo and Juliet immediately after the uprising in the school’s neighborhood. In addition, the theater opened its doors to the city for a free matinee performance when imposed curfews interrupted the evening performance schedule.
Gallanar has directed more than 120 professional productions during his 30 years in the profession. His original adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol sets Ebenezer Scrooge in Baltimore on German Street, the original address of the landmark bank building that the theater company has transformed into a theatre for the classics. The play debuted in Baltimore in December 2014 and returns for the 2015 season, opening tonight.
He founded Chesapeake Shakespeare Company in 2002 with a mission to create innovative performance and education programs that bring the works of William Shakespeare and other classics to life. Ian has been Artistic Director of The Repertory Theater of America, the National Theatre for Children, and the Minnesota Shakespeare in the Park. He is a recipient of the Telly, Helen Hayes, and Howie (of the Howard County Arts Council) Awards, and has written a number of plays for children. He lives in Silver Spring, Md.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jean Thompson, Communications Manager, 443-845-6130 (cell) Thompson@chesapeakeshakespeare.com