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Celebrating the members of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Archive for the tag “Martha Graham”

Tisa Chang

Tisa Chang, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenTheatre Director
New York, New York USA

Where do you look for inspiration?
From my past in China and to areas that have unsung stories such as Tibet, Vietnam and the Cambodian genocide in the 70’s which we made into the music play Cambodia Agonistes.

What’s your favorite movie?
Roman Holiday starring Audrey Hepburn, who is my role model in terms of elegance and classiness and a yearning for the unknown.

What play or production changed your life?
Seeing Martha Graham dance in Clytemestra which had such power and earthiness that shaped my artistic directions; have studied dance and piano since age 6 and this was a revelation to see her perform.

Is there anything you still dream of doing?
To act again maybe with Robert Redford (I was at Sundance in 1984) or George Clooney.

What is your best escape?
In Cannes by the beach

What’s the one thing nobody knows about you?
That’s a secret of course but salacious.

Tisa Chang acted on Broadway in The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel starring Al Pacino, the films Ambush Bay, Year of the Dragon and Escape From Iran on CBS TV. Directed at LaMama; founded the Chinese Theatre Group which led to founding of Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, celebrating its 35th season in 2012.

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Linda Chapman

Linda Chapman, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenAssociate Artistic Director – New York Theatre Workshop
New York, New York USA

I find ongoing inspiration from my dear college theatre teachers. Joan and Bob Welch (Andrews) were students of The Dramatic Workshop at The New School for Social Research post WWII, where they studied with American greats Martha Graham and Lee Strasberg as well as Erwin Piscator, John Gassner, and other prominent ex-pat artists who there found refuge from the European totalitarian governments they had fled. Joan and Bob’s classmates included Judith Malina, Harry Belafonte, Walter Matthau and Tony Curtis.

I met Joan at Central Valley High School when she visited our Thespian Society. By this time, Joan and Bob had created a drama department at the small Catholic women’s Fort Wright College in Spokane, WA. Having relocated to Spokane from NYC in 1949 to raise their family, Joan and Bob made a life in the theatre for themselves in the most unlikely of locations.

At Fort Wright, Bob and Joan imparted the values they had brought with them from their New School experience. They believed in the power of theatre to create social change and to introduce audiences to new ideas. They valued the theatre as an evolving art form to be enjoyed and appreciated by individuals from all walks of life.

During my four years of study with Joan and Bob, the co-ed theatre majors lived and worked as a company; playing small roles as freshmen, taking on the larger parts as we developed, in plays by Brecht, Shakespeare, Genet, Ionesco, Giraudoux, Albee and more. We learned and practiced all aspects of theatre making, from designing and building sets, lights and costumes to marketing our productions. We studied theatre history, read world drama and learned voice and movement for the stage.

Joan and Bob created The Inter Players Ensemble, Spokane’s first professional resident theatre company, which still exists today.

Linda Chapman Recent work includes co-writing the GLAAD Award winning Beebo Brinker Chronicles with Kate Moira Ryan, published by DPS and Gertrude and Alice: A Likeness to Loving with Lola Pashalinski. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, LPTW, National Theatre Conference and is Founding President – Youth Arts, NY.

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