A Collaboration Between Creativity Laureates Mark Morris and Yo Yo Ma


Mark Morris, 2012 Creativity Laureate, and Yo Yo Ma, 2002 Creativity Laureate, have teamed up to recreate the classic Middle Eastern folk tale of Layla and Majnun. Their new creation will open the season at Meany Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Washington, Seattle, running from Oct. 6 to Oct. 8.

Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble first took on the story of Layla and Majnun in 2007, composing a chamber score heavily influenced by a 1908 opera by Uzeyir Hajibeyov. Ma approached Morris in '07 to begin work on a dance project using the Silk Road's composition, but according to the Seattle Times, Morris declined. A decade later, the time felt right. 

Morris told the Seattle Times,"I can promise it is not going to be like something anyone has ever seen before!”

LINK: http://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/dance/mark-morris-dancers-silk-road-ensemble-join-in-classic-love-story/

2007 Legacy Winner Cerstin Johnson premieres new play at The Lark in NYC


2007 Legacy Prize winner Cerstin "C.A." Johnson's newest play Waitin' on the Moon went up September 28th at The Lark Theater in New York City! Johnson was selected as a 2016-2017 Van Lier New Voices Fellow at The Lark, and is one of their featured playwrightshttp://www.larktheatre.org/

This spring, Cerstin completed her MFA at NYC Tisch, where her play By and By was a finalist for the 2016 Goldberg Play Prize. In 2010, her play One-Way Ticket to Solid Ground won a James Baldwin Fund Prize for Multi-cultural Playwriting and received a staged reading in the 2010 Word! Festival hosted by the Five College Consortium. Her play Gossamer won the 2012 Dr. Floyd Gaffney Playwriting Award and received a stage reading during UC San Diego's Baldwin New Play Festival that same year. 

Johnson's other plays include Thirst and The Climb.

For more news about Johnson, visit her websitehttp://www.cajohnson.info/

Mark Morris Dance Group(MMDG), founded by 2012 Laureate Mark Morris, completes world tour

January 06, 2015

Excursions 2014 was MMDG’s unique, multi-continent tour that split the dance group into two parts from October through November 2014. The tour featured Words, a new work by Mark Morris. It also launched extensive cross-cultural community and educational programming through Access/MMDG and the U.S. State Department’s DanceMotion USA program.

MMDG West toured the U.S., Scotland, Italy, and Switzerland; MMDG East toured Cambodia, Timor-Leste, and Taiwan.

East and West reunited mid-November in Shenzhen and Beijing, China, where they performed  Music in Motion“ at the National Center for the Performing Arts.  In addition to “Words,” they performed the classic “Grand Duo,“ a piece set to the music of American composer Lou Harrison. For the Asian tour, MMDG added something new to the mix, ‘Socrates’ set to music of Eric Satie.

The Mark Morris Dance Group was founded in New York City in 1980 by artistic director Mark Morris. A prolific choreographer, Morris has created nearly 150 routines for the company and 18 ballets since 1986. Through Access and Mark Morris Dance Group programming, the company also offers educational opportunities in dance and music to people of all ages and abilities at home and while on tour around the world.

Chelsea Harrison, 2008 Legacy winner, stars as Joan of Arc at The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park


February 25, 2014

Chelsea Harrison is excited to be spending the season with the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park as a member of the Bruce E. Coyle Acting Intern Company. She recently finished a starring role (Joan) in the Off the Hill world premier production of Joan the Girl of Arc.   Kirk Shepard of the Sappy Critic writes of Chelsea’s performanceChelsea D. Harrison showed the energy, charisma, and spunkiness I always pictured when thinking about “Joan.”  The role required lots of physicality and she was fearless, giving the role all it required.“ 

A recent graduate with a BFA in acting from New York University’s Tisch School of the the Arts, Chelsea studied acting at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting.  Included in her university productions are King John, Milk Like SugarGood People and the New York City premiere of Trey Anthony’s Da Kink In My Hair.  While at Tisch School of the Arts, Ms. Harrison traveled to South Africa to study collaborative theatre and improvisation at University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Her time in South Africa culminated in a devised theatre production of The Red Shoes.  Chelsea was also selected for contemporary scene study with Alec Baldwin at Tisch School of the Arts and received the Beth Turner Award for Scholarship in the African Diaspora.

2011 Legacy winner Maritsa Hristova serves as Orchestra Director in Cambridge, MA school

February 23, 2014

A two month long teaching practicum in Cambridge, Massachusetts provided Marista Hristova the opportunity to direct two middle school orchestras.  Tasked with conducting and teaching small and large groups of students in viola, violin, cello, double bass and piano,  Maritsa credits her success with her students to having the freedom to develop her own teaching strategies and methods. Drawing upon her own experiences as a violist and composer,  Maritsa  found great joy in strengthening the confidence of her young students and inspiring them to do their best.

 As Maritsa pursues plans for graduate studies at the University of Southern California Thortnon School of Music, she continues her work on Bulgarian compositions for a music album.

Shalini Pammal, 2011 Legacy winner, is first “Service to Society” Fellow

February 20, 2014

Working alongside the Assistant Dean of Harvard College for Public Service,  Shalini’s role is to create and amplify opportunities for student engagement in service and enhance coordination efforts between the different public service offices and organizations at Harvard College to make service a robust part of the undergraduate experience. Shalini works with students and staff toward this end, building a culture of service in the residential communities at Harvard and crafting opportunities for students to explore public-interest summer internships and post-graduate jobs. Congratulations Shalini!

2009 Legacy winner Simon Tedeschi releases album “Gershwin:Take Two!“

November 03, 2013

Following the success of Gershwin & Me, Sydney-based classical pianist Simon Tedeschi and ABC Classics presented a new installment of the iconic catalogue of George Gershwin: Gershwin: Take Two! Performed again by Tedeschi,  the recording includes guest appearances from Australian jazz legend James Morrison and one of the rising stars of the international music stage, ARIA Award-winning singer Sarah McKenzie. The album features classic Gershwin compositions such as Embraceable YouNice Work If You Can Get It and Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off, as well as a beautiful solo piano version of Rhapsody in Blue, alongside some less familiar but certain-to-become-favourite numbers revealing Gershwin’s extraordinary versatility and creativity, and his unfailing ability to delight.

In an interview with Clive Paget of Limelight, Tedeschi talks about the success of his first album(Gershwin and Me) and how he came up with the tracks for his most recent Gershwin release.

Brian Goldstein, 2003 Legacy winner, is A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Wisconsin

October 29, 2013

Congratulations to Brian Goldstein, incoming 2013-2015 A.W. Mellon Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison! Established in 2010, the A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is an interdisciplinary program providing postdoctoral fellowships in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. The program  builds upon interdisciplinary initiatives on campus exploring the broad question, “What is human?” These initiatives have been examining the transnational circulations of culture and power on a global landscape, questions of biocultures and biopolitics, and new ways of thinking about media in the context of the digital revolution.


Brian received his PhD in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning at Harvard in the spring of 2013. His research focused on the redevelopment of American cities in the post-World War II era, especially intersections between the architecture and urban planning professions, race, social movements, and politics. Brian’s dissertation assessed the urban development of Harlem, New York, between 1965 and 2000, especially the forms of “community development” that took shape in the aftermath of the urban renewal era. He has also studied racial diversity in early suburbs and suburban modernism. He co-authored “Paul Rudolph and the Rise and Fall of Urban Renewal,” presented at the 2009 conference “Reassessing Rudolph: Architecture and Reputation” at the Yale School of Architecture.

Meryl Streep, 2008 Laureate to receive 14th Annual Monte Cristo Award

October 27, 2013

The Eugene O"Neill Theater Center will honor theater, film and televison actress Meryl Streep with the 14th Annual Monte Christo Award for her enormous achievements and contributions to the American theater.  Streep’s  friend and fellow O’Neill artist and Yale classmate Joe Grifasi will present the award at a gala dinner in New York City on April 21, 2014.  The Monte Cristo Award is presented to a prominent theater artist each year in recognition of a distinguished career exemplifying Eugene O’Neill’s “pioneering spirit, unceasing artistic commitment, and excellence.”  Past recipients of the Award include Christopher Plummer, Michael Douglas, James Earl Jones, Harold Prince, Kevin Spacey, Neil Simon, Jason Robards, Jr., Edward Albee, August Wilson, Zoe Caldwell, Brian Dennehy, Karl Malden, Arthur & Barbara Gelb, and Wendy Wasserstein.

After studying at the Yale School of Drama and the O’Neill, Streep worked as a successful stage actress on Broadway and in New York as part of the New York Shakespeare Festival. She went on to debut in film with her role in The Deer Hunter in 1978 for which she received her first of seventeen Oscar nominations. Other notable roles include: Sophie’s Choice (1982), Postcards from the Edge (1990), The Bridges of Madison County (1995),The Hours, Adaptation (2002), The Devil Wears Prada (2006), and The Iron Lady (2011).  Streep will next be seen in the big-screen adaptation of “August: Osage County,“ the epic family drama by Tracy Letts that won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 2008.

Legacy winner Luke Jensen pursues MIT graduate degree in Aeronautical Engineering

October 26, 2013

Upon completing a year of travel through South America and Southeast Asia on a Bonderman Fellowship,  Luke arrived on the East Coast to pursue a graduate degree in Aeronautics & Astronautics at MIT.  With experience in group and project leadership as well as workplace design, Luke is especially interested in the business considerations of aerospace design. He recently led a seminar hosted by the MIT Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment and the MIT International Center for Air Transportation on “Airline Network Fuel Burn Reduction using Cruise Altitude and Speed Optimization”

After completing his masters of science in Aeronautical Engineering, Luke would like to pursue a career in aviation operations and strategy or commercial test flight.  Luke really enjoys finding fresh ways to merge his love of piloting and business with his training in engineering design.