news from the o'neill
Connecticut Humanities, the statewide, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), has awarded the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center a $120,500 CT Cultural Fund Operating Support Grant (CTCFOSG).
“We are deeply grateful to CT Humanities and the Connecticut State Legislature for this incredible support. It will be an immense help as we continue to rebuild our staff in the wake of the pandemic, and vital to our efforts to perform much needed maintenance on the Monte Cristo Cottage and once again welcome members of the community to Eugene O’Neill’s boyhood home,” said Tiffani Gavin, the O’Neill’s Executive Director.
Funding provided by CTCFOSG will go towards maintenance and repairs at the Monte Cristo Cottage, the boyhood summer home of Eugene O'Neill, America's only Nobel Prize-winning playwright, and namesake of the Center. It will also support the staff positions overseeing the care and upkeep of the Cottage as well as those central to managing the visitor experience.
“We are incredibly fortunate that we have elected representatives who understand the value and importance of the artistic institutions that call Connecticut home, and who are committed to ensuring their survival as the pandemic continues,” said Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Tom Viertel.
The O’Neill was one of 624 organizations in Connecticut that was awarded CT Cultural Fund support totaling $16M from CT Humanities. The CTCFOSG are part of $30.7M of support allocated to arts, humanities, and cultural nonprofits through CTH over the next two years by the CT General Assembly and approved by Governor Ned Lamont. The CTCFOSG will assist organizations as they recover from the pandemic and maintain and grow their ability to serve their community and the public.
This grant was administered by CT Humanities (CTH), with funding provided by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) from the Connecticut State Legislature.
The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center announces five individuals who have been elected to the Board of Trustees. These celebrated artists, business leaders, and philanthropists bring a wealth of experience to the venerable non-profit, best known for developing new works for the American stage and undergraduate training through the National Theater Institute.
The new board members are actor/director/writer/producer Colman Domingo, designer Riccardo Hernández, culture critic Soraya Nadia McDonald, strategy consultant Genia Kaplan Quinn, and director/writer/performer Madeline Sayet.
“I’m excited to welcome these new trustees to the O’Neill board.” says Board Chairman Tom Viertel. “They each bring a wide array of accomplishments, experience, perspectives, and skill sets to our organization, strengthening our leadership immeasurably.”
“I’m thrilled and so thankful that Colman, Riccardo, Soraya, Genia, and Madeline have joined us” shares Executive Director Tiffani Gavin. “They are vibrant thought leaders in the industry and I look forward to working with them as we begin this new chapter at the O’Neill.”
Colman Domingo is a Tony, Olivier, Drama Desk, and Drama League Award nominated actor, director, writer and producer. Colman has recently received his Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Ursinus College. He is a Juilliard School Creative Associate and on faculty of the Yale School of Drama. He has starred in some of the most profound films in recent years such as Barry Jenkins' If Beale Street Could Talk, Steven Spielbergs' Lincoln, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Ava Duvernay's Selma, Nate Parker's Birth of a Nation, Jordan Peele's Candyman and Janicza Bravo's Zola as well as George Wolfe's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. He stars on AMC's Fear the Walking Dead and guest stars on HBO's Euphoria. He recurred on Steven Soderbergh's The Knick. His plays and musicals include Dot (Samuel French), Wild with Happy (Dramatist Play Service) and A Boy and His Soul (Oberon Books), the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical Summer: The Donna Summer Musical and Geffen Playhouse history-making musical Light's Out: Nat King Cole. His work has been produced by The Public Theater, Vineyard, La Jolla Playhouse, Humana Festival of New American Plays, New York Stage and Film, A.C.T, The Tricycle Theater in London, Brisbane Powerhouse in Australia, among others. He is the recipient of a Lucille Lortel, Obie, Audelco and GLAAD Award for his work. His production company, Edith Productions, has a first look deal with AMC for which he is developing television, film, theater, and animation projects. He is currently writing a new musical for The Young Vic in London and hosting his digital series, Bottomless Brunch at Colman's which is now in its third season on AMC.com. He has performed with the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwright’s Conference.
Riccardo Hernández serves as the Assistant Professor Adjunct of Design at Yale School of Drama, and Set Design Advisor at Yale Repertory Theatre. Broadway: Indecent (2017 Tony Award Best Play Nomination); The Gin Game (Sets and Costumes); The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (2012 Tony Award Best Musical Revival); The People in the Picture (Studio 54); Tony Kushner’s Caroline, or Change (also Royal National Theater London - 2007 Olivier Award for Best New Musical); TopDog/UnderDog (2002 Pulitzer Award Best Play); Elaine Stritch at Liberty (also West End’s Old Vic & National Tour); Parade (Tony and Drama Desk Nominations); Bells Are Ringing; Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk (also National Tours and Japan); The Tempest. Recent: Jagged Little Pill and The White Card written by Claudia Rankine, both directed by Diane Paulus for American Repertory Theater; La Dame aux Camélias (France); Eve’s Song by Patricia Ione Lloyd; Mlima’s Tale by Lynn Nottage, both directed by Jo Bonney; Oedipus El Rey by Luis Alfaro all for Public Theater; Lempicka for Williamstown Theater Festival, and Light Shining in Buckinghamshire for NYTW, both directed by Rachel Chavkin; Admissions by Joshua Harmon, directed by Daniel Aukin for Lincoln Center Theater; King Lear, A Doll’s House and Strindberg’s The Father (both in repertory), The Skin of Our Teeth, and The Winter’s Tale all directed by Arin Arbus for Theater For A New Audience; The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World and Jesus Hopped the A Train for Signature Theater; Red Speedo by Lucas Hnath, directed by Liliana Blain Cruz for New York Theater Workshop; Notes From the Field written and performed by Anna Deavere Smith for American Repertory Theater and Second Stage NYC; The Invisible Hand by Ayad Akhtar, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll for New York Theater Workshop; Lucia di Lammermoor and Don Giovanni directed by Ron Daniels for Santa Fe Opera; Grounded by George Brant, directed by Julie Taymor for Public Theater; The Library directed by film director Steven Soderbergh for Public. Riccardo Hernández has designed over 250 productions at most leading Regional Theaters and Opera across the US and Internationally. Over 30 productions at New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater. OBIE Award Sustained Excellence of Scenic Design; Henry Hewes Design Award Outstanding Scenic Design; Princess Grace Statue Award; Princess Grace Grant, Drama Desks, Connecticut Critics Circle, Helen Hayes, Audelco, American Theater Wing, Boston Elliot Norton Award, and Jeff Award, among others.
Soraya Nadia McDonald is the culture critic for The Undefeated. She writes about pop culture, fashion, the arts, and literature. She is the 2020 winner of the George Jean Nathan prize for dramatic criticism, a 2020 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism, and the runner-up for the 2019 Vernon Jarrett Medal for outstanding reporting on black life. She is an alum of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center’s National Critics Institute.
Genia Kaplan Quinn is the Executive Editor at Consensus Digital Media, an independent digital media publisher working to produce uplifting and relevant stories that spotlight communities, leaders, and businesses that are achieving a sustainable future through innovative and pragmatic solutions. Genia spent several years as a strategy consultant, most recently at Collective Conscience, a social impact consultancy, where she focused on the not-for-profit sector. Prior to that, Genia built and managed executive communities at Ferrazzi Greenlight, was a Vice President at Edelman Public Relations, and led public relations efforts for the American Health Information Management Association. With a successful record of developing marketing and communication strategies, Genia has served as a trusted counselor to leaders across several organizations, including Accenture, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, California Hospital Medical Center, Global Liver Institute, Kaiser Permanente, Mars Snack Foods, McKesson, Pitney Bowes, University of Phoenix, True Colors Fund, and WellPoint. Understanding how to connect with diverse groups of stakeholders across both traditional and digital communication platforms, Genia is a problem-solver, excelling at developing strategies and leading initiatives that provide positive bottom-line results. As a driven and creative leader, she is focused on organizational and brand success through creating category awareness and defining brand value.
Madeline Sayet is a citizen of the Mohegan Tribe, Executive Director of the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program, and Co-Artistic Director of Red Eagle Soaring: Native Youth Theatre. For her work as a director, writer, and performer she has been honored as a Forbes 30 Under 30, TED Fellow, MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, a Euegene O’Neill Theater Center National Directing Fellow, Native American 40 Under 40, and a recipient of The White House Champion of Change Award from President Obama. A filmed version of her play Where We Belong will be available online from Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company this June. Recent directing work includes: A Tlingit Christmas Carol (Perseverance Theatre), Staged at Home: a Virtual Benefit Concert (Long Wharf Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (South Dakota Shakespeare), Henry IV (Connecticut Repertory Theatre), Whale Song (Perseverance Theatre), She Kills Monsters (Connecticut Repertory Theatre), As You Like It (Delaware Shakespeare), The Winter’s Tale (Amerinda/HERE Arts), Poppea (Krannert Center, Illinois), The Magic Flute (Glimmerglass), Miss Lead (59e59).www.madelinesayet.com
The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center welcomes Tiffani Gavin as its new Executive Director.
Prior to joining the O’Neill, Tiffani held managerial and creative development roles in both nonprofit and commercial theater, including serving as managing director at the American Repertory Theater, Executive Producer at SFX/Clear Channel, and most recently as Manager of the Marquis Theatre on Broadway.
“I am thrilled to be at the O’Neill in a position that utilizes all my management and creative development experience” shares Tiffani Gavin. “The O’Neill is where innovation happens, I’ve seen firsthand the impact of the O’Neill’s famed new work development process and it is in support of this incredible legacy that I am excited to lead O'Neill further into its next phase of life, one with theatrical innovation and diversity at the forefront.”
Gavin is the fifth Executive Director in the O’Neill’s 55-year history, and the first Black woman to hold the position.
O’Neill Board Chairman Tom Viertel led the national search process and says: “Tiffani impressed everyone who met her as someone who can lead the O’Neill to great new heights. Her extensive experience in both not-for-profit and commercial theater as a senior executive and a producer responsible for new work is a perfect combination for the position.”
Tiffani Gavin brings more than 25 years of experience in theater administration and producing to her new position as Executive Director of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. After beginning her career in general management at The Public Theater in NY and as a company manager at Blue Man Group, she went on to hold leadership positions in both nonprofit and commercial theater organizations, including Clear Channel Entertainment and the American Repertory Theater. She's been the Manager of the Marquis Theatre on Broadway and has managed productions such as the National Tour of The Phantom of the Opera. As an Executive Producer for Clear Channel Entertainment and later as the General Manager/VP of Production at Martian Entertainment she commissioned and developed new work by emerging artists across the U.S. and internationally. While producing at Clear Channel, her broad portfolio included Broadway and off-Broadway productions as well as national tours. Among them were Ragtime (National Tour), The Producers (Broadway, National Tour), Hairspray (Broadway, National Tour), Sweet Charity (2005 Broadway Revival), Gumboots (National Tour, European Tour), Squeezebox (Off-Broadway), and Contact (National Tour). She was also the Sr. Director of Professional and International Licensing for Theatrical Rights Worldwide where she acquired and licensed secondary performing rights for musicals such as Monty Python’s Spamalot and The Color Purple. Tiffani is a native of East Norriton, PA, and has a B.A. from Brown University in both Sociology as well as in Modern Culture and Media with a focus in Mass Media and Cultural Representation.