The World Theatre Day/Crossing Borders Salon

We are pleased to welcome Chantal Bilodeau and Andrea Thome as the online curators of TCG’s World Theatre Day 2014 salon! As the U.S. Center of the International Theatre Institute (ITI-US), TCG invites theatre people across the globe to celebrate the 52nd annual World Theatre Day on March 27, 2014. World Theatre Day champions the power of theatre to strengthen cultural exchange and mutual understanding across borders.

In that spirit, and with an eye towards the Crossing Borders theme of the 2014 TCG National Conference in San Diego (which features two Pre-Conferences in Tijuana), the TCG Circle will host a salon highlighting border-crossing theatre people, with a special focus on Mexican and Canadian artists and their collaborations with the U.S. theatre community. Through interviews and essays, our online curators will raise awareness of the extraordinary work happening across U.S. borders, encouraging more U.S. artists to collaborate with our international colleagues.

We’re especially pleased to welcome distinguished theatre-makers Chantal Bilodeau and Andrea Thome as our salon curators. Both are accomplished playwrights and translators, with Chantal most recently contributing an essayabout Francophone and Anglophone theatres in Canada for American Theatre. In Andrea’s role as artistic advisor for the Lark Play Development Center’s U.S. / México Playwright Exchange Program, she has brought many of México’s most exciting artists to a wider audience. Chantal and Andrea will each be focused on the Canadian and Mexican sides of the salon respectively, and if you’d like to participate by expanding our global coverage, please emailGus Schulenburg for more information.

While we’re focusing this salon on Canadian and Mexican theatre people, and U.S. artists working across those borders, we encourage any theatre-maker working collaboratively across borders to share their thoughts on the TCG Circle. We’re launching this salon before March 27 to celebrate World Theatre Day, but hope that the field will contribute to the dialogue as we approach the 2014 TCG National Conference: Crossing Borders in June. Learn more about our World Theatre Day here, and add your own World Theatre Day activities to the map!

Chantal Bilodeau is a New York-based playwright and translator originally from Montreal. She also serves as the Artistic Director of The Arctic Cycle – an organization created to support the writing, development and production of eight plays that examine the impact of climate change on the eight countries of the Arctic. Recent awards include the 2014 Woodward International Playwriting Prize as well as First Prize in the 2012 Earth Matters on Stage Ecodrama Festival and the 2011 Uprising National Playwriting Competition. She is the recipient of a Jerome Travel & Study Grant and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.

Born to Chilean/Costa Rican parents in Wisconsin, Andrea Thome navigates these multiple landscapes and languages in her plays. Her play Pinkolandiaopened in May 2013 at INTAR (NYC), in October at Salvage Vanguard Theater (Austin), and continues its rolling premiere at Two River Theatre (NJ) and Chicago’s 16th Street Theater through the Lark’s Launching New Plays Program. Other plays include : Undone, Worm Girl and currently The Necklace of the Dove. Andrea directs Lark’s U.S. / México Playwright Exchange Program, and is a resident playwright at New Dramatists.

Kevin Bitterman, associate director of Artistic & International Programs, joined TCG in 2008.  In his service to the field,  Kevin manages a portfolio of grant programs including the Global Connections and Leadership U programs, advises on O and P visa petitions, and cultivates partnerships among TCG Members and international organizations. His recent TCG projects include facilitating cultural training sessions with the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute, co-producing the 2013 Audience (R)Evolution learning convening, and leading TCG delegations to Cuba, China, Colombia, and United Arab Emirates. Prior to TCG, Kevin served as the producing artistic associate with Theatre de la Jeune Lune and as the assistant director of the Bush Foundation’s Artist Fellows Program. Kevin  holds a BA in Theater and Communications from the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University in Minnesota, and is a graduate from the Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq and its Laboratoire d’Etude de Mouvement in Paris, France. (Photo by Michal Daniel).