Benny Sato Ambush
SENIOR DISTINGUISHED PRODUCING DIRECTOR-IN-RESIDENCE
Benny Sato Ambush is a professional SDC stage director, former Producer/Artistic Director of professional theaters, educator, consultant and published commentator.
Prior artistic leadership experience include: Producing Director – Oakland (CA) Ensemble Theatre, Associate Artistic Director – San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater, Acting Artistic Director – Providence, RI’s Rites and Reason Theatre Company, Co-Artistic Director – San Francisco Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Director-In-Residence – Manalapan, Florida’s Florida Stage and Producing Artistic Director – Richmond, VA’s TheatreVirginia. He directed at all these theaters. He was Associate Artistic Director of Anna Deavere Smith’s Institute on the Arts & Civic Dialogue at Harvard University – summer 2000.
He has narrated the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival twice, and has toured the former Soviet Union and Kenya via the United States Information Agency.
He was Director of the Institute for Teledramatic Arts and Technology – California State University, Monterey Bay’s unique, storytelling-based, multidisciplinary program that integrated production-oriented study in theater production, filmmaking, video/television production, radio production, and new media production.
He has taught at the North Carolina School of the Arts; American Conservatory Theater Conservatory; California State University, Monterey Bay; Colorado College; Kenyatta University – Nairobi, Kenya; Contra Costa College; Brown University; University of California, San Diego; University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Florida Atlantic University and Emerson College.
He has served on numerous regional and national boards – including Theatre Communications Group (TCG), has been a panelist and site evaluator for the National Ensowment for the Arts as well as numerous state arts councils and is active nationally in the advocacy of cultural equity, non-traditional casting and pluralism in the American theater. He is a Board Member of the National Theatre Conference and a Steering Committee Member of The Craftsmen of Dionysus: A Society of Acting Teachers.
Mr. Ambush directed the 2005 production of America’s oldest and longest running outdoor drama The Lost Colony in the Outer Banks of North Carolina – its 68th annual edition.
Mr. Ambush has won many awards in most places he has worked.
Anatoly Smeliansky is a leading Russian theater writer, scholar, and critic. He joined the Moscow Art Theater (MXAT) in 1980 as Literary Director and was appointed Associate Artistic Director in 1996. Dean of the MXAT School for Academic Studies since 1986, he became the head of the school in 2000. Dr. Smeliansky is also Editor-in-Chief of the new edition of the Complete Works Konstantin Stanislavsky and The Moscow Art Theatre Encyclopedia. He is the author of Our Collocutors: Russian Classics on Stage, Bulgakov and the Moscow Art Theatre, Is Comrade Bulgakov Dead? (rated among the best theater publications in 1995 by American Theatre magazine) and The Russian Theatre after Stalin. He has extensive experience lecturing on Russian and Soviet theater in the United States (Columbia, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown, Harvard, Princeton, Yale), France (the Sorbonne), and England (Cambridge and Oxford). Dr. Smeliansky is a theater columnist for Moscow News Weekly. As Secretary of the Board of the Russian Union of Theatremakers and founding member of the American-Soviet Theatre Initiative, he has represented Soviet and Russian theater at various international symposia and conferences all over the world. Dr. Smeliansky facilitated and moderated the Slavyansky Bazaar-100 Years, a conference in Moscow in June, 1997, commencing the centennial season of the MXAT. He is the recipient of several national awards for artistic excellence, including Distinguished Artsmaker of Russia.Hollywood studios.
Elena Laskavaya is one of the leading voice instructors in Russia. She is a professor at the Schukin Theatre Institute in Moscow, Russia with more than 20 years of experience in the field. She is an actress, director and voice coach to leading Russian theatre and movie stars. She has developed a personal training system that has proven results all over the world.