Tannis Kowalchuk is co-founder and artistic director of NACL Theatre. Originally from Canada, Tannis trained in the ensemble physical theatre practices of Primus Theatre and Odin Teatret. She has created and performed in over 18 NACL productions. Currently Kowalchuk is directing and performing in Courage an outdoor site specific performance based on Bertolt Brecht’s wartime play, Mother Courage and Her Children in collaboration with composer Rima Fand and an ensemble of 25 performers. In 2014, she directed The Weather Project, a large-scale theatre performance with a cast of over 75 professionals and community members. She currently tours salon performances of Shakespeare's Will, by Vern Thiessen, directed by Mimi McGurl. Past works include STRUCK (2013), a devised multi-media performance about stroke, presented at Cleveland Public Theatre and HERE in NYC, The Little Farm Show (2011), a musical, co-written by Kowalchuk, about farming and food justice, Self Portrait at County Fair (2009), by Mike Geither, The Lost Book of Lakewood House (2009), a site-specific performance about the history of the Catskills, The Uncanny Appearance of Sherlock Holmes (2008) in the role of Dr. John Watson, presented at HERE (NYC), and The Mystery of Lakewood House (2007). Other significant performances include The Confessions of Punch and Judy, created and performed with Ker Wells with director Raymond Bobgan, 10 Brecht Poems, a collaboration with Leese Walker of Strike Anywhere, and The Passion according to G.H., a solo performance based on the novel by Clarice Lispector directed by NACL artistic director Brad Krumholz. Tannis leads the education and artist-in-the schools program at NACL Theatre. In 2008 she and her family founded Willow Wisp Organic Farm, where she is manager of cut flower production. Tannis is a graduate of The University of Winnipeg theatre department and was a core member of Primus Theatre, a prominent experimental theatre troupe based in Canada from 1990-97. Narrowsburg independent filmmaker Tina Spangler has directed a short documentary about Tannis entitled HOME with Tannis Kowalchuk.
Brad Krumholz is co-founder and artistic director of NACL Theatre. Since founding the company in 1997, he has created and directed ten company performances, co-directed the NACL Catksill Festival of New Theatre for ten seasons, and established the company’s theatre center in the Catskills as a home away from home for countless alternative theatre creators. As director and teacher, he has toured across the US and to Canada, England, Italy, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania. He has worked in the field of ensemble experimental theatre since 1991. Brad is a PhD Candidate in Theatre at the Graduate Center of CUNY, has taught acting at City College, and is currently Production Manager and Lecturer at Hunter College and Macaulay Honors College. His article,“The Problem of Movement Theatre” is published in the Allworth Press book, Movement for Actors, and his chapter “Locating the Ensemble: NACL Theatre and the Ethics of Collaboration” appears in the Methuen Press book, Encountering Ensemble. Other recent writings appear in Theatre Research in Canada and Slavic and East European Performance.
Brett Keyser is NACL production and facilities manager, designer, and writer-performer, collaborating on The Weather Project (2014), STRUCK (2013), The Little Farm Show (2010-present), Exilio: My Life as Bolaño (2011), Self-Portrait at County Fair (by Mike Geither, 2009), The Lost Book of Lakewood House (2009), The Uncanny Appearance of Sherlock Holmes (2006-08), and The Mystery of Lakewood House (2006). He is the proprietor of Nightjar Apothecary, designing and performing original, science-themed theatrical works and installations for museums, theatres, and public thoroughfares since 2003. Works include Darwinii: The Comeuppance of Man (with Glen Berger, 2009-present); the ever-evolving water-song cycle Sand Reckonings, first performed at the State of the Nation Festival in New Orleans in 2009; The Christmas Lectures of M. Nearanight (2010); Tann, Horns, & Dead Dogs: Tales of Civic Effluvia (2008); You Are Here (2007-08); Turkish Delightenment (2006-07); and Horridus! Horridus! Name-calling in the Wilderness (2003-04). Brett is a former core collaborator with Cleveland-based Wishhounds and forerunner Theatre Labyrinth, working on Blue Sky Transmission: A Tibetan Book of the Dead (2002), Even Without Angels (2001), The Hidden Twin (2001), The Sibyl (1998-2000), Transformations of Lucius (1999), Never Speak to Strangers (1998), and The Warbling Carousel (1996). His performance training includes Odin Teatret in Denmark, Winnipeg's Primus Theatre, and the San Francisco School of Circus Arts. He has a degree in Folklore and Folklife Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.
Zoot is NACL technical director and Tsar of Woodstock Stage and Screen.
Karen Flood has a BFA in Painting from The School of Visual Arts. She owned a vintage store in the East Village from 1984-2004, and costumed plays out of that store for Kirk Bromley, Urinetown, many shows in the NYC Fringe Festival, and Off Broadway. She continues to costume plays at the Brick Theater in Williamsburg, and for American Opera Projects. She also provides clothing for film, and photo shoots. With NACL she has collaborated on STRUCK, Shakespeare's Will, and The Weather Project.
Mimi McGurl is an associate artist working with NACL since 2005. Highlights include her lecture "Cross-Gender Performance" as part of the NACL Salon Sessions; dramaturg for The Lost Book of Lakewood House; a Deep Space Residency as director of The Dunham/Baker Project; directing Shakespeare's Will, by Vern Thiessen, starring Tannis Kowalchuk; and most recently collaborating on The Weather Project. Locally she has also worked with Liberty Free Theatre, directing a staged reading of the Universal Wolf; the Catskill Art Society teaching several writing classes, directing the First Stages Cabaret; and directing Mary Hall's radio play How I Learned to Love My Car for both CAS and WJFF's Making Waves program. Mimi's work has appeared in New York City at the WOW Cafe Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Source, Thirteenth Street Rep, the Blue Heron Arts Center, and Chashama. On the west coast, she has directed for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Theatre Rhinoceros, Luna Sea, Highways, and as a member of the faculty at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater. She has also taught at NYU and Mills College. Mimi has a BA from Middlebury College, an MFA from the University of California at Irvine, and a PhD from Stanford University.
Laura E. J. Moran is a performance poet and educator who, over the past twenty years, has toured the USA, Ireland, Canada, Mexico, and Romania. She is the author of several collections of poetry: Desire Line (2015, Stockport Flats,) Improper Joy (2006, Stockport Flats), Live Bait (CD, Great Divide, 2005), and three one-woman poetry shows, Eden: The Dark Side of Paradise (2010), Improper Joy: Live (2008), and Inhibition Exhibition (2006). Her full-length play Last Words, inspired by the last words of the first one-hundred women legally executed in Colonial America has debuted in part at LouderArts Project in NYC and at NACL. Laura was the curator of First Fridays Contemporary Authors Series in Narrowsburg, NY from 2006 to 2014. She is co-founder of Beautiful Traditions, LLC and creator of "CONFLUENCE”, an oral traditions project which formalizes an on-going relationship with the people, places, and stories belonging to her valley community. She teaches in the English Department at Lackawanna College.
Ker Wells is a graduate of the acting program at The National Theatre School of Canada, and a founding member of Primus Theatre (1989) and Number Eleven Theatre (1998). Notable works as a director include the Number Eleven performances Icaria (1998 and 2000), The Prague Visitor (2003), and The Curious History of Peter Schlemihl (2004). Between 2004 and 2008 Wells toured in North America and to Europe with The Confessions of Punch and Judy, an original work created with former Primus colleague Tannis Kowalchuk, and director Raymond Bobgan. In 2007 Wells premiered Living Tall, a solo show written by Mike Geither and directed by Karin Randoja, which has since toured widely in Canada and the US. His solo work Swimmer (68), created in collaboration with Bruce Barton, premiered to critical acclaim in Toronto in June 2011. Wells has taught workshops in devised and physical theatre creation in every province in Canada, in the US, and in France, Italy, Mexico, Denmark, Serbia, and England. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, and has been a returning guest faculty member at the National Theatre School of Canada, the Humber College School of Performing Arts, and The Contemporary Opera Lab at the University of Manitoba. He has an MFA in Theatre Directing from York University.
Thomas Bartscherer teaches in the humanities at Bard College. He works on the intersection of literature and philosophy in ancient Greek and modern German culture. He also writes and teaches on performance, contemporary art, liberal education, and technology. He has lectured on performance at NACL and was co-organizer of the Exchange Sessions at the Catskill Festival of New Theater for several years. He is currently helping to plan and organize NACL’s 20th anniversary symposium in 2017. His article, “Make Thee An Arc: On the North American Cultural Laboratory, Theatre, and National Identities,” is available here.
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