Saturday, January 9, 2016

STAGE DIRECTOR: winners, runners-up, 2015

The American Prize is proud to announce the winner and runners-up of The American Prize in Directing, 2015. Congratulations! All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog.  

Please make us aware of any misprints:

The American Prize in Directing

The American Prize winner:
Stephen Carr—Eastman School of Music   Rochester, NY
    for Dialogues of the Carmelites

Stephen Carr
Currently an Assistant Professor of Opera at Eastman, Carr’s work as a director has encompassed nearly all genres of lyric theatre, with companies including Palm Beach Opera, Washington National Opera, Opera North, Ohio Light Opera, and Center City Opera of Philadelphia. Stephen has directed recent Eastman productions of She Loves Me, Albert Herring, and Dialogues of the Carmelites, which the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle hailed as “nothing short of masterful, from conception to execution.”

Carr’s performance credits include New York and international productions of Ragtime, Cabaret (London), Jesus Christ Superstar (European Tour), and The Scarlet Pimpernel. He trained at the Eastman School of Music, Royal Academy of Music in London, and the Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. He has served on the faculties of the Interlochen Arts Institute and the Senzoku Gakuen Conservatory in Tokyo, where he helped build one of the few successful undergraduate musical theatre programs in Asia.

2nd Place (there was a tie):
George Cederquist—Pittsburgh Opera   Pittsburgh, PA 
    for Dark Sisters (Muhly)

George Cederquist
George Cederquist has directed new productions and opera scenes with Chicago Fringe Opera (where he is an ensemble member), Chautauqua Opera, Roosevelt University, the Bay View Music Festival, and Chicago Opera Vanguard. George was the Resident Artist Stage Director at Pittsburgh Opera in 2014, the Apprentice Stage Director at the Merola Opera Program in 2013 and a winner of Opera America’s Director-Designer competition. George was one of ten Americans to receive the 2011-12 German Chancellor Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the first Stage Director ever to win this prestigious award. During his fellowship in Germany, George served as a Regieassistent at the Staatstheater Darmstadt. George’s training includes an MFA in Directing from Northwestern University, a BA in Theatre Studies and English from Yale University, and a Directing Fellowship at Wolf Trap Opera.

2nd Place (there was a tie):
Daniel B. Ellis—Theatre in the Round  
Minneapolis, MN 
    for The Beaux' Stratagem

Daniel B. Ellis
Stage Director Daniel Ellis continues to garner wide attention for developing new work with renowned artists while bringing innovative theater and opera to wider audiences.   A graduate of The New School for Drama in New York City, Daniel was awarded the 3rd Place award in the American Prize in Directing 2014 Competition for his production of Project Opera’s Griffelkin.  Twin Cities’ Lavender Magazine recently named his production of The Beaux’ Stratagem Best of 2014 and the Winnipeg Fringe and Edmonton International Fringe Festivals awarded him the 2011 Best of Fest Award for his co-directed production of Scarlet Woman.  Daniel served as an Artist in Residence for the Minnesota Opera 2012-2014 seasons and currently serves on the production staff at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Palm Beach Opera as an Assistant Director.  He is an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and a member of AGMA. 

3rd Place:
Tania Arazi Coambs—Indiana University of Pennsylvania   Indiana, PA
    for The Tender Land

Tania Arazi Coambs
Born in Cumaná, Venezuela, Tania Arazi Coambs is a passionate and versatile stage director, performer, and writer. As a stage director, Tania’s recent directing projects include The Tender Land (second place winner of the 2015 American Prize opera production competition), Trouble in Tahiti, and Signor Deluso at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, as well as workshopping and directing scenes from her own opera, Catatumbo, based on her own libretto and composed by Griffin Candey at the University of Illinois.  Other previous directing projects include productions of Stop Kiss, Roméo et Juliette, Feeding the Moonfish, The Informer, Brundibár, A Canoe on the Lake, and co-director of Don Giovanni.  As a singer, Tania was the 2015 winner of the American Prize Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Award for art song, and was also one of the recipients of the 2015 American Prize Chicago Music Theater Award and made her début at Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall last April singing the music of Rogers and Hammerstein.  Tania is currently a member of the 2015-2016 Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation Observership Class and is doctoral candidate in Vocal Performance and Literature with a minor concentration in Stage Direction at the University of Illinois.


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