Mar 122014
 

SONY DSCNOTE FROM ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER

Welcome to the opening of World Premiere of Happily Ever After at FLASHPOINT’s Mead Theatre Lab.  This is our third in a series of New Work from around the world, discovering new voices of young authors and at this case, thanks to Karin Rosnizeck, I am thrilled to work with a talented young Spanish author, Cristina Colmena.  I am especially grateful to our longtime friend and supporter, Mr. Boguslaw Jerke, as well as Embassy of Spain and its Spain arts and culture, artists and many friends who help us to discover many interesting plays from around the world.  The Ambassador Theater’s 5th season is rolling on!  During the past 4 years, we produced 10 main stage productions in addition to various “Bare Bones” and Staged Readings, New Work Series, Literary Café programs, play-reading workshops, summer camps, Studio Classes and outreach programs.  All of our programs have introduced our audiences to the cultures of several countries across multiple continents (Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Greece, India, Macedonia, and Poland). We have worked with over 100 actors, artists, authors, translators, directors and designers, in addition to over a thousand students and interns from various DC Metro schools and colleges. We have even taken students abroad to perform at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw for the First Lady of Poland.  Our productions have been seen by over 7,000 spectators in many venues around the area.  We are fortunate to have developed valued friendships and partnerships with the diplomatic representatives of countries from where our productions originate.  Most recently, we received the MD Theatre Guide 2012 Award for Hopa Tropa Kukerica!, as well as the 2013 Helen Hayes Canadian Partnership Grant Award.  I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our Board of Directors, artists, designers, partners, friends, and, most of all, our audience for helping us to fulfill our mission to continue facilitating international cultural dialogue.

We have a thrilling season ahead of us as we celebrate our 5th year.  March is a special month for us as we celebrate World Theater Day March 27, 2014 with a special message from International Theater Organization and a reception after our show.  In April we invite you to a special stage reading at the Embassy of the Czech Republic and to Literary Café at the Kosciuszko Foundation.  We also offer our 3rd Summer Theater Production Camp at a beautiful Memorial Theatre in Old Town Alexandria with a final showcase From Greek Myths to Stage June 23-July3.

And now, I would like to invite you to enjoy Happily Ever After, “snapshots of love stories, or better said, “un-love” stories”-does it sound familiar?   Thank you so much for your continued support. We hope to see you soon as we venture forward throughout this exciting 5th season. Enjoy the show! Hanna Bondarewska

Jan 292014
 
CAM00498

CAM00496Ambassador Theater was extremely honored to accept the Proclamation from Mayor William D. Euille and the CAM00495City of Alexandria Council recognizing the Extraordinary Arts Organizations in 2014!

Ms. Lilia Slavova, ATICC’s Board Member and I among many accomplished arts organizations, including Metro Stage, Little Theater of Alexandria and others accepted the proclamation and introduced their organizations to all guests.

The Arts organizations celebrating extraordinary anniversaries include the Old Town Theater 100 years; The Little Theatre of Alexandria 80 years; Alexandria Symphony Orchestra 80 years;  The Art League 60 years; Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association 50 years; Torpedo Factory Art Center 40 years; MetroStage and the Alexandria Commission of the Arts 30 years; Washington Balalaika Society 25 years; First Night Alexandria and Ten Thousand Villages 20 years; Choreographers Collaboration Project 15 years; Arts on the Horizon, Ambassador Theater, and the Youth Arts Festival, 5 years.

Mayor William D Euille, and on behalf of the Alexandria City Council, do hereby proclaim 2014 as

“CELEBRATING THE ARTS:

A YEAR OF EXTRAORDINARY ARTS ANNIVERSARIES”

CAM00498

CAM00499CAM00500

Jan 182014
 

Hanna NOTE FROM ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER

Welcome to the opening of DIONYSIA: Celebration of Greek Culture at the beautiful theatre in the George Washington National Memorial.  This is our second in a series of international cultural festivals following in the footsteps of last year’s award-winning performances of Hopa Tropa Kukerica! - celebrating Bulgarian Culture.  Thanks to the gracious support and friendship of the City of Alexandria and the Commission of the Arts as well as partnerships, with the George Washington Masonic Memorial, Embassy of Greece, artists and many friends who help us to continue our big celebrations of cultures of the world, our international cultural dialog goes on.  The Ambassador Theater’s 5th season is rolling on!  During the past 4 years, we have produced 9 main stage productions in addition to various “Bare Bones” and Staged Readings, New Work Series, Literary Café programs, play-reading workshops, summer camps, Studio Classes and outreach programs.  All of our programs have introduced our audiences to the cultures of several countries across multiple continents (Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Greece, India, Macedonia, and Poland). We have worked with over 100 actors, artists, authors, translators, directors and designers, in addition to over a thousand students and interns from various DC Metro schools and colleges. We have even taken students abroad to perform at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw for the First Lady of Poland.  Our productions have been seen by over 6,000 spectators in many venues around the area.  We are fortunate to have developed valued friendships and partnerships with the diplomatic representatives from where our productions originate.  Most recently, we received the MD Theatre Guide 2012 Award for Hopa Tropa Kukerica!, as well as the 2013 Helen Hayes Canadian Partnership Award.   I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our Board of Directors, artists, designers, partners, friends, and, most of all, our audience for helping us to fulfill our mission to continue facilitating international cultural dialogue.

We have a thrilling season ahead of us as we celebrate our 5th year.  As part of Celebration of Greek Culture, we will present Dyskolos at a new venue in Anacostia’s Arts Center January 30 – February 2, 2014.  Later in the spring, we will celebrate World Theater Day March 27, 2014, and present plays from Austria and Canada in partnership with the Embassy of Austria and Canada in March and June.  Finally, we are thrilled to announce that this year we have started offering season subscriptions – get yours today and make sure that you don’t miss a single adventure with Ambassador Theater!  And now I would like to invite you to this very special performance full of Greek dance, comedy with masks and slapstick. Let this Greek festival, full of lovely entertainment begin! Thank you so much for your continued support. We hope to see you soon as we venture forward throughout this exciting 5th season. Enjoy the show! Hanna Bondarewska

 

Nov 202013
 

NOTE FROM ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER

20110930_DSC_3593Welcome to the opening of PROTEST celebrating the life and works of one of the most renowned Czech playwrights, statesman and a humanitarian, Vaclav Havel.  I would like to extend my special thanks to dear friends and colleagues, Gail Humphries Mardirosian and Barbara Karpetova for all of their support.  We are happy to partner with the Mutual Inspirations Festival and the Embassy of the Czech Republic again presenting the last part of the “Vanek’s Trilogy” and closing this year’s Mutual Inspirations Festival 2013- Vaclav Havel.  The Ambassador Theater’s 5th season is rolling on!  During the past 4 years, we have produced 9 main stage productions in addition to various “Bare Bones” and Staged Readings, New Work Series, Literary Café programs, play-reading workshops, summer camps, Studio Classes and outreach programs.  All of our programs have introduced our audiences to the cultures of several countries across multiple continents. We have worked with over 100 actors, artists, authors, translators, directors and designers, in addition to over 500 students and interns from various DC Metro schools and colleges. We have even taken students abroad to perform at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw for the First Lady of Poland.  Our productions have been seen by over 5,500 spectators in many venues around the area.  We are fortunate to have developed valued friendships and partnerships with the diplomatic representatives from where our productions originate.  Most recently, we received the MD Theatre Guide 2012 Award for Hopa Tropa Kukerica at the George Washington Masonic Memorial Theatre, as well as the 2013 Helen Hayes Canadian Partnership Award.   I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our Board of Directors, artists, designers, partners, friends, and, most of all, our audience for helping us to fulfill our mission to continue facilitating international cultural dialogue.

We have a thrilling season ahead of us as we celebrate our 5th year.  This winter we will be organizing a celebration of Greek culture, including the production of Menander’s Dyskolos, for which we received the Alexandria Commission for the Arts grant. We are also planning to present Dyskolos at a new venue in Anacostia’s Arts Center January 30 – February 2, 2014.  Later in the spring, we will celebrate World Theater Day March 27, 2014 and present an Austrian play in partnership with the Embassy of Austria.  Finally, we are thrilled to announce that this year we have started offering season subscriptions – get yours today and make sure that you don’t miss a single adventure with Ambassador Theater!  And now I would like to invite you to this very special performance of PROTEST. Let this interesting political discourse, full of beer begin! Thank you so much for your continued support and we hope to see you soon as we venture forward throughout this exciting 5th season. Enjoy the show! Hanna Bondarewska

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These performances are part of HAVEL’S TRILOGY, connected to the “Vaněk plays,” as part of the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2013 – Václav Havel, celebrating the life and legacy of the former president, playwright, and human rights advocate. For more information about the festival, please visit: www.mutualinspirations.org.
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Sep 302013
 

From Ottawa to Washington DC June 7 – June 15, 2013

MagneticFestivalOttawa2013Bravo to all organizers of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival 2013!  As a recipient of the 2013 Canadian-Washington Theatre Partnership, I was delegated to participate in the festival in Ottawa, Canada in June 2013.  From the moment I received this award at the Helen Hays Award Gala to the moment of arriving at the airport in Ottawa, I was amazed by the treatment and professionalism I encountered from everyone involved.  First, I have received all information from Michelle Mahoney from the Embassy of Canada who made sure that I was fully equipped with all necessary knowledge about the trip, itinerary and she also connected me with the organizers of the festival. Thanks to her I got introduced right away to Brenda Leadlay, Artistic Director, who connected me with many directors and authors who even sent me the scripts of the shows I was about to see at the festival before I came. This was truly helpful in better understanding all presented plays since I had very little knowledge about the Canadian theater.  It was also an interesting way to connect with the artists via e-mail and discuss their projects beforehand.  Thanks to her I was also able to briefly visit Toronto and see my friends, the Polish Theater and walk through various exciting sites of the city before landing in Ottawa June 9th.  I truly felt well received and recognized by all theater creators, lovers and supporters. Thank you theatreWashington and the Embassy of Canada for such a fantastic opportunity and experience!

IMAG2503

Well prepared and packed with so many exciting events and encounters the week of June 9 – June 15, 2013 in Ottawa

Upon my arrival at the airport in Ottawa I was greeted like a queen by one of the producers of the festival, Richard Cliff; I was driven to the hotel, presented with a nice gift bag with my full itinerary, tickets to all shows and events and I was showed my way around Ottawa.  The fully packed week with all interesting shows and events begun!  Right from the start I felt like a “Fairy Queen” in a beautiful city of Ottawa who flew from place to place as a turn of a magic wand.  IMAG2519I loved the city and its friendly atmosphere with its very characteristic architecture of spiral rooftops, especially the Grandiose Parliament Building and others around it.  I felt at home, surrounded by very friendly faces and very inspiring people.  I blended so easily and was carried by this amazing energy all the way through.  As I was part of the festival I was also part of each show and event, as this year’s productions and theatrical events were all very interactive and I even came to call them anti-theater, since all spectators became not only witnesses but had to participate in many of the performances.

Spreading out the ashes of a friend with Peter and Valerie

IMAG2454First, I met Peter and Valerie at a private house where I was greeted by Peter Reder, an actor from UK, along with 8 other spectators at the door and set in a nice small room around coffee table and offered a cup of hot tea.  Right from the start we became part of the family grieving over the artist from Malta who immigrated to Canada and died in early age of 46 while biking.  Peter introduced us to Valerie Buhagiar who walked us through Frank’s life by showing us the photos, short film, sharing some memories and at the end taking us to a nearby park to spread out the ashes.  While watching or rather being part of this gathering you forget for a moment that this is actually a theatrical experience. This is how Valerie and Peter came with an idea to create a new way of communicating with the audience with very intimate surroundings and by using a fictional story presented in semi real way. They travel with this partially improvised script around Canada, UK and other places and change their stories.  Wherever the show is presented they would find a new private home and change the story to relate to the specific place. We all ended up in a nearby pub and drank some beer while continuing our very casual conversation about life and blended the story that we have just witnessed with our own life stories.  Before the end of the whole evening we all became friends and walked back to the festival’s pub in a gallery where we met with the rest of delegates, artists, directors and actors who just came out from other theaters and shared our experience with them while listening to their interesting encounters with other theaters from all over Canada, drinking and eating tasty Polish kielbasa.  I felt at home again since the kielbasa was made by a Polish Canadian fellow whom we all spoke and laughed with in a courtyard. The mingling did not finish until dawn and then we walked back together to a hotel while exchanging our contact information and talking about our theater experiences, and life. That was a great way of finishing a very inspiring and stimulating day.

Monday, June 10 started very early for us with a nice breakfast meeting with Kathryn MacLellan, KAZAN CO-OP, Mary Lou Martin, Chester Playhouse and Stew Art from Zuppa Theatre Company in Halifax.  We exchanged information about each company they IMAG2493represented and could not stop talking about the new trends in the theater, searching for new way of communication with the audience.  I was not surprised how much passion and devotion I could witness while listening to their ideas and styles they work in their theater companies, and once again, I felt at home, passion is the one thing that we as performers and lovers of the art all share.  They were very interested in the works of the Ambassador Theater and what we have done so far and where we are going.  We already planned our future meeting next year and started thinking about possible collaboration on future projects.  I cannot wait to go to Halifax next June to continue our creative brainstorming.

Excited and inspired by each other’s energy and passion for the theater, we all went to the World Market Café to meet with many Artistic Directors, producers, directors of various theater festivals, actors, designers and playwrights from all over Canada, UK, Ireland and US.  As one of 88 industry delegates I was able to be part of interesting discussion about theater and share ideas with many talented directors and actors from all over Canada and abroad.  I met several producers and directors of other theater festivals such as Harun Morrison, director of Fierce Festival in London from UK or Michael Rubenfeld from SummerWorks Performance Festival in Toronto and many others.  Meeting them and listening to their stories about their works brought back my idea of starting the international theater festival in Washington DC.  They reminded me that it is possible to make my dream a reality by consistently perusing what we have been doing already by creating our International Artist Series as a way of taking small steps towards future theater festival.  After that meeting I knew what I would be looking for at this festival, interesting shows to bring to DC. There are many interesting works and plenty of talented artists that I would like to invite to perform in DC and collaborate with the American actors and artists.  The list is constantly growing and I cannot wait to make this happen very soon.

War of 1812 - A Fantastic Satire that must be seen in Washington DC

newbattle-w-flagsVideoProduction`1812I was absolutely enchanted by the VideoCabaret Company, one of most inventive and celebrated theater ensembles in Toronto which uses TV/video technique in the way they use light and stage their works.  The War of 1812 written and directed by Michael Hollingsworth dramatizes the history of the war and a successful defense of Canada.  It mocks all sides of the war by showing the audience its caricatures and downfalls.  Nobody wins but the spectators who leave the theater absolutely mesmerized by the fabulous acting skills, beautiful and very creative costumes, movements and lights.  I immediately imagined watching this show in Washington DC at Ford Theater or at the Library of Congress. I would be very curious to see how DC audiences would react to this very creative and very provocative satire, showing us all idiocy and results of the war provoking us to think about all wars and its results and about its impact on everyone’s life.  The grotesque fast tempo of the play showed us all how “ugly and stupid the war was.”  The action and scenes change very quickly requiring all the actors to transform from one character to another in a split second, creating at the same time an image of fast forward film like result and allowing the audience, to travel from one side to another.  We meet President James Madison, Americans and the British, who were allied with the Shawnee chief Tecumseh as well as learn about the personal dramas of Isaac Brock, John Strachan, James Fitzgibbons and Laura Secord. Bravo to all creators of this fast paste, and very clever grotesque satire!  I hope to see you in DC soon!

Inspired and uplifted by the performance of War of 1812, we all went to a special welcoming dinner to meet the rest of the delegates from other theater companies at the Performing Arts Center.  While getting ready to sit, I learned that I was chosen to be one of the presenters at that dinner to talk about Ambassador Theater and Washington DC.  I was a bit terrified since I did not prepare any speech but the friendly atmosphere of all new colleagues and the uplifting mood that I carried out from the VideoCabaret’s performance, IMAG2481helped me to quickly stand at the podium and address the audience. I realized once more of the importance and value of the opportunity I received and how important this partnership is.  As I always say, “theater is a collaboration of all art forms and a collaboration of many creative minds from all over the world” and I felt again that this recognition helps me to meet the goal of expanding the circle of the collaborators and develop many valuable artistic partnerships.  I spoke from my heart and my passion for the theater and for the arts which run through my veins, and for that I received a standing ovation.  I felt the same from everyone in the room and wanted to fly up above singing the song of joy for creating, discovering, as well as building and developing the theater I have started.

The Day was not over yet….

ThePleasureofseeingheragain (2)Straight from the exciting dinner I ran with other new friends to see a play written by Michael Tremblay, For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again produced by the Western Canada Theatre Production.  I was intrigued by the script revealing a compelling story of a native Canadian and the interesting relationship he had with his mother that continued on even after her death with her spirit that would constantly visit him and interrupt his everyday life.  Aboriginal actors Lorne Cardinal and Margo Cane took the spectators on a compelling journey through their lives. The symbolism of the play inspired me to get in touch with its author to read the play and also read some other works by the beloved Canadian playwright Michael Trembley.  I see this play as a great potential for an intriguing production with many possibilities for an artistic collaboration.  After the play we all gathered again at the Market Café to mingle and talk about everyone’s experiences of the very intense day.  Our busy Monday continued on until early hours of Tuesday.

Tuesday, June 11 started with an early Panel Discussion on Authenticity.  Since this year’s festival brought interesting shows that IMAG2498reveled real life stories and involved audience in most of them, we have discussed how real or make believe those stories were.  Is this a new way of communicating with the spectators?  Or are they anti theatre performances created to provoke its audiences and actors to real reactions, breaking the 4th wall of the theater?  Does this type of theater really matter?  We exchanged our ideas, answered lots of questions but truly did not find the final answers or recognized the trends as a permanent change in today’s theater.  We all found them as an experimentation that was always going on in the theater from its beginning.  We all search for truth and authenticity in the theater that is a reflection of our lives.  Straight from an interesting panel discussion we all went to Arts Marketplace to meet and greet theatre makers from all over Canada.  At the Marketplace, I felt I was part of Canadian Theatre EXPO with many theatre booths filled with brochures, banners, programs, fabulous display of various theatrical achievements of many talented actors, designers and artists.  I was part of live happenings in which actors and directors from all over presented their current and future productions live.  Overloaded with brochures, cds, business cards and photos I left for well-deserved lunch accompanied by new friends from Canadian theaters.  The Arts Market Place and later Speed dating session during which I was able to talk to many Artistic directors, designers from various theater companies around Canada brought back my idea of creating an International Theater Festival in Washington DC.  With fast developing theaters in Washington DC and help of a wonderful TheatreWashington organization, we could also start Washington DC Theater Festival in near future to allow artists from all over USA and from abroad to come to DC, see each other works, exchange artistic ideas and at the same time continue an artistic cultural dialog.  That way Washington DC would be also a true capital of the world.

a-brimful-of-asha.762x4001Full of creative ideas inspired by fantastic people I have met, I went to see an interesting performance of A Brimful of Asha created by Asha and Ravi Jain, another example of an authentic theatre, called also “A Why No Theatre”—an example of another production breaking the 4th wall by inviting its audience on the stage and offering very tasty Indian food before sharing the story of an Indian family tradition of an Indian-Canadian actor and his mom, an authentic Indian woman—not actor with the audience.  The combination of an authentic story told by an actor/creator of the performance and his mom’s performance, made us all part of their family and brought us all closer.  Mom, Ravi Jain, absolutely stole the show with her punch lines and sense of humor.  We all left the theater as we would live a very good gathering full of love and fun stories.

Wednesday, June 12th was full of interesting panel sessions with Producers and Presenters during which I learned a lot about the true relationships between the producers and presenters and how their collaborative work may benefit audiences going beyond entertainment.  I listened to various view points from presented by many producers and presenters from Canada and abroad, what are the challenges and fears and how to work with it.  I learned a lot about each role and how to balance two roles if it happens that you wear “both hats” at the same time. My notebook is full of ideas and interesting things to look for and to investigate for the future development of my theater. Here again, I felt at home, shared the same fears, challenges and at the same time understood how every challenge is actually an opportunity to create more and better.           IMAG2467

There were two more big productions to see, The God That Comes and Winners and Losers.  Both very different experiences of theater, The God That Comes created by Christian Barry and Hawksley Workam and performed by a multitalented Hawksley Workman actor, musician invited us to a Cabaret celebration of rock’n’roll with wine and “ecstasy”.  It was a very provoking, full of interesting images, musical effects and phenomenal acting skills theatrical experience.  I would love to invite this very talented artist to DC and perform in one of our spaces in the area such as “Black Cats” bar or maybe at the Birchmere in Alexandria VA, which might be a perfect place to present the show.

Thursday, June 13

418312261_295WinnersLoosers

Another very creative and engaging performance that I was able to see, was Winners and Losers created and performed by Marcus Youssef and James Long.  It was a very funny and provocative game that tested both actors’ limits of their friendship.  It was a partially improvised performance bringing to life both actors’ life stories, their social and economic status presented in a form of a game that could end violently.  Here again, the audience was pulled into the game where broth actors battled over the imaginary nets of a tennis match, sometimes crossing the lines, sometimes winning and losing their game.  Both experienced both sides of the game and the audience stayed for after show discussion to ask very interesting questions.  I would like to see them both engage Washington DC audience in their theatrical match.

The festival in Ottawa concluded with Industry Series, 10 theatrical happenings, mini shows presented by 10 different theatre companies.  That was an interesting and very clever idea to provoke the artists to create shows for variety of spaces in one area. Lookingforalostplayindustryminiplay

Each participant was given a space, under the stairs, attic, office, board room, outside patio and more and then they had to come up with the story.   The audience members were walking from space to space to be part of interesting stories, happenings, and theatrical experiences. We became part of the Board Room Agenda during which we had to follow the rules given to us at the entrance and learn how to act under pressure.  Who did not follow the rule they were fired right in front of everyone.  We witnessed the staged rape during the sorority’s events or were invited to an attic to go through various things and hear the story or laugh and cry with 2 clowns who lost their script of a play and then created an improvised play   by using found things in storage.  During two late nights I was able to see all 10 mini plays and meet all the artists afterward in the Market Café afterwards and talk about their clever ideas.  That was a very creative way of closing the Magnetic Festival.

Few days of very intense schedule of panels, sessions, pitches, very creative performances was going very fast. During just few days I was able to see all performances presented by the theaters from all over Canada, meet lots of very creative and talented people and learn about the Canadian Theater.  Now, I would like to go over all of the brochures, business cards and cds and relive those few days again.  I am sure to go back to Canada next year to Halifax to reconnect with all those I met in Ottawa and start working on a creative collaboration. Thank you Helen Hays and the Embassy of Canada for giving me the opportunity to learn about Canadian theater, meet so many talented artists, producers and playwrights and for opening me the door for very interesting artistic collaboration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 182013
 

20110930_DSC_3593 Welcome to the opening of our 5th season with the US premiere of The Third Breast by one of Poland’s well-known  playwrights, Ireneusz Iredyński. We are again coming back to Polish repertoire, having begun our international  travels in June 2009 with the opening of Out at Sea by Sławomir Mrożek. During the past 4 years, we have produced  9 main stage productions in addition to various Bare Bones and Staged Readings, New Work Series, Literary Café  programs, various play-reading workshops, summer theater production camps, art and drama Studio Classes and  outreach educational programs which have introduced our audiences to the cultures of several countries across  multiple continents. We have worked with over 100 actors, artists, authors, translators, directors and designers, in addition to over 500 students and interns from various DC Metro schools and colleges. We have even taken students abroad to perform at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw for the First Lady of Poland. Our productions have been seen by over 5,500 spectators in many venues around the area. We are fortunate to have developed valued friendships and partnerships with the diplomatic representatives from where our productions originate. Most recently, we received the MD Theatre Guide 2012 Award for Hopa Tropa Kukerica at the George Washington Masonic Memorial Theatre, as well as the 2013 Helen Hayes Canadian Partnership Award. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our Board of Directors, artists, designers, partners, friends, and, most of all, our audience for helping us to fulfill our mission to continue facilitating international cultural dialogue. We have a thrilling season ahead of us as we celebrate our 5th year. Later this fall, we will be partnering with the Embassy of the Czech Republic as we present two of Vaclav Havel’s Vanek trilogy: Audience and Protest. This winter we will be organizing a celebration of Greek culture, including the production of Menander’s Dyskolos, for which we received the Alexandria Commission for the Arts grant. Later in the spring, we will present an Austrian play in partnership with the Embassy of Austria. And mark your calendars for October 10th as we celebrate our fifth season with an International Fiesta where we will present the 2013 Ambassador of International Theater Award to Mr. Boguslaw Jerke and Mrs. Barbara Papantoniou acknowledging their ongoing support and devotion to our mission. Finally, we are thrilled to announce that this year we will start offering season subscriptions – get yours today and make sure you don’t miss a single adventure with Ambassador Theater!

And now I would like to invite you all to join our commune. It is a very special community inspired

9290247312_5e311b7ab0_cThirdBreastpresow

by the playwright’s words and created by a group of very talented actors and designers. We entreat you not only to bear witness, but to actively participate in this wonderful spiritual journey to discover: how can we achieve perfection? Is it even possible? Thank you so much for your continued support and we hope to see you soon as we venture forward throughout this exciting 5th season. Enjoy the show! Hanna Bondarewska

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Mar 062013
 

0354462600HaniaAugust2008klasowespotAnother great discovery; reading, researching, feeling, touching, hearing and seeing–all that comes to mind while reading the poems of various Austrian poets such as Rainer Maria Rilke, Ingeborg Bachman and others.  They all talk about their own experiences, troubles, they ask questions, paint pictures, experience life through the sound of their poems.  Thanks to their words, I go through the same experiences, I feel their troubles, I hear and see what they might have gone through. I laugh and cry and I travel, smell the grass, flowers, feel loved or abandoned, I live.  They all give us inspiration, they help us see what we might have not, they help us feel that special “O” and fly above, forget about ourselves for a moment and breath.  I feel fortunate to experience all that with such a talented group of people, friends, colleague actors and artists. Each of them brings their own artistry and understanding, their souls and talents.  I cannot stop feeling that special connection while hearing Maestro Carlos Rodriguez playing piano, or Barbara Papendorp singing La Vie En Rose, or Elisabeth Myers singing Meine Lippen Sie Kussen so Heiss by Franz Lehar or Scott Sedar singing Stranger in a Paradise.  The combination of the words, sounds and movements, beautifully created by Anna Lathrop and the various feelings and characters created by dear colleague actors such as Sara Barker, Karin Rosnizeck and Ivan Zizek bring us all to a new and higher artistic level. I am so thrilled to also have a chance to introduce to you the beautiful artwork of Scott Sedar whose paintings are part of our “bohemian” cafe at the Embassy of Austria.  Thank you very much to our host, Mr. Andreas Pawlitschek and the Embassy of Austria for all the support and help in sharing with our audience the beauty of Austrian poetry and celebrating   International Women’s Day with us.  With all the words of appreciation and the words of wisdom, I invite you all to experience art in so many dimensions, and please “Waltz with us!”

Join us on Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 7 pm at the Embassy of Austria.  Get your ticket on line and help us all to bring more beautiful pieces to live!

Dec 112012
 

There are so many things that I am grateful for.

I am grateful to all of my family and friends who have stood behind me all along while trying to fulfill my dream of creating the Ambassador Theater International Cultural Center (ATICC), which unites people from around the world through theater. Thanks to their love and friendship everything has become possible.

I am truly grateful to all of my dear friends, actors, directors, designers, artists, authors, translators and theater experts for all of their collaboration in making all Ambassador Theater’s performances, stage readings, and bare-bones productions so meaningful and unique.

I am grateful to all of our board members, partners, donors, spectators and diplomatic representatives for their devotion, support and expertise in making our steps in developing international cultural dialog so smooth.

Finally, thank you to my Little Thomas who at 4 years old became our first true supporter and believer in our mission to bring to DC the best works from around the world.

During our first 3 years, we were able to produce 8 main stage productions, 6 Bare-Bones and Stage Readings, 2 New Work Series, 4 Literary Café programs, various play reading workshops and 5 summer theater production camps, 2 semesters of the Studio Classes and 7 outreach educational programs. We have worked with over 100 actors, many artists, authors, translators, directors and designers and worked with over 400 students and many interns from various DC Metro schools and colleges. Our productions were seen by over 5,000 spectators in many venues around the area. Finally, we have been noticed by the theatreWashington organization and Helen Hayes judges came to see our shows and recognized our big effort to bring new and unknown to DC works of the most recognized artists from abroad.

All of that was only possible because of all of you and because of the work of so many people. Nothing happens without creative collaboration and the reaction of our audience. Thanks to you, we were able to accomplish so much in so little time and with so limited resources. We are now working on our future programs, performances and educational programs.

In 2013, we will present several evenings in a series called Theater and I: A Tribute to Professor Daniel Gerould devoted to memory of the creative work of our belated Board Member, Professor Daniel Gerould, who passed away this year in February. We will produce the Stage Readings and Bare Bones productions of various plays from Poland, Belgium, Russia and France, translated by Daniel Gerould as well as his own play. Thanks to his works and friendship we are able to travel and explore interesting works of various playwrights from around the world. In June/July, we are planning to produce a US Premiere of The Third Breast by Ireneusz Iredynski and in September/October, with the partnership of the Embassy of the Czech Republic we will present Audience by Vaclav Havel with the guest actresses, Miřenka Cechova and Jaromira Milova as our International Artist Series and develop into an American production with the American actors. In December 2013, we will present a special event Dionysia, a Greek Festival with the play Dyskolos and Greek dance and music at the George Washington Masonic Memorial Theater.

As part of our International Cultural Center, we will continue our successful outreach programs in local schools and Studio Classes at Convergence. Check our website for more information and registration. We are also already planning two exciting theater production summer camps at the George Washington Masonic Memorial Theater for kids 4 and up exploring the shadow puppets of China and a Teen Theater production at SOURCE with the The Doctor In Spite of Himself by Moliere in the Commedia Dell’Arte style.

In order to fulfill our dreams, we still need more help in many areas! As a fellow champion of the arts who is dedicated to promoting a cultural dialogue, I invite ALL CREATIVE MINDS to join our family, the Ambassador Theater International Cultural Center. Our mission focuses on more than artful entertainment. ATICC promotes cultural understanding by creating theater for bridging the gap between cultures and communities. ATICC’s educational programs target DC-area youth to increase their awareness and understanding of international cultures and theater.

All of us here at ATICC highly value the trust many have placed in us to be the best new theater in Washington, DC. It is my sincere hope that you will consider making a generous gift to help us expand and enhance our programs. Check our Highlight page and Membership Options. Your support is greatly appreciated and will ensure the continued success of this exciting, new cultural and performing arts organization.

We are looking forward to your friendship and support and to see you at our shows and events!

Happy Holidays!

Sep 252012
 

My dream of becoming a global citizen with an ability to travel around the world, learn about various cultures and meet interesting people, becomes a reality with the Ambassador Theater’s production of Trespassing. This season we invite  you all to North Africa to experience the mysterious land of  contemporary Egypt.This would not be possible without the wisdom,  expertise and passion for theater of our late Professor Daniel C. Gerould  who left us this year with a huge library of his work and ever lasting  friendships with his colleagues and experts in world drama. Thanks to  him, we have established a new   relationship with Professor Marvin  Carlson, Dina Amin and a number of distinguished experts in world  theater and drama. We miss Daniel but truly believe that through his  continuous writing and work he is always with us.

Our travels would also  be not possible if not a very special friendship with the former  Ambassador of Egypt, H.E. Sameh H. Shoukry and his generous wife,  Mrs. Suzi Shoukry who hosted 44 students from Hoffman Boston  Elementary School, part of our Ambassadors of International Culture Program who studied the culture of Ancient Egypt. Thanks to many organizations, such as Syracuse University Press, CUNY, American University, George Washington University and many individuals especially our newest addition to our Artistic Staff, Professor Gail Humphries Mardirosian we are able to continue our travels and discoveries of best works from around the world. The list of our collaborators, experts and true lovers of the art of the theater grows bigger and bigger and we feel fortunate and privileged to meet so many talented writers, artists and experts while carrying out our mission to develop an international cultural dialog and discover an international artistic language that brings us all closer.  There is no better way to communicate than through art, and it is essential to our humanity.

Ambassador Theater Presents Trespassing

Enjoy the show!

To Get Tickets on Line

Mar 062012
 

 Welcome to the Ambassador Theater’s production of the Bulgarian play Hopa Tropa  Kukerica, the third piece of our repertory of family plays from around the world. We are  thrilled  to bring a taste of Bulgarian culture to the beautiful Masonic Theater at the George  Washington  Masonic Memorial here in Old Town, Alexandria. This is the first show we have  ever produced  for the City of Alexandria, and we are very excited to be here.  We are  extremely thankful to the  city and the Commission of the Arts for their welcoming support  and to Mrs. Radka Mavrova  and the George Washington Masonic Memorial for hosting us.    Ambassador Theater always  seeks to build bridges between cultures with art, exemplified not   only by this show but also our International Artists Series. On April 15th, we will present “You and I, Love” at the Mead Theater Lab starring two of Bulgaria’s most accomplished    actors, Boyka Velkova and Stefan Spasov.  Even though we have produced most of our shows  in DC for our first three years, we see this presentation as a stepping stone. The Masonic  Theater is the largest venue we have played in to date, and we very much hope to return as  often as we can. We hope that today will be the beginning of a long term relationship and that  we can continue bringing diverse shows to the City of Alexandria.

Bringing Bulgaria’s folk traditions to life with puppetry, song, and dance is an undertaking that requires great dedication and focus. I am so thrilled that the American and Bulgarian artists working together in Hopa Tropa Kukerica have brought such passion with them every single day. Not only were they rehearsing a show that required learning and refining multiple performance skills, they were learning to better understand and teach one another. Their belief in the power of theater to both entertain and educate is central to our success, and something that we could not be more proud of.

From the very beginning, we sought to expand this event and incorporate other performers who wished to share their love of Bulgarian culture with an audience. We are very pleased to share this theater today with the exceptional talents of Orfeia, Svitanya, and Zharava. The participation of the St. Kliment Okhridski Bulgarian School’s and the Bulgarian Community Center is a perfect example of what Ambassador Theater is all about: the advancement of multicultural education. We cannot express our gratitude enough for their participation. This is truly a grand celebration of Bulgaria and we are honored to share it with you. Enjoy the show!