Founder, CEO, and Artistic Director
Hanna Bondarewska is the Artistic Director and Founder of the Ambassador Theater and was recently seen inÂ Lady, a one woman show based on Shakespeare'sÂ Macbeth and inÂ They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay!Â by Dario Fo as Antonia,Â SmartphonesÂ as Maria,Â Protest as Stankova,Â Death of Tintagiles as Ygraine and in Summer at Nohant as George Sand. â€œFor Hanna Bondarewska, the path to world peace not only exists, she is walking it â€” one artistic endeavor at a time.â€ â€“ The Washington Diplomat.
Hanna Bondarewska is a native of Warsaw, Poland and was trained in the Polish and American schools of drama. She founded the Ambassador Theater because she believes in the power of theater to change the world for the better through collaboration and artistry. By bringing together theater and diplomacy she hopes to give us all a new perspective as global citizens, which will lead to deeper cultural understanding.
In June 2008, Hanna organized a life-changing trip to Poland for students from D.C. Public Schools as part of an educational program about Poland. The program was done in collaboration with Mrs. Hanna Reiter, wife of the former Ambassador of Poland to USA, the Embassy of Poland, Embassy Adoption Program, D.C. Public Schools and WPAS. She worked with over 60 students, teaching them about Poland, its history, culture, and traditions through theater designed to help them better retain learnt material, improve their reading comprehension, posture, and speaking skills, increase their imagination, and energize their drive for life.
The program developed into a performance, "Poland the Beautiful, an Imaginary ." Students performed the piece at their schools and at the Embassy of Poland, and then took it on the road for the First Lady of Poland, Mrs. Maria Kaczynska, at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw and in many other places around Poland last June.
Hannaâ€™s acting credits are extensive and include the role of Antonia in They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay! by Dario Fo, George Sand in Summer at Nohant, Young Helena Modjeska in Farewell to Arden, Helenaâ€”the Emigrant Queen; Mother in Sunflowers, Wife in Square Minus One; A Genie Named Khatab; Snow Queen; Anouilhâ€™s Antigone; Gogolâ€™s The Marriage; and Goldoniâ€™s Mirandolina and many others.
Ms. Bondarewska has recently directed Lady, The Trap, Happily Ever After, The Visitor,Â The Third Breast, The Madman and the Nun,Â Death of Tintagiles, Miracle of Saint Anthony, Summer at Nohant, Farewell to Arden, Forefathers, and Out at Sea.
Her one-woman show, Lenya Cum Weill, won recognition at the Kennedy Center Performing Arts Festival. Hanna performed at the Washington Shakespeare Theatre, Spectrum Theatre, Classika-Synetic Theatre, The New York Polish Theater, Hippodrome State Theatre, and Acrosstown Theater in Florida, where she also directed The Tao of Pooh, based on the book by B. Hoffman, and S. MroÅ¼ekâ€™s Tango. Her Polish theater credits are extensive and include work in Warsaw, Bialystok, Olsztyn, Torun, Katowice, and Wroclaw with many luminaries of the Polish stage.
Hanna received her Master of Fine Arts in Classical Acting at the Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University and Shakespeare Theatre. She graduated magna cum laude from the Mount Vernon College of The George Washington University and also earned her Acting Diploma in Poland. For over 15 years she served as Executive Director of the Institute for Education and Membership Chairman of the ABC XXI Child Awareness Program for Poland, which supports the emotional health and rights of children and adolescents through reading programs, awareness, education, and action.
Recently, her one-woman show of Lady was invited to perform at several international theater festivals around the world.
Ms. Bondarewska has received various honors, including 2015 and 2014 DC Metro Theater Â ArtsÂ Best Director, Best Play Award,Â 2013 Helen Hayes Canadian Partnership Award, the St. Cyril and Methodius Award of excellence in promoting the Bulgarian Culture, Julia Heflin Performing Arts Award, recognition by Who's Who Among Students in American Universities, identification as a National Dean's List Scholar, and others.
Sara Barker has appeared in WSC Avant Bardâ€™s Six Characters in Search of an Author (Stepdaughter), Mary Stuart (Elizabeth), The House of Yes (Jackie-O), The Cherry Orchard (Varya), The Mistorical Hystery of Henry (I)V (Hotspur), Lulu (Lulu), The Miser (La Fleche), and Peace (Hermes/Gralea). Other DC credits include Rorschach Theatre's A Maze (Oksana), The Gallerist (Vanessa/Charlotte), and This Storm is What We Call Progress (Lily); Factory 449â€™s award-winning production of 4.48 Psychosis; SCENA Theatreâ€™s The Importance of Being Earnest (Algernon) and Mother Courage (Kattrin); Tattooed Potato's Nightmare Dreamer (Susan). NYC credits include The Brick Theaterâ€™s King Lear (King Lear), Hipgnosis Theatre Companyâ€™s The Winter's Tale (Paulina), and International WOW Companyâ€™s Limitless Joy. Sara is a graduate of St. Johnâ€™s College and a company member with WSC Avant Bard and Factory 449. www.sarabarker.com/acting
Ray Converse is thrilled to work with this talented cast and directors on another Ambassador Theater Project. For Ambassador Ray has previously appeared in "The Madman and the Nun" and "The Balkan Sampler." In his last stage appearance he received a commendation for his performance in a children's theatre production of the beloved play "The Arkansaw Bear" in which he played the World Greatest Dancing Bear. Other favorite stage roles were Reverend Humphrey in "See How They Run," the Reverend Brown in "Inherit the Wind " Gary in "I Hate Hamlet" and Woodenshoes for "The Front Page." Ray also loves the challenges of film and has worked in several shorts and industrial projects (often playing someone senile and not the romantic lead, alas! His most recent television performance was in an episode of "The Nightmare Next Door," in which he was strangled multiple times.
Craig Packard - Kontra (3-string chording viola); panpipes; various folk flutes; guitar; mandolin; domra and tamburica; vocals.
Craig brings a linguist's knowledge to his singing (in many languages), first-hand experience living, studying, and researching in E. Europe, and a broad-ranging acquaintance with the musical histories and styles of Eastern and Central Europe. With a doctorate in Russian language and literature, he works for the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, DC.
Rob Weinzimer performed in Ambassador Theater's productions of "The Death of Tintagiles" (Aglovale) and "Out at Sea" (Thin Castaway). Other roles include Francis Nurse in Keegan Theatre's production of the Crucible, Lichtenstein in Winter Wedding at Theater for the New City in New York, and Judge Alvin Haley in American Century Theater's production of Native Son. Rob is a graduate of the Honors Conservatory at The Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts in Washington.
Stephen Shetler (Associate Artistic Director and Technical Director) studied acting at The Catholic University of America and at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Mr. Shetler has performed more than 60 roles in the past 20 years. He spent five years as resident company actor and associate director at Classika Theatre before joining Ambassador Theater. He has directed at Classika Theatre, Synetic Theater, Northern Virginia Community College. Recently he directed Dyskolos by Menander.
Paula Rich was recently seen as Bellangere in "The Death of Tintagiles" in A PRODUCTION OF "Under the Shadow of Wings".
Ivan Zizek (Stanek) was classically trained in England. During his studies his main focus was on staging Shakespeare and stage combat. He is the Ambassador Theater’s Company Member and was last seen in The Visitor as Mahmud Suliman and as Hasan in The Peephole and as Dr. Bidello in The Madman and the Nun. He has performed in theatres in London, Frankfurt/Germany, the Edinburgh Fringe, the Capitol Fringe, and the Kennedy Center. His most recent performances were at the DC Source Festival, and in Maryland Shakespeare Festival’s Julius Caesar.
Mary Suib has been active in DC area theatre for many years in a variety of venues and roles. This past year she appeared in SCENAâ€™s The Importance of Being Earnest, Ambassador Theater's The Death of Tintagiles, the Fringe Festival 2010, Page to Stage, Hope Operas, TV commercial, training videos, improvisational mystery, several readings as actor and director among other projects. Between theatre activities, Mary tutors for FCPS. The support of her family and two loyal terries are important aspects of her life.
Karin Rosnizeck- Previous roles: French Journalist in force/ collisionâ€™s SHAPE, (performing again at LaMaMa ETC, NYC in Nov.), Magdalena Sanger in Marathon â€™33, Nanni in The Ice Child (Factory 449) and the Woman in The Nautical Yards (force/ collision). Previous roles include Mrs Winsley/ Nurse in No Rules Theater Companyâ€™s Stop Kiss, title role in The GnÃ¤diges FrÃ¤ulein, Countess Geschwitz in Lulu (both WSC Avant Bard) and Camille Claudel in The Sculptress (Baltimore Playwrights Festival). Karin has also worked with Rorschach Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Scena Theater and enjoys taking on projects as dramaturg/ dialect coach (Theater J) and translation assistant (Studio Theater). She recently translated the play Cold Country by Swiss playwright Reto Finger for the Zeitgeist Series. Karin holds an M.A. in English literature and French literature (University of Stuttgart, Germany) and is a graduate of the Theater Labâ€™s Honors Conservatory.