In Partnership of the Embassy of Spain
And SPAIN arts & culture
Ambassador Theater presents
Happily Ever After
by Cristina Colmena
Directed by Hanna Bondarewska
Karin Rosnizeck as She
Doug Krehbel as He
March 12 – 30, 2014
Preview: 03/12 at 8PM
Opening: 03/13 at 8PM with a reception after the show
Friday, 03/14 Special Q&A with the author, Cristina Colmena after the show
Thursday, March 27 World Theatre Day Celebration after the show!
SHOWS:Tues – Sat at 8PM
Sunday Matinee at 2PM
916 G Street NW
steps from Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro
CAST AND CREW
Choreography of Tango by Francesca Jandasek and Dan Istrate
Ligths by Stephen Shetler
Costumes by Basmah Alomar
Sound and Visual Effects Design by David Crandall
Founder, CEO, and Artistic Director
Hanna Bondarewska is the Artistic Director and Founder of the Ambassador Theater and was recently seen in They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay! by Dario Fo as Antonia, Smartphones as Maria, Protest as Stankova, Death of Tintagiles as Ygraine and in Summer at Nohant as George Sand. “For Hanna Bondarewska, the path to world peace not only exists, she is walking it — one artistic endeavor at a time.” – 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.
Hanna’s acting credits are extensive and include the role of George Sand in "Summer at Nohant", Young Helena Modjeska in ""Farewell to Arden" at ATICC, and in "Helena—the Emigrant Queen"; "Sunflowers" at the Polish Theater Institute in New York; Square Minus One; A Genie Named Khatab; Snow Queen; Anouilh’s Antigone; Gogol’s The Marriage; and Goldoni’s Mirandolina and many others.
Ms. Bondarewska has recently directed The Trap, Happily Ever After, The Visitor, The Third Breast, The Madman and the Nun, Death of Tintagiles, Miracle of Saint Anthony, Summer at Nohant, Farewell to Arden, Forefathers, and Out at Sea.
Her one-woman show, Lotte Lenya, 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. Mrożek’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 is teaching drama at Ambassador Theater's Outreach Programs and has also taught special outreach programs with Classika-Synetic Theatre at Arlington schools with Lilia Slavova and drama classes at Classika. She graduated magna cum laude from the Mount Vernon College of The George Washington University and 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.
Ms. Bondarewska has received various honors, including 2015 and 2014 DC Metro Theater Arts Best Director, Best Play Award, 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.
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.
Basmah Alomar (Costume Designer) is a 3rd year production design MFA candidate at The George Washington University concentrating on costume design. She received her BA from Marymount University in Arlington, Va. with a double major in fashion design and merchandising. Basmah is of Saudi Arabian decent, but was born and partially raised in the US. She has worked on fashion shows for Marymount University as a fashion designer as well as a set designer and show coordinator. She has also worked on professional productions in the Washington DC area on shows such as Pygmalion at the Washington Stage Guild. Recently she designed costumes for Dyskolos by Menander.
Doug Krehbel (AEA) has been acting and directing for more than two decades in professional and community theatres in New York, Washington and North Carolina. Recent area appearances include Tim Timko in Reckless for Spooky Action Theatre; Gerry Evans in Dancing at Lughnasa with Quotidian Theatre Company, and Simon in the acclaimed MetroStage production of Tom Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound. Other DC area professional acting credits include The Marriage of Maria Braun and Sink The Belgrano! (Scena Theatre), Iachimo in Cymbeline (Chesapeake Shakespeare Company), That Face (Studio Theatre), and the 2011 DC Source Festival in Dance With the Devil and Disturbing Encounter. For the Folger Theatre, he has understudied roles in Henry VIII (Buckingham / Griffith) and Henry V (Exeter, Macmorris and Fluellen).
Other theatre credits include Love’s Labours Lost, The Tempest and Twelfth Night (Cape Fear Shakespeare Company); Noises Off and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Opera House Theatre Company), and Four Cathedrals (Capitol Repertory Theatre).
David Crandall (Sound & Video Designer) has been a presence for nearly thirty years on mid-Atlantic scene with companies including Ambassador, WSC Avant Bard, Spooky Action, and Rhymes With Opera (RwO), and more recently as an actor with Baltimore’s Annex Theater. His recent stage productions include Spooky Action’s production of Nelson Rodrigues' Wedding Dress, RwO's new opera Red Giant (in Baltimore and New York), and acting roles in Dancing at Lughnasa, Macbeth and Two Suns Over Thebes, Annex's new translation of The Bacchae. David lives in Baltimore, where he divides his time between fine art, film/video, interactive media, and stage projects, and his work at Maryland Institute College of Art.
Francesca Jandasek, of Czech descent and born in Namibia, Africa, seeks to bring the arts to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds through performing, teaching and creating.
Francesca has worked with many dance and theater companies in the Washington DC area, including CityDance Ensemble, BosmaDance, Santi Budaya (Indonesian Dance), Sharna Fabiano Tango Company, Tango Mercurio, Dakshina Dance Company (Indian and Modern Dance), Deviated Theater and Synetic Theater. She has performed and taught nationally and internationally (Russia, Canada, India, Bangladesh, Czech Republic and Argentina). Francesca had the opportunity to work with Tanec Praha, which organizes the International Modern Dance Festival in Prague, Czech Republic. In 2006, Francesca received the Artist Fellowship for Dance from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She also received a choreographic fellowship from the Kennedy Center as part of the Millennium Stage Local Dance Commissioning Project 2006 and she choreographed and composed music for the full evening length work, “Ellesmere”. In 2007, she was nominated as one of the finalists for "Emerging Choreographer" for the Metro DC Dance Awards.
In 2009, she established baredances, a collaborative contemporary dance project, with Stephanie Yezek. Baredances was originally commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and was subsequently expanded to include collaboration with other artists, choreographers, musicians, dancers, actors and filmmakers. Through baredances, Francesca choreographed “Invitations”, a full evening length modern and baroque dance piece and “Kindgom of Ends”, multimedia piece mixing contemporary ballet and modern dance improvisation, live found-object music improvisation, and interactive improvised art projection. Baredances’ most recent piece, “Her Flowers” was presented by the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center on January 25th, 2014.
In 2011, Francesca choreographed Romanian folk dances for Zalmoxis (a Romanian Play) at Georgetown University. She recently created 3 short solos, “Pandora’s Door Triptych” commissioned by the Kennedy Center for June 2012 and is currently working on “Gallery Space” film and live dance performance with baredances. In 2012, she worked with Amy Hart, a film producer in New York City and Andy Okaofor, a film director in Paris, France to create a short tango film. Francesca participated in a dance film “Mean Girls Reunion” by Ludovic Jolivet and Ted Bain as part of the 48 hour film festival 2013. Since 2012, she has worked with Synetic Theater, a movement theater company in Northern Virginia. She played Dulcinea in “Don Quixote” (directed by Paata Tsikurishvili), Laika’s Mother in “A Trip to the Moon” (directed by Natsu Onoda Power), Antonia in “The Tempest” by Shakespeare (directed by Paata Tsikurishvili), understudy for Viola in “Twelfth Night” by Shakespeare (directed by Paata Tsikurishvili) and is currently understudy for Gertrude in “Hamlet” by Shakespeare (directed by Paata Tsikurishvili). In June 2013, she choreographed for "'T' Party" at Forum Theatre (directed by Natsu Onoda Power) and in February 2014, was a movement consultant for “Yellow Face” at Theater J (directed by Natsu Onoda Power). She is currently dancing and choreographing for a feature length film “Her Tango” directed by Jason Mullis.
In 2001, Francesca received a Small Project Grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts to create "NO STANDING ANYTIME", an exhibit of paintings that sought to capture the movement, spirit, passion and diversity of dance using various mediums. This exhibit was displayed at various venues in the DC area including Utopia Gallery, Cosi, Lombardi Cancer Center, Sheridan School and Dance Place. Many of the works are now in private collections.
Francesca collaborated with choreographer Connie Fink in 2003 to create artwork for Connie's full evening length dance performance "Short Stories/Then is Now" at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at University of Maryland.
In 2003/2004, Francesca received a Young Artists Grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts to create another exhibit "Music to the Eye" in which she collaborated with Washington DC composers and musicians to create paintings which were in turn used as visual 'musical scores' which musicians in turn used for an improvisation performance. This exhibit was also displayed in various venues in the DC area.
In 2005, she created a set for choreographer Ludovic Jolivet for a performance with CityDance at the Terrace Theater at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. In 2006, Francesca created a set for Cirque Voila for a national tour. During the 2007 season with BosmaDance, Francesca danced and painted in performance on the bodies of other dancers in a short work by Israeli guest choreographer, Ofra Idel Lipshitz which premiered at the Millennium Stage, Kennedy Center.
Although Francesca has not had any recent exhibits, she has continued painting and illustrating walls, canvases, faces, bodies, costumes, theater and dance sets, stories and poetry on private and corporate commission. Francesca taught Kindergarten at the Sheridan School from 2003 - 2013, where, inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach, she encouraged and guided the students in the creation of long-term exploratory artistic projects.
Francesca has studied classical piano through the Certificate Program at Peabody Preparatory from 1985-1996 and classical violin from 1988-1992. At Goucher College, she studied Ethnomusicology, Classical Voice and African Drumming.
She has taught music at Sheridan School (K through 8) as well as gave private instrumental lessons and co-directed school musicals. Francesca was CityDance Ensemble’s Composer in Residence from 2000 – 2004 and won an award for “Excellence in Sound Design / Original Composition” for “Prism” during the 2002 Metro DC Dance Awards. Her original musical compositions have been released on CD as well as performed internationally in small venues and festivals. In 2006, Francesca collaborated with PJ Acayan to compose an original sound-track for the full evening length performance, “Ellesmere” for the Millennium Stage Local Dance Commission Project.
Currently, she plays violin and sings in Tango Mercurio’s Tango Orchestra and plays Eastern European gypsy music with her family and significant other. She is composing music for independent films by filmmaker, Ludovic Jolivet and for her own choreography.
GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS®
Francesca Jandasek is a certified GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® instructor and has had the fortune to share her love of movement by teaching many forms of movement including modern dance, ballet, tango, creative movement, yoga, stretch and GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® exercise to people of all ages, backgrounds, needs and abilities.
Francesca was first introduced to the GYROTONIC® system in 2006 and has been discovering the myriad ways in which the movement principles and concepts of GYROTONIC® exercise prove themselves beneficial in many areas of daily life. She has studied with master trainers Justine Bernard, Tracy Monaco and Michelle Silva at Elements Fitness and Wellness Center, Nathan Martin of Capital Gyrotonic, Sebastian Plattenberg of GYROTONIC® Manhattan and Mariarosa Gugliemi, based in NY and Mexico City. Francesca holds advanced certification on GYROTONIC® applications for Osteopathy, GYROTONIC® therapeutic applications for Osteoporosis, and GYROTONER® specialized equipment. Francesca teaches GYROKINESIS® workshops to company members at Synetic Theater in Crystal City, to professional dancers in the Washington DC area and at Dance and Theater Festivals Internationally. She is currently teaching GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® exercise classes, private sessions and workshops at Elements Fitness and Wellness Center in Glover Park, DC, The Pilates Room in McLean, VA. and the Joy of Motion Dance Center, DC.
STC: Cornwall's man/ensemble in King Lear. NYC: OFF Broadway: The Butcher at The Players Theater.
Regional: Arena Stage: Mother Courage and Her Children, Shakespeare Theater: Measure for Measure, Synetic Theater: Three Musketeers, The Tempest, Don Quixote, Dracula, Faust,Frankenstein, Macbeth, Host and Guest,Master and Margareta, A Christmas Carol (co-director). Synetic Theatre at Rustaveli Theater in Tbilisi, Georgia: Host and Guest and King Lear; Studio Theatre, Gala Hispanic Theatre(Audience Choice Award nomination), Catalyst, Sharna Fabiano Tango company, baredances, Richmond Shakespeare festival.
International: The National Theatre Bucharest , Romania, Radu Stanca Theatre, Sibiu, Romania, IFHETI festival , Seoul , South Korea.
Film: Double Ecstasy , Romania, Plita &Ciclu(Co-producer), Her Tango (Starring, Co-producer)
TV: Alias, The Conspiracist, Gwendolyn Dangerous.
Training: University of Theatre and Film, Bucharest, Romania.
Jonathan Rushbrook (Resident Set Designer) is a British transplant who graduated from the George Washington University’s MFA Production Design program where he focused his efforts on set design and lighting. Jonathan’s passion for theatre was ignited at nine years of age when he acted in his first show. Over the years he became fascinated with the technical and design aspects of theatre production. In 2004 he was awarded a BA in drama and film studies from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, and in 2007 he completed a post-graduate teaching certificate at Middlesex University in London focusing on drama and dance education to middle and high school students. During his time at GWU he designed several main stage productions for their Theatre and Dance Department as well as local theatre companies including the Washington Stage Guild, the Olney Theatre, and the American Ensemble. His efforts culminated with his thesis production of Jane Austen’s Emma as adapted by Michael Bloom. Jonathan spends much of his time working within the events business focusing on design and production but still enjoys working closely with Ambassador Theater. This will be his second season with Ambassador Theater and he is looking forward to many more to come.
Eliza Anna Falk
Eliza Anna Falk ( Literary Director) joined the Ambassador Theatre in early 2013 as a Creative and Editorial Consultant, in time to contribute to the success of the Literary Café event at the Embassy of Austria. Soon after she assumed the role of a Literary Associate Director and provides literary support to the theater’s productions, working with the Artistic Director on research and plays’ development. Her contributions include essays and articles; press releases, play bills and programs, aticc.org blog entries, as well as editorial work and occasional translations i.e. poems by Ireneusz Iredynski. Eliza’s passion for theatre and writing is also being realized through her work as a writer/reviewer for DC Metro Theatre Arts, covering plays, musicals and concerts. Graduate of Warsaw and Sydney Universities, she holds a Bachelor of Social Work and Policy and an M.A. in British Film and TV. She is also a CELTA (Cambridge) qualified teacher of English. Her past employment encompasses work for the Australian federal government, including diplomatic postings to Moscow and Warsaw, teaching English, and interior design and styling projects. Eliza is an avid theatre and film goer and lover of arts and travel. Past resident of Warsaw, London, Moscow, Paris and Sydney, she is thrilled to be able to experience life in cosmopolitan DC and collaborate with its vibrant theatre scene.
One and one not always equals two. The couple and its complicated arithmetic through three stories where characters want to be happy but they don´t know how. When you get stood up, when you wake up beside a stranger, when after thirty years you don´t know what to speak about. The loneliness of sleeping alone and of sleeping with someone.
About the Author
Cristina Colmena, writer and playwright born in Spain, has lived in New York since 2010. She has published a book of short stories, La amabilidad de los extraños (The Kindness of Strangers), and several of her short stories have appeared in literary magazines. Her plays, Typing and Happily Ever After, were included in the New Plays from Spain series as part of the PEN World Voices Festival 2013. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Audiovisual Communication and Journalism and has worked as a director and screenwriter for television. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing in Spanish from New York University, where she is currently pursuing a PhD in Spanish and Portuguese Literature. She is also a contributor of articles and film reviews for various publications.