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.
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.
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.
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.
James Randle (Assistant Director, Attendant) is a DC-area actor and director, specializing in classical theatre. After studying at American University and the British American Drama Academy, he is delighted to join Ambassador Theatre Company for this groundbreaking piece.
Dr. Gail Humphries Mardirosian
Dr. Mardirosian (Associate Director) is an arts administrator, professor, and director focusing on the arts in the international arena. She is currently a professor at American University in Washington, DC, teaching in the Department of Performing Arts, the University College and the University Honors Program. At American, Dr. Mardirosian has received the Universityâ€™s Award for Outstanding Service, the College of Arts and Sciencesâ€™ Outstanding Teaching Award, and the Alpha Chi Omega Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Arts. She was recently elected into The College of Fellows of the American Theatre with investiture scheduled in spring 2013 at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.
As an arts administrator for over 25 years, she has consulted for multiple nonprofit arts and education organizations in California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC. Community service includes participation on panels and commissions for numerous local, regional and state funding organizations for the arts. With a particular interest in international forums that allow for meaningful and substantive artistic exchange and interaction, Dr. Mardirosian has taught and directed in multiple countries including Greece, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and the Czech Republic, where she was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. In spring 2012, for the second time, she toured a production to the St. Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy in Russia. She has also hosted State Department visits with administrators, artists and teachers from various countries including Bulgaria, China, Egypt, India, Israel, Korea, Pakistan, Romania and Serbia.
Directing credits comprise over 130 productions that range from serious drama, musicals, childrenâ€™s theatre, and the classics to new works. A directing project which began in the Czech Republic in 2009 continued in Washington, DC, at the University of New Hampshire and the Florida Holocaust Museum - VOICES OF TEREZIN, the arts as a strategy for survival. It is on-going with presentations that included the Czech- American Fulbright Celebration at Bohemia Hall in New York City in 2011 and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education National Conference, summer 2012. Dr. Mardirosian has chronicled the project in a chapter within a book recently published by Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group) entitled THE POWER OF WITNESSING: Reflections, Reverberations and Traces of the Holocaust. Other current projects include: writing a docudrama about the life of a survivor of the Holocaust (entitled AND SMILE WITH EYES STILL SMARTING); creating a tribute to Vaclav Havel, internationally acclaimed playwright and founder of the Czech human rights movement (sponsored by the Embassy of the Czech Republic); and hosting 5 Russian directors at American University (fall 2012), in conjunction with the prestigious Synetic Theatre, under the auspices of a grant awarded from the Open World Leadership Program of the Library of Congress.
Dr. Mardirosian is also the team leader for an arts integration research project entitled Imagination Quest (IQ), a collaborative effort between Imagination Stage and American University professors. The project has received funding for over a decade from foundations, corporations, school districts and national education agencies to investigate the potency of arts integration in the process of education. Her publications about the impact of the use of the arts across the curriculum for enhanced teacher effectiveness and increased student achievement have appeared in multiple journals including: The Chronicle of Higher Education, The International Journal of Teaching and Learning, Current Issues in Education and Teaching Artist Journal She is currently co-authoring a book entitled Arts Integration in Education: Teachers as Agents of Change.
Adam R. Adkins
Adam R. Adkins has been working in professional theater for nearly a decade and is excited to be working with ATICC again. He recently performed in R.U.X. (Rockwell Universal seXbots) for the DC Summer Fringe Festival, which won the Audience Award for Best Comedy. He has also performed in such shows as Into The Woods: In Concert (Nu Sass), Love Me: Why Everyone Hates Actors (DC Capital Fringe Festival 2011), and Capsmittment (Active Cultures Theater). He has also worked backstage on shows such as The Madman and the Nun & Under the Shadow of Wings (ATICC) , Gianni Schicchi (Georgetown Theater Company) and Cooking With The Calamari Sisters (Downstairs Cabaret Theater). He is currently involved in the Hope Operas and will soon be reprising his role as Gary in R.U.X. for the DC Capital Fall Fringe Festival. Make sure to visit www.adamradkins.com for more information on his upcoming projects.
Jen Grunfeld (Stage Manager) is a junior Theater Major at American University (AU), and is very excited to be working with ATICC on Trespassing. Recent productions include: Children of Eden (PSM) and FAME (PSM) at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in New Jersey. Past AU Department of Performing Arts shows in a stage management role include: Project Arts Open World Collaboration: Excerpts from the Good Doctor, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Tommy, and Measure for Measure.
Paul A. Oehlers
Paul A. Oehlers is most recognized for his “extraordinarily evocative” film scores. (Variety) Films incorporating his music have screened at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema, the Indiefest Film Festival of Chicago, and the Hamptons International Film Festival, where the film Paul scored, Most High, captured the Golden Starfish, the largest independent film award in the United States. The film has gone on to win the Grand Jury Prize at the Atlanta International Film Festival and the Prism Award for Outstanding DVD of the Year. Paul A. Oehlers’ compositions have been performed in the United States and abroad including performances at the Society for Electro-acoustic Music in the United States national conferences, the International Computer Music Conferences, the Gamper New Music Festival, the Seoul International Electroacoustic Music Festival, the Institut für Neue Musik und Musikerziehung in Darmstadt, Germany, and the VII Annual Brazilian Electronic Music Festival, as well as a 1987 command performance for former United States President Ronald Reagan. Paul was named the Margaret Lee Crofts Fellow by the MacDowell Colony for the year 2006. He is currently Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Audio Technology at American University in Washington, DC.