About Us

Mario Pirovano

Mario Pirovano in Washington DC

IIC-colore-washingtonLearnShareChallengeGrow_andAmbassadorTheater_1038x576_featured

The Italian Cultural Institute

with the partnership of the

Ambassador Theater 

Present

Dario Fo and Mario PirovanoMARIO PIROVANO

an Italian actor, storyteller, translator and interpreter of Dario Fo’s monologues. His performances contribue to spread the Fo’s art in the world. Mario has been working closely with Dario Fo and Franca rame from 1983 to 2013. He performed the one-man shows of Mistero Buffo, Johan Padan a la Descoverta de le Americhe, Lu Santo Jullare Françesco, Vorrei morire anche stasera se dovessi sapere che non è servito a niente, and Ruzzante in Italy, Belgium, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Sweden, Norway, Australia, China, Palestine, Pakistan, Ethipia, Kenia, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Canada and the United States.  … I found him exceptional. Above all he didn’t take me off, he didn’t mimic me. He showed a vitality that was all his own, and the energetic inventiveness of a great story-teller. Dario Fo 

in

Johan Padan and the Discovery of America (Johan Padan a la Descoverta de le Americhe)

By Dario Fo Translated by Mario Pirovano

Friday, Feb 26, 2016  7:00 PM 

At the Embassy of Italy, 3000 Whitehaven St NW, Washington, DC 20008

By Invitation only!

MASTER CLASS with MARIO PIROVANO

MONDAY, FEB 29 at 7 PM

FLASHPOINT, 916 G Street, NW, Washinton DC 20001

FREE: REGISTER ONLINE Space is limited!

ABOUT DARIO FO

Dario Fo Dario Fo, an Italian actor-author, can claim to be the most frequently performed living playwright in the world. Born on Lake Maggiore in northern Italy in 1926, he made his debut in theatre in 1952 and is still writing and performing. His work has gone through various phases, always in company with his actress wife Franca Rame. His stage career began with political cabaret, moved on to one-act farces, and then to satirical comedies in his so-called ‘bourgeois phase’ in the early 1960s when he became a celebrated figure on TV and in Italy’s major theatres. In 1968, he broke with conventional theatre to set up a co operative dedicated to producing politically committed work in what were then known as ‘alternative venues’. His best known work, including Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Mistero Buffo and Trumpets and Raspberries, dates from this period. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1997, and in the official citation the Swedish Royal Academy stated that he had ‘emulated the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden.’

Johan Padan and the Discovery of America -Johan Padan a la Descoverta de le Americhe 

“Let us state clearly that is not the lamentable history of the massacres committed by the conquerors on the Indios. This is not the story of the usual losers. It is rather the epos of the victory of a population of Indios.

There are two fundamental types of chronicles of the discovery and conquest of America. On the one hand the stories written by the scribes following the conquerors. On the other, the tales of the coprotagonists who do not count, the “lastagonists”, from the dirty ranks, who come to tell their adventures having lived very close, even often right in the middle of the conquered, as prisoners…and even slaves!

Johan Padan is one of these unlucky adventurers, a gallows-bird of the fifteenth century, who has found himself right in the middle of thee discovery of America.

Johan Padan is a real figure, maybe his name is not exactly Johan Padan, but his actions are real: indeed they come from dozens of true stories told by the very men who lived them, the extras from the rank-and-file coming from all countries of Europe. All desperate people who do not count for anything in the official history of the discovery, but who arrived in the Indies, came in contact with the local people and found that they could count for something, or even a lot!

Johan Padan, a man from the mountains, does not like to sail but is compelled in spite of himself to make the great voyage. He is kidnapped by cannibals who fatten him up with the intention of eating him. He is saved by a stroke of luck and he becomes shaman, chief-wizard, doctor and is called “son of the rising sun”. He ha also compelled to teach the stories of the Gospels to thousands of Indios. Apocryphal Gospel of course.

The simple seamen, the ranks of little worth who switched sides with the conquered were many more than we used to think. And we must be clear: they did not content themselves with surviving, but they worked as strategists and military trainers so that the Indios could resist for a period of time against the invasion of the Christians.

We know the names of some of them, the best known are: Guerrero, Altavilla, Cabeza de Vaca. Hans Staden. 

But today we offer the extraordinary chance to know in person and from his own voice the tale of the most renowned of all the renegade foot soldiers: Johan Padan, ‘son of the rising sun’." Dario Fo

INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL CENTER AND ITS PROGRAMS

Ambassadors of International Culture

The District of Columbia is unique among American communities in its great concentration of embassies and international dignitaries. Despite only being a few miles away from these great resources, many students within and around the District of Columbia have little knowledge of the world outside their neighborhoods. Through the Ambassador of International Culture program, we hope to make these resources more accessible to urban students and enrich the students through interaction with persons of different cultures.

Under the program, the Center forms a close relationship with one of the District of Columbia’s many embassies, both to help tailor the interactive learning program to the selected culture, and to provide students with a hands-on opportunity to interact with persons from that culture. Working together, the Center and the embassies can create an environment that allows for students to gain a greater cultural understanding than through either resource alone.

For instance, as a result of 2007/2008 embassy adoption program with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, the students in the program had the opportunity to travel to Poland to give a performance at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw at the special invitation of the First Lady of Poland, Mrs. Maria Kaczyńska. This program gave the students an opportunity to exchange ideas, not only amongst themselves and with instructors, but also with persons who are members of the culture that the students were studying at a given time, and provided for further cultural enrichment of the students by immersion in Polish culture through the duration of the trip.

Interactive Learning Method of Teaching

Each year, we will explore a different international culture. The Center will promote the culture and help the students learn through two interconnected programs – the Interactive Learning Method and the Embassy Adoption program. The scope of the interactive learning is not limited to theater and drama.
We will provide a special educational program of interactive learning that is specially designed to help teachers and students better comprehend cultural artistic compositions and find the joy in discovering new customs through art, music, dance, song, crafts, cooking, theater games, and performance.

The Center is devoted to working with young students to increase their social skills, reading comprehension, movement, and speaking skills. In addition, we also incorporate more traditional teaching techniques, such as lectures, reading, and demonstrations.

 ATICC EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS:

Ambassador Theater Studio Classes

Ambassador Theater offers studio classes exploring international literature and drama through movement,voice and  improvisation. Through Ambassador Theater’s unique international cultural exchange, the students have the opportunities to experience Art and Drama in both enriching and innovative ways, sure to inspire both individual and collaborative growth in years beyond.  Classes, taught by highly experienced professionals from all over the world, are available for three age groups: Globetrotters (4-6 years old), Voyagers (7-9 years old), and Explorers (10 and up).  

Ambassadors of International Culture Outreach Programs

Ambassadors of International Culture is an interactive educational program, which exposes students to a variety of cultures through theater. The Ambassador Theater brings resources from local embassies to help provide students with enrichment activities, allowing them to become well-educated global citizens and interact with international leaders of today.  Showcased in their artwork, theater games and performance, this program connects to the students’ studies in school, improving their overall academic performance, reading and comprehension skills, and concentration and memorization ability.

Summer Theater Production Camps

Ambassador Theater offers two different summer camps, both of which use international literature as a platform for artistic creation and performance.  Both camps provide a well-rounded production experience from a multicultural standpoint, ending with a showcase. Through both individual work and teamwork the students will open their minds to endless possibilities.  Professional instructors guide them through scene work, theater games, and activities in projection and movement. Children ages 4-13 will enjoy a two week camp at the George Washington Masonic Memorial Theater in Alexandria, Virginia, and teens ages 12 and up a will experience mounting a three week full scale production at the Source Theater, in Washington, DC.

Special Workshops and Educational Lectures:

  • Play-reading Workshops: Ambassador Theater’s play-reading workshops offer the opportunity to discover plays from all over the world and tap into the various cultures within them.  Through these readings, participants get the chance to collaborate with esteemed designers, directors, playwrights, and actors from all over the world and discuss the plays on a deep, thought-provoking level.
  • Workshops with International Guest Artists: Ambassador Theater’s Guest artist workshops offer exciting openings into the world of artists and scholars from all over the globe. Experts in their fields, the topics of these workshops range, including a variety of different styles in acting, play-writing, directing, and production. Using lectures and question and answer settings, participants will learn the specific style of the speaker and relate that knowledge into their own work and beyond.

Internship Program

Ambassador Theater International Cultural Center is offering special internship programs for talented students to provide the students opportunities to learn more about the workings of the theater in many areas:

  • Production and House Management
  • Technical Support in the Set Construction, Costumes, Props, Lights and Stage Managment
  • Marketing and Development
  • Acting Internships

 

LearnShareChallengeGrow_andAmbassadorTheater_1038x576_featured

Our Mission

ATICC's mission is to build international cultural awareness, provide a high standard of repertoire based on close relations with the diplomatic and cultural representatives of different countries in the United States, and develop interactive educational programs for the youth of the District of Columbia, DC Metro area, and around the US.

Ambassador Theater is committed to raising cultural awareness and opening a cultural dialogue on the international level.  "I was at a loss at how to make it a reality, however.  A tying together of people from all across the world is no easy task. After all, there are over six billion people in the world today.  But as I learned, sometimes all you need is one. Standing at about three feet high was my impetus for ATICC: my four year old student, Thomas. One day, following an acting lesson, Thomas overheard me discuss my dreams with his parents, and began fiddling with his pockets. Pulling at the side of my skirt, he looked up at me and said, “I want you to start a theater,” and held out a single, crumpled one dollar bill in the palm of his hand. Thomas became our first official supporter, but it was not that dollar that meant so much, it was something much more profound and timeless that this young boy demonstrated that day:  passion.” Hanna Bondarewska

Ambassador Theater  International Cultural Center (ATICC) was founded in December 2007 by Hanna Bondarewska, a Polish-American actress and director and it was incorporated January 22, 2008 in Washington DC as a non-profit organization 501 (c) 3 to serve the DC Metro community as international cultural center divided into two major components: Ambassador Theater with all its theater productions, staged readings and bare-bone productions and International Cultural Center with all educational programs, lectures, play-reading workshops and special events.

ATICC  aims to create stimulating center that inspires dialogue between individuals and cultures. We feel that living in one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country gives us a unique resource and opportunity to explore theater from around the world.  We want to create theater that reflects this multicultural richness, giving voice to people who have not traditionally been represented on the American stage.  We feel that producing work from across the globe makes for richer, more interesting art and makes those involved – whether as artists or audience members – richer citizens of the world, as well.

A bit of a look at historical facts:

ATICC's first endeavor was to create the Ambassadors of International Culture program, which provides in-school, curriculum-based drama instruction to elementary school students. With the partnership of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, the Washington Performing Arts Society, the Embassy Adoption Program and DC Public Schools, Ambassador Theater taught students at Anne Beers Elementary School in Washington D.C. about Polish history and culture using a variety of performing and visual arts techniques.

The program culminated in the creation and performance of an original play based on the material the students had learned called “Poland the Beautiful: An Imaginary Flight.”  This play was performed by students at their school, at the Embassy of Poland, and at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw and Krakow during a twelve-day trip to Poland.

2009 was a year of exciting expansion for Ambassador Theater. The company launched both its Main Stage and Bare-Bones series. Full productions included “Out at Sea” by Sławomir Mrożek, directed and designed by Hanna Bondarewska and “Hopa Tropa!” conceived and directed by Lilia Slavova.  “Hopa Tropa! was selected to be performed as part of the 2009 Kids Euro Festival at the Kennedy Performing Arts Center, the Shakespeare Theater, the Embassy of France and Arc Theater in Washington DC. Our Bare-Bones productions included Forefathers, Part II by the “Bard of the Polish stage,” Adam Mickiewicz, and “Farewell to Arden: Last Toast of Madame Helena,” an adaptation of Émigré Queen by Kazimierz Braun.

Ambassador Theater kicked off 2010 by inaugurating our New Work in Development series with “Not My Label: A Journey of Discovery” by the writer known as Rula.  This one-woman show not only gave Ambassador Theater the opportunity to support the creation of a new work, but also to share the perspective of an Arabian women, a perspective that is not frequently heard in American theater. Our first Main Stage show of 2010, Summer at Nohant” focused on the tumultuous relationship between French writer Georges Sand and Frederic Chopin, in recognition of the 200th anniversary of the Polish composer’s birth. This production was said to have demonstrated Ambassador Theater’s “skill and enthusiasm” by DC Theater Scene.  Two Bare-Bones shows followed: “The Country House by Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz, celebrating the 125th anniversary of the famous Polish playwright’s birth and An Evening with Maurice Maeterlinck: The Death of Tintagiles and The Miracle of Saint Anthony”. Our last show of the year, “The Little Prince was enthusiastically received by critics and audience members alike.

In January 2011, we opened a production “Under the Shadow of Wings, which was a double bill” “The Death of Tintagiles” by Maurice Maeterlinck from Belgium and “Karna and Kunti by Rabindranath Tagore from India.  This production brought a lot of attention from the media and opened up and developed our partnerships with the Embassy of Belgium and Embassy of India as well with the cultural representatives and scholars—specialists in Indian and Belgian theater.  In addition to the show, we celebrated the 150th Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore’s Birth at the Embassy of India. The Embassy of Belgium hosted our Opening reception celebrating 100th Anniversary of Nobel Prize Winner, Maurice Maeterlinck.

In March, ATICC opened The Literary Café at the Kosciuszko Foundation. Our first meeting of the cafe celebrated International Women’s Day with an Evening of Poetry and Music, "A Woman's Sigh." The Literary Café was a great success and subsequent meetings in May and June were “Love Explained all to me” as well as Miłosz and His Life Travels, celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Nobel Prize Winner, Czesław Miłosz.

As part of our New Work Series, we produced a special stage reading of a new musical, Called Up To Lifeby local writer, Art Levine, blending the sounds of klezmer and Yiddish theatre with Hasidic storytelling.

This summer we offered two youth theater camps as part of our program, Ambassadors of International Culture. In July, we explored the Ancient Culture of Egypt at Source. The kids participated in all aspects of theatre production, from acting games to creating costumes, and the camp ended with a wonderful performance of “The Life of Hatshepsut” on Source’s main stage. The second camp was in the Dupont Circle Historic District at the Kosciuszko Foundation exploring the Polish Culture through poetry and art. The kids’ final presentation included the poems and songs performed for their families.

Development of the ATICC structure

Another way in which Ambassador has been making strides is in the development of its infrastructure.  In addition to the partnerships and friendships with the embassies of Poland, Bulgaria, France, Belgium, Egypt, India and China, the theater has established new partnerships with the Kosciuszko Foundation, Cultural Development Corporation, Institute for Education, Gallery Beau SeJour, Hoffman Boston Elementary School and Alliance Française of Washington, D.C.   We have increased a number of our Honorary Board and Literary Advisory Board to help us to rich out to broader audience and gain more ATICC's supporters.  We have opened up a Literary Cafe at the Kosciuszko Foundation with the evenings of poetry and music, staged readings, lectures and cabaret shows.

Ambassador launched its Dream Maker Campaign in response to receiving a challenge grant from Mercator XXI.  Finally,  Ambassador received notice this year that it will become Helen Hayes Awards–eligible beginning in January 2011.  This recognizes the completion of its second year as a fully operational professional theater company serving the Washington, D.C. area.

ATICC Summer Camps

Summer Theater Production Camps

Ambassador Theater offers two different summer theater production camps, both of which use international literature as a platform for artistic creation and performance.  Both camps provide a well-rounded production experience from a multicultural standpoint, ending with a showcase. Through both individual work and teamwork the students will open their minds to endless possibilities.  Professional instructors guide them through scene work, theater games, and activities in projection and movement. The students will design their own costume and prop pieces and learn about all technical aspects of the theater production including creating posters and playbills for their performances.

Children ages 4-13 will enjoy a two week camp at the George Washington Masonic Memorial Theater in Alexandria, Virginia, and teens ages 12 and up a will experience mounting a three week full scale production at the Source Theater, in Washington, DC.

REGISTER ON LINE

Support

Ambassador Theater Membership Levels

Become a member of ATICC’s Support group. We are able to fulfill our mission only through
the generosity of people like you. All benefits are per season

Yes, I would like to invest in the Ambassador Theater and its programs and be informed about future events: ATICC accepts online donations through justgive.org please include your contact info so we can stay in touch!

Diplomat $100

Recognition: program & website

Minister $500

Recognition: program & website
1 ticket to any event/opening
performance

Consul $1,000

Recognition: program & website
2 tickets to events/opening performances
Annual Gala Invitation

Cultural Attaché $5,000

Recognition: program & website
3 tickets to events/opening performances
Annual Gala Invitation for two
Backstage Pass for a Show: Includes
Reception with actors

Deputy Chief of Mission $10,000

Recognition in program and on our
website for the season
4 tickets to events/opening performances
in that season
Annual Gala Invitation for four
Backstage Pass for a show: Includes
Reception with actors

Charge d’Affair $15,000

Recognition: program & website
6 tickets to events/opening performances
Annual Gala invitation for six
Backstage Pass for 2 Shows: Includes
Reception with actors

Ambassador $20,000+

Recognition: program & website
8 tickets to events/performances
Annual Gala invitation for eight
Backstage Pass for all Shows: Includes
Reception with actors
Meet the Artist/Playwright/Star

The Ambassador Theater’s mission is to build international cultural awareness, provide a high standard of international repertoire based on close relations with the diplomatic and cultural representatives of different countries in the United States, and provide international interactive educational programs for the youth of the District of Columbia, the D.C. Metro area, and around the United States.

Thank you for your support!

The Ambassador Theater International Cultural Center is tax-exempt nonprofit organization qualified to receive tax-deductibleContributions under Section 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code Tax ID: 26-1904229

Leadership & Staff

Honorary Board

Mrs. Joan Ashe
Wife of the former US Ambassador to Poland

The Honorable Esther Coopersmith

Her Excellency
Anna Niewiadomska
the Ambassador of Poland to Mexico

Ambassador Latchezar Petkov

Mrs. Boriana Puncheva-Petkova
TV, movie and theater director

Her Excellency
Elena Poptodorova
The Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria to the US

Mrs. Hanna Reiter
Wife of the former Ambassador of Poland to the US

Piotr Konowrocki
Polish Consul

Andreas Pawlitschek
Counselor (Cultural Affairs)
Director Austrian Cultural Forum Washington

Mrs. Suzi Shoukry 
Wife of the former Ambassador of Egypt

The Honorable Anthony Williams

Walter Zachariasiewicz

International Artistic Advisors

Dr. Kazimierz Braun
Dr. Marvin Carlson
Professor Daniel Gerould†
Halina Chrobak
Professor Mark Rudnicki
Professor David Willinger
Professor Andrzej Żurowski †

Board

Hanna Bondarewska
Christopher Caine
Sylvia Daneel
David Ekanem
Judyth Gilbert
Cecilia Larkin
Lilia Slavova
Wiesław Małachowski
Isabel Jasinowski
Magdalena Pinkowska

Company

Hanna Bondarewska
Founder and Artistic Director

Shawn Winslow Lyles
Assistant Artistic Director

Magda Pinkowska
Associate Artistic Director

Gail Humphries Mardirosian
Associate Director

Stephen Shetler
Associate Director

Eliza Anna Falk
 Literary Director

Zofia Gorka
Literary Associate

Michelle Taylor
Resident Stage Manager

Deborah Pawlik
Art Instructor

Lilia Slavova
Drama Instructor

Lukasz Pinkowski
Graphic Designer

Joseph Walls
Resident Lighting Designer

Sigridur Johannesdottir 
Resident Costume Designer

Jonathan Rushbrook
Resident Set Designer

Ivan Zizek
Company Member

Danielle Davy
Company Member

Peter Orvetti
Company Member

Moriah Whiteman
Company Member

Anders Hilton da Silva
House/Box Office Manager

from our FLICKR feed:

<p>Helena Paderewska (Presented by Hanna Bondarewska) was famous for various charities and very crucial in getting support for children.<br />
Photos by D. Mikołajczyk/MSZ</p>

Embassy of Poland Open House 2017-109

Helena Paderewska (Presented by Hanna Bondarewska) was famous for various charities and very crucial in getting support for children.
Photos by D. Mikołajczyk/MSZ

<p>Helena Paderewska (Hanna Bondarewska) enacted a special charity event to support Polish solders fighting and wounded during WWI. Here she interacted with the children, teaching them about some important facts about Poland and making all the gusts repeat few Polish phrases and facts in Polish, including the name of Polish candy, Krowki!<br />
Photos by D. Mikołajczyk/MSZ</p>

Embassy of Poland Open House 2017-103

Helena Paderewska (Hanna Bondarewska) enacted a special charity event to support Polish solders fighting and wounded during WWI. Here she interacted with the children, teaching them about some important facts about Poland and making all the gusts repeat few Polish phrases and facts in Polish, including the name of Polish candy, Krowki!
Photos by D. Mikołajczyk/MSZ

<p>Pola NEgri (Karin Rosnizeck) talks to Prince Kazimierz Lubomirski (Darren Marquardt)<br />
Photos by D. Mikołajczyk/MSZ</p>

Embassy of Poland Open House 2017-95

Pola NEgri (Karin Rosnizeck) talks to Prince Kazimierz Lubomirski (Darren Marquardt)
Photos by D. Mikołajczyk/MSZ

<p>Family photo of the embassy staff with the actors, all in the costumes from 1920s<br />
Photos by D. Mikołajczyk/MSZ</p>

Embassy of Poland Open House 2017-99

Family photo of the embassy staff with the actors, all in the costumes from 1920s
Photos by D. Mikołajczyk/MSZ

<p>Photos by D. Mikołajczyk/MSZ</p>

Embassy of Poland Open House 2017-41

Photos by D. Mikołajczyk/MSZ

<p>Photos by D. Mikołajczyk/MSZ</p>

Embassy of Poland Open House 2017-1

Photos by D. Mikołajczyk/MSZ

<p>Epilogue<br />
Cast: Peter Orvetti (Federal Agent), Hanna Bondarewska (Antonia), Darren Marquardt ( Giovanni), Mitch Irzniski (Luigi), Moriah Whiteman (Margherita)<br />
<br />
Photo by Valentin Radev</p>

VAL_4542

Epilogue
Cast: Peter Orvetti (Federal Agent), Hanna Bondarewska (Antonia), Darren Marquardt ( Giovanni), Mitch Irzniski (Luigi), Moriah Whiteman (Margherita)

Photo by Valentin Radev

<p>Epilogue<br />
Cast: Peter Orvetti (Federal Agent), Hanna Bondarewska (Antonia), Darren Marquardt ( Giovanni), Mitch Irzniski (Luigi), Moriah Whiteman (Margherita)<br />
<br />
<br />
Photo by Valentin Radev</p>

VAL_4541

Epilogue
Cast: Peter Orvetti (Federal Agent), Hanna Bondarewska (Antonia), Darren Marquardt ( Giovanni), Mitch Irzniski (Luigi), Moriah Whiteman (Margherita)


Photo by Valentin Radev

<p>Peter Orvetti as Federal Agent got touched by Saint Eulalia's supper powers <br />
Darren Marquardt as Giovanni and Mitch Irzinski as Luigi<br />
<br />
Photo by Valentin Radev</p>

VAL_4525

Peter Orvetti as Federal Agent got touched by Saint Eulalia's supper powers
Darren Marquardt as Giovanni and Mitch Irzinski as Luigi

Photo by Valentin Radev

<p>Mitch Irzinski as Luigi, Moriah Whiteman As Margherita AND Hanna Bondarewska as Antonia IN &quot;They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay!&quot; BY Dario Fo</p>

VAL_4520

Mitch Irzinski as Luigi, Moriah Whiteman As Margherita AND Hanna Bondarewska as Antonia IN "They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay!" BY Dario Fo

<p>Darren Marquardt as Giovanni, Mitch Irzinski as Luigi, Moriah Whiteman as Margherita and Hanna Bondarewska as Antonia in &quot;They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay!&quot; BY Dario Fo</p>

VAL_4511

Darren Marquardt as Giovanni, Mitch Irzinski as Luigi, Moriah Whiteman as Margherita and Hanna Bondarewska as Antonia in "They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay!" BY Dario Fo

<p>Darren Marquardt as Giovanni, Mitch Irzinski as Luigi, in &quot;They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay!&quot; BY Dario Fo</p>

VAL_4496

Darren Marquardt as Giovanni, Mitch Irzinski as Luigi, in "They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay!" BY Dario Fo

<p>Moriah Whiteman as Margherita and Hanna Bondarewska as Antonia and Peter Orvetti as Federal Agent  in &quot;They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay!&quot; BY Dario Fo</p>

VAL_4493

Moriah Whiteman as Margherita and Hanna Bondarewska as Antonia and Peter Orvetti as Federal Agent in "They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay!" BY Dario Fo

<p>Hanna Bondarewska as Antonia and Moriah Whiteman as Margherita<br />
<br />
Photo by Valentin Radev</p>

VAL_4474

Hanna Bondarewska as Antonia and Moriah Whiteman as Margherita

Photo by Valentin Radev

<p>Hanna Bondarewska as Antonia and Moriah Whiteman as Margherita<br />
<br />
Photo by Valentin Radev</p>

VAL_4472

Hanna Bondarewska as Antonia and Moriah Whiteman as Margherita

Photo by Valentin Radev

<p>Hanna Bondarewska as Antonia and Moriah Whiteman as Margherita<br />
Saint Eulalia, Sacred One.......<br />
Photo by Valentin Radev</p>

VAL_4467

Hanna Bondarewska as Antonia and Moriah Whiteman as Margherita
Saint Eulalia, Sacred One.......
Photo by Valentin Radev

<p>Hanna Bondarewska as Antonia and Moriah Whiteman as Margherita<br />
...from all those roses, out pops a baby...ten months old and already talking: Daddy, daddy.....<br />
<br />
Photo by Valentin Radev</p>

VAL_4469

Hanna Bondarewska as Antonia and Moriah Whiteman as Margherita
...from all those roses, out pops a baby...ten months old and already talking: Daddy, daddy.....

Photo by Valentin Radev

<p>Moriah Whiteman as Margherita and Hanna Bondarewska as Antonia in &quot;They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay!&quot; BY Dario Fo<br />
...Give me a baby! Give me a baby!....</p>

VAL_4457

Moriah Whiteman as Margherita and Hanna Bondarewska as Antonia in "They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay!" BY Dario Fo
...Give me a baby! Give me a baby!....

<p>Hanna Bondarewska as Antonia in &quot;They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay!&quot; BY Dario Fo<br />
<br />
Photo by Valentin Radev</p>

VAL_4456

Hanna Bondarewska as Antonia in "They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay!" BY Dario Fo

Photo by Valentin Radev

<p>Hanna Bondarewska as Antonia in &quot;They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay!&quot; BY Dario Fo<br />
<br />
Photo by Valentin Radev</p>

VAL_4452

Hanna Bondarewska as Antonia in "They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay!" BY Dario Fo

Photo by Valentin Radev

Bios: Hanna Bondarewska

Founder, CEO, and Artistic Director

 

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 June2008, 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 games 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 Flight." 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 recent acting credits 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 "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 also teaches 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. She is also 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 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.

Ambassador Theater: International Cultural Center

Ambassador Theater International Cultural Center

ATICC's mission is to build international cultural awareness, provide a high standard of repertoire based on close relations with the diplomatic and cultural representatives of different countries in the United States, and develop interactive educational programs for the youth of the District of Columbia, DC Metro area, and around the US.

Summer-at-Nohant-for-Featured-thumbnailAmbassador Theater is committed to raising cultural awareness and opening a cultural dialogue on the international level.  "I was at a loss at how to make it a reality, however.  A tying together of people from all across the world is no easy task. After all, there are over six billion people in the world today.  But as I learned, sometimes all you need is one. Standing at about three feet high was my impetus for ATICC: my four year old student, Thomas. One day, following an acting lesson, Thomas overheard me discuss my dreams with his parents, and began fiddling with his pockets. Pulling at the side of my skirt, he looked up at me and said, “I want you to start a theater,” and held out a single, crumpled one dollar bill in the palm of his hand. Thomas became our first official supporter, but it was not that dollar that meant so much, it was something much more profound and timeless that this young boy demonstrated that day:  passion.” Hanna Bondarewska

Ambassador Theater  International Cultural Center (ATICC) was founded in December 2007 by Hanna Bondarewska, a Polish-American actress and director and it was incorporated January 22, 2008 in Washington DC as a non-profit organization 501 (c) 3 to serve the DC Metro community as international cultural center divided into two major components: Ambassador Theater with all its theater productions, staged readings and bare-bone productions and International Cultural Center with all educational programs, lectures, play-reading workshops and special events.

ATICC  aims to create stimulating center that inspires dialogue between individuals and cultures. We feel that living in one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country gives us a unique resource and opportunity to explore theater from around the world.  We want to create theater that reflects this multicultural richness, giving voice to people who have not traditionally been represented on the American stage.  We feel that producing work from across the globe makes for richer, more interesting art and makes those involved – whether as artists or audience members – richer citizens of the world, as well.

A bit of a look at historical facts:

ATICC's first endeavor was to create the Ambassadors of International Culture program, which provides in-school, curriculum-based drama instruction to elementary school students. With the partnership of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, the Washington Performing Arts Society, the Embassy Adoption Program and DC Public Schools, Ambassador Theater taught students at Anne Beers Elementary School in Washington D.C. about Polish history and culture using a variety of performing and visual arts techniques.

The program culminated in the creation and performance of an original play based on the material the students had learned called “Poland the Beautiful: An Imaginary Flight.”  This play was performed by students at their school, at the Embassy of Poland, and at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw and Krakow during a twelve-day trip to Poland.

2009 was a year of exciting expansion for Ambassador Theater. The company launched both its Main Stage and Bare-Bones series. Full productions included “Out at Sea” by Sławomir Mrożek, directed and designed by Hanna Bondarewska and “Hopa Tropa!” conceived and directed by Lilia Slavova.  “Hopa Tropa! was selected to be performed as part of the 2009 Kids Euro Festival at the Kennedy Performing Arts Center, the Shakespeare Theater, the Embassy of France and Arc Theater in Washington DC. Our Bare-Bones productions included Forefathers, Part II by the “Bard of the Polish stage,” Adam Mickiewicz, and “Farewell to Arden: Last Toast of Madame Helena,” an adaptation of Émigré Queen by Kazimierz Braun.

Ambassador Theater kicked off 2010 by inaugurating our New Work in Development series with “Not My Label: A Journey of Discovery” by the writer known as Rula.  This one-woman show not only gave Ambassador Theater the opportunity to support the creation of a new work, but also to share the perspective of an Arabian women, a perspective that is not frequently heard in American theater. Our first Main Stage show of 2010, Summer at Nohant” focused on the tumultuous relationship between French writer Georges Sand and Frederic Chopin, in recognition of the 200th anniversary of the Polish composer’s birth. This production was said to have demonstrated Ambassador Theater’s “skill and enthusiasm” by DC Theater Scene.  Two Bare-Bones shows followed: “The Country House by Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz, celebrating the 125th anniversary of the famous Polish playwright’s birth and An Evening with Maurice Maeterlinck: The Death of Tintagiles and The Miracle of Saint Anthony”. Our last show of the year, “The Little Prince was enthusiastically received by critics and audience members alike.

In January 2011, we opened a production “Under the Shadow of Wings, which was a double bill” “The Death of Tintagiles” by Maurice Maeterlinck from Belgium and “Karna and Kunti by Rabindranath Tagore from India.  This production brought a lot of attention from the media and opened up and developed our partnerships with the Embassy of Belgium and Embassy of India as well with the cultural representatives and scholars—specialists in Indian and Belgian theater.  In addition to the show, we celebrated the 150th Anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore’s Birth at the Embassy of India. The Embassy of Belgium hosted our Opening reception celebrating 100th Anniversary of Nobel Prize Winner, Maurice Maeterlinck.

In March, ATICC opened The Literary Café at the Kosciuszko Foundation. Our first meeting of the cafe celebrated International Women’s Day with an Evening of Poetry and Music, "A Woman's Sigh." The Literary Café was a great success and subsequent meetings in May and June were “Love Explained all to me” as well as Miłosz and His Life Travels, celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Nobel Prize Winner, Czesław Miłosz.

As part of our New Work Series, we produced a special stage reading of a new musical, Called Up To Lifeby local writer, Art Levine, blending the sounds of klezmer and Yiddish theatre with Hasidic storytelling.

This summer we offered two youth theater camps as part of our program, Ambassadors of International Culture. In July, we explored the Ancient Culture of Egypt at Source. The kids participated in all aspects of theatre production, from acting games to creating costumes, and the camp ended with a wonderful performance of “The Life of Hatshepsut” on Source’s main stage. The second camp was in the Dupont Circle Historic District at the Kosciuszko Foundation exploring the Polish Culture through poetry and art. The kids’ final presentation included the poems and songs performed for their families.

Development of the ATICC structure

Another way in which Ambassador has been making strides is in the development of its infrastructure.  In addition to the partnerships and friendships with the embassies of Poland, Bulgaria, France, Belgium, Egypt, India and China, the theater has established new partnerships with the Kosciuszko Foundation, Cultural Development Corporation, Institute for Education, Gallery Beau SeJour, Hoffman Boston Elementary School and Alliance Française of Washington, D.C.   We have increased a number of our Honorary Board and Literary Advisory Board to help us to reach out to broader audience and gain more ATICC's supporters.  We have opened up a Literary Cafe at the Kosciuszko Foundation with the evenings of poetry and music, staged readings, lectures and cabaret shows.

Ambassador launched its Dream Maker Campaign in response to receiving a challenge grant from Mercator XXI.  Finally,  Ambassador received notice this year that it will become Helen Hayes Awards–eligible beginning in January 2011.  This recognizes the completion of its second year as a fully operational professional theater company serving the Washington, D.C. area.