Founder, CEO, and Artistic Director
Hanna Bondarewska is the Artistic Director and Founder of the Ambassador Theater and was recently seen in 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 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 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 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.
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 University’s Award for Outstanding Service, the College of Arts and Sciences’ 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, children’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.
Jerzy Sapieyevski is an award-winning composer, pianist, and innovator. He is the founder of NewCenturyMusic®and as artistic director, he brings some groundbreaking ideas to the concert stage and education.
A composer/pianist, (click to hear music samples) he presently performs concerts which unite diverse styles of music into one-of-a-kind creations drawn from the interaction with the audience. The distinctive voice of his compositions finds its inspiration from the American spirit of George Gershwin, innovation of Philip Glass and the spontaneity of improvisations by Keith Jarrett and Dave Brubeck.
Sapieyevski brings a new approach to piano performance blending jazz and classical styles into multi-layered "sound sculptures". The Art of Sound - the Sound of Artsm was a project devoted to the development of a new generation of multimedia events. Sapieyevski’s commissions and performances include the Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Carnegie Hall, and numerous radio and television programs. The score for the Shakespeare Theatre's Production of Richard III (with Stacy Keach) was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award.
In 2005 Jerzy Sapieyevski was decorated with the "Knight Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland". Sapieyevski was a featured panelist at DanceUSA National Roundtable and served as an advisor for the National Institute for Education and the Arts. He was also a guest lecturer on "Cultural Diplomacy" at the Foreign Service Institute and delivered very popular pre-concert talks at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. His new "Music – The Brain’s Software"®events serve the growing demand for music applications towards the enhancement of our thinking skills, emotional capacity and brain fitness.
Major performers of his classical compositions included: the Tokyo String Quartet, An die Musik, Manhattan String Quartet, American Wind Symphony and the Atlanta Symphony, among others.
Jerzy Sapieyevski began music and engineering studies in his native Poland and later completed his music degrees in the United States. Acknowledged in The Oxford Dictionary of Music, he is especially interested in creating interactive works that bring together various disciplines in live events - NewCenturyMusicClub. He appeared with the celebrated Polish actress, Anna Dymna, in her reading of poetry by the Nobel Prize Laureate, Czeslaw Milosz. "Aesop Suite" narrated by the renowned attorney Robert S. Bennett, explores the synergy between musical phrasing and gifted oratory. Sapieyevski created a multimedia event in which painters - in live performance - engaged in a visual and musical dialogue with the pianist.
His collaborations with painters Makoto Fujimura and Alexander Kaletski are examples of this innovative approach. A dynamic artistic experience "Painted Music" is an integrated arts offering for the 21st century and an uplifting journey into the new era. After a New York event, the Associated Press syndicated an article: "Can a painting create music? An experiment in painting and music pushes boundaries" and a leading science writer, James Trefil suggested that these types of explorations "are the lifeblood of art".
Sapieyevski’s versatile creative activities prompted the US Chamber of Commerce to choose his profile as one of the case studies, "Faces of IP" for a presentation in support of intellectual property protections. He is a voting member of The Recording Academy (Grammy®).
"NEW CENTURY MUSIC CLUB" - Piano compositions and arrangements, Katzen Center, Washington DC, 2012;
"POETRY BY CZESLAW MILOSZ" - Piano interludes for reading by Anna Dymna; Consulate General of Poland, New York, 2011;
"ARE YOU BLUE?" and "ARE YOU BLUE 2?" for Piano Solo, Katzen Center, Washington DC, 2010 (40');
"SOUND SCULPTURES" for Piano Solo and electronic sound, Katzen Center, Washington DC, 2010 (7');
"AESOP SUITE" for Piano Solo and Narrator, Robert S. Bennett, narrator, Katzen Center, Washington DC, 2008; Gdansk Shakespeare Festival, Poland, 2009 (25');
"VARIATIONS on a THEME by PADEREWSKI" for Piano Solo, Tribute to Gen. Edward Rowny, Senator Chuck Hagel - guest speaker, Embassy of Poland, Washington DC, 2007, (7');
"PAINTED MUSIC" for Piano Solo, Interactive Electronics and Painters, American University, Washington DC, 2006, (20'); Collaboration with painter Makoto Fujimura, Alaxander Kaletski, Dillon Gallery, N.Y., 2007 - 2009 (40')
"MUSIC for the RUNNING DRY PROJECT" Actress Jane Seymour and the Chronicle Group Event, Washington DC, 2007, (10');
"THE SOUND OF ART – THE ART OF SOUND" – Multimedia Event Composed and Directed by Jerzy Sapieyevski, Katzen Arts Center and Museum, American University, 2006 (45')
"MISTERIOSO" for Piano Solo, Katzen Center, American University, Washington DC, 2005, (15')
CONCERTO for PIANO solo and COMPUTER, Centralne Muzeum Morskie, Gdansk Poland; Music Club "Ucho" Gdynia, Poland, 2004 (40')
webORCHESTRA, symphony orchestra, soloists, and optional electronic part, American University 2001, University of Texas 2002, Lodz Philharmonic, Poland 2003, Lublin Philharmonic 2006, (14’)
webORCHESTRA I, commissioned by the American Youth Concert Orchestra, Fairfax Va., 2000 (10’)
CLIO's TRIUMPH, modern ballet score commissioned by the Washington Ballet, Kennedy Center, 1997 (30')
ILLUMINATA, modern ballet score commissioned by the Washington Ballet, choreography by Simon Dow, Kennedy Center, 1996 (30')
DAYDREAMS, electronic music for the National Building Museum, 1996, (40')
NEW CENTURY MUSIC, for electronic instruments, 1995, Dumbarton Concert , The Reston Community Center
ECHOES OF THE SPIRIT, for synthesizer and organ, The National Cathedral, Washington D.C., 1992, The Denver Cathedral, 1997; Grand Rapids, (Mich.) Cathedral, 1998 (35’)
DANCE OF THE PLANETS for Band/Orchestra and Synthesizer, The US Air Force Band, National Band Association Convention, Chicago, 1990, (17')
THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, incidental music, American University Theatre, 1990
SUITE FROM SONGS OF THE ROSE, for orchestra, The National Chamber Orchestra, 1990, (25')
RICHARD III (Stacy Keach), incidental music, The Shakespeare Theatre, 1990.
SCORES in PRINT (dealer link)
SONGS OF THE ROSE, (Bryn Mawr, Pa., T. Presser Co., 1994), Kennedy Center/WPAS Washington DC, 1988, The National Cathedral, 1992; The Gregg Smith Singers American Music Workshop, 1993, (10')
ARIOSO, for Trumpet and Woodwind Quintet (Bryn Mawr, Pa., T. Presser Co., 1990), commissioned by The International Trumpet Guild. Performed: ITG Conference, Dallas, Texas, 1988; Waterloo Music Festival, Princeton, Univ., 1990. Recorded on Crystal Records, 1993, (12')
MAZURKA for string quartet (Bryn Mawr, Pa., T. Presser Co., 1986) commissioned by the Library of Congress. Performed by Manhattan String Quartet in Moscow, 1986; Tokyo String Quartet on U.S./European tour, 1987; Soviet Emigre Orchestra, Vermont Festival and Australian tour, 1987; TV “CBS Sunday Morning", 1988, (10')
AESOP SUITE for Brass Quintet and Narrator (Bryn Mawr, Pa., T. Presser Co., 1984) commissioned by the Annapolis Music Society for Annapolis Brass Quintet and An die Musik Ensemble. Performed on American/European Tour, 1984. Recorded on Crystal Records, Belgian Radio, and Newport Classics - a Grammy® nominated album, (15')
TOADA IN MEMORY OF VILLA-LOBOS, for Clarinet and Piano (Bryn Mawr, Pa., T. Presser Co., 1982) commissioned by the Delmar Foundation for the Dumbarton Concert Series, (15')
SCHERZO DI CONCERTO for Wind Ensemble (Tokyo, Japan, OngakuNoTomo Sha, 1981),(5')
GAMES for Brass and Percussion (New York, C.F. Peters, 1981) American Wind Symphony Series commission, (10')
ARIA for Flute and Piano (Bryn Mawr, T. Presser Co., 1981) Performed by An die Musik, Kennedy Center, 1981 and as regular tour repertoire 1981 present, (11')
LOVE SONGS (to poems by Anne Lindbergh) for voice and piano (Bryn Mawr, T. Presser Co., 1979), The Philips Collection Series, Washington DC, (35')
MERCURY CONCERTO for Trumpet and Orchestra (New York, C. F. Peters Corp., 1978), Armando Ghitalla and AWSO. Recorded on AMCAM Records, and by Alex Jokipii on ALBANY Records(15')
TRIO FOR AN ITALIAN JOURNEY (Bryn Mawr, T. Presser Co., 1977), (17')
SUMMER OVERTURE for orchestra (Bryn Mawr, T. Presser Co., 1977), Virginia Youth Orchestra, (10')
ARIA for saxophone (Bryn Mawr, T. Presser Co., 1976), Miller Sigmon and Duke University Quartet, (11')
SCHERZO DI CONCERTO for Band (Bryn Mawr, T. Presser Co. 1976) University of Michigan Band, (5')
MORPHEUS for wind orchestra (New York, C.F. Peters Corp., 1975) American Wind Symphony Tours 1973-80. Recorded on AWSO Records, (8')
CONCERTO FOR VIOLA (Bryn Mawr, T. Presser Co., 1974), Raphael Hillyer and The Catholic University Ensemble, Philips Collection. Recorded on Crystal Records, (15') hayesconcert
To learn more: http://www.musichappens.com/contact/StaffBios/staffbios.htm
Jim Vincent (Stage Manager) Jim’s acting career began quite by accident, in 2007, when he expressed casual interest in ‘doing something like that’ one evening, during a corporate happy hour; after which, he was invited to an initial rehearsal for a local community theater production and offered the opportunity to join the cast – “Don’t worry,” he was assured, “since it’s your first production, you’ll just have a non-speaking role.” Upon arriving at rehearsal, however, he was handed a script; “Oh, do I need this?” he asked, “I was told I’d just have a non-speaking role.” To which, the Director replied, “There’ve been some changes…” And thus, Jim’s acting debut was as Sir Robert Brakenbury, in Shakespeare’s “Richard III”!
He recalls being hooked from the first night he walked out on stage!
Since then, Jim has embraced all aspects of live Theatre and immersed himself both on- and back-stage.
Jim is delighted to be working with the Ambassador Theater, International Cultural Center, and Director Gail Humphries-Mardirosian, as the Stage Manager for its upcoming production of “Protest;” a powerful drama written by the renowned Czech writer/dissident, Vaclav Havel.
Recently, Jim was the Stage Manager for ArtStream’s Arlington Inclusive Theatre Companies, in their productions of The Final Showdown, and Lights, Camera, Chaos!
He has also stage managed for; The Theatre Lab (TL) in Washington, DC; The American Century Theatre (ACT) in Arlington, Virginia; and Dominion Stage (DS), also in Arlington.
Jim has worked on the Production teams for; Psycho Beach Party (DS - Lighting Designer); Reefer Madness, The Musical (DS - Lighting Tech); Glorious! (DS - Lighting Tech); Goldilocks (Elden Street Players - Lighting Designer); and as Run Crew on many area productions.
When not working backstage, Jim is performing and was last seen on stage in the DS production of Best Little Whorehouse in Texas! (Mayor Rufus Pointdexter). Jim’s other roles have included: Mr. Potter in ESP’s production of It’s A Wonderful Life; and as mentioned above, Sir Robert Brakenbury in Richard III (Tapestry).
Jim would like to acknowledge and thank his good friend, Bob Pierce for his patience and the wisdom he so generously shared, in addition to the professionalism he imparted as he helped Jim ‘learn the ropes’ in live theatre Stage Management.