Category: Theater

Blanka Zizka's Acceptance Speech for the Zelda Fichandler Award, Oct. 24, 2011

Posted October 26, 2011 - 2:08pm

I’m extremely honored, thrilled and humbled to receive the Zelda Fichandler Award and to find myself in the company of these distinguished finalists: Richard Garner, producing artistic director and co-founder of Georgia Shakespeare in Atlanta; Joseph Haj, artistic director of PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, NC; and D. Lynn Meyers, producing artistic director of Ensemble Theatre in Cincinnati, as well as my good friend Howard Shalwitz of Washington DC's Woolly Mammoth Theatre. I’m very grateful to be in their company.

In 1950, Zelda Fichandler left New York City for Washington, D.C, founded Arena Stage, and started the remarkable regional theatre movement that has grown into a myriad of voices, artistic missions and aesthetics that is exemplified in Philadelphia, the city where I have been working for over thirty years. Today, Philadelphia is experiencing an unprecedented birthing of small theaters. The artistic fermentation of new projects and the enterprising spirit of small companies – these are very exciting realities not only in Philadelphia, but across the United States.  I’m curious to find out if these energies can be sustained and if there is enough support for growth, learning, and maturing, so that these companies can grow and become extraordinary at their craft and yet not lose their initial idealism, energy, originality, and need to share ideas through art.

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Giving Thanks to the Wilma

Posted November 24, 2010 - 12:47pm

I love meeting new people. While other individuals may shy away from the getting-to-know-you dribble, I excitedly anticipate being asked what I do. I’m smitten with my Fellowship and, if nothing else, working at a professional theater, and in addition, living in actor housing, is always a great conversation piece. As it is Thanksgiving, I thought I’d take this opportunity to brainstorm what I’m most thankful for in relation to the Wilma, from the more material to lofty:

1. Comps and discounts to artistic productions inside and outside of the city.

2. Opening and closing nights – revelry in the wake of our collective artistic achievement!

3. Access to a library of stimulating literary, photographic, and artistic materials and individuals whose job it is to help you research and explain these resources to you.

4. Becoming a part of Philadelphia’s artistic community.  

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