2015 Master Teacher: Phylicia Rashad
“In my experience, teaching and directing have one great thing in common: I never know what is going to happen until I am in the room with the people. But, one thing is certain: As surely as we hold the intention to explore the truth of human behavior, the results are astonishing." Phylicia Rashad, 2015 Master Teacher
The 2015 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Class focused on roles that were "against type" and allowed our ten Fellows to engage in parts that differentiate from the characters they typically play.
Master Teachers (2009-2015)
Every year, Ten Chimneys selects and collaborates with a Master Teacher for the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program — a luminary stage actor whose talent, generosity, ability to teach, and dedication to mentoring are deeply admired by stage actors and the entire theatre community. The Master Teacher for each year is a key collaborator in the program, working with Ten Chimneys staff to develop the curriculum, content, and focus of the artistic elements of the experience. During the first two years of the program, the top regional theatre actors in the U.S. spent the artistic portion of their Ten Chimneys immersion delving into Shakespeare — with the late actress Lynn Redgrave in 2009 and renowned Shakespearean Barry Edelstein in 2010. In 2011, they explored Chekhov with award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis, and in 2012, the Lunt-Fontanne Fellows focused on American Musical Theatre with Broadway legend Joel Grey. The 2013 program explored spontaneity on stage, and was led by American icon, Alan Alda, and in 2014 the Fellows studied works related to the Lunts' and their illustrious friends with award-winning actor David Hyde Pierce . We were thrilled to welcome Phylicia Rashad to this illustrious list.
About Phylicia Rashad
Ms. Phylicia Rashad became a household name for her portrayal of Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show, a character whose appeal has earned her accolades for over two decades. While TV was a catalyst in the rise of her career, she has been a constant force on the stage. Ms. Rashad received both the Drama Desk and the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her riveting performance as Lena Younger in the Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun. Her Broadway theatre credits include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (A role that she reprised on the London Stage), August Osage County, Cymbeline, Gem of the Ocean (Tony Award nomination), Jelly's Last Jam, Into the Woods, Dreamgirls, and The Wiz. Her off-Broadway theatre credits include Bernarda Alba, Helen, The Story, Everybody's Ruby, Puppet Play, Zooman and the Sign, Sons and Fathers of Sons, In an Upstate Motel, Weep Not for Me, The Great MacDaddy, The Duplex, and The Sirens. Ms. Rashad has received rave reviews for her directorial work, including Gem of the Ocean, A Raisin in the Sun, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, and Fences. Her film credits include Tyler Perry's Good Deeds, and Perry's highly acclaimed film version of Ntozake Shange's For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.
Respected in the academic world, Ms. Rashad was the first recipient of the Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre at Fordham University. She holds Honorary Doctorates from Fordham University, Carnegie Mellon University, Howard University, Providence College, Morris Brown College, Clark Atlanta University, Barber Scotia College, St. Augustine College, Brown University, and Spelman College. She has been awarded numerous honors including the 2015 BET Honors Theatrical Arts Award, Texas Medal of Arts, the National Council of Negro Women's Dorothy L. Height Dreammaker Award, AFTRA's AMEE Award for Excellence in Entertainment, the Board of Directors of New York Women in Film and Television's Muse Award for Outstanding Vision and Achievement, Dallas Women in Film Topaz Award, Peoples' Choice Awards, several NAACP Image Awards, and the Pan African Film Festival's Lifetime Achievement Award. Ms. Rashad serves on the Advisory Board of the PRASAD Project and the Board of Directors of True Colors Theatre, the Broadway Inspirational Voices, The Actors Center, the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University, and the ADEPT Center - which is steering the restoration of the historic Brainerd Institute.