2016 Master Teacher: Jason Alexander
“I am honored and excited to explore with such wonderful artists a method of taking intellectual or instinctively creative ideas and bringing them alive physically to create character, interpretation and performance. The joy of an actor's life and craft is this exciting and never-ending exchange of ideas and experiences. I know I will be coming away from my time at Ten Chimneys as inspired and enriched as I hope my colleagues will, as well." Jason Alexander, 2016 Master Teacher
Our 2016 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Class focused on the physicalization of choice - the powerful collaboration of mind and body in building a performance.
About Jason Alexander
Jason Alexander is probably best known for his 9 year, award-winning stint as George Costanza on the hit TV series, Seinfeld. The Seinfeld show was recently voted the number one show in television series history, including Jason as one half of television's most beloved duo of George Costanza and Jerry Seinfeld. However, those who know him only as George will be surprised to learn of his extensive background as an actor, director, producer, and writer. Besides Seinfeld, his television credits include: Bob Patterson (prod./co-creator); Listen Up (prod.); the TV films of Bye Bye Birdie, The Man Who Saved Christmas, Cinderella, and A Christmas Carol; guest appearances on The Grinder, Community, Harry's Law, Criminal Minds, Friends, Monk, Star Trek-Voyager, Malcolm in the Middle, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Two and a Half Men and multiple episodes of the animated series Duckman, Aladdin, Dilbert, American Dad and Dinosaurs. His film credits include: Pretty Woman; White Palace; North; Dunston Checks In; Love, Valor, Compassion; Rocky and Bullwinkle; Ira annd Abby; Hachiko; Lucky Stiff and Wild Card.
Jason has starred on Broadway in the original companies of Merrily We Roll Along; The Rink; Broadway Bound; Accomplice; and Jerome Robbins' Broadway, for which he won the Tony, Outer Critics, and Drama Desk Awards as Best Actor in a Musical. He also authored the libretto of the show, which received the Tony Award for Best Musical. Jason also starred as Noah in the York Theater concert revival of the Richard Rodgers musical, Two By Two. And, most recently, he broke box office records when he starred in Larry David's Fish In The Dark.
On the L.A. stage, Jason has starred in Prisoner of Second Avenue; They're Playing Our Song; I Love My Wife; Give 'Em Hell; Harry; Defiled; the Los Angeles production of The Producers with Martin Short and the very first Reprise production, Promises, Promises. He went on to serve as the Artistic Director for Reprise for five years, producing over 30 full length musicals and events.
Jason has directed in every medium: Television (Franklin and Bash, Seinfeld, Everybody Hates Chris, Criminal Minds, Mike and Molly); Film (For Better or Worse and Just Looking) and Stage (The God of Hell at the Geffen; Sunday In The Park With George, Damn Yankees and The Fantasticks at Reprise and Broadway Bound at the Odyssey Theater). He has also directed the critically acclaimed stage revue: When You're In Love, The Whole World is Jewish, in Los Angeles, San Francisco and southern Florida. He directs the world premier production of Windfall, a new dark comedy for the Arkansas Rep in June of 2016.
Jason has performed around the country in his one man shows, The Donny Clay Experience and An Evening with Jason Alexander and His Hair - both of which have played extended runs in Las Vegas to great acclaim. He also has become a highly sought guest artist with orchestras across the country including playing Tanglewood and Carnegie Hall with the Boston Pops.
As an author, he penned the children's book, Dad, Are You the Tooth Fairy? He has won the title of Parlour Magician of the Year at the prestigious Magic Castle and he is a noted player in the celebrity poker circuit. He is also a respected teacher of acting and has taught at major universities and private studios around the country and the globe.
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 . In 2015 we welcomed Phylicia Rashad, who led the class in roles that were "against type" and differentiated from the characters they typically were cast in.