Nigel Maister

Nigel Maister has been the Artistic Director of the UR International Theatre Program since 2002 (before that he was the Program's Associate Director). Born in South Africa, he has trained both as an actor and as a director (MFA, Carnegie Mellon University). Productions include King Lear, Hamlet,The Winter's Tale, Adding Machine: A Musical, Hello Again, Peter Handke's The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, his own adaptation of Gorki's The Lower Depths and Fo's Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Hedda Gabler, Miss Julie, The Threepenny Opera, the New York premiere of Manfred Karge's Conquest of the South Pole, the American premiere of his own translation (from the French) of Bernard Marie Koltè's Roberto Zucco (also Infernal Bridegroom Productions, dir. Troy Schulze), the world premieres of Andy Bragen's The Hairy Dutchman, W. David Hancock's The Puzzle Locker, Howard Marc Solomon's The Wildman, Ernesto Brosa's Towards Canaan, and his own Punch! (at the American Living Room Festival at Here, NYC). He has directed The Taming of the Shrew and A Lie of the Mind (both in Bulgarian) in Bulgaria, Kushner's A Bright Room Called Day in South Africa, and staged John Cage's Song Books for the ESM's "Ossia" new music ensemble, and Benedict Mason's AWS/Miller - The Fifth Music: Resume with C.P.E. Bach at Miller Theatre in NYC. He has acted in Europe, South Africa and the US, and studied clowning in the Czech Republic, Noh theatre with Noh Master, Akira Matsui, and puppetry at the National Puppetry Conference at the O'Neill (where he has also twice taught as a guest artist). He has worked with and/or assisted Peter Sellars, Giorgio Strehler, Richard Foreman, Christopher Alden, Tazewell Thompson, Theodora Skipitares and was the Assistant Director on the original NYTW production of Rent. For two seasons he was a staff director at Glimmerglass Opera, working on productions of Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites and Offenbach's Bluebeard. He is the recipient of a Drama League Directing Fellowship, The "Fleur du Cap" Theatre Award, the Steven Bochco Award, and the Van Staveren and WQED-Buhl Foundation fellowships. In addition he has designed numerous productions and composed music for The Conference of the Birds, Hamlet, Strindberg's The Ghost Sonata and Eliot's The Family Reunion, as well as for the ballet, The Swimming Hole. He is the author of four plays, three librettos, and a song cycle.  The world premiere of his piece for narrator/actor and music ensemble, Paper Trails (with music by Stefan Freund), was performed as part of John Adams's In Your Ear festival at Carnegie Hall's Zankel auditorium.  His adaptation of Robert Fagles's The Iliad received its world premiere at the University of Rochester in April 2000. His short fiction has been published by (amongst others) Penguin in Lynx - Contemporary South African Writing, and New Contrast: New South African Writing, Prism International, and Tongues: Contemporary World Literature. He is a founding member and resident theatre director of the new music group, Alarm Will Sound (with whom he has staged concerts at the Lincoln Center Festival, Carnegie Hall, the Holland Festival, NYC's River to River Festival, the Cork Opera House (Ireland), and NYC's Miller Theatre) and a New York Theatre Workshop, "Usual Suspect". Nigel is a also a sometime photographer, and a passionate collector of early 19th century, 20th century vernacular, and contemporary photography, some of which can be seen on his website: www.foundphotographs.com.

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