Sept. 21, 2006
Vol. 26 No. 1

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    Bogart, Egoyan to share their unconventional visions:
    Theater director, filmmaker next line up of Presidential Fellows in the Arts

    By Jennifer Carnig
    News Office

    Atom Egoyan

    Internationally celebrated filmmaker Atom Egoyan and artistic director and co-founder of the groundbreaking contemporary theater ensemble SITI Company Anne Bogart will open the 2006-2007 Presidential Fellows in the Arts Series.

    Egoyan, known for challenging audiences around the world with the films he directs, writes and produces, will screen and discuss one of his films on Thursday, Nov. 9, while Bogart, winner of two Obie Awards, a Bessie Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship and a Rockefeller fellowship, will present “The Role of a Theater Artist on the World Stage” on Monday, Nov. 20.

    Egoyan—Cairo-born, Canadian-bred and of Armenian descent—creates films that are uniquely personal, often exploring issues of grief, intimacy, displacement, and the impact of technology and media on modern life. His films, including “The Sweet Hereafter,” “Exotica” and “Where the Truth Lies,” have earned both critical acclaim and commercial success around the world.

    Egoyan is known for pushing boundaries and using film to tell complicated stories from a variety of nonlinear perspectives. Unafraid of controversy, he has been noted and lauded by critics for his comfort in making both big, commercially successful films, such as 1997’s Oscar-nominated “The Sweet Hereafter,” and smaller, personally gratifying films, such as 2002’s “Ararat,” a story that confronts the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Empire.

    The New York Times called Egoyan “one of the most distinctive members of the film industry,” and said he has “left an indelible imprint on audiences everywhere with his haunting, beautifully wrought work.”

    Creator of more than a dozen films, Egoyan is one of Canada’s most prominent filmmakers. He was immediately noticed when his debut feature, “Next of Kin” (1984), earned a Genie nomination—the Canadian Academy Award—for best director, and went on to earn Germany’s Mannheim International Film Week Gold Ducat Award. Egoyan has since earned 15 Genie Awards, in addition to several awards at Cannes, a number of Independent Spirit Awards and several honors from such film festivals as Toronto, Berlin, Venice and Moscow.

    “The Sweet Hereafter” (1997) became the most honored film at the 50th Cannes Film Festival, winning the Grand Jury Prize, the International Critics Prize and the Ecumenical Award for Humanist Filmmaking, and it garnered two Academy Award nominations.

    As much as Egoyan challenges audiences with films that break the Hollywood mold, Bogart challenges American audiences with her vision, as she puts it, of theater “both locally and internationally connected.” She founded SITI Company with Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki in 1992, with the aim of creating theater drawn from various performance traditions, including European, Latin American, Asian, African and American, be they commercial or more marginal. Some of her productions include “Intimations for Saxophone,” “Death and the Ploughman” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” A director, playwright, essayist and teacher, Bogart has earned a number of accolades, among them a Distinguished Career Award from the South East Theatre Conference, the Elliott Norton Award for Outstanding Direction and the designation of Modern Master by the Actors Theater of Louisville.

    Anne Bogart

    Hotel Cassiopeia at Court Theatre will be directed by Anne Bogart, co-founder of the SITI Company.

    Chair of the graduate directing program and professor of theater arts at Columbia University, Bogart is the author of a book of essays titled A Director Prepares: Seven Essays on Art and Theater. She is the co-author of The Viewpoints Book: A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and Composition with internationally renowned director and regular guest lecturer at the University Tina Landau. Bogart’s forthcoming work is called And Then You Act: Making Art in an Unpredictable World.

    She has taught at more than a dozen colleges, universities and theater groups, including New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Harvard University, Williams College and Playwrights Horizons. President of the Theatre Communications Group from 1990 to 1992, Bogart has served on the National Endowment for the Arts Overview Committee, the Opera Musical Theatre panel and the Fulbright Committee.

    While at the University, Egoyan will conduct a class with students in Cinema & Media Studies, while Bogart will offer interactive workshops for members of University Theater as well as students in Theater and Performance Studies. Bogart also will produce “Hotel Cassiopeia,” one of SITI’s most acclaimed productions, at the University’s Court Theatre. Beginning Sunday, Nov. 12, the production runs through Sunday, Dec. 10.

    Tickets go on sale Monday, Oct. 2 for both Egoyan’s and Bogart’s appearances. Cost per performance is $15 general, $5 students with valid ID. Tickets can be purchased by calling (773) 702-8080, e-mailing concert-office@uchicago.edu or visiting the box office at 5720 S. Woodlawn Ave., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. People with disabilities who believe they may need assistance may call (773) 702-8080 to make those arrangements.