Round 7

Extraordinary Potential:

MAGGIE LACEY, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, OH

Maggie will become a "songcatcher" as she explores storytelling through music and researches what and why we sing. She will improve and develop her voice and guitar skills, as well as her knowledge of the American story as told through its songs. Lacey will travel the country in pursuit of those traditions that go beyond the spoken word (such as “hollerin”), experiment with how they might intersect with her work as an actor and teller of stories, and use that knowledge to create an alternative kind of cabaret. She will combine this endeavor with community outreach by bringing her work to hospice patients and others who are unable to attend theatre. Lacey has acted on Broadway in Our Town, Inherit the Wind and Dividing the Estate. Off-Broadway and regionally she has worked with Signature Theatre, Roundabout, Manhattan Theatre Club, Theatre for a New Audience, Arena Stage, and Hartford Stage, among others. She received her MFA from the Graduate Acting Program at NYU.

Distinguished Achievement:

NORA COLE, Geva Theatre Center, Rochester, NY

Nora will research, write and mount her third solo show based on a collection of 50 letters and postcards written by her uncle, Lieutenant Robert Lawery to her aunt, Katherine Louise Cole during WWII. She will develop a physical and vocal regimen to sustain the demands of principle and solo performing by training in Pilates, yoga, Tai Chi and private voice study at the Manhattan School of Music. Highlights of her 34 years as a performer include 15 years with Vinnette Carroll: Your Arms Too Short To Box With God (B'Way), Medea (title role), multiple productions with George C. Wolfe: Jelly’s Last Jam and On the Town (B'Way) and Caroline of Change at the Royal National Theatre, her work with Rinde Eckert and David Schweizer in And God Created Great Whales and multiple engagements at fourteen regional theatres. Her other solo shows, Olivia’s Opus, an ode to adolescence and Voices of the Spirits in my Soul, based on her family slave history comprise a trilogy that reflects her roots and experiences as a native of Louisville, Kentucky. She is the recipient of a Spencer Cherashore Individual Artist grant, Actors Theatre of Louisville Women in Music Award, Theatre of Renewal Award, a Hedgebrook alum and an Audelco, Joseph Jefferson and Connecticut Critics Circle nominee. Goodman School of Drama (BFA)


ANDRÉ DE SHIELDS, Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago, IL

André seeks to further develop his experimental methodology, The Golden Triangle and the 5W Stack/Inner Athlete System. De Shields will deepen this unique style of Griot Performance Art that combines rigorous physical exertion, discipline and contemplation through a new, original work, Confessions of a P.I.M.P. (Positive Individual Making Progress). De Shields will also mentor artists and young people in Victory’s Poets Conservatory and school programs. His career spans more than 40 years, gaining multiple Tony Award nominations, an OBIE for Sustained Excellence of Performance, two Joseph Jefferson Awards, eight AUDELCO Awards, two Black Theatre Alliance Awards, an Emmy Award and the National Black Theatre Festival Living Legend Award.

GODFREY L. SIMMONS, JR., Epic Theatre Ensemble, New York, NY

Godfrey will study with experts in voice and text to take on lead classical roles that require an actor to vocally and physically carry the show. Simmons will codify what he learns in a curricular plan for teaching classical voice and text at Epic Theatre Ensemble’s mentoring and training programs for high school students from disadvantaged communities. For nearly 25 years, Godfrey has had a range of experiences working as an actor-for-hire, a resident company member at regional and Off-Broadway theatres, and a teacher of acting. He has won an AUDELCO Award as Best Supporting Actor in Old Settler at Primary Stages and co-created Dispatches from (A)mended America. In addition to his 8 year association with Epic, Simmons has ongoing relationships with People’s Light and Theatre Company, Lark Play Development Center and is a Lifetime Member of Ensemble Studio Theatre.

BRUCE TURK, Hartford Stage, Hartford, CT

Bruce will investigate the comic thread which runs through French comedy from Molière to Feydeau and prepare an approach to performing these works. Turk will conduct dramaturgical studies with Stephen Wadsworth, receive vocal training with Kate Wilson, travel to London to train in neutral mask and clown and to Paris for intensive studies of Play, Clown and Melodrama at École Phillipe Gaulier. He will return frequently to Hartford Stage to conduct workshops and perform. Turk is a former resident member of Tadashi Suzuki’s Acting Company Mito in Japan and has worked extensively with Julie Taymor on productions of Titus Andronicus, Juan Darien, and The Green Bird, in which he starred in the title role. He has performed both On and Off Broadway and at major regional theatres across the country, including six seasons as a member of The Old Globe's Shakespeare Repertory. He has worked with such distinguished directors as Stephen Wadsworth, Michael Kahn, Paul Mullins, Ron Daniels, Adrian Noble and Darko Tresnjak.  


An advisory selection panel evaluated the applicants and made their recommendations. The panel included: Sandra Delgado, Fox Fellow, Goodman Theatre; Sara Garonzik, Producing Artistic Director, Philadelphia Theatre Company; Mark Rucker, Associate Artistic Director, American Conservatory Theater; and Ken Washington, Director of Company Development, Guthrie Theater.