Ten Chimneys Foundation: Announces 2016 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship class

GENESEE DEPOT, WI – Ten Chimneys Foundation has announced Jason Alexander will serve as the Master Teacher for the 2016 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program, a national program to serve the future of American theatre.

June 19-26, ten of the nation’s top regional theatre actors will join Mr. Alexander for an intensive, weeklong master class and immersion experience at Ten Chimneys, the National Historic Landmark estate of theatre legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne in Genesee Depot, Wisconsin.

The following are the ten actors who have been selected as the 2016 Lunt-Fontanne Fellows, with their nominating theatres:

* MARK ANDERS – Arizona Theatre Company (Phoenix, AZ)

* ANDREW BENATOR – Alliance Theatre (Atlanta, GA)

* DONALD CARRIER – Cleveland Play House (Cleveland, OH)

* CHIKÉ JOHNSON – Milwaukee Repertory Theater (Milwaukee, WI)

* BETH LEAVEL – Paper Mill Playhouse (Millburn, NJ)

* ELIZABETH LEDO – Chicago Shakespeare Theater (Chicago, IL)

* SHARON LOCKWOOD – American Conservatory Theater (San Francisco, CA)

* STEVE PICKERING – Goodman Theatre (Chicago, IL)

* BOBBIE STEINBACH – Huntington Theatre Company (Boston, MA)

* SYLVIA M’LAFI THOMPSON – The Old Globe (San Diego, CA)

Our 2016 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Class will focus on the physicalization of choice – the powerful collaboration of mind and body in building a performance.

“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

Since its inception in 2009, the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program, conceived and executed by Ten Chimneys Foundation, has brought the nation’s top regional theatre actors to Ten Chimneys to work with a world renowned Master Teacher. Past Master Teachers include Lynn Redgrave, Barry Edelstein, Olympia Dukakis, Joel Grey, Alan Alda, David Hyde Pierce, and Phylicia Rashad. Through this groundbreaking national program, the top actors in the country are given a rare and deeply needed opportunity to grow artistically, renew their passion for their art form, deepen their commitment to mentorship, and form a national community of Lunt-Fontanne Fellows.

“The Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program continues to be the preeminent program for our country’s top regional theatre actors; the celebrated mentors of their communities. Ten Chimneys Foundation is fortunate to have a history of prominent Master Teachers truly dedicated to the theatre community and to Ten Chimneys. This year is no exception. We’re honored to welcome Mr. Jason Alexander to our distinguished company of Master Teachers. We all know Jason was exceptional as George Costanza in Seinfeld. He’s highly regarded in the theatre community for not only his acting ability, but as a well-respected teacher. During his class at Ten Chimneys he will be guiding the actors through the collaboration of mind and body in building a character. We’re all looking forward to where this will lead the actors during another memorable week at Ten Chimneys.”

– Randy Bryant, President & CEO, Ten Chimneys Foundation


At the close of the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program guests are invited to attend two public programs. On Friday, June 24, Ten Chimneys Foundation will present A Conversation with Jason Alexander, an intimate evening during which Mr. Alexander will share stories about his life and career. On Saturday, June 25, Mr. Alexander and the ten 2016 Lunt-Fontanne Fellows will take the stage together for a Concluding Presentation, a rare look at the work they explored during their week at Ten Chimneys, as well as a one-night-only program highlighting the remarkable actors chosen as 2016 Lunt-Fontanne Fellows.

Tickets are on sale now. More information, including ticket prices and program details, can be found at www.tenchimneys.org, or by calling (262) 968-4110.


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 and 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 Robbin’ 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.


The one-of-a-kind Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program takes place at Ten Chimneys – the National Historic Landmark estate lovingly created by theatre legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, widely considered the greatest acting couple in the history of American theatre. This beguiling Wisconsin landmark offers a one-of-a-kind environment for the work of the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program. Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne constructed Ten Chimneys to be the perfect working retreat for themselves and a circle of friends comprising the best-of-the-best in American theatre. This historic context, and the inherent inspiration of Ten Chimneys, is why Lynn Redgrave said that “this program simply couldn’t happen anywhere else,” and why participating Fellows have all talked about the experience being “transformative.” Today, Ten Chimneys is open to the public as a House Museum and a national resource for American theatre.

Ten Chimneys is a proud recipient of funds from the Wisconsin Arts Board.