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Bogart, Landau to Discuss Their New Book

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November 1, 2005 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University will host a “meet the authors” session with renowned directors Anne Bogart and Tina Landau, whose long awaited “The Viewpoints Book: A Practical Guide To Viewpoints and Composition” is being published by Theater Communications Group.

The session will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, in the Hal and Martha Hyer-Wallis Theatre in the University’s Theatre and Interpretation Center, 1949 Campus Drive, Evanston Campus. A book signing will follow. A second book signing will be held in Chicago at 6 p.m. at The Soliloquy Bookstore at 1724 W. Belmont.

“Viewpoints” is a technique of improvisation that grew out of the postmodern dance world. It was first articulated by choreographer Mary Overlie, who broke down the two dominant issues performers deal with “space” and “time” into six categories. Since that time, Bogart and Landau have expanded Overlie’s notions and adapted them for actors to function together spontaneously and intuitively and to generate bold, theatrical work.

“’Viewpoints’ is emerging as an important training methodology for contemporary actors, directors and designers, as well as anyone with a general interest in collaboration and the creative process, whether in art, business or daily life,” said AMTP Executive Director Dominic Missimi. “While ‘Viewpoints’ has been gaining popularity with theatre training programs across America, Bogart and Landau’s book is the first definitive publication on the subject.”

Bogart is artistic director of the SITI Company, which she founded with Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki in 1992. She is the recipient of two Obie Awards and a “Bessie” Award and is an associate professor at Columbia University in New York City. Her recent works include “Alice’s Adventures,” “bobrauschenbergamerica,” “Small Lives, Big Dreams,” “Marathon Dancing” and “The Baltimore Waltz.”

Landau is a noted director and playwright whose original work includes “Space,” “Dream True” (with composer Ricky Ian Gordon) and “Floyd Collins” (with composer Adam Guettel), which received the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical. She has been an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company since 1997. Landau is currently directing the American Music Theatre Project’s premiere production of “WAS.”

The American Music Theatre Project is a new initiative created by Executive Director Dominic Missimi and Artistic Director Stuart Oken. The project has a threefold mission: to develop new musicals on Northwestern’s campus utilizing the talent of students in the schools of Communication and Music; to provide educational opportunities; and to explore research possibilities in the field of music theatre.

To learn more about AMTP visit <www.amtp.northwestern.edu>. For ticket information for AMTP’s premiere production of “WAS,” call the Ethel M. Barber Theatre Box office at (847) 491-7282.