Hamilton Clancy (Artistic Director) founder and current artistic director, now in his 16th year of leading the Drilling Company and with them has led Shakespeare in the Parking Lot for over a decade.. 2015 producer: Two Gentlemen of Verona (TDC’s Bryant Park Shakespeare), As You Like It (Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, Romeo and Juliet BPS), MacBeth SitPL, Taming of the Shrew (BPS) this summer in Manhattan with TDC’s Bryant Park Shakespeare and The Drilling Company’s Shakespeare in the Parking Lot .2014: directed the inaugural Bryant Park Shakespeare production of Hamlet, as well as critically acclaimed productions of Twelfth Night and Othello: produced the world premiere of C. Denby Swanson’s, The Norwegians which ran for 168 performances Off-Broadway. Actor Film and TV: (upcoming) Spielberg’s BRIDGE OF SPIES (2015), THE BETTER ANGELS, Coen Brothers’ BURN AFTER READING, AMERICAN GANGSTER, and EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE. His numerous television credits include the series ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK on Netflix in which he currently portrays the part of Kowalski.
He is fortunate to be husband of Karen Kitz-Clancy and father of Joseph Clancy.
Rudy Marconi (President) is the First Selectman of Ridgefield, Connecticut. He was first elected to the office in 1999, and is currently serving his fifth term. Born and raised in Ridgefield, Mr. Marconi attended the Nichols College of Business Administration where he earned his Bachelors of Business Administration. Mr. Marconi is a strong supporter of the arts, and has served as President of the Chekhov International Theatre Festival since its inception in 2009.
Abby Walker (Executive Producer) is a drama specialist with experience in several artistic disciplines. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts at Sarah Lawrence College, she worked in graphic design and advertising. She taught performing arts for seventeen years at The Montessori School in Wilton, Connecticut, where she directed numerous productions in classical theater including Shakespeare, Roman comedies, and Greek tragedies. She has written and produced over sixty original plays and adaptations for children. Additionally, she trained with Hanya Holm at Colorado College, was certified in David Darling’s Musicianship Leadership program, and has exhibited her work at the Silvermine School of Art. She is a founding member of the Talmadge Hill Choir and is currently employed by the K.E.Y.S. program in Bridgeport, where she teaches cello and performing arts. She has trained under Lisa Dalton and Will Kilroy (NMCA) in the Michael Chekhov method. As one of the festival founders, Abby has served on the board since its inception and describes herself as a johannes fac totem.
Suzanne Benton (International Liaison) is a widely recognized sculptor, mask maker/performance artist, printmaker, painter, lecturer, and workshop leader. Her multi-faceted art has been featured in over 150 solo shows and is represented in museum and private collections worldwide. Believing that the purpose of art is to explore humanity and that art comes alive when it relates to people’s lives, her work draws on multi-cultural themes and often engages participation with others. By drawing upon diverse themes steeped in myth, ritual, and archetype, and sharing her artwork in 30 countries East and West, Benton’s art has become a bridge between cultures. A former Fulbright Scholar, the artist has received numerous grants and artist residencies. Author of The Art of Welded Sculpture and numerous articles, Ms. Benton is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Art, and Feminists Who Changed America. suzannebentonartist.com
Lenka Pichlíková – Burke (Festival Dramaturg) Lenka is an American actress of Czech descent, the seventh generation of her family to appear onstage since the 18th century. Her great-uncle was the noted national actor, Ladislav Pešek. While in Czechoslovakia, she performed on stage in many theatres, played in twelve films, and created over 40 television roles, rising to the rank of Advanced Master Artist. In addition to performing as a speaking actress, she was also involved professionally in classic pantomime. Since the 1980s she has resided in the United States, where she has performed onstage in speaking for more than 25 years. Since 1988, she has been a member of the Actors' Equity Association, the union which represents professional actors. In 2006 she was named the "Best Mime" of Fairfield County, Connecticut. She teaches performing arts, dramatic literature, and cultural history, and translates plays.
Jeffery Albanesi was born and raised in Ridgefield where he attended public school. He graduated from Emerson College with a major in advertising and public relations and a minor in performing arts. After 20 years of metropolitan life in Manhattan, he returned to bucolic Ridgefield in 2009 where he still resides. He is an account executive for Argento Vivo Sterling Silver in New York City. His greatest interest is the local arts scene and he has become a well-known attendee to events in Ridgefield and its surrounding towns. He is very active in social media and creates excitement for art shows and performances he attends. Jeffery is a long standing Chekhov Festival supporter and brings his networking, enthusiasm and devotion to our board.
Marisa DelMonaco, therapist, has a BA, a LMT and is certified in nutritional therapy and emotion code. Additionally she is a graduate of the Institute for Integrated Nutrition. She has studied holistic health for many years encompassing meditation, relaxation and personal growth work. Nutrition and wellness are a focus of her life and studies. She graduated from the Florida School of Massage and is a licensed Massage Therapist. Ms. DelMonaco has been an enthusiastic attendant to the Chekhov International Theatre Festival and fundraiser for the last eight years. Her previous board work includes six years service on the board of the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School in Newtown, Connecticut. She first served as secretary and then treasurer, and spent additional years helping in a fundraising role. A Redding resident for the past eleven years, Marisa is a mother of two and enjoys cooking, hiking, painting, dancing, cross country skiing and maintains a meditation and yoga practice. She and her husband David Schoenberg run their practice -- Mountain Therapeutics -- a wellness center in Redding.
Nancy Ponturo is a professional actor who last performed in "Almost Maine" and "Love Letters" at New Pond Farm in Redding. For the past fourteen years she has been the Artistic Director of Summer Shakespeare at New Pond Farm. She has directed at the American Globe Theatre and The Dramatists Guild in NYC as well as The Rich Forum and The Ridgefield Theater Barn in CT. Nancy has directed plays for Joel Barlow High School and Weston High School as well as "Poetry in Motion" at the Wilton Library.
Stephanie Trolle is the owner of a pet services company which operates in the Ridgefield area. As an avid theater goer, Stephanie understands the importance of the arts in the community and has been a long-time supporter of the Chekhov Festival, attending performances and donating her services to the annual auction. Living in Ridgefield and servicing her clientele in town has given her an understanding of how the town works. She was a Psychology Major and English minor at Ithaca College. She has a Nurse Assistant certificate and graduated second in her class. She also comes with extensive experience as a teacher and nanny. Her talents and interests include music, sports, nature, gardening and hiking. Stephanie is a passionate singer and has been a member of the Ridgebury Congregational Church Choir for over twenty years as well as a frequenter to karaoke night. She is a cofounder of the Wolfpit Running Club and and completed the Ridgefield Triathlon six times. A published author, Stephanie enjoys writing and hopes to use this skill in her work for the festival. She now resides in Danbury with family.
Robert Young comes to the festival board to share his marketing and production experience. His career passion is working with the public in a fashion-oriented field and connecting them to products or services to meet their goals.
He currently is the Director of Paul Morelli which is a high-end Manhattan jewelry boutique on Madison Avenue. Previously he was the director of development at CIRCA where he conducted outreach and secured new business.
Rob is past chairman of the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation and NY International Piano Competition. He has video production experience and has worked for CBS in Washington DC. Rob resides in Ridgefield with his family. His interests include music, theatre, photography, and politics.