The Drama League recently announced its 2017 Classical Directing Fellowships for Artists of Color. One of three theaters participating in the program, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival is thrilled to announce that Damascus native Kholoud Sawaf will join the company in July to assist directors Penny Metropoulos on THE GENERAL FROM AMERICA and Ian Belknap on LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST. Sawaf will also direct the Festival’s two-day Community Bakeoff, part of the HVSF2 new play reading series at the Philipstown Depot Theatre.
HVSF Artistic Director Davis McCallum was part of a distinguished panel that selected this year’s fellows: “I was blown away by Kholoud when I met her in the interview process,” McCallum noted, “and I am delighted that she will be joining HVSF as our 2017 Drama League Fellow.”
Sawaf has worked as a theatre and documentary maker in Lebanon, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and the United States. In collaboration with TheatreSquared, she’s adapting and directing R&J Damascus, a recipient of a $250,000 grant through Doris Duke Foundation’s Building Bridges Program. Some of her directing work includes The Chairs (U of A), Merci Maurer (devised) with ArkansasStaged and Vietgone (TheatreSquared, 2018). Sawaf’s assistant directing credits include Vietgone (Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Manhattan Theatre Club). She received a BA in Mass Communication from American University of Shajrah and a MFA in Directing from University of Arkansas.
The Classical Directing Fellowship for Artists of Color immerses a director in the productions and institutional life of a company working in the classical canon. In addition to their work with each respective theater, Fellows participate in Professionals Week, an intensive week of professional theater immersion including performances, seminars, workshops with industry professional, and field-focused discussions. Past Drama League Fellows at HVSF include Emily Lyon (2015) and Noa Egozi (2016).
Welcome to HVSF, Kholoud! We can’t wait to meet you this summer!