Bruce D. Long – Creating New Works of Theatre
Bruce Long is President and CEO of Eye Opening Entertainment, and produces on Broadway, the West End and Off-Broadway. His production credits include Memphis the musical, Doctor Zhivago, Tuck Everlasting, Of Mice and Men starring James Franco and Chris O’Dowd and Hands on a Hardbody; and he has two productions in active development: By Grace, a new musical centered around Hollywood icon Grace Kelly’s engagement to Prince Rainier III, and I Dream, a new rhythm-and-blues opera about the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bruce has had extensive experience over the past twenty-five years working in theater, film, television, video and live-event production with companies and non-profits such as NASCAR, IBM, The Business Journal Network and The Council for Children’s Rights. His documentary Wireman 101: Queens Course in History and the television series American Entrepreneur have both been broadcast on PBS.
He is a graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute’s Advanced Program for Commercial Producers and Managers and was chosen from an international pool of candidates for the CTI-O’Neil Theater Center Summer Producing Intensive, working directly with playwrights in the National Playwrights Conference and the National Music Theater Conference. Bruce holds a BA in Speech/Theatre, an MA in Acting/Directing, and has completed two years of a Ph.D. in Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship.
Michelle Long – Cultivating the Next Generation of Theatre Artists
An accomplished writer and director, Michelle Hoppe-Long has worked in film, television and theatre for the past twenty-eight years, garnering over fifty awards for her outstanding original work, creative design, and exceptional talent in both stage and screen venues, including a 2008 Crown Award for her work on The List with Malcolm McDowell, released by FOX.
A member of the Dramatists Guild, she has received playwrighting awards from the North Carolina Theatre Conference for her original musical, Ladies First, and play So Help Me, God, which was also chosen as the CITA outstanding new play of 2009. Michelle was also writer and co-creator of The Knock Knock Show, a children’s television program airing on the Fox Family channel. She has directed across the country, garnering best director nods from the Southeastern Theatre Conference, and from the North Carolina Theatre Conference for seven consecutive years.
Michelle has used her vast experience at both the professional and educational level, investing in the future of the arts as a board member of CITA and NCTC. She has worked additionally as Director of Fine Arts at a private college preparatory school in Charlotte, North Carolina, building an internationally recognized program which won her the honor of North Carolina K-12 Educator of the Year for 2009-2010. She was chosen as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Charlotte, and currently serves as the Director of Education at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, one of the largest professional Theatre for Young Audiences companies in the United States, where she directs for the MainStage and is a part of the development team for new works.
Luann Jennings – Cultivating the Next Generation of Theatre Artists
Luann is passionate about helping artists flourish and serve their communities in ways that only creativity and beauty can. Currently based in Waco, TX, she is teaching arts entrepreneurship through Creative Waco, the city’s arts agency, and through developing courses and workshops for university arts program.
Before moving to Waco, Luann was based in New York City where she served on the staff of Redeemer Presbyterian Church for seven years. During that time she founded Redeemer’s Arts Ministry in their acclaimed Center for Faith and Work, through which she mentored artists and developed programs to help hundreds of creative people consider and pursue their work through the light of their Christian faith. Luann also served in Redeemer’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, helping to nurture and evaluate creative entrepreneurial ventures.
A serial arts entrepreneur herself, Luann has started several theatre ventures, going back to age 8 and a one-girl production of Little Red Riding Hood on her carport in Tallahassee, Florida. More recently, she founded a family-oriented theatre company and the education department of a small professional theatre (both in Atlanta), and InSite, a nascent theatre company and creative placemaking incubator in Waco.
Luann is spending her summer editing a book, currently entitled 10Q: Ten Questions Young Artists Ask [or should…] About a Career in The Arts. The book polls 100 artists, educators, and theologians for their input on five theological questions and five practical questions that will help college and high school artists (and their parents) make smart, God-honoring choices about their creative work. Learn more about Luann and her work.
Dr. Dale Savidge – Engaging Communities through Applied Theatre
Dale Savidge is the Executive Director of CITA, an organization he helped found 30 years ago. He earned two Masters degrees in theatre and a PhD in English and Theatre (from the University of South Carolina). In 1996 Dale launched Associates and Savidge, an arts management organization for professional actors. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Applied Theater Center where he practices as a drama therapist and creates programming for people with disabilities, in detention centers, in drug rehab centers, and with foster children. He is the coauthor of Performing the Sacred: Theology and Theatre in Dialogue.