Chautauqua Theater Company Invests In New Play Workshop Development
Olga Sanchez Saltveit to Join as Director of New Work
Chautauqua Theater Company (CTC), the resident theater company of Chautauqua Institution, today announced the appointment of Olga Sanchez Saltveit as Director of New Work, an inaugural position for the company. Sanchez Saltveit’s hire is the next step in CTC’s initiative to expand New Play Workshop programming and residencies. It also aligns with the overall efforts of Chautauqua Institution to amplify important and diverse American voices in the arts, fostering new work and catalyzing the creative process.
As Director of New Work, Sanchez Saltveit will build and maintain connections to playwrights, directors, agents, and the artistic staffs of other theaters year-round, scouting potential new plays and projects to be produced under the New Play Workshop or Commission banner for CTC. During the summer assembly, she will manage all aspects of the New Play Workshop summer productions, including working with designers and hiring guest artists, and directors. Additionally, she will be responsible for moderating discussions to promote and explore NPW themes, ideas, and process through post-show discussions and Brown Bags at Smith Wilkes Hall.
“Stepping into this newly formed position as Chautauqua Theater Company’s Director of New Work, Olga brings humanity, passion, a deep intellect, and a commitment to nurturing the next generation of writers in the American Theater,” said Andrew Borba, artistic director of Chautauqua Theater Company. “Our connection to new work and the promotion of the voices of young and emerging writers goes back now for 15 years. We have had a rewarding and honestly extraordinary track record creating space that allows these plays and playwrights to develop and grow and move on past the gates of Chautauqua. This new position with Olga at the helm is a strong, clear, and dedicated commitment to putting new work — in the form of both our New Play Workshops and commissions — at the center of the work we do here at Chautauqua.”
Sanchez Saltveit brings experience as an actor, director, devisor, and arts activist, whose work has been seen throughout the U.S. and in Peru, Venezuela, Honduras and Cuba. An assistant professor of theater at Middlebury College, she also serves as Artistic Director Emerita for Milagro, the Pacific Northwest’s premier Latine/x arts and culture organization, following her service as the company’s Artistic Director from 2003 to 2015. Previously, she served as co-artistic director of the People’s Playhouse in New York City, artistic director of Seattle Teatro Latino, and co-founder of La Casa de Artes, a Seattle-based non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating the beauty of Latine arts and cultural heritage.
In addition, Sanchez Saltveit’s community work includes having served on the TCG (Theatre Communications Group) board of directors’ Executive Committee and Diversity Task Force. She serves on the Advisory Committee of the Latinx Theatre Commons, in partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons, Emerson College. She is the editor of Teatro de los Muertos, and her research has been published in The Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Theatre Topics, Label Me Latina/o, and in several edited collections including Encuentro: Latinx Performance for the New American Theatre (Northwestern University Press 2019), and Shakespeare and Latinidad (Edinburgh University Press 2021). Her research interests include BIPOC theater, Latine/x feminisms, and the commons model for arts organizing.
“I’m thrilled to join Chautauqua Institution as Director of New Work, to build upon Chautauqua’s long-standing investment in the evolution of the American Theater,” Sanchez Saltveit said. “Nurturing new theater has been a longtime passion of mine. Important new voices are rising, revealing unheard stories, innovative forms, and provocative discourse. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to foster and share new works with Chautauqua’s vibrant artistic and intellectual community amid the beauty of Chautauqua Lake, in the historic Haudenosaunee and Erie homeland.”
ABOUT CHAUTAUQUA THEATER COMPANY
Approaching its 40th season, Chautauqua Theater Company is the resident professional theater and conservatory of Chautauqua Institution. Internationally known actors, directors, designers, and writers join more than 20 emerging artists drawn from the nation’s top training programs to form a unique company that produces a vibrant summer of work in the historic Bratton Theater. Dedicated to the next generation of theater artists, the development of new work, first-rate productions of modern and contemporary classics, and fresh insight into Shakespeare’s canon, CTC produces the best of a year-round regional theater within an eight-week summer season. The New Play Workshops at Chautauqua are made possible in part by a generous grant from the Roe Green Foundation.
ABOUT CHAUTAUQUA INSTITUTION
Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer — and year-round through the CHQ Assembly online platforms — with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through engaged dialogue.
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