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Stephen McKinley Henderson To Lead Ten Chimneys Foundation's 2018 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program

by BWW News Desk May. 9, 2018

Ten Chimneys Foundation is proud to announce Stephen McKinley Henderson as the 2018 Master Teacher for the nationally acclaimed Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program at the Historic National Landmark, Ten Chimneys.

Since its inception in 2009, the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program has brought the nation's top regional theatre actors to Ten Chimneys to work with a world-renowned Master Teacher.

The 2018 program will occur the week of July 15th through the 22nd and will include ten specially chosen American theatre actors from the nation's top regional theatres to work with Mr. Henderson in an intensive Master Class at the estate of theater legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne in Genesee Depot, Wisconsin. The 2018 class will focus on fortifying each actor with justified reality; reflecting that they are coming from an experience to an experience, to do something immediate, important and compelling.

Stephen McKinley Henderson's glowing performances have appeared on stages throughout the United States and abroad, on Broadway and off, and is recognized as a veteran performer of August Wilson's oeuvre. His signature August Wilson role is the gossipy Turnbo in Jitney, for which he won a Drama Desk Award. He is also known for his work in television and film. He received Obie and Lucille Lortel awards in the Outstanding Lead Actor category for his work as Pops in Stephen Adley Guirgis' Between Riverside and Crazy, the play which received the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He also appeared on Broadway in Dracula, the Musical, Drowning Crow, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom with Charles S. Dutton and Whoopy Goldberg and the premiere of King Hedley II. He received a Tony nomination as Featured Actor for his work in the 2010 Broadway revival of August Wilson's Fences, starring alongside Tony Award winners Denzel Washington and Viola Davis and was also presented with the Richard Seff Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor from Actor's Equity Association.

In addition, he received a 2017 Virtuoso Award from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for his work as Bono in Paramount's Academy Award Nominated film of Fences, again starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. Mr. Henderson's additional film work includes performances in five Oscar nominated films: Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird, Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, Denzel Washington's Fences, Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester by the Sea and Stephen Daldry's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Other film credits include Lester in Tower Heist and roles in Marie, Keane and If You Can Say It in Words.

Noteworthy television work includes Aaron Sorkin's HBO series, The Newsroom, HBO Films' Everyday People and William Duke's PBS American Playhouse film, A Raisin in the Sun, starring Danny Glover and Esther Rolle. He also had a reoccurring role as a judge for 15 seasons on NBC's landmark series Law and Order and was a co-star on the FOX series, New Amsterdam. In addition you will see his work on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Tyler Perry's House of Payne, Third Watch and Blue Bloods. He will soon be seen as Mr. Green in the film, Native Son, which will premiere in 2019. He regularly teaches Master Classes for Juilliard Drama Division's Third Year students and was the 2016 Denzel Washington Endowed Chair at Fordham University. Mr. Henderson delivered the commencement address and received Juilliard's Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts in May of 2017. Recently, he retired as Professor and former Chair of Theatre and Dance for The State University of New York at Buffalo. He is a member of the LAByrinth Theatre Company, where he portrayed Pontius Pilate in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, directed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Mr. Henderson is also a Fox Foundation Fellow, and Distinguished Alumnus of Purdue University Graduate School, College of Liberal Arts.

"In all my years of joy and anxiety in the American theatre I have never been more thrilled about the potential for sharing within this ensemble of actors." ~ Stephen McKinley Henderson Mr. Henderson will join the illustrious list of Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Master Teachers including Lynn Redgrave, Barry Edelstein, Olympia Dukakis, Joel Grey, Alan Alda, David Hyde Pierce, Phylicia Rashad, Jason Alexander and Alfred Molina. Through this groundbreaking national program, the top actors in the country are given a rare and special opportunity to grow artistically, renew their passion for their art form, deepen their commitment to mentorship, and form a national community of Lunt-Fontanne Fellows.

On Friday, July 20th, Ten Chimneys Foundation will present A Conversation with Stephen McKinley Henderson, an intimate evening during which Mr. Henderson will share stories about his life and career. On Saturday, July 21st, Mr. Henderson and the ten 2018 Lunt-Fontanne Fellows will take the stage together for a Concluding Presentation, a rare look highlighting the remarkable Fellows and the work they explored during their week at Ten Chimneys, Tickets go on sale Thursday, May 10th. More information, including ticket prices and program details, can be found at, or by calling (262) 968-4110. Seating is limited and designated by the best available within your chosen section at the time of the reservation.

The one-of-a-kind Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program takes place at Ten Chimneys - the National Historic Landmark estate lovingly created by theatre legends Alfred Luntand Lynn Fontanne, widely considered the greatest acting couple in the history of American theatre. This beguiling Wisconsin landmark offers a one-of-a-kind environment for the work of the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program.

Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne constructed Ten Chimneys to be the perfect working retreat for themselves and a circle of friends comprising the best-of-the-best in American theatre. This historic context and the inherent inspiration of Ten Chimneys is why Ten Chimneys Foundation's inaugural Master Teacher, Lynn Redgrave, said that "this program simply couldn't happen anywhere else," and why participating Fellows have all talked about the experience being "transformative." Today, Ten Chimneys is open to the public as a House Museum and a national resource for American theatre.

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