ABOUT THE EXCHANGE
The Exchange is a New York City-based producer and developer of theater. The Exchange’s mission is to create the classics of the future and to provide audiences and the industry as a whole the tools necessary to push the theatrical form forward.
The Exchange both produces plays and runs the Orchard Project, a retreat where artists work collaboratively to develop new work.
The work of the Exchange is generously supported through the donations of visionary individuals and organizations. Major support comes from the New York State Council for the Arts and The Dramatists Guild Foundation.
(The Exchange is a nonprofit theater company formerly known as the Jean Cocteau Repertory, which was founded in 1971.)
Artistic Director of The Exchange
Ari Edelson is a director and producer who has worked both in the United States and internationally, with recent credits including: Mauritius (Dorset Theater Festival), Little Black Dress (Boston Playwrights and The Exchange, NYC), The Scariest (Theatres at 45 Bleecker), Vengeance (Cherry Lane), Expats (The New Group, NY), Jump! and Realism (The Exchange, NY), The Attic (Play Company, NY, Obie Award), The Atheist (Theatre 503, London), Blood Wedding, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Sexual Perversity in Chicago (Theatre Project Tokyo), True West and Tape (Tokyo Globe), Rape of Lucretia (English National Opera, London and Luxembourg). He has also worked with companies such as La Jolla Playhouse, Long Wharf, the Old Vic, Circle in the Square, the Royal National Theatre, Theatre Royal Haymarket, The Vineyard, The New Group and the Westport Country Playhouse. Ari is currently the Artistic Director of the Off-Broadway theatre company The Exchange, which produces new work in New York and runs the internationally renowned Orchard Project development center. He is also the co-founder of Culture Craver, a social recommendation engine for culture that is working transform the way people connect with and discover culture. Ari is also the conceiver and co-producer of Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company, a new musical co-produced by Margo Lion (Hairspray) and Amanda Lipitz (Legally Blonde). He has been a guest director on attachment at New Dramatists, The National Theatre Studio, a Directing Fellow of the Drama League of New York, and has taught at Northwestern University, Fordham University and in Japan. Ari graduated from Yale University and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
Executive Director of the Orchard Project
Core Company Consultant
David F. Chapman is a director, writer, solo performer and teaching artist. A Chicago native, David has made theatre all over the world, including Vietnam, Hungary, the UK, Canada and around the U.S. He is currently based in New York.
Master Teacher, The Orchard Project
Catherine is an interdisciplinary artist, actor/creator and educator working in performance, image, language, movement and music to excavate moments of unexpected transcendence wherein we share a surprise laugh, sigh or sob from deep in our bellies. Since 2005 she has been a Co-Artistic Director/performer with The Glass Contraption, a Brooklyn-based not-for-profit physical theater company (www.glasscontraption.org). She has written, developed and performed in multiple solo works which have been presented at Dixon Place, IRT, Chicago’s Single File Festival and many others. Her work can also be seen in numerous national network commercials, voiceovers, and films, including Blind Dates directed by Juan Reinoso. She directed Dwellicle as part of the 3B Development Series at IRT and was part of the ensemble-devised work BlindSight featured in the 2011 Women CenterStage Festival at the Living Theater. She has studied physical comedy, clown and its related forms since 1999 with many, many teachers, including Philippe Gaulier, Jane Nichols, Richard Crawford, Felix Ivanov, Per Brahe and most notably Christopher Bayes, currently Head of Physical Acting at Yale School of Drama, with whom she apprenticed. She has been granted developmental residencies with MAKEHOUSE (NJ), Earthdance (MA) and the FuseBox Festival (TX) and participated in the 2011 Director’s Lab Chicago. Photography-as-performance work made in collaboration with Washington, DC-based text+image artist John Borstel appeared in the SKIN exhibition at the Strathmore Mansion in Bethesda, MD (Fall, 2012). She currently leads workshops and residencies in Clown/Physical Theater, Improvisation, Character and/or Collective Creation at universities, secondary schools, community arts organizations and professional actor training programs throughout the country and is adjunct faculty in the Theater Department at Drew University in Madison, NJ. She has been associated with the 52nd Street Project since 1999 as a performer, director, and mentor. Education: BA in Theater from Hofstra University, with minors in Dance and Creative Writing. MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts candidate, Goddard College. She is also a published poet and is originally from Nashville, TN.
Claire is a playwright, working in New York City. Claire’s plays include: Wolf Play (winner of the 2012 Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival); Norway (developed at the Orchard Project); Be Careful of Words (devised with Helikon Rep); Whale Song Or: Learning to Live with Mobyphobia (FringeNYC 2011); Luxembourg (Lunar Energy Productions & AntiMatter Collective); Lethe, Kissing Ronald Reagan, Radical Methods For Radical Heartbreak, Stranger, New York I Love You, but You’re Bringing Me Down (New School for Drama). Readings and productions of her plays have been held at the Brick Theater, Theaterlab, the First Floor Theater at LaMaMa, the Kraine, and various spaces throughout the city. She has worked with Ars Nova, Clubbed Thumb, New York Stage and Film, The Exchange, and Yarn Films. She graduated from Amherst College and is currently in her third and final year of the playwriting MFA program at the New School for Drama.