ELINOR RENFIELD
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BIO

Born and raised in NYC, Elinor Renfield studied with The Martha Graham Dance Company, at The High School of Performing Arts, and Emerson College in Boston Massachusetts where she received a BA in English.


After completing a scholarship year at The Central School for Speech and Drama in London, she began her graduate work in Theatre and Film at CUNY (Hunter College) where she received an MA.


Her thirty year career as a stage director has included work on Broadway, Off Broadway and in Regional Theaters.


She had the good fortune of working with playwrights as diverse and challenging as Romulus Linney, Peter Nichols, Mark St. Germain, Doug Wright, Thomas Babe, Craig Lucas, Ronald Ribman, Susan Miller and Shirley Lauro among others.


In addition she directed three one character plays in succession: 

Bag Lady by Jean Claude Van Itallie, with Shami Chaiken.

Chucky's Hunch by Rochelle Owens with Kevin O'Conner and

Johnny got his Gun adapted from the novel by Dalton Trumbo with Jeff Daniels.


All three pieces won Obie awards.


At the Ensemble Studio Theatre marathon Ms. Renfield directed a one act play, Open Admissions by Shirley Lauro, that was voted one of the season's top ten productions by The New York Times, before it was expanded into a full length play on Broadway, with the original team.


At Washington DC's Arena Stage she directed Passion Play by Peter Nichols (Helen Hayes nominee) which she later mounted in New York at The Minetta Lane Theatre.


Ms. Renfield has received two NEA Grants for developmental work.  One at The Gutherie Theatre in Minneapolis and the other at The American Place Theatre in NYC where she spent a season as Associate Artistic Director under Julia Miles at The Women's Project. 


Among the highlights of her work with the classics are:


    Rosmersholm by Henrik Ibsen at The Pearl Theatre in NYC.

    The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov in an all star revival at The John Drew Theatre in NY.

   A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Dorothy Fields, George Abbot and Arthur Schwartz at The Goodspeed Opera House, East Haddam Connecticut (libretto revised by Ms. Renfield).

    Time and The Conways by JB Priestly at The Huntington Theatre in Boston Mass.

    The Sea Gull by Anton Chekhov  with The Circle Repertory Company in NYC.

    The Diary of Anne Frank by Goodrich and Hackett at The Barrington Stage, Great Barrington Mass. (Boston Theatre Award)


An accomplished educator, Ms. Renfield has taught and directed in The Graduate Acting Program at Tisch School of the Arts NYU, 

Princeton University, where from 1988 thru 2004 she was a member of the faculty in the Dept. of Theatre And Dance,

Yale University undergraduate Theatre Program where she taught "Acting Chekhov",

and The New School For Drama, in NYC, where for 6 years she was Chair of The Graduate Directing program, and where she continues to teach Directing.

 
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