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Actors Repertory Theatre

1999 Productions | Directors | Location

The 2000 ART Company | Preview of the 2000 Season

Founded in 1992, the Actors Repertory Theatre (ART) Company provides a unique opportunity for graduates of the Conservatory's Diploma Program and also welcomes those graduates of other accredited acting programs who also have professional stage experience.

Selected individuals will form an acting company and participate in the Conservatory's Advanced Professional Program. The ART Company curriculum presents the company with the opportunity to learn aspects of theatre including stage management, backstage crew (lighting, sound), directing, and stage combat. The company will perform three productions under the direction of professional guest artists. Former guest artists/directors have visited from New York, Washington D.C., Baltimore and North Carolina.

The Actors Repertory Theatre has received critical acclaim from the Washington Post, City Paper and other D.C. Metro area press.



The 2000 ART Company

  • Elizabeth Burke

  • Sarah Melinda Eron

  • Maria Gozdawa

  • Robert Straley

  • Melissa Wesley

 Preview of the 2000 ART Season


Jack Lee selected

as the first director for the

Actors Repertory Theatre Season 2000

Jack Lee is one of the most respected musical directors in the theatre. His career has embraced conducting nuerous Broadway shows, and national and international tours.

Originally from Cleveland, he performed, as an actor in musicals at that city's famous Cain Park Theatre. He worked at Kansas City's Starlight Theatre as an assistant conductor and then conducted at Dallas Music Hall's summer musicals and for John Kenley's circuit of theatres in Warren, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio.

His first Broadway conducting assignment was KICKS & CO., a musical by Oscar Brown Jr. starring Burgess Meredith. Next came FRANK MERRIWELL then GEORGE M with Joel Grey, APPLAUSE, with Lauren Bacall, SWEET CHARITY with Gwen Verdon, followed by a tour of the show with Chita Rivera, FUNNY GIRL with Marilyn Michaels and Lilian Roth, Richard Rodgers' NO STRINGS with Howard Keel and Barbara McNair, FIG LEAVESARE FALLING with Barry Nelson and Dorothy Louden, IRENE with Debbie Reynolds that led into a West Coast revival of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, directed by Gower Champion and starring Debbie Reynolds, KNICKERBOCKER HOLIDAY with Burt Lancaster, a tour and Broadway run of PETER PAN starring sandy Duncan, NICK & NORA with Barry Bostwick, Joanna Gleason and Christine Beranski, MY ONE AND ONLY an Broadway, on tour and in the far east with Tommy Tune and Twiggy, and later with sandy Duncan and Stephanie Zimbalist.

He continued his association with Tommy Tune on Broadway and on tour with GRAND HOTEL, by Robert Wright and George Forrest. His association with Sandy Duncan continued with productions of I DO! I DO!, THE APPLE TREE, and SOUTH PACIFIC. Between a Broadway revival of MY FAIR LADY starring Richard Chamberlain and a tour of the show in Europe playing SRO engagements in Berlin, Munich, Paris, and other cities, he conducted a new production of OKLAHOMA for the Arizona State Theatre which utilized the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra.

Jack has served as the musical director for the night club acts of such notable performers as Georgia Gibbs, Jane Powell, Debbie Reynolds, Peter Palmer, Robert Horton and Juliet Prowse.

Along the way he has found time to work on the filming of SWEET CHARITY and again with Shirley MacLain in POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE. He did the dance music for carol Burnett's television special, CALAMITY JANE.

Hs is a contributing staff member of New York University and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He is a frequent guest instructor and master class teacher at his alma mater, Baldwin-Wallace. While performing such an assignment at Baldwin-Wallace he was the subject of a PBS television documentary on him and his work. The show won an Emmy.

In June of '97 Mr. Lee traveled to Israel with a team of American artists, working in conjunction with the Leonard Bernstein Foundation to work with Israeli professional singers and actors on the musical theatre techniques and styles that America is noted for. Upon his return he rejoined Sandy Duncan in a presentation of FREE FALL at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. Most recently, he was the Musical Supervisor for the Delaware Theatre Company's productionof CLOSER THAN EVER.

Mr. Lee has been a guest conductor with the symphony orchestras of Phoenix, Dallas, Tulsa, Columbus, Jacksonville, Baltimore, Erie, Albany, Raleigh, and Portland, Oregon.

He musically directed and conducted a concert version of SWEET CHARITY at Avery Fisher Hall in New York starring Gwen verdon, Chita Rivera, Debbie Allen, Donna McKechnie, Bibi Newirth, Robert Goulet, John McMartin, and Brian Stokes Mitchell, many of whom had previously appeared on Broadway or the road in full versions of the Cy Coleman/Dorothy Fields/Bob Fosse musical. This was followed by a production of THREEPENNY OPERA at New York University where he is a guest instructor.

He ends the year conducting two of his favorites, Tommy Tune and Sandy Duncan in their musical revue TWO FOR THE SHOW at the Fifth Avenue Playhouse, in Seattle, Washington.





Actors Repertory Theatre

1999 Season


 Laura Dennis by Horton Foote

Under the direction of Betsy Friday David the ART company embarks on a journey into a haunting tale of family devotions and relationships, their loves and dreams, lives and deaths.


Separate Tables by Terence Rattigan

Under the direction of John Montgomery the ART company delves into a post World War II British Hotel where the residents live together, laugh together and break bread least until someone's back is turned, that is.


Les Liasons Dangereuses by Christopher Hampton

Under the direction of Michael Russotto the ART company takes on a play for all time exploring sexual manners and manipulation and ultimately ending in tragedy.






1999 ART Directors

Betsy Friday David | John Montgomery | Michael Russotto


Betsy Friday David

Large scale multi-media events have become the recent signature of Director/Producer, Betsy Friday David. This year alone, there have been four such events: Lincoln Center's 40th Anniversary Commemoration at the New York State Theatre with performances by the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Leonard Slatkin, the Dessoff Choir, and Beverly Sills with presentations by Jay Rockefeller and the President of Lincoln Center, Nat Leventhal; The Fred Astaire Centennial and The Astaire Awards for the Theatre Development Fund with appearances by Shirley MacClaine, Hal Prince and Robin Astaire, Fred Astaire's wife; Broadway's Nothing Like a Dame, celebrating the women of the theatre with appearances by Bebe Neuwirth, Zoe Caldwell, Rue McClannahan, Marisa Tomei, Faith Prince and Donna Murphy, and finally the Georgetown forever Gala at the National Building Museum, Washington D.C., for Georgetown University.

Betsy Friday David is the President of Whistlin' Dixie, a privately held independent theatrical investment company. In existence since 1992, Whistlin' Dixie has been the Associate Producer of the Broadway companies of Hamlet (starring Ralph Fiennes), How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying (starring Matthew Broderick) and the Australian production of The Secret Garden. Also included in its portfolio are the Broadway productions: Footloose, Titanic, The King and I (starring Lou Diamond Phillips), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (starring Nathan Lane and Whoopi Goldberg, respectively), Once Upon a Mattress (starring Sara Jessica Parker) and Tommy (National Touring & Canadian Companies as well).

There are other dimensions of Ms. Friday David's work. She has served as consultant for premiere American Gala for the esteemed Almeida Theatre Company, with performances by Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson and Alan Rickman; and as Associate Producer of The Lost Colony, America's oldest outdoor drama. For ten years, she was assistant to World Renown Director/Producer Joe Layton on Network Television Projects, Film, World Tours, Radio City Music Hall Productions and Broadway and Dance Companies.

Betsy has also had extensive experience as a performer. Broadway: She Loves Me, The Secret Garden, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Bring Back Birdie, et al. She has worked in regional theatres, on network television and in film. Other credits include Dance: Pauline Koner Dance Consort, Danny Buraczeski Dance Company and the Paul Taylor Dance Company, and over 100 commercials National and International spots; TV spokesperson for Coca Cola, Fedex, Canon, Time, et al.

One of her proudest performing experiences was being one of four performers selected to represent the American Musical in Essen Germany, the year the Berlin Wall came down. This impassioned performance was conceived and directed by John Montgomery.

Betsy is a southern girl, with a barefoot background from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She is devoted to Michael and Harry, and her family down south.




John Montgomery

John Montgomery is currently the Artistic Director for the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Washington, D.C. He has been a guest director/instructor at the State University of New York at both Purchase and New Paltz, NY. As a director, choreographer and producer, his work has been seen throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. John presented an American Musical Theatre concert for the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany, and he directed the first international production of Starting Here, Starting Now. He also served as consultant for the American premiere of The Master Class at the Kennedy Center as well as New York's Roundabout Theater.

John staged the premieres of Gunmetal Blues at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Festival; Peter Ekstrom's Close Your Eyes and Think of England; Jose Ferrer's A Song for Cyrano with music and lyrics by Wright and Forrest; Butterfly Days starring Jean Stapleton; The Barbary Coast starring Eddie Bracken and Kaye Ballard; and An Evening With Who? starring Pat Carroll.

As a director/choreographer John consulted on episodes of ABC's One Life to Live, the PBS series The Best of Families, and he was a sign language interpreter on PBS in New York City. His off-Broadway work includes the revival of Stephen Sondheim's Follies, the musical Lovesong, as well as dance consultant for Miss Julie starring Geraldine Page and Rip Torn at the Hudson Guild Theatre. He conceived and choreographed his own theatre works, A Dancing Picture Show and New Beginnings and served as assistant to the Broadway musical director, Jack Lee on An Operetta Nosegay. For Milwaukee's Music Under the Stars, he directed La Traviata and for the San Diego Civic Light Opera Company he directed Big River and Showboat.

He has created Business Theatre productions for Armstrong World Industries, Spalding, Sony and other clients. He directed productions of The Miracle Worker, Michele LeGrand's A Christmas Carol, The Diary of Anne Frank, Shadowlands, and The Glass Menagerie for the Chattanooga Theatre Centre where he will return to direct Fiddler on the Roof and The Cherry Orchard for the 1999/2000 season. John lives in New York City; he is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, Inc. and Actors Equity Association.




Michael Russotto

Michael Russotto has worked for fourteen years in the professional theatre as a director, actor, producer and teacher.

Most recently, he directed Nicky Silver's Pterodactyls as the inaugural production of Source Theatre Company's newly renovated space. Other directing credits include shows at Washington Shakespeare Company, The Kennedy Center's Theatre Lab, and The Studio Theatre (where Michael co-directed Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune which received six 1991 Helen Hayes Award nominations, including nominations for Outstanding Direction and Outstanding Resident Production). In 1993, The Washington Theatre Lobby awarded him the Mary Goldwater Award for his direction of Scena Theatre's The Death of Humpty Dumpty.

In 1993, Michael founded The Actors' Theatre of Washington (ATW). He has directed three of the company's eight productions, Teechers, Sticky and Bones and On the Open Road (which received a 1996 Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding Sound Design). In August he directed ATW's co-production with Washington Shakespeare Company of Measure for Measure.

A member of the professional stage actors union, the Actors Equity Association, Michael has performed at many area theatres, including The Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, The Olney Theatre Center for the Arts; Potomac Theatre Project, Arena Stage, The Studio Theatre and the Kennedy Center's Theatre Lab. Favorite roles include Cosmo in Woolly Mammoth's production of The Pitchfork Disneyland and Arthur in The Studio Theatre's production of Love! Valour! Compassion!

Michael currently teaches acting at The Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and The Theatre Lab, and does a good deal of private coaching. In 1983, he earned a B.A. in Communications from The American University in Washington, D.C.





The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts

1556 Wisconsin Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20007


(entrance is located on Volta Place between Wisconsin Ave and 33rd Street at the rear of the Georgetown Lutheran Church)