This week’s guest is Peggy McKowen, associate producing director of the Contemporary American Theatre Festival. McKowen’s association with the Theatre Festival began in 2006, when she designed the costumes for <em>Mr. Marmalade</em> by Noah Haidle and the world premiere of Keith Glover’s <em>Jazzland</em>. She joined the full-time staff the following year. As designer, her work at CATF has included costumes for <em>1001 </em>by Jason Grote, <em>H2O</em> by Jane Martin (directed by Jon Jory), and<em> Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah</em> by Mark St. Germain; sets for<em> From Prague</em> by Kyle Bradstreet, <em>Wrecks</em> by Neil LaBute, and<em> Gidion’s Knot </em>by Johnna Adams; and sets and costumes for <em>Dear Sara Jane </em>by Victor Lodato and <em>The Insurgents</em> by Lucy Thurber. Her free-lance work has been seen in New York with the Phoenix Theatre Ensemble and Gateway Playhouse, and in California on Libby Larsen’s opera, <em>Every Man Jack</em>. As resident designer for the Obie-award-winning Jean Cocteau Repertory, McKowen designed the Darius Milhaud-scored version of<em> Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children</em>, Nobel prize-winning poet Seamus Heany’s <em>The Cure at Troy</em>, and several productions directed by the late Eve Adamson. Regional theatre work has been seen at Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Barrington Stage, Dallas Shakespeare Festival, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, and the Texas Shakespeare Festival. She designed <em>Romeo and Juliet</em>, one of six tours of the National Endowment for the Arts’ series Shakespeare in the American Communities. Her international design work has been seen at the B.A.T. Studio Theatre (Berlin), the Teatro Alfa Real (Sao Paulo, Brazil), and for the E.T.A. Hoffmann Theatre in Bamberg (Germany). Additionally, she designed the first full-length English speaking production of <em>The Tempest</em> performed in Beijing, China.
McKowen holds an M.F.A. from the University of Texas (Austin), and has taught theatre and humanities at Shepherd University, Dickinson College and Dickinson College in London and West Virginia University, where she was chair of the division of theatre and dance for five years. She has been a member of the Shepherdstown Rotary Club; produced and directed the intra-state event, Antietam Remembrance Walk; and Rumsey Radio Hour, the annual fundraiser for the Shepherdstown Visitors Center; and currently serves on the Arts Advisory Council for Hagerstown Community College. In recognition of her work as both theatre designer and administrator, she has recently been featured in <em>Live Design</em> and Wonderful West Virginia magazines. Production work has been captured in <em>American Theater Magazine</em>; The New York Public Library Videotape for the Theater on Film and Tape Archive; <em>The New York Times</em>, Back Stage, <em>New York Magazine</em>; <em>Wall Street Journal</em>, and in the texts: <em>The Theater Experience </em>and <em>Theatre: The Lively Art. </em>She is a member of United Scenic Artists 829.
Playwright's Lab at Hollins in collaboration with Mill Mountain Theatre offers this guest speakers series. All the talks are free and open to the public, hosted on the Waldron Stage of Mill Mountain Theatre, 20 Church Avenue, S.E., downtown Roanoke. (<a href="http://www.millmountain.org">http://www.millmountain.org</a>).