Interview with Teaching Artist Henry Decker

Posted on: May 16th, 2017 by Sarah Kutnowsky


Teaching Artist Henry Decker has worked with Roundabout for the past two years. During the school year, Henry leads classroom and after-school residencies at Roundabout Partner Schools, develops curriculum for Roundabout’s Theatrical Workforce Development Program (TWDP), and facilitates workshops on carpentry skills for the TWDP fellows. Over the summer, Henry serves as a carpentry mentor for the Student Production Workshop’s summer ensemble.

Education Coordinator Sarah Kutnowsky spoke with Henry about his path to teaching artistry and his work with Roundabout.

Henry working with fellow Teaching Artists and educators at Roundabout’s Theatrical Teaching Institute

Sarah Kutnowsky: Tell me a bit about yourself and your artistry.
Henry Decker: I am a retired firefighter, having served for twenty years with the FDNY. Prior to that, I was employed by the Rouse Company - a shopping mall management firm. With Rouse, I assisted the marketing director and also was responsible for mall displays such as Santaland and the Easter Bunny Village. I did this at several shopping centers in the tri-state area. This was my entry into set construction. I'm also a magician, performing at local restaurants and private parties.

SK: How did you come to be a teaching artist? Could you share your first arts education experience?
HD: I first became interested in the role of teaching artist after meeting Roundabout Teaching Artists Carrie Heitman and Chad Yarborough at Curtis High School on Staten Island. As a parent, I helped out each year with the sets at Curtis and at IS61 before that. Through helping out as a volunteer, I taught many students over the last ten years the art of stagecraft.

SK: What is your favorite part about working as a teaching artist?
HD: I really enjoy meeting teachers and students throughout the City and watching them learn through theatre.

SK: Could you share a memorable lesson or moment from your time as a teaching artist at Roundabout?
HD: Last year, I worked with a class of students who didn’t really seem too interested in the work. But at one visit, I started the lesson with a crazy inciting incident, and was shocked that the students actually stood up and participated! Also, working with the Theatrical Workforce Development Program has been extremely rewarding. I’ve really enjoyed teaching the fellows carpentry, load-in, and strike skills through hands-on workshops and site visits.

SK: Do you have any exciting projects coming up?
HD: I look forward to continuing my work with TWDP. I'm really excited for the second cohort of TWDP fellows to begin!

Related Categories:
Education @ Roundabout, Teaching Artist Tuesday

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Posted on: May 10th, 2017 by Todd Haimes


Elizabeth McGovern

Elizabeth McGovern

I’m thrilled to announce the first play on the American Airlines stage for the 2017-2018 season: Time and the Conways by J. B. Priestley, directed by Rebecca Taichman and starring Elizabeth McGovern. This masterful play premiered on the West End in 1937 and on Broadway in 1938, and its unique explorations of time and destiny are just as shocking and relevant today as they were to audiences back then. I couldn’t be happier to be bringing Priestley’s classic back to a Broadway stage.

Elizabeth is a Roundabout alum, having appeared as Ophelia in our 1992 production of Hamlet. Elizabeth has built an incredible list of onscreen credits, perhaps most notably playing Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, in Downton Abbey, a role for which she has been nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Emmy. She has appeared in other such films and television series as Ordinary People, Once Upon a Time in America, Johnny Handsome, “Three Moons Over Milford,” Kick-Ass, and Showing Roots, and she earned both an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe nomination for her role in the film Ragtime. I am very excited to welcome Elizabeth back to the Roundabout stage.

Rebecca will be making her Roundabout debut, though you’ve certainly seen her work before. Most recently garnering a Tony Award nomination for her direction of Indecent on Broadway, Rebecca has an extensive list of New York credits to her name, including shows at LCT (How To Transcend A Happy Marriage and The Oldest Boy), Playwrights Horizons (Stage Kiss, Familiar, and Milk Like Sugar), LCT3 (Luck of the Irish), New York City Opera (Orpheus), and Classic Stage Company (Orlando). She also directed The Old Globe’s 2014 production of Time and the Conways. I am thrilled to have Rebecca join the Roundabout family.

Performances are set to begin September 14, 2017 with Opening Night scheduled for October 10, 2017.


Todd Haimes
Artistic Director/CEO

Related Categories:
2017-2018 Season

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In Memoriam: Edwin (Ed) Sherin

Posted on: May 8th, 2017 by Roundabout


The Roundabout family mourns the loss of Ed Sherin, the Tony-nominated and Emmy Award-winning director of stage and screen, who died last week at the age of 87. Ed joined Roundabout’s family of artists when he directed our 1992 production of The Visit, starring his wife, Jane Alexander. This revival appeared during the pivotal 1991-1992 season—Roundabout’s first year on Broadway at the Criterion Center in Times Square. Due in large part to Ed’s extraordinary work, The Visit won the 1992 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play, and was nominated for 2 Tony Awards: Best Revival of a Play and Best Actress in a Play (Jane Alexander).

The Visit, 1992. At left: Jane Alexander as Claire Zachanassian. Photo credit: Martha Swope.

Born on January 15, 1930, in Harrisburg, PA, Ed served in the Korean War before embarking on a career as an actor and director. He performed in a handful of productions on Broadway, including Measure for Measure and Peer Gynt. In 1968, Ed made his Broadway directorial debut with The Great White Hope and won the Drama Desk Award for Best Direction of a Play. He went on to direct several other Broadway shows, eventually earning a Tony nomination in 1974 for Find Your Way Home. Later in his career, he became a prolific TV director and executive producer—perhaps most famously for the NBC hit-drama Law and Order.

Photo featured in a scrapbook Jane Alexander created during rehearsals of The Visit. Sherin seated at forefront.

You will be missed by all of us in the theatre, Ed. Our love and thoughts are with Jane and your family.

Related Categories:
In Memoriam

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