Co-Conceived by Christopher McElroen & Sam Stephenson
Created with: Brian D. Coats, Jason Goodman, Jaymes Jorsling, Kate Joyce, Brigid Hughes, Conrad Kluck, Alex Koch, Lucy Owen, and Julia Watt
Directed by Christopher McElroen
Based on the book The Jazz Loft Project by Sam Stephenson
Sam Stephenson is a writer, instructor, and consultant at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Since 1997 he has researched the life and work of photographer W. Eugene Smith, authoring three books: Dream Street: W. Eugene Smith’s Pittsburgh Project (W. W. Norton, 2001), W. Eugene Smith 55 (Phaidon Press, 2001), and The Jazz Loft Project: Photographs and Tapes of W. Eugene Smith from 821 Sixth Avenue (Knopf, November 2009). He curated a 400-piece exhibition of Dream Street for the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh and the International Center of Photography in New York City in 2001-02, and a 300-piece exhibition of The Jazz Loft Project at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in 2010. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Oxford American, Smithsonian, A Public Space, Paris Review, and DoubleTake, among other publications. He has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition, as well as NBC’s Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, CNN, and the BBC-TV’s 2007 series The Genius of Photography. He won a 2010 ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for the Jazz Loft Project. His biography of Smith, Gene Smith’s Sink, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and he is publishing pieces from the book bi-weekly on Paris Review Daily. He is a native of Washington, N.C.
Christopher McElroen is a New York based theatre producer/director. Selected directing credits include Jean Genet’s The Blacks: A Clown Show, which received four 2003 OBIE Awards and was named one of the ten best Off-Broadway productions of 2003 by The New York Times, Sekou Sundiata’s 51st (dream) State, a multimedia exploration of American identity and citizenship that premiered at the BAM/Next Wave Festival, and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot staged outdoors in the Lower Ninth Ward and Gentilly communities of post-Katrina New Orleans. The New York Times listed the project as one of the top ten national art events of 2007. The archives from the production have been acquired into the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art and will be on exhibit through September 2011. In addition, Christopher has directed or guest lectured at Stanford University, Duke University, Purdue University, New York University, Dartmouth College, The Contemporary Arts Center Boston, The Walker Arts Center and The Museum of Modern Art, among others. His work has been recognized with the American Theatre Wing Award (Outstanding Artistic Achievement), Drama Desk Award (Artistic Achievement), Edwin Booth Award (Outstanding Contribution to NYC Theater), Lucille Lortel Award (Outstanding Body of Work), and two Obie Awards (Sustained Achievement and Excellence in Theatre). Christopher recently founded the american vicarious whose inaugural projects include Living in Exile, presented at the 2011 Under the Radar Festival, and the world premiere stage adaptation of Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man, opening Chicago January 2012.