I've received another Fulbright Award. Next year I'll spend nearly 6 months as a Fulbright Scholar teaching at a university in Kyrgyzstan (or possibly two). It's a small country, formerly part of the Soviet Union, just north and west of China and south of Kazakhstan. I applied in September and had a finalist interview several months ago. I'd almost forgotten about it, or at least put it on a back burner. Now it's suddenly a reality and I'm delighted by the upcoming challenge. I have a lot to do to prepare my project, which will use theatre and creative writing techniques for teaching English to upper level university students. I'll also do some other workshops and training along the same lines for younger English teachers. This is a further extension of the work I've been doing with my Alumni Grant from Fulbright Bulgaria. In fact, I'll bring along the booklet on this subject which I'm finishing this spring for the Bulgarian Fulbright Commission and I'll share it (after adapting it some) in Kyrgyzstan. I'll be working in English of course, but I've begun to study Russian, which is the lingua franca in all of the larger cities in Central Asia, thanks to their history under the Russian empire and then the Soviet Union. Luckily, Russian Cyrillic is close to Bulgarian and somewhere between 30 - 40% of Bulgarian words have a Russian counterpart, so it does give me a bit of a head-start. The goal will simply be to be conversational in a basic way by the time I'm there. And given my experience with Bulgarian, I'm confident it's possible. I really feel fortunate to have been awarded a second Fulbright and I know it will be a great adventure.
Over the winter I taught a class called Get Cast! for Berkeley Rep School of Theatre and they've asked me to teach another one in the spring. This one's called Cold Readings Served Hot, and I look forward to it. I really enjoyed the winter class.
I also just had the privilege of giving a virtual talk on Creativity, Language (& Leadership) at the Global Languages Center at Jindal University, in Sonipat, India. The students were really engaged and asked a lot of excellent questions. Fantastic event. And they're planning to invite me back for further talks.
I've been rehearsing virtually with Tony Crivello and planning with Rech Entertainment and we're currently finalizing dates for a production of McGUIRE in Milwaukee this summer. Also, Coturno Teatro is applying to remount El PANFLETO for the Theatre Festival in Santo Domingo in October, which would be exciting. And I'm directing a play for Next Act in November called THE TIN WOMAN. I'm looking forward to all of these projects.