Creative Team

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Emily Mann (Writer & Director)

Emily Mann has previously brought two impactful and influential documentary dramas to Broadway – Execution of Justice, and Having Our Say (Tony-nominated Best Play and Best Director). Also on Broadway, Emily directed A Streetcar Named Desire and Anna in the Tropics. Plays written by Mann include: Still Life; Annulla: An Autobiography; Greensboro (A Requiem); and Mrs. Packard. In 2020, her play Gloria: A Life was presented by Great Performances on PBS.

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From 1990-2020, Emily was the Artistic Director and Resident Playwright of McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, New Jersey, which was honored with the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater under her leadership. The new biography by Alexis Greene, Emily Mann: Rebel Artist of the American Theater, celebrates her many contributions and innovations, highlighting her groundbreaking work in “the theater of testimony:” constructing a play based on the verbatim speech surrounding real life events.

Awards include: Tony, Drama Desk, 8 Obies, Peabody, Hull Warriner, NAACP, Guggenheim, two Tony nominations, Outer Critics Circle nominations; a Princeton University Honorary Doctorate of Arts, a Helen Merrill Distinguished Playwrights' Award, Margo Jones Award, TCG Visionary Leadership Award, Lilly Lifetime Achievement Award, and The Gordon Davidson Award. In 2019, Mann was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.

 

"THE PIANIST is the most important story I’ve been entrusted with as a theater maker. Not only is it a stunning story about the tenacity of the human spirit and the power of art, but it is also deeply personal. Since I was a child, I’ve been haunted by my mother’s family murdered in occupied Poland during The Holocaust. When I went to Warsaw to research The Pianist, I visited the Jewish Cemetery and placed a stone on my great grandmother’s grave. At that moment, I realized I, too, was a Warsaw Jew, and I had to tell this story. Seeing fascism on the rise again both in the United States and around the world gives even greater urgency to this play. We must bring to powerful life the call to action ‘never again’." - Emily Mann

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Iris Hond (Music Composition)

Iris Hond is an acclaimed classical pianist and contemporary composer who has played to sold-out concert halls worldwide, headlined the Royal Concert Hall in Amsterdam and New Church in The Hague, and opened for superstar Diana Ross. Hond recorded an album of classical music for Decca (Iris) an album of original music composed in collaboration with legendary musician/producer Patrick Leonard (Dear World). Her personal journey from living on the streets to packing concert halls has inspired thousands in the Netherlands, where she graduated summa cum laude from the Royal Conservatory.

 

 

 

 

 

Listen to the first track of Iris' score for The Pianist below:

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Moving PiecesIris Hond
00:00 / 02:32

"My grandfather, Solomon, was a survivor who lost his entire family to the Holocaust; as a child I was haunted by dreams that me and my family would be taken away and executed. The Pianist’s score is a tribute to my family." -Iris Hond

Beowulf Boritt (Set Design)

Beowulf Boritt is currently represented on Broadway's Come From Away. He designed the Tony Award winning set for Act One, and received Tony Award nominations for his designs for Therese Raquin and The Scottsboro Boys. Other Broadway shows include David Thompson's Prince of Broadway and Alfred Uhry’s LoveMusik for Harold Prince; Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sondheim on Sondheim and Finn and Sheinkin's The Twenty-Fifth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, both directed by Mr. Lapine; Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, and Anthony Veneziale's Freestyle Love Supreme; the New York and Russian productions of Chaplin for director Warren Carlyle; John Rando's revival of On The Town; Rob Askins' Hand To God directed by Moritz Von Stuelpnage; and the long running Broadway and international hit Rock of Ages directed by Kristin Hanggi.

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Awards include: Tony, 2007 OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence in Set Design, an Audelco Award, a Barrymore award, a Live Design Award for Innovation in Scenic Design, a Broadway Beacon Award, and a St. Louis Theater Circle Award. His work has been seen in Europe, Asia, and Australia, and his designs are in the permanent collections of The Smithsonian Museum of American History and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

 

"My passion for THE PIANIST - beyond it being a beautiful and incredible story- is my own family history. My father was born a Jew in fascist Hungary in 1940. He was lined up against a wall with my grandmother and my aunt with guns trained on them, yet somehow that day they were not shot. His immediate family found refuge in the basement of a Swiss embassy annex in the final months of the war as the Nazi’s deported my great-grandparents to Auschwitz. And I never knew any of it until I was a teenager. My father didn’t want to remember it all, but I feel passionately about sharing the larger story." -Beowulf Boritt

Santino Fontana as Wladyslaw Szpilman

Santino Fontana has received a Tony Award, two Drama Desk Awards, an Outer Critics Circle Award, Lortel Award, Obie Award, and Clarence Derwent Award in a mix of straight plays and musicals. A two-time Tony Award nominee and three-time Drama Desk Award nominee, Fontana won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, and Outer Critics Circle Award for his lead performance as Michael Dorsey in the stage adaptation of Tootsie.

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Fontana is known to film audiences as the voice of Prince Hans in Disney's Academy Award-winning 2013 animated film Frozen. He has also appeared on television as Greg Serrano on seasons 1 and 2 of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and David Saperstein in Shades of Blue with Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta.

 

Creative Team