Chicago actors Jacqueline Williams and Larry Yando have been selected for the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship, established "to serve regional theater actors and the future of American theatre," according to a press release. Williams was nominated for the program by the Goodman Theatre and Yando by Chicago Shakespeare Theater. They will join Lynn Redgrave for a week-long master class and retreat at Ten Chimneys, the former estate of American theater legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne.
Williams and Yando have performed extensively around Chicago over the past 25 years. Williams's credits run from playing one of the witches in a 1987 staging of Ionesco's Macbett to the title role in Electra at Court Theatre, where she also costarred in a 2006 revival of August Wilson's drama Fences and the 2008 Chicago premiere of the Tony Kushner/Jeanine Tesori musical Caroline, or Change. She's currently in The Brother/Sister Plays at Steppenwolf. Yando is best known as the latest Scrooge in the Goodman's A Christmas Carol, but he's also done masterful turns as Jaques in As You Like It; a Welsh Everyman in a fringy show called Gold Brick, based on songs by Jon Langford; the gay window dresser Molina in Pegasus Players' superb 1989 mounting of Manuel Puig's drama Kiss of the Spider Woman, playing opposite Harry Lennix under Eric Simonson's direction; and villainous Uncle Scar in the national road company of The Lion King. He can now be seen in Chicago Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.
Located in Genesee Depot, Wisconsin, Ten Chimneys is a National Historic Landmark. It was established by Lunt and Fontanne—the husband-and-wife acting team famed for their performances in Noel Coward's Private Lives and other classic plays—as a place where theater artists could gather. During the Lunts' lifetimes it was a magnet for such notables as Coward, Katharine Hepburn, and Helen Hayes. The Lunts were known for their dedication to influencing younger generations of artists—their proteges included Laurence Olivier, Montgomery Clift, Uta Hagen, and Julie Harris. Established in their memory, the fellowship program seeks to continue that tradition.