Anne Bogart Selected As Commencement Speaker

As announced in March, author and award-winning theater and opera director Anne Bogart will address Cornish’s seniors during the 2015 Commencement on May 9 at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at the Seattle Center. President Nancy J. Uscher will award honorary degrees to Bogart and to choreographer and McArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Liz Lerman. In addition, this year’s Distinguished Recent Alumni Awards will go to Jerick Hoffer and Richard Andriessen and the Distinguished Alumni Award will go to Kent Devereaux.

Many Cornish theater majors already know the work of award-winning stage/opera director and author Anne Bogart. Her methods and many books on finding the moment in acting are standard fare in that department. But her wider views on the importance of the creative in everyday life will ring true to the more than 200 graduates receiving diplomas this year.

Bogart is one of the Artistic Directors of SITI Company, which she founded with Japanese director Tadashi Suzuki. Her three books of essays on theater-making: A Director PreparesWhat's the Story; and And Then, You Act are standard reading for theater professionals. She has taught numerous workshops and seminars as well as written on both the Suzuki method and Viewpoints, training methods used throughout contemporary theater.  Conversations with Anne, a collection of interviews she has conducted with various notable artists, was published in 2012.

As part of the May 9 ceremonies at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, President Nancy J. Uscher will award honorary degrees to Bogart and to choreographer and McArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Liz Lerman. In addition, this year’s Distinguished Recent Alumni Awards will go to Jerick Hoffer '10 and Richard Andriessen '10 and the Distinguished Alumni Award will go to Kent Devereaux '82.

“As part of our ongoing Centennial celebrations, we’re honored to have these notable artists and alumni join us for this joyous  event,” said President Uscher.

Lerman, an American choreographer and founder of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, has visited Cornish in the past. Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer, her collection of essays published in 2011 by Wesleyan University Press, was released in paperback in 2014. She has specialized in collaborative and genre-twisting work with dancers. In the course of her projects, she has included everyone from shipbuilders to physicists in her process of creation.

“Throughout its history, Cornish has opened its doors to artists with bold dreams and embraced those who wanted to make a difference in the world,” said President Uscher. “The artists we honor at Commencement, and the graduates who leave here to become the next generation of distinguished alumni, uphold that tradition. We are very excited to see what they will accomplish next as artists, citizens, and innovators.”

The Cornish Centennial Commencement will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 9, at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center. Cornish College of the Arts awards Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in art, dance, design, performance production, and theater, as well as a post-graduate Artist Diploma in Early Music.