Judith Ivey as Margo Jones

Judith Ivey is the recipient of the Tony Award (twice), the Drama Desk Award (twice), the Obie Award, and countless others for her stagework. Most recently, she was honored with the Sydney Kingsley-Madge Evans Award for 2004 from the Dramatists’ Guild.

Her film credits include Devil’s Advocate, Washington Square, Mystery, Alaska, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Love Hurts, Harry and Son, Compromising Positions, and most recently, What Alice Found.

She has starred in four television series, the most memorable being Designing Women. She was nominated for an Emmy for her performance in Hallmark’s What The Deaf Man Heard. Other TV film credits include The Long, Hot Summer, Decoration Day, Half A Dozen Babies, and Rosered.

In 2004, Ivey was inducted into the Austin Film Society’s Texas Film Hall of Fame. In January 2006, she co-starred with Bill Pullman in the Kennedy Center’s revival of The Subject Was Roses.

In 2005, Ivey directed Bad Dates at the Laguna Playhouse, starring Beth Broderick. She also recently directed the very successful production of Steel Magnolias at the Alley Theatre and the off-Broadway play, More, starring Yeardley Smith, which she restaged for the Falcon Theatre in Los Angeles. Judith directed Two For The Seesaw at the Westport Playhouse, The Go For It Guy at the Aspen Comedy Festival, and Soccer Moms at Fleetwood Stage.

Judith will be touring the United States in Irene O’Garden’s Women On Fire during the 2005-06 season.

Richard Thomas as Tennessee Williams

Richard Thomas has starred in numerous stage, film and television productions, including the Broadway production of A Naked Girl on the Appian Way in 2005. In 2004-2005, he starred in Michael Frayn’s Democracy and As You Like It in Central Park.

Prior New York appearances include Terrence McNally’s The Stendhal Syndrome (Primary Stages), Edward Albee’s Everything in the Garden and Tiny Alice, Steve Tesich’s Square One(Second Stage), Lincoln Center Theater’s The Front Page, Lanford Wilson’s Fifth of July, Mary Drayton’s The Playroom and his Broadway debut, Sunrise at Compobello in 1958.

He has performed a variety of classical roles around the country, including Hamlet, Richard IIIand Peer Gynt for Mark Lamos (Hartford Stage), Richard II for Michael Kahn (The Shakespeare Theater), Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Angelo in Measure for Measure for Sir Peter Hall (The Ahmanson), The Count of Monte Cristo for Peter Sellars (Kennedy Center) and Danton’s Death for Robert Wilson (The Alley). He also appeared twice in Art in London’s West End.

Thomas has starred in over 40 films for television including Terrence McNally’s Andre’s Mother and Wild Hearts for Hallmark; and has appeared in a range of theatrical films including Winning, Last Summer, Red Sky at Morning, 9/30/55 and Wonder Boys. His television series have included It’s a Miracle, Just Cause and The Waltons, for which he won an Emmy Award in 1972.

Upcoming projects include the TV movie Wild Hearts (Hallmark), Stephen King’s Nightmares and Dreamscapes, and the national tour of Twelve Angry Men.

Thomas lives in New York with his wife Georgiana and their children, Montana and Kendra.

Marcia Gay Harden, Narrator

Marcia Gay Harden won the Academy Award in 2001 for her portrayal of Lee Krasner opposite Ed Harris in the feature film Pollock. In addition to the Oscar that year, Harden won the New York Film Critics Award for best supporting actress and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. In 2004, she garnered a second Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the critically acclaimed film Mystic River.

In 2005, Harden appeared in the Paramount Pictures film Bad News Bears and the independent film American Gun. In 2006, she will appear in Universal Picture’s political satire American Dreamz (directed by Paul Weitz), The Walt Disney Company’s Hoax, and David Goyer’s The Invisible. Her other films include Mona Lisa Smile, Casa de Los Babys, Miller’s Crossing and The Spitfire Grill.

Television appearances include roles in TNT’s epic Western King of Texas, the CBS drama series The Education of Max Bickford, the highly rated A&E original movie Small Vices, A&E’s Thin Air and the CBS movie of the week Guilty Hearts. In 1992, Harden came to the attention of television audiences for her portrayal of Ava Gardner in the CBS mini-series Sinatra.

Harden was featured on Broadway in Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Angels in America, which earned her a Tony nomination, a Drama Desk Award and a Theater World Award. She also starred in David Rabe’s Those the River Keeps. Marcia most recently portrayed “Masha” in the New York Public Theatre’s production of The Seagulldirected by Mike Nichols.

The actress graduated from the University of Texas with a B.A. in Theater and went on to earn an MFA from the graduate theatre program at New York University.

Kay Cattarulla, Co-Producer/Writer/Director

In 1978, Kay Cattarulla was part of the team that started Symphony Space, the innovative performing arts center at 95th Street and Broadway in New York. While working there, she originated the literary series Selected Shorts: A Celebration Of The Short Story, featuring readings by actors of short fiction, and together with Isaiah Sheffer launched the nationally broadcast version of the series that is currently heard in 140 cities on National Public Radio.

On moving to Dallas in 1990, Cattarulla founded the award-winning literary series Arts & Letters Live at the Dallas Museum of Art, and served as producer for its first twelve seasons. She edited three anthologies of stories deriving from the series, entitled Texas Bound, and produced four companion audio editions, all published by SMU Press. She produced two programs on Margo Jones for Arts & Letters Live in 1997, beginning nine years of research into Jones’ life and career.

Cattarulla was elected to membership in the Texas Institute of Letters in 2000. She was born in Ithaca, NY, and received a B.A. from Cornell University and an M.A. from Columbia University.

Rob Tranchin, Co-Producer/Writer/Director

Tranchin is an executive producer at KERA, where he is also a national Emmy Award-winning producer, writer and director. Prior to Sweet Tornado: Margo Jones and the American Theater, Tranchin wrote, produced and directed Roy Bedichek’s Vanishing Frontier, a one-hour documentary about the life of a Texas naturalist that aired nationally on PBS in April 2003.

His other national productions for PBS include Wildcatter (for the PBS series American Experience), Who Cares about Kids? with poet and author Maya Angelou, For a Deaf Son, and Peacemaker. In 1999, he won a national Emmy Award as writer and co-producer of KERA’s four-part nationally televised PBS series The U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848). In 2000, Tranchin was nominated for another national Emmy Award as writer and co-producer of Matisse & Picasso, a compelling portrait of two giants of 20th century art.

Tranchin is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and holds an M.A. in Cinema Studies from New York University. As a Henry Luce Foundation Scholar, Tranchin lived for two years in Japan, where he worked as an assistant director to the Japanese film director Imamura Shohei.

A. Dean Bell, Director, Theater Sequences

A. Dean Bell is an award-winning filmmaker whose most recent film is the feature-length drama What Alice Found, which he wrote and directed, starring two-time Tony winner Judith Ivey. Alice was nominated for the Grand Prize and garnered a Special Jury Award for Emotional Truth at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. At the Deauville Festival of American Film in France Alice received the Grand Prize from Jury Chairman Roman Polanski. Alice was also selected Best Feature Film at the Cinema Paradisio Festival in Hawaii and was an official selection of many festivals around the world. After a 2004 theatrical release, Alice is available on home video and has been seen on the Sundance Channel, ShowTime and Life Time Television.

Bell’s previous feature film – also as writer/director – was the 1995 spoof comedy Backfire! with Robert Mitchum, Telly Savalas, Shelly Winters and Kathy Ireland.

Recently, Bell developed a pilot for a night-time drama under contract with Fox Broadcasting. Fox has produced a 10-minute sample of the pilot with Bell directing. Bell is also the writer/director/ co-producer of the award-winning educational television series SportsFigures which airs on ESPN. The program has won most major educational media awards including the prestigious Clarion Award for Best Children’s Program Ages 14 and Up in four separate years. He is also working on a new screenplay, Blowing Hector’s Nose.

Bell received a BFA with Honors from the Purchase College film program. He has been teaching screenwriting and directing at Purchase since 1995.

Sylvia Komatsu, Executive in Charge

Sylvia Komatsu, senior vice president of content for KERA, is an award-winning journalist with extensive credits as producer, writer and program executive for many public television programs. She now oversees a content division that includes radio, television, communications, Web and educational services. Among her many projects, she conceived and developed the national Emmy Award-winning documentary series, The U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848).

Her national public television credits as executive in charge include JFK: Breaking the News, a close-up look at how reporters responded to a national tragedy; Matisse & Picasso, the remarkable tale of rivalry and friendship between these two great artists; After Goodbye: An AIDS Story, a candid portrayal of love, loss and courage; and For A Deaf Son, a first-person account by producer Rob Tranchin tracing his family’s journey through a maze of life-changing decisions that must be made when a deaf child is born to hearing parents.

Komatsu received an A.B. in government from Harvard College and a M.A. in journalism from Columbia University.

About KERA

KERA, a major public broadcasting producer and a leading community-based radio and television institution, contributes to the national PBS schedule by producing programs that showcase Texas and the Southwest to the nation. Its television productions have been lauded for excellence by top industry awards, including a national George Foster Peabody Award in 2002 for KERA’s co-production of The Cliburn: Playing on the Edge and a national Emmy Award in 1998 for KERA’s four-part documentary series, The U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848). In 2001, KERA received a national Emmy nomination for its first high-definition television documentary, Matisse & Picasso.

As a public broadcasting institution, KERA relies on viewer contributions to produce quality arts and history programs. Click here to make a donation to KERA.