IRINA GACHECHILADZE is a New York-based stage and opera director and choreographer. Recent productions include The Seagull (TheatreLab); The Breadbaker’s Apprentice, Nicholas and Alexandra, and High Above the City (all with Amios at the Kraine Theatre); and the operas Suor Angelica by Puccini and L’enfant et les sortilèges by Ravel at Westminter Choir College. International productions include Mozart’s Don Giovanni (National Armenian Opera in Yerevan); Eugene Onegin, after the novel in verse by Alexander Pushkin (Marjanishvili Theater, Tbilisi, Georgia), and Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Telephone (Salon Opera, London). A native of the Republic of Georgia, she holds a master’s degree in stage directing from the Russian Academy of Performing Arts (GITIS, Moscow). She is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, and also has extensive film and visual arts credits. Her films An Apple and Stigma received awards at the Kinoshok Film Festival in Anapa, Russia. More of her work can be found at



Ileana Alexandra Orlich is President’s Professor of Romanian Studies, English and Comparative Literature at Arizona State University. Her books include Subversive Stages: Theater in Pre-and Post-Communist Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria (2017); Staging Stalinism in Post-Communism Romania (2012); Myth and Modernity in the Twentieth-Century Romanian Novel (2009); Articulating Gender, Narrating the Nation: Allegorical Femininity in Romanian Fiction (2004); Silent Bodies: (Re)Discovering the Women of Romanian Short Fiction (2002). She is the author of numerous articles and translations from Romanian fiction and Spanish and Russian theater. She wrote stage adaptation in English and French of the avant-garde theater for performances in Romania, France and the United States and is a frequent theater critic and commentator for Romanian and English literary journals.

Orlich is a well-known speaker on cultural, political and gender relations, nationalism and ethnic conflict. She received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Literary Translation and the prestigious Meritul Cultural al României, was a Fulbright Professor and a Fulbright Senior Specialist, and the recipient of grant awards from Romania's Cultural Institute and Romania's Writers' Union. She serves as Honorary Consul General of Romania in Arizona.



Heather graduated from UD in 2002  having double majored in fashion apparel and costume design while also working at the university's graduate theatre program, the PTTP. She then relocated to London working at fashion houses and costume shops for two years before arriving in NY and costuming 35+ plays, ballets and operas.  She was a founding member of Firework Theatre Company, a production company for which she has designed Blue Martini for The New York International Fringe Festival, Octopus Love Story, Conference Room A, and The Night Carter Was Bad among other original plays. Other notable New York theatre credits include Jose Riviera's Cloud Tectonics  Lee Blessing's Two Rooms and Macbeth with Roust Theatre Company, The Making of Marilyn with The Bridge Theatre Company, and the dance company Everything Smaller's The Map and the Machine among others, and also regionally for the CSC in Boulder, CO. In fashion, Heather was the chief technical designer for Imitation of Christ from 2005-2006, notably for their couture showing at the Louvre.  Her fashion clients include Patricia Field, Scarlett Johansson, Redken, L'Oreal Professional, as well as fashion styling for various photographers and agencies.



Sam Kusnetz has been designing, composing, photographing, filming, stage managing, and solving all manner of theatrical challenges for nearly twenty years. He has toured nationally and internationally with acclaimed physical theater companies Imago Theater and Do Jump!, designed sound Off-Broadway at the New Victory, the Duke on 42nd Street, and the Mint Theater, and regionally at Provincetown Theater and Portland Center Stage, where he earned a Drammy Award for his design of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. At Brown University, his alma mater, Sam designed sound for the world premiere of Jordan Harrison's Kid Simple. As an assistant and associate designer, Sam has worked with established and respected designers such as David Van Tieghem, Leah Gelpe, Bart Fasbender, Jeremy Lee, and Darron West. His input has helped guide sound system designs at Lincoln Center's Claire Tow theater and the Pershing Square Signature Center. Sam is a proud member of United Scenic Artists, the union of professional theatrical designers and scenic artists.



Michael was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. He started his careeer at Georgian Public Broadcasting's computer center in 1996 and soon understood that visual design is much more attractive than mathematical calculations. Collaborations with Irina Gachechiladze include the opera Don Giovanni (National Armenian Opera); Sound Sculptures (installation at Tbilisi Historical Museum); and the films An Apple and Stigma. He has also done video design for various television and industrial events, including the Tbilisi New Year’s and Independence day celebrations, the Tbilisi and Black Sea Jazz Festivals, and Tbilisi Concert Hall, where he has worked since 2009. He is married to Mariam Kublashvili and they have two daughters.


GIYA KANCHELI was born in Tbilisi in 1935. Best-known as a composer of symphonies and other large-scale works, Kancheli has written seven symphonies and a "liturgy" for viola and orchestra, “Mourned by the Wind”. His Fourth Symphony ("In Memoria di Michelangelo") received its American premiere with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Yury Temirkanov conducting, in January 1978, shortly before the cultural freeze in the United States against Soviet artists. The advent of glasnost brought growing exposure for and recognition of Kancheli's distinctive musical voice, leading to prestigious commissions and increasingly frequent performances in Europe and America. Dennis Russell Davies, Jansug Kakhidze, Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Kim Kashkashian, Mstislav Rostropovich and the Kronos Quartet are among his passionate champions. In recent seasons, world premieres of specially commissioned works have taken place in Seattle (“Piano Quartet in L'istesso Tempo by the Bridge Ensemble,” 1998) and New York (“And Farewell Goes Out Sighing...” for violin, countertenor and orchestra by the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur, 1999). North American premieres of major scores by Kancheli have been presented by the Philadelphia and Chicago Symphony Orchestras and at the Vancouver International New Music Festival.



Recent: Sundown Yellow Moon (ARS NOVA / WP Theatre), The Winter's Tale (Warren Miller PAC, Montana), OKAY by Taylor Mac, Pirates of Penzance (Amarillo Opera), Returning to Albert Joseph (Satori Group), Queen for a Day (St. Clements), Remix 38 (Actor's Theater of Louisville, Humana). Associate: The Antipodes (Signature), The Hairy Ape (Park Ave Armory), Everybody (Signature), Othello (NYTW), A Life (Playwrights), The Flick (New York Premiere & The National Theatre), Monica Bill Barnes & Co, PigIron Theatre Company, Lincoln Center, Spoleto Festival USA, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and PigPen Theater Company. 



Cate McCrea is a New York-based set designer and theatre maker. Recent work in NYC: 330 Pegasus (Columbia University), Prince of Players (Little Opera Theater of NY), Words on Dance (Baryshnikov Center), RETREAT/Electra (Two Headed Rep), The Subtle Body (59E59). Other credits include: Returning to Albert Joseph with the Satori Group in Seattle and Believeland (Williams College Summer Theatre Lab). Associate design credits at The Public, MTC, and Glimmerglass, among others. Cate is a graduate of Williams College.