The Simon Studio
THE SIMON STUDIO, Roger Hendricks Simon - Artistic Director, celebrates its 39th. anniversary as a theatre and Film/TV/Audio training, development and production center in NYC (at the Drama Book Shop’s Arthur Seelen Theatre).
Recently awarded the 2016 Smart Family Foundation Award Grant, SIMON theatre, Film/TV/Radio projects include the studio’s annual Shakespeare BARD AT THE BAR and Sarah Levine Simon and Mihai Grunfeld’s THE DRESSMAKER’S SECRET which first developed in the studio’s On Camera Professional Lab for ensemble training and production where student actors, writers and directors combine w/professional participants. Studio projects emerge and have been produced by studio artists Off Broadway at 59E59ST and Theatre Row, regionally and internationally at the Museum of Television and Radio (the Paley Center) - SIMON STUDIO PRESENTS for NPR and Serius/XM radio - the Aspen Playwrights Conference, The Roundabout Theatre, the Manhattan School of Music, the Carmel (CA.) Performing Arts Festival, the Vienna International Theatre, Lincoln Center’s Bruno Walter Library Theatre, Woodstock Playhouse, NY and Midtown International Theatre Festivals, Samuel French Short Play and Strawberry Festivals (award winning entries), Newport Beach Film Festival. Past funding and sponsorship from NPR, Time Warner Public Access, NYC Board of Education, and Danish Ministry of Culture.
Sarah Levine Simon
Sarah Levine Simon has enjoyed a dual career as a musician (opera singer) and writer. She has appeared as a soloist throughout the United States and Europe singing difficult soprano repertory such as Bach Cantata No. 51, Lukas Foss’ Time Cycle and the lyric soprano operatic repertory. Writing began for the soprano as a way to access the literary texts she sang and led to her creating her own narratives. Writing credits include: Bernardo’s Farewell and Mouse Music, stories for actors and orchestra, produced with a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts, narrated by actress Tovah Feldshuh, among others. She has written two plays on commission for Plays for Living. The Portrait written as a radio play for National Public Radio in 1983 finally received a full production by the Ad Lib theater company at Theater 54 in New York City to critical acclaim in 2014. She wrote, produced and sang as the ‘gourmet diva’ in five musical videos to introduce classical music and have a little fun with it as well. https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSJs9EEzJnA.
Her three debut novels WINGED VICTORY, a young adult novel, LOCKED OUT, a mystery thriller, and MURDER IN THE COFFEE EXCHANGE, a thriller, are under contract to Black Opal Books for release in the spring of 2017. In February of 2017 The Dressmaker’s Secret, a play co written with Mihai Grunfeld will receive a full production at Theater 59 in New York City.
Sarah has taught writing at Brooklyn College, The New York Institute of Technology and Dutchess Community College and is always happy to run writing workshops or lead book club discussions.
CO-WRITER, AUTHOR, "THE DRESSMAKER'S SON"
Mihai Grunfeld published his autobiography Leaving – Memories of Romania in 2008. In 2011 the book was translated into Spanish and published in Spain as Irse. Grunfeld finished work on a novel entitled “The Dressmaker’s Son,” and together with Sarah Levine Simon adapted it to a play entitled “The Dressmaker’s Secret.” He also finished translating and editing a memoir entitled “Inherited Words” by Roth Zoltán, a Romanian Holocaust survivor.
Grunfeld obtained his Ph.D. from University of California at Berkeley and is a professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature at Vassar College since 1987 where he teaches in the Hispanic Studies Department. At Vassar he has periodically served as chair, directed the Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Spain, Vassar’s Summer Language Program in Oaxaca, Mexico, and was an assistant director of The Spanish School at Middlebury College. His research focuses on modern Latin American poetry, especially the Avant-Garde, and the intersection between literature and the visual arts as expressed, for example, in the Mexican muralism. He published Antología de la poesía latinoamericana de vanguardia (1995), and articles on modernismo and the Avant-Garde, as well as creative short stories.
Grunfeld was born in Cluj, Romania where he lived with his family until he was eighteen. In January 1969 he and his older brother traveled to Czechoslovakia and from there escaped to Austria. This was the beginning of a long journey, which took him to Israel, Italy, Sweden, and Canada in search of a home in the West. Eventually he settled in the United States.
Roger Hendricks Simon
Recently seen in Oliver Stone’s WALL STREET, MONEY NEVER SLEEPS (Blue Ray DVD) opposite Michael Douglas and Josh Brolin, Roger Hendricks Simon also received critical acclaim playing the lead role in THE SUBLET, the Best Feature award winner at several international film festivals and screenings in L.A. and NYC. He is currently producing the soon to be released TV film documentary THE BOYS OF LATE SUMMER. A graduate of Yale School of Drama and founding member of Robert Brustein’s Yale Rep Co. in ‘67, he was elected to Notable Names in American Theatre and has directed, produced and acted for Yale Rep, Joe Papp’s N.Y. Shakespeare Festival, London’s Royal Court Theatre, Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Lincoln Center, BAM, Edinburgh Festival, Nancy Festival du Monde, the Eugene O’Neill and Aspen (Co.) Playwrights Conferences, Juilliard (Opera and Theatre), LaMama and the Roundabout Theatre among others.
Mr. Simon has directed John Travolta, John Lithgow, James Earl Jones, James Woods, Samuel L. Jackson, Bibi Andersson and Tovah Feldshuh among others in highly acclaimed productions including London, NYC and international premiers by Tennessee Williams, John Guare, Sam Shepard, David Hare, Michael Weller, Terrence McNally, Lanford Wilson and William Saroyan. He has produced, directed and acted for TV and radio (including his National Endowment award winning drama series SIMON STUDIO PRESENTS for National Public Radio, Sirius/XM Radio and Time Warner Cable). Other international TV and film projects including those for PBS, BBC, Thames TV and Metromedia TV. For THE SIMON STUDIO he has produced and directed a number of site specific historical plays commissioned by and for the city of Poughkeepsie, NY where he lives and was the co-producer/director with his son Dan Simon for his wife Sarah Levine Simon’s BREAD TODAY, a promotional film series produced for Emerging Pictures’ live telecasts of LaScala and other international opera productions in USA movie theatres.
For the past 38 years Mr. Simon has been Artistic Director of THE SIMON STUDIO in NYC - an award winning training, development and production center for theatre and film that recently developed THE DRESSMAKER’S SECRET in their On Camera Professional Lab. The studio was recently the 2016 recipient of the Smart Family Foundation grant and has received previous grants from the National Endowment of the Arts and National Public Radio. Mr. Simon was also Founding Artistic Director of the L. A. Classical Theatre Lab in L.A. now in it’s 28th. year. He has directed, acted and taught actors, writers, directors and public speakers in NYC, L.A., London and throughout the USA, Europe, India, Pakistan, Iran, Nigeria and South Africa.