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August 13, 2013/For Immediate Release, high res. photo available

Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu



Alumna of UNCSA School of Drama brings 30 years of experience in arts leadership

(Winston-Salem) The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) has named School of Drama alumna and award-winning writer and director Corey Madden as executive director of the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts. Since 2007, she has been founding artistic director of L’Atelier Arts in Los Angeles, which creates multi-disciplinary and site-specific projects around the world. She also was the director of Artist Programs for the Pasadena Arts Council.

“We are proud to add another alumnus to our executive staff,” said Provost David Nelson. “Corey Madden’s depth and breadth of professional experience, plus her passion for the School of the Arts, made her an excellent choice.”

Madden was a classmate of Mark Hough, who became Chief Advancement Officer at UNCSA in September 2012. “Corey Madden is a brilliant choice to lead the Kenan Institute,” Hough said. “I’m proud to say I went to school with her and have worked with her professionally.”

Corey Madden

The Kenan Institute, funded by the William R. Kenan Jr. Fund for the Arts, was established in 1993 to fund collaborations between UNCSA and other national and international organizations to impact the future of the arts. Its current projects include fellowships at Aspen Music Festival and School, WGBH Boston, and Penland School of Crafts, as well as UNCSA’s Cirkus Theatre Project and the Open Dream Ensemble.

Madden said she is honored to lead the Kenan Institute, and to return to her alma mater. “As an alumna whose creative career was jump-started by my studies at UNCSA, I am thrilled to join this wonderful institution where I hope to foster creative leadership, innovation and service among students, faculty and staff,” she said.

“Because of the vision and generosity of the Kenan family, the Kenan Institute for the Arts is a catalyst for creative innovation and growth locally and nationally,” Madden added.

Corey Madden brings 30 years of creative leadership in the performing and visual arts to her new position. In addition she is an award-winning writer/director in theatre and film and the founder of L’Atelier Arts, which creates multi-disciplinary and site-specific projects around the world.  Madden is an alumna of the Drama School at UNCSA. She received her undergraduate degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and has a master’s in creative writing including a professional certificate in screenwriting from University of Southern California School of Cinema.

Madden began her professional career at Actors Theatre of Louisville (ATL) working under the mentorship of Jon Jory to program, cast and produce the Humana Festival of New American Plays. She joined Actors Theatre when it had just won a Regional Theatre Tony Award and Beth Henley’s Crimes of the Heart was running on Broadway and had been awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Madden was on the artistic team that identified playwrights John Patrick Shanley, Lee Blessing and Heather McDonald and helped launch the careers of actors Kathy Bates, John Turturro, David Straithairn, Mary McDonnell, Margo Martindale and many others. As a young artist, Madden wrote and directed short plays for the Apprentice Company and had her one-act, Coastal Waters, commissioned and then produced in ATL’s 1984 Shorts Festival.

Madden was recruited to join the artistic team of the Tony Award-winning Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in 1985 and became associate artistic director in 1993. During her 22-year tenure she conceived and led a wide array of artistic programs and initiatives to serve diverse artists and communities. She was a leader of the artistic group that identified and produced groundbreaking new plays by Tony Kushner, Anna Deavere Smith, George C. Wolfe and Robert Schenkkan -- all of which transferred to Broadway. They included Angels In America and Kentucky Cycle -- both of which won Pulitzer Prizes -- as well as Jelly’s Last Jam and Twilight Los Angeles: 1992.  During her tenure Madden was honored to produce premieres by Tom Stoppard, Anthony Minghella, Vaclav Havel and Athol Fugard as well as work with leading American artists such as Peter Sellars, Bill Rauch and Cornerstone Theatre, Culture Clash and many, many others.  In addition Madden directed numerous plays and projects for Center Theatre Group, notably Marga Gomez’ A Line Around the Block, which transferred to the Public Theatre in New York, and a musical adaptation of George Saunders’ The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, which premiered in Los Angeles and was also seen at New Visions New Voices Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Madden’s passion for cross-disciplinary work was ignited by Canadian artist Robert Le Page whose epic Dragon’s Trilogy she produced in Los Angeles in 1986 in collaboration with the University of California Los Angeles. Her own cross-disciplinary work blossomed when she began to collaborate with David Gordon of Pick Up Performance on Punch And Judy Get a Divorce, The Family Business and The First Picture Show, for which she wrote a Production Notebook for TCG Books. Madden went on to create multi-disciplinary programming for the Getty Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles Modern Dance and Ballet and radio station KCRW. In 2007 Madden left the Taper to found L’Atelier Arts, and her multi-disciplinary works have been commissioned and presented in Los Angeles and internationally.

Recent projects include Rain After Ash commissioned and presented at as part of Pasadena Arts Council’s A x S Festival (2011); Suzanne Lacy’s Three Weeks in January for the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival; Day for Night premiered at GLOW on Santa Monica Beach (2010) and screened at the Transatlantyk Festival in Poland (2011); The Ecologies of Poetry as part of the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read at Occidental College (2009); Surf Orpheus (2008) at the Getty Villa and University of California San Diego; and the Rockefeller award-winning Rock, Paper, Scissors at Childsplay in Tempe, Ariz., subsequently produced by Speeltheatre in Holland (2010) which won Best Play and Music of 2009. 

As an individual artist Madden has been recognized for excellence by the Rockefeller Foundation, has been a Lucas Artist in Residence at the Montalvo Center and has won an L.A. Women in Theatre award for her commitment to diversity. She has a screenplay under option with Divasadero Films.

Madden is married to composer and cognitive scientist Bruno Louchouarn, who is a frequent collaborator. She has two children: Nicholas, who is a recent graduate of USC; and Ezra, who is a junior at Polytechnic School.


The Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts (www.uncsa.edu/kenan) is a privately funded program of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts that incubates projects that sustain artists at every point in their creative development through strategic partnerships that capitalize on visionary thinking in the arts.


As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.