Inland Sea Productions is a nonprofit, creative collaboration of some of Northeastern Wisconsin’s premier digital video production artists and craftspeople. These Producers, Writers, Editors, Audio Production, Lighting and staging Specialists average over 30 years of award productions between them. They come together on a project by project basic to create outstanding locally produced projects to the the highest creative and technical standards.
Taming of the Shrew
David Hyde Pierce
Alfred & Lynn
First, the Lunts insisted that they only act together, rather than in separate plays. By 1928, until they retired in 1960, the Lunts never appeared on stage separately. And as impressive as their individual careers had been, that was nothing compared to their impact together. The Lunts were instrumental in the transition of American theatre from oratory (or declamation) to naturalism. They revolutionized theatre with innovations that we now accept as commonplace: overlapping dialogue, turning their backs to the TEN CHIMNEYS a documentary being produced by Inland Sea Productions explores a little known Wisconsin treasure, the extraordinary home of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, widely considered the greatest acting team in the history of American theatre
Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne had three great loves in their lives, each other, the theatre and their home in Genesee Depot, Wisconsin. .By the mid-1920s, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne were the two most respected, most popular, most critically acclaimed, and highest-paid stage actors in the country. At the height of their individual careers, they made a remarkable decision. They each took enormous pay cuts to sign on with The Theatre Guild – a fledgling company dedicated to performing new and avant-garde work – by writers like Ibsen and Shaw. The Lunts believed strongly that creating great theatre with broad impact was far more important than money. But since they were taking such large cuts in salary, they were able to put two clauses into their contracts that would profoundly affect the rest of their lives and careers.
audience, passionate physical contact, and a level of truth and realism in everything they did that simply could not be found on the American stage prior to the Lunts. In fact, the Lunts’ devotion to excellence was matched only by the respect and affection they inspired in their peers and protégés alike.
“Everything I know about acting I learned from Alfred Lunt.”
“The Lunts were my friends. They were my idols, my teachers, my mentors. I think of all the lucky things that happened to me in my life in the theatre, the Lunts were the luckiest.”
The other requirement of the contract with The Theatre Guild was that the Lunts would never act in the summer, so they could instead come to Ten Chimneys, their Wisconsin home, to retreat, relax, and rejuvenate. And every summer they did just that. Because the Lunts were so widely loved and respected, “everyone who was anyone” in theatre, the arts, literature, wanted to come to Ten Chimneys to be with and work with the Lunts. The estate, almost inevitably, became an important place for artistic creation, discussion, and inspiration. More than just the Lunts’ home, Ten Chimneys was a home for the arts – literally and metaphorically. From the 1920s to 1960
“A perfect combination which we can never hope to see again, but which all of us who had the privilege of seeing them will always remember with admiration and delight.”
"There is a peculiar feeling for actors or anybody in the theatre that when you went to Ten Chimneys you had done something right. You had died and gone to heaven. You were home."
That same passion and spirit live on through The Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program, a groundbreaking national program to serve American theatre. Every year, 8-10 of the most accomplished regional-theatre actors in the country are invited to participate in a weeklong master class and retreat with a world-renowned and respected Master Teacher. A few of the Master Teachers Appearing in the documentary are Lynn Redgrave, Joel Grey, Olympia Dukakis, Alan Alda and Jason Alexander.
The 8-day immersion at Ten Chimneys includes intensive daily master class sessions, both in the historic rooms of the estate and in the modern facilities of the program center. Through this groundbreaking national program, the top actors in the country are given a rare and deeply needed opportunity to grow artistically, renew their passion for their art form, deepen their commitment to mentorship, and form a national community of Lunt-Fontanne Fellows.