Project Gym was founded by Hannah Hessel Ratner after completing her MFA in Dramaturgy from the Columbia University School of the Arts. Her graduating thesis focused on the idea that a new type of space needed to exist in order to help theatre artists create work that pushes the artistic field forward. The space was built on ideas of space sharing, collaboration and the opportunity to get beyond comfort zones. As her ideas grew it felt clear that this type of interdisciplinary exploration was helpful for all artists irregardless of their creative mediums.
Project Gym is founded on the idea that creativity is a muscle that strengthens by being exposed to new ideas, thoughts and continual practice.
Creative Training is an opportunity to provide this type of structure to an artistic practice. Through conversations, artistic and education prompts and creating an environment for interdisciplinary conversations the Creative Trainer helps the artist to reach their goals.
About Hannah Hessel Ratner:
In 2013 Hannah was named by the Washington City Paper in their first People Issue one of the people who “make DC what it is.”
Hannah is a Washington, DC native. In addition to her work with the Project Gym, she is the Audience Enrichment Manager at the Shakespeare Theatre Company. At STC, she runs the Creative Conversations discussion series which includes a range of discussion formats including the innovative Twitter Night which provides an online conversation. She also oversees the free weekly performance series Happenings at the Harman, which brings music, dance and theatre over the lunch-hour. She has been affiliated with Forum Theatre for nearly a decade, she currently serves as the Senior Dramaturg. At Forum she has worked on many productions including several new plays. She was the Literary Director, Outreach and Education Associate at Theater J where she discussed and helped to develop work that spoke to the urban Jewish experience. She is on the board of the Association of Jewish Theater. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and holds an MFA in dramaturgy from Columbia University.