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Ten Chimneys Opens For The Season

Ten Chimneys Opens For The Season

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Ten Chimneys in southeastern Wisconsin is open for the season. Ten Chimneys is the former home of late theater greats Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt. It’s in Genesee Depot, a small town about 30 miles west of Milwaukee, where Lunt was born. The couple retreated there in the summer, and fellow actors like Helen Hayes, Laurence Olivier, Katharine Hepburn and other friends frequently visited. Fontanne and Lunt co-starred in more than 40 plays in five decades. Lunt died in 1977 and Fontanne in 1983. The 60-acre estate opened in 2003 after a five-year, $12.5 million renovation. Tours started for the season Tuesday and continue through Nov. 13. They run Tuesday through Saturday, although it will be open on Mother’s Day.

About Ten Chimneys:

Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne are widely considered the greatest acting team in the history of American theatre. The Lunts’ passion for excellence and commitment to the art of live theatre was legendary, even at the beginning of their careers. Summer after summer, the Lunts came to Ten Chimneys to retreat, relax, and rejuvenate. Because the Lunts were so widely loved and respected, “anyone who was anyone” in theatre, arts, and 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.

Ten Chimneys is a landmark unique among our national treasures. Ten Chimneys’ diverse collections and enchanting décor are comprised of the original pieces hand-picked by the Lunts in the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s. And the magic is undiminished. As guests are welcomed through the Lunts’ remarkable creation, they are surprised and then moved by countless details.

Created with the same humanizing wit and passion for perfection that distinguished their stage performances, Ten Chimneys is the Lunts’ most enduring and tangible artistic legacy. For decades, their idyllic retreat beguiled and inspired the country’s finest actors, writers, designers, directors, and artists. Now, an invitation to Ten Chimneys, once coveted by the nation’s greatest luminaries, is extended to the public.

In this video: 2009 Lunt-Fontanne Master Teacher Lynn Redgrave: Personal reflections on the July week at Ten Chimneys; closing segment of the 2009 LFFP Concluding Presentation (a public program where Ms. Redgrave and the Fellows treated a live audience to a behind-the-scenes look at their Master Class process).

(Ten Chimneys, Genesee Depot, Wisconsin) On July 13, 2009, ten of the most respected and talented actors from across the United States formed the inaugural class of the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program and embarked on a week of intensive study and reflection on the art of acting, led by master teacher and revered Shakespearean actress, Lynn Redgrave.

The Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program is a groundbreaking national program to serve regional theatre actors and the future of American theatre. The program, created by Ten Chimneys Foundation, is a fitting tribute to Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, who are widely regarded as the greatest acting couple in the history of the American theatre. Answering the question, where do our nations acting mentors go to be mentored? the inaugural Lunt-Fontanne Fellows have come to Ten Chimneys to study with Ms. Redgrave and literally walk in the footsteps of the Lunts closest pals and protégés (Helen Hayes, Noël Coward, Alexander Woollcott, Katharine Hepburn, Laurence Olivier, Uta Hagen, Montgomery Clift, Julie Harris, and on and on)