American Masters (2014 Season) – Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun

Production Bios

Air date: 06/20/2014

American Masters Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun


Premieres nationally Friday, June 20, 10-11:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)



Production Bios


Nancy Buirski

Writer, Director and Producer

Nancy Buirski is the director, producer and writer of American Masters — Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun that had its world premiere at the 51st New York Film Festival and its International Premiere at the 64th Berlinale. She is the director, producer and writer of the Emmy Award-winning The Loving Story (2011) (HBO). The film was a recipient of a coveted Peabody Award and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. It had its festival premiere at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, followed by Tribeca and many other festivals in the U.S. and abroad. It was included in the shortlist for the 2011 Academy Awards and was selected for Sundance’s Film Forward, the U.S. State Department’s American Film Showcase, and has screened at The White House. It has won numerous other awards including a WGA Award for Best Screenwriting, the American Historical Association’s 2012 John E. O’Connor Award, the Gabriel Award and the NAMIC Vision Award.

Buirski is a producer of Harlem Woodstock (Director Alex Gibney), Althea (Director Rex Miller) and consulting producer of Private Violence (Director Cynthia Hill). She is producing a narrative version of The Loving Story in association with Colin Firth’s Raindog Productions and is in development on The Donner Party with Ric Burns for HBO Original Programming. Buirski will next direct Endangered, a live-action and animated film based on Eliot Schrefer’s award-winning YA novel of the same title.

Buirski is the founder and was the director of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival for 10 years. She was executive producer of TED’s Pangea Day Film Content. Prior to her work in film, Buirski was the foreign picture editor at The New York Times, garnering the paper its first Pulitzer Prize in photography. Her photo book Earth Angels: Migrant Children in American was published by Pomegranate Press. Prints from the collection were exhibited at the Smithsonian and traveled throughout the U.S.


Ric Burns


Ric Burns is an internationally recognized documentary filmmaker and writer, best known for his eight-part, seventeen and a half hour series, New York: A Documentary Film, which premiered nationally on PBS to wide public and critical acclaim when broadcast in November 1999, September 2001, and September 2003.Burns has been writing, directing and producing historical documentaries for nearly 20 years, since his collaboration on the celebrated PBS series The Civil War, (1990), which he produced with his brother Ken and co-wrote with Geoffrey C. Ward. Since founding Steeplechase Films in 1989, he has directed some of the most distinguished programs in the award-winning public television series, American Experience, including Coney Island (1991), The Donner Party (1992), The Way West (1995), and Ansel Adams (2002), a co-production of Steeplechase Films and Sierra Club Productions.

In 2006, Burns released both Eugene O’Neill and Andy Warhol to critical acclaim. The two films garnered 2006-2007 Primetime and News and Documentary Emmy Awards for outstanding writing for non-fiction programming; Andy Warhol also received a 2006 Peabody Broadcasting Award. In 2009, Mr. Burns completed We Shall Remain: Tecumseh’s Vision, part two of a five-part history of Native America, followed by the Emmy nominated documentary Into the Deep: America, Whaling & the World in 2010, both of which aired nationally as part of WGBH Boston’s American Experience.

Mr. Burns most recently finished Death and the Civil War, a film based on the best-selling book This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War by acclaimed historian and Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust.


Damian Rodriquez


Damian Rodriguez was born and raised in Austin, TX. He started working in recording studios in high school and graduated from University of Texas studying sound and film.

Moving to New York City in 2000 he began picture editing and has since worked on such important documentaries as HBO’s Public Speaking with Fran Lebowitz and American Masters’ No Direction Home: Bob Dylan both directed by Martin Scorsese. He was recently the picture editor on The Making of the Album Viva Duets with Tony Bennett.


Rick Rodgers

Director of Photography

Rodgers is director and cinematographer of three feature films: Sweets (Kevin Corrigan, Catherine Kellner and Sarita Choudhury), Adam Shaw (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Josh Hamilton and Juliet Rylance), and Ossining (Christian Camargo, Bobby Cannvale and Arjun Gupta) all in post-production. He is currently director and cinematographer of two feature documentaries The Third Act of Marian Seldes and The Trials of Constance Baker Motley.

His short doc Crash&Burn world premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival (Other festivals include LA Shorts, Sedona, Williamstown and Woodstock). After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design he worked as a graphic designer in London and New York. As an actor he is best known for playing Robson for 5 seasons on the critically acclaimed HBO series OZ.


Barbara Horgan


Barbara Horgan began working at New York City Ballet in 1953, becoming George Balanchine’s personal assistant in 1962, a position she held until his death in 1983. From 1953 to 1982, she was instrumental in bringing Balanchine’s work to film and television, including numerous programs for The Bell Telephone Hour, Dance in America, and Live from Lincoln Center. Ms. Horgan is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the George Balanchine Foundation, which was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization soon after his death to further Balanchine’s work and aesthetic through concentrated research, lectures and videos, publications, and ballet reconstructions. Ms. Horgan is also the founding trustee and managing director of the George Balanchine Trust, founded in 1987 to administer the licensing of his works throughout the world.


Krysanne Katsoolis

Executive Producer

Krysanne Katsoolis has more than 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry. Katsoolis is an attorney and began her entertainment career in business and legal affairs at Miramax Films. Katsoolis’ experience includes all aspects of the film and television industry including acquisitions, co-production, packaging, financing and distribution.

Katsoolis is a founding partner of Cactus Three, a New York-based company that specializes in the production, financing and distribution of elevated films. In the past decade the company has been involved in more than 30 award-winning documentaries including Oscar winner The Cove; Academy Award-nominee Which Way Home; Sketches of Frank Gehry, directed by Sydney Pollack; Once in a Lifetime for Miramax Films; Family Bonds, an HBO series; and Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, based on Peter Biskind’s book. Recent films produced under this banner include The March, executive produced by Robert Redford, and American Masters — Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun, directed by Emmy- and Peabody-winning director Nancy Buirski.

In 2012 Katsoolis and the partners of Curious Pictures formed Cargo Entertainment, a feature film production, financing and international sales company. Current projects include Zipper, a feature from producer Darren Aronofsky with Lena Headey, Richard Dreyfuss and Patrick Wilson; Angriest Man in Brooklyn, a comedy set in Brooklyn with Robin Williams and Mila Kunis, to be released by Lionsgate in 2014; Welcome to Me, a Kristen Wiig comedy from producer Will Ferrell; and Hemingway and Fuentes, with Anthony Hopkins, Andy Garcia and Annette Bening.


Susan Lacy

Executive Producer and American Masters Series Creator

Susan Lacy launched her own production company, Pentimento Productions, April 2014, and is currently producing and directing films independently for HBO Documentary Films. An award-winning originator of primetime public television programs from 1979-2013, she created and launched the American Masters series in 1986.

As the executive producer of American Masters, she was responsible for the production and national broadcast of 200 documentary films about our country’s artistic and cultural giants, those who have made an indelible impact on the American landscape. Now entering its 28th season on PBS, American Masters has garnered unprecedented awards and is recognized by television critics as “the best biographical series ever to appear on American television.”

Under Lacy’s leadership, American Masters received 67 Emmy Award nominations and 26 wins, including nine for Outstanding Primetime Nonfiction Series, five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special and the other 12 in various craft categories. The series received the 2012 and 2013 Producers Guild of America (PGA) Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television, the 2012 IDA Award for Best Continuing Series, 12 Peabody Awards, three Grammy Awards and an Academy Award.

Lacy is also an award-winning filmmaker. She produced, directed and wrote Inventing David Geffen, which premiered on PBS in 2012 to great critical acclaim. She produced LENNONYC, a film exploring John Lennon’s life in New York City; her Judy Garland: By Myself earned Lacy an Emmy Award for writing and an Emmy nomination for directing. She wrote, directed and produced Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind (IDA nomination for Outstanding Documentary) and Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note (Emmy Award and DGA nomination). She produced the Peabody Award-winning Paul Simon: Born at the Right Time, directed and produced Rod Serling: Submitted for Your Approval, and directed and produced Lena Horne: In Her Own Voice. All films were for American Masters.

Lacy was one of the select 2005 honorees at the Museum of Television & Radio’s “She Made It” event, which recognized 50 exceptional women who have created and informed the genre, and a 2008 Washington, DC, Women of Vision Awards recipient, honoring those in film and video who inspire and mentor. She was honored again in Washington, DC, in 2010 as the recipient of the Cine Golden Eagle Lifetime Achievement Award. Lacy holds a B.A. in American Studies from the University of Virginia, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and an MA in American Studies from George Washington University. Lacy grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and splits her time between Manhattan and Sag Harbor, New York.


Michael Kantor

American Masters Series Executive Producer

For over two decades, award-winning filmmaker Michael Kantor has created outstanding programs on the arts for television. He joined American Masters as the series’ executive producer April 30, 2014.

In January 2013, Kantor’s Peabody Award-winning, 90-minute film, Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy, aired as part of the Great Performances series on PBS. It was narrated by Joel Grey, and included performances by Matthew Broderick, Kelli O’Hara, David Hyde Pierce, Marc Shaiman and many other Broadway talents. In 2012, Mr. Kantor produced The Thomashefskys: Music and Memories of a Life in the Yiddish Theater with Michael Tilson Thomas, which aired on PBS and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy. Kantor served as executive producer of the ninety-minute special Give Me the Banjo, hosted by Steve Martin, and created Make ‘Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America, the critically acclaimed six-part documentary series hosted by Billy Crystal that debuted in January 2009. His episode four script, When I’m Bad, I’m Better: The Groundbreakers, coauthored with Laurence Maslon, was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. His landmark major series Broadway: The American Musical was hosted by Julie Andrews and was honored with the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Series in 2005. That same year, he created three hours of DVD extras for 20th Century Fox’s 40th anniversary release of The Sound of Music. Mr. Kantor also produced Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle, hosted by Liev Schreiber, a three-hour series for PBS that premiered in fall 2013, with a companion book published by Random House.

Mr. Kantor wrote, directed and produced the award-winning profile American Masters: Quincy Jones: In the Pocket. With Stephen Ives, he co-directed Cornerstone: An Interstate Adventure for HBO, and produced The West (Executive Producer Ken Burns). His 20 years of work in documentaries include projects as varied as EGG: the arts show, Coney Island, The Donner Party, Margaret Sanger and Ric Burns’ New York series. As a writer, Mr. Kantor created Lullaby of Broadway: Opening Night on 42nd Street, co-authored the companion books to Broadway (Bulfinch) and Make ‘Em Laugh (Grand Central Publishing) and has published numerous essays and articles. He is also president of Almo Inc., a company which distributes The American Film Theatre series, which includes Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance (starring Katharine Hepburn), Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh (Lee Marvin) and Chekhov’s Three Sisters (Laurence Olivier) among its titles. Mr. Kantor has served as a Tony nominator and teaches documentary filmmaking at the School for Visual Arts in New York City.


Stephen Segaller


Stephen Segaller joined WNET in September 2008. He has primary responsibility for the coordination of all national and local programming from WNET’s producing subsidiaries – THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and Creative News Group. Among the acclaimed productions Segaller coordinates are: Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Secrets of the Dead, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, Cyberchase, NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, Women, War and Peace and Shakespeare Uncovered.

Segaller has been a journalist, producer, director, writer and author whose work has been broadcast and published on both sides of the Atlantic and all over the world. In the U.K., he worked for London Weekend TV and Granada TV in current affairs, then spent six years as an independent producer making documentaries for Channel 4. In the U.S., he worked at WGBH and supervised national production for Oregon Public Broadcasting – producing for PBS, CNN, Discovery, TLC, Channel 4, and other networks.

From 1999-2008 Segaller was Director, News & Public Affairs Programming for Thirteen/WNET. He created That Money Show in 2000-01; the international documentary series Wide Angle in 2002, and Exposé – America’s Investigative Reports in 2006. After 9/11, he and Bill Moyers jointly produced the specials that led to the creation of NOW with Bill Moyers. He also supervised documentaries and series such as The War of the World; Extreme Oil; Red Gold: The Epic Story of Blood; Local News; the Fred Friendly Seminars; Srebrenica – A Cry From The Grave; Kofi Annan: Center of the Storm; Maggie: Prime Minister Thatcher; Allies at War; The Blair Decade; City At War: London Calling and Legacy of War, both with Walter Cronkite; and the films of Frederick Wiseman, and Roger Weisberg.




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