The White Lama, Theos Casmir Hamati Bernard and Lama, Tibet, 1937. Photo by Gegen Dorje Tharchin.
Nikki Appino and Saori Tsukada creating the film for Club Diamond. Photo by Cathy Lee Crane.
The White Lama, Theos Bernard's lecture tour flyer, 1938, photo courtesy of Nikki Appino.
Nikki Appino is a multidisciplinary theater artist and filmmaker. As a director, writer, and producer, Appino has taken on subjects ranging from religion and sports to American history and pop culture. She has received numerous awards including the National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group directing fellowship. Her most recent project, Club Diamond, was selected for the Sundance Theatre-Makers Residency and its Theatre Lab at MASS MoCA, and it premiered at the 2017 Under the Radar Festival at The Public Theater in New York. She studied at the Tisch School of the Arts’ Experimental Theatre Wing at New York University. In 2018, Appino received Center support to present The White Lama, a multimedia performance work about the adventurous life and death of early 20th-century explorer, mystic, and author Theos Bernard, featuring a new composition by American composer Philip Glass and Tibetan musician Tenzin Choegyal.