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Alexander was born in Russia and emigrated to the United States as a teenager. He has worked as a director and translator of plays from Russian to English. His many productions include Eugene Onegin, L'Incoronazione di Poppea, Turn of the Screw, L'Italiana in Algeri, Camelot, Twelfth Night, Side by Side by Sondheim, As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, Die Fledermaus, The Threepenny Opera, The Taming of the Shrew, Stage Struck, Barber of Seville, La Traviata, Carmen, School for Wives, Waiting for Godot, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Journey of the Fifth Horse, Tartuffe, Tango, The Lion in Winter, and The Burning Fiery Furnace. He has worked at such theatres as American Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage Company, Canterbury Opera (Christchurch, New Zealand), Chicago Lyric Opera, Utah Opera, Ashlawn-Highland Music Festival, Chattanooga Opera Association, Hartford Stage Company, The Acting Company, New York Shakespeare Festival, Minneapolis Children's Theatre Company, Emmy Gifford Theatre, and The Juilliard School of Drama. He co-founded Salt Lake Shakespeare and served as its Artistic Director for five years. Mr. Gelman is also the Director of the School of Theatre and Dance at Northern Illinois University. He has also assisted such notable East European directors as Andrei Serban, Yuri Lyubimov, Lucian Pintilie, and Yuri Yeremin.