Claudia Alick, Executive Producer, CALLING UP
Claudia Alick is a performer, producer, and inclusion expert. Named by American Theater Magazine as one of 25 theater artists who will shape American Theater in the next 25 years, Alick has served as the founding Artistic Director of Smokin' Word Productions, is a NY Neofuturist alum, published playwright, recipient of NYC Fresh Fruit directing award, TedXFargo speaker, the Lilla Jewel Award for Women Artists, featured on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and former Community Producer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. At OSF for ten years she produced events such as “The Every 28 Hours Plays”, "The Green Show", The Daedalus Project, OSF Open Mics as well as producing/directing audio-plays with OSF such as the Grammy nominated "Hamlet". Her personal projects include her podcast “Hold On…Wait for it”, vlog “This Week in Cultural Appropriation”, StreetPoetry, and one-person Show “Fill in the Blank” exploring disability and the medical industry. Claudia served on Oregon Arts Leaders in Inclusion, the steering committee of TheGhostlight Project, the steering committe for Black Theater Commons, and is currently co-president of the board of Network of Ensemble Theater, She is currently the executive producer of the transmedia social justice company CALLING UP.
Director of Conferences and Fieldwide Learning, Theatre Communications Group
Devon leads the conference producing team at TCG, and has an expansive background in event management, non-profit administration, business development, and theatre. With TCG she has produced and helped to curate the programming for six national conferences, including the record-breaking 2016 Theatre Nation in Washington, DC; she has also been on the producing team of every Fall Forum on Governance since 2012, and TCG’s two Audience (R)Evolution Convenings. She holds a B.A. from Vassar College and received her M.F.A. in acting from the American Repertory Theater’s (ART) Institute at Harvard University and Moscow Art Theatre, after which she founded an arts-centric events production company, attended NYU’s summer intensive on events marketing, and did a stint planning business development events in the corporate sphere. Devon was a co-founder, former Producing Director and President of Studio 42, a NYC-based company dedicated to producing the most adventurous work of emerging playwrights from 2000-2015. She has performed off Broadway in New York, regionally, and internationally. Read more about her and her thoughts on theatre, producing, and parenthood on her blog: fempresario.wordpress.com.
Joshua Borenstein, Managing Director, Long Wharf Theatre
Joshua Borenstein is in his eighth season as Long Wharf Theatre's Managing Director. During his tenure, Long Wharf celebrated its 50th anniversary season; served as a co-producer for the Broadway production of Meteor Shower by Steve Martin and starring Amy Schumer; led the Off-Broadway transfer of Satchmo at the Waldorf to New York; completed a $4 million, award-winning renovation of the Claire Tow Stage at the C. Newton Schenck III Theatre; established a new endowment to fund new play development; expanded its community engagement initiatives with nationally recognized programs; and doubled the size of its education department. Borenstein also worked at Long Wharf from 2003 to 2007 in various general management capacities. Prior to Long Wharf, Borenstein served in various roles at AMS Planning & Research, Yale Repertory Theatre, and Trinity Repertory Company. Borenstein was also at the Huntington Theatre Company through Theatre Communication Group's "New Generations" program.
Borenstein is a Lecturer in Theater Management at the Yale School of Drama, and he has been a guest lecturer at Wesleyan University, Southern Connecticut State University, Quinnipiac University, and Boston University. He has served as a grant panelist for the NEA, ArtsMidwest, the Greater Hartford Arts Council, and the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. Borenstein currently serves on the boards of Theatre Forward and the Connecticut Arts Alliance. He was recognized in Connecticut Magazine’s “40 Under 40: Class of 2014.” Borenstein is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the Yale School of Drama.
Deputy Director & Chief Operating Officer, Theatre Communications Group
Adrian Budhu comes to TCG after five years at The Theater Offensive (TTO), an LGBTQ not-for-profit arts organization in Boston, MA. The strategies he implemented there have strengthened The Theater Offensive’s brand on a national scale, increased its profile in the community, broadened its support base, and built capacity and resources for its sustainability – retiring the organization’s debt, growing revenue from $0.5 million in 2011 to $1.3+ million in 2016, and building cash reserves. Other professional experience includes: GLBTQ Domestic Violence Project, XAMOnline.com, Metro Boston Newspaper, and John Hancock Financial. Adrian lives in New York City with his fiancé Chris, a surgical resident at Mt. Sinai Hospital, and Boston terrier named Jack. He’s an avid runner and completed numerous marathons fundraising over $200K to benefit LGBTQ youth, people with disabilities, people living with HIV/AIDS, homeless people, survivors of Hurricane Katrina, and victims of domestic abuse. Adrian has won numerous awards for his leadership and activism. His prior affiliations include: the Boston Cultural Change Network (committed to collective action for social justice through Arts & Culture), the Boston Creates Leadership Council, where he advised and helped shepherd Boston's cultural plan into implementation; TCG’s Board of Directors (from which he has since resigned); and Point Foundation’s National Board of Directors.
Jewel Cadet, Associate Director of Programs, Center for Anti-Violence Education
Jewel was born and raised in Brooklyn, East New York to Haitian Parents. She is a vibrant Virgo gem who lives her life in service to Black Queer Liberation and holds herself accountable to getting our people free. Jewel is a passionate Social Justice Organizer for the rights of Women, Girls, Femmes and for the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Community. As the Associate Director of Programs at the Center for Anti-Violence Education, Activist Consultant at Music Freedom Dreams, and Event Coordinator for the Generations Project, in addition to her own personal projects that include mental wellness and movement for the Black Community, Jewel’s tireless advocacy for marginalized communities drives her work everyday. In 2017, she was given the HEART Award from the Metropolitan Community Church of New York for leading the way in making New York City and the world a safer, more just and inclusive place for LGBTQ people.
Teresa Coleman Wash
Executive Artistic Director, Bishop Arts Theatre Center
Teresa Coleman Wash is a playwright, producer and Founding Executive Artistic Director for the Bishop Arts Theatre Center, an award-winning, multicultural theatre that produces a full season of jazz concerts, theater performances, a lecture series and year-round arts education programs in Dallas, TX. She holds an MA in Arts Management from Goucher College and a BS in Business Administration from Albany State University. Wash is the 2018 Obelisk Award recipient in the category of Visionary Nonprofit Arts Leader for the Business Council for the Arts. She serves on Theater Communications Group’s 2018/2019 Programming Council, and she is an alumni of The OpEd Project through the Dallas Public Greenhouses. In 2016, she was one of three recipients of the Dallas Observer's MasterMind Award, and currently, she serves on the Cultural Tourism Committee for VisitDallas, the steering committee for Dallas Area Cultural Advocacy Coalition and The Dramatists Guild of America where she is also a Council member.
Chief Operating Officer, Fractured Atlas
Over a particularly festive round of cocktails with colleagues, Tim was once dubbed the "Chief People Person of the Cultural Sector” for his work assisting organizations with the things they need to create innovative workplaces where people thrive. When not spending time with friends enjoying bourbon, burritos, and artisanal donuts, Tim is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), a trained mediator, on faculty at Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity and New York's The New School teaching courses in Strategic HR and Leadership & Team Building. He is a certified trainer of the Crucial Conversations and What Motivates Me frameworks, and is a firm believer that Work. Shouldn't. Suck. He currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Fractured Atlas (where he is a member of the organization’s four-person, non-hierarchical shared leadership team). Prior to that, Tim was the Executive Director of The Parsons Dance Company and of High 5 Tickets to the Arts, had a memorable stint with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, was a one-time classical trombonist, musicologist, and for five years in his youth he delivered newspapers for the Evansville Courier-Press. Also, during a particularly slow summer, he bicycled across the United States. Find him on Medium, Twitter, Instagram and at WorkShouldntSuck.co.
Jessica DeGroot, President and Founder, ThirdPath Institute
Jessica DeGroot, president and founder of ThirdPath Institute, is passionately committed to helping men and women - as parents and leaders - follow an integrated approach to work and life. For almost 20 years, Jessica and the ThirdPath community have provided coaching, training and one of a kind resources to individuals and families looking for new and better ways to support success at work and success in life! We also work with leaders who want to follow this approach - helping them discover new and more satisfying solutions for themselves, and helping them become role models for others.
Jessica and ThirdPath Institute have been featured in Fortune Magazine, The Washington Post, Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Working Mother, The Sunday New York Times Magazine, and Fast Company. Jessica received her MBA from the Wharton School, where she was co-founder of the Wharton Work/Life Roundtable. Jessica and her husband live in Philadelphia and shared in the care of their children when they were young. Today, they share in the care of their aging parents.
Annalisa Dias, Producing Playwright, The Welders
Annalisa Dias is a citizen artist, community organizer, and award-winning theatre maker working at the intersection of racial justice and care for the earth. She is a Producing Playwright with The Welders; Co-Founder of the DC Coalition for Theatre & Social Justice; and Co-Founder of Groundwater Arts. Annalisa frequently teaches theatre of the oppressed and decolonization workshops nationally and internationally and speaks about race, identity, and performance. She is a TCG Rising Leader of Color and also works toward diversity and inclusion full time at the American Political Science Association. Recent original work includes 4380 NIGHTS, a new play about detainees at Guantanamo and the historical legacy of global colonialism, which had its world premiere in January 2018 at DC's Signature Theatre as part of the 2nd Women's Voices Theatre Festival. Upcoming work includes: THE EARTH, THAT IS SUFFICIENT, an iterative performance project about environmental history and hope for the future (produced by The Welders); THE CARLISLE PROJECT and #RESIST: THE MUSICAL, two new works in development with Annalisa's musical collaborator Ronee Penoi.
Annalisa's work has been supported by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, the Puffin Foundation, the Network of Ensemble Theatres NET/TEN program, TCG's Global Connections program, and the Mead Theatre Lab. More info at http://annalisadias.weebly.com.
Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director, The Public Theater
Oskar Eustis has served as the Artistic Director of The Public Theater since 2005. In the last three years, he has produced two Tony Award-winning Best Musicals (Fun Home and Hamilton), and back-to-back winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Hamilton and Sweat. He came to The Public from Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI where he served as Artistic Director from 1994 to 2005. Eustis served as Associate Artistic Director at Los Angeles’ Mark Taper Forum from 1989 to 1994, and prior to that he was with the Eureka Theatre Company in San Francisco, serving as Resident Director and Dramaturg from 1981 to 1986 and Artistic Director from 1986 to1989. Eustis is currently a Professor of Dramatic Writing and Arts and Public Policy at New York University, and has held professorships at UCLA, Middlebury College, and Brown University, where he founded and chaired the Trinity Rep/Brown University Consortium for professional theater training. At The Public, Eustis directed the New York premieres of Rinne Groff’s Compulsion and The Ruby Sunrise; Larry Wright’s The Human Scale; and most recently Julius Caesar at Shakespeare in the Park. He has founded numerous ground-breaking programs at the Public, from Public Works and Public Forum to the Emerging Writers Group. At Trinity Rep, he directed the world premiere of Paula Vogel’s The Long Christmas Ride Home and Tony Kushner’s Homebody/Kabul, both recipients of the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production. While at the Eureka Theatre, he commissioned Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, and directed its world premiere at the Mark Taper Forum. Eustis has also directed the world premieres of plays by Philip Kan Gotanda, David Henry Hwang, Emily Mann, Suzan-Lori Parks, Ellen McLaughlin, and Eduardo Machado, among many others.
Executive Director, Theatre Communications Group (TCG)
Teresa Eyring joined TCG in March 2007. Prior to arriving at TCG, Eyring spent more than twenty years as an executive in theatres around the U.S. Positions included: managing director of the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minneapolis from 1999-2007; managing director of the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia from 1994-1999; and assistant executive director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis from 1989-1993. She began her theatre career as director of development for the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., in 1983. She holds a B.A. in international relations from Stanford University and an M.F.A. in theatre administration from Yale School of Drama. Eyring is currently active as an executive committee member of the Performing Arts Alliance, chair of the follow-up process for the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention, board member of The Actors Fund and was previously a member of the Tony Awards nominating committee.
Partner, Organizational Performance Group
Laura Freebairn-Smith has been a consultant for such distinguished companies as the New York Times and People’s Bank. Her specialty is assisting leaders in realizing the full potential of their organizations through humanistic and analytical practices, while offering guidance in the redesign of infrastructure, the creation of strategic plans, and with organizational development.
Laura currently teaches leadership at Yale’s Drama School, and diversity and team building in the Executive MBA program at Yale’s School of Management. Prior to that, she served as Director of Yale’s Organizational Development and Learning Center, which she helped create. Laura’s credentials include a BA from UC Berkeley (Philosophy and Political Science) and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. She holds a doctorate in Organizational Systems from Saybrook Institute and has published articles and chapters on organizational development topics, most recently on radically informative indicators for organizational success. Prior to joining Yale, Laura founded Good Work Associates, a consulting firm providing strategic planning and organizational development. Before that, she served as Managing Director for the Gesell Institute of Human Development, as Chief Operating Officer for Jobs for the Future, and as Education Coordinator for the International Rescue Committee on the Thai/Cambodian border.
In addition to her tenure at Yale, Laura has taught at University of New Haven, Georgetown, and Central CT State University. She recently served on the Town of Hamden Charter Revision Committee and has served on numerous other boards in the past. Laura has received several leadership awards. For recreation, Laura enjoys running, writing poetry, tennis, and gardening.
Maria Manuela Goyanes
Artistic Director, Woolly Mammoth Theater Company
Prior to joining Woolly, Maria Goyanes served as the Director of Producing and Artistic Planning at The Public Theater, where she oversaw the day-to-day execution of a full slate of plays and musicals at the Public’s five-theater venue at Astor Place and the Delacorte Theater for Shakespeare in the Park. Earlier in her career at The Public, she managed some of the theater’s most celebrated productions, including Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Josephine & I by Cush Jumbo, Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee, Barbecue by Robert O’Hara, and Here Lies Love by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim.
Maria holds a position on the adjunct faculty of Juilliard and curates the junior year curriculum of the Playwrights Horizons Theater School at NYU. She has guest lectured at Bard College, Barnard College, Brown University, Columbia University, Juilliard, the National Theater Institute at The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, UCSD, the University of Texas-Austin, and Yale University, among others. Since 2015, Maria has also served as a member of the board of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. From 2006 to 2008, she co-chaired the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab with Jason Grote, and from 2004 to 2012, Maria was the Executive Producer of 13P.
Maria is a first-generation Latinx-American, born to parents who emigrated from the Dominican Republic and Spain. She was raised in Jamaica, Queens, and has a collection of hoop earrings to prove it. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in 2001 from Brown University.
Rachel Spencer Hewitt
Rachel Spencer Hewitt, Founder, Parent Artist Advocacy League (PAAL)
Rachel Spencer Hewitt is the founder of Parent Artist Advocacy League (PAAL) for the Performing Arts, a collective of individuals and theatre organizations committed to family-friendly practices in the theatre. PAAL's mission is to promote a standard of best practices to support parent-artists in the performing arts by growing a national parent-artist community while developing family-friendly initiatives within theatre organizations throughout the United States. PAAL aims to empower and advocate for the parent-artist and supportive institutions by developing a national handbook of best practices, list of family-friendly theatres, and offer the first freelance childcare grants. PAAL designs its initiatives to create discrimination intervention, healthy work-life balance, stable protocols, consistent policy, and accessible pathways to employment for parent artists.
Rachel received her MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama and BA in Drama from Trinity University. She earned her equity card at the Yale Repertory Theater. Her professional acting resume includes her Broadway Debut in tony-nominated King Charles III at The Music Box theater, regional theater, and off-Broadway, including the Paula Vogel/Tina Landau New York premiere of A Civil War Christmas.
Linette S. Hwu
Linette S. Hwu, Board President, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Linette S. Hwu is the Vice President, Ethics & Compliance at Discovery, Inc. She and her team are responsible for Discovery’s global ethics and compliance program, a key element of the company’s efforts to promote a corporate culture of integrity, good governance and adherence to the law.
In her 20 years in the cable industry, she has played a variety of roles, including functioning as the primary employment lawyer for Scripps Networks Interactive prior to its 2018 acquisition by Discovery, and leading the Business Affairs team at Travel Channel in the negotiation and management of the network’s programming and talent deals and business relationships with its production companies and talent.
She began her legal career as an associate at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson, LLP in Washington, DC.
Ms. Hwu is currently serving as Board President at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC, where she has been on the board since 2005. As Board President, she has overseen the company’s most recent strategic planning process, as well as its historic transition from Co-Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus Howard Shalwitz to new Artistic Director Maria Manuela Goyanes. She could not be more thrilled to partner with Maria and Managing Director Meghan Pressman to lead Woolly into its exciting future.
Ms. Hwu graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts in History and German Studies, and received her Juris Doctor with honors from The University of Chicago Law School. She has attended Boston University School of Management’s Pocket MBA for Lawyers program and London Business School’s Accelerated Development Programme, and she is a member of Class 30 of Women in Cable Telecommunications’s Betsy Magness Leadership Institute. She is admitted to the State Bar of California and the District of Columbia Bar.
Ms. Hwu will complete her RYT 200 certification in December 2018 and is part of the teaching team at BicycleSPACE in Washington, DC. In February 2013, she summited Mount Kilimanjaro.
Anna Kull, Director of Communications & People, The Lark
Anna Kull is an arts administrator, parent, artist, and facilitator who believes in the extraordinary capacity of art-makers to imagine and build a more equitable world. Anna is the Director of Communications & People at The Lark where she previously served as Director of Community Relationships. While on staff, Anna has led a website redesign, an organizational rebranding effort, and co-manages The Lark's equity, access and inclusion work. She designed The Lark’s Apprenticeship Program to provide increased training and mentorship to emerging arts administrators. Anna was part of the 2012 NYFA’s Emerging Leaders Boot Camp, Theatre Communications Group’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Institute, The New York City Cultural Agenda Fund’s Cultural Advocacy and Equity Program and artEquity. She attended Vassar College and was born and raised in Durham, NC. Anna also loves birdwatching and playing make believe with her two-year-old.
Tom Lawlor, Senior Associate, Organizational Performance Group
om Lawlor is a Senior Associate at OPG. A senior executive and leader with more than 25 years of professional experience, Tom has overseen both enterprise-wide and area-specific process assessments, strategic planning and implementation initiatives for dozens of small, mid-sized and Fortune 500 organizations - MetLife, HSBC, Allstate, Thomson Reuters, Pearson Education, Campbell’s Soup and Comerica Bank are a few of the more well-known names.
Tom has helped these organizations achieve operational efficiencies, significant cost reductions and revenue lifts. While specializing in financial services for years, Tom led implementations across multiple industries in Retail Channels, Wealth Management, Mortgages, Credit Cards, Collections, Credit Adjudication, Product Development and Shared Services. Tom holds a BA in Mathematics from The College of the Holy Cross.
Outside the office, Tom - once an Olympic-hopeful runner - enjoys this first passion on a part-time basis: running, racing and coaching from time to time. As time allows, Tom also still enjoys his second passion – acting – flexing those muscles a little less frequently these days. He volunteers locally as a member of his local YMCA’s Board of Managers and event chair for The United Way. Tom is married with two children and lives in Milford, CT.
Sulu LeoNimm, Joker and Program Director, Theatre of the Oppressed NYC
Sulu LeoNimm has worked with TONYC since 2011 as a Joker, facilitating Forum Theatre Troupes at the Ali Forney Center, Hetrick-Martin Institute, the Staten Island Youth Justice Center, and CASES Queens Justice Corps. As Program Director, they support the planning for TONYC's Forum Theatre Troupes, the organization's workshops, and the joker team's training in & investigation of Theatre of the Oppressed. Sulu has been a Brooklyn-based theater artist and physical theater performer since 2003, enthralled with making ensemble-devised work. They are co-founder of Pack of Others, have performed with the South Wing, in the premiere of Mac Wellman's 3 2's and Afar, and worked with ensembles including Blessed Unrest, East Third Ensemble, Aeolian Theater, Denver's LIDA Project and with Seattle's Nebunele Theatre.
David G. Mallette
David G. Mallette, Partner, Management Consultants for the Arts
David Mallette is a partner at Management Consultants for the Arts. MCA specializes in executive recruitment, strategic planning, and organizational development for arts and cultural organizations. David joined MCA in 2005 after working more than two decades as a performing arts administrator. His clients span the U.S. and include theater and dance companies, PACs, presenters, service organizations, foundations, and festivals. He is a published author and frequent speaker, focusing on organizational leadership, governance, and management. Before joining MCA, David’s background included stints at the Alley Theatre, Houston Ballet, and Texas Ballet Theater, where he was Executive Director. During his 15-year tenure at TBT, the company quadrupled in size through expansion across the region and state. David was a trustee of Dance/USA, including three years as Board Chair, and has served on numerous national and regional funding panels. He is married to Catherine Mallette; they reside near Princeton, NJ.
Magda Martinez, Chief Operating Officer, Mural Arts Philadelphia
Magda Martinez recently joined the Mural Arts Program as the Chief Operating Officer in August 2018. Previously she served as the Director of Programs at the Fleisher Art Memorial. As a member of the leadership team at Fleisher Magda shaped the strategic vision of the institution. In addition she designed and implemented Fleisher’s nationally recognized audience and community engagement initiative, which has been featured in the publications, Staying Relevant in a Changing Neighborhood: How Fleisher Art Memorial is Adapting to Shifting Community Demographics and The Road to Results: Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences and the nationally recognized Teen Lounge, an arts based drop in program for young people between the ages 13 – 18 featured in the report Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs From Urban Youth and Other Experts. Magda currently serves as a board member of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and has served on the board of the Bartol Foundation and Taller Puertorriqueño.
Her advice and thought leadership is sought by the American Association of Museums, Pennsylvania Humanities Council and the national advisory panel for the Boys and Girls club of America national afterschool arts programs. She has presented at many conferences and workshops including, the National Arts Marketing Project, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the National Guild of Community Arts Education and the Wallace Foundation. She has received a Fellowship in the Arts from the Independence Foundation, a Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Artist as Catalyst grant and the Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award in recognition of her work using art as a tool for community transformation. Magda is a writer, vocalist, educator and performer whose passion for and belief in the power of the arts began in her youth. She has written, performed and produced her original works nationally. She is a member of Las Gallas, a Philadelphia based artist collective which has toured nationally and internationally.
Lisa Mount, Director, Artistic Logistics
Lisa Mount refuses to specialize. As the Director of Artistic Logistics she works as a consultant with non profit arts organizations, and facilitates dynamic meetings for groups large and small. As an independent artist she produces, directs, and appears in contemporary performance work, including the acclaimed community story plays, Headwaters :: Stories From A Goodly Portion Of Beautiful Northeast Georgia, Headwaters: Birth, Death and Places In-Between, and Headwaters: Didja Hear? at the Sautee Nacoochee Center from 2007 – 2013.She toured with the DeLuxe Vaudeville Orchestra as rhythm banjo player from 1994 to 2006. Before embarking on her consulting career in 1997, Lisa served as the Managing Director of 7 Stages theater in Atlanta. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre, with honors, from Lewis and Clark College. She has served as the Board Chair for Alternate ROOTS, the Atlanta Theatre Coalition, and Georgia Shares, a workplace giving campaign. Lisa received the 1996 “Abby” Award from the Atlanta Arts and Business Council for Outstanding Arts Professional, and was named one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians by Georgia Trend Magazine in 2008. In 2009, she was given the first Paula Vaughn Community Arts Lifetime Achievement Award by the Georgia Assembly of Community Arts Agencies. She currently serves on the boards of Alternate ROOTS and the Network of Ensemble Theaters.
Jason Najjoum, Senior Associate, McChrystal Group
Jason Najjoum is a Senior Associate at McChrystal Group, a global advisory services and leadership development firm, currently advising a global energy company on internal communications, culture change, and strategy alignment. Previously, Jason spent ten years in the arts and culture space, functioning as a producer, general manager, fundraiser, casting director, and performer in theater and television. While in New Haven, CT, Jason served as Managing Editor of the Yale Theater Management Knowledge Base, Company Manager of Yale Repertory Theatre, and Yale University President’s Public Service Fellow in New Haven’s Department of Arts, Culture and Tourism, and wrote a case study on change management at Seattle Repertory Theater that he later taught in his graduate program. In NYC, Jason served as Producing Director of New York Theatre Barn, where he developed the work of over 50 musical theater writers through NYTB’s signature new work development and community building program, as well as Prospect Theater Company, Davenport Theatrical Enterprises, The Flea, and the cell.
A native of Northern Virginia, Jason earned a Master of Business Administration from Yale School of Management, and interned as a Senior Management Associate for Bridgewater Associates during his summer. He also earned a Master of Fine Arts in Theater Management from Yale School of Drama. Jason received a Bachelor of Arts in Music and History from Emory University and is a graduate of the Commercial Theater Institute. Jason co-founded the Analyzing and Mobilizing Privilege group at Yale School of Drama, is trained as an intercultural group facilitator, and previously served on the board of directors of Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services nonprofit in New Haven, CT.
Roberta Pereira, Producing Director, The Playwrights Realm
Roberta Pereira is a Tony-nominated, Olivier Award-winning theater producer. She is currently the Producing Director of The Playwrights Realm, an Off-Broadway theater company devoted to supporting early-career playwrights, where she recently produced the world premiere of The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe, which was a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and also won an Obie Ensemble Award and a special Drama Desk Award for its acting ensemble. Beyond her work with The Realm, Roberta has developed and produced plays, musicals, and event theatre on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally, in the West End, and on tour. Past select productions include: Tony-nominated play Mothers and Sons by Terrence McNally, starring Tyne Daly; the Olivier award-winning revival of Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along, in the West End; and the Broadway premiere of Grace, starring Paul Rudd, Michael Shannon and Ed Asner. Roberta has been a speaker on the topic of producing and equity, diversity, and inclusion in the arts in multiple forums, like BroadwayCon, NYU/Tisch, Yale University, and Commercial Theatre Institute. Roberta is a graduate of Yale School of Drama's Theater Management program and Wesleyan University. She is originally from Brazil and currently lives in New York City with her daughter. @roberta_m_p
Katy Rubin, Founder and Executive Director, Theatre of the Oppressed NYC
Katy Rubin is founder and Executive Director of Theatre of the Oppressed NYC, an organization that partners with communities facing discrimination to spark transformative action through theatre. TONYC has developed and presented over 250 Forum and Legislative Theatre performances since 2011. These free, participatory events bring together New Yorkers experiencing injustice in the housing, criminal justice, health and immigration systems, organizers, advocates, and elected officials, and have impacted city policies and institutional practices throughout NYC. Katy trained with Augusto Boal at the Center for Theatre of the Oppressed—Rio de Janeiro in 2008, and later with Jana Sanskriti in India and Cardboard Citizens in London. She holds a BFA from the Boston University School of Theater and is a 2018 BU Distinguished Alumni honoree; she is also an alum of Coro Leadership New York 2016.
Lauren Ruffin, Chief External Relations Officer, Fractured Atlas
Lauren Olivia Ruffin is Fractured Atlas’s Chief External Relations Officer, responsible for the organization’s marketing, communications, community engagement, and fundraising. Prior to joining the team at Fractured Atlas, Lauren served as Director of Development for DC-based organizations Martha’s Table and the National Center for Children and Families. She was also fortunate to serve in various roles at and various positions at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Children’s Defense Fund, New Leaders, and AAUW. Before entering the nonprofit sector, Lauren held the position of Assistant Director of Government Affairs for Gray Global Advisors, a bipartisan government relations firm. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in Political Science and obtained a J.D. from the Howard University School of Law. In her spare time, she serves on the Board of Directors of Black Girls Code, and can be found mountain biking or gesturing wildly at the teevee in support of Duke University’s men’s basketball team.
Madeline Sayet, Director
Madeline Sayet is a director of new plays, classics and opera who believes the stories we pass down inform our collective possible futures. For her work as a director she was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 List in Hollywood & Entertainment, and has been honored as a TED Fellow, a MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, a National Directing Fellow, and a recipient of The White House Champion of Change Award from President Obama. A member of the Mohegan nation, she is deeply influenced by the stories and oral traditions passed down to her by her great-aunt Gladys Tantaquidgeon, former Medicine Woman, and her mother Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel, current Medicine Woman. Recent directing work includes: TnT: Igniting the Future (Ars Nova), She Kills Monsters (CT Repertory Theatre), As You Like It (Delaware Shakespeare), Poppea (Krannert Center), Winters Tale (Amerinda/HERE), Macbeth (Amerinda/NYC Parks), The Magic Flute (Glimmerglass), Powwow Highway (Amerinda/HERE), Miss Lead (Amerinda/59e59). Upcoming directing: World Premiere of Whale Song by Cathy Rexford (Perseverance Theatre), Henry IV (CT Repertory Theatre), Midsummer Night’s Dream (South Dakota Shakespeare). Her solo show Where We Belong will be traveling to multiple venues in London next summer. www.madelinesayet.com
Godfrey L. Simmons
Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr., Artistic Director, Civic Ensemble
Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr. is Artistic Director of Civic Ensemble, a regional theatre in Ithaca, NY. For Civic, he directed Eugene O’Neill’s All God’s Chillun Got Wings and co-produced Judy Tate’s Slashes of Light. Godfrey was Producing Artist in charge of New Artist Development for Off-Broadway’s Epic Theatre Ensemble, appearing in A More Perfect Union, Widowers’ Houses (which Godfrey co-adapted with Ron Russell), A Hard Heart, Measure for Measure, and most recently the world premiere of Jim Wallert’s The Winning Side, among many others. At Epic, he also co-wrote and starred in a documentary play about the election of President Barack Obama, Dispatches From (A)mended America. Godfrey is a 2012 TCG/Fox Fellow and a participant in the SPARK Leadership Program, funded by American Express, The Joyce Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group. He is a lifetime member of Ensemble Studio Theatre. He has taught acting at Marymount Manhattan College and Binghamton University, and is currently Senior Lecturer in Cornell University’s Department of Performing and Media Arts. In a 30-year career, Godfrey has worked as an actor, teacher, director, or writer at nearly every level of the non-profit theatre and theatre education.
Akia Squitieri, Founding Artistic Director of Rising Sun Performance Company and Company Manager, Innovative Theatre Foundation
Akia Squitieri is an award winning Producer, Director & Arts Administrator. She is the Founding Artistic Director of Rising Sun Performance Company and Company Manager for the Innovative Theatre Foundation. She served as the Company Manager for the international sensation, Blue Man Group at the Astor Place Theater for over 10 years. Past notable credits include working on staff at Horse Trade Theatre Group, serving as General Manager for FRIGID New York’s inaugural year, and returning in multiple positions for each subsequent year; as Production Coordinator for nationally acclaimed Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, overseeing the playwrights unit and INSIGHT 13 production series and on the Advisory board of the Paul Butterfield Fund & Society. She is a recipient of the New York Innovative Theatre Awards “Founders Award” for her contributions to the organization and Off Off Broadway Community and Two Time "Congeniality" Award Winner from the Planet Connections Theatre Festival for her community involvement. She is currently serving as the Director of Charities for the Planet Connections Theatre Festival, focusing on advocacy & social justice outreach. In the traditional business sector she has worked with Pfizer, EMI Records, Conde’ Nast Publications, EFT Group and others. She is an Alumni of the Commercial Theatre Institute, and has been a speaker, panelist and guest lecturer at the following institutions: CTI, Actors Equity Association, Ramapo College, Theatre Resources Unlimited, New York University, Horse Trade Theatre Group, FRIGID Festival, National Action Network and in Brno, Czech Republic. She is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management. You can learn more about her work at www.akiasquitieri.com and www.risingsunnyc.com
Chandra Stephens- Albright
Chandra Stephens- Albright, Managing Director, Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company
Chandra Stephens- Albright is the Managing Director at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company. She is accountable for the Company’s operational excellence and financial sustainability. Prior to joining True Colors in 2017, Chandra served as Executive Director of C5 Georgia. Chandra joined the nonprofit sector in 2014, following a successful 22-year career at The Coca-Cola Company, where she directed productive teams, tackled tough challenges, and led strategic initiatives that drove positive business results. Her crowning achievement there was leading consumer research and marketing efforts for the development and launch of Coca-Cola Freestyle®, the game-changing fountain dispenser named a “World-Changing Brand” by Interbrand in 2011. An active community leader, Chandra currently serves on the boards of Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company, The Alliance Theatre Company, and The Atlanta Beltline Partnership. She is a past board member of Girls Inc. of Greater Atlanta, the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance, and several boards at Emory University, including the Emory Alumni Board, the Emory College Alumni Board, and the Emory Annual Giving Board. She is a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2005. A native Atlantan, Chandra is married to Warren Albright.
Interim Executive Director, The Theater Offensive
Harold Steward is the Interim Executive Director of The Theater Offensive, a Queer and Trans Theater based in Boston, MA.
Most recently, Steward served as Manager of the South Dallas Cultural Center, a division the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, which provides instruction and enrichment in the arts with an emphasis on the African contribution to world culture. Steward also founded Fahari Arts Institute in Dallas in 2009 after recognizing a gap in the landscape for local LGBTQ artists of color in Dallas. Fahari Arts Institute celebrates, displays and produces the work of queer artists from the African Diaspora.
Steward is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network, Theater Communications Group and the Steering Committee of Black Theatre Commons and NextGen National Arts Network. Steward is an Adjunct Faculty Member in the Department of Performing Arts at Emerson College. Steward has been recognized for his leadership role within the Dallas art, African American and LGBTQ communities with accolades including the Dallas Voice Local Queer Notable, Apostle Alex D. Byrd Empowerment Award from the Legacy of Success Foundation, Dallas Voice Readers’ Choice Best Theatrical Director, National Performance Network Mentor and Leadership Award and D Magazine Up Starter in the Arts.
Ashley Walden Davis
Ashley Walden Davis, Managing Director, Alternate ROOTS
Ashley Walden Davis is the Managing Director at Alternate ROOTS, a Southern based regional arts service organization with 40 years of history. As a member-driven national resource for artists and cultural organizers, we seek to champion social and economic justice and the work of people in our field. Ashley lives in Georgia with her husband and son. Ashley is also a founding leader of the Next Generation National Arts Network, a coalition of artists and administrators from all over the United States who have set out to chart the course for being the future leaders of the arts field.
She holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Producing from the California Institute of the Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies from Old Dominion University. Ashley previously worked with Cornerstone Theater Company, Towne Street Theater, Arena Stage, Virginia Stage Company and Elizabeth River Theater Company and served on the Board of Directors of Appalshop. She has served as an Assistant Professor in the Theater Drepartment at Kennesaw State University.
Some honors include Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) Leadership Fellowship, Theater Communications Group (TCG) New Generations: Future Leaders Grant, Cornerstone Theater Company Paula Altvater Fellowship, LA Stage Alliance Ovations Fellowship and Arena Stage Fellowship.
Claire Warden, Intimacy Director
Claire is an intimacy director, fight director, teacher and actress with over twenty years experience in theatre, TV and film across America and the UK. She is an intimacy director and coordinator and the Intimacy Director Liaison with Intimacy Directors International and a founding member of Theatrical Intimacy (UK), and is co-leading the intimacy direction movement across America and the world. She has intimacy directed and coordinated on numerous stage and screen productions across the country and is the Intimacy Consultant and Director at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has delivered workshops, presentations and panels at Julliard, Yale, NYU, Cambridge University (UK), the O’Neill Theatre Center, HB Studios, UConn, Northeastern University, Sonoma State and for conferences and theatre communities on both sides of the Atlantic. She is also part of the teaching team of Intimacy Directors International, training the next generation of Intimacy Directors. She is a faculty member of Shakespeare and Company, MA as fight and text teacher as well as a freelance choreographer and acting coach. Her movement training and extensive background in acting is coupled with her broad experience in working with directors and actors of all levels and backgrounds across the UK and America. Her focus, joy and purpose is empowering those she works with to achieve their full creative potential. She is deeply committed to serving the ensemble, advocacy for actors and supporting artists in their creative process.
Gretchen Wright, Development Manager for Special Contributions and Brand Awareness, Alliance Theatre
Gretchen Wright is currently the Development Manager for Special Contributions and Brand Awareness at the Alliance Theatre, where she was hired to strategically scale fundraising efforts for the theater’s 50th Anniversary. Prior to this role, she was a consultant at Organizational Performance Group, where she partnered with companies of all shapes and sizes to discover and resolve their organizational challenges, including Westport Country Playhouse, Williams College Libraries, and Northwell Health. She is passionate about bringing organizational development work to the theater field. Previously, Gretchen served as the Associate Managing Director and Company Manager of Yale Repertory Theatre, Managing Director of the Yale Summer Cabaret, and as Management Fellow of Alliance Theatre, where she facilitated their 2016-20 strategic planning process. After completing a directing fellowship at Actors Theatre of Louisville, she began her arts career as a freelance director, choreographer, and dancer in Chicago, IL. There, she found her love for producing and management at Court Theatre under the late Stephen Albert. Gretchen holds a BA in Theater and English from Duke University, an MFA from the Yale School of Drama in Theater Management, and an MBA from the Yale School of Management with a focus on organizational development.
Stephanie Ybarra Incoming Artistic Director Baltimore Center Stage
Stephanie Ybarra is the incoming Artistic Director for Baltimore Center Stage, and currently serves as Director of Special Artistic Projects at The Public Theater, where she leads the Mobile Unit and Public Forum programs. Her career spans two decades includes roles at Dallas Children's Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Yale Repertory Theater, Two River Theater Company, and Playwrights Realm. In response to the current state of the world, Stephanie co-founded the Artists’ Anti-Racism Coalition, a grassroots effort to help the Off-Broadway community dismantle systems of exclusion and oppression. She holds an MFA from Yale School of Drama, and a deep belief in the power of the Post-it note.
Lisa Yancey, Yancey Consulting
Lisa Yancey is a strategist who has built a practice solving problems for nonprofit organizations. Through her company Yancey Consulting, she specializes in strategic organizational planning, business planning, program evaluation and assessments, executive project management, revenue modeling, leadership coaching, and organizational structure assessments for nonprofit institutions. She advises a spectrum of practitioners, nonprofit organizations, philanthropists, and philanthropic institutions committed to dismantling inequities, enriching marginalized communities, building leadership, and amplifying diverse perspectives. She has worked with, facilitated, and provided pro bono services to over 100 organization or grantmaking institutions in the past 17 years. Lisa matriculated from both Boston College Law School, and Emory University is a member of the New York State Bar Association and lives in Mount Vernon, NY.
Laura Zabel, Executive Director, Springboard for the Arts
Laura Zabel is the Executive Director of Springboard for the Arts, which operates Creative Exchange, a national platform for sharing free toolkits, resources, and profiles to help artists and citizens collaborate on replicating successful and engaging community projects.
An economic and community development agency run by and for artists, Springboard provides programs that help artists make a living and a life, and programs that help communities connect to the creative power of artists. Springboard is a nationally recognized leader on artist-led community development, creative placemaking and creative cross-sector collaboration. Springboard’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Stanford Social Innovation Review and The Guardian and directly impacts over 25,000 artists each year in their home state of Minnesota. Through national tools and training Springboard’s programs have been replicated in over 70 communities across the U.S. and internationally.
Springboard’s director, Laura Zabel is one of the nation’s leading thinkers on the role of artists in community and has been honored with numerous awards, including the Gard Foundation Award of Excellence and the Bush Foundation Leadership Fellowship for her work with Springboard. Zabel was named one of the 50 most “powerful and influential people in nonprofit arts” by the Western States Arts Federation, and is currently a local economy fellow with the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies and a creative placemaking policy fellow at Arizona State University. Zabel’s creativity and track record of innovation has made her a sought-after speaker at leading conferences and events.