Cady Huffman (Director) Throughout her more than 30 years as a performer Tony winning actress Cady Huffman has also written, produced and directed for theater and film as well as mentoring young writers, directors and musicians. She is a popular host and auctioneer for many charity events and has directed galas for The Drama League and Creative Alternatives of New York, among others. So yes, she has a Tony Award (which is awesome!) but what drives her are the collaborations with creative minds that have literally taken her all over the world and stretched her ambitions in directions she has dreamed of since her days on the hardscrabble streets of Santa Barbara, California.
Ryan Bovée (Director) Visiting from Austin, Texas, Ryan Bovée’s recent directing credits include Annie Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation (Texas State University) and a reading of Ms. Murphy’s latest work, Cutter (ATX). He studied under the late Dr. John Robert Hood at TSU, where he drafted the spoken-word play, ARTWORLD. Keep in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Watts (Assistant Director) is a New York based actor and writer. New York credits include: Stalling (Playwright, Callie), Measure for Measure (Elbow), Mescaline (Robot and fight captain). Anna received a BFA in Theater Arts from Hofstra University. Thanks Mandy and Danielle for keeping me involved in this festival!
Martina Bonolis (Director) is an actress and director. Recent directing credits include Whose City? Our City! at the American Theater for Actors and Six Characters in Search of an Author, an original adaptation by Wise Fish Theater Collective at 440 Studios. She is the creative director of Wise Fish Theater Collective.
Emily Lyon (Director) A Brooklyn-based director and dramaturg, Emily has worked with BEDLAM, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Geva Theatre, The Old Globe, Shakespeare in the Park, Yale Rep, RSC, The Flea, The Folger, Shakespeare Society, LaMaMa, The Pearl. Dramaturgy: NYTimes’ Critics Pick – BEDLAM’s Sense & Sensibility. Drama League Directing Fellow. SDC Associate. EmilyALyon.com
Tatiana Baccari (Adapter / Director) is a Brooklyn-based theater artist. Directing and writing* credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Alchemical Theater), Ghost Player* (Ruth Eckerd Hall, FL), Meat Market* (HERE Arts Center), and Corroborators* (Forte Point Theater, Boston). She has assisted directors/writers Jo Bonney, Darci Picoult, Woodshed Collective, and The New Group’s Ian Morgan at BRIC, Vineyard Arts Project, and NYU. Founding member of Experimental Bitch Presents. Jeff Norton Dream Grant recipient for playwriting. BFA: NYU Tisch. TatianaBaccari.com
Wednesday Derrico (Editor / Director) is a live performance artist who dedicates her life to making and supporting personal, political work. Most notably, she directed In Her Own Words: The Diana Tapes by James Clements at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and performed in Kenneth Branagh’s Macbeth, at The Park Avenue Armory. She assistant directed Kevin Kuhlke’s adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s Salome at NYU. This summer, Wednesday will be be an associate producer for Free The Arts Festival. Wednesday is Co-Founding Artistic Director of Experimental Bitch Presents.
Cate Cammarata (Director) is the Associate Artistic Director for Rhymes Over Beats and is a producer, director, dramaturg and literary manager. She recently produced The Assignment Off-Broadway and is developing Echoes of Octavia by Michelle Tyrene Johnson and The Count of Bran Castle by Don Nolan. Cate teaches Theatre Arts at SUNY Stony Brook.
Kate Woodruff (Director) is a Los Angeles based director, who has a passion for directing and producing new work. In addition to her work as an artistic associate with Little Candle Productions, she also is a long standing member of the Long Beach Playhouse New Works committee. When she’s not making art she can be found chasing after her three, soon to be four, delightfully unruly children.
Jan Roper (Composer) – Jan has 30 years of experience in Los Angeles as a music director, composer and performer. She has MD’d numerous shows, including her own original rock opera, Jerusalem A.D., which enjoyed four full-scale productions during the years of 2002 to 2006. In 2010 the L.A. Weekly Theater Awards nominated her for Best Musical Director for her work in Godspell at the Knightsbridge Theatre. She composed and music directed a one-woman show on the Broadway career of Lane Bradbury (the original Dainty Rose in Gypsy). Jan has music directed for many artists, such as Thelma Houston, Mario Lopez, Toni Basil, Charisse, and Helen Reddy. www.janroper.com
Gabrielle Wagner Mann (Bookwriter) – comes from a professional background of acting and singing. Favorite roles include: Laureen in the acclaimed Divorce! The Musical (Ovation Aware Nominee 2010); Polly Peachum in The Threepenny Opera (Garland nod for Best Lead in a Musical); Rosabella in The Most Happy Fella; Sally Bowles in Cabaret; Sooze in Suburbia to name a few. Film/TV include: “Mad Men”, “Wilfred”, “Firefly” (dir. Joss Whedon), “Strong Medicine”, “Stonerville”, “Unscripted: (dir. George Clooney). As a writer: libretto for iWish which was produced at the Colony Theatre, UC Irvine, and at Studio C in Hollywood; currently book and lyrics for Untitled Faerie Project set in Ireland. www.gabriellewagner.com
Julie Weiner (Lyricist) studied musical theatre at The Einhorn School for the Performing Arts in NYC under Adam Gwon and Kate Kerrigan, and at New Musicals Inc. (“NMI”) in Los Angeles. Julie completed NMI’s two year curriculum and co-wrote the original 15 minute musical, “Bank Shot”, which was produced at The Colony Theatre in 2012 and at the UC Irvine Digital Natives Festival in 2013. Julie was selected for the 2015 ASCAP NYMF Musical Theater Songwriting Workshop and participated in a Master Class with Lawrence O’Keefe.
Mandy Murphy (Playwright) is a New York based playwright/actress. She is a native Texan with a BFA in Acting from Texas State University. Recent readings/workshops include Valer with LoneStar Theater Co. (NYC) and Cutter (Austin, TX). In addition to From A to Double D, she is currently working on three original plays that will be workshopped in both Austin, TX and NYC by the end of 2017. Big thanks to SheNYC! www.mandymurphyplaywright.com
Charlotte Ahlin (Playwright) is a writer, actor, artist, and native New Yorker. She holds a degree in creative writing from Oberlin College. Currently, she writes for the books section of Bustle.com, and one of her short comics appears in the new science fiction anthology, All the King’s Men. Charlotte is also a founder and Associate Artistic Director of Fat Knight Theatre, a nonprofit theatre company. www.charlotteahlin.com
Kristy Thomas (Playwright) hails from Kansas City, MO and now resides in North Hollywood, CA. She has been an active part of the art of theater since she was three years old evolving from actor to writer and also an educator. She owns and operates a literary and publishing business that deals with short stories and one act plays for acting competitions (www.alwayswriting4u.com). Her motto, “Tell your story, it is the best story ever told.”
Nakisa Aschtiani (playwright) was raised in SoCal where she developed a love of all things Theatre & Literature. Children of Camelot is her first play. Her adaptation of Romeo and Juliet for CCPT is opening this weekend in California. Nakisa is a member of the Dramatists Guild and is honored to be in such great company at the Festival. She would like to thank her friends/family, the cast/crew, & the NY team (esp SheNYC & Amanda Strader) for their support & hard work.
Angelica Zollo is a writer, director, singer and filmmaker making her playwriting and play directing debut with The Last. She has been writing and creating in various forms since she was little. She grew up in London, England and is a recent graduate of The Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. Her feature film Trauma is a Time Machine is currently in post-production.
Tiffani Dean (Playwright): Philadelphia, PA. Author, Playwright, Poet, Executive Director, Executive Producer, Co-Founder Family Poetry Collective, Co-Founder The Collective Mic, LLC, The Collective Mic Productions, The Collective Mic School Of The Arts, and The Collective Mic Art Gallery & Arts Café.
Ali MacLean’s (playwright) plays include She’s Not There, Wolves At The Door, and Tales Of A Bleaknik. Her work has been performed and workshopped at the HBO Workspace, Comedy Central Stages, A Noise Within, Antaeus Theatre, and The Ensemble Studio Theatre. She’s Not There has placed in the Screencraft Stageplay competition, The Gary Marshall Theatre New Works, the Dennis and Victoria Ross Foundation Project, and won the John Gassner Playwriting Award. Her play Wolves At The Door was an O’Neill National Playwrights Conference finalist. Ali won the Writers For Writers Fellowship and is a finalist for the Orchard Project fellowship. Ali is a graduate of the Miami University Acting Program and LaJolla Playhouse Theatre Conservatory. She is a member of the Dramatist Guild.
Paul Schack (co-director, stage manager) is a director hailing from Lincoln, Nebraska. Hello NYC! He graduated in 2018 from the University of Nebraska Lincoln with degrees in theatre directing, management and performance. Recent projects include Shakespeare Abridged, Stupid Fucking Bird and the original devised work ‘Cause We the People.
Zach Little (co-director) is a New York City based director and filmmaker currently working with the artistic team of The Drama League. His work has premiered worldwide. Recent work: Antigone Post Truth (Edinburgh Fringe Finalist), More Tomorrow (Ned Hockman Award, DeadCenter, Twister Alley, Bison Bison, Redbud Film Festival) & The Last Trip. BFA University of Oklahoma.
Casey Griffin (director) has a B.A. in Theater and American Studies from Kenyon College and an M.A. in Philosophy & Education from Teachers College, Columbia. This interdisciplinary training deeply informs her theater practice. She particularly enjoys developing new work. In New York, she directed the Off-Broadway production of The Power of Punctuation.
Jenn Maley (director) is a Tony-nominated Producer for Indecent by Paula Vogel. Current shows on Broadway include Be More Chill and What the Constitution Means to Me. As a director, Jenn has developed The Trombone Lesson, Goldilocks: The Drag Musical, and Luna Fest. Jenn assistant directed Tyne Rafaeli on Usual Girls at Roundabout.
Sandy Doria (Director) is a director whose work has been produced in both Europe and the U.S. Recent: Callus (KIT), It Don’t Hurt (Kraine Theatre), and Sorry Not Sorry (The Tank). Sandy is also pursuing a case study on migration and community engagement in Italy, which she began in 2016. www.sandydoria.com
Kristin Heckler (Director) is an NYC-based director dedicated to producing plays analyzing gender and sexuality. Favorite directing projects include Exposed (original devised piece), Paraphilia: Everyone Has A Sexual Disorder (FringeNYC), How I Learned to Drive, and Stop Kiss. She holds an MFA in Theatre Directing from The New School.
Jenny Beth Snyder (Director) is the Director, PM, and Creative Director for FGP NYC. Director: Morgan McGuire’s The Red Room (Best Premiere Production of a Play: NYIT); Dave Lankford’s Night of the Living (Overall Excellence Award: NY Fringe). Resident director: TrueFalse Theater, IRT, Denmark Arts Center. BFA NYU/Tisch. Member of the Lincoln Center Theater Director’s Lab 2013.
Andrew Ceglio (director) has Directed/Choreographed for regional theatre companies throughout the Bay Area of Northern CA. He has directed numerous new works and world premiers. West Coast Premiers: A Night at the Nutcracker. New Works/World Premiers: Lunch, Escaping Queens, More Than Petticoats, The Rub, Shakespeare’s Boy.
Natalie Griffith Robichaux (director) has performed in theaters in New York, California, and regional theaters across the country including Lincoln Center Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Indiana Repertory, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and the La Jolla Playhouse. Recent examples of her works are Cultural Conversations for Global Health and the Every 28 Hours Project at Penn State University, and her solo piece Bicycle Face which explores the pathologizing of the feminine. She is a professor at the grad program at UCSD. Natalie’s experiences as an actor, dancer, artist, educator, and mother fill her passion for championing the imagination and creative spirit in others.
Michelle Kallman (director) comes from a background of producing reality television, but her heart has always been in the theatre. She is incredibly grateful to Kelly & Matt for the opportunity to direct Starry and to be a part of this Petit Boulevard. All the thanks to her family for their love and support. Follow @starrymusical on Instagram for more magic.
Wendy Rosoff (Director) Hairspray (Noho Fringe and Valley Theater Awards – Best Musical winner), Glory Of Love, For The Record, And The Winner Is (Marilyn Monroe Theater, Strasberg), Once On This Island, Seussical, Grease, Into The Woods (The Lee Theater, Strasberg) West Side Story – staged reading series, Song And Dance Project, Café Series (AMDA LA), Transcendence Theatre – Assoc. Director -Broadwayworld.com Best Theatre For Youth award (Sonoma, CA). As a choreographer, over 40 musicals and plays. www.wendyrosoff.com
Joshua D. Wilsher
Director, Producer, Playwright, Actor, Acting Coach and full time Pastor of the Church of the Redeemed aka The Safe Place Philadelphia. Partner with The Collective Mic, LLC and its productions.
Jody Austin (Co-Director) Philadelphia, PA. Author, Playwright, Poet, Executive Director, Executive Producer, Co-Founder Family Poetry Collective, Co-Founder The Collective Mic, LLC, The Collective Mic Productions, The Collective Mic School Of The Arts, and The Collective Mic Art Gallery & Arts Café.
Ines Braun is a stage and film director from Buenos Aires. She is an alum of Columbia’s Directing program. NY credits include Trial by Fire, Ivanov, Eurydice, Alcestis and Willam Saroyan’s The Time of Your Life at Hunter College. Upcoming projects include The Russian and the Jew, by Liba Vaynberg and Emily Perkins at the Tank.
Diane Meo is a graduate of Texas State University with a BFA in Performance and Production. She has since created her own theatre company, Ensemble Mercury, in Austin, TX. Credits: Love/Sick (Ensemble Mercury), Pool (No Water) (Ensemble Mercury) Assistant credits: The Way She Spoke (The VORTEX). Full resume: dianemeo.com
Liz Power is a New York-based director, choreographer, and dramaturg. Favorite credits include Cymbeline and my parents are here tonight; she has assisted directed at Ensemble Studio Theatre and Keen Company. Recent choreography includes the music video for BANNERS’ “Someone To You” (Island Records, 2017). Proud graduate of Columbia University.
Kayla Friend, originally from southern California received her B.A. in Theatre and Anthropology (Cal Baptist University). Founder/Artistic Director for THML Theatre Company. Directing credits: Where Angels Fear to Tread by Kit Goldstein Grant (Players Theatre), The Shadowlands by Ashley Griffin (La MaMa), and Going South by Katya Stanislavskaya (Dixon Place).
Alex Keegan (Director) Her directing includes Gracie Gardner’s Primary (Sanguine/IRT), Qui Nguyen’s She Kills Monsters (Geva Fellowship), new work with Cherry Lane, MCC FreshPlay, The Flea, O’Neill’s YPF. Member/Alum: SDC Associate, Rattlestick’s Middle Voice, Williamstown Directing Corps, NYTW Adelphi Residency, LCT Directors Lab, The Civilians R&D Group. BA: Brown. MFA Candidate: Yale School of Drama
Rachel M. Stevens (director). Broadway: (Assistant Director), Natasha Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. Directing: Quantum Theatre of Pittsburgh, NYFA New Works Festival, City Theatre of Pittsburgh, Theatreworks USA, NYMF, Front Porch Theatricals of Pittsburgh. Assistant Directing: Preludes (dir. Rachel Chavkin, LCT3), The Bandstand (dr. Andy Blankenbuehler, Paper Mill Playhouse). MFA: Actors Studio Drama School. BFA: Point Park University.
Stephen M. Eckert (Director) is a NYC-based director of new plays, musical theatre, opera, performance, and adaptation. He has directed around the world including award-winning productions in New Orleans, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and London. He has worked on Dead Boyfriends since 2016. The real monsters are the friends you make along the way. www.StephenMEckert.com
Earning her degree in Dramaturgy from Carnegie Mellon, Chandler Patton studied playwriting, philosophy, gender, adaptation, and historiography—all to grasp the power of storytelling. This is her gift: a burning passion to find lost stories, salvage them from the depths, and forbid them to be forgotten. When she is not writing her award-winning plays, she also works as a casting assistant, teaches a cappella music, and is developing a television series.
Steven James Schmidt
Steven James Schmidt is a writer, musician, and educator whose works for theatre include Mad World: A New Musical (“Best New Work In The Country” KCACTF) and Nice Girls: A Musical Parody. He is currently developing two projects: Bravo at New Musicals, Inc. and The Legend of Bonny Anne, and also teaches music at Balboa Magnate Elementary School and the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus. He has a Bachelor of Music in arranging and composition from Azusa Pacific University.
Cambria Denim (playwright) is an actor, writer and theatre professional. She’s received the National Undergraduate Playwriting Award from the Kennedy Center, as well as been selected from a national pool of applicants as a Resident Playwright at the Echo Theatre Company. Her plays have been produced throughout the United States. She studied acting at the Globe Theatre in London and the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, as well as being a graduate of Texas State University in the Acting program, helmed by The Nanny’s Lauren Lane and Kaitlin Hopkins. She believes strongly in dogs, warm bread, and every woman on Earth. She lives in Los Angeles. www.cambriadenim.com
Kelly Lynne D’Angelo
Kelly Lynne D’Angelo (book, lyrics) is a television writer and is half of the musical theatre writing team Dahan & D’Angelo (Starry, The Count of Monte Cristo). Recent credits include TBS’s “Final Space”, “My Little Pony: Equestria Girls”, “Littlest Pet Shop”. You’ll also find Kelly performing with her improv team Musical! The Musical! or hosting shows on Twitch, such as Geek & Sundry’s Tales From The Loop or Dungeon & Dragon’s Girls, Guts, Glory. Follow @kahlanrock for more! #starrylife
Matt Dahan (music, lyrics) has written song and score for over a dozen films, including the movie-musical How Sweet It Is (Academy Awards semifinalist: Best Original Song, Best Original Score), and Break: The Musical (Independent Series Award: Best Soundtrack). On stage, he contributed music to an adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo (2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival), as well as composing and performing in The Babies (Off-Broadway). Visit mattdahan.com for more.
Carol Weiss (book, music, & lyrics) Published author, composer, conductor, pianist and teacher. Composer/Lyricist: PBS, “Square One;” “The Good Book” starring Bobby Morse; American Express Presentation – 1984 Olympics. Music Director: General Hospital “Nurses’ Ball” (ABC); “Cinderella” Pantages Theatre; Sacramento Music Circus. Vocal Director: “Lady Be Good” original cast album. Known for her unique Musical Theatre Audition Workshop; Her 10 children’s musicals have been performed by hundreds of theatres and schools around the world. ASCAP awards; Dramalogue Award; Presidential Citation.
Tiffani Dean (Playwright) Philadelphia, PA. Author, Playwright, Poet, Executive Director, Executive Producer, Co-Founder Family Poetry Collective, Co-Founder The Collective Mic, LLC, The Collective Mic Productions, The Collective Mic School Of The Arts, and The Collective Mic Art Gallery & Arts Café.
Emily Comisar’s short plays and monologues have appeared in reading series produced by Lone Star Theatre Company, Caps Lock Theatre, New York Madness, and Shiyr Productions. Full length work includes Undrown’d: Seeking Asylum (co-written w/Benita de Wit), Switzerland, Moonlighting, Track Twelve, and The Last Hurrah. BA in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, MA in Italian Language and Media from Middlebury College, MFA in Theatre Management & Producing from Columbia University.
Melanie Notinger (Playwright/Izzy) is a writer, performer, and filmmaker from Texas. Her short film, “Choke Artist”, has screened at The East Village Queer Film Festival, The Iron Mule Short Comedy Series, and is an official selection for Lighthouse International Film Festival 2018. Other film credits: Jo (dir. Justine Williams) and Cuffing Season. Melanie’s upcoming short, “Dress Code”, is about a poetry student who experiments with her image in an extreme effort to be seen. Texas State University: B.F.A. www.melanienotinger.com.
Marisa Jones (Playwright/Elliot) is a performer, dancer, and creative humanoid from Mississippi. Recent NYC Credits: Lakehouse (Jenny) and dancing professionally at The William Vale. Other: Bad Jews (Daphna), Matt & Ben (Ben Affleck), and Pretty Bad Shape (Josephine). Upcoming: WOOF (post-production) and Is that you Illana? It’s me, Marisa, an original short about the real-life struggles of constantly reminding people of Illana Glazer. The Performing Arts Project Alum. BFA:Texas State. For the teachers and the fam.www.marisajones.com
Liza Summers is a New York-based playwright and screenwriter from Omaha, Nebraska. She holds an MFA in Writing for the Screen + Stage from Northwestern (‘17), where her coming-of-age feature screenplay, Eugenia Morris’ Amazing Technicolor Y2K, won the Krevoy Screenwriting Prize. Other works include Fame Whores, Everything is Burning, and Pure. As a sometimes-actor, Liza can currently be seen in the web series “In Real Life”, streaming on Open Television (weareo.tv). www.lizasummers.com
Mandy Murphy is an NYC-based playwright from Texas. She writes southwest stories with a big city flair. Her most recent productions include From A to Double D at The PIT Loft & The SheNYC Summer Theater Festival 2017 where she was awarded The Dionysian Award for Best New Play. This summer, her new play Cutter will be presented in The Playground Experiment’s Evolution process in NYC. Big THANKS to SheNYC! mandymurphyplaywright.com
Writer, Book; Co-writer, Music & Lyrics
Stacy Kray is a singer-songwriter whose songs have received national AAA and college radio airplay and whose music videos have appeared on national television. She is a two-time KFOG Local Scene Artist (the #1 AAA format radio station in the Bay Area) and the winner of multiple songwriting awards. Love The Struggle is her first musical.
Co-writer, Music & Lyrics
Yair Evnine is a classically trained cellist and guitarist who has performed, recorded, produced and written for many theatrical and musical artists, including Duncan Sheik, Sara Bareilles, Meow Meow, Alan Cumming, Lady Rizo, Taylor Mac, Justin Bond and Spencer Day. He is a co-orchestrator for the Grammy/Tony-nominated musical Waitress, in which he also performs on Broadway as a member of the Waitress band.
Annie Pulsipher specializes in writing dark comedies, trying to normalize menstruation through ill-timed period jokes, and eating buffalo wings. Her work has been featured at locations around the country including SLC’s Kensington Theatre, Carnegie Mellon, the Kennedy Center through KCACTF, and the Tribeca Film Festival. Her screenplay, The Glowing Gene, won the Tribeca Film Festival’s 2017 Sloan Grand Jury Prize. She has an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon under Rob Handel. www.pulsipherplays.com
Alex Petti is a composer from Massachusetts who grew up as a pop punk rocker. Though his dreams of headlining Warped Tour have ended, the energy of the genre still infuses his music. He studied classical music composition in college at Carnegie Mellon University and is now hustling towards becoming a full time theater singer-songwriter. He lives in New York City and spends most of his spare time thinking about pizza and politics.
Playwright, Props Artisan, and The Girl by the Fire
She is a writer and actor in NYC. Previous work has been performed at the Writing is Live Festival, First Look Festival, and the Granoff Center. Selected acting credits: To Kill A Mockingbird (Queens Theatre), The Locus (Summer Repertory Festival), See Bat Fly (Playwrights Rep), In the Next Room, Twelfth Night, Hedda Gabler (Brown/Trinity Rep). BA: Brown. MFA: Brown/Trinity Rep. Gratitude and love to Mom, Dad, Alex, Devon, and the wonder-full cast. www.sophienetanel.com
Co-writer, Music & Lyrics
Natalie Margolin is a playwright, actress, improviser, and graduate of Kenyon College. Her play, The Power of Punctuation, premiered off-Broadway in the summer of 2016. The Power of Punctuation was a New York Stage and Film Founders Award finalist, recipient of Kenyon College’s James E. Michael Playwriting Award and the Thomas Turgeon Memorial Award. She is currently developing her play, Tutus, which has been workshopped in both Chicago and NYC. Most recently, Natalie was a part of Fault Line Theatre’s “Irons in the Fire” with her new play, All Nighter. Natalie is a resident playwright at Colt Coeur (artistic director Adrienne Campbell-Holt). She lives in NYC and continues to write and perform.
Kate Brennan is a playwright from New Jersey living in Brooklyn. Her first play, The Shoebox, is a semifinalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwright Conference and was a second round finalist in the 2018 Austin Film Festival. She received a BA in Gender Studies and Modern Culture and Media from Brown University.
Book, Music, and Lyrics
Caroline and Jen have been writing musicals together since meeting at Goldsmiths University, where they were both awarded MAs in writing for musical theatre in 2011. Their shows include The Gingerbread Man (Singapore Repertory Theatre 2019), Michael Morpurgo’s Mimi and the Mountain Dragon (ongoing national tour 2016-current), Children of the New Forest (YMT 2017), The Legend of White Bear Lake (YMT UK 2016), The Bachelor Girls (YMT UK 2015, Weston College 2016), and Van Winkle – a Folk Musical (S&S Award finalist 2014).
Ciara Kay recently graduated with a B.A. in theatre performance from the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film. Since relocating to New York less than a year ago her works have been produced with The Little Victory Theater, The Manhattan Repertory Theater, and most recently with The Riant Theatre at The Strawberry One-Act Festival. She’s incredibly grateful to SheNYC for the opportunity to be a part of such an important festival. CiaraKay.com
Courtney Bailey Parker is a St. Louis-based actor, playwright, and professor. She earned her PhB from Baylor University and currently works as an Assistant Professor of English & Theatre Studies at Greenville University. www.courtney-baileyparker.com
Kristin Heckler, Sarah Raimondi, Pauline Sherrow and Jacob Sebastian Phillips formed a writing team at The New School for Drama in 2015, where they performed an early workshop of the piece with Kristin as director and the other three as performers. Kristin assembled the team to explore a related new story and make it into their own story. Together they created the characters and wrote the script through improvisations, performances and incorporating audience feedback.
Elinor T and Drew Vanderburg create theater to confront urgent social issues for a more just society. Elinor is a DC-born writer, voice actor, and Creative Director with Fresh Ground Pepper. Drew is an urbanist, activist, and musician. Fave credits: Exit Art, Grace Exhibition Space, Built For Collapse, Bread and Puppet, Joe’s Pub, Title:Point, WiseFish, and Exquisite Corpse Company. Their science-fiction musical, The Human Incubator, premiered with SheNYC in 2017.
Jen Rudin is an award-winning writer, casting director, former professional child actor and author of Confessions of a Casting Director: Help Actors Land Any Role with Secrets From Inside the Audition Room (HarperCollins). Her TV pilot “Lucy in the Sky” is a recipient of the 2016 Sloan Foundation Writing Award, a Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation award and now a short film starring Whoopi Goldberg. MFA Dramatic Writing from NYU. Instagram: @rudinj. www.purpleglassesproductions.com, www.jenrudin.com.
Associate PM, LA
Brianna Rafidi is excited to get involved with SheLA for its inaugural year. Rafidi is a stage and production manager originally from Phoenix, Arizona. Rafidi’s most recent stage management credits include A Festival of Shorts (B3 Productions), [sic] (Mesa Encore Theatre), and The Mountain (Binary Theatre Company). Their most recent production management credits are Look for Signs (Arizona State University), Science Exposed (Arizona State University), and TEDxASU 2018.
Kristy Thomas is presently living in Los Angeles, CA and in her ninth year as a high school theatre arts teacher. She loves working with teenagers preparing them for the next step of their lives. She has also spent time teaching theatre arts at a local community college as well as being the acting coach on their main stage performances. She created a literary and publishing company, Always Writing 4 U, where she writes one act plays for middle school, high school and college competitive acting teams across the country with state and national level champions. She has a passion for writing so does her best to write daily either for her business, a new play she’s working on, or a television pilot idea she has in the works. The tagline for her business is the same for her life as a writer, “Tell your story. It is the best story ever told.”
Nakisa Aschtiani, a Persian-American playwright and actress, was born in Germany and raised in Southern California. She started working in Theatre at age 15 and went on to major in Theatre at California State University, Fullerton. Her first play, Children of Camelot (an alternative reality on the JFK assassination), was workshopped at Long Beach Playhouse, produced in Hollywood, and went on to be a part of the 2017 She NYC Arts Festival. She is excited to continue working with the She NYC Arts organization as a member of the executive team in Los Angeles to help create opportunities for women in the entertainment industry. Nakisa currently lives in Orange County with her wonderful boyfriend where they enjoy riding scooters and going to the beach in their free time.
Shira Wolf is currently the office manager at Bespoke Theatricals, where she assists the general management teams of Broadway shows including School of Rock, Angels in America, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child andThe Boys in the Band. She is thrilled to be a part of the SheNYC festival for a second year. Shira graduated from the University of Michigan.
Board Member & Casting Director
Lizz Hudman is a director and percussionist. You may remember her all-female adaptation of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure in last year’s festival. She is an avid company collaborator with Everyday Inferno Theatre Co. (EverydayInferno.com) where her most recent project was a workshop presentation of George Sand’s Gabriel adapted by Francesca Pazniokas. She has also been known to direct a couple of one-act plays as a part of Everyday Inferno’s If on a Winter’s Night… series. Her drumming can currently be seen with the rock band Crowd the Airwaves (who can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.).
Rachel Fae Szymanski is a Brooklyn based lighting designer. She has worked all over the city from The Flea to to Soho Rep to the Public Theater. Most recently she designed multiple dance pieces for Tisch Dance and was the Associate Lighting Designer on Dido of Idaho at Ensemble Studio Theatre. She is pursuing her MFA in lighting design at NYU.
Board Member & CreateHer Coordinator
Hannah Rosenthal is currently the producing associate at Ruth Hendel Productions. Previously, she worked in the theatre department at United Talent Agency and at Laura Stanczyk Productions. Last fall Hannah produced Cry Eden at Access Theater. She has interned with MTC, Nickelodeon, and Frankel Green Theatrical Management. Hannah is a graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute (Fred Vogel Scholarship) and the University of Michigan.
Executive Producer, NYC
Sarah Howell, hailing from the great state of Minnesota, is proud to work alongside these amazingly talented women in theater. As a prior regional and New York stage manager and current Disney Theatrical Productions member, she’s exhilarated to be on the forefront of creating more opportunities for diversity in theater.
Board Member & Director of Digital Media
Madelyn Shaffer is an actor, playwright, and director based in New York City. Her new play Fall (Apart) Together premiered Off-Broadway in the 2016 SheNYC Arts Summer Theatre Festival, and she could not be more excited to join the Board of Directors this year. Madelyn is an alum of Texas State University with a BFA in Musical Theatre, performing in Anything Goes (Erma), Hair (Jeannie), Almost, Maine (Villian, Marci, Rhonda), Other Desert Cities (Brooke Wyeth), and directing Stephen Karam’s Speech & Debate. She has since worked regionally with Connecticut Repertory Theatre (The Music Man, Funny Thing…Forum), and Off-Broadway starring as Sissy Slater in the aforementioned production of Fall (Apart) Together (Best Actor in the 2016 Festival Award). This summer, Madelyn is proud to attend the 2017 Artist as Citizen Conference at the Juilliard School, and direct Caitlin Turnage’s Holes in the Human Flesh in the Samuel French New Play Festival. madelynshaffer.com.
Board Member & Production Supervisor
Katie Kavett is thrilled to return to SheNYC for the third year. Other stage and production management credits include Blank! The Musical, Sky-Pony’s The Wildness, Church and State, HeadGame, 12 NYMF shows, and a ton of other festivals, concerts, and events. She was the recipient of the 2012 NY Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Stage Manager. She also works in operations at Flatiron School. katiekavett.com
Board Member & Executive Producer, LA
Emily Rellis is an actor and producer based in New York City. She is excited to be back with the SheNYC team for a second year to continue working for the the growth and visibility of women’s work in theatre, both on and off stage. A recent graduate of The Studio New York conservatory program, Emily can be seen on both stage and screen; recent credits including The Virgin Slayer (The Players Theatre), Morning After Munchies (MTV), and the upcoming indie feature Escape From The Experimental Film. Her recent work on the web-series Famous Tweets Of World History will be turned into a full stage production, to premiere at The Players Theatre in the fall of 2017. Emily has helped produce numerous live television specials with networks MTV and LOGO, including the 2015 Emmy winning documentary “Laverne Cox Presents: The T-Word” as well as several Off Broadway productions. www.emilyrellis.com
Board Member & Producer, NYC
Ari Conte is a New York (but Boston bred) performer, producer and proud board member of She NYC Arts. She is a Co-Producer of The Shakespearean Jazz Show (NYMF 2017) and formerly the Assistant to Oscar/Tony/Golden Globe winning songwriting duo, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. She currently works on the Amazon TV Series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel as the Assistant to Actress Rachel Brosnahan. www.ariconte.me.
Board Member & Managing Director
Brenna Kilpatrick is currently an account executive at Daryl Roth Advertising and assists in strategizing, creating, and executing advertising campaigns for over 50 Off-Broadway and Broadway productions. Brenna is excited to be a part of the SheNYC festival, as an associate producer, for the second year. Previously, she has worked with Jujamycn Theaters and Stage Entertainment. Brenna is a graduate of New York University.
Founder, Board Member & Artistic Director
Danielle DeMatteo is a writer, composer, and producer. After working in the creative department at Jujamcyn Theaters (working on such shows as Kinky Boots, Jersey Boys, The Book of Mormon, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Bull Durham, Bullets Over Broadway, Something Rotten!, two seasons of Encores! at New York City Center, and more), she wanted to put her producing skills to work fixing the gender gap in the Broadway industry. She founded SheNYC Arts in 2015 and is eternally grateful to all of the other talented women who have helped it grow and develop since then. She is also on the board of Forward March NY, the new organization born of the NYC Chapter of the Women’s March on Washington. Her writing credits include Motel Rasdell (Best Musical, Midtown International Theater Festival 2015 and WVMTF 2016) which has run off-Broadway in NYC, Boston, and Chicago; Ayn Rand in Love (Best Musical, Chicago’s Premiere Premieres 2016); and numerous memoirs and other publications.