2020 BOARD ELECTION: MEET THE CANDIDATES
Mary E. Hodges – Co-President
Mary was recently interviewed in American Theatre Magazine by writer Caro Macon in a piece titled, Theatre or Family: I Shouldn’t Have to Choose. The magazine partnered with PAAL for the issue, focused on parents and caregivers in the theatre. She was a part of the ground-breaking Slave Play Broadway team as an Assistant Director to Robert O’Hara, written by Jeremy O. Harris. She was also a part of Slave Play at NYTW as an SDCF Observer. Other directing credits include at The National Black Theatre: Institute for Action Arts, the premiere workshop production of Derek McPhatter’s sci-fi thriller Serious Adverse Effects. For Harlem9’s 48Hours in…Harlem The Ballad of Nigg-O-Lee written by Stacey Rose; at New Perspectives Theatre, she has directed in three consecutive short play labs that commission original work by women directed by women; at Queens Theatre the critically acclaimed The Park Plays in which she directed two commissioned short plays; off Broadway at The Davenport Theatre she directed the New York premier of Michael Bradford’s Father & Sons. She has staged countless readings for organizations that focus on new work: The Fire This Time Festival, Black Board Plays, Liberation Theatre Company, New Federal Theatre and has consulted with many writers as a dramaturg. Some acting credits: Extra in The Lehman Trilogy Broadway; Hope Hypothesis (Sheen Center); Macbeth3 (Here Arts Center); The Test (ART/NY); Othello (Harlem Shakespeare Festival); TV/film: Grace (Independant Short), Law & Order: SVU (NBC), It’s Bruno (Netflix), Wu-tang: An American Saga (Hulu), Blue Bloods (CBS). Mary will be directing Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes for Fordham Theatre Program’s mainstage season 2021. In addition to serving on the Board for the League, she is also co-chair of the newly EDI committee. – Co-VP of Communications.
Alisa Matlovsky – Co-Vice President, Membership
Alisa is a freelance theater director based in New York. Since moving from a career in film, she has focused on new play development and on creating original theater pieces. She is an alumna of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors’ Lab and La MaMa’s International Directors Symposium and is the recipient of several NYFA grants. She is a member of Stage Directors and Choreographers, the Director’s Guild of America and New York Women in Film and Television. Alisa is currently on the Board of the League of Professional Theatre Women and the Jewish Plays Project. As co-VP of Membership, Alisa intends to help build membership rolls to be more inclusive and will work to offer an array of programs that will continue to support and engage the membership.
Sherry Eaker – Co-Vice President, Programming
Sherry Eaker has been the producer of the annual Bistro Awards since the awards’ inception in 1985. She is the former editor of Back Stage and, during her 30-year run, produced panel discussions and workshop events on an ongoing basis, including the programming for Back Stage’s annual Actorfest. She compiled and edited four editions of the Back Stage Handbook for Performing Artists, and compiled and edited The Cabaret Artists Handbook. Sherry is a member of the National Theatre Conference, the American Theatre Critics Association (and produced eight of ATCA’s New York weekend conferences), and has been a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women for about 30 years. She is an advisor to the boards of both the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and the Women in the Arts & Media Coalition. “Since I’ve been a member of the League, I’ve seen the organization grow and attain so many of its goals. It’s an organization that I’m proud of. To show my gratitude, I’d like to contribute the skills that I’ve attained through my own work experience so that the League can continue its efforts to gain recognition for women.”
Wendy Peace – Co-Vice President, Programming
I’m a performer/educator who has been a League Member since 2011. In that time, I’ve served as Co-Chair of Julia’s Reading Room and Think Tank, and as a member of the EDIA committee and the Board. I’m excited for the opportunity to work on the League’s programming and signature events. I’m committed to working to ensure programming reflects our values of EDIA (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility).
Nancy Rhodes – Co-Vice President of Communications
Nancy Rhodes (Artistic Director, Encompass Music/Opera Theatre) stages a wide range of musicals, operas and plays in the U.S.A, Europe and Asia. She directed The Astronaut’s Tale at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, BAM Fisher; staged the world premiere of Tartuffe for San Francisco Opera, and Virgil Thomson’s Lord Byron at Alice Tully Hall. At Encompass she staged over 65 works: Virgil Thomson/Gertrude Stein’s The Mother of Us All, Blitzstein’s Regina, Britten’s Phaedra, and Only Heaven by Ricky Ian Gordon. Her production of Grigori Frid’s opera The Diary of Anne Frank was nominated for an Artistic Achievement Award and played to over four thousand people on tour at the Cleveland Opera. She directed the world premiere ofAnna Christie, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Eugene O’Neill; the Cast Album was released by Broadway Records in 2019, and reached #6 on the Billboard charts. Internationally, she directed Death In Venice (Stockholm), Carmen (Oslo), Happy End (Finland), Kiss Me Kate (Ankara, filmed for TV), West Side Story (Istanbul), and Eccentrics, Outcasts and Visionaries for the Holland Festival (Amsterdam), and the first American musicals ever staged in the country of Albania. kkShe launched Paradigm Shifts, Music and Film Festival, to celebrate courageous people around the world protecting our planet, oceans, and wildlife, and in 2017, Paradigm Shifts was presented in Seoul, Korea. As Vice President/U.S. Delegate to the International Theatre Institute, Rhodes conducted workshops and served as a guest speaker in Italy, Sweden, Germany, Venezuela, Argentina, Korea, Holland, Russia, the Czech Republic, and Estonia. She is the commissioned librettist of The Theory of Everything, inspired by physics’ string theory of multiple dimensions and alternate universes.
Liz Amadio – Co-Treasurer
Liz has produced and/or directed staged readings and workshop productions of 75+ works showcasing 300+ artists. As DAPLab Moderator (2008-2018), she produced seasons including her full-length plays, Evolution: Among Statues, Skeletons and Millennium Mom, which premiered at Theater for the New City’s 2016 Dream Up Festival. Liz played Militant Mom. As Cosmic Orchid’s Artistic Director, Liz curates Integrative Theatre, a synergy of performing and visual arts. The Hoodie Play (BASP 2015-2016) recently had four university productions and a NJ Thespian Festival presentation. The Voire Dire Project’s 2019 Photography Cycle, a Puffin Foundation Grant recipient, featured 25 artists, 4 one-acts, 4 artworks at The Medicine Show Theatre. Liz helms iPower Theatre Collective – NYC high school students integrating arts and social justice – a past Citizens Committee Grant recipient and a 2020 Chelsea & Hudson Yards Grant recipient. Lincoln Center Education Leadership Lab, 2019. MFA, Actors Studio Drama School. Member: Dramatists Guild; League of Professional Theatre Women; National League of American Pen Women. “Cognizant of the challenges we currently face, I wish to be considered for the position of Treasurer of the League of Professional Theatre Women. I believe in the mission of our League and feel that I have the requisite skills to shepherd our finances, especially in this tenuous moment of our organization’s history.”
Cheryl L. Davis – Co-Secretary
Cheryl has been a member of the LPTW for more than 10 years, and she has previously served on the Board as Vice President of Communications, and for several years served as a member of the Nominating and Award Committees. She is an award-winning playwright, librettist/lyricist, and television writer, and the General Counsel of the Authors Guild. Cheryl is also a member of Honor Roll!, an advocacy and action group of women+ playwrights over 40 as well as our women+ over 40 allies. Amplifying the voices of women playwrights and authors is a personal and professional issue for her.
Abigail Zealey Bess
Abigail Zealey Bess, is an award-winning filmmaker, theatre director and educator. Her life in the arts has crossed boundaries and platforms for many years as an independent director and producer in film and theatre, specializing in new work since she arrived on these shores. She established her company, Weird Sisters in 1997, developing feature film projects and theatrical ventures in NY, regionally and Europe. These works are devoted to the promotion of women artists giving voice to provocative, thought-provoking work. She is on the Faculty for Tisch School of the Arts, NYU and is represented by Linda Weaver at Access Talent. Member of EST, SDC. www.weirdsistersfilms.com; www.icarusstopsforbreakfast.com
Cate Cammarata is on Off-Broadway producer, director and dramaturg specializing in the development of new plays and musicals. She is also the founder of CreateTheater.com, an online theater community, and the producer of the Monday Night Reading Series. Off-Broadway: The Assignment, My Father’s Daughter. Regional: My Life is a Musical (Bay Street Theater), Bran Castle (Porchlight Theater), Crude (Cape Cod Theater Company), and numerous early developmental productions and readings in NYC. Cate works with writers on script development and self-producing, leads musical theater writing workshops in NYC and serves as the Literary Manager for Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU). She is also the Associate Artistic Director of Rhymes Over Beats Hip Hop Collective and is the Director of Creative Development at MusicalWriters.com. Cate has a MFA in Dramaturgy and a BFA in Directing, and teaches theater at Stony Brook University and Baruch College. In development: Austen’s Pride, Atlantis, and a hip hop musical by the recording artist Masta.Ace. www.CreateTheater.com; www.CateCammarata.com
Laura Caparrotti has a Master degree in Performing Arts, Cinema and Theatre History from the University “La University “La Sapienza” in Rome. She also studied independently with Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo and Annie Girardot. After ten years of professional theatre in Italy, she relocated to New York, where she has directed and/or performed at The Kitchen, The Fringe Festival, The Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, The Cell, the Flea and Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò, among other venues. Most importantly, since she is in NY, Laura has been working to establish Italian theatre and therefore culture in New York and in the United States. She started the Double Theater Experience, where one act is presented first in English followed by its version in the original Italian. She was the Assistant to the Director of the Off-Broadway production of Eduardo De Filippo’s Souls of Naples featuring John Turturro. She was the world-wide representative of the De Curtis Family, and the curator of Excerpts of a Prince Named Totò, the official traveling exhibition on the Italian iconic actor Totò. She is a playwright, a journalist, a teacher, a lecturer, a consultant and dialect coach for Italian Language and Dialects (Boardwalk Empire), as well as a curator and a panelist for NYSCA. She is member of the Director’s Lab at Lincoln Center, of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, of the League of Professional Theater Women, of Lifetime Arts, of the League of Independent Theater and of the World Wide Lab–an international directors collective that she is one of the founders of. Laura is the Founding Artistic Director of the Italian Theater Company in NY Kairos Italy Theater. In 2013, Laura started In Scena! Italian Theater Festival NY, the first Annual Italian Theater Festival to take place in all 5 NY Boroughs. In 2019 Laura co-founded OnStage! The first American theater festival in Italy. Laura is the recipient of the AATI – Long Island Dante Award 2016 recognizing her work on promoting Italian Language and Culture.
Now is a time of transition and new adventures. When I was asked to run again it made me think of how often I have played a role in a time of change; that my understanding and ability to view the many sides of an issue has served both the organization, the people I work with, as well as myself. As I have thrown myself back into the world of theatre-making, I felt I might have something valuable to contribute here. I see and understand the importance of both the old and the new; the challenges that it produces and what the respectful marrying the two create. My diplomatic and creative skills are deep and my technical skills are strong. I think it’s time for me to bring them together for another organization I believe in. Nicholedonjeartist.wordpress.com; https://www.thebriefchronicles.com/
Katherine Elliot (SAG-AFTRA) is the Cofounder/Actor/Producer of Wild Banshee. She is the former producer/performer of The Tempest Ladies (The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Off-Broadway: producer/performer of Sammy’s Bowery Follies and Dog Sees God, producer/performer (Paulette Goddard) Hannah, Can You Hear Me? – Best Arts Film, Cannes Festival, director of The One And Only Amanda Palmer…, 45 Coffee Dates, The Deed Is Done. Katherine currently serves on the Board of Directors for The League of Professional Theatre Women.
Tess Howsam is the Founding Artistic Director of the Exquisite Corpse Company and has been directing, curating, and building immersive experiences for over 8 years in NYC. Her installation, Corseted Community, is a part of international exhibit Puentes – No Muros/ Bridges – Not Walls, El Centro de las Artes de Querétaro (CEART) in Querétaro, Mexico, and Cafe Europa Mexico, San Miguel, Mexico. Howsam holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts. “LPTW’s mission of inclusivity, diversity, and opportunity speaks to my practice and experience with Exquisite Corpse Company (ECC). For eight years, I have created interdisciplinary projects that challenge my communities and me to expand our understanding of issues of eco-justice, the history of misogyny, and racism in the arts. As a board member, I am ready to build on the history of LPTW’s accomplishments and bring its mission forward to speak to a changing definition of “theatre women” and the range of challenges that were already present, but have been made more urgent by the pandemic. I intend to bring my background in cultivating new ways of experiencing theatre and the arts, along with my commitment to social justice to serve this LPTW community and its future.” www.TessHowsam.com; www.ExquisiteCorpseCompany.com
Ms. Kadigan founded Planet Connections Theatre Festivity and served as the Producing Artistic Director for six seasons. Prior to founding Planet Connections, she worked as the Artistic Director of various other theater festivals in NYC. As the Producing Artistic Director of Planet Connections, she has presented 207 productions, 75 Staged Readings, 47 films and 67 bands. Under her leadership, Planet Connections has raised over six figures for 260 different charitable organizations including Safe Horizon, City Harvest, Amnesty International and more. Although no longer the Producing Artistic Director of the entire festivity – she still serves as the Artistic Curator and Executive Producer of the renowned Playwrights For A Cause benefit. As a playwright, her plays have been presented in New Zealand, Singapore (Esplanade), and London. NY plays presented at: Dixon Place, Actors Studio, The Workshop Theatre, Gene Frankel, TADA, Robert Moss, and Terry Schreiber. She is a freelance stage director and is an alum of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, La Mama Directors, Playwriting Symposium and of The Labyrinth Theater Company’s Master Class. Ms. Kadigan is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and has been the recipient of the Meritorious Achievement Award in Direction from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. She is also a member of the Actors Studio, PDU and of the League of Professional Theatre Women, which works to promote the visibility of women in the arts.
Kim Marie Jones
Kim has over 20+ years as a Line Producer, Assistant Producer, Stage Manager, and Production Manager. Kim is a Member of AEA, Assistant Artistic Director of Planet Connections, Member of The Workshop Theatre Company, Theatre Resources Unlimited (TRU), and The League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW). Most recent projects include Assistant Producer for Lovesong (Imperfect) written and directed by José Rivera (14 Street Y and Planet Connections); General Manager for The Floor is Lava by Alex Riad and Directed by Glory Kadigan (La MaMa and Planet Connections); and Assistant Producer for Till We Meet Again by Glory Kadigan and Directed by Tonya Pinkins (14 Street Y and Planet Connections). “During these times of uncertainty, I have continued to mentor young artists online through Marketing, Self Producing, and Public Relations. As a LPTW Board Member I will continue my work above as well as respect the history of the organization, hold myself accountable as a Board Member, and facilitate online technology for its members.”
TANYA KHORDOC (Co-Artistic Director Evolve Puppets), has written, directed, designed and performed for over two decades in the New York theatre scene. Notable moments include creating the world premiere of Vaclav Havel’s Motormorphosis and designing puppetry for the world premiere of Devil and the Deep, a musical co-written by Graham Russell of Air Supply. Evolve’s original production, Home, received grants from the Jim Henson Foundation and LMCC. Tanya is passionate about the exchange of ideas and community building that league provides to female identifying artists at all stages. Also a teacher, she brings with her the ability to encourage and bring people together. Facebook: Tanya Khordoc, Evolve Puppets. Instagram: @evolvepuppets
I would like to participate in empowering the League of Professional Theater Women at this challenging time. I hope to bring my experience in The Entertainment Industry, which spans over four decades, to benefit our membership. As well as being a film and stage actress, my experience also includes producing, as well as working for several producers, casting directors and film festivals. I have taught acting and been teaching voice and presence as a Registered Rodenburg Teacher since 2016. I was a founding Board Member, Vice President and Interim President for New Mexico Women In Film from 2004 to 2010. www.cynthiastraus.com
Lauren Yarger is a producer and playwright. She has written several dinner theaters and revues as well as the book for an award-winning musical version of A Christmas Carol. She produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene which toured nationally for three years before closing in New York and is Owner/Producer at Gracewell Productions where she has several works, including two play-reading series in progress. She is Co-Founder of the Connecticut Chapter of the LPTW has been a critic covering New York and Connecticut theater with the OCC (producer of the awards) and Drama Desk (former vice president). “I have been active with the LPTW for a while and currently serve on the Membership Committee, helping to liaison as the CT Chapter brings new members on board. I bring leadership, event and operations experience from a number of organizations which I feel can benefit the League. I advocate for women, produce networking opportunities (our networking luncheons have been a great way to connect theater women in Connecticut and get works by and about them on stages). I also am excited about possibilities of growing new chapters around the country (I am Co-Founder of the Connecticut Chapter where we have been working with New York for the past four years to create a model that can be used for expansion). We need to increase numbers and diversity among members to influence decisions that affect women and their professional opportunities both in and outside of the theater community.”
All Full Members & National Full Voting Members in good standing will be sent an e-ballot.
All votes must be received by this date!Winners will be announced by
5:00PM, June 1stIf you have any questions, or need help with your e-ballot, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgYou will be voting on all of the Officers and selecting seven of the 11 of the Director-at-Large candidates.