Michael Alden

Michael Alden Productions

A native of Southern California, Michael Alden began his career on stage and motion pictures at an early age. As a child actor, he appeared in numerous family shows during the late fifties and early sixties. In 1977 Mr. Alden stepped behind the scenes working in various aspects of production. 

In 1984 Mr. Alden joined Cannon Films in their post-production department. Quickly moving up the ranks, in 1986 he was made supervisor of the department, overseeing the creative and technical post-production of over one hundred feature films. 

Mr. Alden assumed Vice Presidency at Pathe Communications in 1989, where he headed their public post production facility, Pathe Services. He served as a corporate officer of the newly formed company taking them into profit in their first year. During his term, Mr. Alden was instrumental in locating, analyzing and supervising the rejuvenation of over 1,500 feature film elements that had been stored worldwide which comprised the company’s film library. These feature elements served as the equity foundation for Pathe’s purchase of MGM/UA where Mr. Alden went on to serve as their vice president of post-production. 

As a producer, Mr. Alden has been represented in the West End with Come From Away, (Olivier Award for Best Musical), David Seidler’s original play The King’s Speech and Bat Boy The Musical. On Broadway: Come From Away (2017 Tony Nomination & Olivier Winner for Best Musical),  Disgraced (Pulitzer Prize – Drama), Grey Gardens, and Bridge & Tunnel (Special Tony Award).

His off Broadway and regional works include; The King’s Speech, Not That Jewish, Becoming Dr. Ruth, Admit One, the Brochu-Schalchlin musical The Last Session, Spalding Gray: Stories Left To Tell, the Los Angeles productions of Howard Crabtree’s When Pigs Fly,  and Theresa Rebeck’s Bad Dates.  

Alden’s film works include: From The Shadows, Studio One Forever, Estella Scrooge: A Christmas Carol With A Twist, Death Metal, My Beautiful Stutter, Just Cause with Sean Connery, the fashion forward documentary UnZipped for Miramax, Stephen Daldry’s The Hours, the multi-award winning feature comedy Kissing Jessica Stein and Ralph Ziman’s foreign feature film The Zookeeper starring Sam Neill.

His current 2023/24 film production works include the supernatural thriller, 5 Must Die; When Reagan Killed Roosevelt, a film chronicling the community of Roosevelt Long Island from their heydey in the 1950’s to the slow dismantling of a community that gave birth to Public Enemy, Howard Stern, Eddie Murphy, LL Cool Jay and more; and The Griots of Hip Hop!, the never before told story of the rise of MTV Raps and their place in the rap revolution.


Marleen Magnoni Alhadeff

Producer, Junkyard Dog Productions

MARLEEN MAGNONI ALHADEFF (Producer) is a Lead Producer of Broadway productions of Memphis (multiple awards including Best Musical), First Date and currently Come From Away (multiple awards including Best Musical) as well as off Broadway Production of Vanities. She and her husband were honored by NAMT for their efforts and commitment toward new works in 2018 and they remain committed to sustained efforts and passion towards new works.  Marleen attended  the University of Utah for a dance and ballet major followed by the University of Washington for an art & interior design major. She worked for over 30 years in the interior design field for both commercial and residential projects. In 2006 Marleen joined Junkyard Dog Productions as a partner. She is currently a member of The Broadway League, The National Alliance for Musical Theater, one of the Producing Partners of Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre since 2007 and on the Advisory Board of Seattle REP and Pacific Northwest Ballet.  In the past she has served on the board of MusiComedy, Cornish College of the Arts Players Club, Mothers Against Violence in America, Seattle Children’s Museum and Chair of the Foundation for Early Learning. Marleen continues to be active in advocating for gun safety, environmental issues, campaign finance reform, civil rights initiatives, and access to the arts.

Margot Astrachan

Owner, Margot Astrachan Production

Margot Astrachan is a Tony Award winning Theatrical Producer based in New York, after a long detour as a published photo-journalist. A protégé of Ansel Adams, and subsequently W. Eugene Smith, she published her first story while still a student at Boston University School of Public Communication. A trained singer, she returned to theater in 2004, performing and ultimately producing a one woman show in London.

Producer of the upcoming Around The World In Eighty Days National Tour, the National Tour of Ghost the Musical, the Tony Award winning Broadway musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and the Broadway Play, The Realistic Joneses (Drama Desk Award), as well as the recent Nice Work If You Can Get It (4 Tony Awards) on Broadway; in addition, she was a producer of the musical Busker Alley and the Broadway revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, among others. Also upcoming in 2016, The Countess of Storyville – a new musical being developed at The University of Alabama and then The Pasadena Playhouse.

She was the American Artistic Director of the Jermyn Street Theatre  and The Kings Head Theatre, both in London, and has had over 30 years’ experience producing special events for Arts Organizations such as The York Theatre Company, The Theatre Museum, and BritArts of The St. George’s Society, which featured British and American theatre professionals in readings and panels in New York, hosted by Jim Dale.

She is a Director of The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), a Director of The League of Professional Theatre Women, and a Director of The Episcopal Actors Guild. Ms. Astrachan is a member of The Association of Performing Arts Presenters, The National Alliance For Musical Theatre, The Broadway League, The Dramatists Guild, the Advisory Board of TRU, British American Business, Inc. and BAFTA. She is a graduate of CTI (The Commercial Theatre Institute).

Jane Bergere

Producer, Jane Bergere Productions

Jane Bergère is an Olivier award and multi-Tony Award winning producer. She began her career as an actress performing in television, regional theater and on Broadway. Jane was previously the Artistic Director of Connecticut’s Broadway Theatre in Darien, CT where she produced over 50 musicals to great acclaim from The New York Times and tri-state newspapers. Jane began her career as a producer on the critically acclaimed Broadway show, Metamorphoses. Off-Broadway credits include Blindness and The Exonerated. In addition to her work in New York, Jane has also produced shows in London, Australia, Canada, and Korea.

Michael Blaha

Producer, Fringe Management

Mike is an entertainment attorney, law professor, arbitrator and stage and film producer. His Los Angeles stage credits include “Bloody Poetry” (Beverly Hills Playhouse) “Cinderella” (UCLA Freud Theater, starring Zsa Zsa Gabor), “Byron” (Odyssey Theater), “Just Loretta,” (The Complex), “Three,” (2100 Square Feet Theater), “Job: The Hip-Hopera” (Stella Adler Theater; Los Angeles Drama Critics and LA Weekly Best Musical nominations), “Hoboken to Hollywood” (Edgemar Theater, LA Weekly Best Musical of the Year), and “Hitler’s Tasters” (Electric Lodge).  Mike has also produced several shows at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, including “Richard Parker” (Best International Production), “Nigerian Spam Scam Scam” (Encore Award),  “Pick of the Fringe” (Best Cabaret and Variety Nominee), and “Afghanistan is Not Funny.” (Best International Production).        Mike’s other U.S. stage credits include “Bukowsical” in Los Angeles and at the New York Fringe, where it won the Best Musical Award, “runt” (Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York), “Latina Christmas Special” (Off Broadway), and “Bard Overboard” (Off-Broadway)..

Internationally, Mike has produced almost  100 shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as partners with Nigel Miles-Thomas in Fringe Management, including “runt,” (Fringe First; Sony Radio Academy Award winner for Best Drama for BBC World Service production), “Night in November” (Best Actor Award), “Sabotage: In Fine Form” (Perrier Best Newcomer Nominee), “This Is So Not About The Simpsons” (starring Harry Shearer),  “A Night at the Sans Hotel” (Stage Award Nominee),  “Elvis: Young and Beautiful” (Edinburgh Evening News Top Ten Fringe Shows), and multiple sold out,  5 star shows including “Trickboxing,” “Bad Arm,” “A Very British Lesbian” and “Agatha is Missing.”

In addition, Mike produced the worldwide comedy sensation “The Pajama Men” (The Times Double Act of the Year, Best Comedy Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Time Out Award for Best in Sydney Comedy Festival) in “Versus vs. Versus” and “Last Stand to Reason” in their sold out runs at the Soho Theater in London and continued his relationship with the Soho by producing comedian Will Franken’s hit show “Things We Did Before Reality” there.

Mike was one of the founding producers of Sci-Fest LA, the Festival of One Act Science Fiction Plays, which was presented from 2014-2016 and featured plays based on the works of such science fiction icons as Ray Bradbury, Ursula LeGuin, Clive Barker, and Neil Gaiman.   Sci-Fest lives on as one of the founders and ongoing sponsors of the Omega Sci-Fi Awards for science fiction-themed short stories.

Mike’s film producing credits include “Chi Girl,” (Slamdance Grand Jury Prize Winner), “The Dogwalker,” (Cinefest Best New Director), “runt” (Pan African Film Festival Best New Director Nominee), “Tropicalia” (Telluride Film Festival selection), “Applewood” and the short film “The Legend of Beaver Dam” (multiple international Best Short Awards and Honorable Mention, Sundance Film Festival).

Mike is the on the Board of Directors of New Musicals, Inc., Impro Theatre and Filmmakers’ Alliance.

Email: mike@fringemanagement.com

Brannon Bowers

Producing Director, American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern

MX. BRANNON BOWERS (Producing Director) is a creative theatrical producer dedicated to new work and unexplored forms of performance, bridging genres, artistic mediums, and communities to make theatre accessible to all audiences. They joined the American Music Theatre Project in 2016 and during their tenure has developed over 40 musical projects & produced 6 shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe through an ongoing partnership with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Brannon was a co-producer on the Wirtz Center’s mainstage productions of The Battlefields of Clara Barton and Something In The Game, and just completed their seventh year producing the Johnny Mercer Foundation’s Songwriters Project. Brannon recently produced the concert We Are Here: Songs from the Holocaust at Carnegie Hall in January 2023, and is the creative producer of Get Out Alive, an autobiographical afrogoth musical by Nikki Lynette which they developed into an award-winning independent film in 2021 and is still in development for the stage. Brannon is on the Board of Directors of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) and is in their second year as co-chair of the NAMT Festival of New Musicals. They were a judge of the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival and has spoken at several NAMT conferences, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and the Segal Centre in Montreal, Canada. Prior to their time at AMTP, Brannon worked at McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, NJ, under Artistic Director Emily Mann where they coordinated readings and assisted on productions of new works by Emily Mann, Christopher Durang, Ken Ludwig, Nilo Cruz, Heather Raffo, Dipika Guha, and Sharyn Rothstein. Brannon has also produced work in the Chicago nightlife community and has held internships at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Redmoon Theater. Brannon is a proud graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in Theatre, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and Integrated Marketing Communications.

Stephen Brotebeck

Interim Artistic Director, Diversionary Theatre

STEPHEN BROTEBECK is a Professor of Musical Theatre at San Diego State University in the prestigious MFA Musical Theatre program and is the Interim Artistic Director of Diversionary Theatre (San Diego, CA). On Broadway, Stephen served as the Movement Associate on the Tony® Award winning production of Peter and the Starcatcher. In addition he served as an Assistant Director on the Broadway premiere of Ghost The Musical. Stephen is also the former Artistic Director of the Okoboji Summer Theatre.

Stephen is focused on the development of new musicals and has been involved in the development of multiple new works including In A Sunshine State, Postcard American Town, ‘Til Death Do Us Part, Enchanted April, On The Eve, Stardust Road, Color Blind, and Dickens’ Haunted Christmas.

Stephen has directed extensively in New York and around the United States including the Off and Off-Off Broadway productions of Breaking The Shakespeare Code and St. Francis (Excellence in Directing Award) at the New York International Fringe Festival, The Shark Play, The Maltese Walter, The Space Behind Your Heart and Greasemonkey (World Premiere), The 2012 Kennedy Center Spring Gala, Girlfriend (Diversionary Theatre), The Loneliest Girl In The World (World Premiere – Choreographer), Lesser Known Loesser, New Musical Voices (The Old Globe), Ghost, The Musical (Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival), Peter and the Starcatcher, Spamalot, And The World Goes ‘Round, I Love A Piano (Farmers Alley Theatre), and Color Blind (Stephens College).

Stephen holds an MFA in Directing for the Musical Theatre Stage from The Pennsylvania State University headed by Susan H. Schulman and a BFA in Music Theatre Performance from Western Michigan University and has taught at both institutions. He has served on the faculty at CAP21, America’s Musical Theatre Conservatory and New Dance Group in NYC. Stephen served as the program director and a member of the musical theatre and dance faculty for the US Performing Arts Camps in Washington D.C. (Georgetown University) and New York City (Chelsea Studios and Barnard College) for eight years. In addition, Mr. Brotebeck continues to serve as a choreographer and associate director for Students Live/Passport to Broadway for worldwide programs in China, Indonesia, and Guatemala. Stephen serves on the Executive Board of the Musical Theatre Educators’ Alliance as Treasurer and is also a member of the National Alliance of Musical Theatre.

Mr. Brotebeck is a member of SDC, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Cate Caplin


Cate Caplin has produced, directed, and choreographed over 200 productions and her work has been seen on television, in films, music videos, commercials, and in theatrical venues world wide from the Paris Opera House to the Broadwater Stage.

She is a 34 times Regional and International Theatrical Ballroom Dance Champion, a published writer, and an acting and dance coach.

Cate wrote and directed her first feature film, Mating Dance, which won an Accolade Award, and she has been the recipient of a Garland Award, a Women in Theatre Red Carpet Award, multiple LA Stage Alliance, Ovation, Eddon, and Scenie Awards and an Award of Excellence from the LA Film Commission for her work as a writer, director, choreographer, and producer.

Cate is a Directing Member of Actors Studio West, an Associate Member of SDC, and was honored to receive Playwright Arena’s “Lee Melville Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Los Angeles Theatre Community.”

John Coppola


A native of Brooklyn, New York, John Coppola is a multi-talented director and acting coach, whose clients have starred on HBO, Showtime, ABC, CBS, NBC, CW, Netflix, FX, AMC, USA, Lifetime, Fox, WB, TNT and Showcase.

As a director, John has helmed more than 100 theatrical productions in New York, Los Angeles and abroad. His credits include groundbreaking productions of Shakespeare, Brecht, John Patrick Shanley and Caryl Churchill, as well as critically acclaimed adaptations of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly and Cabaret. Reviews available upon request.

As a film director, John’s accolades include the award for Best Director at the New York International Film & Video Festival for his film, Possibility, which also took the Grand Jury Prize for short film In Los Angeles. Then, he directed Bourbon Street, a New Orleans television pilot for Rampart Entertainment. Most recently, he directed In the Basement, a short film that is scheduled for screening at festivals across the country.

John began his career as an actor, whose career took him from the footlights of Broadway to the soundstages of Hollywood. After attending Yale’s prestigious drama program, John first appeared on Broadway in Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs, followed by Biloxi BluesA Midsummer Night’s DreamAmerican Buffalo, and the European revival tours of Hair and West Side Story.

John’s television acting credits include Fox TV’s Herman’s HeadNYPD Blue, and Chicken Soup for the Soul, among others. On film, John starred in Into the Paradise and has also appeared in Last Exit to BrooklynOut of Gas on Lover’s Leap, and Terry Southern’s You Gotta Leave Your Mark. John also produced and starred-in his award-winning one-man show entitled The DeVivo Variation, which premiered at the prestigious HBO Workspace in Los Angeles, and successfully ran for more than two years on both coasts, garnering two Critic’s Choice Awards and a Dramalogue Award.

John currently lives in Los Angeles, where he is in demand as one of Hollywood’s top acting coaches. He offers his unique style of teaching and private coaching to a thriving group of students, established actors and movie stars.

Matthew D’Arrigo

Associate Producer, Cody Lassen & Associates

Matthew is a dedicated commercial theatre producer and entrepreneur based in New York City. He currently serves as an Associate Producer with Cody Lassen & Associates and works as an executive assistant & producing partner to Tony Award-winning and Emmy-nominated actor, writer, and director BD Wong.

He is thrilled to be on the co-producing teams for two Broadway productions this season. The Notebook, based on the best-selling novel and iconic film, has opened at the Schoenfeld Theatre, with music by Ingrid Michaelson and direction by Michael Grief & Schele Williams, under the guidance of Kevin McCollum & Kurt Deutsch. The Wiz, led by Brian Moreland and ATG, will make its return to Broadway on March 29, 2024, with an all-new adaptation directed by Schele Williams.

Matthew’s collaboration with Tony Award-winning and Grammy Award-nominated Broadway producer Cody Lassen spans multiple years and productions. He has held several positions in various shows such as associate producer, executive producer, general manager, and co-producer. Past productions include Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive, Alex Wyse’s Picking Up SpeedThe 12Hyprov: Improv Under HypnosisInvincibleA Commercial Jingle for Regina Comet, as well as films like Summoning Sylvia and How to Get Clicks. He is also involved in several shows currently in development.

Prior to his role at Cody Lassen & Associates, Matthew contributed to The Broadway Exchange, where he collaborated with creative executives to lead production management with external partners. His clients included Here Lies LoveBad CinderellaGirl From The North Country2:22 A Ghost Story, London’s Bonnie & Clyde, and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Originally from Las Vegas, Nevada, Matthew holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Business from Chapman University. He participates in the NextGen Network with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and is a member of both The Broadway League and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre

Sharon Fallon

Sharon Fallon Productions

Sharon Fallon, (Sharon Fallon Productions) is an independent Theatre Producer, General Manager, and Theatrical Consultant. She brings a unique perspective to her work, having worked in both the commercial and non-profit theatre industry for over 20 years.  In 2015 she created a boutique theatrical production/general management company with a mission to bridge the gap between art and business, allowing productions to be financially viable and artistically satisfying, and successful. Taking a holistic approach – from page to stage and everything in between, she specializes in one-on-one work with early-career producers and artist-driven niche projects (showcases, readings, early development workshops, etc.)  as well as larger (big budget) union and non-union projects. In addition to producing commercially, Sharon served as the Associate General Manager of both the Helen Hayes Theatre and Lyric Theatre in New York. She is currently the Executive Producer of MotherFreakingHood and has a number of new works that are in development.  Broadway credits include Indecent, Beautiful (Broadway, London & National Tour), Matilda The Musical, and Lysistrata Jones. Sharon is a member of the NAMT, the National Association of Musical Theatres, and serves on the New Work Festival Committee. To learn more about Sharon, please visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharon-fallon/

Ido Gal

Associate Producer, Blair Russell Productions

Producer, project manager, and entertainment professional with a strong track record in managing high-level events, digital content, television/film/theatrical productions, podcasts, livestreams, broadcasts, marketing campaigns and virtual programming. Versatile collaborator with a multifaceted skill set that includes editing, post-production management, technical troubleshooting, content strategy, budgeting, graphic and data analysis. Tony nominated as a co-producer for “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window” on Broadway.

Eric Quang Gelb


Eric Quang Gelb (He/Him) is a commercial musical theatre, live branded entertainment & theatre for young audiences director. 

Whether I’m directing a large-scale musical, training character performers at a world-class theme park or helping nurture the next generation of musical theatre professionals, I strive to represent and reach diversity in all forms. Because whether or not theatre academia considers this work “high art”, it impacts humanity just the same: making us smarter, stronger and more empathetic.  It’s the opportunity to create once a year (sometimes once in a lifetime) memories. As a queer person of color, the core of my mission is being diverse, intentional and full-out. 

Broadway/Off-Broadway: HAMILTON (SDCF Resident Director Shadow), Head Over Heels, Little Shop of Horrors (co-producer), WICKED Intern, 53% Of and Patience (Company Manager, 2nd Stage Theatre). 

Regional Directing: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Round Barn Theatre), Matilda (Dr. Phillips Center), James & the Giant Peach (Virginia Children’s Theatre), Footloose (Fordham University), Xanadu (The Rose Theater, Omaha). At NYU: Legally Blonde, Beauty and the Beast, Spelling Bee, Mary Poppins.  

Live Branded Entertainment: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Creative Production Coordinator),  LEGOLAND New York (Install Show Director – Characters), SIX (Broadway Replica Production), Burn The Floor, Syd Norman’s Pourhouse and VELVET (Theatrical Operations Manager, Norwegian Cruise Line), Character Attendant & Performer (Walt Disney World & SeaWorld Orlando’s Sesame Street Land). 

Education: New York University (‘20) – Bachelor’s in Educational Theatre. Inaugural Cohorts (‘21) of both Broadway For Racial Justice’s Casting Initiative & Baseline Theatrical’s Beyond the Stagedoor Management Program. Associate Member of SDC.

Marco Gomez

Producer/Director, DOMA Theatre Company

Marco is an award winning director (Broadway World, LA Weekly, NAACP, etc) in Los Angeles for his work with DOMA Theatre Co and his recent Broadway credits include – An Act of God, Matilda, On Your Feet, The Color Purple, Latin History For Morons. He is also a film producer and has developed films in the US, Rio de Janeiro, and Rome. He is also the Chief Financial Officer for Spare Some Change, a California non-profit organization dedicated to preventing and assisting run away youth and other arts based non-profits. Marco has over 20 years of experience in real estate development and construction, asset/project/property management, financing, and production and investment. He maintains professional memberships with the National Association of Realtors, California Association of Realtors, Burbank Association of Realtors, Pacific West Realtors, Affordable Housing Management Association and The Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers.

Brian Graden

CEO, Brian Graden Media

Brian served for 13 years as the President of Entertainment, MTV Networks Music Channels and President of Logo until December 2010. As President of Entertainment, Mr. Graden lead and provided programming over- sight to all the MTVN music networks including MTV, VH1, MTV2 and CMT. While there, he developed such cultural phenomenon as The Osbourne’s, P Diddy’s Making The Band, Wild and Out, Run’s House, Pimp My Ride, Newlyweds, Punk’d, and Jackass, to name a few. He also developed and green-lit MTV’s musical flagship, Total Request Live, which helped propel countless artists to stardom.  Additionally, he oversaw flagship events like the Video Music Awards. He also green-lit MTV’s biggest hits of recent years, Jersey Shore and 16 and Pregnant. MTV remained the #1 destination for viewers ages 12-24 throughout Brian’s entire tenure. He similarly engineered a ratings turnaround at Vh1 with programs like I LOVE THE 80’s and Best Week Ever.

His most recent venture is the production company Brian Graden Media. In 2013, Brian Graden Media received significant attention and their first Emmy win for their innovative series HitRECord, a new take on the variety show produced with and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The show is made collaboratively by a community of hundreds of thousands of artists from all over the world via the web, and it features short films, live performances, cartoons and much more. In nine years, BGM has delivered 20 seasons of television, including: two seasons of Instant Influencer for YouTube Originals, two seasons of Create Together for YouTube Originals, Band Together with Logic for YouTube Originals, four seasons of Escape the Night for YouTube Originals, Temmoraland for Lifetime, The Disappearance of Natalie Holloway for Oxygen, The Todrick Show for MTV, Walk of Shame Shuttle for VH1, Finding Prince Charming for LOGO, Animal Crackers for CW, Gnarkatz for Rated Red/Go-90, Men Of The Strip for E!, Lance loves Michael for E!, Buying the Business for CNBC and Secret Genius for Spotify.  BGM has also developed and delivered pilots for over 30 networks including Netflix, NBC, Oxygen, Peacock, Lifetime, History, BET, A&E, Disney Channel, Bravo, and POP TV and many others. In 2020, Brian Graden Media snagged its second Emmy win for Create Together with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

In 1996, Brian Graden’s first production company was also a success. He commissioned a video Christmas card from two upstart talents Trey Parker and Matt Stone called “The Spirit of Christmas.” The five-minute short quickly became the underground secret vice of Hollywood, and spawned a little series called South Park, which Graden developed and Executive Produced with Parker and Stone. South Park has received Emmy’s in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 for outstanding animated program; a 2007 AFI Award for Program of the Year; 2006 Peabody Award to name just a few. Today, now streaming on HBO Max and celebrating its 25th year, South Park is also one of the biggest financial successes in TV history.

Starting in 1989, Mr. Graden spent his early years in television working at Fox, a new network at the time, rising to SVP of Development and overseeing such venerable franchises as Cops and America’s Most Wanted.  He also created the smash syndicated relationship-show hit, STUDS. Mr. Graden has also continued to consult for clients like the NBCUni Cable family and other networks.

Graden’s interest in music dates back to his days performing in his 80’s cover band, Ace Oxygen and The Ozones, during college, which continues to perform today.

Mr. Graden holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. Other awards and honors include an EQCA (Equality California) Award for Commitment to Advancing LGBT Equality, GLAAD Media Vito Russo Award for Excellence in Media, and multiple years on the board of the Hollywood Radio & Television Society. He is also a frequent speaker, most recently keynoting The 4th Cellcom Media Conference in Tel Aviv. He’s also been a keynote speaker at the 2008 Harvard Gay & Lesbian Caucus Annual Commencement, the Reaching Out MBA conference, and as an ambassador for MTV’s Fight For Your Rights: Take a Stand Against violence campaign, which he spearheaded while at the network.



Harmony Harris

Director, Producer, Actor

Harmony Harris, Line Producer at New York Theatre Barn’s award-winning New Works Series, is a native of Tallahassee, FL. Her passion is to create more spaces for the black community to shine their light in the theatre industry. Harmony holds a BFA in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Musical Theatre from Howard University’s Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts.

Joseph Hayward

Associate Producing Director, The York Theatre Company

Joseph Hayward is a director and producer of theatre and live events based in New York. His artistic home is The York Theatre Company, where he currently serves as the Associate Producing Director and coordinator for the Developmental Reading Series. Like The York, Joseph is passionate about developing new works and rediscovering musical gems from the past. 

Most recently, he directed How to Steal an Election at The York (the first New York revival), A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, Julie Benko Sings Jule Styne at The York, Lullaby of Broadway with Lee Roy Reams, Karin Baker & Karen Ziemba at The York, and Desperate Measures at Saint Michael’s Playhouse. Other credits include: And Then There Were None at St. Bart’s/Moss Theatre, Remembering Jerry Herman at The York, and You Can’t Take It With You at St. Bart’s/Hudson Guild Theatre. 

Joseph began his career as an assistant and associate to a variety of directors and producers including Bill Castellino, Ray Roderick, Austin Pendleton, Jack Hofsiss and more. For eight years, Joseph continued to hone his craft under the guidance of these directors at theaters across the country. 

Jeff Herbst

Artistic Director, Northern Sky Theatre

Jeff has been with Northern Sky since 1991 and became artistic director in 1993. He began his collaboration with the Heritage Ensemble, Northern Sky’s predecessor, in 1985 as part of the Governor Dodge State Park troupe and then migrated north to direct for the Peninsula State Park group in 1988 and 1989. He has worked on over seventy-five original productions with Northern Sky, including Guys on Ice, Lumberjacks in Love, Packer Fans from Outer Space, and Bone Dance. Jeff was instrumental in developing Northern Sky’s New Works Program and the Fred Alley New Musical Fund, nurturing writing teams in bringing an original work “from the page to the stage.” He was integrally involved with the design of the new Gould Theater and Northern Sky campus. He recently initiated Northern Sky NOVA, a nascent program for nurturing up-and-coming talent. Jeff has an MFA in Acting from the Asolo Conservatory and has performed on and off Broadway, as well as at regional theatres throughout the United States. He and Fred Alley were honored in 2017 with the Distinguished Alumni Award from their alma mater, Mt. Horeb High School, for their work in creating original musical theater.

Federico Hradek

Founder / Artistic Director, Fed’s Backyard Theater

Federico Hradek is a Junior in High School. Fed enjoys self producing, directing, choreographing his own shows such as “Ride The Cyclone” in his backyard theater, and “Beetlejuice: the Online Musical.” which now stands at over 400,000 views on YouTube! He looks forward to the phenomenal opportunity to assistant direct a brand new musical “WINNER” at the London Summer Music Theatre Academy this summer. No words can describe Fed’s gratitude to all of the people who made his dreams come true!

Nico Juber

Music, Lyrics, and Book, Millennials Are Killing Musicals

Recently named one of the “Women to Watch on Broadway” in 2023 by the Broadway Women’s Fund, Nico Juber is an award-winning musical writer, playwright, Millennial mom, and twenty-year lymphoma survivor. Her original comedy, Millennials Are Killing Musicals (O’Neill NMTC Semifinalist ’21 & ‘22), has been previously showcased through New York Theatre Barn’s New Works Series and sold-out concert presentations at Vitellos (mostlyNEWmusicals) and 54 Below.

Her show Winner, co-written with Joe Barros, is being developed by New York Theatre Barn and New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. Her short sci-fi musical, Holo, won one of the top awards in the 2020 NAMT 15-Minute Musical Challenge, had its premiere at the Beck Center for the Arts (with Baldwin Wallace Music Theatre, directed by Ciara Renée) in February 2021, and was selected for the 2021 Broadway OnDemand Short Film Festival. With collaborator Selena Seballo, she was one of the Drama League Light the Lights Challenge winners for their song “Our Next Act,” performed by André De Shields at their benefit in October 2021. She is a proud member of ASCAP, Dramatists Guild, Ring of Keys, League of Professional Theatre Women, and current Maestra Moms affinity group co-chair. Nico holds a B.A. from Tufts University. @stuffnicolikes

Tim Kashani

Founder, Apples and Oranges Arts

Tim believes that technology and the arts must unite to move humanity forward. Fostering new technology and arts startups, he incubates ideas that promote a collaborative learning environment.

Tim merged his passion for theatre and technology to co-found Apples and Oranges Arts with his wife Pamela. To exemplify the vision they launched THEatre ACCELERATOR, an innovative incubator for new musical development that applies the methods, processes, and mindset of the startup world to the performing arts.  The program explores data-driven decision-making, brand definition, growth hacking, and most importantly, a call to rethink the entire developmental and distribution cycle of new stories. THEatre ACCELERATOR New Reality Edition extends the approach to investigate ways in which AR/VR/MR might expand stories beyond the fourth wall.

As the founder of IT Mentors, Tim architects and designs technology training solutions, helping major corporations understand and apply training and technology to increase business productivity while providing meaningful consultation to CEOs, senior executives, and business leaders around the globe.

On Broadway he produced the Tony Award-winning productions of HAIR, Memphis and An American in Paris and directed the filmed stage musicals Emma and No One Called Ahead testing new development and distribution models discussed in THEatre ACCELERATOR.

Tim graduated from The University of California at Irvine with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Information and Computer Sciences, later returning to finish his M.B.A. there. He also holds an M.F.A. in Film Production, with a specialization in Directing from Chapman University.

Josh Katzger

Director of Marketing, The Rev Theatre Company

Josh has served The REV in several capacities since 2005. He spent several seasons acting and road managing with The REV on Tour before joining the administrative staff in 2015. As Artistic Associate, Josh developed and administered The REV’s Junior Stars and All Access programs while directing, writing, and providing administrative support for The REV on Tour and coordinating The REV’s new musicals series, The PiTCH. He has also appeared in several REV productions at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse. In January of 2022, Josh became the company’s Director of Marketing. He is committed to ensuring the theatre is accessible to all and that The REV continues to touch the hearts and minds of Central New Yorkers, young and old, for many years to come. He holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Central Florida and an MFA in Theatre Performance from Arizona State University.

Cody Lassen

Producer, Cody Lassen & Associates

Cody Lassen is an American Tony Award-winning and Grammy nominated theater producer and consultant. He is best known for producing the revival of Spring Awakening, which won him an Ovation Award and a Tony nomination.

Lassen was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He earned his MBA from the University of Notre Dame and graduated from DePaul University.

He held live entertainment management positions with Nielsen and NBCUniversal. While at NBCUniversal, Lassen was active in their corporate diversity initiatives and was part of the team that led the company to be named one of the best places to work for LGBT employees. In addition to producing his own projects, Lassen consulted for major studios, producers, theatres and agencies. He oversaw marketing efforts for Los Angeles’ Center Theatre Group and was a production assistant for several films and TV series.

His Broadway productions include Indecent and revival of Spring Awakening and co-productions include Macbeth starring Alan Cumming, “Significant Other“, The Band’s Visit, and Torch Song.

When Lassen joined the production of the Deaf West Theatre revival of Spring Awakening in 2015, it premiered at Inner-City Arts’ Rosenthal Theater in L.A. Under his production management, the show went on to win six Ovation Awards (with 15 nominations), including best musical in two categories, intimate theater and large theater. The latter was won by Lassen together with the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and Deaf West Theatre.

Lassen teamed up with producers Ken Davenport and the Deaf West Theatre, and transferred the show from the 99-seat Los Angeles production to Broadway in just 366 days, an unprecedented feat. The production opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in September 2015. For the show, performed in both American Sign Language and spoken English, the producers were honored with the Champion of Change Award by the New York Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities for their “efforts to increase diversity and inclusivity on Broadway.” The show was a success on Broadway and was even performed at the White House.

He partnered with Daryl Roth to transfer the critically acclaimed Paula Vogel play Indecent to Broadway in the 2016/17 season where it was honored with two Tony Awards for Best Direction and Best Lighting, and nominated for Best Play.

Lassen’s upcoming projects include How I Learned To Drive, a Pulitzer-winning play by Paula Vogel opening on Broadway in 2021, with much of the original cast and creative team from its off-Broadway debut 23 years prior, Alice By Heart, a new musical by Duncan SheikSteven Sater and Jessie Nelson, premiering at MCC Theater in February 2019; and Some Lovers, a new musical by Burt Bacharach and Steven Sater opening at the Adirondacks Theatre Festival in June 2018.

Roy Lightner

Artistic Director, Red Mountain Theatre

Roy Lightner is an award-winning theatre creator, director, choreographer, and educator born and raised in Kansas City. Prior to his tenure at RMT, Roy served as the Associate Artistic Director for the Transcendence Theatre Company, and also on the Musical Theatre Faculty of Ithaca College. Additionally, Roy has taught courses at Arizona State University and Cornell University. His work as a creator, director, and choreographer spans internationally, including productions and immersive events for Google, Lincoln Center, the Stephen Sondheim Center, Transcendence Theatre Company, MTWichita, Music Theatre of Kansas City, GEVA Theatre, Cape Playhouse, Westin Playhouse, Depot Theatre, and more.  As a creator/director/choreographer his credits include: Transcendence Theatre Company’s productions of Oh, What a Night! (2015 Winner – Best Director, Broadway World San Francisco), Superheroes in Love, and Music of the Night; New York City Opera’s Lucky to Be Me (Lincoln Center, assistant to Peggy Hickey), Hairspray, Miss Saigon (Sondheim Center), Hound of the Baskervilles (Cape Playhouse, New Jersey Rep, Westin Playhouse, Depot Theatre), Bring It On (Music Theatre of Kansas City), Hairspray (Winner – Best Director, Broadway World KC), Thoroughly Modern Millie, Good News, Urban Cowboy, Starmites, Little Shop of Horrors, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and moreDance Concert Choreography credits include: two full-length original choreographic works Under the Covers (Ithaca College) and In Your Eyes (Miller-Marley Ballet Company)The Oklahoma City Dance Project, NYC’s Community Dance Project, New York City’s Jazz Choreography Enterprise, Astoria Fine Arts and B.C. Beat. Performance credits total over 40 professional productions. As a national director for Dancers Inc., he toured the country as a Master Class teacher. Roy has taught at New York City’s Professional Performing Arts School, as well as created the contemporary/musical theatre dance program for the Astoria School of Fine Arts.  He graduated summa cum laude from Oklahoma City University with a degree in Musical Theatre; and received his Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts with a Concentration in Performance Creation from Goddard College.

Roy is currently an Associate Professor of Musical Theatre at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Rebecca Lowrey

CEO, MusicalWriters.Com

Rebecca Lowrey, Owner and CEO of MusicalWriters.com, is passionate about creating new works and has spent the past 17 years as a premier music director, vocal coach, and accompanist in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, New York City and everywhere in between. The impressive ability to play anything put in front of her has gained her entry to elite casting rooms, production meetings, rehearsals, and beyond, resulting in a unique skillset that spans more than just music — simply put, she knows what works for a musical. A director and producer as well, Rebecca is adept at getting new shows up on their feet in record time, all while efficiently coordinating the long list of to-dos required to prepare a show for an audience

Rebecca is a champion of diverse casting and production teams (#WomenDirect) and has the pull and connections to assemble unforgettable, live, onstage bands. In 2017, Rebecca began producing a series of intimate productions known as the Living Room Concerts. Starting with simple piano-only performances in her living room with friends, the series expanded to poolside parties and festive holiday gatherings. Her recent credits include the critically acclaimed production of the rock musical Lizzie at Imprint Theatreworks in Dallas, a lauded run of Gutenberg! The Musical! at Amphibian Stage in Fort Worth, and a Rocky Horror Show and 9 to 5 that celebrated the uniqueness of its performers.

You may recognize Rebecca from TikTok, where her popular #DuetWithMe videos encourage thousands of performers to #KeepSinging. Rebecca earned her bachelor of arts degree in music (with a minor in business administration) from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas.



John Mitchell

Independent Producer

John has been a theater producer and director for over thirty years.  Over his many years, he has produced shows in Sacramento, Los Angeles and New York.  Mr. Mitchell began producing at his own theater company in Sacramento at age 25 and completed two seasons of shows before he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career in theater and television writing.  John has developed three sitcom pilots which were sold (the shows were not picked up), and currently is working on an animated show called Agro Squirrel.  Mr. Michell produced “Bumpersticker” for the Hollywood Fringe in 2016 and working with the same team, Mr. Mitchell produced “Bukowsical!” at the New York Fringe, where it took Best of Fringe 2008.  The following year, he brought the one-woman show “Now That She’s Gone” to the NY Fringe.  In between Mr. Mitchell has been busy developing new works and has three current musicals in development.

He has been active in the management of theater companies and non-profit organizations for more than 30 years as well and currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors of New Musicals Inc.

Ryan Morales Green

Founder & Producing Artistic Director, Latiné Musical Theatre Lab

Ryan is a Boricua-Italian producer, arts advocate, and actor based in NYC. His mission is to advocate for diverse works of musical theatre that challenge and expand the art form, while providing a voice to underrepresented artists on the musical stage. He works to champion new forms of musical development that eliminate systems of privilege in the kinds of work that get produced around the world. The goal: revolutionize the world of musical theatre. Under his leadership, the Lab has supported the development over 70 new musicals in its first two years alone, and is set to become a force for change in our industry.

His previous work as an actor includes the national tour of Flashdance the Musical, numerous readings and workshops of new musicals, and dozens of contracts at regional theatres around the country throughout his decade long career in the arts. As an artist, Ryan has a passion for telling stories about men who find strength in their vulnerability – not shame. Stories that elevate the Latine and LGBTQ+ experience beyond the boundaries they typically exist in within our industry and our world. Stories that accent the joy of living outside of culturally set binaries and take us on a hero’s journey to places unknown. BFA Musical Theatre, Shenandoah Conservatory. www.ryanmorales.me @ryanmoralesgreen

Email: ryan@latinemtlab.org

James Morgan

Producing Artistic Director, The York Theatre Company

The York Theatre Company occupies a unique spot in New York’s theatrical landscape. Now in its 50th year, the York is the only theater in the city, and one of the few in the world, whose two-fold mission is to produce new musical works and rediscover musical gems from the past.

The York’s intimate, imaginative producing style has become its trademark.  Its productions have won critical acclaim, a host of honors and awards, and a loyal audience. Just as important, the York provides a nurturing, constructive environment for new artists to hone their craft, and for some of the masters of the musical theater’s Golden Age to take fresh looks at their classic works.  A special Drama Desk Award was presented to the company for its “vital contributions to theater by developing and producing new musicals.”

Founded by Janet Hayes Walker, the York has presented more than 70 full-scale musical productions, including such classics as The Golden AppleThe Grass HarpOn the 20th CenturyA Doll’s LifeLost in the StarsCarnival!, and Merrily We Roll Along.  Under the guidance of Producing Artistic Director James Morgan since 1997, the York has focused exclusively on  musical theater: newer musicals in its Mainstage Series (most of them world, American or New York premieres) and revivals in its popular Musicals in Mufti series of semi-staged readings.

Recent Mainstage productions have included Desperate Measures (Best Musical, Off-Broadway Alliance Award, Outer Critics Circle), Marry HarryA Taste of Things to ComeYou’re a Good Man, Charlie BrownRothschild & Sons, Cagney, Texas in ParisInventing Mary Martin, Love, Linda: The Life of Mrs. Cole Porter, Storyville, I’m a Stranger Here Myself, Closer Than Ever (Best Musical Revival, Off-Broadway Alliance Award), Ionescapade, The Road to Qatar!, Falling for Eve, Yank!, Blind Lemon Blues, Enter Laughing, Asylum, Thrill Me, Souvenir, and The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!).

Among the York productions that have had commercial transfers are Desperate Measures, The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), SouvenirJolson & CompanySweeney Todd, Pacific Overtures, and Cagney, starring Robert Creighton as James Cagney and members of the original York cast, which ran at the Westside Theatre for over 500 performances with the original York cast.  Cast recordings are available for 35 York productions.

In the spring of 2019, the York celebrated its 125th Musicals in Mufti production: Stephen Sondheim’s Saturday Night.  The Muftis, now in their 25th year, constitute a lovingly-curated catalogue of rarely produced musicals, some of them under-appreciated in their initial  productions, but all of them worth re-examination.  Recent Mufti presentations have included Alan Jay Lerner’s Carmelina (with Joseph Stein), The Day Before Spring (with Frederick Loewe) and Lolita, My Love (with John Barry); three shows of Jule Styne, Hallelujah, Baby!, Bar Mitzvah Boy, and Subways Are for Sleeping; a celebration of Jerry Herman’s Dear World (starring Tyne Daly) and Milk and HoneyBerlin to Broadway to Kurt WeillStarting Here, Starting Now, and Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope.

The York’s New2NY series presents simply-staged concert performances of new musicals, providing a stage between developmental lab and full production. Previous shows in the series have included In Transit (which ran on Broadway in 16/17 season), The Times, Larry Grossman’s Compose Yourself!, and 2017’s Mark Felt, Superstar and How to Be an American!.

Each year, the York presents some 30 readings of new musicals in its Developmental Reading Series, which has been the incubator for such shows as Avenue QSummer of ‘42Harold and Maude, Yank!In TransitSouvenir, The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), Mark Felt: Superstar, and We Foxes.

Started in 2015, the York’s Musical Theatre Training Program (MTTP) brings working professionals in to work with eager and dedicated theatre students.  Our rigorous yet nurturing programs offer training in singing, acting and movement and often include master classes with some of New York’s top theatre artists. Most of our programs culminate in a showcase performance on the York’s Off-Broadway stage.  We currently offer a Summer Intensive for middle and high school students and a Winter Intensive to college students from across the nation.

The York also produces the annual NEO Concert recognizing New, Emerging and Outstanding musical theater writers, and is proud of its longtime association with Marymount Manhattan College, its Education partner.  The company recently honored Joel Grey with the 25th Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theater. Other recent recipients  Angela Lansbury in 2015, and Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty in 2014.

Rula Muñoz

Literary Manager, Latiné Musical Theatre Lab

Rula A. Muñoz is a multi-hyphenate theater artist who works as a director, dramaturg, performer, producer, and writer. As someone who strongly believes that there is no single way to be a storyteller, Rula has been able to tell stories from various perspectives. Rula holds a BFA in Contemporary Theatre from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Additionally, she has served as the 2021-2022 SpeakEasy Stage Artistic Fellow and is an Advanced Directing alumna from the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center.

Selected national and international theater credits include THE F & L AT 1330 (Director/Dramatists Guild New England Regional’s Footlight Series), CAMP MANNUPPIA (Assistant Director/National Queer Theatre), SILT (Dramaturg/Moonbox Productions), BETTER MAYBE (Director/Hyde Square Task Force), THE INHERITANCE (Assistant Director/SpeakEasy), PEOPLE, PLACES & THINGS (Dramaturg/SpeakEasy), FOREVER AFTER (Assistant Director/TOSOS), CONSTELLATIONS (Associate Producer/La Teatreria). Currently, she is a Line Producer for PRESENCIA, a new musical by Michelle J. Rodríguez, in partnership with the Bushwick Starr, OYE Productions, Musical Theatre Factory, and the Sol Project.

Email: rula@latinemtlab.org

Ann-Carol Pence

Co-Founder/Associate Producer, Aurora Theatre

ANN-CAROL PENCE (Co-Founder/Producing Artistic Director) arranged the music for Aurora’s first Christmas Canteen in 1996 and was hired full-time in September of 1998 as Resident Musical Director. An education major at James Madison University, she used her background to develop Learning Library (or L2). As a musician, she created Aurora’s Musicals by Moonlight, and Aurora’s New Musical Initiative. She has performed as pianist and music director both nationally (Goodspeed Opera House, Pasadena Playhouse, The Cleveland Playhouse, The Kennedy Center) and locally (The Alliance, Theatrical Outfit, The Horizon, Georgia Ensemble Theatre,). As a proud citizen of Gwinnett, Ann-Carol is most proud of Aurora Theatre winning the first ever Pinnacle Award for Large Non-Profit, and the first ever Moxie Award (for woman-led businesses) for Aurora Theatre. These distinctions go well with her 5 Suzi Awards for Outstanding Music Direction. She was a participant in the 2016 Atlanta Regional Leadership Institute and member of the “Best Class Ever!”

Stuart Ross

Director, Producer, Writer

Besides creating Forever Plaid, Stuart has directed (and or written) over 50 productions throughout the United States, Canada, and internationally.  He directed Forever Plaid at the West End’s Apollo Theatre and the film of Forever Plaid. He wrote Plaid Tidings for theatres in the United States after the tragedy of 9/11.  The Sound of Plaid (a glee club sequel to Forever Plaid) has been performed around the world including the Edinburgh Festival.

His other shows include: Radiant Baby – the Keith Haring Musical at New York’s Public Theatre); Enter Laughing the Musical (Drama Desk Nomination); and The Radio City Music Hall Easter Show.  His television work includes the sitcom “Frasier” and PBS’ “Great Performances”.

Stuart began his directing and writing journey when he attended the University of Manchester. He later went on to study at New York’s Circle In The Square. He currently resides in both New York and Los Angeles.

Blair Russell

Founder/Lead Producer, Blair Russell Productions

Blair Russell is a Tony nominated producer, developer, supporter, and lover of theatre and live performance whose experience ranges from fringe festivals to Broadway shows. His most recent projects include the hit concept album of EPIC: The Musical by Jorge Rivera-Herrans, the 12-time Tony-nominated Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris, Lizard Boy by Justin Huertas, and the concept recording of the new musical For Tonight by Shenelle Salcido and Spencer Williams.

As Co-founder and Director of Operations for Resounding, he produces immersive and technology-based entertainment events across the country.

Blair has been a guest speaker/artist at a number of institutions including the University of Maryland, University of North Carolina Greensboro, Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts, and the York School in Monterey, CA. Blair has served as the Producer-in-Residence for the Johnny Mercer Wrtiers Grove at Goodspeed Musicals for two years. He was also a visiting lecturer for the semester-long Atelier program at Princeton University where he collaborated with composer Georgia Stitt on her oratorio The Circling Universe.

Blair has appeared as a guest on a number of podcasts (American Theatre Artists Online, A Star Is Bored, Backstage Talk, Broadway ReFocused), web series (Actors Unscripted, Awkward Conversations, Be Our Guest! – Live and In Color, Dreamland XR, In The (Home) Office – Goodspeed Musicals), and at global conferences (National Alliance for Musical Theater, Global XR Conference, Immerse Global Summit Series)

Sara Skolnick

Director, Acquisitions & New Work, Broadway Licensing

Sara Skolnick is the Director of Acquisitions and New Work for Broadway Licensing Group and heads International & Touring Licensing, as well.  She also recently served, with Tom Casserly, as Director of the Grove/Whitman Commissioning Program, which developed ten new musicals under commission.  She previously spent five years as the Executive Producer at Grove Entertainment and, prior to that, worked for over eleven years at Broadway Across America (formerly Live Nation and Clear Channel Entertainment), ultimately serving as Vice President – Production/Director of Development.  At Broadway Across America, she also oversaw a commissioning program for the development of new musicals.  Sara is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in Comparative Literature and Theatre & Drama.

Joanna Syiek

Artistic Director, Color & Light Theatre Ensemble

JOANNA SYIEK is the founder of Color and Light Theatre Ensemble, a LA theatre initiative dedicated to exploring new works and modern musical theatre. Directing credits include American Idiot (Indy Award Winner – Direction), Lizzie, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Assassins, Company, and Tick Tick…Boom! along with the West Coast premieres of both Things to Ruin and See Rock City and Other Destinations. Her new musical theatre directing credits include Giraffenstein, The Bully Problem, Merely Players, Path to Catherine, as well as The Pokémusical, which received the awards of Best Musical and Best of Fringe from the Hollywood Fringe Festival. More info at www.colorandlighttheatre.com/joanna-syiek.

Bren Thor

Associate Producer, Musical Theatre West

Bren Thor is the Associate Producer at Musical Theatre West, supervising the Production and Marketing departments, and working on everything from hiring and casting to editing sizzle reels, but frankly gets the most joy out of sinking his fingers into a good spreadsheet. He spearheaded the virtual Keep The Lights On concert series, which got the 72 year old company through the pandemic, and founded MTW’s New Works Reading Series, which just opened submissions for its 4th season (check musical.org/new-works for details). In a previous life, Bren performed with greats such as Carol Channing, Nicole Parker, Shoshana Bean, Cathy Rigby, Jo Anne Worley, and more. Bren has a passion for sustainable models of theatre.

Brad Willcuts

Associate Professor of Musical Theatre, Michigan State University Department of Theatre / New Musical Laboratory

Brad’s credits as a choreographer, movement director, fight director, director and assistant span Broadway, National Tours, International Theaters, Regional Theaters and the Metropolitan Opera. He currently serves as Associate Director/Choreographer for the new Dolly Parton musical entitled Here You Come Again touring the country.

Broadway and National Tour: Amazing Grace (Assistant Fight and Military Movement Director), International: Legende Holmes (Holmes the Legend) at the Karlin Theater in Prague, Czechia (Dance, Movement and Fight Assistant), Met Opera: Porgy and Bess (Assistant Violence Director), Mother Courage and Her Children, starring Kathleen Turner (Assistant Movement Director) at the Tony Award Winning Arena Stage in Washington D.C., Hello, Dolly (Director/Choreographer) at San Luis Obispo Repertory Theatre. He recently choreographed the World Premiere of The Fantasticks at Flint Repertory Theatre.  Brad is Associate Professor of Musical Theatre and Choreography at Michigan State University where he also oversees the New Musical Laboratory. As a tenured professor, Brad has won multiple awards and grants including the All-University Teacher/Scholar Award, the AT&T Excellence in Teaching with Technology Award, The Fintz Award for Excellence in Teaching and multiple Catalyst Grants to continue working with new media practices for actors and dancers in the classroom.

As a performer, Brad has worked across the country and in England as singer, dancer and actor performing with Bette Midler, Marvin Hamlisch, Christina Aguilera, Emily Skinner, and the international touring group The 12 Irish Tenors to name a few.