TCG19: Speakers

Devon%20PS.jpgDEVON BERKSHIRE leads the conference producing team at TCG, and has an expansive background in event management, non-profit administration, business development, and theatre. With TCG she has produced and helped to curate the programming for six national conferences, including the record-breaking 2016 Theatre Nation in Washington, DC; she has also been on the producing team of every Fall Forum on Governance since 2012, and TCG’s two Audience (R)Evolution Convenings. She holds a B.A. from Vassar College and received her M.F.A. in acting from the American Repertory Theater’s (ART) Institute at Harvard University and Moscow Art Theatre, after which she founded an arts-centric events production company, attended NYU’s summer intensive on events marketing, and did a stint planning business development events in the corporate sphere. Devon was a co-founder, former Producing Director and President of Studio 42, a NYC-based company dedicated to producing the most adventurous work of emerging playwrights from 2000-2015. She has performed off Broadway in New York, regionally, and internationally. Read more about her and her thoughts on theatre, producing, and parenthood on her blog: fempresario.wordpress.com

tcg16_Adrian_Budhu_web.jpg ADRIAN BUDHU is the Deputy Director & Chief Operating Officer, Theatre Communications Group. Adrian comes to TCG after five years at The Theater Offensive (TTO), an LGBTQ not-for-profit arts organization in Boston, MA. The strategies he implemented there have strengthened The Theater Offensive’s brand on a national scale, increased its profile in the community, broadened its support base, and built capacity and resources for its sustainability – retiring the organization’s debt, growing revenue from $0.5 million in 2011 to $1.3+ million in 2016, and building cash reserves. Other professional experience includes: GLBTQ Domestic Violence Project, XAMOnline.com, Metro Boston Newspaper, and John Hancock Financial. Adrian lives in New York City with his fiancé Chris, a surgical resident at Mt. Sinai Hospital, and Boston terrier named Jack. He’s an avid runner and completed numerous marathons fundraising over $200K to benefit LGBTQ youth, people with disabilities, people living with HIV/AIDS, homeless people, survivors of Hurricane Katrina, and victims of domestic abuse. Adrian has won numerous awards for his leadership and activism. His prior affiliations include: the Boston Cultural Change Network (committed to collective action for social justice through Arts & Culture), the Boston Creates Leadership Council, where he advised and helped shepherd Boston's cultural plan into implementation; TCG’s Board of Directors (from which he has since resigned); and Point Foundation’s National Board of Directors.

00807631-e641-4b3b-ad2e-0d6046c4db86.jpgNILO CRUZ is a Cuban-American playwright whose work has been produced widely around the United States and Europe. His work has been seen at
McCarter Theatre, New York’s Shakespeare Festival’s Public Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Arena Stage, Victory Gardens, Repertorio Español,
South Coast Rep., Arena Stage, Mark Taper Forum, The Alliance, New York Theatre Workshop, Magic Theatre, Minneapolis Children’s Theatre, Oregon
Shakespeare Festival, Florida Stage and many others. Internationally, his plays have been produced in Canada, England, France, Australia, Germany, Belarus, Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama and in cities throughout Spain.  In 2003 he won the Pulitzer Prize and the Steinberg Award for Drama for his play Anna in the Tropics and was nominated for a Tony award. In 2009 he won The Helen Merrill and The Laura Pels Mid-career Playwriting Award as well as the Fontanals-Cisneros USA Fellowship in literature. Cruz is also an alumnus of New Dramatists and has taught playwriting at Brown, Yale, NYU and University of Iowa.

Edwidge_Danticat___Jonathan_Demme_Small.jpgEDWIDGE DANTICAT is the author of numerous books, including Claire of the Sea Light, a New York Times notable book; Brother, I’m Dying, a National Book Critics Circle Award winner and National Book Award finalist; Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection; Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist; The Farming of Bones, an American Book Award winner; and The Dew Breaker, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist and winner of the inaugural Story Prize. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and elsewhere. She lives in Miami.

TERESA EYRING joined TCG in March 2007. Prior to arriving at TCG, Eyring spent more than twenty years as an executive in theatres around the U.S. Positions included: managing director of the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minneapolis from 1999-2007; managing director of the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia from 1994-1999; and assistant executive director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis from 1989-1993. She began her theatre career as director of development for the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., in 1983. She holds a B.A. in international relations from Stanford University and an M.F.A. in theatre administration from Yale School of Drama. Eyring is currently active as an executive committee member of the Performing Arts Alliance, chair of the follow-up process for the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention, board member of The Actors Fund and was previously a member of the Tony Awards nominating committee.

33d94a19-e887-4c38-8fb5-a0234c09229f.jpgMEGGAN GOMEZ is a theater-maker, facilitator, and activist who has worked at the intersection of arts and social justice for over 15 years. Before beginning her role as the Executive Director at TONYC, she was the Theater Conservatory Director at Working Classroom in Albuquerque, NM. Originally from Pennsylvania, Meggan studied acting in the BFA program at Montclair State University before moving to New York City to create her own work at theaters like Theatre for the New City and Abrons Arts Center. Affiliations include Cornerstone Theater Company, The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, and TEDxABQ. Meggan is also a champion for the steering committee of the Latinx Theater Commons.

QUIARA_ALEGRIA_HUDES_Headshot_2019.jpgQUIARA ALEGRÍA HUDES is a playwright, strong wife and mother of two, native of West Philly, U.S.A., and the first Latina to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Hailed for her work’s exuberance, intellectual rigor, and rich imagination, her plays and musicals have been performed around the world. They include the Tony Awardwinning Broadway hit In the Heights, which she co-wrote with Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Miss You Like Hell, which recently had an extended awards-nominated run in New York. Her Pulitzer-recognized Elliot Trilogy has been widely produced as standalone plays and more recently in ambitious three-part productions in Los Angeles, Portland, and Denver. They are about a young Marine from North Philly as he comes of age, delving deeply into Philly’s Puerto Rican community. Another recent work, Daphne’s Dive, looks at one North Philly bar over twenty years after a local activist’s controversial final protest. Hudes is now fast at work on a memoir for One World/Random House about her coming-of-age in Philadelphia during the AIDS epidemic and war on drugs, and breaking the family silence surrounding that painful epoch. She is also adapting In the Heights to the big screen for Warner Brothers. Hudes got her start in the tenth grade at Philadelphia Young Playwrights. Since then she’s received proclamations from Chicago, Philadelphia, and New Haven. Chicago also declared a Quiara Hudes Day in her honor. Originally trained as a composer at Philly’s own Settlement Music School, Hudes writes at the intersection of music and drama. She has collaborated with renowned musicians including Nelson Gonzalez, Michel Camilo, LinManuel Miranda, Erin McKeown, and The Cleveland Orchestra. With her incarcerated cousin, Hudes created Emancipated Stories, an Instagram collection where over a hundred people behind bars have contributed one page of their life story

4c701e0a-a729-40e6-b861-e2c0b3817749.jpgMANUEL LASAGA (Ph.D. Business Economist) is President of Strategic Information Analysis, Inc., (StratInfo) an economics and finance consulting firm established in 1993 in Miami, Florida. As a Business Economist he has more than 30 years of experience advising entrepreneurs, multinational corporations, financial institutions, government agencies and professional services firms. He has nationally-recognized capability for independent analysis of the Florida, U.S., and Latin American economies and financial markets. Lasaga is an advisor to banks in the areas of strategic planning and Asset / Liability management, helping banks optimize their risk-adjusted returns. He has developed a methodology to assist banks in determining the quality of their loan portfolio. He has assisted De-Novo banks through the organizational and approval process and during their initial operating period. He also has experience in management evaluations to assist banks in improving their performance. Lasaga has held high-level positions with Wharton Econometrics in Philadelphia; Citicorp in New York, including member of the international Bank Advisory Group which managed the rescheduling of emerging markets’ external debts during 1982 - 1985; and Southeast Bank in Miami, where he was a member of the bank’s Country Risk Committee. He has consulted for 25 years with the World Bank in Washington D.C., specializing in the evaluation of capital markets and development projects in emerging markets. He is also registered as an Investment Advisor. Lasaga was a member of the Florida Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors. An active community leader, he has served for 25 years on the Board of Directors of Baptist Hospital of Miami, and is also on the Board of the Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute Management Company. Lasaga has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a Clinical Professor in the Department of Finance at Florida International University’s College of Business.

19e8850d-968c-49ac-b5ad-e15eb0cb5539.jpgSULU LEONIMM (Joker and Program Director) has worked with TONYC since 2011 as a Joker, facilitating Forum Theatre Troupes including partnerships with the Ali Forney Center, Housing Works, and the Red Hook Community Justice Center, and Theatre of the Oppressed trainings. As Program Director, they support the planning for TONYC's Forum Theatre Troupes, the organization's workshops, and the joker team's training in & investigation of Theatre of the Oppressed. Sulu has been a Brooklyn-based theater artist and physical theater performer since 2003, enthralled with making ensemble-devised work. They are co-founder of Pack of Others, have performed with ensembles including the South Wing, Blessed Unrest, East Third Ensemble, Aeolian Theater, Denver's LIDA Project and with Seattle's Nebunele Theatre.

d3bc003c-2a9e-4a58-acf6-b68afcb51b6a.jpgWESLEY MORRIS is a critic-at-large for The New York Times. Previous to The Times, Mr. Morris worked at Grantland as a staff writer and the Sportstorialist columnist and co-host of "Do You Like Prince Movies?" He was a film critic at The Boston Globe from 2002 to 2013, and before that at The San Francisco Chronicle and The San Francisco Examiner. Mr. Morris was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his criticism at the Boston Globe in 2012 and, while at Grantland, was a National Magazine Award finalist for Columns and Commentary in 2015. He was born in Philadelphia and received a bachelor's degree from Yale University for film studies. Some of his spare time is spent making piecrusts, complaining about real estate development and teaching writing to high school students in Bushwick.

0acfdad5-dc7b-41a9-ac49-ccd363c06e8c.jpgJACOB G. PADRÓN is the newly appointed Artistic Director of Long Wharf Theatre, as well as the Founder and Artistic Director of The Sol Project. He was previously on the artistic staff of the Public Theater as the Senior Line Producer where he worked on new plays, new musicals, Shakespeare in the Park and Public Works. Prior to his post at The Public, Padrón was the Producer at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago where he oversaw the artistic programming in the Garage, Steppenwolf's second stage dedicated to new work, new artists and new audiences. Padrón has worked with Yale Repertory Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Teatro Vista and About Face Theatre. He was named "one to watch" by American Theatre magazine and was an inaugural recipient of the SPARK Leadership Fellowship administered by Theatre Communications Group (TCG). He has been a lecturer at Northwestern University and has adjudicated on grant panels for TCG, Network of Ensemble Theaters, The Drama League, SDC Foundation and American Theatre Wing. He is also on faculty at Yale School of Drama where he teaches artistic producing in the graduate theater management program. Most recently, he was on staff at Time Warner Inc. (HBO, Warner Bros., and Turner) in Cultural Investments where he supported the theater and film portfolios and identified diverse storytellers for media projects. Originally from Gilroy, California, Padrón is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University (BA) and Yale School of Drama (MFA).

a2779001-da24-44a1-b64d-8cd77bcec3dd.jpgROBERTA PEREIRA is a Tony-nominated, Olivier Award-winning producer who has developed and produced plays, musicals, and event theatre on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally, in the West End, and on tour. She is currently the Producing Director of The Playwrights Realm, an Off-Broadway theater company devoted to supporting early-career playwrights, where she produced the world premiere of The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe at The Duke on 42nd Street, which was a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Previously, Roberta developed and produced shows such as Tony-nominated play Mothers and Sons by Terrence McNally, starring Tyne Daly; the Olivier award-winning revival of Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along, in the West End; and the Broadway premiere of Grace, starring Paul Rudd, Michael Shannon and Ed Asner. Roberta is a guest lecturer at Yale School of Drama and as a Latinx arts administrator, has been a speaker on the topics of producing and inclusion in the arts in multiple forums, including BroadwayCon, NYU/Tisch, Syracuse University, Juilliard, and Commercial Theatre Institute. Roberta is a graduate of Yale School of Drama's Theater Management program and Wesleyan University. She is originally from Brazil and lives in New York City with her daughter.

a454bc5e-d859-4555-ae5e-6e4a10d2df86.jpgJEREMY PICKARD is the founder and co-director of Superhero Clubhouse, a NYC-based community of artists, scientists, and environmental professionals engaged in a long-term experiment to understand how theater can help shift consciousness in the face of global climate change and local environmental injustice. Jeremy wears many hats including director, producer, playwright, and performer. He is the lead artist of The Planet Plays and co-creator of other works of eco-theater including Mammelephant, Flying Ace and the Storm of the Century! and Salty Folk: An Oyster Musical. Since 2010 Jeremy has been the Program and Production Director for the annual Big Green Theater eco-playwriting program with The Bushwick Starr. He is a 2019 STEAMplant resident artist with Pratt Institute, for which he is creating Core of Me: A Hike-Play, exploring climate anxiety through the lens of witness trees. His essays "On Eco-Theater" and “Temporary Communities in the Era of Climate Change” are published by TCG and No Passport (respectively), edited by Caridad Svich. www.superheroclubhouse.org

e5ae8f06-ffcc-4cd2-b7ad-1ff6bab8b8c8.jpgDAVID ROBERTS is an independent consultant and currently on the theater management faculty of Yale School of Drama (YSD). He served most recently as the Executive Director of Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF), and was charged with all programmatic content curation, creation, and execution. Prior to his stint at SDCF, he was the Managing Director of The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH). Under Mr. Roberts’s administrative leadership from 2013-2016, CTH increased income, reduced deficits, increased audiences, and expanded programming. He was pivotal in professionalizing the company’s operations and actualizing its turnaround and momentum plans. Before CTH, he served as Managing Director of The Pearl Theatre Company, where he oversaw the transition of the classical company from its temporary residence at New York’s City Center to its home on far West 42nd Street. As a volunteer, Mr. Roberts is on the editorial advisory board of YSD’s Theater Management Knowledgebase, serves on the advisory committee for Superhero Clubhouse – an ecological theatre company, and is a past vice-chair of the board of Palissimo Company – a New York based dance and performance troupe. BFA, Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University. MFA, Yale School of Drama.

985f4ae4-4f9a-4745-96e7-8bc20aa81555.jpgKELUNDRA SMITH is the theater editor for ARTS ATL. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta Magazine, American Theatre, TDF Stages and other publications. She is the co-chair of the American Theatre Critics Association's Diversity & Inclusion Committee and facilitates theatre criticism workshops for students across the country. She is an alumna of the Goldring Arts Journalism program in the Newhouse School at Syracuse University and a past National Critics Institute fellow at the O'Neill Theatre Center. When she's not in the theater, she co-hosts a podcast called Unbasic (subscribe on Spotify, iTunes or Stitcher). More info: kelundra.com | Twitter:@pieceofkay | Instagram: @anotherpieceofkay


VIVIANA "YURA SAPI" VARGAS (they/them) is a two-spirit, indigenous Latinx artist, activist and facilitator. They work with others who are passionate about changing the world specifically through the medium of storytelling and by creating liberated spaces that uplift marginalized voices and experiences. They manage Advancing Arts Forward, a movement to advance equity, inclusion and social justice through the arts. They are a Cycle IV fellow of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute’s Innovative Cultural Advocacy Fellowship and part of artEquity‘s 2018 National Facilitator Training cohort. They hold an MFA from Brooklyn College and a BFA from Boston University. www.vivianavargas.com

aaf660df-448f-4fc5-90f2-8b370ef5f322.jpg DR. ZANNIE VOSS is Director of SMU DataArts | National Center for Arts Research and Professor of Arts Management in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and the Cox School of Business. Previously she was Chair of Arts Management at SMU, a Professor at Duke University and Producing Director of Theater Previews at Duke, a professional theater company dedicated to the co-production of new works, two of which transferred to Broadway. She served as managing director of PlayMakers Repertory Company and associate manager of the Alley Theatre. She has co-authored Theatre Facts for Theatre Communications Group since 1998. Her published research on the strategic factors that influence organizational performance appears in over a dozen academic and practitioner journals. She serves on the boards of the International Association of Arts and Cultural Management, TRG Arts, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and TACA. She is also honored to serve on the American Academy of Arts and Science’s Commission on the Arts, and she is co-author of the book Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play.

a18c74fe-8624-4960-9e8e-e0ffe09db2db.jpgTAMILLA WOODARD is the Associate Artistic Director of WP Theater and co-founder of PopUP Theatrics, which has created immersive and participatory theatre for audiences in Europe, South America, Mexico and the US since 2007. She is a 2014-2016 Time Warner Fellow at WP Theater Director’s Lab, an alumnus of The Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop and a graduate of The Yale School of Drama. Woodard’s work has been seen the A.C.T., Atlantic Theatre Company, The Working Theater, New York Theater Workshop, HERE Arts Center, New Georges, Culture Project, Cleveland Public Theater, Salt Lake Acting Company, The Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Kitchen Theatre, and at festivals and theaters Internationally. She is the recipient of The Josephine Abady Award from The League of Professional Theatre Women and The Charles Bowden Award from New Dramatists. Currently, she is the associate director of HADESTOWN on Broadway.

d43d8f06-a700-46fd-855d-21c9406c89a9.jpgSTEPHANIE YBARRA is in her first season as Artistic Director for Baltimore Center Stage after serving seven years as Director of Special Artistic Projects for The Public Theater in New York. Her career spans two decades includes roles at Dallas Children's Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Yale Repertory Theater, Two River Theater Company, and Playwrights Realm. In response to the current state of the world, Stephanie co-founded the Artists’ Anti-Racism Coalition, a grassroots effort to help the Off-Broadway community dismantle systems of exclusion and oppression. She holds an MFA from Yale School of Drama, and a deep belief in the power of the Post-it note.

12ba6d3f-dd0d-4340-ab77-80052bef1f6d.jpgSARA ZATZ is the Associate Director of Ping Chong + Company where she oversees the company’s community engagement and training programs, and is the lead-artistic collaborator with Ping Chong on the interview-based Undesirable Elements  series, exploring issues of culture and identity in the lives of individuals in specific communities. Since joining the company in 2002, she has led the production of dozens of original works in the series, working with partner organizations ranging from regional theaters to community-based arts organizations. Most recently, she wrote and directed (Un)Conditional (Profile Theatre) and co-created Undesirable Elements: Generation NYZ (New Victory Theater and La MaMa ETC), Undesirable Elements: Dearborn (Arab American National Museum), South of the Eight (La Jolla Playhouse) and Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity (national touring). She has spoken and presented workshops on community-engaged theater at many conferences and universities.