Polly Carl, Kristoffer Diaz & More Join Samuel French's Advisory Committee
Samuel French, the 184-year-old publishing and licensing company, has announced the new members of its 2014 Advisory Committee. They comprise notable industry professionals representing a wide spectrum of interests and perspectives in the theatrical community. The 2014 Advisory Committee members are Polly Carl (Director and Editor of HowlRound: A Center for the Theater Commons at Emerson College), Kristoffer Diaz (playwright and educator; plays include The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Welcome to Arroyo's, The Upstairs Concierge), Seth Glewen (Co-Head of The Gersh Agency Theater Department), Amanda Green (Tony-nominated lyricist/composer), Mark S. Hoebee (Producing Artistic Director of the Paper Mill Playhouse), David Roth (Head of Theatre Dept. at Staples High School in Westport, CT), and Lou Ursone (Executive Director of Curtain Call Theatre).
Bruce Lazarus, Executive Director at Samuel French commented, "We are committed to listening for and reliably delivering that which really matters to our clients and customers and what they really care about. To that end, we are pleased to bring together this outstanding and diverse group of industry professionals to advise us."
The primary purpose of the Advisory Committee is to provide Samuel French with industry insight and feedback, thus ensuring that Samuel French serves its core mission of connecting playwrights and producing organizations. Playwright Kristoffer Diaz explains the importance of this collaboration, "So many of us first encounter great plays through the publishing efforts of Samuel French. It's been an honor having them disseminate my own work into the broader theatrical world. It's an even greater honor now to help strengthen the company's commitment to joining playwrights, producers, and the audience at large." In doing so, Samuel French seeks to transform the theatrical licensing and publishing community.
Polly Carl is the Director and Editor of HowlRound: A Center for the Theater Commons at Emerson College. Her work at HowlRound is focused on promoting practices for 21st Century theater making based on the core principle that theater is for everyone. She is also part of the ArtsEmerson programming team at Emerson College and is developing new works for the stage in that context. Over fifteen years in professional theater she has focused on developing and producing new plays, working with dozens of playwrights and theater companies from around the country. She spent two years as Director of Artistic Development at Steppenwolf Theatre and served eleven years at the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis seven as Producing Artistic Director.
Kristoffer Diaz is a playwright and educator living and working in Brooklyn. Full-length titles include The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Welcome to Arroyo's, The Upstairs Concierge, and The Unfortunates. Awards: 2011 New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award; finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; winner, 2011 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play; winner, 2011 OBIE Award, Best New American Play; and the inaugural Gail Merrifield Papp Fellowship from The Public Theater (2011). He is a recipient of the Jerome Fellowship, the Future Aesthetics Artist Regrant and the Van Lier Fellowship (New Dramatists). Kristoffer holds a BA from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, an MFA from NYU's Department of Dramatic Writing, and an MFA from Brooklyn College's Performing Arts Management program.
Seth Glewen is a Co-Head of The Gersh Agency Theater Department, where he represents writers, directors, composers, choreographers and designers. Prior to Gersh, he spent five years working at The Joyce Ketay Agency, where he was mentored by Joyce Ketay and Carl Mulert. The Gersh Agency, founded in 1949 by Phil Gersh with offices in Beverly Hills and New York City, is a full-service agency that includes Talent, Feature Literary, TV Literary, Theater, Comedy and Below-the-Line Departments. Seth has judged Samuel French's Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival, and has served on panels for Primary Stages and The Lark Play Development Center. In 2012, Seth was featured in Variety's "Hollywood's New Leaders" article.
Amanda Green is a Tony-nominated lyricist/composer. She is the recipient of the 2013 Frederic Loewe Award from the Dramatists Guild for her music for HANDS ON A HARDBODY (lyricist; co-composer), one of two new musicals she premiered on Broadway in the 2012-2013 season. For her work on Hands she was nominated for a Tony Award, Two Drama Desk Awards (music, lyrics) and an Outer Critics Circle
Award. She was nominated for a Tony for Best Musical (also a third 2013 Drama Desk Award) for her lyrics for BRING IT ON. Also on Broadway: HIGH FIDELITY (lyrics). TV: The Wonder Pets. She is also an award-winning performer (2 MAC Awards, BISTRO Award). Other Awards: The Jonathan Larson Award, The Songwriter's Hall of Fame Abe Olman Award. BMI Musical Theater Workshop, Alumni; B.A. Brown University; Dramatists Guild Council Member.
Mark S. Hoebee is the Producing Artistic Director at Paper Mill Playhouse which celebrates its 75th Anniversary this season. Under his artistic leadership, working alongside Cameron Mackintosh, Paper Mill launched the American Premiere of the 25th Anniversary production of LES MISERABLES, and in partnership with Disney Theatrical Productions, was home to the world premiere of the Alan Menken/Harvey Fierstein musical NEWSIES in 2011. Mark has performed in more than ten Broadway and National tour productions and has served as an Adjunct Professor in the Dance and Theatre Department at his alma mater Northwestern University.
David Roth, Head of Theatre Dept. at Staples High School in Westport, CT, where for the past 15 years he has been teaching Acting, Directing, Costume Design and Stagecraft as well as directing 4 productions a year. The theatre program at Staples High School is often regarded as one of the best high school programs in the country. The program has won the New England Theatre Conference's Moss Hart Award for Best Secondary School Production in New England ten times as well as being the only high school ever to win the Overall Award three times. David is returning
Lou Ursone is the Executive Director of Curtain Call Theatre, a nonprofit, community-based Connecticut theatre where he was named Community Leader of the Year for Stamford by the Stamford Advocate and, in 2008, was named the State of Connecticut Arts Administrator of the Year, receiving the Elizabeth Mahaffey Fellowship. Curtain Call, under his leadership, has been named Best Local Theatre in a variety of media contests every year since 2004. Curtain Call received The Governor's Award for Excellence and Tourism in 2011.