People's Light & Theatre Welcomes Abigail Adams as CEO
The Board of People's Light & Theatre has named Artistic Director, AbiGail Adams, CEO of the organization as part of a carefully planned restructuring of the company's executive leadership. Ms. Adams will be joined by Ellen Anderson, General Manager & CFO, and Zak Berkman, Producing Director.
"The decision to move forward with this new structure aligns with the priorities and aspirations we articulate in our strategic plan, and follows an extensive internal process to determine the strengths of existing leadership and staff," Board Chairman Frederick Sutherland stated at the announcement. "We are excited to enter our 39th Season and plan for our 40th with an executive team that possesses the artistry, managerial experience, and commitment to young people and community to assure that People's Light serves a vital role in the cultural and civic life of our region for years to come."
After twenty-three years with People's Light & Theatre, Grace Grillet has retired from her position as Managing Director. She will continue to serve as Administrative Consultant. "We are thankful for Grace's tremendous leadership and will miss her daily wisdom and care." Sutherland continued, "Fortunately, she will remain close to us and contribute to the life and future of the theatre."
Ms. Adams has been the Artistic Director of People's Light since 1997. MS. Anderson has been with the company as General Manager since 2005. Mr. Berkman has been Associate Artistic Director with People's Light since 2011. This new executive team will work closely with senior staff: Jane Moss (Director of Development), Shawn Stone (Director of Marketing and Communications), Charles Brastow (Director of Production), Wendy Bable (Producer of Arts Discovery), and Pete Pryor (Associate Artistic Director). In addition, Marcie Bramucci joins the company in the newly created senior position of Director of Community Investment. Formerly the Managing Director at Penobscot Theatre Company in Bangor, Maine, Ms. Bramucci's focus will be on donor cultivation and diversification, special events, and cross-sector partnerships with local organizations to support a number of audience development and community engagement activities at People's Light.
AbiGail Adams, Artistic Director & CEO
Ms. Adams is Artistic Director & CEO of The People's Light & Theatre Company. During her 34-year association with the Theatre, she has directed more than sixty plays, including The Trip to Bountiful, Dividing the Estate, Legacy of Light, and Nathan the Wise. Ms. Adams has directed readings and workshops of new plays for Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, Circle Rep, New York Stage and Film, and The Public Theatre. Abbey served for ten years on the faculty of Swarthmore College and has also taught at New York University, Bryn Mawr College, Carnegie Mellon University, and The Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario. She holds an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Ursinus College.
Ellen Anderson, General Manager & CFO
Ellen M. Anderson has been at People's Light since 2005. She has twenty-five years of experience in finance and accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant in Pennsylvania and New York. In 2011, MS. Anderson was given leadership of the Theatre's wholly-owned, for-profit subsidiary, The Farmhouse
Bistro and Catering facility. Prior to joining People's Light, MS. Anderson was the Director of Finance at The Pennsylvania Ballet for fifteen years. She started her accounting career in the audit division of Ernst & Young LLP in New York and Philadelphia. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Manhattan College. She is married and has two sons, Erik and Reid.
Zak Berkman, Producing Director
Zak is a playwright, director, dramaturg, and producer. He joined People's Light as Associate Artistic Director in September, 2011. Previously, he was associate to Broadway producer, Margo Lion, and co-founder and Executive Director of Artistic Programming with Epic Theatre Ensemble, an OBIE, Drama League, and Lucille Lortel Award-winning artist-run company in New York City. During his ten years of leadership with Epic, the company gained a distinguished reputation for developing new work and cultivating diverse, new audiences. Numerous Off-Broadway premieres include Sarah Ruhl's Passion Play, No Child... by Nilaja Sun, Palace of the End by Judith Thompson, and Hannah and Martin by Kate Fodor. Zak's own plays include Beauty on the Vine, A Breath Short of Breathing, and The Harassment of Iris Malloy. Beauty on the Vine has been produced in New York and Chicago, published by Dramatist Play Service, and optioned by Dirty Rice Pictures to be turned into a film. Berkman is a former script writer for NBC's Days of our Lives. He is married to Teri Lamm and they have two boys, Eliot and Theo.