New York Stage & Film's Annual Gala to Honor Patricia Wettig, Ken Olin, And Johanna Pfaelzer
New York Stage and Film is thrilled to announce that its annual Winter Gala will honor playwright and Emmy award-winning actress Patricia Wettig (F2M, "Brothers and Sisters," "thirtysomething") and Executive Producer/director/actor Ken Olin ("This Is Us," "Alias," "Brothers & Sisters," "thirtysomething"), and, in recognition for her years of dedication to New York Stage and Film, Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer, who is stepping down from her post at the end of the 2019 Powerhouse Summer Season. The Winter Gala, a fundraising event to support New York Stage and Film's year-round theater and film development initiatives, will be held on Sunday, December 9, 2018 at The Plaza Hotel (768 Fifth Avenue, New York City). For more information on New York Stage and Film, please visit www.newyorkstageandfilm.org
"We are delighted and proud to celebrate Patti and Ken. They have been core members of the NYSAF family since the earliest days of the company. Both have been involved in our work as actors, Ken as a director, and Patti as a playwright, including the world premiere of her beautiful play F2M," said Johanna Pfaelzer.
"It will be deeply heartfelt and just a little bittersweet to honor 20 years of Johanna's passion, commitment and devotion to New York Stage and Film. The meaningful impact she has had on the company and the artists who have worked with us deserves and promises the hugest of celebrations," said Leslie Urdang, one of the founders and Producing Directors of New York Stage and Film.
The Winter Gala is supported by Honorary Co-Chairs Jon Robin Baitz, Eve Ensler, Thomas Kail, Mandy Moore & Taylor Goldsmith, Josh Radnor, and Milo Ventimiglia, and Co-Chairs Dasha Epstein, Carol & Tony Friscia, Christine & Douglas Harmon, Barbara Manocherian, Daryl Roth, Jordan Roth, Jeffrey Seller, Caitlin Thompson & DAN FOGELMAN, and Denise & Dean Vanech.
Past gala honorees include Tina Fey, Don Katz, Annette Bening, David Rockwell, Bill Pullman, Michael Mayer, Rick Miramontez, Stanley Tucci, Laura Linney, Christopher Plummer, Julianna Margulies, Steve Martin, Jordan Roth, John Patrick Shanley, Jon Robin Baitz, Aaron Sorkin, David Strathairn, Dana Delany, Tony Shalhoub, Marc Platt, Donald Holder, and Peter Gallagher.
Ken Olin was born in Evanston, Illinois. Attended The Putney School in Vermont, and the University Of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, graduating cum laude in 1976. Acting career began in New York studying at the Circle in the Square two-year professional program, then with Warren Robertson, and finally with the legendary Stella Adler for three years. Did numerous theatrical productions off-Broadway, off-off Broadway, and at various regional theaters. Moved to Los Angeles in 1983 after being cast in Steven Bochco's television series "Bay City Blues." When the show was cancelled - after two airings - the role of Harry Garibaldi was created for him on "Hill Street Blues." Then in the spring of 1988 cast as Michael Steadman in the television series "thirtysomething." The series lasted four years during which time began career as a director, directing two episodes a season during the final three seasons. After "thirtysomething" directed two critically acclaimed television movies: "Doing Time on Maple Drive" and "The Broken Cord." Directed the feature film White Fang 2 and the HBO film In Pursuit of Honor. Returned to acting for a short period and starred in the Paul Haggis series "EZ Streets." Directed and executive produced the pilot and series "Breaking News." Directed episodes of various television series, including "The West Wing," "Freaks and Geeks," and "Felicity," where he first worked with JJ Abrams. Executive produced the series "Alias" and directed over 20 episodes during its five-season run. Developed the series "Brothers & Sisters" with Jon Robin Baitz, directed the pilot, executive produced the series, and directed over 20 episodes during its five-season run. Directed and executive produced the pilot of "Eli Stone." Executive produced and directed two episodes of the series "The Mob Doctor." Executive produced & directed 4 episodes of the series "Sleepy Hollow" during its first two seasons. Directed 4 episodes of the limited series "The Slap" for NBC. Directed and executive produced the pilot of "Grand Hotel," a new series for ABC to be aired this mid-season. Currently, and for the past three seasons, Executive Producer/Director on the NBC series "This Is Us." Married to the actress and playwright Patricia Wettig for 35 years; they have two children, Clifford and Roxy.
Patricia Wettig made a dramatic impact on the award-wining TV series "thirtysomething," where she received three Emmy awards and a Golden Globe award for her portrayal of Nancy Weston. In recent years she has been seen in the hit series "Brothers and Sisters," "Prison Break," "Breaking News," and "Alias." She also starred in Stephen King's "The Langoliers," "Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story," and "The 19th Wife," among others. Patricia was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, one of four daughters born to basketball coach Clifford Wettig and his wife Florence. She was raised in Grove City, Pennsylvania and went to college at Ohio Wesleyan University, University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and finished her bachelor degree at Temple University. In 2001, she received her M.F.A. in playwriting from Smith College. After traveling around the world as Shirley MacLaine's personal dresser, Patricia moved to New York City to study with William Esper. She became a member of Circle Rep's acting company originating parts in Bill Mastrosimone's The Woolgatherer, Jim Leonard's The Diviners and Lanford Wilson's A Tale Told, before meeting her husband Ken Olin in a 1982 production of A Streetcar Named Desire. They wed later that year and have two children together, Cliff and Roxy. She acted in the world premiere of Jon Robin Baitz's production of The Paris Letter at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in L.A. and was seen in George Wolfe's production of The Normal Heart at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. Patricia made her film debut opposite Robert DeNiro in Guilty by Suspicion and later co-starred in the popular comedy City Slickers I and II as Billy Crystal's wife. Her other film credits include Bongwater, Parallel Lives, and Dancer, Texas. NYSAF has provided Patricia with a home as a developing writer. Her play My Andy, a play about Andy Warhol's relationship to his mother, premiered at NYSAF and was later performed at Hartford Stage's One Voice Festival and became a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her play F2M, was published by Dramatists Play Service after being well received at the Powerhouse Theater. Patricia spent a summer as a writer in residence at NYSAF and has acted in the mainstage productions of Joanna Murray Smith's Nightfall, directed by Max Mayer, and Charlotte Keatling's My Mother Said, I Never Should directed by her husband Ken Olin. She also starred in NYSAF's movie, Me and Veronica, with Elizabeth McGovern and directed by Don Scardino.
Johanna Pfaelzer's relationship with New York Stage and Film began in 1998. She first worked with the company as Managing Producer, and subsequently joined founders Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer and Leslie Urdang as a Producing Director. In 2007 she was named the company's first Artistic Director. With NYSAF, Johanna has developed and produced new works by John Patrick Shanley, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Stephen Karam, Steve Martin, Sarah DeLappe, The Debate Society, Beth Henley, Hamish Linklater, Theresa Rebeck, Duncan Sheik, Steven Sater, Marcus Gardley, Ngozi Anyanwu, Richard Greenberg, Taylor Mac, Pete Townshend, Joanna Murray-Smith, Stephen Belber, Christopher Durang, Ayad Akhtar, Eric Bogosian, Lucy Thurber, Nathan Englander, Jocelyn Bioh, Keith Bunin and Eve Ensler, among others, and has collaborated with directors including Michael Mayer, Tommy Kail, Leigh Silverman, Sheryl Kaller, Lila Neugebauer, Mark Brokaw, Trip Cullman, Michael Wilson, Maria Mileaf, Barry Edelstein, Zach Helm and Alex Timbers. From 2003-2007, she served as Associate Artistic Director of American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, where she developed new works by such artists as Jose Rivera, Philip Kan Gotanda, Eve Ensler, Itamar Moses, Maria N'Diaye, Timberlake Wertenbaker, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Adam Bock, Karen Hartman, and Carey Perloff, and produced such large-scale works as the international co-production of Robert Wilson and Tom Waits' Black Rider and Tina Landau's production of Saroyan's Time of Your Life. Johanna is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the Actors Theater of Louisville Apprentice Program and has served as an adjunct assistant professor in the MFA Theater Program in the Columbia University School of the Arts. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Russell Champa, and son Jasper.
New York Stage and Film (Johanna Pfaelzer, Artistic Director; Thomas Pearson, Executive Director; Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer, Leslie Urdang, Producing Directors) is a not-for-profit company dedicated to both emerging and established artists in the development of new works for theater and film. Since 1985 New York Stage and Film (NYSAF) has played a significant role in the development of new plays, provided a home for a diverse group of artists free from critical and commercial pressures, and established itself as a vital cultural institution for residents of the Hudson Valley and the New York metropolitan region. The signature programs include Powerhouse Theater Season, New York City Programming, Powerhouse Training Program, Filmmakers' Workshop, Awards, Fellowships, and Residencies.
Dozens of notable works trace their developmental roots to NYSAF, including the 2016 Tony Award winners for Best Musical (Hamilton) and Best Play (The Humans), as well as the Tony Award-winning plays Side Man and Doubt, the Broadway musicals American Idiot and Bright Star, the recently acclaimed The Babylon Line, and the 2017 Pulitzer finalists The Wolves and Taylor Mac's A 24-Decade History of Popular Music.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos