Leigh Silverman, Saheem Ali, Among New Members Elected to Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

Leigh Silverman, Saheem Ali, Among New Members Elected to Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), the theatrical union that unites, empowers and protects professional stage directors and choreographers throughout the United States, announced the election of four officers and two new members of the Executive Board at Monday's Annual Membership Meeting. In addition, Sharon Ott received the annual President's Award for service to SDC.

John Rando and Michael Wilson were re-elected as Executive Vice President and Treasurer, respectively. Seret Scott and Leigh Silverman were newly elected as Second Vice President and Third Vice President. Saheem Ali and Lisa Portes were newly elected to the board to serve as At-Large members. Incumbent board members Christopher Ashley, Jo Bonney, Rachel Chavkin, Liza Gennaro, Dan Knechtges, Kathleen Marshall, Lonny Price, Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Bartlett Sher were reelected to three-year terms as At-Large members.

In addition, Linda Hartzell was reelected as Northwest Regional Representative.

Regarding the election, SDC Board President Pam MacKinnon said, "I want to acknowledge and thank Joe Calarco and Wendy Goldberg, who are completing their service as members of the Executive Board, and welcome Saheem and Lisa to the Executive Board. With more than 3,000 active members, SDC relies on our Executive Board to represent and advocate on behalf of that much larger body, as we work to sustain and improve the working lives of professional directors and choreographers across the country. I look forward to collaborating with them as President of SDC."

President's Award recipient Sharon Ott is currently the Chair of the Theatre Program at Virginia Commonwealth University. She was artistic director Berkeley Repertory Theatre from 1984 to 1997 and artistic director of Seattle Repertory Theatre from 1997 to 2006. She joined the SDC Executive Board in 2006.

In presenting the President's Award to Ott, in addition to enumerating her participation in a variety of committees and initiatives, MacKinnon said, "Sharon has literally changed the Union's priorities. By all metrics available, her service has been exemplary. She has changed the way we think about our community and has strengthened us in ways we don't even know." She described Ott's last-minute agreement to attend the ATHE Conference in 2014 to represent SDC, and how that initial engagement led to a sustained relationship with the national academic community, including an Academic Associate Member campaign, the development of the Peer-Reviewed Section of the SDC Journal, and the formation of a board-level Academic Initiatives committee.

Past President's Award recipients have included Robert Moss (2017); Benjamin Endsley Klein, Sarna Lapine, Lorin Latarro and Mark Schneider (2015), who collectively began the start of the Broadway Associates/Resident Directors fight for recognition as part of the SDC bargaining unit; and Tom Moore (2014).

SDC is the theatrical union that represents 4,000 professional stage Directors and Choreographers throughout the United States. Its mission is to foster a national community of professional stage directors and choreographers by protecting the rights, health, and livelihoods of all its Members. SDC has jurisdiction over the employment of directors and choreographers working in the following areas: Broadway and National tours, Off-Broadway, ANTC (Association of Non-Profit Theatre Companies, New York City), Resident Theatre (League of Resident Theatres-LORT), Resident summer stock companies (Council of Resident Stock Theatres -CORST/TSS), Dinner Theatre (Dinner Theatre Agreement-DTA), Regional Musical Theatre (RMT), and Outdoor musical stock (OMS).

Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski

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