Independent Shakespeare Co. Announces Three New Board Members To Its 2018 Board Of Directors!

Independent Shakespeare Co. Announces Three New Board Members To Its 2018 Board Of Directors!

Independent Shakespeare Co.(ISC), announced today the addition of three new members of its Board of Directors: Sarah L. Cronin, Nikhil Pai and Julie Yannatta, under the leadership of Board Chair, Eduardo A. Braniff. ISC Artistic Director and Co-Founder Melissa Chalsma comments, "2018 is a phenomenal year for ISC and a turning point in our history. With the commitment of our board of directors led by Eduardo Braniff, we are in the midst of a singular time of growth and celebration, one with two new performance spaces. Earlier this year we opened a new, expanded indoor Studio, this summer we celebrate our 15th anniversary of free Shakespeare in the park, and this fall the city of L.A. will be break ground on the new performance stage at our Griffith Park site.

Comments Board Chair, Eduardo A. Braniff, "We are thrilled to have such remarkable individuals join our board. Their valuable experience, their commitment to our community, as well as their expertise across the fields of law, education and entertainment, will help guide ISC on our path towards redefining what it means to go to the theater in Los Angeles."

SARAH L. CRONINis an attorney whose practice includes entertainment, intellectual property, insurance recovery and complex business litigation. She is the co-chair of the California Chapter and Member of the Insurance Group of the Media Law Resource Center (MLRC), the co-chair of the American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law's Media Advocacy Workshop, and chair-elect of ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), Media, Privacy and Advertising Law Committee. She also performs pro bono services in connection with the Alliance for Children's Rights. Sarah is a graduate of St. Peter's University and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Comments Sarah, "I grew up going to local theater performances with my family. I'm thrilled I get to help bring that wonderful experience to families from all over Los Angeles. It's a real privilege to serve on the board of ISC and help bring free and low-cost theater to tens of thousands every year. And I, of course, can't wait to take my own kids to Griffith Park for performances this summer. "

NIKHIL PAIis an actor, educator and ISC Company Member last appearing on the ISC Festival stage in Measure for Measure and The Two Gentlemen of Veronaand at the ISC Studio in the West Coast premiere ofThe Snow Geese. He has appeared in several network television shows including Selfie, Superstore, Code Black, Castle, and the upcoming Hulu series, Future Man. In addition to ISC, he has flexed his movement muscles in the dance-based theatre companies Theatre Movement Bazaar and Critical Mass Group. He has also been a frequent collaborator with LA's premiere immersive theatre company, The Speakeasy Society. He earned his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts.

Comments Nikhil, "After I graduated from CalArts, my involvement with ISC was one of the major contributing factors to me staying in Los Angeles. Growing with this company for eight years has opened my eyes to how much this company serves Los Angeles. I'm looking forward to not only giving back to this company that has fostered and help me grow, but to further my contribution to the city at large."

JULIE YANNATTA (a.k.a. Jai Anand) is a Yogi, a poet, an entrepreneur, philanthropist and life coach. She is the Founder & President of the record label Be Why, Inc., best known for releasing the artist White Sun's album White Sun II, which won the Grammy for Best New Age Album in 2017. Julie co-produced two albums to benefit Amnesty International, collections of Lennon and Dylan covers, respectively. She has served for nine years on the board of Operation USA, a Los Angeles-based international disaster relief and development NGO. Julie is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Tulane University Law School.

Julie comments, "I'm delighted to join the board of the Independent Shakespeare Co. during this milestone 15th anniversary year, and I am excited to contribute to its growth and establishment as a perennial Los Angeles cultural institution. I have been attending the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival every summer for the last 6 years. I return time and again for the dazzling performances and also for the faces in the crowd, the parade of expressions - rapture, anticipation, tears, glee - from the global palate of people who are my beloved Los Angeles."

INDEPENDENT SHAKESPEARE CO. (ISC) is marking 2018 with three major milestones. ISC is celebrating the 15th anniversary of presenting free Shakespeare in Los Angeles city parks. The Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival has grown to become a tradition for tens of thousands of Angelenos, bringing together our diverse, vibrant community through accessible, imaginative performances of classical plays. Due to the success of activating the Old Zoo into a cultural venue, in Fall 2018 the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks will break ground on the Griffith Park Performing Arts Stage Project, a $4 million enterprise to build a permanent stage at our site. Also in 2018, ISC is opening the ISC Studio, an upgrade from our previous space into a larger performance venue and lounge at the Atwater Arts + Innovation Complex.

The ISC Studio is active and unpredictable, serving as a multi-purpose and multi-disciplinary laboratory. ISC is the 2015 recipients of the LA Drama Critics Circle's highest honor, the Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theater, a recipient of an NEA ArtWorks grant and a grantee recipient of Bloomberg Philanthropies' Arts Innovation and Management Program. In partnership with the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Park, we moved free Shakespeare in Barnsdall Park in 2010 to Griffith Park, the second largest city park in California. The growth in attendance is extraordinary: at our first season (at Barnsdall Park in 2004), we played to fewer than 1,000 people; since 2013 we have welcomed over 40,000 people each summer to the Old Zoo and have now performed to over 220,000 people in the summer. Through classical theater we have attracted a community that is young (71% age 35 and under), diverse (48% identify as non-Caucasian and 77% are middle and lower income), and from all corners of Los Angeles. For more information call 818-710-6306 or visit

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